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Coronavirus and masks/face coverings [Consolidated thread]

Old Jun 24, 2020, 6:06 am
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Flyertalks moderators generally take a hands-off approach when it comes to judging the accuracy of members statements. While thats fine for travel debates, a pandemic is clearly a more serious issue.

A meta-analysis of 172 studies that looked at various interventions to prevent the transmission of COVID-19, SARS and MERS from an infected person to people close to them, published in The Lancet on June 1, found that mask wearing significantly reduces the risk of viral transmission.

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Coronavirus and masks/face coverings [Consolidated thread]

 
Old Mar 7, 2020, 7:47 pm
  #136  
 
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Heading to SE Asia later this month. Will I be asked/forced to wear mask? Totally healthy, and have been traveling all over the world last few months. US-based - CDC does not recommend wearing masks unless you are sick (for the benefit of others).
Im in Vietnam this moment and have been all around E/SE Asia. Have not worn a mask at any time. There are plenty of people, both foreign and local, not wearing masks. Only place I got a few strange looks was in Singapore.

The way people are using them is a complete joke anyway, even if they were effective. Not wearing it in the hotel, putting it on to walk down the street, taking it off when they get into the crowded cafe.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 7:57 pm
  #137  
 
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Originally Posted by bobbytables
The way people are using them is a complete joke anyway, even if they were effective. Not wearing it in the hotel, putting it on to walk down the street, taking it off when they get into the crowded cafe.
And how would you expect one to consume food and beverages if one does not take off their mask?
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:04 pm
  #138  
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Originally Posted by 747FC
And how would you expect one to consume food and beverages if one does not take off their mask?
If you're worried enough to wear a mask when you're not sick yourself, you should be worried enough not to be eating and drinking in public establishments. Otherwise, at least to me, you're just playing dress-up.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:09 pm
  #139  
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Originally Posted by Repooc17
Heading to SE Asia later this month. Will I be asked/forced to wear mask? Totally healthy, and have been traveling all over the world last few months. US-based - CDC does not recommend wearing masks unless you are sick (for the benefit of others).
You might be asked depending on the country and setting. In Taiwan, for example, it is mandatory in hospitals now. CDC cannot recommend healthy people wearing masks since we don't have any left. On top of that, you can appear healthy but carry the virus.

Originally Posted by chipmaster
Worth a read: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/o...effective.html

In the Far East the only people that wore them were sick or trying to avoid the bad air there ( why I wore them ), now they wear because of expectation, don't ask, just look around and see if you want to stand out, LOL
I was in Taipei the last 1.5 weeks of January. Before Covid-19 got serious, maybe 30% of the people in the Taipei Metro wore masks - I think a lot of them wear it to protect themselves + protect others. After it became serious, I say 85% of the people wore masks and the government started rationing masks (still in effect). Apparently, a lot of Taiwanese people have a supply of masks at home - especially those who ride the scooters.

When I came back on UA, I would say 90+% of the passengers, Asian or Western, wore masks - even some flight attendants in Y. I did not and was sensitive when people looked at me.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:10 pm
  #140  
 
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Originally Posted by rickg523
If you're worried enough to wear a mask when you're not sick yourself, you should be worried enough not to be eating and drinking in public establishments. Otherwise, at least to me, you're just playing dress-up.
Beg to differ. It is all about minimizing risk because one can't completely avoid it. Let's say you (effectively) wear a mask 95% of the time, all the while not touching your face when the mask is on and not breathing in virus-laden droplets. That is a 95% risk reduction.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:24 pm
  #141  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC
And how would you expect one to consume food and beverages if one does not take off their mask?
Indeed. But wearing the mask only when youre at the lowest risk is nonsensical. If youre worried enough to endure the discomfort of wearing a probably-pointless mask while walking down the street, maybe its a good idea to skip the cafe.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:28 pm
  #142  
 
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Originally Posted by 747FC
Beg to differ. It is all about minimizing risk because one can't completely avoid it. Let's say you (effectively) wear a mask 95% of the time, all the while not touching your face when the mask is on and not breathing in virus-laden droplets. That is a 95% risk reduction.
no, it isnt. You are assuming the mask is 100% effective in perfect use which is very far from the truth. You need to multiply your 95% by what is probably a very small number to get the actual risk reduction.

Edited to add: youre also assuming the risk is equal at all times, which is obviously not true. If you only wear it when walking down the street (very low risk) and dont wear it when in say a hotel lobby or cafe, with many people nearby, then your risk reduction is nothing like 95%. It will be orders of magnitude smaller.

Last edited by bobbytables; Mar 8, 2020 at 7:31 pm
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:39 pm
  #143  
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Originally Posted by 747FC
Beg to differ. It is all about minimizing risk because one can't completely avoid it. Let's say you (effectively) wear a mask 95% of the time, all the while not touching your face when the mask is on and not breathing in virus-laden droplets. That is a 95% risk reduction.
Originally Posted by bobbytables
no, it isnt. You are assuming the mask is 100% effective in perfect use which is very far from the truth. You need to multiply your 95% by what is probably a very small number to get the actual risk reduction.
Also if you're truly trying to calculate risk, not just trying to "placebo" your way into feeling safe, you have to consider that the risk of eating and drinking food and beverages prepared and served to you by other people while sitting indoors in a crowd swamps any potential safety you might accrue from wearing a mask on the street.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 8:40 pm
  #144  
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Originally Posted by bobbytables
no, it isnt. You are assuming the mask is 100% effective in perfect use which is very far from the truth. You need to multiply your 95% by what is probably a very small number to get the actual risk reduction.
Different people have different approaches:

- Why bother [with fill in the blank] since the effect is negligible
- Any bit helps, why not?
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 9:01 pm
  #145  
 
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Originally Posted by username
Different people have different approaches:

- Why bother [with fill in the blank] since the effect is negligible
- Any bit helps, why not?
its true. Masks can have a negative effect though, since the wearer often touches their face more, and people often wear them after they should be thrown away. Granted, the above discussion was about a perfect use scenario.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 10:12 pm
  #146  
 
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Originally Posted by rickg523
Also if you're truly trying to calculate risk, not just trying to "placebo" your way into feeling safe, you have to consider that the risk of eating and drinking food and beverages prepared and served to you by other people while sitting indoors in a crowd swamps any potential safety you might accrue from wearing a mask on the street.
Are you saying by example that you might as well not practice safe sex because you never know who might spill HIV infected blood on you while you walk down the street? Ridiculous.
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Old Mar 7, 2020, 11:10 pm
  #147  
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Originally Posted by 747FC
Are you saying by example that you might as well not practice safe sex because you never know who might spill HIV infected blood on you while you walk down the street? Ridiculous.
No. I am not saying that. Not by example or otherwise.
But elsewhere I have wondered how soon people are going to respond to someone coughing like they did to HIV in the 1980's.
I am saying if I see someone wearing a dust mask I'm thinking they're not doing anyone a bit of good by removing it in a room full of people eating. I can see you feel differently. You might be thinking I'm being Pollyanna-ish in the face of imminent disaster and thus unwilling to take common sense precautions. As long as neither of us get sick, I think there's room for both approaches.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 6:17 pm
  #148  
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I was speaking with an immunologist on a flight a few days ago, his thoughts were the following. Probably 98%+ of people that have it, or have had it, not only have no idea that they have it, or have had it - because they have shown no symptoms, so therefore have not been, nor are they likely to be tested because they have had no symptoms..................so echoing what was said above, while there have been 130,000 people (or whatever) identified as having the virus, there could be 12 million that have it or have had it. So in fact the overall death rate may in fact be .003% or whatever. OTOH, he said that probably quite a lot of people who would have normally died of other similar things, flu, pneumonia, complications from a simple cold, may be dying from this instead. That being said, my grandmother died of pneumonia in a "home", she had previously been sick with pneumonia twice before in the previous two years, each winter, the question that I ask myself without trying to be gruesome is that if it was today, and she was 95 years old, would it really make any difference whether it was corona, H1N1. Look at the nursing home in Washington state where the residents have been ravaged by it, they were all elderly, and most had underlying long term medical problems. While much of the staff has tested positive, they seem to all be surviving it, many with no symptoms. Saying that this is "just like the Spanish Flu" is irresponsible and simply panic-mongering.

But using the 3% rule..............SARS was 6-7 times worse. 20% of people dies from it, and there was nowhere near this level of idiocy going on..............ultimately I blame it on social media, not to mention the epidemic of films and TV shows dealing with realistic and dystopian versions of an "end of days" type epidemic, from "Contagion" (which is perhaps the tamest and most closely mirrors this outbreak), to "Outbreak", to "The Maze Runner" franchise, The "Walking Dead Franchise", "World War Z", "Outbreak", "Z Nation", "I am Legend", "Patient Zero", "Quarantine", the "28 Days Later" franchise, the "12 Monkeys" franchise, the "Resident Evil" franchise, "Carriers", "The Planet of the Apes" reboot franchise, "Bird Box", and many more.
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Old Mar 8, 2020, 7:24 pm
  #149  
 
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I was on a recent BKK-HKG flight and everyone wore a mask except me. So figured it was the perfect flight to fart till my heart was content (I get gas when I fly). Very liberating - hehehe
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Old Mar 9, 2020, 4:07 am
  #150  
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Originally Posted by hfly
I was speaking with an immunologist on a flight a few days ago, his thoughts were the following. Probably 98%+ of people that have it, or have had it, not only have no idea that they have it, or have had it - because they have shown no symptoms, so therefore have not been, nor are they likely to be tested because they have had no symptoms..................so echoing what was said above, while there have been 130,000 people (or whatever) identified as having the virus, there could be 12 million that have it or have had it. So in fact the overall death rate may in fact be .003% or whatever. OTOH, he said that probably quite a lot of people who would have normally died of other similar things, flu, pneumonia, complications from a simple cold, may be dying from this instead. That being said, my grandmother died of pneumonia in a "home", she had previously been sick with pneumonia twice before in the previous two years, each winter, the question that I ask myself without trying to be gruesome is that if it was today, and she was 95 years old, would it really make any difference whether it was corona, H1N1. Look at the nursing home in Washington state where the residents have been ravaged by it, they were all elderly, and most had underlying long term medical problems. While much of the staff has tested positive, they seem to all be surviving it, many with no symptoms. Saying that this is "just like the Spanish Flu" is irresponsible and simply panic-mongering.

But using the 3% rule..............SARS was 6-7 times worse. 20% of people dies from it, and there was nowhere near this level of idiocy going on..............ultimately I blame it on social media, not to mention the epidemic of films and TV shows dealing with realistic and dystopian versions of an "end of days" type epidemic, from "Contagion" (which is perhaps the tamest and most closely mirrors this outbreak), to "Outbreak", to "The Maze Runner" franchise, The "Walking Dead Franchise", "World War Z", "Outbreak", "Z Nation", "I am Legend", "Patient Zero", "Quarantine", the "28 Days Later" franchise, the "12 Monkeys" franchise, the "Resident Evil" franchise, "Carriers", "The Planet of the Apes" reboot franchise, "Bird Box", and many more.
That is the point with deadly disease: because affected people are in bed or in hospital, with very limited contact then they do not spread. Specially if the pre-symptomatic incubation period is low. Thus SARS was deadlier but never spread so much because at some point, you run out of people to infect very quickly from a bed or a grave.
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