Aside from my close friend living in Delhi, India, where a N95 is a daily necessity due to the pollution, regular people shouldn’t be wearing them. I’ve seen tourists visiting the World Trade Center in N95s, and celebrities and influencers are showing off their N95 masks on Instagram, usually just to run errands or drive around Los Angeles. I can’t help but feel infuriated, seeing as my sister has been given one—one!—N95 to use over and over for the foreseeable future (the hospital recommended she store it in a paper bag between shifts). It could be weeks or months, because things are unlikely to change anytime soon; it’s gotten to the point where the CDC is now advising nurses and doctors to use bandanas if they can’t find a mask. I can sleep at night knowing the NICU, where premature and sick babies are treated, is already one of the strictest units in a hospital, with security guards, the highest standards for safety and cleanliness, and minimal outside visitors. Throughout the hospital, units are being hyper-vigilant about cleanliness and visitors, but that’s standard procedure in the NICU. “Premature babies have no immune system, so we’re already thinking about every surface we touch and using hand sanitizer dozens of times a day,” my sister told me.
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