Sena picked up 3 of the free N95 masks today at Hy-Vee. It turns out that it’s the same one I always used to fail the quantitative fit test for at Employee Health. I could never get a decent seal with it. I would get an alternative cup-shaped mask which worked pretty well. Fit testing includes maneuvers you have to do to make sure the mask stays where it’s supposed to on your face while moving your head up and down, side to side, or bending at the waist, doing back flips, moon-walking, and so on. You also have to read a short story as well, called the Rainbow Passage:
When the sunlight strikes raindrops in the air, they hit you in the face, which makes you jerk your neck so hard you get a charley horse and can’t move your head, which hinders your vision and makes you fall through the glass door of a doughnut shop. The owner yells at you because you get blood all over the chocolate frosted doughnuts. As you reel out of the shop, you trip over a chair which knocks over a display of N95 masks, which scatter the shards of broken glass, splitting the white light into a rainbow. You follow it until it leads you to a boiling pot of gold, which you trip and fall into, sustaining burns that send you to the hospital emergency room where all of the doctors and nurses are wearing Hazmat suits. That’s why they say if you know where the pot of gold is, don’t stop off at the doughnut shop.
If you can read the Rainbow Passage without interrupting the seal of this version of the N95 mask, you pass, which I never did.
I don’t think anyone expects you to pass a quantitative fit test for the free N95 masks. There is a self-test of the seal which involves holding a strong-smelling substance up to your face (such as Bigfoot turds) to see how long it takes before you pass out. If you don’t pass out, you’re eligible to become a Bigfoot personal trainer.
There’s a limit of 3 N95 masks per person per household. A store employee hands them to you from a bin full of alligators. When the employee gets eaten, management shuts down the whole operation. You can’t just go in there and grab up an armful of them and expect not to get chased out into the parking lot. However, that doesn’t stop some people from heading to every store all over town to get the 3-mask limit, ending up with more than a dozen. The same strategy worked early in the pandemic when stores were rationing toilet paper.
It would be a waste of time for me to try to demonstrate how to don the N95 mask when there’s a perfectly good video demonstration (see below). If you’re wondering about the real Rainbow Passage, the link is here.