We’ve rounded the corner into 2021, and the new year has brought with it some important new weapons against the coronavirus. The world is waiting to see how effective the vaccines will be against curbing the spread of COVID-19, but in the meantime, it’s important to remember that we can still count on the old protection measures.
Of course, masks are a big part of the strategy. You may not have heard much about N95 respirators lately, and there’s good reason for that. These medical-grade pieces of PPE are the gold standard for air filtration, but there has been a drastic supply shortage since near the beginning of the pandemic. Because of that, they were designated mainly for use by the front-line health care workers that were most at risk of infection.
But here’s another piece of good news for 2021: That shortage has subsided. Not only are N95 masks available to health workers again, but they’re also available to just about anyone — and they’re more affordable than you might think.
One of the best outlets offering these masks is SureWay Health, whose DTC3X masks are certified as N95 protective devices by NIOSH (the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health). These are the real deal, made with five layers of electrostatic non-woven polypropylene fabric. Unlike regular cloth masks, they don’t just prevent droplets from exiting the mouth and aerosolizing. They filter out 95% of all airborne particles with a design that still allows the user to breathe easily.
That design is actually one of the best things about this mask. The slightly bulging profile means the fabric doesn’t actually need to hug the lips. Combine that with an adjustable aluminum alloy nosepiece, and you have a mask that is much less apt to fog up your glasses with every breath. The headbands are also adjustable and are made from elastic polyester, ensuring a tight fit on any type of face.
Even if we weren’t in the middle of a pandemic, these respirators would be considered invaluable gear for a range of professions. They’re just as good at filtering out dust and allergens as they are at dealing with virus-carrying particles, which makes them ideal for construction work, debris removal, medical disinfecting and more. And needless to say, they could be a huge health benefit to Californians who might be dealing with the aftermath of last year’s wildfires.
These DTC3X masks provide protection for up to eight hours and can even be reused if the interior isn’t compromised. Curious about how you can get yours? For the time being, SureWay is offering discounts of 35 to 53 percent depending on the quantity of purchase, and they’re even donating one N95 respirator to hospitals for every 20 they sell.