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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 May 29, 2020, 11:04 pm
  #826  
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The 5G is affecting the brainwaves causing erratic behavior, put down the NEJM and take a break...
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Old May 29, 2020, 11:11 pm
  #827  
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Just curious, how many people in this thread wear masks while driving. Alone. With closed windows. To take it further, while wearing disposable gloves?

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Old May 30, 2020, 12:12 am
  #828  
 
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Originally Posted by BLV
Just curious, how many people in this thread wear masks while driving. Alone. With closed windows. To take it further, while wearing disposable gloves?

Not I. But I still dont get the gloves thing. Everybody with gloves still touches their face and then touches objects then face and on and on. Its not helping anything. Why not just wash your hands frequently?
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Old May 30, 2020, 12:14 am
  #829  
 
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Originally Posted by the810
I've spent last three days in Czechia, which used to have compulsory masks everywhere in public until recently. The situation at the moment is that they are legally required when you're within 2 meters from another person, and at all times in shops, public transportation, etc. In practice, almost no one wore them outside. Maybe one in ten people had a mask on the street, otherwise everyone walked around with their face naked (which was a very refreshing and welcome change compared to where I live).

Wait a minute. For the last month or so, I have been bombarded with articles and posts on social media from my friends and family on how Czechia started the "I protect you, you protect me" campaign and as such 99% of the country is wearing masks everywhere and that is why they did not get affected badly.

In fact the "I protect you, you protect me" line was used in Dubai by the health authorities to make wearing masks compulsory every single time you are outside your home. You also have to wear it in cars even if you are with family members on fear of a 1000 dhs fine (around 270$). It is compulsory in gyms which reopened this weekend when working out as well, and when jogging outdoors.

I have seen similar praise showered on Hong Kong, Taiwan and Slovakia (where supposedly the entire leadership wore masks as opposed to "bad" America where Orange Man is not setting a good example for the minions)

And you are telling me reality is different ?!
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Old May 30, 2020, 12:19 am
  #830  
 
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Originally Posted by the810
l. But giving up their needs virtually forever is completely different thing. Ultimately people will get fed up and will simply start to ignore those rules, or outright rebel against them. I

This is why I'm sceptical to all those speaches about the "new normal". What we saw in Italy and many other places is that people are eager to get to back to "old normal" and will do so as soon as they can.
Since the pandemic started, I have been seeing a huge amount of self-hating by many Americans.
It basically boils down to stuff like

"We westerners are bad, we thing about individual rights, and that is why we are dying and refusing to wear masks"
"Look at those Asians, they are so good, their culture values sacrificing individual freedom for societal good, they are all following rules without questioning, they so good"
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Old May 30, 2020, 12:34 am
  #831  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Not I. But I still dont get the gloves thing. Everybody with gloves still touches their face and then touches objects then face and on and on. Its not helping anything. Why not just wash your hands frequently?
That is true for the most part (eg cashiers that wear gloves then handle money with no cleaning inbetween, etc.), however I find wearing gloves useful when shopping and touching things like shopping carts (used to use my own clean shopping bag but they won't allow them into the stores now where I live) people could have coughed on etc. (probably overkill but I've got lots of disposable gloves) and for touching surfaces that many have touched when I can't avoid it. Then I take them off after leaving the store - and can wash my hands when I get home (and deal with whatever wrappings need to be dealt with - mostly none b/c they sit for a while before use except for fresh food).
Only 1 store person I saw actually used sanitizer every time they changed customers the rest, well they act as if the gloves had some "magic" property
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Old May 30, 2020, 12:43 am
  #832  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Not I. But I still dont get the gloves thing. Everybody with gloves still touches their face and then touches objects then face and on and on. Its not helping anything. Why not just wash your hands frequently?
Maybe you touch your face with your gloved hand, but for me, gloves are a discriminative stimulus to not touch my face.
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Old May 30, 2020, 1:55 am
  #833  
 
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Originally Posted by Stgermainparis
Not I. But I still dont get the gloves thing. Everybody with gloves still touches their face and then touches objects then face and on and on. Its not helping anything. Why not just wash your hands frequently?
I don't really get the gloves either. I mean, I can see them perhaps being useful at a grocery store or gas station, but then I'd have to carry a bunch of them around, and to me it's easier to carry around a travel-sized bottle of hand sanitizer.

Plus, one habit that became ingrained from travelling over the years is not touching my eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed or unsanitized hands.
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Old May 30, 2020, 3:10 am
  #834  
 
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Originally Posted by LonghornDXB
Wait a minute. For the last month or so, I have been bombarded with articles and posts on social media from my friends and family on how Czechia started the "I protect you, you protect me" campaign and as such 99% of the country is wearing masks everywhere and that is why they did not get affected badly.

In fact the "I protect you, you protect me" line was used in Dubai by the health authorities to make wearing masks compulsory every single time you are outside your home. You also have to wear it in cars even if you are with family members on fear of a 1000 dhs fine (around 270$). It is compulsory in gyms which reopened this weekend when working out as well, and when jogging outdoors.

I have seen similar praise showered on Hong Kong, Taiwan and Slovakia (where supposedly the entire leadership wore masks as opposed to "bad" America where Orange Man is not setting a good example for the minions)

And you are telling me reality is different ?!
I can't speak for the whole pandemic period, because I wasn't allowed to enter Czechia until this Wednesday. But during my stay this week, almost no one wore them outside, at least not in the city I visited (Brno). They were however worn by everyone in shops and public transportation.

Regarding Slovakia where I live, mask use in public is still widespread but I see more and more people without them every day. I would currently estimate that 30-40% no longer use them on street.

This is what it looked like on Wednesday evening in front of my favourite pub in Brno, Czechia (I count two people in masks ):
​​​

Last edited by the810; May 30, 2020 at 3:16 am
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Old May 30, 2020, 5:56 am
  #835  
 
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Originally Posted by the810
I can't speak for the whole pandemic period, because I wasn't allowed to enter Czechia until this Wednesday. But during my stay this week, almost no one wore them outside, at least not in the city I visited (Brno). They were however worn by everyone in shops and public transportation.

Regarding Slovakia where I live, mask use in public is still widespread but I see more and more people without them every day. I would currently estimate that 30-40% no longer use them on street.

This is what it looked like on Wednesday evening in front of my favourite pub in Brno, Czechia (I count two people in masks ):
​​​
Yes, but remember the Czech Republic were among the earliest European countries to impose a lockdown. The "magic" of exponential growth means that even a short 2 week delay in implementing lockdowns/mask wearing (in the case of the UK, implementing face coverings in confined spaces is more like a 2 month delay) sets you back an enormous degree in terms of spread, rate of new infections and mortality which is why the early lockdown countries (like the Czech Republic) have done much better than countries like the UK. This means the relative benefit of masks is now less in the Czech Republic than, say, the UK or US because there is less circulating virus in the population. And wearing a mask is mainly of benefit in confined indoor/public transport spaces (though I think still has a role outdoors in situations of close contact).

The time to start wearing masks was right at the beginning of the pandemic, as soon as a handful of cases were recorded in each country. Now, they will have less population impact in countries with less circulating virus. But their use in those countries is still beneficial for prophylactic reasons - to prevent new outbreaks from occurring as lockdowns are eased. And this will be even more important in the early lockdown countries which will have lower levels of population immunity compared to the late lockdown countries (the one saving grace the UK/US/Sweden have, but at great cost in terms of the number of people who have died).

As to the reluctance of the UK to adopt face coverings, I have come to the conclusion that this is largely cultural. There is a deep seated cultural aversion to facial coverings in the UK (for various OMNI reasons I won't go into). And now they are finally being advocated by the UK government it is really too late with respect to reducing transmission in the first wave, but hopefully will have some impact in reducing risk of resurgence once the UK is in a position to further ease their lockdown.
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Old May 30, 2020, 7:47 am
  #836  
 
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Originally Posted by doctoravios
The time to start wearing masks was right at the beginning of the pandemic, as soon as a handful of cases were recorded in each country. Now, they will have less population impact in countries with less circulating virus.
But ironically, Czechia currently has more cases than it had when they introduced compulsory masks. The meassure was introduced on 18th of March when they had 519 active cases (and many if not most people started to wear them even earlier), while they have 2377 active cases as of yesterday.
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Old May 30, 2020, 8:15 am
  #837  
 
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Please push back HARD on these un-cited NEJM images going around.

FIRST, the article was an OPINION piece from April 1 (before even CDC recommended masks) written solely from a healthcare perspective to a healthcare audience (which is what NEJM is). It was written in the face of mask shortage among healthcare workers to defend conservation of PPE for healthcare workers. It was written before data on mask usage in many other countries over the past two months. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372 (look at the top of the page and read the entire thing).

SECOND NEJM publishes opinions (especially when written by people at Harvard) , even when they might be incorrect or take a minority view of the literature. Their audience is healthcare professionals, not Twitter. Their audience is people who read the entire article, understand the roles of the authors, their motives, and the date that the words were written, not published. Twitter and screenshots misuse the work.
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Old May 30, 2020, 8:36 am
  #838  
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This explains why the WHO has the lesser recommendation about mask use, and it is mostly practical for poor countries.

CDC and WHO offer conflicting advice on masks. An expert tells us why.

Last edited by nk15; May 30, 2020 at 10:31 am
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Old May 30, 2020, 8:38 am
  #839  
 
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Originally Posted by the810
But ironically, Czechia currently has more cases than it had when they introduced compulsory masks. The meassure was introduced on 18th of March when they had 519 active cases (and many if not most people started to wear them even earlier), while they have 2377 active cases as of yesterday.
Yes, as you would expect. This is a pandemic. You would expect number of active cases to rise at the beginning when there is no population immunity. Assuming the numbers you have quoted are accurate (which they won't be because they will almost certainly underestimate the true number of cases), that is a mean doubling time of around 5 weeks (but obviously not the current doubling time which is likely to be much greater).

If you compare that to the mean doubling time of countries like the US/UK over the past couple of months, the Czech Republic has done much better than other countries. Believe me, having just over 2,000 active cases now compared to around 500 active cases a couple of months ago is a real marker of success!
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Old May 30, 2020, 8:49 am
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Last edited by schriste; May 30, 2020 at 4:12 pm
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