Coronavirus the Facts Part 2, this is a continuation of last weeks blog Coronavirus the Facts.
Last week I showed you where to find the facts on coronavirus (Covid-19) and this week I will further the discussion.
In the news there have been reports of large upticks in cases of the virus. In such places as Florida and California for instance the rates have shot up at what might be seen as an alarming rate. I caution you to look at the number of hospitalizations and not at the number of newly tested individuals who test as positive for the virus. There is a very big difference. The news media keep talking about cases which are those who have been tested and yet the real bellwether is those who have to been hospitalized. Remember that testing is being done at unprecedented rates and thus no one should be surprised that there are more positive results due more aggressive testing.
Now I would like to dispel some false facts and present what the experts say. Please realize that even the experts are not on the same page when it comes to protect from the coronavirus. I am going to introduce you to some very disturbing facts about masks, please do not become alarmed. The facts are not set in concrete and have changed over time.
From CDRAP, Center for Disease Research and Policy, “Because different masks have different filtering capacities and the role of droplet size on disease transmission is unknown, it is difficult to predict the effectiveness of these masks, the authors said. “The extent of any protection will depend on how the masks are made and used,” they wrote. “It will also depend on how mask use affects users’ other precautionary behaviors, including their use of better masks, when those become widely available.”
Those behaviors may reduce or enhance homemade fabric masks’ overall effects on public health, they noted. “The current level of benefit, if any, is not possible to assess,” they said.
Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), who contributed to the paper along with Sundaresan Jayaraman, PhD, of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said in his weekly CIDRAP podcast yesterday that, because aerosols likely play an important role in coronavirus transmission, cloth masks will do little, if anything, to limit spread of the disease.” Furthermore, “Limited, indirect evidence from lab studies suggests that homemade fabric masks may capture large respiratory droplets, but there is no evidence they impede the transmission of aerosols implicated in the spread of COVID-19, according to a paper published yesterday by the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.”
So there is evidence that cloth masks do not offer any true protection against the coronavirus. This is because the virus is very very tiny and can pass through the openings in the weave of a mask.
Now that being said for those of you who want to wear a mask here are some pointers by the Mayo Clinc–
Here are a few pointers for putting on and taking off a cloth mask:
- Place your mask over your mouth and nose.
- Tie it behind your head or use ear loops and make sure it’s snug.
- Don’t touch your mask while wearing it.
- If you accidentally touch your mask, wash or sanitize your hands.
- Remove the mask by untying it or lifting off the ear loops without touching the front of the mask or your face.
- Wash your hands immediately after removing your mask.
- Regularly wash your mask with soap and water in the washing machine. It’s fine to launder it with other clothes.
Finally, here are a few face mask precautions:
- Don’t put masks on anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious or otherwise unable to remove the mask without help.
- Don’t put masks on children under 2 years of age.
- Don’t use face masks as a substitute for social distancing.
From the National Center for Biotechnology Information here is an article entitled Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks. In this article there is important information about cloth masks. I recommend that you take a look at it and don’t worry it is not very technical.
Whether you conclude that you think that cloth masks do prevent the spread of the coronavirus or not, I hope that the information I have shown you will inform you with the true facts without any time of hype that the media has been guilty of.
Stay safe and try not to let the politicians and news media make you too nervous. It won’t help.
That is my opinion- Jumpin Jersey Mike