Consumer Alert: Prices spikes of N95s and KN95s

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) – Inflation is hitting us right in the face, literally. The CDC has issued new guidance on masks, and now the prices are outrageous.

For weeks scientists have indicated that N95 and KN95 masks would likely be needed against the Omicron variant. Then on Friday, The CDC updated its guidance saying those masks offer the best protection. And the price hikes have been eye-popping. A bestselling package of 40 KN95 masks on Amazon was selling for $60 on Monday.

But I have browser extension called Camel Camel Camel which gives you the price history of Amazon products.

The site showed me that price of that same package of masks was $25 on October 20th. The price steadily increased with the spread of the Omicron virus and peaked at a price of $80 following the CDC’s mask update. Consumers likely balked and on Monday the seller reduced the price to $60 but it’s still more than twice the price of the October 20th listing.

So to cut down on the expense, you can disinfect and reuse your N95 mask. According to a study published in The Journal of the American Society of Microbiology, this is highly effective.

You take a glass or ceramic dish and put two ounces of distilled water in it. Cover it with mesh, like a produce bag. Secure it the mesh bag around the container. I used a rubber band. Then you stick it in the microwave and nuke it for three minutes. And don’t worry about that metal on the nose bridge. According to the study, it produces no sparks. That was certainly the case when I tried it.

And an article in The National Institutes of Health says you can put your mask in a paper mask for three days. The virus will die in during that period.

I’ll keep researching ways to save during the pandemic.