Save the gaiters!
You may have read the Duke face covering study which made a claim that conventional neck gaiters were not effective in blocking droplets and, in some cases, could even be worse than wearing no face covering at all. As expected, not only have other medical professionals weighed in disputing those findings, even the researchers at Duke are saying the results of their study were misconstrued.
Here is an article published in the New York Times which explains that one-ply gaiters can still be an effective face covering https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/17/well/live/coronavirus-gaiters-masks.html
If you don't care to read the entire article, here are some highlights:
A small study prompted fears that neck gaiters could spread more virus droplets than they stop. But new research shows that those face coverings can protect just as well as other cloth masks.
The reports of the demise of the neck gaiter have been greatly exaggerated.
Even the study’s authors said their data had been misconstrued. “Our intent was not to say this mask doesn’t work, or never use neck gaiters,” said Martin Fischer, an associate research professor in the department of chemistry at Duke and a co-author of the study. “This was not the main part of the paper.”
Mask testing has consistently shown that any face covering will block at least a small percentage of droplets generated when we speak or cough. The notion that a fabric gaiter will instead create more particles by splicing big droplets into smaller droplets is unlikely, experts say.“The fabrics are not acting as a sharp sieve,” said Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who is one of the world’s leading authorities on aerosols. “That’s not how filtration works.”
“I’ve been recommending neck gaiters, and my kids wear neck gaiters,” Dr. Marr said. “There’s nothing inherent about a neck gaiter that should make it any worse than a cloth mask. It comes down to the fabric and how well it fits.”
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