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Face mask or no face mask?

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  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    edited August 2020
    I don’t know, I have the mindset that something is better than nothing. I don’t see it as “security theater” I see it as people making an effort to do their part with the materials that they are given or that are made available. Are some people being silly about it by wearing open mesh “masks” to prove their own point about flawed regulations? Yes, but are they the majority? No. And because of the few making their mark in the news by being verbally or even physically aggressive against said mandates, people aren’t going to be as comfortable enforcing them for fear of retaliation. The world has gone mad.

    If you didn’t see spit splatter on the inside of your face shield when you sneezed, even if air flow did move it, to me that shows the mask as having some form of a success rate (it blocked spray, which is what contains the virus and spreads it ridiculous distances in those situations).

    “Perfection is the enemy of good.”
    Since something doesn’t work 100%, might as well not bother, reducing the effectiveness to 0%... that doesn’t make sense to me.

    The question isn't whether it's having some effect. The question is how effective it is. There's a lot of memes such as "mask it or casket!" or "if you think it's hard to breathe with a mask, try using a ventilator!" that basically say that if you don't wear a mask, you will die, and if you do wear a mask, you will not die. The question is, how true is this? In which subset of situations was the mask the difference between catching COVID-19 and not catching it? And in what subset of those situations did the person actually end up dying of COVID-19? Are people really catching COVID-19 and dying of it from just walking around the grocery store, for example? And could some of those cases have been prevented by wearing masks? And if so, what percentage of cases does this represent?

    I think a lot of people also use the mask as a security blanket, basically assuming it's 100% effective despite a lack of data to suggest that. For example, people who were normally pro-lockdown felt perfectly fine gathering in large crowds to protest for hours and hours, because "everyone is wearing a mask" (even though there's a lot of photos and videos of protestors not wearing masks, or not wearing them correctly, but I digress). A lot of municipalities made the decision for contact tracing to not ask people if they had been to a protest, so we couldn't collect sufficient data on whether wearing masks in a huge crowd is sufficient to prevent the spread of COVID-19. (Although, coincidentally, a lot of those areas with large protests had case surges in people under age 45 a few weeks later.)

    But then, ironically, the same people who justify doing what they want to do with "everyone was wearing masks," get mad when you ask "if masks are so effective, and given the devastating effects of lockdown that also kills many people, why don't we just open everything back up with mask laws?" Which indicates to me that they really aren't interested in what the science has to say -- and right now what it has to say is pretty inconclusive on the matter -- but are just pushing an agenda.

    Also, don't forget, people are also being physically aggressive against people who don't wear masks. Which is pretty ridiculous since that involves close contact with the person, but, this is the world we live in now.

    The other question is what the end game is here. Are we supposed to wear masks forever? Until COVID-19 is done with? (It's already been effectively done with in my state for months, and yet we're still wearing masks in any indoor public space, without any clear information on whether they're actually doing anything.) For other respiratory pandemics such as the seasonal flu? Or, should only people with symptoms wear them? (which is how masks were typically worn in Asian countries where they were commonplace, post-SARS) And what are the long-term health effects, if any, of wearing one? There are still no answers to any of these questions.
  • Dnarules
    Dnarules Posts: 2,080 Member
    Your original post said Australia , yet you were talking about Victorian restrictions obviously that was confusing to me.

    Victoria is part of Australia, is it not?
    Nevermind. If you're spoiling for an argument, you won't get one here.

    "Spoiling for an argument"? I was just stating my opinion. Other people are the ones who started arguing with me by accusing me of "spreading lies about their country." And then "disagreeing" with my posts that were just posting news articles supporting what I was saying...like what exactly are they "disagreeing" with, the existence of these facts?
    Not knowing the exact set up you have, did the face shield move from facial muscles during your sneeze instead of air flow?

    I doubt it because, also, the other day I sneezed while wearing a mask but no face shield, and I felt air come out of the mask. Also, the face shield attaches to the face around the forehead and it usually doesn't move easily from talking, facial expressions, etc.
    If so, might be time for a new mask. As a quilter, there are wide varieties of fabric and even “thick” doesn’t mean tight weave.

    And yet the mask restrictions just say "wear a face covering," regardless of whether it's actually effective. Most people aren't quilters and aren't able to find or make the perfect mask that actually works. Especially as, obviously, you can't try them on or take them out of the package before you buy them. If the multi-layered mask I use doesn't work, probably very few masks on the market do, making this little more than security theater.

    I don’t know, I have the mindset that something is better than nothing. I don’t see it as “security theater” I see it as people making an effort to do their part with the materials that they are given or that are made available. Are some people being silly about it by wearing open mesh “masks” to prove their own point about flawed regulations? Yes, but are they the majority? No. And because of the few making their mark in the news by being verbally or even physically aggressive against said mandates, people aren’t going to be as comfortable enforcing them for fear of retaliation. The world has gone mad.

    If you didn’t see spit splatter on the inside of your face shield when you sneezed, even if air flow did move it, to me that shows the mask as having some form of a success rate (it blocked spray, which is what contains the virus and spreads it ridiculous distances in those situations).

    “Perfection is the enemy of good.”
    Since something doesn’t work 100%, might as well not bother, reducing the effectiveness to 0%... that doesn’t make sense to me.

    Well said.
  • Roadie36
    Roadie36 Posts: 45 Member
    None for me.
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    edited August 2020
    I think if everyone just wore the stupid mask for 14 days, stayed to themselves and didn’t cheat, we would have been over this months ago!

    Everyone I know stayed home for months. About 20% of the population lost their jobs. I know some people who still haven't even left their property the entire time. My friends and I didn't see each other for five months until there were basically no cases/deaths in my state. And even after that, we met outdoors. I literally didn't have an in-person conversation with anyone other than my husband for months. Everyone I know, and everyone who I see out and about, wears masks in public when social distancing is not possible (which is the law in my state). I see people wearing face shields pretty frequently and my husband and I wear them sometimes. We still don't have indoor dining at all in my state and gatherings are limited. My state has only been having about 0-10 COVID-19 deaths per day for months, yet still hasn't fully reopened and is more locked down than almost any state.

    My state still has the highest COVID-19 death rate per million of any state in the US, and a higher death rate than almost any place in the world. The states that were vilified for having bars open and such, like Arizona, have much lower death rates -- and their case surges are declining now.

    These officials want to blame the public for a policy failure though, by implying that they didn't follow the rules, even though they did. How did "wear the stupid mask, stay to yourself, and don't cheat" work out for Australia and New Zealand?
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    ShredWeek1 wrote: »
    I may have missed it, but did anyone who is anti-mask explain how they would vanquish the virus?

    Same thing we did for H1N1 in 2009.

    It can't be "vanquished." The only way out is through. At this point that should be very clear considering that no country has been able to eradicate it. Not even isolated island nations. Not even China, which welded people into their apartments and brought everyone food instead of allowing them to go to the supermarket. Even if we had a vaccine -- and, historically, the fastest vaccine ever developed was the ebola vaccine which took four years -- no vaccine in history has ever been 100% effective. The testing phase for vaccines takes 12-18 months alone. (And now we have countries like Russia forcing untested vaccines on their population.)

    The lockdowns were never originally intended to get rid of the virus. They were intended to slow down the spread of cases in order to prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed. That's what "flatten the curve" meant. In March, public health officials made it clear that eradication was impossible and we were moving to a mitigation strategy. Somehow everyone forgets this.

    However, at some point, the goalposts were moved to de facto eradication even though the evidence clearly shows it is impossible, or "lock down until a vaccine" even though historical precedent shows it won't be coming for years. Lockdowns continued in areas that never saw any cases, until it was no longer financially possible to continue the lockdowns. Then, everything reopened, and cases predictably went up, and everyone was shocked for some reason, while any science literate person saw this coming 100 miles away. Meanwhile, anyone who had a non-COVID medical problem during the initial lockdown couldn't get medical care despite hospitals being empty, and many people died from that. Lockdowns also continued in places like NYC that have reached close to herd immunity and are having almost no cases and deaths.

    The best strategy would have been to let low-risk people go about their lives and build herd immunity to protect medium and high-risk people. This would have mitigated the devastating consequences of lockdowns -- which also kill many people, everyone forgets that -- as well as mitigating deaths. Sweden did that and they have much lower deaths per million than my state, for example, and are done with the virus. And their deaths per million are on par with other European countries such as the UK, France, Italy, Belgium, etc. They also haven't had the second-order deaths and other negative consequences of lockdown. My state did the opposite -- they deliberately spread COVID-19 into nursing homes for some baffling reason -- which is part of why our death rate is so high.
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    I don't know about NZ but in my opinion although Vic and NSW are doing it tough I think the rest of Australia isn't doing too bad.

    Yes, but, by the "logic" of "we would have been done with this if everyone followed the rules," New Zealand and Australia should have eradicated it by now, considering they have the harshest lockdown rules in the world outside of China. I seem to recall when New Zealand claimed to have zero cases, a lot of smug posturing from them about how they eradicated it because they "behaved," whereas people in other countries supposedly didn't. Well, that didn't work out for them very well, did it?

    (Of course, don't ask them what the long-term plan would be even if they did eradicate it....)
  • Dnarules
    Dnarules Posts: 2,080 Member
    Rhumax67 wrote: »
    I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John Barry now. I recommend it. Regardless of the book, I wear a mask. Where I live,NYC suburb, people wear them. There was a lot of hostility in the beginning - but that seems to have stopped. NY was hit really hard & I think people realized it was necessary & a small thing to do. My family goes nowhere - groceries once a week - that's it. We are retired. The last thing I want to do is end up in a hospital & make some poor nurse, who has to take care of me, sick. If wearing a mask helps prevent that I'm all for it!

    That's a great book. I've started reading it again.
  • laurenq1991
    laurenq1991 Posts: 384 Member
    edited August 2020
    Rhumax67 wrote: »
    I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John Barry now. I recommend it.

    I wrote a paper on the Spanish flu in high school and used that book as one of my main research sources.

    However, I don't get why the same people who say "you can't compare COVID-19 to the flu" also think it's ok to do so when it's the Spanish flu. Especially considering that the Spanish flu was much worse. The Spanish flu fatality rate is often cited as 2.5%, but researchers (including John Barry) think that's an underestimate. It seems like the average of the estimates is somewhere at 6-8% which would make it more similar to 2002-2003 SARS than COVID-19. And those deaths were heavily skewed towards young healthy people. https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-is-nothing-like-the-spanish-flu/

    The CDC currently estimates the fatality rate of COVID-19 at around 0.65%, and other researchers estimate it in the range of 0.2-1%, heavily skewed towards elderly and immunocompromised people. https://theconversation.com/how-deadly-is-the-coronavirus-the-true-fatality-rate-is-tricky-to-find-but-researchers-are-getting-closer-141426
  • lemurcat2
    lemurcat2 Posts: 7,894 Member
    Dnarules wrote: »
    Rhumax67 wrote: »
    I'm reading "The Great Influenza" by John Barry now. I recommend it. Regardless of the book, I wear a mask. Where I live,NYC suburb, people wear them. There was a lot of hostility in the beginning - but that seems to have stopped. NY was hit really hard & I think people realized it was necessary & a small thing to do. My family goes nowhere - groceries once a week - that's it. We are retired. The last thing I want to do is end up in a hospital & make some poor nurse, who has to take care of me, sick. If wearing a mask helps prevent that I'm all for it!

    That's a great book. I've started reading it again.

    Me too.
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