Medical experts suggested that wearing protective masks will provide people with protection against the virus. However, not all masks are created equal. The most recommended mask is the N95 mask. With the recommendation, people have been buying the N95 mask to the point of high demand.
The N95 mask is in high demand because of the protection it offers. The N95 mask is both white and blue in color. The blue-colored N95 mask is the surgical type of N95 mask. The white N95 mask is the common mask seen in pharmacies and home depots. The term N95 is coined by the National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) which is a category. The N in the N95 mask means the mask is not oil resistant. The 95 in the N95 mask is the filtration ability of the mask. The N95 mask is capable of filtering particles of 0.1 microns in size and bacteria of 3.0 microns in size up to 95%.
What makes the N95 mask so important?
The N95 mask is a proven tool of protection. With its ability to filter a high percentage of particles, wearing an N95 mask guarantees safety. The N95 mask is a part of the triad of safety that medical personnel follows along with the face shield and the bodysuit. It is important for people to know the protection they are getting with the mask they are wearing.
The N95 mask is typically sold in Medical Health supply chains, pharmacies, and online stores. A lot of backlashes have been received by manufacturers and suppliers of the N95 mask. This is due to the bloated pricing of the N95 mask. The N95 mask is sold in packs of 10s, the 20s, 30s, and even 50s. The N95 mask is not sold in retail. This bloated pricing can even exceed 3 times the retail price of the N95 mask.
Why is the N95 mask price bloated?
This isolated incident of price gouging can be linked to the looting and impulsive buying of the N95 mask. Knowing the fact that the N95 mask is truly beneficial to mankind, opportunists took advantage of the abundant supplies of the N95 mask in the market. Countries like the Philippines and Australia have experienced price gouging incidents. This is when both countries experienced natural phenomena like volcanic eruption and wildfires.
The United States experiences now the price gouging incident. Opportunists bought bulk orders of the N95 mask then sold the mask for a whopping $15 each. A hoarder from Santa Monica was even arrested for hoarding and price gouging the N95 mask.
However, consumers who only wanted to earn instant cash from price gouging the N95 mask are not the first people who did this trick. Some consumers blame companies and manufacturers of the N95 mask for the bloated pricing. Consumers even condemn these companies for prioritizing capitalism over affordable healthcare. This is not even an isolated incident. Some companies that manufacture the masks also are condemned for prioritizing capitalism over public benefit. Prior to the pandemic, the price of the N95 mask per piece is $1.27. Now with the pandemic, the masks are sold for $5 to $6 per piece.
The explanation for this sudden surge of pricing for the N95 mask is the materials. Some materials needed for the creation of the N95 mask are outsourced and are shipped from other countries. Meeting global demands, companies that manufacture the N95 mask risk of shipping these materials with an added fee and tariff. With this, the price of the N95 mask will surely increase.
Another explanation is shipping. Companies like 3M have already a tied supplier of materials needed for the creation of the N95 mask in the US. The company even announced that the pricing for the N95 mask remained at $1.27 per piece. The company also outsourced the American made N95 mask to other countries which needed the mask. Extra convenience is added to the original pricing of the N95 mask. Also, when the N95 mask is ordered online, there is an added charge implied to the price itself. This is for the partner courier of the company who will deliver the N95 mask.
Since there are states who have already eased their quarantine restrictions, people can now afford to go out and buy the N95 mask. Here are some stores that sell the N95 mask:
Medical Supply Chains
Medical supply chains are the number one source of medical equipment like the N95 mask. Aside from the suppliers themselves, these chains follow the standard pricing.
Aside from the vitamins and maintenance medicines, pharmacies also sell equipment like the N95 mask. Also, it is guaranteed that the mask is legitimate and not counterfeit. Plus, these establishments follow the standard pricing.
Since the N95 mask is knowledgeable by Construction, Engineering, Mining, the N95 mask is also sold here while following standard pricing.
If the allegations of the price gouging are to be found true, then it is time to recalibrate the pricing for the said mask. Not everyone enjoys the luxury that others have. Some of these people have to work hard just to earn a couple of bucks.
Also, people should leave the N95 mask to the healthcare workers. They need the mask the most since they have been dealing with this virus for months now. This added protection is key for them to live longer.