Masks

mask

I’ve been seeing tables showing the effectiveness, or ineffectiveness, of different types of masks on Facebook lately.  Some have been taking it the right way: A mask is not a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, you need to self-isolate, social distance, wash hands etc., etc even if you were a mask.

But then others ask, “Why bother?”

There are two reasons.

The first is simple: the mask helps to remind you to not touch your face and limits the places that your hand actually touches.  Just remember to consider your mask contaminated after you have been in public.

The second is much more complicated.

Every time you breath, you release a lot of water vapor in hundreds or thousands of tiny water droplets. These can hang in the air for hours and will settle on objects.  If you have the virus, those water droplets will have the virus.  This is the main way it spreads.  Sure, the mask won’t filter individual viruses, but it will stop a lot of water droplets.

Wearing a mask will help keep the virus inside of the mask and so away from other people.  Fool proof?  No.  Put on sunglasses with your mask and breath.  Yes, the glasses fog up.  Fog = water droplets….

Remember, you might have it at this time and not know it.

And if you don’t have it, the mask limits the amount of water droplets getting to your mouth and nose, thus into your respiratory system.  Is a mask foolproof?  No way.  Does it help?  Yes.

What this comes down to is that if everyone wore a mask and continued to wash hands, social distance, etc., it will put another layer in to slow the spread of the virus down.  It is not a magic bullet, but it is a big help.

Anyway, that is “why bother”!

I hope this helps.

Oh, and I hope nobody mistakes me for a gangster in my mask ;)

44 thoughts on “Masks

  1. Pingback: Political Digressions? | Trent's World (the Blog)

  2. Pingback: Masks Part 2 – They’re not Political! | Trent's World (the Blog)

    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Another on in spam… Thanks. We all have things to learn, but there seem to be a few people who can’t seem to understand what is happening. We’ll get through it, and hopefully everyone will continue to wash their hands….

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  3. Astrid

    Agree 100%. Here in the Netherlands, most stores no longer sell face masks to the public because they want to keep enough available for health care workers, who presumably will use them properly. That is, I expect hospital staff to know about proper hygiene, but to be hoenst my staff here in a care facility for the disabled aren’t that careful.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      The homemade cloth masks are good for extra protection, but not really for health care use – I don’t know if there are any bans on public sales of medical grade masks or not, but I do know we are trying to get them to places where they are needed.

      I’m sorry that the staff at your care facility aren’t as careful as they should be.

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  4. Alexis Chateau

    Agreed! I see a lot of people going about their regular lives with masks and gloves on like that makes it okay.

    I recommend balaclavas if you can find any and pollen masks. I have those for winter cold and spring allergies, so they come in handy!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I prefer Baklava to balaclava, but… oh, wait, I guess I shouldn’t answer this close to dinner time ;) There are people that don’t understand, but I see it the other way more often – if cloth masks only block 10% of the viruses, why should I wear the stupid thing? These people also don’t social distance well, so… I do have some ski masks, but I have read that cotton cloth is better than the polyester of the this type of mask. I’m sure anything that acts as a filter works as long as you are smart about it.

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      1. Alexis Chateau

        Haha, I don’t think I’ve ever had those but I know what you’re referring to. 😅 I’m not sure what material mine is made from. Mine is the one that comes up only to the mouth from the neck. I only leave home once per week for grocery runs and I get to the store within 10 minutes of opening time before it packs up. That’s been working great so far. My business is taking a hit but I’d rather stay home than go find something elsewhere where I have to be in contact with the public.

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  5. marina kanavaki

    Thank you for this, Trent… yes, eventhough many say they don’t work, they actually do, both ways. Of course taking care of how to take it off and then washing/ironing it before re-wearing it. Who’d have thought… 😱😷

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      They do work as long as you know they are not a get-out-of-jail-free card and do need to be washed between outside excursions. I don’t know if you see as much misinformation over there, but it is impossible to avoid here.

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      1. marina kanavaki

        Well… we are bombarded by information every minute… best imho is for one to use common sense! Over here they say to avoid surgical masks if not in public places, however I think this is because there are shortages of surgical masks and they are more needed by medical staff. Cotton masks are just fine if used as you say!

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  6. dawnkinster

    I have a friend who made masks and is shipping us some. I haven’t been anywhere since the grocery store last Thursday, and the park walk that day when I realized we should stay home. Saving a lot on gas. Yesterday was 70 and sunny and walking in my neighborhood was OK, but I was missing my parks. Today it is 30 and snowing, so sticking to home isn’t so hard.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I have a friend who started to make masks in early March – we traded some supplies for the masks… It is pouring rain today, so staying in. I haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week, so I tried to sneak out on a break from work. They were only letting in a set number of people at a time and had a long line outside (long – people six feet apart). I didn’t have time.

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      1. dawnkinster

        I’m hoping to make it into next week before I have to go…it’s supposed to be peaking here this week, don’t think next week will be any better…if it were just me I could probably live for a month out of the pantry. But two people makes it harder. We DID get an extra bag of dog food, so she, at least, is good for months.

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        1. trentpmcd Post author

          It is still pouring rain, but I’m going to head over there and stand in line outside after I finish work… I do have things in the pantry and could survive, but I am out of fresh fruit and veggies, which is what I try to live on… I think another three weeks of dog and cat food, but worse case, I think we can get some on line.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Thanks. I have a friend whose daughter works in a hospital. The daughter told her in early March that they would never have enough masks, so my friend has been busy making them since then. I traded some raw material for the mask. I hope you had a good day, and you too, stay well.

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  7. SHL2

    I think the biggest thing we can all do is isolate, self-quarantine, cook our own meals do not eat out, Do not go out frequently but if you do wear your mask and your gloves. Wash hands and wash them again. As a teenager, I was OCD about my hands. This went on even after we were married. Once we had kids I became a germaphobic about me and the kids. Since then I have gotten better but have always wiped down the basket handles in the store before touching them. Washed my hands when getting back in my truck. Now washing the grocery off is a new thing for me and throwing away the bags is another I normally recycled them as small trash can liners. There’s a lot of new stuff to think about that’s for sure. We can all get through this I think it’s just going to take some time. Jack has been the one to get out and about but even at that in 5 weeks we have limited going into the grocery store 1 x, Dollar General 2 xs and the local farmers market 1 x. Our groceries are done by curbside pick up.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I limit how much I go out and try to practice safe distancing, but I do have to make it out on occasion (a couple of times a week). One thing, I am super glad to live in a very small town so I can spend time outside! And the dogs are happy about that as well ;) Anyway, stay safe, and keep cleaning everything. Hope you have a good, if sequestered, week!

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      1. SHL2

        I think our dogs think when I am outdoors it is for them. We are potty training the pup and working in the backyard so we seem to be out there quite a bit. Daisy will always find a ball to bring me and Zoee will get it from her life is never dull.

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  8. Suzanne@PictureRetirement

    I don’t go into public, but hubby does, (he is the procurement officer) and now wears a mask. We are trying to order food on-line as much as possible, but living in a small town makes it difficult. There are not enough ‘personal shoppers’ at our market to handle demand. The look is good on you! Take care.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m in a small town too, which is great in some ways (walks outside are possible!), but services are limited – I go to the grocery store once a week and the post office twice a week – staying away from people is the best way. Thanks! You too, stay safe :)

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  9. Piglet in Portugal

    I was warned the virus can enter via the eyes, nose and mouth so all three must be protected. However, when wearing a mask it is important to remove it from behind and if you are going to reuse it must be washed and sterilised.

    “Fool proof? No. Put on sunglasses with your mask and breath. Yes, the glasses fog up. Fog = water droplets….”

    Yep they sure do. I had to go to the pharmacy the other day and I had the full kit on including rubber gloves.

    When I got home I removed ALL my clothes, shoes, mask etc, walked into the house naked and showered in hot soapy water for at least five minutes. The virus can live on a surface for hours up to a week.

    Why do I know all this because after watching the death toll surge in Italy, and our neighbours – Spain and France as my husband falls under highrisk category no precaution is too extreme. Don’t listen to the political spin – seek advice from WHO and other respected sources.

    I am fortunate that Portugal witnessed what was happening in Spain and the soaring death rate. They did not wait for the cases to surge – the border was closed and a state of emergency declared and we have been in lockdown since March 16th.

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      Yes, I have heard it can enter through the eyes as well, so full protected would mean googles as well… And you are right, they need to be cleaned and disinfected every time you wear them. A pain, but better be safe… I’m sure watching Italy and Spain has been bad, just like New York – I’m maybe a four hour drive from the city, so just next door, even if there is very little in my small town.

      I hate that certain leaders, who shall not be named, have spread misinformation since the beginning. I do try to follow the WHO and others. But then, I very much more into science than politics, so…

      Stay safe!

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  10. dprastka

    We are mandated to wear masks starting this week at work which they are providing. They’ve told us we are getting 4 masks, and 4 baggies. 1 mask in each baggie. You wear day 1, and put back in baggie then day 2, day 3 and day 4 rotating from each baggie. CDC says by day 3 (72hrs) the virus dies in baggie hence why we can rotate them. Plus it saves from disposing before end of life of mask, unless it’s torn or something then they will have to pass out more. We also wear out to store and to the stables. It’s what life is now and I found a way to pin elastic to my hair as it bothers my ears after hours of use!

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I’m not surprised that they would make you wear them at work. The baggie idea is good – I’ll have to clean mine to disinfect every time I wear it. I know, a pain, perhaps literally, but I’m sure worth it. Unfortunately the new normal for a while :(

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    1. trentpmcd Post author

      I talked to a friend who was wearing one made from a bandana – the way her husband made it seemed easier than mine. A friend has been making them since early March, and made ours in exchange for materials.

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