Light and time are great ways to disinfect masks. Washing is generally unnecessary

James Hamblin MD, writing at The Atlantic:

Have several masks, made to fit well around your nose and mouth. Make them as heavily layered as you can tolerate. After wearing them for a day or so, or in a high-contact scenario, let them sit for a few days in a sunny, out-of-the-way place. Between the effects of time and light, there should be little need for running a washing machine or going through the hassle of hand-washing your masks….

If it sounds like I’m making this up based on best guesses, I am. Everyone is. We would ideally all be wearing surgical masks, and disposing of them frequently, but we didn’t prepare accordingly. So for all their flaws, cloth masks are important: Making them effective enough for use in daily pandemic life means we’re freeing up medical-grade masks for people who really need them, especially in places where they are still in short supply, such as the United States. Health-care workers around the world still need proper personal protective equipment more than a random guy named Gene who wants to go to the store to buy snacks.

Good news for me. I haven’t washed my masks in … well … ever.

Mitch W @MitchW