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Covid 19 medical grade masks

(18 Posts)
MTDancer Mon 25-Jan-21 13:21:38

Reading today that members of the public should wear medical grade masks.
Won't that cause shortages?
On a personal note, I worry about affording them. We only have my husband's pension to survive on until I get mine in four years time.
What does everyone else think?

SuzannahM Mon 25-Jan-21 13:37:43

To be honest I think a mask is only as good as the person wearing it. Every time I go out (once a week!) I see people with chuckaway or reusable masks stretched across their faces, pulling them off by the mask front and crumpling them up in their pockets. Or they wear them under their chin, their nose, round their wrist... doesn't matter what grade mask you wear if you treat them like that. Then piles of them end up littering the streets.

I made my own three layer masks, measured to fit us as I couldn't find anything else that felt breathable, comfortable and fitted right round my face. OH was worse because he has a very broad face and he found them all very tight. I won't be moving to anything else in a hurry.

GagaJo Mon 25-Jan-21 15:37:30

I am not sure where in the UK you would get them. I got mine on Amazon, they were about 40.00 for 40 masks. I expect they are meant to be single use but they are VERY durable, so I am afraid, I wear mine more than once. But then, I am out at work everyday, whereas you may not be. So they would last you a lot longer than mine last me.

GagaJo Mon 25-Jan-21 15:39:33

Sorry, that should say, Amazon France.

growstuff Mon 25-Jan-21 15:49:00

I think the ones being discussed are FFP2 6 layer masks, which are expensive. Disposable ones are about £3 each on Amazon - and selling out fast.

Blossoming Mon 25-Jan-21 16:04:35

There are quite a few UK sites sell them, but at a cost of over £1 per mask many will not be able to afford them.

Casdon Mon 25-Jan-21 16:09:16

The surgical masks are classified as FFP2R, FFP2 are the ones used on wards etc (non COVID situations). The only masks that provide full protection are FFP3 masks which are individually fitted to the face - those are the ones where the poor nurses and doctors in photographs show their poor sore faces as they are very tight of necessity, and hard to breathe in.

Jaxjacky Mon 25-Jan-21 16:15:15

I don’t know, but would suggest the medical grade masks MTDancer referred to are the blue ones hospitals now insist are worn when attending. I had to wear one last week at the hospital, they are by each entrance and are the light blue disposable pleated ones. We have used them throughout, roughly £11 for box of 50, we bought ours from Amazon UK.

EllanVannin Mon 25-Jan-21 16:30:34

I wear two medical masks at a time grin
Before the mad scramble for masks last year, I got 100 for less than £20 ! Goodness knows how much they are now.
It's enabled me to provide D with them too.

shysal Mon 25-Jan-21 16:49:57

I shall continue to wear my homemade 3 layer pleated masks, with a silicone 'cage/bracket' containing a proper filter within.

I think the very cheap so-called medical ones cannot be the type recommended.

Casdon Mon 25-Jan-21 16:57:59

Jaxjacky the ones you are given at the entrance to hospitals are the FFP2 masks, they aren’t the surgical masks. You can buy similar masks in Boots etc., just look for Type 2 on the box. FFP2R masks can be purchased, but are more expensive. My advice is if you are buying FFP2R don’t buy the Boots soft loop ones, as they are really small, they didn’t fit either myself or my son as the loops are too short.

Wheniwasyourage Mon 25-Jan-21 16:58:44

I have several which I made from 50cm square cotton scarves by the "no-sew" technique (I'm useless at sewing). They are folded in such a way that they have 8 layers of material in front of your face and I am quite happy with them. You could add a piece of paper towel as a filter if you wanted as well.

MTDancer Mon 25-Jan-21 18:25:50


There are quite a few UK sites sell them, but at a cost of over £1 per mask many will not be able to afford them.

I certainly can't afford them. We literally have no spare money at the moment which is only made worse by not having a better choice of cheaper foods (most online shops have a much smaller selection of cheap options). Then the local co-op seems to have price rises weekly. I have to pay £1.50 for milk there and I used to get it for £1.10 from the larger supermarket.
I have 3 layer masks that I made myself which get washed after every use.
I understand the need for the upgraded masks but I literally can't afford them

Septimia Mon 25-Jan-21 18:34:01

I'd be willing to buy the - very expensive - FFP2 masks if I was travelling on public transport or regularly coming into close contact with other people for extended periods. To have to change them frequently could be prohibitively expensive. But you can get washable FFP2 masks that can be reused up to 30 times.

For normal situations - brief encounters, socially distanced, less hazardous - my home-made 3 layer masks will have to do.

mokryna Mon 25-Jan-21 18:58:31

The French health service do not recommend fabric masks any more. We already have a curfew starting from six in the evening and this week we could be having stronger restrictions enforced but not closing schools, in preparation for the new virulent foreign strains arriving.
Governments should have directed factories still in production or started old ones up, to have them making masks months ago.

mokryna Mon 25-Jan-21 19:23:46

At a price everyone can afford

SuzannahM Mon 25-Jan-21 19:48:03

There's quite a good description of different mask types here

Sarahmob Mon 25-Jan-21 20:37:42

I have reusable masks that have a gap between the different fabric layers. I insert a disposable filter in the gap that is meant to filter out even more particles.