Yes. Wear a mask. Wear a NIOSH N95 & be climate conscious.

Always wear an N95 mask in the cities.

  1. You protect yourself from a lot of particulate matter plus the moisture droplets from the sneezing man who just bumped you. (Cold and flu viruses and various bacteria and even some parasites in moisture droplets expelled from one person can infect another person within a meter and sometimes more. Try keeping 20 cm of separation from other people in a Manila Jeepney, let alone a meter. Hmmm?)
  2. You send a protest message to everyone who sees you that you are conscious of exhaust gases from factories, cars and other fossil fuel burners and that you do not wish to breathe over 12µg/m³ of toxic particulate.
  3. In most cities of the world, your life expectancy will be longer with healthier enjoyment. See the report: World-air-quality-Report.
  4. In most cities of the world you will join many climate-conscious people.
  5. The argument that a citizen wearing a respirator takes one from a health care worker is a lie and an epic failure of governments. What protecting ones respiratory system takes away from health care workers is a desperately sick patient.
  6. Readers are encouraged to choose wisely and buy their respirator masks then learn how to fit test and use them. They need to be NIOSH N95 approved. There are many types.
  7. The demand for product will drive a bigger market. 3M and Kimberley-Clark both say they are always at user’s service and produce ample instructional material.
  8. This is the way of the future. Protect your respiratory system from pollution and more and more viruses as climate control and habitat encroachment forces pathogens to find new mammal hosts. That is the honest truth and best advice for the ordinary person.

by Sharon Santiago

“Various institutions are asking people around the world not to wear masks because their administrators feel that wearing a mask is going to increase levels of panic over the 2019-nCoV outbreak,” says Nurse Practitioner Michele Francis who is on the front lines fighting disease in Venezuela.

“Air pollution and climate change, will harm everyone’s health far more than 2019-nCoV.”

“The Wuhan novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is the least of your worries compared to these ten items, the first two of which are very bad.” and she lists:

  1. Air pollution and climate change. (Wear a mask in cities with pollution greater than 12µg/m³ of toxic particulate.)
  2. Global influenza. (Wear an N95 mask when in tight crowds.)
  3. Non Communicable disease (like diabetes, cancer, heart disease).
  4. Fragile & vulnerable settings.
  5. Antimicrobial resistance.
  6. Ebola & other high-threat pathogens.
  7. Weak primary health care.
  8. Vaccine hesitancy
  9. Dengue
  10. HIV/AIDS

“Actually, it is them who are panicking,” notes Katie Alsop, who believes that there is a fight among global institutes “whose leaders seem to have egos bigger than their job titles.”

The general population is barely interested in the hyperbole over 2019-nCoV and more interested in doing “Made In China Memes”.

Wear a Mask to Mitigate the Impact of Air Pollution

 Here is how to don and doff your N95 respirator mask, especially when you have been in high risk areas. Most commonly used for Influenza prevention, these masks are effective according to the CDC in helping to prevent the spread of Flu, swine flu and avian flu transmission from person to person.

N95 masks are designed to fit over the nose and mouth of the wearer, and properly fitted can provide excellent protection for you and from you. 

Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in a good soap  before and after touching your mask. Using a hand sanitizer is an acceptable alternative if done correctly.

Hand Sanitizer Procedure

1. Apply enough sanitizer to completely cover both hands.
2. Rub hands together, palm to palm.
3. Rub back of each hand with palm of other hand.
4. Spread sanitizer over and under fingernails
5. Spread sanitizer between fingers
6. Keep rubbing hands together until they are dry. Do not dry
with a towel

The flu virus is .17 microns in size.

“The influenza virus does not float in air, says Nurse Francis.  “The flu virus is carried from infected patient to non-infected person in droplets of their excretions from sneezing and coughing.

“Expelled moisture particles from human respiratory systems are as much as 5 microns or larger in size.

“When an infected person wears an N95 respirator, the respirator can be effective as a barrier preventing infectious material from leaving the patient’s body, and when worn by healthy individuals in a crowded place, it prevents inhalation of other persons’ material.

“Wearing a mask is an excellent barrier against the user rubbing or touching their mouth or nose, which has a very high risk factor.

“An N95 mask can substantially reduce risk of receiving or transmitting a disease,” notes one vendor of N95 masks.

You don’t need the Most Expensive N95 Models

Indicated for most people, here is the 1860-N95 which works for street-wear 1860S N95 Particulate Respirator Spec Sheet


Wear an N95 Mask in cities where pollution is above an index of “12µg/m³”.

The RINJ Foundation is urging people to wear a breathing mask in cities where pollution is above an index of “12µg/m³”. Which cities are those? “Most cities,” says Katie Alsop of the RINJ women’s civil society group.

Only 9 out of 62 regional capitals included in a recent study have an annual mean PM2.5 level within the WHO air quality guideline of 10µg/m³. See the report: world-air-quality-report-en.

People in Canada and the United States may not know what it is like to be within a heavy crowd, every day. Every single day. Like workers in a market in the cities and countries listed below.

“Visiting a Hong Kong subway tube or a shopping mall in Baguio City, Philippines or the Robinson Mall in Manila, is an awakening. This month the coughing and sneezing in all three places has been noisy,” says‘s own Melissa Hemingway.

Wear an N95 mask in crowded places or in polluted cities. Here are a few countries’ population densities. In the crowded markets of more densely populated cities there is no “meter of separation” available between members of the crowd in stairwells, on escalators, in elevators, and on sidewalks and walkways.

Note that in many Asian countries there is an urbanization trend. Some cities in the South Pacific Region are extremely overpopulated with numbers outrageously higher  than the country’s average.

  • Bangladesh = 1,252 people per square kilometer
  • Britain = 274 people per square kilometer.
  • Canada = 4 people per square kilometer.
  • China = 145 people per square kilometer.
  • India = 420 people per square kilometer.
  • Indonesia = 154 people per square kilometer.
  • Monaco = 26,150 people per square kilometer.
  • Philippines = 363 people per square kilometer.
  • Russia= 8.4 people per square kilometer.
  • Rwanda = 495 people per square kilometer.
  • South Korea = 528 people per square kilometer.
  • USA = 84 people per square kilometer.

The city of Wuhan has a population density of 1,152 people per square kilometer.

Wuhan is in a country among dozens of others where the air is actually hazardous to breathe.

Wuhan Wuhan. Photo credit: Youtube. Photo Art/Cropping/Enhancement: Rosa Yamamoto / Feminine-Perspective Magazine

Only 9 out of 62 regional capitals included in a recent study have an annual mean PM2.5 level within the WHO air quality guideline of 10µg/m³. See the report: world-air-quality-report-en

Countries Sorted by estimated average PM2.5 concentration (µg/m³) Countries Sorted by estimated average PM2.5 concentration (µg/m³)  See the report: world-air-quality-report-en.