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Mask? N95? Face Shield? Help!

If you’ve been donning a face mask every day and wondering if you have the right one—or the best one—or the most-approved one—we’re here to help. The wide range of face coverings sported by people these days is breathtaking. Pun intended. Many comply with Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines. Others might not. And depending on what you do, it might not matter. Here’s a rundown of the face covering terminology and types that can help you decide which to use.

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Re-open the salon? Is it safe? More importantly – Where do I start?

Image of a barber with a yellow background.

Lets be honest, nothing is for certain and there has been pretty terrible guidance from the top on these safety questions. But the group of entrepreneurs that we’ve seen with the most hustle has to be salon owners. When your family dream of opening your own business is on the line you just do what you have to do to get it done. There are no guarantees but there is evidence that opening can be safe when its done right – and if you’re fighting to keep your dream alive it doesn’t mean you need to be reckless – you need balance. Here at CPD we’re spending time with a group that just recently got to re-open in our local area – Salons and Spas. In polling salons, we started by giving you a care package specifically designed to allow a stylist with a single station to get what they need to start right away. Its our Hair Salon Re-Opening Kit and its specially priced to be about 25% below the list price of buying all the parts separately but more importantly it provides enough disposable masks, wipes, and sanitizer to keep your station clean for a month or more.

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Protecting yourself from wildfire smoke

Image of people overlooking a city skyline full of smoke.

Smoke-driven air quality is once again an issue throughout CA – also happens to be the home of the Care Package Direct team. We’re in the process of helping friends and family with evacuation plans which is heart-breaking but we’re doing what we can to help. For everyone else there is the air quality. It can cause activation of asthma issues, COPD, and worse if it gets really bad. There are things that everyone could do. I believe Kaiser Permanente had summarize thing quite nicely and its worth summarizing and providing these resources to everyone. And if there is anything else we can do to help, we’ll be here. 

Follow basic precautions for wildfire smoke and poor air quality:

  • Check air quality reports and use common sense. Air quality can change quickly. If it’s smoky, avoid outside activities.
  • Stay indoors as much as possible. Close doors and windows.
  • Set your car air conditioner to recirculate air instead of drawing in outside air.
  • Consider going somewhere with better air quality if you have symptoms from smoke that aren’t getting better.
  • Have a plan for where you’ll get care if needed, if you evacuate or leave the area.

There are some important differences you should understand between masks that protect you from smoke (N95 or KN95 masks) and those that protect you and others from COVID-19.

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Where to start? How about Masks…

State of California’s quick explanation of the proper way to use protective masks.

Probably the most obvious place to start is with masks. Care Package Direct was created with a mission to make sure small businesses and small organizations have a reliable supply of what they need to reopen. As we studied reopening across the United States it became obvious that good, bad, or indifferent, small organizations were going to need a reliable supply of quality masks. The above video is one on the proper use of masks created by the CA health department.

So what should small organizations do? Well, there are a couple of typical use cases for you. First, your employees are the top consideration. We carry top quality disposable masks that are ASTM Level 2 certified (which is a certification for use in surgical situations and definitely good for current COVID-19 situations). One interesting concern employees we’ve talked to is wearing reusable masks all day long irritated their sensitive facial skin and in some cases even caused them to “breakout”. Now this isn’t a scientific study proving causation, its just a concern brought up to us. Our first step was to carry the disposable masks that were synthetic material and designed for everyday use. The material is meant to be gentler than cotton but still water and vapor resistant. This was our first mask supply priority. Thats not to say we won’t have reusable masks in the care packages in the future, its just to say we are tackling the toughest problems first.

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