By Max Berlinger
Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control officially recommended widespread use of face masks to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.
These aren’t the medical-grade N95 facial respirator masks—which continue to be in short supply and should be reserved solely for health-care professionals on the frontlines of the pandemic battle—or the allergen-, pollutant-, and germ-filtering masks from Airnium ($69 to $99) that Gwyneth Paltrow wore on Instagram. The CDC is urging the general population to wear masks made of layers or breathable fabric (such as cotton) close to the face whenever in public and in other situations in which it may be difficult to practice social distancing.
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