Comfort determines choice of face mask


Cordell Mackall

Nurse Stephanie Jenkins wears a KN95 mask, the kind that the college recommends.

Cordell Mackall, Reporter

AACC students said they choose their face masks based on how comfortable they feel.

Students have three basic masks to choose from: cloth, disposable and KN95.

KN95 masks, which the Centers for Disease Control recommends for indoor use, offer five-layer protection.

Stephanie Jenkins, a Health and Wellness Center nurse, said the KN95 mask is the best one and the cloth mask is the least effective. Campus officials recommend that students and employees wear the KN95 mask, but do not require it.

First-year information systems student Patrick Carroll said he wears a KN95 mask for the most protection because wearing it does not make his glasses fog up.

But replacing those masks can get expensive, he said.

“Because they’re not the ones you can keep forever,” Caroll said, “you got to buy new ones. You got to throw [them] away like a disposable, but other than that, I think they’re cool. 

First-year pre-medical student Naija Parker said she prefers to wear a fabric mask. 

“The [disposable] masks are harder to breathe and [the fabric] is easier to [inhale],” Parker said.

In addition, Parker said, “I prefer to wear the fabric mask because the cotton mask, it gets stuck on my nose

She said she likes to wear a mask that is washable.

Jenkins said it’s important to wash a fabric mask frequently, especially if the student wears the mask in classrooms where they are in close contact with others..

“[You can] throw [it] in a washing machine on hot water and [in the] dryer and hand wash it,” Jenkins said. 

Still, Jenkins said, ”What’s nice about the KN95 and or the [disposable] mask is you [just] can throw it away.”

First-year nutrition science student Merna Shaalon, on the other hand, wears disposable masks.   

“I wear makeup sometimes when I’m going out and [the cotton mask] just [gets] a lot of germs on it,” Shaalon said. “So I feel like it broke my skin and it never used to break out.”