Face masks: Why? Why not?

Cyril Haearn
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Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 24 Apr 2020, 4:10pm

There is talk about encouragement or compulsion to wear face masks, should have happened a while ago maybe
I wouldnae mind wearing one if the authorities provided it

Many people use home-made masks, made of what one had in the sewing box, not sure if they would have the right properties

I did read that a warm wet mask could be an attractive place for virii to breed

Deaf people might be discommoded, seems a bit queer someone speaking without their mouth being visible

Whatabout a beard, plus or minus for virii?

Minus One for disposable masks, chucking several away each day
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Paulatic
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Paulatic » 24 Apr 2020, 5:20pm

It’s a smokescreen I would liken it in the same class as helmets and high viz.
Take responsibility for your own safety and don’t rely on someone wearing a mask to keep you safe.
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Cunobelin
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Apr 2020, 5:33pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:There is talk about encouragement or compulsion to wear face masks, should have happened a while ago maybe
I wouldnae mind wearing one if the authorities provided it

Many people use home-made masks, made of what one had in the sewing box, not sure if they would have the right properties

I did read that a warm wet mask could be an attractive place for virii to breed

Deaf people might be discommoded, seems a bit queer someone speaking without their mouth being visible

Whatabout a beard, plus or minus for virii?

Minus One for disposable masks, chucking several away each day



Beards have been researched...

We compared facial bacterial colonization rates among 408 male healthcare workers with and without facial hair. Workers with facial hair were less likely to be colonized with Staph- ylococcus aureus (41.2% vs 52.6%, P 1⁄4 0.02) and meticillin-resistant coagulase-negative staphylococci (2.0% vs 7.0%, P 1⁄4 0.01). Colonization rates with Gram-negative organisms were low for all healthcare workers, and Gram-negative colonization rates did not differ by facial hair type. Overall, colonization is similar in male healthcare workers with and without facial hair; however, certain bacterial species were more prevalent in workers without facial hair.

Other studies have shown similar results

Beards do make a difference with masks though


If you are wearing FFP3 masks, you cannot get a seal with a beard.... In fact, there s a guide to facial hair that is suitable!!

Image


I have just lost mine after 40 odd years for this reason

Edited... What was fun was cutting the full beard through the various options, coming down to the wife and being told "NO" in no uncertain terms. I quite liked the "Zappa"

You are also right about the lack of personal interaction. Many Trusts now have a "civilian" picture (laminated and cleanable) and name to help patients think about the staff as humans

Tardyrover
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Tardyrover » 24 Apr 2020, 8:23pm

The reason why the government have not said to use them is because there isn’t any, it’s that simple!

millimole
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby millimole » 24 Apr 2020, 9:19pm

Paulatic wrote:It’s a smokescreen I would liken it in the same class as helmets and high viz.
Take responsibility for your own safety and don’t rely on someone wearing a mask to keep you safe.
Well put.
I'm very uncomfortable with face coverings for the public. (As opposed to professional fitted masks).

There is a perception that they protect the wearer which they don't. Until the message gets out loud and clear that the purpose of face covering is to protect other people there is a risk to everyone's health.

I've also got a feeling that I find hard to put into words that they are somehow alien and (eek!) un-British. For generations we've associated masks with villains and the baddies, but now......?
Leicester; Riding my Hetchins since 1971; Audaxing on my Dawes; Riding to work on a Decathlon Hoprider

T-800
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby T-800 » 24 Apr 2020, 9:37pm

We have to be “face fit” at work for masks.
Bearded types aren’t allowed to wear the disposable type for certain jobs.
I have a goatee and am also restricted to certain masks for welding etc.
Masks only protect if fitted correctly.I’ve seen literally dozens of people walking about with badly fitted masks :roll:

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Cunobelin
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Apr 2020, 9:44pm

Latest for the beach... The Trikini

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Cunobelin
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Cunobelin » 24 Apr 2020, 9:59pm

Interesting one from Czechia



Personally in 3 minds:

1. They can decrease aerosol so arguably effective
2. If they create an over-confidence, people who would otherwise isolate may now mix with others.
3. The supply is insufficient for the front line, and wholesale public use will exacerbate this

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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Vorpal » 24 Apr 2020, 10:35pm

What masks can do is prevent untrained folks from spraying droplets everywhere they go. From that perspective, almost any face cover will do, and fiting is not necessary.

Most of the studies I've looked only consider if the wearer reduces their likelihood of infection, and those have found small benefits for health professionals and little or no benefit for untrained users.

There have been some studies that looked at the actual transmission of viruses and bacteria across a variety of masks, and those have generally found masks to be helpful. Even quite basic cloth masks were better than nothing. The theory is that untrained users adjust and handle their masks with insufficient care, and transmit infection by means of handling and inadequate hygiene, or remove masks at crucial times (i.e. when talking with someone).

In any case, it seems unlikely that an untrained user is unlikely to reduce the probability that they will become infected. However, they may reduce the probability that they will infect others.

While I agree that masks like N95 and surgical masks should be preserved for health care professionals, it's okay to ask people to wear other face coverings, and it may help. I don;t think that it should mandatory without more evidence that it helps.
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LinusR
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby LinusR » 24 Apr 2020, 10:39pm

millimole wrote:Until the message gets out loud and clear that the purpose of face covering is to protect other people there is a risk to everyone's health.


This is the only reason for wearing a cloth face mask - medical masks should not be worn by the general public as they should be reserved for front line health workers and carers.

There is an interesting report in the British Medical Journal about masks and an editorial advocating them to protect other people, particularly shop workers, bus drivers, etc.

“We believe that, worn both in the home (particularly by the person showing symptoms) and also outside the home in situations where meeting others is likely (for example, shopping, public transport), they could have a substantial impact on transmission with a relatively small impact on social and economic life.” https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1435

There is no suggestion that they are any use if you are keeping your distance from people while walking or cycling. I've seen drivers - on their own in a car - driving with a mask on. Pointless.

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LinusR
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby LinusR » 24 Apr 2020, 10:45pm

Vorpal wrote:What masks can do is prevent untrained folks from spraying droplets everywhere they go. From that perspective, almost any face cover will do, and fiting is not necessary.

Most of the studies I've looked only consider if the wearer reduces their likelihood of infection, and those have found small benefits for health professionals and little or no benefit for untrained users.

There have been some studies that looked at the actual transmission of viruses and bacteria across a variety of masks, and those have generally found masks to be helpful. Even quite basic cloth masks were better than nothing. The theory is that untrained users adjust and handle their masks with insufficient care, and transmit infection by means of handling and inadequate hygiene, or remove masks at crucial times (i.e. when talking with someone).

In any case, it seems unlikely that an untrained user is unlikely to reduce the probability that they will become infected. However, they may reduce the probability that they will infect others.

While I agree that masks like N95 and surgical masks should be preserved for health care professionals, it's okay to ask people to wear other face coverings, and it may help. I don;t think that it should mandatory without more evidence that it helps.


Agree with all the above. I voluntarily wear a cotton scarf over my mouth and nose when I go shopping. That's the only time I do so. I would support mandatory use indoors in shops and on public transport. However, there is a danger as stated above of the wearer touching their face while wearing a mask, such as to adjust it, and perhaps infecting themselves.

softlips
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby softlips » 25 Apr 2020, 10:55am

There is more evidence that masks increase the transmission of infections than reduce it. For this reason many operating theatre departments no longer wear them, or more commonly only the actual scrubbed staff wear them to prevent blood and other fluids spraying into their mouths (which does happen quite a lot). Around 25 yrs ago I managed a suite of orthopaedic operating theatres and the surgeons decided to try non scrubbed staff not wearing masks. I was against it but had to eat humble pie as the infection rate for wounds actually fell. It is thought the reason is because wearing masks made people touch their faces more and contaminated their fingers etc. But it must be remembered that this is in the context of surgical infections for the patient NOT respiratory infections for the staff.

There is scant evidence about any benefits of the public wearing masks routinely to protect themselves from respiratory infection. There is probably slightly more evidence wearing a mask to protect others MAY have some benefit.

Personally I don’t wish to see masks becoming compulsory in this country.

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Tinnishill
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Tinnishill » 25 Apr 2020, 12:36pm

This is a copy of a post on the UK Climbing forum. Point 12 is especially worth adhering to.

1. You MUST NOT leave the house for any reason, but if you have a reason you can leave the house
2. Masks are useless at protecting you from the virus, but you may have to wear one because it can save lives, but they may not work, but they be mandatory, but they may not
3. Shops are closed, except those that are open
4. You must not go to work but you can get another job and go to work
5. You should not go to the hospital or to the doctors unless you have to go there, unless you are too poorly to go there
6. The virus can kill people, but don't be scared of it. It can only kill people who are vulnerable or sometimes those who are not vulnerable. It's possible to contain and control it, sometimes, except that sometimes it leads to a global disaster
7. Gloves don't help, but they can still help sometimes
8. STAY HOME, but sometimes it's important to go out
9. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarkets, but there are many things missing. Sometimes you won't need loo rolls but you should buy some just in case you do need some
10. The virus has no effect on young people except for those it does effect
11. Animals are not affected, but there is a cat that tested positive in Belgium plus some tigers
12. Stay away from tigers
13. You will have many symptoms if you get the virus, but you can also get symptoms without getting the virus, get the virus without getting any symptoms, or be contagious without having symptoms, or be non contagious with symptoms
14. To help protect yourself you should eat well and exercise, but eat whatever you have to hand as it's best not go out shopping
15. It's important to get fresh air but don't go to parks but go for a walk, but don't sit down, except if you are old, but not for too long, or if you are pregnant or if you not old or pregnant but need to sit down. If you do sit down don't eat a picnic
16. Don't visit old people but you have to take care of the old people and bring them food and medication
17. If you are sick you can go out when you are better but anyone else in your household can't go out unless they need to go out
18. You can get restaurant food delivered. These deliveries are safe. But groceries you bring back to the house have to be decontaminated outside your house for 3 hours including pizza...
19. You can't see you mother or granny, but they can take a taxi and meet an older taxi driver
20.  You are safe if you maintain a safe social distance when out but you can't go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance
21. The virus remains active on different surfaces for 2 hours, or 4 hours, or 6... I mean days, not hours... But it needs a damp environment, or a cold environment that is warm and dry... in the air as long as it's not plastic
22. Schools are closed so you need to home educate your children, unless you can send them to school because you are not at home. If you are at home you can home educate your children using various portals and virtual classrooms unless you have no internet, or more than one child and only one computer, or you are working from home. Baking cakes can be considered maths, science or art. If you are you are home educating you can include household chores as education. If you are home educating you can start drinking at 10am
23. If you are not home educating children you can start drinking at 10am 
24. The number of covid 19 deaths will be announced daily but we don't know how many people are infected as they are only testing those that are almost dead to find out if that is what they will die of... The people who die of covid who aren't counted won't be counted
25. You should stay locked down until the virus stops infecting people but it will only stop infecting people if we all get infected so it's important we get infected and some don't get infected
26. No business will go under due to covid 19 except those businesses that have already gone under
I hope this clears thing up


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Jdsk
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby Jdsk » 25 Apr 2020, 12:47pm

softlips wrote:There is more evidence that masks increase the transmission of infections than reduce it.

Please could you add the main sources for that.

Thanks

Jonathan

cotswolds
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Re: Face masks: Why? Why not?

Postby cotswolds » 25 Apr 2020, 1:31pm

I don't wear a mask because I don't have the ability to make one or access to one that I think might be effective.

I'm sympathetic to the argument that they reduce spread to others, so I'm pleased when I see others wearing one, because I think on balance it will reduce the probability of me catching it from them.

Something that hasn't been mentioned: I heard somebody talking about the difference between people with mild and serious symptoms and speculating that this might be due to the difference in initial viral load - a small amount of virus gives the immune system more time to react, a big dose can be overwhelming. If this is true, a 95% effective mask might have some benefit.