T Nation

What Kind Of Mask Do I Need?

I looked for a Coronavirus subreddit, but couldn’t find one, so I figured I’d ask here in case you guys knew.

I’ve been unable to book a food delivery slot online as they’re all fully booked, so unfortunately I’m gonna have to go shopping at the weekend. I was going to buy a mask to wear, as my local stores are SO busy at the moment, it’s impossible to keep a safe distance from people. I’ve heard mixed things about the masks, but as they’re so cheap I figured I may as well buy one anyway.

The thing is, which kind of mask do I need to buy? I type “virus mask” into Amazon, and so many different kinds appear. Do I need one with a filter, without a filter, etc?

Something like this?

or something like this?


Try this one, you won’t have to queue


The mask prevents you from spreading infection. Are you currently infected? If so, just stay the hell home.

You couldn’t find a coronavirus subreddit? Even the one with 1.6MM members?

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He was probably banned from there after asking this question


If you want to walk around wearing a mask, just do it. But also realize that it doesn’t mean anything.

I like funny hats. I wear one that has a bunch of blue and white lightning bolts on it, but it doesn’t protect me in any way. Except from weld spatter and general head burning stuff, but how often does that happen?

We all have our weirdnesses and proclivities, so just go with it.

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Ideally you would wear N95 masks, but they need to be fitted properly which requires trying several different models and testing to make sure it fits properly. At my work they do that every couple of years, they put a big helmet type of thing over your head and spray some bitter tasting stuff in there, if you taste it then the mask doesn’t fit right.

You can’t do a test like that yourself at home and there is a shortage of N95 masks, so the next best thing is a surgical mask. Yes, they are more effective at stopping the wearer from spreading it to others than vice versa, but wearing one does offer some protection. As much as 80% according to one study.

Those other masks you have above are bullshit. You could actually wear a gas mask if you can get one, the Ottawa police said they would wear those if necessary.


That first one, the one with the mesh I can almost fit my head in to, seems a great option.

I’m not infected, but I’m type 1 diabetic, so I guess I fall into the “vulnerable” category. I have absolutely no choice but to go shopping at the weekend, as I’m nearly out of food, all the food delivery slots are booked on almost 10 different sites I checked, and I don’t have any close family nearby.

Wash your hands well, don’t touch your face and maintain 6’ of physical separation.

Remember this song


Stock up for a week or two at a time and then stay home. Wear gloves if you gotta, and don’t let people in your space.

Just found it after searching on Reddit itself. I was using Google, and it wasn’t showing when I typed “Coronavirus Reddit”. Would’ve been nice to offer some help though, but I guess even when times are hard the internet is still gonna be full of these kind of sarcastic posts.

Try to go when it’s the least crowded. In my personal experience, that is usually about an hour or so after the store opens -this is after the crowd trying to get in while the store is “fully” stocked, and before the lunch crowd, plus the people that still have to work during the day (albeit from home).

Definitely wear gloves, especially when buying gas. As long as you wash your hands and don’t touch your face, you should be good. Infected people spraying germs on you is probably the greatest danger, so don’t talk to anyone.

Here’s an interesting/relevant study:


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If there’s a Trader Joe’s you can get to, I suggest trying there. I went to one yesterday, and they were letting people in on a “when non-crowded” (limited number of shoppers at a time) basis; you have a much better chance of keeping a safer distance from other shoppers.

Quality advice. Thank you because this’ll be more useful to anyone else that will read this than most of the stuff that’s been posted (not referring to this thread).

Gloves, washing your hands, and avoiding close contact with people is your best bet.

Actually, once I was thinking about it, it turns out I have a respirator with P 100 filters on it that are rated for protection against tuberculosis, so maybe that’s something.

Unfortunately, the filters are big pink lobes that look like Mickey Mouse ears, so there’s that.

I’ve heard people saying the masks don’t help.

Honest question…where did you hear this and what’s the science behind it?



I don’t mean to be a lazy fuck, but could you please point me towards the relevant section? Reading government regulations makes me want to slit my wrists, and at first glance this appears to have only tangential relevance to Nards’ question, if that.

I’ll try.

Toward the bottom.

Part II. Detailed Guidelines For Use

Subsections D through F; D:Use Limitations through F: Respiratory Protection for Tuberculosis.

It may not be scientific, or even applicable, but it was at least convincing enough during that last outbreak of H1N1 or what ever it was to get us to use them.

There were a few other tables and whatnot on levels of protection and applications that pointed to the P100 filters as the highest level of protection and recommended for use in health care settings too, but I’ll be damned if I can find them again.

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