Coronavirus: Face Masks or Bandanas?

Let me start out by saying right up front that I am not a health expert, medical professional, or anything of that nature. Just like most of you who will be reading this blog commentary, I am just a regular guy who tries to use a little bit of common sense, practicality and pragmatism as I survive the current COVID-19 pandemic. So, because I don’t have any credentials to support my position, you can either accept or reject the comments which follow, as you feel led. It is entirely up to you.

Having said that, I don’t mean to alarm anyone, but as I mentioned in a previous blog post a number of days ago, quite frankly, a number of people — myself included — were quite flabbergasted when President Donald Trump and various health officials began suggesting that regular people — meaning not the elitists — should resort to using scarves and bandanas to protect themselves from the coronavirus pathogens, instead of using more robust face masks and respirators.

Now, it seems to me that with all of the information they now have in their possession regarding SARS-CoV-2 — which is the actual virus which causes the COVID-19 disease — they know perfectly well that such clothing items are really just about useless, and provide very minimal protection against COVID-19, due to the small size of the droplets which are expelled when one coughs, sneezes or talks. And there are other factors to consider as well, which I mention in some of my other BBB Blog posts, such as in “Helpful Tips Regarding Using Face Masks and Respirators”, which you will find listed below.

In fact, I view it as being both irresponsible and deceptive for the president and others to have even suggested that we resort to using such items, because it will give people a false sense of security. In other words, they will think that they are safe because they have a scarf or a bandana wrapped around their face, and this is just not so. Aside from the fact that such items are probably too porous to stop the tiny droplets and the virus which clings to them, what also failed to be mentioned is the fact that if one does not remove such items properly, they could end up getting the virus on their fingertips, and their fingers could then wind up in their mouth, nose or eyes before they have been properly washed.

Equally mind-boggling is the fact that President Trump would make the announcement regarding the American public now being advised to use face masks, and then turn right around and in the same breath, basically contradict himself, and go against the advice of his own medical team, by repeatedly stressing that wearing a mask is voluntary, and stating that he does not intend to wear one himself. Wow! How confusing is that? What an example! He expects us to follow advice which even he is not willing to follow? What kind of confusing message is that sending? Well, at least Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx had the wisdom and the decency to tell folks that wearing a face mask or respirator is NOT a substitute for social distancing. In other words, BOTH should be implemented simultaneously for maximum protection.

While the USA got off to a slow start in its fight against the coronavirus — no, I won’t delve into that issue again — as many of my American friends will already know, millions of face masks are now being manufactured in the USA. I suspect that it is for this reason that the Trump administration is now saying that the American public should be using them. But let me reiterate again: Do NOT listen to President Trump regarding this issue. He is out of his league regarding this issue and speaking nonsense. As I mention in another blog post, the people we SHOULD be listening to right now are the health officials, doctors, nurses, scientists, etc., who have the proper backgrounds for dealing with this plague. We should NOT be taking the medical advice that comes from politicians. This fight needs to be led by the health experts who are in the know.

Before leaving behind the previous points, let me make one more important point which I believe validates my argument. Even though health professionals are using N95 and FFP3 face masks, not to mention other protective equipment including plastic shields, protective suits, shoes, gloves, etc., as you probably already know, some of them are STILL becoming infected, and even dying. Now, tell me something. In light of that troubling fact, how can we the public possibly expect or believe that a scarf or bandana loosely wrapped around our face is really going to protect us from this deadly pathogen which is very aggressive, and which spreads so quickly? Are our leaders taking us for fools? Apparently so. Have I made my point?

Having stated all of the above, I do understand that at this late date, some of my readers may be in a situation where they do not have any face masks. If that is the case, and if scarves and bandanas are all you have available, well then, as they say, you have simply got to make do with what you’ve got. But let me say this: Everyone who is reading this BBB Blog post has a computer, tablet or cellphone, right? So my recommendation is that you go to Amazon, or to some other reputable website, and immediately order yourself some N95 or FFP3 respirators. As I have mentioned before, N95 is an American rating which means that a face mask offers 95% protection from certain airborne particles, including the coronavirus. On the other hand, I believe that FFP3 is a class that is used by European nations. FFP3 face masks offer up to 99% protection from such airborne particles.

Now please understand that it won’t be easy. Many sellers will already be out of stock, and you will probably have to search for a while before you find one which not only still has masks, but who is willing to ship them to your region of the world. Additionally, and sad to say, you may encounter unscrupulous online sellers who charge an arm and a leg for the masks. So please be very careful, and keep searching until you find some. In my case, a brother-in-the-Lord ordered a 5-pack of FFP3 respirators for me in March. They arrived from Israel on March 18th. It was $170.00 for the five-pack. Yes, rather expensive, right? But I am told that Israel makes very good products.

I think it is also important to advise you to NOT purchase face masks — or anything else for that matter — from any sellers you see on Facebook. If there is one thing you need to know, it is that scammers are out in full force right now because of this pandemic. These people will profit from your fear if you let them. In some cases, you will either never receive your purchased product, or else you will receive an inferior product which does not match what was advertised. Many of these bogus sellers disappear overnight. My friends, I speak from experience. As I mention in my BBB Blog post called “Beware of the Vector Robot Scam”, I was scammed by a Facebook seller a number of months ago.

This leads me to my next point. Thankfully, I was able to recover my money from the Vector Robot scam, and I will now tell you why I was able to do this. If you have to purchase your face masks from a seller other than Amazon or some other reputable website, then try to find one that accepts PayPal. That way, you are protected, and PayPal will reimburse you if something goes wrong. If your item does not arrive within a specified amount of time, or never arrives at all, or arrives damaged, or does not meet your specifications, or if you sense that something else is not right regarding the seller, PayPal will investigate once you submit a claim. They will give the seller a specified amount of time to respond to the claim, and then they will reimburse you if the issue is not satisfactorily resolved. As I said, that is exactly what happened to me with my Vector Robot purchase.

But returning to the face masks, sadly, the one drawback with many of these masks is that they are not reusable. That is in fact why health professionals require so many of them. Once they become damp, and permeated with particles, it is time to discard them. From what I have read, this usually means in a matter of a few hours. Now, while this is just my personal opinion, in a tight situation, it may be possible to sterilize a used mask by setting it out in the Sun for a while; or by soaking it in a light bleach-water solution; and maybe even by microwaving it for a very brief amount of time. If you try the latter, please be very careful, particularly if the mask contains elastic. As a matter of record, when I saw my personal physician in March, he informed me that he tried the microwave solution, and his mask ended up catching on fire. I have no idea how long he microwaved it for.

Before concluding this commentary, let me say the following: In my opinion, we ALL have the right to full protection against COVID-19, regardless of our social status, and regardless of whether or not we are health professionals. Yes, I fully understand that health professionals should take priority. After all, they are our front line soldiers in this battle against SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, I highly respect them, and I appreciate the great sacrifice which they are all making, even placing their own lives at risk, for the benefit of us all. And for the record, both my daughter and son-in-law work in medical facilities, which have become ground zero all around the world at this present time.

Yet, at the same time, as I have mentioned before, I also believe — as the Holy Scriptures teach us — that it is a national government’s responsibility to take proper care of its people; particularly its elderly, sick, poor and disadvantaged. When ancient Israel failed to do this, God rebuked them time and time again, as I point out in some of my articles, such as “What About the Poor?”. In this case, it means manufacturing enough high-quality face masks so that every single citizen is adequately protected against this viral threat. If, for example, the American government can spend trillions of dollars on its war machine, and billions of dollars on supporting foreign governments, surely it can take care of its own people, who should come first. As the Apostle Paul wrote:

“But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”
1 Timothy 5:8, KJV

Finally, and most important of all, whatever you do, do not allow fear to overcome you. Continue to TRUST the Lord to see you through this current scourge, and He will. Don’t allow the fear-mongers and conspiracy theorists to rob you of the Lord’s peace. Cling to Scriptural promises such as the following:

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”
2 Timothy 1:7, KJV

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
Isaiah 26:3, KJV

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Isaiah 41:10, KJV

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
John 14:27, KJV

For those of you who may have possibly missed some of my previous coronavirus-related writings, following is a list of everything I have written to date regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. I believe that you will find a lot of useful, factual, instructive and Scriptural information in this material. Please feel free to share this list on your own timelines, pages, in your Facebook groups, and on any other social networks where you happen to participate. Thank you so very much, and God bless you!

Bill’s Bible Basics Coronavirus Information Center:

Bill’s Bible Basics Coronavirus Information Center

Bill’s Bible Basics Articles:

BBB Article: “Coronavirus: Just the Facts, Ma’am”:

BBB Article: “COVID-19, Financial Assistance and Christian Love”:

BBB Article: “Coronavirus: Defiant Christians, Stay Home!”:

BBB Article: “COVID-19: Exposure Logging and Contact Tracing: Is It Safe?”:

Bill’s Bible Basics Blog Posts:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Latest Statistics – Bill’s Bible Basics Blog”:

BBB Blog Post: “Stop Joking About the Coronavirus”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: God Will Silence the Fools”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Be Still and Know That I Am God”:

BBB Blog Post: “Is COVID-19 the New Normal? : Don’t Freak Out! Trust the Lord!”:

BBB Blog Post: “Helpful Tips Regarding Using Face Masks and Respirators”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Why Do You Condemn Your Brethren?”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Are You Distracted?”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Wake Up, Already!”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: 40 Bible Verse Lists Regarding God’s Love, Patience, Wrath, Judgments and Repentance”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Where is Your Common Sense?”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: More Useful Information”:

BBB Blog Post: “The Doctor Anthony Fauci Debate: My View”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: How to Respond to the Pandemic”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Face Masks or Bandanas?”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus and Beards and Mustaches”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Do You Need A Psychiatric Evaluation?”:

BBB Blog Post: “COVID-19: Attention iOS Users! This May Be of Interest to You if You Use the “Maps” App!”:

BBB Blog Post: “Apple iOS 13.7 Introduces COVID-19 Exposure Notifications With No Need For 3rd Party App”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Are Vaccine Passports Inevitable?”:

BBB Blog Post: “Coronavirus: Don’t Be So Harsh!”:

Bill’s Bible Basics Poetry:

BBB Poem: “Coronavirus Kooks”:

About Bill Kochman

Bill Kochman is a Christian writer, poet, graphic artist, online evangelist and founder and webmaster of the Bill's Bible Basics website and blog, as well as the founder and administrator of the Christian Social Network. His interests include tropical fish, Macintosh computers, web design, writing poetry, God's natural creation and his cat, Mischief.
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