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Coronavirus and masks/face coverings [Consolidated thread]

Old Jun 24, 2020, 6:06 am
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Coronavirus and masks/face coverings [Consolidated thread]

 
Old Feb 23, 2020, 8:37 am
  #46  
 
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Advice I’d be given via a doctor was the most important things to do was wash hands including thumbs, turning off taps afterwards with a paper towel and similar when exiting toilet door.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 8:52 am
  #47  
 
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crazyanglaisy, Just a data point for you: I live in Hong Kong and walk through the public areas of the Conrad and Shangri-La above Pacific Place in Admiralty frequently and I haven't been asked to wear a mask. There is a temperature check at the door administered by hotel staff (who barely look at the number...). I went to brunch today and they also took my temperature; it read 32 degrees. I haven't been wearing a mask and I've seen very few - but not zero - locals also not doing so.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:02 am
  #48  
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Originally Posted by mnhusker
I am a doctor.

Unfortunately, the N95 masks are not effective as they require fitting to work (when I wore mine for more than an hour, it hurt it was so tight to my face; it cannot be worn effectively with beards) and the Corona virus is too small it easily penetrates the mask.

Hand washing and wipes (Carry some with you to wipe surfaces that you touch; tray, seat belt, buckle arm rest, etc) are effective in reducing viral spread.

It is clear at this point that the Corona virus has spread world wide, not yet a "pandemic", with some places more affected than others (China, Korea, Japan, and Italy as some examples). But you are displaying normalcy bias if you believe that the virus is not present in almost every place that you would travel, more importantly that you would be traveling with in an airliner.

Concerns:
1. Where will you be if you become ill? Will you accept the level of health care available to you and your wife in those localities as you will not be allowed to leave.
2. With your wife's diabetes (and I am making the assumption that you are older) you are in the higher risk group for Corona virus severity of illness, #1 is of more concern.
3. If you are "exposed" to some one who has Corona virus and forced to "self quarantine" in a foreign country, can you afford to do that? It is not clear that local governments are paying for non-nationals to self quarantine in a hotel room, so if you and your wife are in Chicago, could you afford the extra expense of 14days in a hotel plus food waiting to see if you turn positive or not?

4. #3 implies the need to carry additional medications for two more weeks of all of both you and your wife medications beyond the normal duration of your trip, in case the worst were to happen as described in #3 .

My wife and I are in our 60's. We just took a trip to Israel the first two weeks in December for her 60th birthday via London. I would not take that trip now due to Corona virus concerns for us and because we have a son with autism and crohn's disease who is immunosuppressed we care for. We have to live as long as possible to care for him nor would dare bring it back to him.

This disease will burn itself out in 12-18 months as did the Spanish flu. Take your elective trips then. All the best.
Thank you so much for that advice.

Just to answer those points so people won't worry about us :

1. Not too concerned re the USA or UK but Tirana? Unsure... I'll have to investigate as Albania is not in the EU so EHIC won't help.

2. I am 60, wife is 55 so not old, old but she has had pneumonia a few years back so may be susceptible to respiratory issues.

3. The additional cost of self-quarantine (if required) will not be an issue.

4. Excellent point. We will need to travel with additional medication to cover any quarantine period.

We may have to review Tirana I think
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:07 am
  #49  
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Originally Posted by mdonley
... I went to brunch today and they also took my temperature; it read 32 degrees...
Are you alive?
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:09 am
  #50  
 
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Originally Posted by mdonley
crazyanglaisy, Just a data point for you: I live in Hong Kong and walk through the public areas of the Conrad and Shangri-La above Pacific Place in Admiralty frequently and I haven't been asked to wear a mask. There is a temperature check at the door administered by hotel staff (who barely look at the number...). I went to brunch today and they also took my temperature; it read 32 degrees. I haven't been wearing a mask and I've seen very few - but not zero - locals also not doing so.
32°! I hope you rushed yourself to the hospital
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:23 am
  #51  
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On average 17000 people in the UK die from the effects of common flu every year....mostly oldies. I wouldn't be at all concerned about this virus unless I was travelling to certain areas of the world.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:24 am
  #52  
 
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK
Are you alive?
There's a lot of it about. I got temperature checked walking into the Shangri-La in Bangkok yesterday, apparently I was 34C. When the medics didn't immediately rush over with foil hyperthermia blankets I decided to step outside again to warm up.

Incidentally, mask wearing here is very significantly reduced over the last few weeks.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:31 am
  #53  
 
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I must point out that "screening" with the electronic thermometers is nothing but sh$ts and giggles.

First these devices are not very accurate, they give very different first and second readings as corporate wage slave described up thread. So which one was correct, the "normal" or "abnormal" reading?

Secondly, Corona virus patients can spread the virus when they are asymptomatic, that is to say, without fever, so this temperature "screening" is all for show, to make the public feel like the gubermint is "doing something" .

And yes at 32 degrees someone should have rushed you to a nice warm brandy .
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 9:44 am
  #54  
 
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet
We have had flu jabs and while it doesn't guarantee we won't get flu it does provide a good element of protection so I don't think you can directly compare flu with corvid-19 in that way... but your point is well taken... we must keep it all in perspective. We do forget that flu infects many every year and many die from it. It is so common that this is easy to forget




LOL! Yes, that is the logical conclusion except that I would only expect people to need to take special precautions if at risk or if exposed to the public in more than the normal way... such as when travelling on public transport!!! So I don't think that everyone, everywhere would need a mask but you are right... it would not be tenable, nor considered statistically necessary.

Thanks again for everyone's input.

I am surprised that there has not been general advice to use masks when on public transport especially around international hubs where, if there is anywhere that there is likely to be infected people spreading the virus, that is one of the most likely.

I have decided not to wear a mask for now but if it gets much worse then, in spite of their limited effectiveness, I may well change my mind However, I will be taking all reasonable precautions such as washing hands, not touching face, avoiding unnecessary close proximity to fellow travellers etc.

Let's hope that the weather comes to our rescue and tempers further spreading.
All the flu season precautions are also good to protect you from Covid-19 and many other similar diseases. Washing hands, getting fresh air, avoid coughing people etc. We should do these things anyway, especially when travelling.

Your destinations are low risk. Unless some significant incident happens, they will be at similar risk as UK. Staying in doesn’t reduce the probability a lot, and comes with some financial loss.

Even mainland China is now categorised into risk based zones - for example Tibet is low risk because it only had 1 confirmed case and cured.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 10:01 am
  #55  
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Originally Posted by HIDDY
On average 17000 people in the UK die from the effects of common flu every year....mostly oldies. I wouldn't be at all concerned about this virus unless I was travelling to certain areas of the world.
You are correct in that flu is common here but you ignore one important point... we have had flu jabs and while they do not guarantee that we won't get flu the jab does protect to a certain extent and if we did get symptoms then they are likely to be greatly reduced. There is no jab to protect against corvid-19 so to compare normal flu with corvid-19 isn't really appropriate

Originally Posted by SKRan
All the flu season precautions are also good to protect you from Covid-19 and many other similar diseases. Washing hands, getting fresh air, avoid coughing people etc. We should do these things anyway, especially when travelling.

Your destinations are low risk. Unless some significant incident happens, they will be at similar risk as UK. Staying in doesn’t reduce the probability a lot, and comes with some financial loss.

Even mainland China is now categorised into risk based zones - for example Tibet is low risk because it only had 1 confirmed case and cured.
It isn't at all similar to the UK. The healthcare system in Albania, even in Tirana, is very poor and standards and availability of diagnostic equipment and testing facilities are also very poor. Staying in the UK may or may not reduce the likelihood of catching corvid-19 but it is massively better to be in the UK having contracted it than in Albania!!!

Also, staying at home, with very limited exposure to the general public and an exposure that can be controlled is a completely different ball game to exposing ourselves to the general public on public transport such as an international airport.

We are reviewing whether we cancel Tirana. It is a FT do unfortunately
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 10:09 am
  #56  
 
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Originally Posted by SKRan
All the flu season precautions are also good to protect you from Covid-19 and many other similar diseases. Washing hands, getting fresh air, avoid coughing people etc. We should do these things anyway, especially when travelling.

Your destinations are low risk. Unless some significant incident happens, they will be at similar risk as UK. Staying in doesn’t reduce the probability a lot, and comes with some financial loss.

Even mainland China is now categorised into risk based zones - for example Tibet is low risk because it only had 1 confirmed case and cured.
This is true. But the destination other than obvious ones, is not the main risk for most travelers at the current time.

The main risk of travel is the commingling with hundreds and hundreds of other people such as occurs at LHR Terminal 5 or 3 plus your time in the airplane itself where your risk can not be quantitated because you have no idea who you are surrounded by, nor where they have traveled to or from, including airline staff.
Since Corona virus patients can pass the virus even when they are with out symptoms, that person who just bumped into at WH Smith may have been more than just rude, he may have left some thing behind that will change your life.

That's why I am saying if travel is elective, why not put it off until the Corona virus has burnt out like the Spanish flu did, especially if you are in the higher risk groups like I am (66 y/o).

My wife and I traveled to exactly the same places that the South Korean tour group did in Israel that returned and was found to have more than 10 members with Corona virus infection after that got home in February. They missed us by just 8 weeks! We saw and passed next to many, many of these tour groups while we were in Israel, very common thing to see from all over the world, so no more elective travel for us until this is over, we dodged it once, no sense in risking it again.

All the best
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 10:14 am
  #57  
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Originally Posted by snaxmuppet
I am 60, wife is 55 so not old
It is a matter of perspective. To the average 20-year old, you (or I for that matter) would be bordering on pre-historic.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 1:03 pm
  #58  
 
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Leaving the US tomorrow to DOH then on to an African country after a 10 hour layover. I am staying in the airside hotel and ordering room service and I will not use the Business class lounge even though I have access.

I do have respirator masks with me(sister purchased them before they were sold out and they do work against viruses). We are both in the medical field.
Although masks are largely helpful for preventing people from touching their faces, most do not offer a lot of protection.

Best advice I have is to wear disposable gloves AND to wipe down all surfaces you come in contact with using a high grade medical disinfectant wipe which can be found on the internet. I have some from PDI if that is helpful to anyone. There are likely other companies that sell these products as well.

And yes, frequent and thorough hand washing IS still the best way to avoid contamination.

Airplane seat headrests are not usually thought as being the worst contaminated areas on a plane but recent results indicated that they are worse than the usual suspects of tray tables, seat belts, seat pockets and lavatory handles.
Safe travels to all no matter where you go.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 2:23 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by Tobias-UK
But wearing a mask all the time will be ineffective. It will allow viruses to be transmitted around it, through it and worse still, if it becomes moist it will encourage the growth of viruses and bacteria.
I used to do automotive painting, and wore a respirator to protect me from the solvents and other nasty chemicals in the paint. The respirator is made from silicone to easily conform to the shape of my face and make a tight seal, but after about 3 hours of wearing it, the inside needed to be cleaned and dried; as it accumulates moisture from exhaling into it. I can't image what a mask worn for more than a day continuously would look like especially in a hot climate. Sounds like a great breeding ground for bacteria to me.
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Old Feb 23, 2020, 2:59 pm
  #60  
 
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave
In the last 2 weeks I've been to UK, Ireland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Apart from some groups of Asian heritage who have long worn masts when travelling, I've only spotted one Westerner (in Italy) wearing a mask.
Interestingly, on my Schengen flight into FCO day before yesterday, the only person wearing a mask was the Italian lady across the aisle from me.
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