Mask Up

5 masks hacks that will improve your pandemic life

Foggy glasses, Face ID, awkward fits — here's how to fix it all.

We’re going to be wearing masks for a long time. That may feel hard to swallow, but we’re doing it because they work.

Archives.gov/National Archives at College Park, MD.

A May 20 CDC report found that 139 patrons were exposed to two Covid-19 positive hairstylists in Missouri.

Both parties wore masks and no patrons were infected.

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Still, some find masks irritating.

That’s a small price to pay for keeping yourself and others safe, but there are also ways to make your mask a more seamless part of your life.

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Here are 5 ways to fix common mask issues

Does your mask actually fit?

A mask should fit snugly.

"If the air is going out the top, you don’t have your mask on correctly," Shan Soe-Lin, a lecturer at the Yale Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, told the New York Times.

Try folding the mask in half, tying a knot around the elastic bands, reopening the mask, and putting it back on your face.

In a viral TikTok video viewed over 422,000 times, dentist Olivia Cuid guides you through the steps.

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In a TikTok, dentist Olivia Cuid demonstrates how to make a mask fit a smaller face. Tik Tok/OliviacuidMD

According to Aronof: "People can use tie-back masks that do not have an elastic earloop."

People can also anchor the earloops on buttons sewed onto the side of a headband or hat.

He also recommends people "try an ear-saver clip that's positioned at the back of the head and used to hold elastic earloops."

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Do your glasses fog up?

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In a 2011 paper in The Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England experts suggest dousing your glasses in soapy water, letting them dry naturally, or wiping them dry with soft tissue, to prevent fogging.

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"Now the spectacle lenses should not mist up when the face mask is worn," the paper concludes.

Does your Face ID still work?

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Apple's IOS 13.5 update removes the traditional lag time between Face ID and the presentation of a passcode.

If you don’t have IOS 13.5 there is a workaround – though it's not bulletproof.

Here's the trick to "fool" Face ID developed at the Tencent Security Xuanwu Lab in China...

Start by going to Settings, then FaceID and Passcode, and finally selecting “Set Up Alternate Appearance.”

Hold your mask to the side of your face, allowing just the tip of the nose to peek out.

Tencent Xuanwu Lab

This tip is hit and miss. Some reporters have never succeeded.

A similar approach on a Samsung galaxy worked for reporters at USA Today.

Finally,

Is your mask clean?

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"Masks may become less breathable and less effective when wet or soiled."

— David Aronoff, the director of Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Division of Infectious Disease

Aronoff recommends cleaning your mask daily with soap and water.

Air drying or machine drying is fine, but machine drying gets the mask ready to wear faster and the heat acts as an additional disinfectant, he says.

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Inverse is asking readers what pressing questions they have about Covid-19.

Let us know what's on your mind, and we'll find the answer.

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