Neophyte Sen. Robin Padilla was reminded of the proper way of double masking after a news agency used a picture of him in a quote card.
The social media card by News5 featured the quote of Padilla who said that he is saddened by the International Criminal Court’s decision to investigate former president Rodrigo Duterte’s “War on Drugs.”
Last month, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan requested judges of the pre-trial chamber to move forward in the probe after the Philippine government failed to demonstrate it was investigating the killings.
The Philippines has since been invited to provide its “observations” on the prosecutor’s request to allow the resumption of the initial investigation of alleged crimes against humanity related to the previous administration.
Meanwhile, the picture of Padilla that was used in the quote card where he expressed his sentiments about the ICC probe earned online attention.
“It’s the masks that bother me in this picture. Did he put an N95 over a surgical mask?” women’s rights advocate Mia Magdalena Fokno said in the comments.
“Senator Robinhood, you’re double-masking wrong,” she added in a separate tweet, accompanying her post with an infographic on double masking.
The picture that was used showed Padilla wearing what appeared to be a black washable mask layered with an N95 mask on top.
It can be seen on the lawmaker’s Facebook page posted on July 9, where he said he called for peace in celebrating Eid al-Adha, a Muslim holiday.
Mask layering 101
Last year, the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that layering a cloth mask over a surgical mask will increase one’s protection against COVID-19.
“New research by the agency shows that transmission of the virus can be reduced by up to 96.5 percent if both an infected individual and an uninfected individual wear tightly fitted surgical masks or a cloth-and-surgical-mask combination,” the New York Times reported on February 2021.
Experts said that for this to be effective, the surgical mask must used be used as an inner layer as it will act as the filter. However, wearing it on its own leaves possible gaps on the sides of the face.
Wearing a cloth over the surgical mask will ensure that the latter is snugly fit against the face, ideally blocking the gaps.
According to immunologist Andrea Love, if you wear a cloth mask on top of a surgical mask, you can mimic the filter-cloth combo found to be more protective in studies.
She explained that masks work by trapping and blocking respiratory droplets that contain virus particles.
“The more physical barriers implemented, the more of these droplets you can block, thereby reducing the risk to yourself and others around you,” Love said.
Physician John Brooks, the lead author of the study, had cautioned before that the suggestion was based on laboratory experiments, and it was unclear how it would perform in real-world scenarios.
“But it’s very clear evidence that the more of us who wear masks and the better the mask fits, the more each of us benefit individually,” he was quoted as saying.
KF94 and N95 face masks also do not need to be layered with other masks, according to physician Stacy De-Lin, a family-medicine specialist in New York City.
According to De-Lin, these types of face masks already have dense netting to trap the molecules.
“KN95 masks have a unique softer design, and you could compromise its integrity if you were to collapse it across the front with a second mask,” De-Lin added.
The US CDC also said that double masking with an N95 can block the respirator and make breathing difficult.