Care and Feeding of Your Face Mask

Your civilian-grade face mask is made from 100% cotton, except for the little metal nose bit that lets you form the top of your mask to your face for a better fit. And the rivets, those aren’t cotton, either. Because that would be weird. Everything else is definitely cotton. Depending on your model, the lining might be tea-cloth (brushed woven cotton) or t-shirt (woven cotton).

Why cotton? According to a number of people far more clever than we are, cotton does a better job of keeping cooties contained because of its mild negative static charge. That’s why you should NEVER USE BLEACH, and definitely STAY AWAY FROM THE FABRIC SOFTENER.

A face mask is kinda like a pair of underwear: only wear it for a day at a time and then wash it. Hot water and regular detergent is just fine, but you can also use a little Washing Powder if you maybe had some onions for lunch. You know how that can linger. Just SKIP THE FABRIC SOFTENER. Wash them on a gentle cycle in a garment bag if possible in order to protect the metal nose piece.

Your civilian-grade face mask IS NOT a substitute for a medical-grade N95 mask, but it is still a critical part of protecting yourself and your community. Think of it as wearing Level 5 armor instead of Level 20 armor: sure, you can take a little more damage than if you weren’t wearing armor at all, but you’re not going to be able to take the hits like the Battle Tank. You’re more like a slightly beefy Damage-Per-Second guy, or maybe the back-up Healer. Respect your environment accordingly.

How to Wear It

The printed or bright side will always go to the outside. If your masks has knitted cotton (t-shirt material), it goes to the inside always. The pleats should be facing down.

There is a bit of bendable metal in the nose piece. The ends are covered in rubber so that they can’t poke through or poke you. Your first order of business is to press this to your nose so that it follows the shape of your face.

TIES: The tie goes up through the bottom tab on one side, then through the bottom of the top tab, then over through the top of the opposite top tab, then through the top of the bottom tab.

ELASTICS coming soon.

A Few Tips on Keeping Your Cooties Contained:

  1. Wash your hands The Proper Way before putting your mask on. That means soap and the warmest water you can stand for at least 20 seconds, hitting every single cell on your hands, between your fingers, on the BACKS of your hands, around your wrists, ACROSS YOUR FINGERNAILS… Imagine you’re trying to paint your hands purple. It’ll look weird if you miss a spot.
  2. Your mask is made to fit to your face every time, so once you’ve got it on and comfortable, KEEP YOUR HANDS OFF OF IT. If you touch something in The Out and then touch your mask, you just transmitted cooties. You lose the game, have to wash and sanitize, and start all over again with a clean mask.
  3. Your mask helps protect you from ambient germs, but more importantly, it helps protect other people from the germs you might be carrying as well. It’s nothing personal, everyone is a potential plague vector.
  4. If you’re going Into The Out and you don’t have gloves, designate one hand for the Out and the other hand for Your Stuff. Only touch items that aren’t yours with the Out hand, and only touch Your Stuff with the other hand. DON’T LET YOUR HANDS TOUCH, or you lose the game, have to wash and sanitize, and start all over again.
  5. Yes, these masks are top-notch and high-grade, but if you sneeze and cough into them, they are then plague vectors. Yes, even if you’re “not sick” and it’s “just allergies.” Because corona viruses don’t usually make you sneeze, but they WILL spread their nastiness around if you sneeze for some other reason. Wash you mask every time you wear it.