These masks that hang off your ears seem to give limited protection to others from your breathing, but not that much to the wearer. You need to wear a near surgical quality respirator to be confident of protection from others.
We bought some pretty comfortable ordinary looking cloth masks in advance of the next serious virus outbreak. These ought to give us some protection, being elasticated around the back of your head for fit, made in the UK to a standard to filter, and although sold as one use, can be washed and reused:
We've had four vaccinations, and covid twice. Problem is covid is so infectious, I mean, who doesn't rub their eyes? Or put hands to mouth? Or breathe. Who wants to use the gel everywhere, and wash hands for 20 seconds?
The only place we currently wear a mask is at our Doctors Surgery, or when being vaccinated; but older folk are still wearing them, even seen one pensioner walking down the street on a windy day with a homemade fabric one hanging off her ears (LOL)
|(self-titled) semi-posting lurker|
I think the research is crystal clear — masks protect the wearer from others. It’s also clear that masks work better when everyone wears one, but it is still beneficial for the wearer to wear a mask even when others are not.
But not just any mask. Not cloth, and not even those blue surgical masks. It needs to be a good quality, tight-fitting mask that could be probably any of the KN95s or N95 or other variants. So AD I’m not sure your cloth masks will do much for you.
Separate from that… and back to Amanda… I’m not sure what you mean in terms of zero covid. There is no enforcement of anything related to covid in the US anymore. People do what they want. The only place, AFAIK, pursuing zero covid is China.
I think the general trend in the US right now is to believe that 1) covid is inevitable, and 2) it’s like a bad cold, so why bother trying to avoid it. But Amanda, did you read the article I linked? That person makes the case that covid is bad enough, has enough potential for long term complications, that it’s worth avoiding. And that has been my assessment thus far, and that’s why I continue to mask, and don’t do public activities (like dining) that would require me to remove my mask.
I hate teaching in a mask, but it’s far preferable to getting long covid or any other complications.
You mentioned “social, economic and emotional losses” — I’m definitely experiencing social and emotional losses because we are still following risk-reducing protocols. But this is a review year for me at work, and I have had a bunch of projects going on that sort of have “make or break” outcomes, so I decided that the risk of getting sick and not being able to complete any of those work-related activities was too great. So ultimately, I’ve decided that the potential economic losses (from getting sick) for me personally right now, outweigh the social and emotional losses.
If nothing changes covid-wise, let’s see if I’m still coming up with the same decisions a year from now…
|Has Achieved Nirvana|
I think that's something going on with the WTF software. I often didn't log out, and after about an hour it seemed the software would log me out automatically. At least it seemed so because my name would disappear from the list of active users.
Now, even if I log off, my name appears in the active users list for extended periods of time.
Simultaneous with that, I became one of the people for whom the PM alert feature is messed up. Messages that are years old are showing up as unread, and new messages I haven't read are not being flagged.
Anyway, carry on.....
|Has Achieved Nirvana|
Regarding the mask that AD posted...if you read the description closely, it says the mask meets certain UK standards that I think are closer to a KN95 or N95.
I don't think it's actually like what folks in the US are talking about when they talk about a cloth mask. The description talks about spun fibers and multiple layers of protection.
Most of the higher standard masks can be reused (not a literal "single use") by non-medical folks like us. I tend to toss mine when I've used it for a while, or if I've worn it in a high exposure area like a medical office or hospital. However, I believe that when they get wet, they are not as effective, and getting splashed during medical procedures is one reason they are supposed to be single use for medical personnel using them for procedures; it's as much the diminished protection for the wearer as it is the germs clinging to the outside. My guess is that washing it is probably not a good idea.
Here's an article about the development of an international standard by ASTM International:
|(self-titled) semi-posting lurker|
Totally missed that, thanks WTG, and apologies, AD!
Anyway, I'm wearing KN95s. I do usually reuse them, since I usually have them on for only a few hours in a row. I take the mask I wore that day and set it aside so I don't wear the same masks two days in a row. Then I toss them after they start to look worn in. Also I have not yet had a mask get wet.
SK, I'm sorry to be unable to reply to your careful reading of my longish post. I was unable even to edit it and complete thoughts in several places.
I wanted to quote your posts and reply to various points but ran into the weird problem where things turn blue and delete points.
For example when I said "Zero Covid" I was referencing the Chinese approach to have been used as an example of excessive vigilance (partly discussed later).
But couldn't write it without deletions, undesired capitalizations etc. (Knock wood so far so good, here...)
Yes I DID read your article, and carefully, and I noted all the awful outcomes CoVID can lead to.
I didn't mean they weren't true and worthy of attention, but rather in the larger scheme of things it wasn't looking like we were going to be able to dodge them all, although the Long Covid (which can apparently appear at any time). (Long COVID WHICH IS
oh no the capitalization plague is starting again...)
And considering the Black Plague (which killed abt half of Europe) and the broader narrative of human history, I was beginning to doubt the overall draconian approach to avoiding Covid considering the perhaps equally terrible losses it causes. (What's happened to the children and youth is a plague in itself, and one that doesn't seem remediable for at least a generation, optimistically - if at all.)
Better not try to return to every specific point you raised as I AM BOUND (NONONO)}
to run to my malfunctioning problems.
I certainly do grasp all you are up against persevering at teaching (a language above all!) in masks.
Which reminds me, I STILL remain confused about contradictory recommendations re masks - including whether they protect the wearer more (from the infected) or the unmasked exposed to infected mask-wearers.
(Not that everyone's wearing masks wouldn't be safest in avoiding mass transmission, but then there are drawbacks in that approach. As I discussed.)
Anyhow, going back to the beginning of the COVID pandemic as best I recall, it seems the safety recommendation of mask wearing (apart from overall avoiding hospitals' overfilling, the curve model), was that those wearing masks were protecting others from them.
Apart from the super-filtration masks which medical personnel relied on (perhaps do still), for their own safety. And also perhaps teachers and others who were ultra exposed.
Of course, the "ultra exposed" include equally the underpaid of society, those forced to stay out and about keeping the gears of society turning (e.g., delivery people, grocery check-out people and - this is beyond worry for me - EMTs like my son. ) And most of them, didn't/don't have access to the N95 quality masks at any time, even if they had thought it were an issue of self -protection.
Hate my computer! Have a triple long appt with the GEEK Squad at Best Buy tomorrow. Let's see what they can do. The problem with my issues are they are erratic! (And for this, my tech membership is costing me $200+/yr! Rather, my son - not the EMT - is paying for it, because he just doesn't have time to help me on "Team viewer".)
And that doesn't even figure that most of the appt was supposed to be devoted to a tutorial on how to use my new Apple Watch!
|Has Achieved Nirvana|
I wear my KN95 masks. There's COVID, of whichever variant, cold, flus, and pollution particulates, in large measure. I think more people should wear them but I only have power over myself.
The Filtration Performance
Respirator Standard & Filter Capacity (removes x% of of all particles that are 0.3 microns in diameter or larger)
FFP1 At least 80%
FFP2 At least 94%
N95 At least 95%
N99 & FFP3 At least 99%
N100 At least 99.97%
FFP2/N95 are probably all that is needed. The masks I linked are FFP3, but when bought in bulk are about the same price as many unrated masks sold in shops.
Masks that hang from ears, are made in China with suspect quality control, or are homemade from scrap fabric, probably are not fit for purpose.
Speaking of ZERO Covid in China, this article about continued lockdowns there (confess I hadn't been aware) gave me pause for thought.
Nor had I been aware that Covid is still raging there.
Riots protesting lockdowns in China after appt fire
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