Strong Mask Culture

masks. Masks! MASKS!!!!

Mask wearing Clear Creek
Wearing mask along Clear Creek in Golden

At first we heard masks didn’t work, so what gives? Why keep wearing them now?


Don’t forget: Good hand hygiene and physical distancing are the best ways to reduce your risk. Using face coverings when unable to distance is a reasonable (yet imperfect) way to go. Here’s what Johns Hopkins Medicine has to say about masks.


Easy. Understood. Expected.
Thursday July 9, Golden passes mandatory mask requirement.

Order extended County-wide July 14th.

Statewide order expanded for mask requirements July 16th.


surgical_mask
surgical mask

Like many health professionals, I’m fielding questions about masks. I research Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) guidelines for my Hospice’s 100+ community healthcare personnel and assisted Golden organizations and volunteers stay safer and sort through all the advice.


Masks are demonstrated to be beneficial in supporting our health with improving understanding of transmission through airborne aerosolization (micro droplets), not simply larger droplets and fomite transmission (inanimate objects such as door handles, countertops, utensils, etc.).

June update: A meta study looked at 172 other studies, published in the Lancet in June. The analysis found that face mask use “could result in a large reduction in risk of infection.” It also found reduction in transmission with physical distancing and eye protection.

Masks requirements now in effect for more than 60% of Coloradans.

Re-breathing CO2? DEBUNKED myth.

CO2 rebreathing is not a problem. Surgeons and health care professionals wear tighter-fitting masks 12+hours a day without issue. CO2 goes through the mask, and the mask only holds a tiny quantity of air compared to what we breathe. This BBC article is as good as any in debunking this dangerous myth.


Denver’s response to the 1918 Flu epidemic and mask wearing. A Cautionary Tale and neat photograph by a University of Michigan Medical Historian (who knew that was a thing? 😉



Which is the Best Face Mask to wear? And can a homemade cloth masks do anything?


Buckle UP! Let’s save lives (maybe our own) & keep business open.


On Friday April 3rd, Governor Polis urged Coloradoans to adopt a “Strong Mask Culture” when leaving the house. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) now says the same.

Why? How do we make or get one? And how do we wear a mask?


“The CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.”

CDC recommendations on cloth mask use

Disclaimer: Nobody’s an expert on this right now, including me. I’m sharing thoughts (not medical advice) regarding masks and resources to help you make educated decisions about your own health in this uncertain time.

Why wear a mask? Especially cloth masks or face coverings?

  1. Even a cloth mask or other non-medical face covering provides some protection against virus germs getting into your nose or mouth and infecting you.
  2. If you have the COVID-19 virus? (more than 25% of infected people do not have symptoms) There is now significant evidence that wearing masks reduces transmission of the virus to someone else.
  3. Cloth masks and non-medical face coverings allow our community to direct medical/surgical and N95 masks for use by healthcare professionals.
  4. Finally, new evidence suggests the financial $$$ benefit of wearing masks could be as much as $5,000+ per person! (read more from Yale).

Tip: The CDC and Surgeon General encourage the public to allow HCP (health care personnel) first access to surgical and N95 masks and other personal protective equipment.

How do I make a mask? How do I wear one?


Tip: Visit COVID-19 Resources for Goldenites for updated information relevant to residents in Golden.

Bill Fisher, BSN, RN, CHPN