It’s time to start double-masking, Oles

Illustration by Anna Weimholt

When the Coronavirus pandemic first hit the United States, I sat down to do some expectation setting. Under the worst of circumstances, how long would COVID-19 be dramatically affecting my day to day? At the time, I couldn’t imagine more than a year of pandemic life.

Well, we’re coming up on a year from being sent home, a year from receiving disciplinary emails for partying and a year from falling in love with Dr. Fauci. And man am I ready for the pandemic to be over. But it’s time to batten down the hatches and slide on another mask.

Double-masking serves the dual-purpose of ensuring a better fit and increasing filtration. In short, less unfiltered air will escape from the edges of your mask and your mask will do a better job of keeping COVID-19 particles out of the air.

There are other ways of accomplishing a better fit beyond double-masking. You can add a filter to your cloth mask, knot the mask’s ear loop or get yourself a mask-brace, which will pull the edges of your mask more tightly to your face. But I find the second mask to be the most comfortable option.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the specific set-up of a cloth mask over a surgical mask. Sounds easy enough, right? We’ve been wearing one mask for nearly twelve months, after all.

And yet, we’re a campus of mostly single mask wearers. I can’t quite wrap my masks around why a bunch of animated liberal voices want to deconstruct inequitable systems and yet can’t throw on another mask to help prevent the spread of a virus which disproportionately kills Black and Brown communities.

Fatigue is a pretty lame excuse, but I get it. I’m ready for the pandemic to be over. I’m ready for real connection with others. But double-masking is too simple of an action not to do. So go out, and get another mask.

And cover your nose, dingus!

Brennan Brink ’21 is from

Rapid City, SD.

His majors are religion and ancient studies.