Double Mask for Double Protection?

By Dr Kirti Sabnis

Second wave of Coronavirus is raging across the country. The virus is now more transmissible and infectious. The recent events are accentuating the need to not let  our guards down, and to follow Corona Appropriate Behavior that includes masking, social distancing, washing of hands and sanitization.


Infact, in these tough times, double masking enhances protection from the virus, and cuts down the prospects of transmitting &catching the virus. According to a recent study at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it is stated that if everyone double-masked, the COVID exposure can be reduced by 96.4%!

Now, you must be thinking what is double masking? When a person wears one mask on top of another mask it is termed as ‘double masking’. The outer mask can apply gentle pressure to the edges of the inner mask and create a better seal. As the virus is spread through respiratory droplets, layers of a mask can help increase its filtration, and also provide protection if someone around you sneezes or coughs.

How and when to wear the Double Mask:Consider wearing a double mask when venturing out in crowded places like – airports, bus stands and while using public/ local transportation for traveling to work, etc.

  • One cloth mask on top of a surgical mask or two cloth masks,or one cloth mask on a 3ply maskisan ideal combination
  • A face shield, along with a mask can be used at extremely crowded places
  • If one is using an n95 mask, avoid double masking
  • Double masks especially for children are avoidable

Do’s of masking:

  • Wash the cloth mask daily in hot water
  • Wear mask properly – covering the nose, mouth & the chin
  • Avoid sharing masks between family members
  • After removing any mask, sanitize your hands thoroughly
  • Throw disposable mask in a covered bin
  • Change your mask and wear a new one at frequent intervals
  • Follow social distancing while wearing a mask

Dont’s of Masking

  • Don’t put your mask around the neck or chin
  • Also don’t wear wet masks
  • Don’t touch the mask often
  • Do not remove mask while speaking
  • ¾   Do not remove the mask if you have to sneeze
  • Don’t put a mask on a child younger than 2yrs of age

Adopt and apply good practices that will safeguard the health of your family and the society.

Dr Kirti Sabnis, is the Infectious Disease Specialist at Fortis Hospital, Kalyan


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