Masks not perfect

Dear Editor,

What’s a “micron” — it’s a unit of measure, like an inch, but way smaller in size and equal to “one-millionth of a meter”. With a meter being roughly (39.37 inches) and, dividing that by one million (1,000,000), one single micron is roughly (0.000039 inch) in size. That’s really small and very difficult to even imagine.

There’s nothing wrong with wearing a mask — whether it does, or does not, stop the virus. It has, according to some experts, affected the transmission of colds and the flu virus which are long and oblong shaped – a good thing.

If you want to wear a mask — do it — but don’t expect it to 100% save you from the virus. The virus, being so small and static, is unable to propel itself outward from someone so it attaches itself to an oxygen or carbon dioxide molecule when breathing. These two molecules, individually, are (0.0003 micron) in size. These molecules easily pass through the “N95” mask – said to be the best on the market – as the wearer can breathe while wearing one.

These oxygen and carbon dioxide molecules, as published, are “1000 times smaller than the pore size of the N95 mask”. Considering that, the pore size of the N95 mask would be (1000 times 0.0003 micron = 0.300 micron) in size.

It’s also published that the average size of the virus is (0.125 micron). Since the virus attaches itself to an oxygen or carbon dioxide molecule that’s expelled from someone breathing, adding those together, that gives us a size of (0.0003 micron plus 0.125 micron = 0.1253 micron).

Now, ask yourself, would a virus, attached to an oxygen or carbon dioxide molecule and being (0.1253 micron) in combined size, pass thru an N95 mask with a pore size of (0.300 micron)? If you’ve had any math, the answer seems obvious. Adding all three together side by side, oxygen molecule, carbon dioxide molecule and the virus, would be (0.0003 plus 0.0003 plus 0.125 = 0.1256 micron). This is an alarming proposition for any mask. Given the option, I’d vote for “distancing.”

Dennis Corey,



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