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MASK UP – N95 style!

MASK UP – N95 style!

With omicron raging across the country representing over 98% of COVID cases, experts stress the importance of wearing the greatest air filtration possible, namely N95 respirators. Here is why:

  • N95 respirators:
    • Safety-Approved in the US: Approved by the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, these are tight fitting around the mouth and nose to eliminate unfiltered air. See the CDC’s NIOSH-approved N95 masks.
    • One of the Highest Levels of Protection: Filtering 95% of airborne particles, such as viruses, they contain a dense network of polypropylene fibers embedded with static electricity. 
    • Non-valved: A study at Duke University last year easily illustrates the superior filtration of N95 masks and the importance of non-valved versions.  N95 masks with valves ‘can decrease the protection of persons surrounding the wearer.’  
    • Reuseable:  For reuse: get 3-4 N95 masks. Wear one a day rotating use for a 3 or 4 day stretch. After wear for a day, isolate the mask in a paper bag for 3 days to eradicate all viruses on the mask fibers. Then, you can re-wear the mask after 3 days. Throw away any mask if the fit, cleanliness, or integrity is jeopardized. 

Information regarding other mask options you should know:

  • KN95 and KN94 masks: According to USA Today, ‘KN95s are manufactured in China and meet standards specific to China. KF94 masks are manufactured in Korea and meet the Korean standard requirements.’ According to 3M, ‘Please note: Respirators may be designed to fit people with facial features common in a specific country or region. For example, KN95 respirators may be designed specifically to fit people with facial features common in China and other countries in Asia. As a result, some individuals with different facial features may not be able to achieve a satisfactory fit.’ In addition, the CDC warns that 60% of KN95 sold in the US are counterfeit. See the National Personal Protection Technology Lab’s (NPPTL) international respirator assessments published by the CDC.

  • Disposable, 3-ply surgical masks: These have multiple layers of non-woven material with a metal nose piece. See the CDC guidance to optimize a snug fit including knotting the earpiece loops and wearing a cloth mask over the surgical mask. 

  • Do not wear cloth masks or bandanas: The large pore size of cloth masks, as reported in a study testing 20 cloth masks, is noted to be identified as 80 to 500 micrometers. This renders them an ineffective mouth/nose covering to prevent COVID transmission. The coronavirus size is about 0.12 micrometers. 

Cold FAid® wishes you a healthy and happy 2022! Keep up the good work of COVID mitigation!

Reflections on 2021

Reflections on 2021

2021 has come and gone. With the new year comes an opportunity to reflect on the previous year and look forward. Between the pandemic, supply chain shortages and stoppages, political discourse, and the Olympics, the year has come with challenges as well as benefits. In this blog, we will reflect on the year through a medical lens. 


Delta, Omicron, and mask… oh my! COVID-19 and vaccines were a major part of 2021. Thanks to vaccines, 2021 began with renewed hope. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was the first COVID-19 vaccine to get approved and doses began being administered to health care professionals starting in late December 2020. Within the next few months, the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines were approved for emergency use. For more information about the vaccines that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved, explore this information by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). By November, anyone above age 5 became eligible for a vaccine. Even with the vaccination percentage increasing, new variants of COVID-19 spread throughout the world. Boosters were administered as well to increase antibodies in already vaccinated adults to help fight the Omicron variant. Throughout all of it, we have to continuously thank our front line workers, especially medical professionals. 


With more people returning to public places, traveling, working in the office, and studying in schools, cases of the flu and colds are rising steadily according to CNN. For Cold FAid, 2021 offered a year of development. Our founder has continued to find new avenues for growth. We want to thank our followers and customers for supporting us! 


We, at Cold FAid, wish you a happy new year! 

Omicron Variant of the Corona Virus

Omicron Variant of the Corona Virus

Detected in November in Botswana and South Africa, the omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 virus raises international concern. 

Why?

  • Higher Transmissibility: Detection of the virus has been confirmed in 57 countries, as per the World Health Organization (WHO). 
  • Viral structure: Omicron has a structural genome that exhibits multiple mutations at the protein spike of the virus. This makes it more communicable. COVID-19 cases more than doubled in one week in South Africa where the omicron variant dominates, as reported by CNN. Widespread concern is that these identified mutations on the viral shell also may allow the virus to be undetected by antibodies in vaccinated people. 

What is being done?

  • Countries are responding with travel restrictions. 
    • Closed borders: Japan, Israel and Morocco have closed their borders to all foreign travelers. 
    • Banning travel from South African countries:  39 countries have imposed travel restrictions from South African nations and new quarantining requirements before/after travel internationally. 
  • In the US, Biden has vowed to confront this with ‘science and speed’, including: 
    • Travel:  similar to other countries - travel restrictions from South Africa, quarantining, mask-mandates on modes of mass transit
    • Vaccinations: increasing campaigns of public vaccination for the unimmuized (national rate is 60% as per the Washington Post with 200 million people fully vaccinated) and booster shots for the vaccinated
    • Testing:  increasing availability and affordability of at-home rapid COVID testing with insurance reimbursement and free kits at clinics for the uninsured by January 2022
    • Legislation to encourage worker vaccination or mandatory frequent testing by employers
    • Worldwide vaccinations: The Biden administration in September vowed to donate 500 million more vaccines to low- and lower-middle income countries. As noted by CNN, ‘These vaccines bring the United States total to over 1.1 billion vaccines donated to other countries.’

What can you do, notes epidemiologist, Katelyn Jetelina?

  • Ventilate spaces. 
  • Use masks. 
  • Test if you have symptoms. Isolate if positive. 
  • Get vaccinated. Get boosted.

At Cold FAid, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season with your loved ones!