Münster School of Health on How Best to Bake, Boil and Dry Your FFP2 Masks to Ensure Their Hygienic and Responsible Re-Use
Revisiting one of the dumbest documents to emerge from the German pandemic.
In the beginning of the Corona era, the German government required its citizens to wear cloth masks indoors. Everybody pretended these were wonderful, but they plainly did nothing, and so soon the government mandated surgical masks. When these also did nothing, FFP2 mandates were imposed, first in Bavaria and then more widely. The problem, back in those dark early months of 2021, was that cheap imported FFP2 masks were hard to come by. Germans would have to reuse these masks, contrary to the advice printed by the manufacturer on the packaging and all medical hygiene protocols.
Happily, we had The Science on our side, because The Science readily supports whatever it is that politicians want to do. Public health gurus at the Universität Münster swung into action, explaining that, contrary to everything everyone in their profession had been saying for decades, it was totally fine to reuse FFP2 masks! All you had to do was disinfect them after each use! To explain how you might do this, they published a long and widely circulated document, Possibilities and limits of the responsible re-use of FFP2 masks for private use, which found its way onto the cork boards of many a bureaucratic office throughout the Federal Republic of Germany, and which I have studied in detail. Here I’ll revisit this cultural artefact, as a window onto one of the most deeply absurd periods I have ever experienced in my life.