Coronavirus: The Solution Is Becoming Clear

The world has been fighting covid-19 long enough that we are beginning to arrive at some constructive conclusions:

Part of the intense infectiousness of this virus is due to its long asymptomatic phase, where hosts feel fine but are shedding contagious particles. Increased testing is now showing that the majority of folks testing positive don't realize they're sick.

Research is showing that the recommended social distance of two meters (6.8 feet) is inadequate to protect against airborne particles. Four times that amount is more likely – reinforcing the effectiveness of both social isolating tactics (like sheltering at home) and wearing masks.

Peak Prosperity has been loudly banging the #Masks4ALL drum of late, and every day more studies emerge showing it’s one of the cheapest and most effective social responses to slowing the spread of the coronavirus.

In addition, while standard surgical/homemade (non-N95) masks do not filter out all virus particles, they do dramatically limit their spread, both in the air and on surfaces.

This is important because this reduces the viral load someone is exposed to. Data is showing that if you receive a lower viral load, if you get sick with the virus, your case is likely to be more mild and short-lived.

We are starting to win the war for data on covid-19 and this is leading to smarter practices that will flatten the curve, reduce deaths and get folks back to work.

Finally, some encouraging news.

And for the many of us remaining under lockdown, here are some helpful recent resources we’ve released. Review them when you can:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Has anyone acutally done the Shake and Bake mask in the oven?
How did it go? I am curious about the effect it has on the elasticity of the bands and if they should be removed?
I think I might try it myself, if I can round up a paper bag…

First- Thank you for the fantastic videos, coverage and discussions by everyone here at PP. Now more than ever its a a daily read/watch with a great range of information.
Quick question- The video today showed a photo of a mask with a valve. Because mask use is both to prevent spread and infection shouldn’t we be using masks without valves? Just trying to get up to speed on mask technology…

I haven’t tried it yet. If you do, please let us know how it went.

Funny you should ask Vegas… I just baked my first batch today. None were of the valve type… we do have these also but consider them somewhat anti-social. We may eventually need to use them.

I just ordered a double boiler pan set for 20 bucks on ebay. This will allow me to heat a n95 mask to 200 degrees fahrenheit for mask sterilization. I should be able to sterilize several masks every 30 minutes, assuming a 30 minute sterilization time at 200 degrees. This is so easy and available to people who do not have a oven to use as well.

Everyone seems to jump immediately to “donate your N95 masks” whenever the topic comes up and you are perceived to have masks and/or seen wearing one in public.
Can you recommend some good responses to this?

We are leaving our masks in a paper bag in the car. Being very careful when taking them off (and using a wipe immediately, then washing hands as soon as we get home). We are going out less than once a week, so figure any virus on the masks will be dead by the next time we use them again. (And we have an extra set of masks, if needed, so we can have two sets going; could go out twice per week. So far those are still in their packages.) We have enough food, so are staying hunkered for now. The worst is still to come, here in the Chicago area (and elsewhere, I’m afraid). Be well, everybody.

Thinking about writing this on a bandanna we may wear over our masks (next time). That is the correct response, IMO.

I haven’t tried it yet. If you do, please let us know how it went.
I've run several of the same masks (with values) thru the oven. I've not seen either plastic not elastic band visible damage. I did though put a cooking thermometer in there first. My oven was running just a little hot (around 190). I would stress use paper bags not plastic. LOL, turns out ziplock bags do not like heat. I did do a temp test on my crock pot to see if I could put it at the door and use it. Unfortunately the low temp was around 120F and the high temp around 240F.

'No one wants my used mask".
Pretend you don’t have any others.

Yes our next puzzle should be how to effectively block the exhaust valve on N95 mask.

I was wondering the same thing about masks with valves to allow air to escape without being filtered. It seems logical that this would not prevent transmission of the virus from an asymptomatic person… it would only keep the wearer safe from becoming infected. I have some of those masks and was wondering if we could just tape over the valve to block it off and force air through the filter?

I baked a 3M #8511 N95 Cool flow mask at 180 degrees for 30 minutes (valve side up on a paper towel on a cookie sheet). Mask seems unaffected by the process and is in very good condition. Both elastic straps and valve work great. I still get a good seal. I will do another test with the wife’s mask shortly.
Edit to add: Wife’s mask did great as well (Whew!)


The value is a small disc of rubber over the hole with a center pin. You could put a small square of tape over the inside of the value and block it.
I haven’t been out in about 10 days to anywhere that I would need to wear a N95 mask. This morning I cleaned at my pet shelter, then decided to go to one of the upscale grocery stores about 15 minutes away. Wore a mask and gloves, with a set of old industrial glasses with sideshields rather than goggles.
I didn’t see any “looks” at me for wearing it. I did see several other people with surgical masks, and a few with bandanas. One of the check out clerks was wearing a dust mask. One person actually had a half mask with canister filters.
I think for most people its sinking in that they have to face this without masks and it frightens them. Some are going to get angry but most will just try the best they can.
I’ve donated about 50 masks to the volunteers at my pet shelter to keep them on the job, along with getting thirty boxes (100ea) of gloves for them to take.
I’ve been trying to find elastic for DIY masks but all the local fabric stores are out. Some people are cannibalizing fitted sheets and old bathing suits.

"Now that they have discovered you can be asymptomatic with the cornavirus it only makes sense that we should be wearing masks. Even handmake ones and kerchiefs. " Adding the kerchief lets them know that anyone could be doing it even without a special type of mask they might not be able to get. Show them you are concerned for them not wearing a mask.

I’m happy to see everyone else has got the same idea.
I’ve been baking mine at 170F for 30mins (along with eye protection), and the elastic is fine so far. I don’t put them in a bag, I use a pizza stone.
Study I looked at said that anything above 160F will work.
Molten plastic does not belong there.

I just had to laugh about your using a pizza stone … I’ll bet you will be thinking about pizza next time you use those masks given the subtle, crusty aroma : )

Paper bags allow you to safely store used and contaminated masks until you have a chance to cook them. If you have a spot at your door you can keep them there until you get 3-4 and do them at one time.