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Avatar universal

Social distancing is very hit OR miss. Is there a difference between N95 and K N95?

I live in a 55+ condo community. We had our association meeting last night. Ages 63-95. 5 people at  table 1, not distanced, 1 with mask, 2 w/masks in hand, 2 without masks. 3 people at table 2, 1 distanced but no mask, 2 not distanced (married) but w/masks. I then sat at table 3, distanced, with mask. The first thing is that the two speakers (board members) at table 1 waved the masks in their hands (one of them has high volume public contact daily) and said they were not going to wear them unless anyone objected.  Another board member with mask then removed her mask in generational conformity, leaving 5 without mask and not distanced at table 1. The woman without mask at table 2 has a hearing disability and then walked over to table 1 and spoke to two of the ladies ~6inches face to face to repeat loudly (droplets...) what was under discussion.

I have been wearing masks when flu season starts, for many years. I will never forget Dr Fauci standing in front of America and saying "Don't wear a mask."  (I understand what he was trying to say don't wear MEDICAL-GRADE masks because healthcare providers need them. They need to read from proof-read scripts only, imo.)

So the local farm supply store is selling pkgs of 5 K N95 masks for ~$20 and there were a hundred packages, 2 companies, made in China. Nice masks. Mom and I bought a package to share and the spares will come in handy this coming flu season.

So is K N95 the same as N95??

4 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
Here's a decent article about the differences -


There's not a lot.

You can get cloth masks with filters and get basically the same protection, and they'll probably be more comfortable for regular use. That's what non-medical providers are supposed to be wearing - as in, all of us regular people. If you're familiar with Etsy, loads of people are selling them there. Just go to www.etsy.com and search masks if you don't know anyone who is making them.

I'm shocked that a group of older people got together and masks weren't worn. I'm not a senior, but I do have some risk, and I wouldn't have stayed, or I would have insisted that masks be worn.
134578 tn?1578157483
Not sure but I think I read that K N95 have a fit requirement (must be able to be fitted onto the face).

It's kind of surprising a farm-supply store would be able to get that level of masks, since even sellers like Amazon (who doesn't seem to care much about who gets what as long as it sells) have been restricting their sale to the health-care industry. Maybe farmers are considered so essential that they are in the same category. It's also worth noting that some of the masks that have been rushed onto the market recently have been tested and found not to be protective. You might just google the brand name to be sure yours are the real deal.  
134578 tn?1578157483
One reason social distancing is hit or miss is that these are politically polarized times. If someone believes the pandemic is a fake, wearing a mask at a meeting would be the last thing they would do. You aren't going to change people's political opinions, all you can do is leave the meeting if the level of exposure seems unsafe.
Avatar universal
The N95 masks are US masks.  They fit more tightly with a different strap system.  Some think they're less comfortable but more protective by a small amount because they are sealed so tightly.  KN95 masks are the Chinese version, and have earloops instead of straps and so are more comfortable but perhaps seal a tiny bit less.  Both are certified by the FDA for use right now for medical professionals.  Nobody else is actually allowed to have one, as they are in short supply.  Assuming you actually got what you think you got, you got the Chinese version.  There are other versions, for example Europe has their version as well.  They all are rated to filter out 95% of particles.  There is a version of respirator masks that have an "out" part as well as the "incoming" filter.  You don't want those, as they are open to the outside.  I'd be a bit suspicious if you got the real deal as was said above, as nobody's allowed to sell them to individuals right now.  But for you it doesn't really matter.  The purpose of wearing a mask is to protect others from you, not so much you from others, but if you actually have a respirator mask you will be more protected from others.  As for the meeting, I would have walked out and demanded future meetings be held on Zoom if social distancing and mask wearing aren't going to be enforced.  This problem has existed since before shut down orders.  It was particularly egregious in Florida, where communities of older folks were pooh-poohing the whole thing.  One community got in the news about it, and later suffered a large outbreak of virus.  I will say one thing to Annie though, if we can't try to change people politically we need to end our democratic system of gov't.  If we can't discuss and try to change one another's minds life will stay mired in the mud.  Getting angry at someone isn't helpful, but we do have to progress and we only do that by convincing one another.  In the case of the corona virus, in the US it is not able to be separated from politics, which is really unfortunate.  While this is also true in Russia and Brazil and other countries with authoritarian or just bad gov't, it shouldn't be the case in the US.  The fact that it has become that way needs to be discussed until we fix it, because right now we have a crisis that can kill us and we can't afford bad gov't.  Just my thoughts, because so many seem to be terrified of one another right now and I don't get why, we didn't used to be this way.  Peace, all.
Oh, and Dr. Fauci never said not to wear a mask, but he and everyone else in the scientific community were leery of people wearing them because other than N95 masks properly fitted to your face -- if they're not they don't work -- they weren't thought to be all that effective but the real danger was the medical community needed the masks and they were in short supply and still are.  There was also the fear that because wearing a mask is not comfortable, people would be adjusting them all the time, which means touching your face and that was what you don't want to do.  Surfaces haven't proven to be that big a deal, at least as far as they can tell, so that reason for not wearing a mask went away.  There is also data now that shows that wearing masks, if we all do it when withing 6 feet of someone indoors, actually does help slow spread of the virus.  Any kind of mask.  Outdoors doesn't seem to matter as much as long as you social distance and don't spend a lot of time around others, just short periods of time, because the droplets don't travel well outdoors.  So they changed the advice.  We live, we learn.
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