Andrew Partridge

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I made an N95-level mask at home, and you can too

I live in NSW Australia and we are currently (3 Sep 2021) battling Delta strain, which has a Reff of 1.3 even during a strict lockdown, curfews, and a reasonably high vaccination rate.

It’s got to be the masks, right? People are going shopping, wearing whatever mask they have, and getting infected because someone infected with covid is in the store and also not properly masked. Medical workers in full PPE are getting infected - how leakproof are their masks, really?

Our Government should do some trials to find the best inexpensive masks or mask-brace combination for getting Reff below 1.0, and then just give everyone a box of them to be used when they need to go out during the lockdown. With Reff below 1.0 we would eliminate covid sooner or later, and would aim to keep it that way.

I was inspired by this article to solve my own leaky mask problem. I have a nice 3M respirator mask with two discrete filters that seals really well to my face but I haven’t been able to use it during the pandemic because it has an exhaust valve. It only took ten minutes to remove the little round valve flaps that stop exhaled air going through the filters, and to put duct tape over the inside of the central exhaled air valve.