I’ve mostly been relying on surgical masks (made locally) for day-to-day use because I tend to be either outdoors or in well-ventilated indoor situations. BUT… I have a work trip coming up to Barcelona which is both exciting and a bit terrifying. I mean, I haven’t been to BCN since 2014 when I took myself up there for a birthday treat. And I have to say that part of me is really looking forward to being there again, but another part of me is going OMG because, of course, Covid.
Just like the last trip I’ll be taking the AVE fast train direct from Sevilla to Barcelona, a 5.5 hour trip. Which really ends up mostly the same amount of time as flying there (it’s a really short flight). But if you take into account getting to and from the airport, having to arrive at the airport and hour or so ahead of time, and blah blah blah… just no. I really enjoyed the train ride last time. Got to watch a film, read a bit, hang out on social media, and visit the bar car. PLUS I could bring as much luggage as I wanted to.
Of course now the big question is about travelling safely, on a train for all that time. Happily we still have a mask mandate for all public transport, so everyone will have masks on. But it made me think that it was time for a mask upgrade. So I am looking at getting some FFP2/FFP3 KN95/N95 masks for my trip. Still working out what the differences are between them, but clearly they are more effective than surgical masks. Anyhow, wish me luck! My first MAJOR TRIP since March 2020.
Here is a page from a very useful website which covers multiple ways to protect yourself. I don’t know how many of the specific masks mentioned here you can get in Spain, but the reviews by type and effectiveness are useful. I’m considering switching my game up to an elastomeric, but they look kind of complicated.
The 3M Aura is too small for my big ole face — the edge of the mask hits right at the jaw line, which doesn’t feel like a secure seal — but less horsey people will probably find it as comfortable and wearable as anything. Amazon.es only has their valved respirator (the ones I do use are valveless), Amazon UK has several of their products.
Notice on the Clean Air Crew site that you can get a reusable brace that creates a seal over a surgical mask. That might be a good option for day to day as well, though the electrostatic layers of KN95 and better masks are superior filtering to a surgical — they actually trap the viral particles the way you can stick a balloon to a cat whose fur has been rubbed up via the static electricity. (Sorry for the analogy, Loki.)
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I’ve just ordered some FFP2 masks from Amazon that a friend who travels a lot recommended. There are just so many to choose from that it was good to have a personal rec. Mind you, I am also concerned about it fitting my BIG face but I guess there’s only one way to find out.
Mercadona sells some good ones €1.50 for 3.
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I might have a look at those. Have just ordered a box of 20 and am hoping they will fit properly, etc. Trying out a packet of 3 makes more sense.