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!


brink4@stolaf.edu

Brennan Brink ’21 is from

Rapid City, SD.

His majors are religion and ancient studies.