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Old 26-03-2020, 11:03   #1
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What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

Last Sunday I walked through the boat yard on the way to my boat. I joked with my wife how I only saw a few people, only from more than 75 feet away, and that they were all wearing masks because they were sanding something.

When working in a refinery I wear safety glasses, steel toe boots, long pants, long sleeve, and gloves, not be cause I want to but because it is a safety rule. You don't think much about it.

In a wood shop, body shop, or fiberglass shop masks are worn a good bit of the time. I've worn a full face masks for as much as 6 hours a day inspecting refinery equipment. Not a big deal.

---

So what if we all wore masks full-time, not just if infected, quarantined, or nervous, but because the government asked you to. In factory setting, for example, if your employer said "we're all wearing masks" it wouldn't seem like a big deal. In some operations that has always been the case. You might feel funny today wearing a mask a the grocery store, but you would not if everyone did.

At the moment, of course, masks are not available. Let's skip that.

Let's skip the fact that many masks use exhale valves (the air comes in through the filter but out through a valve) and only protect the wearer.

There are lower capture efficiency types available, even home made. Instead of N95 (95%), they might only be 75% efficient, but 0.25 x 0.25 = 94% efficient if both the infected and non-infected person wear masks. Pretty close.

Perhaps if you want to go to the boat yard to prep the bottom you just keep the mask on. Maybe that's better than staying home.

Just food for thought. Maybe this will become a normal part of keeping the world moving. Times change.
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:12   #2
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

Decades ago while working on my first (wood) boat, my girlfriend (now my ex) drew Dracula fangs on my
dust mask at some point, and I didn’t notice. I left the mask hanging around my neck while I ran to the hardware store to pick something up.
I couldn’t figure out why people were giving me funny looks.
In my work, I sometimes had to suit up to Level B PPE - supplied air in full face mask, complete tyvek suit, head to steel toe. You can get used to anything if it’s to keep you alive and healthy.
Respirator use demands a clean shaven face in any industrial setting if you actually want to be protected. We tested masks for proper fit also.
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:23   #3
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

An N95 does not protect you from oil (that's the "N"), and catches 95% of particals that are 0.3 microns (3/10,000 mm) in diameter. It won't protect you unless you fi it well. But, the CDC allows for reuse, particularly if you keep it clean an only touch it with clean hands. Store it in a clean paper bag, they say. There are N99 and N100 masks made, but they and the organic vapor (oil) rubber masks with replaceable filters get expensive.

So, with due caution, it would work. Have you got a spare 350,000,000 for the USA on hand? I have 14, and at 74 years of age, if you see me, you'll see one of them.

Here's the reuse summary I sent to our emergency management this morning:

Here is a condensed advisory from the CDC on reuse of N95 masks.

Discard N95 respirators contaminated with blood, respiratory or nasal secretions, or other bodily fluids from patients.
Use a cleanable face shield (preferred) or a surgical mask over an N95 respirator when feasible to reduce surface contamination of the respirator.
Hang used respirators in a designated storage area or keep them in a clean, breathable container such as a paper bag between uses. To minimize potential cross-contamination, store respirators so that they do not touch each other and the person using the respirator is clearly identified. Storage containers should be disposed of or cleaned regularly.
Clean hands with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before and after touching or adjusting the respirator (if necessary for comfort or to maintain fit).
Avoid touching the inside of the respirator. If inadvertent contact is made with the inside of the respirator, perform hand hygiene as described above.
Use a pair of clean (non-sterile) gloves when donning a used N95 respirator and performing a user seal check. Discard gloves after the N95 respirator is donned and any adjustments are made to ensure the respirator is sitting comfortably on your face with a good seal.

The biggest risk seems to be contaminating the mask itself with your hands. Keep your hands clean.

Following this protocol the CDC does not put a limit on N95 reuse. Keep your mask clean, store it in a clean container, and go for it.
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:23   #4
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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So what if we all wore masks full-time, not just if infected, quarantined, or nervous, but because the government asked you to.
Supply problems aside... the usual means for spread of COVID-19 and most other viruses is via surfaces, not airborne. Sick person coughs on hand, touches surface, others touch surface, touch their face... transmitted.

Someone coughing/sneezing into the air - the droplets don't stay in the air for long; they fall to ground... or a surface.

Masks don't solve the surface-transmission issue. Handcuffing would. Should everyone out in public have their hands locked behind their back?

Realistically..staying in as much as possible, and maintaining "social distance" (at least 2m or 6 ft from any other person) when you need to be out is more effective than everyone in masks.
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Old 26-03-2020, 11:26   #5
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

Three problems.

The first, which you mentioned, is that we don't have the supplies for people who are actually at risk. Health care workers who are putting themselves in harms way to save lives.

The second is that you don't actually need a mask unless you're in closer proximity to someone than you should be.

The third is that studies show that the mask itself introduces risk. If you don't handle masks perfectly, they actually introduce additional risk of infection. So forget about re-using disposable masks, and you have to be fastidious with the washable kind. Mask touches table, you touch table - boom - infection. You take off mask, you touch your glasses - boom, infection. You touch outside of mask to face when putting on - boom, infection...


Still, it's worth talking these things out, and problem solving. This is how we figure out a path forward.
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Old 26-03-2020, 12:01   #6
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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Masks don't solve the surface-transmission issue. Handcuffing would. Should everyone out in public have their hands locked behind their back?
Don't give them any ideas.
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Old 26-03-2020, 12:17   #7
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

There's a fairly significant portion of the population that would struggle to breathe through a well fitted N95 mask. Those with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, not well controlled asthma or congestive heart failure. The increased breathing resistance can result in those mention above to take shallower breaths that can cause hypoxia or a slow build up of CO2. All the current industrial standards for respirators are based on a relatively healthy individual.

When you see the pictures of asian cities where every is wearing a surgical mask they are not well fitted and only contain droplets from the wearer, which in itself is good to knock down transmission.
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Old 26-03-2020, 12:28   #8
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
Supply problems aside... the usual means for spread of COVID-19 and most other viruses is via surfaces, not airborne. Sick person coughs on hand, touches surface, others touch surface, touch their face... transmitted.

Someone coughing/sneezing into the air - the droplets don't stay in the air for long; they fall to ground... or a surface.

Masks don't solve the surface-transmission issue. Handcuffing would. Should everyone out in public have their hands locked behind their back?

Realistically..staying in as much as possible, and maintaining "social distance" (at least 2m or 6 ft from any other person) when you need to be out is more effective than everyone in masks.

If everyone was wearing a mask, they address the "touch surface, touch face" problem in two ways:
  • You can't touch your face if your are wearing a mask. This is one of their most helpful features. Handcuffing would also work.
  • If you cough wearing a mask it doesn't gt on the surface (as much). That is why surgeons wear them.
Kenbo makes a good point. These individuals also have serious exposure risk. Tough question.

Let's remember we are not discussing a high-concentration healthcare environment. Totally different, just as refinery respirator concerns are totally different (an N95 mask is useless there). We're discussing grocery stores, the boat yard, and common working environments, or at least that was the direction I intended. That alternatives are stay home for the next 8 months or breath deep.


Again, remember that masks work 2 ways. They protect you from what you breath and from scratching your nose, and they also protect others from your sneezes (you may believe you are well, but increasingly, that is not a fair assumption to make).
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:00   #9
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

as an aside, for those with sewing machines, there are a whole bunch of patterns for masks out there now. They are not n95 but do reduce your face touching and coughing out. They are quite easy to make.

One of the transmission aspects of this virus is that something like 20-30% of those infected are asymptomatic and can be transmitting while not knowing they have it. Everyone wearing (even diy) masks (like they are in asia) would probably significantly cut that transmission rate.
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:06   #10
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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If everyone was wearing a mask, they address the "touch surface, touch face" problem in two ways:
  • You can't touch your face if your are wearing a mask. This is one of their most helpful features. Handcuffing would also work.
  • If you cough wearing a mask it doesn't gt on the surface (as much). That is why surgeons wear them.
Kenbo makes a good point. These individuals also have serious exposure risk. Tough question.

Let's remember we are not discussing a high-concentration healthcare environment. Totally different, just as refinery respirator concerns are totally different (an N95 mask is useless there). We're discussing grocery stores, the boat yard, and common working environments, or at least that was the direction I intended. That alternatives are stay home for the next 8 months or breath deep.

Again, remember that masks work 2 ways. They protect you from what you breath and from scratching your nose, and they also protect others from your sneezes (you may believe you are well, but increasingly, that is not a fair assumption to make).
I hear you, but as letsgosailing3 has described, masks do not efficiently stop people from touching their faces. A full visor, or a gas-mask, maybe.

i see, and hear about scared people wearing them while out, but let's be honest, they're mainly talismans or security blankets, and are not adding sufficient protection to warrant the cost or hassle.
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:12   #11
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

I'll tell you what it's like to wear an n95 or p100 mask all day. Ever see what the nurses on the front line look like at the end of the day? Red marks all over your face. Brutal.

It's also tough on the breathing. Sometimes you just want to be able to take a 100% breath of fresh air. Sleeping with them does NOT work for me. When your respiration slows to nothing after you fall asleep, you wake up choking and gasping for air. Not enough air makes it through to supply sleeping air.

This is how I control my severe allergic asthma around "moderate" levels of particulate pollution and around wild fires.

I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Lol
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:17   #12
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

chotu do you have a hepa filter inyour boat??? nsa makes a good one.. i have found them perfect protection from dust and cat hair... from amazon....
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:17   #13
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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I hear you, but as letsgosailing3 has described, masks do not efficiently stop people from touching their faces. A full visor, or a gas-mask, maybe.

i see, and hear about scared people wearing them while out, but let's be honest, they're mainly talismans or security blankets, and are not adding sufficient protection to warrant the cost or hassle.
I don't agree that they're not worth the hassle. Depends on your particular situation. I f you lead a fairly solitary life where you're only concerned with your own exposure and health then by all means go mask less.

Have you heard about the family in Freehold, NJ? One matriarch, 11 kids and 27 grand kids, had a Saturday dinner where one infected, non-family member attended. Last count 11 of the family members are infected and 5 have died.

So that's a different risk/benefit analysis.
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:25   #14
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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chotu do you have a hepa filter inyour boat??? nsa makes a good one.. i have found them perfect protection from dust and cat hair... from amazon....
Yes. I have one. Depends on the outdoor air quality as to if it can keep up. The outdoor pollution can make it inside various cracks in the RV. It's a small RV. The Monohull is HUGE. It can just keep up with the salon area. If the pollution is very high, I need to retreat to the v-berth with it because it's the smallest room.

I have this one. Quite satisfied with it.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Pure-Enr...RPLG/302571049

But to go outdoors I often need an n95 or p100 to breathe if particulate pollution is "moderate" or above. Wildfires? Forget about it. Just awful particulates.

Which is why if you saw the thread on building a custom Catamaran, where Grit and I built the same design, one of my personal modifications was to have all sail handling indoors. So I can run HEPA filters if pollution is bad and still enjoy sailing.
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Old 26-03-2020, 13:35   #15
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Re: What if Everyone Wore a Mask?

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I don't agree that they're not worth the hassle. Depends on your particular situation. I f you lead a fairly solitary life where you're only concerned with your own exposure and health then by all means go mask less.

Have you heard about the family in Freehold, NJ? One matriarch, 11 kids and 27 grand kids, had a Saturday dinner where one infected, non-family member attended. Last count 11 of the family members are infected and 5 have died.

So that's a different risk/benefit analysis.
There's zero in that story (which I have heard about) to suggest that a mask anywhere would have made an appreciable difference. I myself would put it down to early failures to detect cases, leading to untracked and unsuspecting community spread.

You wanna wear a mask everywhere - knock yourself out. If you care about the healthcare provider who you've just just deprived of a scarce commodity, maybe you'd consider making your own? The internet currently abounds with plans for reusable cotton masks and how to use gauze as a disposable filter element. Some folks have started whipping these up at home for our healthcare providers.
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