CantStopTheRock wrote:jrask wrote:Raps in 4 wrote:
Anti-maskers take an all-or-nothing approach to this debate. If masks don't provide 100% protection to 100% of the population, they are useless.
I spoke to a hockey buddy...who happens to be an emergency room doctor here in the GTA. he is stunned by how many people believe that masks don’t work. He went on to say that they aren’t 100% effective....but they are particularly effective in “blocking” larger droplets
I really don’t get the anti mask people.
I get that there is a shortage .... and the doctors need them....but that’s a separate point
You realize those medical case studies are performed by Doctors and medical researchers right? At least as qualified or likely more qualified than your friend
You realize no one said they are not effective.
You are arguing a point that no one has made. We are talking about benefit of masking the general population. Based on MEDICAL CASE STUDIES, there is very little if any benefit (and in some cases worse). The argument was if it is worth the resources to do it.
They are very effective at stopping droplets from EXITING a persons mouth, not from getting in. That is what they are meant for. High risk people like HCW that are in close contact with these people wear them mainly to protect patients and each other. No one said it was not effective for sick people, HCW, or people in contact with at risk people.
Healthy people are talking about wearing them to prevent getting the virus and acting like it is significantly decreases there chances. A PRO mask study showed only a 6% effectiveness in reducing spread if 50% of people wear a mask 100% correct (no contamination, no increased face touching, nothing, even though that is not reality).
They do not stop droplets that are suspended in the air from entering through your eyes or getting on your body and IN CLINICAL STUDIES people are more likely to touch there face, which is can be worse than the protection it gives you. They help stop airborne droplets from getting into your mouth if worn correctly
AGAIN - wearing it correctly and with eye protection is of great benefit. Wearing by itself correctly is somewhat beneficial. Wearing it incorrectly which is happening often, is likely doing nothing for you and might be worse
Here are two additional things to consider...
1) These are all clinical studies that you're citing. They are not studies of use in the population in terms or measuring the spread of a virus. All we have for that is the kind of things I linked to from Japan, and the example cases of places that are more experienced in outbreaks that have decided that they are in fact effective and worth doing.
2) These clinical studies are not from the last few months. The fact is that surgical masks have largely changed since Dec with a key detail that a lot of people aren't even aware of. They used to be made with a middle filter layer that offered much less external protection and were mostly to keep things IN, as you have noted. What has changed since Dec and Jan is that most mask makers have switched that middle filter layer to a 95% equivalent material. There are hundreds of new factories making them and they all use this 95% layer, unless they are labeled specifically as "non-surgical" or "protection mask". This is one of the reasons why pricing jumped almost instantly, and now that this more expensive 95% material is straining the raw material factories, the pricing is creeping up further.
There needs to be new studies, really, since none target the purpose that we have been debating - how effective are they in terms of reducing spread, not only for a normal flu season, but also during the outbreak of a novel virus. If that ends up being 1% or 6% or 15% or 50%, it's going to be an important thing to know as part of our preparedness for not only the near future (next year or two as we continue to mitigate COVID) but also in the possibility of a future pandemic. It would be good to know if governments should or shouldn't stockpile these things.
So the masks have shifted in terms of purpose from one way protection, to two protection. It's why the CDC and many other authorities have shifted their guidelines to front line staff that in the absence of N95s, surgicals are a good alternate.
Let's make it three things, actually...
3) I mentioned before that I have been researching the making of these and in doing so, have opened up direct factory access to get a lot of this product here from China. I simply don't have the money to import a lot, sell it, get paid for it, turn that money into another import batch, sell it, get paid for it, and on and on. It's too slow and I am unable to help get the available materials to as many people as I can this way. I am basically hoping to become an order taker on behalf of the factories so that money and product goes directly between the two, so that the same amount spent gets more product to more people and there isn't time lost doing the buy and sell thing. If you, or anyone reading this is in contact with health care providers, first responders, nursing home staff, etc... PLEASE send me a PM so I can connect the people that need to be talking. I can access a weekly stock of approx 200K surgicals, 50K N95s, 10K face shields, protection suits, laser thermometers, and soon will also be making UV lighting for the disinfection of these products that allows them to be re-used many times, further extending the usable life of these limited supplies.