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Thread: Masks thread

  1. #151

    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    Well that's certainly odd; I just checked my inventory of N95's, and my two brands were manufactured in Mexico and the US.
    Not necessarily it depends on when they were made as production of goods has moved out of the US to China and Mexico as time has progressed and trade agreements have changed. They are now making TV sets in Mexico with parts from China instead of making them in China totally. It is possible that the same company now owns a plant in Mexico and also has had them made in China either at one time or now.
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  2. #152
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    I confess to being a bit tongue-in-cheek; all of my N95's were purchased near the end of this February, and I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that those production lines (i.e. in the US & Mexico) haven't shut down since then ?

    I think that anyone who buys China-mfg PPE shouldn't be surprised when they get the manufacturing quality, QC, and QA that they purchased.
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  3. #153
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    At the beginning of the pandemic, N95s were sold out and cloth masks weren't available (due to lack of demand). So I resorted to making my own. My DIY efforts produced a quality mask, but each one took a really long time. Painstakingly long. But I cranked out about 2 per family member. And they served us very well (so far). Now that the kids are going back to school, we needed ~5 per child. The thought of cranking out double digit masks by hand before the first day of school caused night sweats...

    Fortunately, after only a little research, I discovered that the market has improved substantially. We were quickly and easily able to locate some reputable and established USA vendors making N95-like cloth masks (with inventory) at a price and quality at least equivalent to (if not better than) DIY. Very pleased. Capitalism at its finest!
    Last edited by lion504; 08-06-2020 at 03:26 PM.
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  4. #154
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    My present setup (I have two), arrived at after considerable trial-and-error:


    1. Inner soft respirator w/ exhaust valves
    2. Inner modified monolithic KN95 respirator to serve as primary filter media
    3. Outer surgical mask


    The underlying reasoning for this insanity was to first deal with the relentless tendency of all other masks I've tried to fog my glasses, second improve upon the horrific "activated carbon" filters that nearly all the cheap soft respirators ship with and third filter my exhalation.

    On the first point it's reasonably successful - I'm not required to perch my glasses precariously far out on my nose. Glasses rarely fog but short of an actual proper flexible seal it's inevitable that they fog occasionally. Breathing effort is acceptable. Yes, I've read all the tips on how to keep your glasses from fogging with sewn masks and the either don't work, are seemingly written by people that don't actually wear eyeglasses/are unworkable in practice, or demand unacceptable additional work on my part to address a fundamental design flaw. Also, the wraparound design is more stable and secure.

    On the second point, the basic KN95 monolithic respirator has become rarer - or at least good ones have. I purchased 10 from the local Asian market in March and have depleted 6 either using as intended or in the course of using them as filter media. I more recently procured another 10 from Amazon which might pass the "candle test" but are clearly inferior to the first batch with 1 less layer and less substantial overall construction; I expect their working lives to be shorter. After ~8 hours usage I air these out in my garage for a few days once or twice before discarding them. I procured a 3/4" arch punch to speed the modification process and cut cleaner holes for the exhaust valves; I would have preferred a papercraft punch ala Fiskars but the market doesn't seem to make anything in 3/4" with sufficient throat depth.

    On the third point, the basic surgical mask protects others from me and fulfills a requirement to filter exhaust some of the places I go. It also means that I always have a backup mask if needed. Surgical masks are also fairly easy to find.



    If this drags on for another year I hope that industry will come up with something like a low-profile full-face CPAP mask that addresses issues of air leakage, comfort, minimizes obstruction, is possibly transparent, and robust serviceable filter media is readily available. There are some crowdfunded concepts that hit some of these points but to me they're still well short of the mark and/or gimmicky (the one with UV-C lights is hilarious - who doesn't want a pair of Li-Po cells strapped to their face?)
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  5. #155

    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    Well that's certainly odd; I just checked my inventory of N95's, and my two brands were manufactured in Mexico and the US.
    Okay, that's not a good sign. I actually have a video on my main YouTube channel in which I show the two different ways to tell if one's KN95 masks are real or fake. I don't want to be accused of self-promoting my channel here on CPF so here's a link to one method that other content creators have posted as well.

    The other test is to cut into the mask. You're looking for a melt-material. It looks like brand spanking new, white parchment paper. It'll look like one layer. But upon closer examination it's going to be two layers pressed together. Take a lighter to those pressed-together layers. The material should melt. If it burns, catches on fire; you have a fake mask. Unfortunately using either technique to test a batch of masks means ruining one mask to be sure the others are real.

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  6. #156
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Okay, that's not a good sign. I actually have a video on my main YouTube channel in which I show the two different ways to tell if one's KN95 masks are real or fake.
    I suspect you're talking past each other. Kestrel has consistently been mentioning N95 (the NIOSH standard) while you and I are talking about KN95 (the Chinese GB2626-2006 standard): comparable but slightly different standards when competently executed. As far as I know, KN95s were only very recently were they allowed to be imported to the United States and are pretty much only sold as casual PPE outside of professional/medical supply chains.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  7. #157
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I'm going to go out on a limb here & guess the fake N95's came from China ?
    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Yes. However, the real ones do too.
    That's the aggravating part.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    Well that's certainly odd; I just checked my inventory of N95's, and my two brands were manufactured in Mexico and the US.
    Quote Originally Posted by Monocrom View Post
    Okay, that's not a good sign. [...]
    Sorry, I've tried to make my point in an understated fashion, but I guess something lacked in the delivery;

    What I meant is that my real masks that meet the specification, came from the US & Mexico.

    For the people who purchased China-mfg masks and received fake ones that did not meet the comparable standard - well, they got /exactly/ what they bought.
    Last edited by Kestrel; 08-06-2020 at 08:06 PM.

  8. #158
    Administrator Kestrel's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    I suspect you're talking past each other. Kestrel has consistently been mentioning N95 (the NIOSH standard) while you and I are talking about KN95 (the Chinese GB2626-2006 standard): comparable but slightly different standards when competently executed.[...]
    Yes, thx. That last part drills down to the point I've been trying to make politely - without needing CPF staff to moderate my posts, lol.

    I believe that anyone purchasing a China-mfg respirator mask should not have the expectation that it meets any standard whatsoever.
    Last edited by Kestrel; 08-06-2020 at 08:14 PM.

  9. #159
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Kestrel View Post
    I believe that anyone purchasing a China-mfg respirator mask should not have the expectation that it meets any standard whatsoever.
    The first batch I bought probably met KN95 standards (reasonably robust construction, well-packaged, included a certificate); the second batch not so much. My exposure being considerably less than occupational, I just want a filter media that's robust enough to last for 2 or more ~8-hour periods since I'm only occasionally venturing out in public and generally for no more than 60 minutes at a time. If sewn masks worked for me I'd be using them with blue shop towel inserts, which are comparable-ish to N95 media, bountiful, and cheap enough that tossing them after each use isn't painful on the wallet.

    I would not rate the design of the semistandard KN95 respirator equivalent to the typical N95 respirators that one could source as recently as February-March at the likes of Home Depot. Better than a sewn mask for sure, but just not the same as the actual 3D-formed respirators.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  10. #160

    Default Re: Masks thread

    I'm going to pose the question "why do you wear a mask" with another sub question; for incoming or outgoing virus?

    By the time New York was stuck with massive numbers and the predictions were likened to being in a Costco and by the time I left 2 people would be dead with 14 having gotten sick in that Costco (based on statements like 2.2 million will die in the next 30 days), my thoughts were "incoming" virus. At the time medical gade face coverings were pretty rare in my area. Even dust masks were gone from store shelves. And thermometers? Forget that, those are like toilet paper.

    Mrs Fixer and I set out to create some medical grade-ish face covers and distribute them to loved ones and coworkers to ensure everybody in our circle was protected during the "45 days to slow the spread" period. At some point it became reccomended (then later mandated) to have prtoections for "outgoing" virus due to a large portion of aysymptomatic folks spreading the virus. So we sought out or created dentist type face covers and that's where we still are.

    At one point I bought some KN95 masks to give away and gave away most but the common reaction to the medical grade-ish and those KN95's was "I can't breath with that on". Realizing you do get used to the reduced airflow after a while it is not something most want to get used to so they end up wearing a cloth face cover. Now that cases are rising again it seems the public has gone back to wearing face covers for "incoming" again.

    Hence why I posed the question above. I'm just curious what other folks have in mind regarding face covers.
    Last edited by bykfixer; 08-07-2020 at 05:41 AM.
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  11. #161
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I'm going to pose the question "why do you wear a mask" with another sub question; for incoming or outgoing virus?

    Mrs Fixer and I set out to create some medical grade-ish face covers and distribute them to loved ones and coworkers to ensure everybody in our circle was protected during the "45 days to slow the spread" period.
    My intention from the start was outgoing, I`m of the philosophy that if I`m meant to catch it I will, even if I hid under my bed all day! but I couldn`t live with the idea that I`d hurt someone else. And similar to yourself, when it first really took off and all the hand sanitizer vanished everywhere except eBay at £20+ for a 50ml bottle! I bought 20x 100ml spray bottles and filled then with 90% IPA and made the rest up with water (you Need some water for it to work!), and the rest was glycerine to stop hands drying out. and also gave them away to friends an family and neighbors with a promise of a refil anytime they needed one. (I had gallons of 99.9% IPA for circuit board cleaning).
    Same as the masks, I would hate to think that one of my friends or neighbors had gone down with it and I did nothing to help stop it happening when I could.
    it`s quite funny with the masks though, even when I cough I still cover my mouth with my hand! LOL

  12. #162
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Initially I wore a half face respirator, with eye glasses, a gortex rain-coat with hood up, for self protection.
    I didn't leave my property, except to get food, every 7-10 days.
    When I went shopping, it was either pick up at store, with online pre-order, or go during "senior hours" which are first thing in the morning, after covid had a chance to die off during the night, and there is limited access so that the number of patrons is reduced during that time.

    Now... I wear a surgical mask, which is much more comfortable.
    Not so much to protect others, as I have been tested three times and have been negative each time. Each member of my family has tested negative also. Since I associate with no one outside of my family group, it is very unlikely that I will get the virus.

    I wear the mask for two reasons.
    1. It is required by law.
    2. It maintains conformity, and others wear mask when in public (which helps to protect me and my family).

    Recently I have made multiple mid-day runs to Target, and/or the Home Depot, and universally everyone is wearing a mask.
    I have had to tell a number of people... "Hey! We're supposed to maintain 6 feet, right?"

    The old people who used to congregate inside Dunkin Doughnuts, now sit outside, about 2 feet apart, with out masks.
    And young teens gather there sitting on the ground, in a close circle, again... without masks (or at least without them pulled up).
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  13. #163
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Although a few months ago, New Jersey's numbers were among the worst in the country, they are now one of the best. That has allowed me to relax a bit regarding quality of mask wearing, and therefore a surgical mask.

    A recent survey of parents in my community, showed that 81% plan to send their kids to school, when it opens. I suspect that our numbers will go off the charts shortly after that happens, and I'll go back to full protective gear, to protect ME when I go out into public.
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  14. #164
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I'm going to pose the question "why do you wear a mask"
    • Masks are required by local authorities and businesses
    • Wearing a face mask that filters one's inhalation and exhalation meaningfully reduces the odds of transmitting or contracting the virus


    On the latter point, I seem to be asymptomatic - or nearly so - with a large number of respiratory conditions while those around me get ill.

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    with another sub question; for incoming or outgoing virus?
    Both. While my efforts revolve significantly around incoming, I wear the outer surgical mask for outgoing even when I'm somewhere that's not picky about them. The filtration effectiveness of a surgical mask is marginal relative to N95/KN95/FFP2/PM2.5/etc media, but much of the point is to intercept exhaled water droplets (which basic cloth masks are effective at) or rob them of their velocity so any viral particles exhaled within fall out of the air quickly.
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  15. #165
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Had this for a couple of weeks now, keep in car in its little carry bag. Handy for nipping in shops etc


    Quite comfy to. Its good enough to retain any cough being quite thick, so should help protect others if ever required(hoping not!)

    Stay safe and have a great weekend CPF

  16. #166
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
    I'm going to pose the question "why do you wear a mask" with another sub question; for incoming or outgoing virus?
    Hence why I posed the question above. I'm just curious what other folks have in mind regarding face covers.
    Here in SoCal, the virus is surging most everywhere so we feel very much at risk in public (being in the late 60's bracket and my wife with a history of respiratory problems). From the start, we've worn N95 masks when shopping indoors and surgical or cloth masks outdoors in open areas where social distancing is practiced. While walking in our largely empty neighborhoods we aren't masked, but carry them if needed. As the infection/death rate hits new highs almost daily, we can't afford to take chances.

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  18. #168
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    I live in a rural setting. Other than that I don't go out.
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  19. #169
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    What do ya'll think of this video?



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  20. #170
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Chauncey Gardiner View Post
    What do ya'll think of this video?
    More than 5 months into this pandemic and that video still misses the point that masks intercept the water droplets that respiratory bugs hitch a ride in on the way out of the lungs, which even sewn masks are reasonably effective at intercepting. Heck, professional N95/N100 filter media has pores larger than the COVID-19 virus, but it's what medical professionals use outside of self-contained/positive-pressure Level B/Level A PPE for far more intensive hazards. Also of note perfection isn't the goal for low-risk non-occupational exposure, just meaningful reduction of transmission and reception since it's thought to take thousands of viral particles ingested in a very short period and common pathway for an infection to take root.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  21. #171
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    I`m going to my father in laws funeral next week, and apparently gloves as well as masks have to be worn throughout the entire thing, including in the car.
    It`s probably so they don`t have to deep clean after every service because normally as you`re leaving new people are coming in (it`s a bit conveyor belt really).
    I`m not sure I like the idea of wearing gloves for a few hours in this heat!

  22. #172
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    More than 5 months into this pandemic and that video still misses the point that masks intercept the water droplets that respiratory bugs hitch a ride in on the way out of the lungs, which even sewn masks are reasonably effective at intercepting. Heck, professional N95/N100 filter media has pores larger than the COVID-19 virus, but it's what medical professionals use outside of self-contained/positive-pressure Level B/Level A PPE for far more intensive hazards. Also of note perfection isn't the goal for low-risk non-occupational exposure, just meaningful reduction of transmission and reception since it's thought to take thousands of viral particles ingested in a very short period and common pathway for an infection to take root.
    "With meaningful reduction" being the operative phrase here. But the comparison is very telling; just wish a well fitted N95 mask without exhalation valve, demonstrated by just talking would have been included. The fellow was blowing out pretty hard. Hopeful though, that this video will quell the holier than thou, excoriating pronouncements of the 'superior' cloth mask with the superhero filters.
    Last edited by KITROBASKIN; 08-14-2020 at 12:50 PM.

  23. #173

    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    More than 5 months into this pandemic and that video still misses the point that masks intercept the water droplets that respiratory bugs hitch a ride in on the way out of the lungs, which even sewn masks are reasonably effective at intercepting.
    Exactly!!
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  24. #174
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    ^^ +1.. well said Idle

  25. #175

    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    More than 5 months into this pandemic and that video still misses the point that masks intercept the water droplets that respiratory bugs hitch a ride in on the way out of the lungs, which even sewn masks are reasonably effective at intercepting. Heck, professional N95/N100 filter media has pores larger than the COVID-19 virus, but it's what medical professionals use outside of self-contained/positive-pressure Level B/Level A PPE for far more intensive hazards. Also of note perfection isn't the goal for low-risk non-occupational exposure, just meaningful reduction of transmission and reception since it's thought to take thousands of viral particles ingested in a very short period and common pathway for an infection to take root.
    duh! i could not resist lol
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  26. #176
    *Flashaholic* idleprocess's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    "With meaningful reduction" being the operative phrase here. But the comparison is very telling; just wish a well fitted N95 mask without exhalation valve, demonstrated by just talking would have been included. The fellow was blowing out pretty hard.
    That video demonstrates interception - or lack thereof - of vape pen smoke, which almost certainly has different characteristics than exhaled water vapor.

    More objective comparisons of performance:




    Quote Originally Posted by KITROBASKIN View Post
    Hopeful though, that this video will quell the holier than thou, excoriating pronouncements of the 'superior' cloth mask with the superhero filters.
    Better filter media is better filter media, which mostly matters for occupational exposure. But if using something perceived to be better than 2 layers of cloth (not used at the expense of medical workers, emergency responders, others facing occupational exposure) is what it takes for someone to wear a mask, why not?

    I do wish I'd stop being subject to wunderkind crowdfunding pitches on the likes of for nanotech-infused antiviral masks, UV-C masks, what look to be anti-pollution masks shoehorned into a bad CPAP mask design, and other snake oil. I would like to see a decent CPAP-like design (lightweight rigid mask, low-profile, around-the-head strap, generous flexible seals, decent/serviceable media) emerge from this insanity since just about every facemask I've seen or tried has an improvised feel to it.
    I apologize that this letter is so long; I did not have time to write a short letter

  27. #177
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Katherine Alicia View Post
    I`m going to my father in laws funeral next week, and apparently gloves as well as masks have to be worn throughout the entire thing, including in the car.
    It`s probably so they don`t have to deep clean after every service because normally as you`re leaving new people are coming in (it`s a bit conveyor belt really).
    I`m not sure I like the idea of wearing gloves for a few hours in this heat!
    Probably most _any_ glove will suffice. Find some thin, breathable black cloth gloves and nobody will notice. Throw some latex gloves in your pocket in case someone wants to push the issue.
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  28. #178
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    I donít quite understand the glove obsession. I donít think people stop to think about how gloves work. They end up being a buzzword to signal ďsafetyĒ. For a lengthy situation like that where people are touching many surfaces, gloves are pointless. The virus doesnít leave your through your hands so itís not like youíre ďcontaining itĒ inside the glove. Anything you touch that is contaminated will contaminate your gloves or bare hands equally. Gloves only work if they are discarded immediately (and properly) after touching something yucky. I see people wearing gloves (to make me feel safe of course) but cross-touching absolutely everything. Donít pee on my leg and tell me itís raining; those gloves arenít keeping you or me any safer. Just wash your dang hands. Fortunately, most people donít have critical thinking skills so they see gloves and are effectively pacified by the policies meant to protect them from all the scary things.

  29. #179
    Flashaholic Katherine Alicia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by turbodog View Post
    Probably most _any_ glove will suffice. Find some thin, breathable black cloth gloves and nobody will notice. Throw some latex gloves in your pocket in case someone wants to push the issue.

    Yeah, I might do something like that actualy, we have a bunch of gloves on order now anyway, it just seems a bit over the top really.

    LOL, I had to laugh the other day when out shopping, I saw someone pull down their mask to pick their nose! I mean really digging in there trying to get a winner, completely shameless, and then put the mask back on and commence shopping again. it was a real WTF moment for me, I kinda expected hidden cameras.
    it really is a good argument for wiping down all your food as soon as you get home, covid or not, who wants That!???

  30. #180

    Default Re: Masks thread

    Quote Originally Posted by idleprocess View Post
    I do wish I'd stop being subject to wunderkind crowdfunding pitches on the likes of for nanotech-infused antiviral masks, UV-C masks, what look to be anti-pollution masks shoehorned into a bad CPAP mask design, and other snake oil. I would like to see a decent CPAP-like design (lightweight rigid mask, low-profile, around-the-head strap, generous flexible seals, decent/serviceable media) emerge from this insanity since just about every facemask I've seen or tried has an improvised feel to it.
    Agreed. Though unfortunately, I don't see that happening. The individuals most active out there are the con-men trying to promote masks that common sense should tell folks aren't going to work. Problem is, seems common sense is so frighteningly rare nowadays that it's considered a Super Power among those who possess it.
    "The World is insane. With tiny spots of sanity, here and there... Not the other way around!" - John Cleese.

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