April 10, 2020

Weekend reads: What material should you use to make a facemask?

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    People are littering PPE everywhere. As more people are using personal protective equipment (PPE) like latex gloves and facemasks to go out in public, much of that PPE is ending up littered about in places like hospital parking garages or on grocery store carts. This means the already-overworked staff at these locations also have to spend time cleaning up the littered PPE, which is a potential biohazard.

    What material should facemasks be made from? Now that CDC has recommended that most Americans wear facemasks when out in public, many are making their own masks at home. But what material should you use to make your own facemask? One way to test whether a fiber is good for a mask is by holding it up to a bright light, according to Scott Segal, chair of anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Health. "If light passes really easily through the fibers and you can almost see the fibers, it's not a good fabric. If it's a denser weave of thicker material and light doesn't pass through it as much, that's the material you want to use." Some materials that have tested well include 600-count pillowcases, vacuum cleaner bags, and fabric similar to that of flannel pajamas.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    America has too many chicken wings because of Covid-19. Between the NFL championship and the NCAA tournament, America's demand for chicken wings tends spike each year in February and peak in March. However, the United States' new coronavirus epidemic seems to have hampered the country's chicken wing demand, as social distancing measures have hampered in-person gatherings and caused the NCAA to cancel its March Madness tournament. As a result, the United States has close to a million pounds "of wings lying around," according to the Washington Post.

    52 medical students virtually graduated last week, and they're already working.  Students of the New York University Grossman School of Medicine graduated two months early via a virtual ceremony last week so they could get to work on the front lines and help alleviate health care workers' strained capacity from a surge in Covid-19 patients. Steven Abramson, vice dean of the school, told the New York Times, the "last time this happened was in World War II, when medical schools were shortened to three years."

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