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I am a retired healthcare clinician and educator who has recently been diagnosed with Stage 4 NSCLC and am currently receiving immunotherapy. Since this Covid19 virus pandemic started I have struggled to protect my wife and myself. We have followed the advice from the CDC and the local authorities. And are wearing masks in public spaces where we must go, staying at home most of the time, using hand disinfectant, hand washing, etc.

I have an N95 3M mask and some surgical standard masks and have been using fabric mask / covers, professionally made by a local textile mill to get essential supplies like groceries and medications, etc. Our Cancer Center and Hospital both require all staff and patients to be wearing a mask or face cover. When I am there I wear the face cover / mask with a basic surgical mask inserted inside the pocket. When I go to the grocery store, the majority of shoppers have no mask on and so I wear the N95 mask with a cover over it to help prolong it's use. I know that the N95 is not going to last much longer and I do not know what I am going to do other than stuff stacks of coffee filters or something in the cloth one and take my chances.

I wonder if us high risk folks will ever be recognized as needing the same protection level as the first responders and medical staff. I believe they deserve first priority for sure, but we should be next.

end of rant

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Addenum: I read where a few hundred thousand masks were disappearing in NYC after being delivered to various Hospitals and other healthcare providers. Sounds like something is afoot to me. js

 

here is one link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-29/trump-suggests-a-new-york-hospital-losing-masks-because-of-crime

 

PS I bet that's why we won't be able to get one for a very long long time unless we can buy it in some back street alley... smh

 

end of second ramp

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Hi Jack, 

I hear what you are saying!  We purchased a box of N95's shortly after my diagnosis while I had one cycle of chemo.  That box is like gold.  I have some home made masks too.  During my video appointment with my oncologist earlier this month, we had a little chat about the masks.  Basically he felt the cloth masks don't offer  much protection, but designed to keep other people from spraying to minimize the risk.    I doubt we'll be able to get ahold of N95s for quite some time, so some protection is better than nothing.  My oncologist said the only thing I can do is stay home as much as feasible, and wash my hands really well. 

My husband's primary care physician started him on a prophylactic dose of hyxdrychloraquine.  He takes one 200mg pill every Monday.  My oncologist seemed to think that was a good idea.  Even though it's controversial, there are healthcare clinical trials ongoing so hopefully that will yield positive results.   Really hoping that the worst is behind us.   

Hang in there, 

Michelle 

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I am also interested in learning about constructing masks that will provide protection from the corona virus. Currently I am letting my N95 rest for 72 hours in a paper bag (open top) between uses. I plan to bake it for a half hour at 160F if I can't wait . 

https://www.msn.com/en-xl/lifestyle/coronavirus/how-to-clean-and-reuse-an-n95-mask/ar-BB12lRjb

Please share any info in regards to this subject that you might come across. 

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Huh. Baking, hadn’t thought of that.  We’re using the paper bags too, as well as hanging in the direct sunlight in a window that gets the blazing afternoon sun.

My hubby has a UV light in his workshop but said it was too tedious for masks.  Never know what’s going to pop out of his workshop! 

  Doc said the masks should be tossed after 30 hours.   
 

I’m going to save the rest of my small N95 stash for future travel, I canceled all my trips this year, can’t wait to the coast clears!   

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Well, I found some KN95 masks for 6.95 a piece at a Medical Supplier in Winston Salem NC! I ordered some for myself and wife to see us through, hopefully. I have learned that these masks are a step below the N95 but are capable of affording the same level of protection, basically. 

Let me know by PM if anyone here wants to call them and order some, or drive by and pick them up. They offer both options.

https://smartairfilters.com/en/blog/whats-the-difference-between-n95-and-kn95-masks/

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So guess what was in the mail this morning? The masks I ordered yesterday! In a bubble brown envelope with a postage stamp of $1.60 on it. That's a first, normally it takes three working days to get anything in town less something thirty five miles away.

So, they are printed in English but are made in China. Manufacture date is 04/2020. They are listed as being non-medical. They are supposed to ber capable of filtering 2,5 nm which covers the virus. There are warnings on the package about the dangers of increased bretahing effort. No exhalation valve....which is something I desired, but, I will try them out. No returns either.

 

Hopefully I got what I paid for.

KN95.JPG

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 If you get any of these masks (KN95 Chinese), be aware that the straps aren't stapled on but are pressed in place. I have had one pull off after wearing it a second time.I have decided to add a drop of hot glue to help secure mine, because I will be reusing them.  A staple would work too, but that would also penetrate through the mask shell and might compromise it. These masks are not  intended to be reused. Nor are most of the N95's. The 3M brand N95's have several models, some more durable than others I have noticed. 

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They are easier to breathe through than my 3M N95. Maybe because the 3M has a bit less surface area due to it having a one way exhalation valve. The KN95 is lighter weight than the N95 too, and not as stiff. I seem to get a better seal with the elasticized fabric cover pulling it snuggly against my face though. Admitedl, I have been reluctant to put much strain on the straps because I don't want to pull them off lol.

 

 

 

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So, this virus may be able to enter through the conjunctiva membrane of the eyes. smh

So, I got out a pair of old wrap around shades to go over my glasses and I guess I look like the Unibomber now. Anyway it made it hard to see in some places and then I found a pair of night vision shades I had bought awhile back too and I can see again and have some protection. Sure will be glad when this nightmare ends, both of them.

Stay safe and never give up.

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I was just looking at a face cover on a taped QVC show that has a copper compound infused in it. It is aupposed to be anti-microbial, which should make it less apt to carry any biological pathogens? . Not sure if it would add an extra layer of protection though. Anyway, it is made by Tommie Copper and I tried to find out when they might be able to get here. Makes me wonder....

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Jack,

My understanding is exposed metallic copper has proven anti-microbial properties. I'm not sure these properties continue if copper is combined with other chemicals and used in a non-metallic state. The properties stem from copper's high electrical conductivity and the micro-currents of induced electricity (like static electricity) that occur along its surface. Moreover, anti-microbial properties are enhanced in copper by the very tight packing of the copper atoms that reduces the distance from atom to atom, again enhancing electrical transmission and minimizing space for very small pathogens (virus, bacterium, fungi) to reside on the surface of the metal. 

Stay the course.

Tom

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Thanks, I have read several studies about fhe antimicrobial effect, like you mentioned previously, when exposed to "solid surfaces". I was refering to the testing and evaluation of these new copper impregnated textile materials.

Staying the course 

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