WARNING; The next post contains a very large number of words loosely connected with poor use of punctuation.
Ok, I am surely not any kind of authority on virus transmission. But with 50 years of Bodyshop experience. Over 20 + years as a Professional Car painter. And spending years teaching car painting and how to survive in a Bodyshop environment. I feel I can share a few thoughts on filter masks and such.
Realize there is a balance of factors to arrive at a functional mask for the task of surviving.
I will state extremes to give a clearer understanding.
Let’s start with less dense materials. Lack of density will allow much less resistance in breathing. But the trade off is that more particulate matter will also potentially come right through.
Now, let’s visit the dense side. If you choose a denser material to limit the size/and or/ amount of matter that can pass through. Then you confront another problem.
This leads us to the importance of a good fitting mask for your face size and design. If you just grab what looks like a ‘mask’. It may simply not fit your face well. If it fits nicely around your nose and under your eyes, that is good. But if it has air gaps around your cheeks and or under your chin; then the resistance created by the higher density of the mask is going to cause the air to be drawn in by your cheeks and chin.
The ‘I can see light through this’ masks, are easy to draw air through and just about anything else in front of your nose.
And the dense masks just cause the possible contamination to come in through the loose fitting gaps.
Ok, now what?
Wrapping a handkerchief around your head. Or wearing a scarf like an old West Bank robber, is ‘just better than nothing’. Either is better than nothing. Just not by much.
I mean, if bandanas were any good at all. Why would first responders and hospital workers, etc. bother using anything else?
I am not saying to use nothing/why bother…
Just wear something you can’t outright see through. Use common sense and get something that ‘seems to fit your face’ better than a Halloween mask.
And accept the reality that it will not strain out All virus particulates. But if you are out shopping and such(in reasonably close proximity) around other shoppers. Most masks will at least cut down the chances of something bad just going straight up your nose.
And… you have to either wash them or dispose of them after every use.
Also practice ‘controlling’ your breathing. For example; you are at a big market walking down aisle 17. And several people are walking towards you. Time your breathing so that you STOP breathing right before they pass you. A simple way to avoid inhaling their exhaling🤔. Breathe… and then hold your breath as you pass.
If you are waiting in line at checkout. Slow down your breathing pattern. I mean, your most likely standing still. So your oxygen demand should be somewhat lower. Some people, when nervous in this sort of situation. Have a tendency to breath even faster than normal.
(Think of it this way. You are hiding around the corner of a building. And somebody is shooting at you. You keep sticking your head out around the corner to see exactly where the killer is. Every time you stick your neck out, you might get hit). <> So, you just stick your neck out less, to limit your exposure.
I won’t turn this into a book… but I will give a few last thoughts for the moment>
Just try to find something that has medium density and fits your face reasonably well.
And you can fairly consider meeting that criteria as a barrier is better than no mask at all.
Face coverings ‘reduce’ the chance of direct inhalation to ‘bad stuff’. Nothing more.
PS… read the material information link that Coding posted up. And while you are at it; read at least a few other articles on the usefulness of masks and the material and fit, etc. of them.
Knowledge is power.
PS… interesting link about something you most likely have at home already for basic level safety>
This type of virus uses the fluids of the mucous membranes as an active vector, if it had the main vector of the air (es. ebola virus and when it had the ability to remain infectious for a long time in air suspension) even in combination with its long period of inoculation and asymptomaticity (this unlike Ebola which created serious and immediate symptoms in his host who certainly could not move freely thinking he was still healthy), there would not have been the slightest need to make tampons, as few weeks the entire human population would have been totally infected.
The masks are intended to function as a physical barrier, preventing their body fluids (mainly saliva) from coming into contact with the mucous membranes of others (es. eyes, mouth, nose) and vice versa.
The filtering capacity in this situation is therefore very relative.
P.s. In Italy, just in these hours, we are seeing a difference of opinion in this sense between the Governor of the most affected region, Lombardy, which issued a decree that obliges its fellow citizens to use "tools to cover the face "in case they should leave their home only for the cases of necessity provided for by the law and the head of the national Civil Protection (Headquarters of operation and coordination in this emergency, clearly supported also by a Scientific Council) who does not agree and supports the non necessity because it is sufficient to respect the interpersonal distances imposed.
So even the most prudent position of the Governor of Lombardy, however, provides for the use of “tools”, not only or not necessarily certified health masks (which should be left available for Healthcare Professionals and Doctors), but of scarves, bandanas, warmers neck and the like (also clearly these objects have a minor and non-specific functionality compared to the masks), of everything that can function as a “physical barrier” to the dispersion of body fluids.
Should we be wearing masks?
The N95 mask itself is extremely wonderful. The pores in the mask are three microns wide. The virus is one micron wide. [Editor’s note: The mask pores are 0.3 microns wide; the virus is 0.12 microns.] So you get people who say, well, it’s not going to work. But you try having three big, huge football players who are rushing for lunch through a door at lunchtime—they’re not going to get through. In the latest data I saw, the mask provided 5x protection. That’s really good. But we have to keep the hospitals going and we have to keep the health professionals able to come to work and be safe. So masks should go where they’re needed the most: in taking care of patients.
5x protection… I’d say that’s pretty darn helpful.
We should pay attention to the experts on what prevents the spread of this virus.
We could have done better but let’s focus on what we can still do now. Cases continue to rise. People can carry the virus without symptoms. For example, it makes sense to wear a mask when going to the grocery, as it might be the most common area for exposure for many at this time when many of us are staying home. Though I am in a rural area now, I’ll likely wear a mask on the next grocery trip. Let’s stay vigilant and get on the other side of this.
I saw a woman at the grocery store last week who was wearing a mask but it was not covering her nose.
Lot of home made mask options
That sink looks like a germ pool in itself. Wouldn’t wash anything in it.
So if you’re going for a walk in the park (permitted here) would you wear a mask for that?
I walked around downtown today in early evening. I didn’t get within 20 feet of anyone. I had a bandana in my pocket but never covered my face. When I do the same thing tomorrow do I REALLY need to cover my face?
Last I read, such coverings don’t do much to safeguard against this virus. Sounds like proper masks are needed.
Stores don’t have the masks so I keep reading we should what we can because it’s better than nothing. I saw 6 people in an entire hour and none got anywhere even near me.
I think it also protects others from me. Asymptotic people can spread the germs without even knowing it, and I believe the masks help with that too. Not perfect, but better than nothing at all. I’ll be wearing one starting tomorrow.
I walked near home earlier today - down a dead end road to sit by the river for awhile. There’s one occupied house. I never see anyone on that road. Today I passed a young guy hiking through. We were 20 feet apart as we passed. Neither of us were masking masks. I do not order take-out but if I did I’d be more scared to eat that food than being 20 feet away from someone with no face covering. Food prep areas are usually small and with a cluster of people - masks or not…THAT seems unsafe.
Yea that’s what I was reading too. While it doesn’t exactly protect us, it does the reverse and protects others as it ensures that coughs/sneezes are being covered/drastically slowing down that spread.
Thankfully from here on (for the next few weeks), I don’t have anywhere to go.
Yeah if you go on a walk where you almost never see anyone and are always more than 20 feet apart a mask is not needed, probably.
Part of the value of the mask is social signaling “hey we are looking out for each other” and if there is no one to see that… then it’s not necessary.
(Mask could still help remind you not to touch your face tho)
My girl and I are kind of going to extremes while chilling at home.
I devised a plan and my girl went right along with it.
I put on a good wild life movie. Got 5 cats to sit down in the center of the couch.
And then my girl and I sat down on each end of the couch.
I figured that was the easiest way to keep ‘20 feet’ between us.