Two masks will now be required for those who want to enter a federal court building in Manhattan – but the new Covid-19 guidance has provoked more mockery than applause on social media.
The Southern District of New York announced the rule last week as part of its “phased re-entry plan.” Individuals will need to wear two face coverings or be equipped with an N95 mask. The guidelines also specify that bandanas and coverings with vents will not be considered adequate. Visitors that lack proper face coverings will be provided with proper masks upon entrance to the federal buildings, the rules state. Security personnel will be tasked with enforcing the double-mask rule.
The new “dress code” covers Manhattan and the Bronx, as well as Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess, and Sullivan counties.
The guidance comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said experiments showed that “fitting a cloth mask over a medical procedure mask” could more effectively slow the spread of coronavirus.
But social media users seemed to view the health provision as excessive and absurd.
“Two masks are for selfish granny killers. Anything less than 4 masks is murder,”joked one reply. Numerous Twitter users predicted that double-masking was just the beginning of overzealous PPE protocol.
Serious question, why stop at 2? Why not 3 or 4? What if my single mask is made from 2 masks? What if it’s an N95 mask? What if it’s a functional gas mask? Still need 2?
— Fury (@papafury6) February 16, 2021
The rule is unclear on how one is supposed to breathe while on federal property, another snarky commenter wrote. Others suggested that the guideline was perfect for two-faced politicians.
Only politicians should wear 2 masks, one for each face
— seanefc (@Sean7032efc) February 16, 2021
Still, there were those who argued that data shows that two masks are better than one.
Fact of the matter is that most of the masks aren’t in any way really medical grade, they think 2 just has better odds of something not going through both. However, I’ve seen a lot of people that demand others wear masks not wearing even one
— Brandon 🇺🇸 Hohn (@Brandon_Hohn) February 16, 2021
Multi-masking has become some of a fad in recent weeks, although, like single-mask use, its efficacy is the subject of considerable debate. US Covid-19 czar Dr. Anthony Fauci said at the end of January that there is “no data” to show multiple masks provide increased virus protection. Days earlier, he suggested that double-masking “just makes common sense.”
It’s not the first time that Fauci has flip-flopped on mask usage. In a March interview, he insisted that there was no reason for seemingly healthy people to be “walking around in a mask.”
Mask-wearing has been a hotly debated issue since the very beginning of the pandemic. Public mask mandates have become commonplace in countries around the world, and new studies have emerged claiming mask usage within the general public could be effective in stopping the spread of coronavirus. Still, less than a year ago there was a wide consensus among medical institutions, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), that such policies had no proven benefit.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!