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Masks

by David G. Hill, M.D. | June 18, 2020
Topics:
  • Health & Wellness
  • COVID-19
There is a tremendous amount of disinformation circulating regarding the use of masks to decrease transmission of COVID-19. As with many aspects of the pandemic, mask use has become politicized which is unfortunate when it comes to public health. All science, including public health science, is messy. Recommendations change as evidence becomes available. A new virus with limited data, such as the coronavirus causing COVID-19, adds to the uncertainty.
Initially there was a significant shortage of masks for frontline workers, which was why authorities were reluctant to recommend mask wearing to the general public. It is understandable that people may look back at this old advice and not know what to believe. I think we should trust the public health scientists and realize their recommendations may change as better data becomes available. It took years to fully understand transmission of HIV. People who disregarded emerging recommendations for safe practices in the early days of HIV did not fare as well as those who took precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones.
What We Do Know
The coronavirus is primarily transmitted person to person via respiratory spray. Staying away from people (social distancing) and decreasing the germs being transmitted between people are both ways to decrease the spread of the virus. While high quality research regarding mask use is limited, all of the data supports mask wearing as a key public health measure to decrease viral spread.
Are Masks 100% Effective?
The gold standard N-95 mask is 95% effective at keeping the wearer free of inhaling viral particles. These masks are still best reserved for front-line workers in high risk settings where aerosols of viral particles occur. Surgical masks are less effective and cloth face coverings even less so in protecting the wearer. However even a 50% reduction in viral transmission is statistically important.
For the general public, the reason for wearing a facial covering is to help protect others from you when you cough, sneeze or even talk and spray viral droplets into the air. Many people who become infected can unknowingly spread the COVID-19 virus because they have few or no symptoms. So wearing a mask is showing respect for others and is your way of helping lessen the spread of the disease. It is important that the mask not be so thick as to make breathing through them completely uncomfortable. Filter inserts are probably not necessary and may make the masks more uncomfortable.
"Mask wearing allows us to open the economy up faster. Not wearing a mask around others only worsens the pandemic, leads to more disease, and worsens the economic effects."

Do Masks Cause Low Oxygen Levels?
Absolutely not. We wear masks all day long in the hospital. The masks are designed to be breathed through and there is no evidence that low oxygen levels occur. There is some evidence, however, that prolonged use of N-95 masks in patients with preexisting lung disease could cause some build-up of carbon dioxide levels in the body. People with preexisting lung problems should discuss mask wearing concerns with their health care providers. There is absolutely no scientific evidence that mask wearing or physical distancing weakens the immune system.
So What Should You Do?
Decreasing the severity of the pandemic is about statistics. If you desire 100% avoidance of infection, the only way to achieve it is to isolate yourself completely. That is not practical or mentally helpful for the vast majority of people. The next steps are to do things which limit the likelihood of spread from person to person. These include distancing and mask wearing.
The further away you are from an infected patient, the less likely you are to get the virus. Six feet is better than two feet and 12 feet is probably better than six. At some point the distance away becomes statistically meaningless. Unfortunately, there is no absolute correct number. Airflow (indoor, outdoor, ventilation, wind, etc), temperature, humidity, the viral load being produced by the infected person and the susceptibility of the uninfected person all play a role in how far apart you need to be.
Masks are not 100% effective, but mask wearing does decrease the risk of viral spread. Public health professionals believe that mask wearing and social distancing are the keys to controlling the first wave and diminishing or avoiding subsequent waves of the virus. Mask wearing allows us to open the economy up faster. Not wearing a mask around others only worsens the pandemic, leads to more disease, and worsens the economic effects.
Blog last updated: June 18, 2020
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Jamie

Senior Member
3,752
118
Licking Co.
yes, they might be somewhat effective at keeping you from inhaling a water molecule contaminated with a virus.

the most common type of N95 masks which have a valve (a one way valve for easing exhalation and to help reduce moisture build up inside the mask) DO NOT filter the air you are exhaling. they only filter the air you are breathing in. these types of masks are designed to protect the wearer in a contaminated environment. I wear them all the time when I'm sanding drywall or anything in a closed up space. when they are new they are also supposedly electrostatically charged, which further helps filter particles smaller than .3 microns. I have no idea how long the charge works, but that feature is very important to allowing the mask to filter out particles smaller than .3 microns. a virus is around .1 micron. a particle of drywall dust is about 10 microns.

you are really only protecting YOURSELF when wearing an N95 mask with a valve.
 
yes, they might be somewhat effective at keeping you from inhaling a water molecule contaminated with a virus.

the most common type of N95 masks which have a valve (a one way valve for easing exhalation and to help reduce moisture build up inside the mask) DO NOT filter the air you are exhaling. they only filter the air you are breathing in. these types of masks are designed to protect the wearer in a contaminated environment. I wear them all the time when I'm sanding drywall or anything in a closed up space. when they are new they are also supposedly electrostatically charged, which further helps filter particles smaller than .3 microns. I have no idea how long the charge works, but that feature is very important to allowing the mask to filter out particles smaller than .3 microns. a virus is around .1 micron. a particle of drywall dust is about 10 microns.

you are really only protecting YOURSELF when wearing an N95 mask with a valve.

Yep i got some with and without a valve
 

Jamie

Senior Member
3,752
118
Licking Co.
I have not seen any dust masks, half or full face respirators in paint stores since middle of March. I inquired a week or so ago and was told they still cannot get them. I have never seen a valveless N95 mask for sale anywhere. where did you get them, Geezer?
 

Spencie

Well-Known Member
4,154
110
Constitution Ohio
In the event of a sneeze/cough situation, a face covering of some kind has got to be better than simply throwing your face into an elbow. Any covering, even a bandanna would reduce the amount of particulates blasted into the room.
I have worn masks at work my entire adult life.... have you ever sneezed into one. It’s a disgusting mess.
 
I have not seen any dust masks, half or full face respirators in paint stores since middle of March. I inquired a week or so ago and was told they still cannot get them. I have never seen a valveless N95 mask for sale anywhere. where did you get them, Geezer?
My son got them i will check with him - i think these are sugrical n95 masks not industrial n95
 
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Jackalope

Dignitary Member
Staff member
33,874
212
I call foul on the bold section because its arbitrary. Sweden didn't shut down their economy, wear masks or place hardly any restrictions on anything yet they've moved past the spike they experienced.

Mask wearing allows us to open the economy up faster.

Says who? Why did we shut it down unilaterally across the US the first time? Areas that had low numbers and no spike we're shutdown for a month. Only to open and have it spike. We didn't prevent anything, we only delayed it. Shutting down an economy is not a solution. It's a delay tactic that should be spent massively increasing medical capacity.

Not wearing a mask around others only worsens the pandemic.leads to more disease, and worsens the economic effects.

Define worsens? Does that mean more people sick in a shorter period, or the same number of people sick over a longer period. None of us are immune. Logic dictates that eventually 70-90% of us will get it. Let's not forget that 60+% of people never show symptoms, another 30-35% just have the flu. The number of people needing medical intervention is very small in comparison to the number of people who don't. So is this really a pandemic problem, or a problem of our private medical facilities to deal with even a small number of sick people. I haven't seen field hospitals and hotels comendeered to service the sick yet. The probelm isnt the pandemic. The problem is healthcare capacity of for profit institutuons.

Leads to more disease? If I have a bucket with 1 gallon of water and I dump it out quickly, or a bucket with 1 gallon of water that i slowly let trickle out for an hour. At the end of that hour I still lost a gallon of water. Where did the more come from? If 300 million get sick over the next year, or 300 million sick over the next 5 years, the end result is 300 million got sick. The person who has medical conditions today will be no safer from dying from covid now than they will be next summer. Masks are only a small small part of it. They're a delay tactic where the end result will be the same. The focus should be on increasing medical capacity, finding treatment options, either building or refitting medical facilities to handle a surge. The quickest way to end this is to get as many people through it as quickly and safely as possiable. The quickest way to reopen and keep the economy going is to get this shit over with not delay and hide from it. Massively increase the capacity of medical care facilities to prepare for a huge spike and lets move forward.

The quicker we can do this and get people through it the better we can protect our vulnerable population. We can't expect them to hide from this forever while we drag it out. The longer this is around the more chance they have of getting it. Protect the vulnerable, massively increase care capacity, and everyone else go about your life and expect to get sick at some point.
 
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brock ratcliff

Dignitary Member
Supporting Member
22,944
188
I’ll agree, partly, Joe. In the short time frame between my brother’s stay at OSU and my parents visit, the doctors have learned a great deal about treatment of the virus. As an example, when my brother was sick, the standard line of thinking was that steroids made the disease worse, so they were not used. By the time of my parents hospitalization, they knew that once the virus was under control, steroids were beneficial to bringing the lungs to a functioning level. Mom’s lungs were severely effected. Thankfully, what was learned in the timeframe between hers and Steve hospitalization may have saved her life.

Another anecdotal example; let’s say on any given Friday night your local pizza joint will do 5k in business. The end result may be the same every Friday night, but not all Friday nights are the same. For whatever reason, some Friday nights the vast majority of that 5k will be collected over a 2 hour period. Other Friday nights that same 5k will be collected at a steady pace spanning six hours. Which of those Friday nights do you think your local pizza joint will make mistakes? When viewing through that lens, drawing the thing out over time doesn’t look so pointless does it?
 

Floki

Junior Member
878
42
Wow,just wow!!! Y’all haven’t learned through our Government,Governor’s,MSM...... If your seriously concerned about catching this virus.You don’t need the mask. No my friends not ahh, you don’t need to wash your hands, You surely don’t need to listen to scientists... All for under 30 dollars now you yes YOU can be exempt!!! No this isn’t no joke.

How ya might ask. Well first off ya need to run to the store buy ya one dem der BLM no no now hold on. Not Bacon,Lettuce,Mayo....No no your at the wrong store.Im talking one of them Black lives matter Shirts.

If ya don’t got the cheddar for one of those just scratch that. What your going to need to do is think of some really stupid shit to say! If you come up with nothing well, Just turn on CNN,MSNBC,CBS,NBC, they will show you how to be a glorified super hero..

But wait there’s more. Once your done watching here’s the secret to be exempt from Corona virus, Federal laws,State laws, you can do any damn thing ya want.No repercussions.

Yep ya can walk outside,with out the need to social distance,wear a mask . burn shit to the ground. Beat people ya don’t know take over city blocks. No worries People in Hollywood will pay your tab if ya end up in the poke. So next time a cop walks up to ya and asks you why your not wearing a mask. Tell them your exempt through our Government. Then punch him right in his face and tell him your doing it for him....

SARC!!!!!!!! 👆🏻
Honestly I’m not wearing no mask have no plans to do so. I don’t care who does or doesn’t. I’ve saw enough through real actions of others and our Government at this point to say.. It’s politics... people will die it saddens me. Yet what 3,100 deaths since March till now. Out of 11.69 million people.. mind you they don’t say how many of the 3100 deaths people had pre existing problems cancer,stroke,etc etc... Add in they get 14 k to diagnose Simone with covid. 39 k if they die from it.. yea......

I’d like to see people tested twice at hospitals once by hospital once by an independent test. Then see the difference in positive cases at the days end. I’m sure it would be dramatic across the board!!
 
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