COVID-19 Discussion Thread #4

Started 6 days ago | Discussions thread
wy2lam Veteran Member • Posts: 3,254
Re: About masks

Antioch wrote:

HRC2016 wrote:

I wonder if people who are wearing masks while out and about are doing it so that no one tries to speak with them.

There's a lot of information out there that explains wearing a regular surgical-type (non N95) mask does not protect you from coronavirus.

I read some website/blog where a photographer was talking about wearing an N95 when he was out and about. Not smart.

For some reason, the far east folks, were wearing masks even before this pandemic. They are used to it, and it seems, the far east the results seem better. It was announced that S. Korea, China, Taiwan, Singapore had it under control and all these countries, wear masks most of the time, as compared to us. Even now, I have seen only 2 wearing masks, in the past 2 months here.

The problem is the public is not trained in the proper fitting of masks, handling of masks, disposal of masks. The far east countries who wear the masks, probably have years of usage under their belt and it works for them, as their results show.

You can pick up the mask with contaminated hands.
You can contaminate the mask itself when you unpack it.
You have to dispose of the mask after 3 to 6 hours of use.
How do you dispose of the contaminated mask without contaminating yourself and thus others.
Your hands can be contaminated.
Your clothes/hair can be contaminated.
Publically available Masks cannot protect you against airborne pathogens.
Viruses are about 2 Nanometers.

Viruses are not airborne.

N95 masks may not work for common folks, as they have to be fitted properly.

Surgical masks stop everything except airborne pathogens, when used by Medical persons.

N95 Respirators with faceplate stop everything including airborne pathogens.
(There are two type Insulating and Filtering). This item is not available
to the Public, and used by Medical Personnel. Further they have to be
fitted, and have to be disposed after a few hours.

If you're only talking about surgical and N95 masks, certainly. It's what people from the far east countries do: they wash their hands both before and after putting on. no adjustments after. for disposable masks they use it for at most 1 day.

It's also true that the virus is not truly airbourne, HOWEVER, it can stay in aerosol, floating in the air for 2 hours. (one of the many sources:, meaning that indoor places are risky - it is practically airbourne, and droplets that spread the virus doesn't only spread when the carrier is coughing or sneezing - mere *talking* can transmit the virus.  Hence "asymptomatic transmission" everyone is talking about.

Sure only wear a mask when you're sick.  But if nobody is sure whether they're sick but can still infect, just wear one.  It doesn't need to be N95 or even surgical.  Just cloth would work for the purpose of preventing droplets from getting out.  "proper" fitting not required either.  Just like you don't need proper fitting when you cough into a tissue paper or into your sleeve.

Don't think about protecting the wearer - the idea is, if enough people wear a mask, even a cloth mask, it will greatly reduce community transmission because everyone is protecting people around them.

This is the effect, even though most mask wearers in far east countries think that the mask would protect them.  I wouldn't judge or comment on their motive as long as it protects the community as a collective result.

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