One Mask Is Good. Would Two Be Better?


One Mask Is Good. Would Two Be Better?


Health experts double down on their advice for slowing the spread of the coronavirus.


Football coaches do it. Recently inaugurated elected officials do it. Even science-savvy senators do it. As cases of the coronavirus continue to surge on a global scale, some of the nation’s most prominent people have begun to double up on masks — a move that researchers say is increasingly being backed up by data.


Double-masking isn’t necessary for everyone. But for people with thin or flimsy face coverings, “if you combine multiple layers, you start achieving pretty high efficiencies” of blocking viruses from exiting and entering the airway, said Linsey Marr, an expert in virus transmission at Virginia Tech and an author on a recent commentary laying out the science behind mask-wearing.


Of course, there’s a trade-off: At some point, “we run the risk of making it too hard to breathe,” she said. But there is plenty of breathing room before mask-wearing approaches that extreme.