Yes, some face masks are more protective than others. But that doesn’t mean wearing neck gaiters — stretchy pieces of fabric that people, especially runners, pull up to cover their nose and mouth — is worse than wearing no masks at all, as some recent news articles have suggested. These news articles were based on a study published Aug. 7 in the journal Science Advances, in which researchers tested a novel method for evaluating the effectiveness of face masks. In other words, it was a study conducted to test a methodology. However, the researchers did explore some mask effectiveness in a "proof-of-principle" test, to evaluate whether they could use this particular method to measure mask effectiveness. To do that, they had a handful of participants try out multiple types of masks.