TOTD 2020-1-24: Who was that masked man?

Are you now wearing or have you ever worn a surgical type mask in public?

In Japan, people wear masks around allergy, cold, and flu season. Sometimes it is for prevention of getting something and at other times it is to prevent giving something. What do you think of the practice?

If worn should one go for style or basic function?
Here is an example of a stylish mask.

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34 thoughts on “TOTD 2020-1-24: Who was that masked man?”

  1. It doesn’t work.  My BMD says the reason  surgeons wear ‘em is to reduce the chance of spittle or sweat dripping into the incision.

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  2. The best thing someone can do who has the flu or bad cold is to stay home and not spread your germs around to others. If you must be out, wearing a mask is at least better than coughing and sneezing all over the place. It can’t hurt for the people who tend to be susceptible to sickness to wear one, however, good hand washing and don’t touch your face before you do, is the best bet. Nothing is foolproof. Not even getting the flu shot (I’m not saying it is good or bad, just not 100%).

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  3. 10 Cents:

    Hypatia:
    It doesn’t work.  My BMD says the reason  surgeons wear ‘em is to reduce the chance of spittle or sweat dripping into the incision.

    Would you define “doesn’t work”? Masks must do something, right?

    https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/surgical-mask-flu-prevention

    Make people feel better?  Mentally, I mean?
    My BMD sez, all they do is deflect respiration downward, or upward.    But think of it: your breath goes through, right?  That means any microbes in your breath go through.
    Maybe it helps remind people to keep their distance.  I know I wouldn’t  go within ten feet of somebody wearing one!

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  4. Yeah, those masks don’t really work.   If you want a mask that works you need an N95 mask.  You can get them at medical supply houses or hardware stores.

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  5. Kozak:
    Yeah, those masks don’t really work.   If you want a mask that works you need an N95 mask.  You can get them at medical supply houses or hardware stores.

    I was wondering when someone would make this point. All masks are not created equal. They all work but it depends on what one wants to filter. When it comes to viruses most can’t do the job.

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  6. Hypatia:

    10 Cents:

    Hypatia:
    It doesn’t work.  My BMD says the reason  surgeons wear ‘em is to reduce the chance of spittle or sweat dripping into the incision.

    Would you define “doesn’t work”? Masks must do something, right?

    https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/surgical-mask-flu-prevention

    Make people feel better?  Mentally, I mean?
    My BMD sez, all they do is deflect respiration downward, or upward.    But think of it: your breath goes through, right?  That means any microbes in your breath go through.
    Maybe it helps remind people to keep their distance.  I know I wouldn’t  go within ten feet of somebody wearing one!

    Over here it is considered polite for women to wear the masks. They can be quite common.

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  7. 10 Cents:

    Hypatia:

    10 Cents:

    Hypatia:
    It doesn’t work.  My BMD says the reason  surgeons wear ‘em is to reduce the chance of spittle or sweat dripping into the incision.

    Would you define “doesn’t work”? Masks must do something, right?

    https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/surgical-mask-flu-prevention

    Make people feel better?  Mentally, I mean?
    My BMD sez, all they do is deflect respiration downward, or upward.    But think of it: your breath goes through, right?  That means any microbes in your breath go through.
    Maybe it helps remind people to keep their distance.  I know I wouldn’t  go within ten feet of somebody wearing one!

    Over here it is considered polite for women to wear the masks. They can be quite common.

    What do you mean , “polite”?  (I’m not challenging you,!just interested as a cultural anthropologist.)Are women’ lips considered indecent,  or a provocation?  Should women, considerately, not even impose their breath   into the exalted air the men breathe?

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  8. Hypatia:

    10 Cents:

    Hypatia:

    10 Cents:

    Hypatia:
    It doesn’t work.  My BMD says the reason  surgeons wear ‘em is to reduce the chance of spittle or sweat dripping into the incision.

    Would you define “doesn’t work”? Masks must do something, right?

    https://www.health.com/condition/cold-flu-sinus/surgical-mask-flu-prevention

    Make people feel better?  Mentally, I mean?
    My BMD sez, all they do is deflect respiration downward, or upward.    But think of it: your breath goes through, right?  That means any microbes in your breath go through.
    Maybe it helps remind people to keep their distance.  I know I wouldn’t  go within ten feet of somebody wearing one!

    Over here it is considered polite for women to wear the masks. They can be quite common.

    What do you mean , “polite”?  (I’m not challenging you,!just interested as a cultural anthropologist.)Are women’ lips considered indecent,  or a provocation?  Should women, considerately, not even impose their breath   into the exalted air the men breathe?

    It has to do with the season and thinking of others. It is not a continual thing. It means usually “I don’t want to be irresponsible by giving you my cold or getting yours.”

    Men also wear masked for the same reasons but not as often.

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  9. Off topic.

    Kozak, I see in your profile that you are Ukrainian. Would you write a post about what has happened to Ukraine in recent history? I am sure the news is skewing things.

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  10. I actually wore one the first time the other day when I went to the doctor with a terrible fever. Turns out I had strep throat. It made my wife feel better for me to wear it in the car as we had our son with us and I certainly did not want him to get strep.

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  11. Robert A. McReynolds:
    I actually wore one the first time the other day when I went to the doctor with a terrible fever. Turns out I had strep throat. It made my wife feel better for me to wear it in the car as we had our son with us and I certainly did not want him to get strep.

    Good to hear that you are feeling better!

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  12. Kozak:
    Yeah, those masks don’t really work.   If you want a mask that works you need an N95 mask.  You can get them at medical supply houses or hardware stores.

    N95 masks are for submicron-sized particles, which is what would be required to block airborne viruses. However, many contagious diseases are not airborne, they’re droplet-borne. As far as we know, the coronavirus outbreak in China is droplet-borne, which means the virus is carried by small droplets, as from a sneeze. This was certainly true of that other famous coronavirus, SARS.

    Droplet spread can happen when droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person are propelled a short distance (generally up to 3 feet) through the air and deposited on the mucous membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes of persons who are nearby.

    Sneeze droplets are macroscopic; you can see them with the naked eye. Specifically, they are hundreds of micrometers in diameter. (That’s right, people have actually measured this.) This is hundreds or thousands of times larger than individual viruses or bacteria. Even N95 masks are not capable of blocking the smaller viruses. Some aerosols are more equal than others!

    For droplet-borne (versus airborne) transmission, ordinary masks are useful. Air goes through the mask but sneeze and cough droplets do not, which is why, much as it pains me to say so, Dime was partly right.

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  13. Hypatia:
    But think of it: your breath goes through, right?  That means any microbes in your breath go through.

    Air molecules are about three orders of magnitude (1000 times) smaller than viruses and six orders of magnitude (1000000 times) smaller than sneeze droplets. It’s something like the difference between a basketball and a grain of confectioner’s sugar, only more so. It’s not too hard to imagine a sieve that could block one and let through the other.

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  14. Kozak:
    Yeah, those masks don’t really work.   If you want a mask that works you need an N95 mask.  You can get them at medical supply houses or hardware stores.

    I have a friend who regularly wears N95 surgical masks (which you can order on Amazon) on airline flights.  He says it dramatically reduces the incidence of the post-flight cold, particularly on long flights where the dehydration compounds with the effects of recirculated air.  He says that people look at him funny, but if you knew him, you’d understand how little he cares about that.

    I always take 3 grams of Vitamin C for 2 days before and after an airline flight (as opposed to 1 gram normally).  You may think this a-Pauling, but I haven’t been nailed by a post-flight cold in around 8 years.

    People who over-winter in Antarctica speak of the phenomenon where, as the last summer flights depart, there’s a period of around two weeks where everybody recovers from their colds and builds immunity to everybody else’s bugs, and then for the rest of the winter they’re free of the nose rhinos.  Then spring comes and the flights resume, and look out—it’s sneeze season again.

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  15. John Walker:
    People who over-winter in Antarctica speak of the phenomenon where, as the last summer flights depart, there’s a period of around two weeks where everybody recovers from their colds and builds immunity to everybody else’s bugs, and then for the rest of the winter they’re free of the nose rhinos.  Then spring comes and the flights resume, and look out—it’s sneeze season again.

    In The Friendly Arctic, Stefánsson tells of how different parties of arctic explorers would catch each other’s colds when they crossed paths.

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