As COVID mandates drop experts urge, wear a good mask
‘Regardless of politicians, while you stand in line to get your vaccine dose, wear a respirator mask, and any other time you are near strangers or infected family members,’ summarizes the views of three doctors and seven nurses FPMag interviewed.
Shockingly, the mask as a mitigation tool against COVID-spread is fetching more ambiguity. Britain will end mask mandates next week. But it looks like a bid for favour by Boris Johnson who has been tanking in the polls as is Joseph Biden.
Allegedly lying Bo-Jo, the untrusted PM who runs once-great Britain, is trying to curry favour with British voters after apparently being caught in more lies about partying at 10 Downing Street while he locked the British people in their homes, separated from their friends and family, including those dying in hospitals.
Mandatory UK COVID-19 passes are a thing of the past, beginning 27 January, Boris Johnson announced.
“Obviously the PM [Boris Johnson] has told multiple lies about parties in December 2020 and forced or encouraged others to tell the media untrue things,” writes Dominic Cummings, the former chief adviser to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
“While it’s bad that he is lying about this and generally lying all the time, much worse than these lies has been his determination to
a) keep rubbish people in critical positions,
b) failing to prioritise preparations for variants throughout 2021, and
c) encouraging everybody to think, as he did in September 2020, ‘covid’s over’,” Mr. Cummings wrote in his blog.
But experts around the world are still urging NIOSH standards N95 respirator mask wearing because of COVID-19 and because of air pollution.
Experiments and modeling confirm the superiority of N95 respirators to cloth and surgical masks in filtering the fine particles in wildfire smoke. Photo Credit: J. K. Kodros et al., GeoHealth, e2021GH000482 (2021)
“Not surprisingly, the N95 offers the highest degree of protection at all particle sizes, largely because it combines mechanical and electrostatic filtration, by which stationary electric charges in the mask’s polypropylene microfibers attract and ensnare submicron particles. (Cotton and uncharged synthetic fibers filter only by mechanically blocking particles.) The researchers’ modeling shows that an N95 reduces a person’s exposure to wildfire smoke by a factor of 14. Synthetic-fiber and cotton masks reduce that exposure by much smaller factors, of up to 4.4 and 1.9, respectively. Surgical masks turn out to be effective filters, but they also allow up to 50% of the air to leak around the mask. That limitation makes them about as effective, in general, as synthetic- and cotton-fiber masks.” Citing: Experiments and modeling confirm the superiority of N95 respirators to cloth and surgical masks in filtering the fine particles in wildfire smoke. Mark Wilson
“Familiarity with the use of face coverings to reduce the risk of respiratory disease has increased during the coronavirus pandemic; however, recommendations for their use outside of the pandemic remains limited.
“Here, we develop a modeling framework to quantify the potential health benefits of wearing a face covering or respirator to mitigate exposure to particulate air pollution. This framework accounts for the wide range of available face coverings and respirators, fit factors and efficacy, air pollution characteristics, and exposure-response data.
“Our modeling shows that N95 respirators offer robust protection against different sources of particulate matter, reducing exposure by more than a factor of 14 when worn with a leak rate of 5%. Synthetic-fiber masks offer less protection with a strong dependence on aerosol size distribution (protection factors ranging from 4.4 to 2.2), while natural-fiber and surgical masks offer reductions in the exposure of 1.9 and 1.7, respectively.”
John K. Kodros, Katelyn O’Dell, Jonathan M. Samet, Christian L’Orange, Jeffrey R. Pierce, John Volckens
27 August 2021 https://doi.org/10.1029/2021GH000482
Generally, the consensus during these times is to wear the most effective filtering facepiece respirator that the wearer can afford.
A hefty purchase of KN95s for a family, would run pennies per item before the USA CDC changed its wishy washy advisories on mask wearing which has driven prices upwards. FPMag research indicates online purchasing from Alibaba in the USA still shows KN95s are available for a few cents when bought in bulk.
“To protect yourself and others from COVID-19, CDC continues to recommend that you wear the most protective mask you can, that fits well and that you will wear consistently,” says the US Centers for Disease Control.
Some parents are suing the governor of the US state of Virginia for removing public school mask mandates.
Wear a proper mask and wear it correctly.
Do not touch any part of the mask, ever, only the straps. You can reuse a quality-made N95 mask. Some nurses alternate two masks by putting one in the sun for a day while wearing the other, then rotating. Watch the video below. Putting the used mask in the sunlight (direct or indirect, cloudy or not) or in a UVC cleaner is the best sterilization method.
Video: Learn from the professionals how to fit test and use a NIOSH standards N95 mask.
Take the quick course. Above video demonstrates how to don and doff your N95 respirator mask, especially when you have been in high risk areas.
“COVID-19 Hospitalizations are the reasons why masks are crucial,” says Dr. Nassima al Amouri who has been a medical director for a global NGO throughout the entire pandemic.
Here are some comparisons and examples. Click graphs to enlarge.