Well, today’s foray into an interesting tidbit of medical history got sidelined by The Great Mask Debate 😷. I’ve been in SMH mode since I first heard various heads of “Important Organizations and World Leadership” speak with great concern about the virulence of the virus at hand, and the ensuing discussions of all manner of masks. Wait 30 minutes and information (and opinions) will change.
Keeping up is like trying to catch a greased pig 🐷 quickly.
One thing that has stayed the same tho, is this topic of masks. And interestingly, “they” seem to be promoting masks even more vociferously the further we get into Mask Mania 2020.
Regardless of whether you are pro mask or anti mask, the following information should be helpful. …… because ACCURATE information certainly seems to be in short supply.
The following points to ponder upon are not my opinion. They are facts:
😷1. Let’s start first with the assumption that ANY mask or face covering is better than no mask at all.
This is patently not true, and I find it vexing that people with some semblance of authority would even suggest this. Nonetheless… I shall be referring to both the WHO’s (World Health Organization) and the CDC’s (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) own literature as I explore this topic.
Cloth made masks or scarves may keep dog hair, pollen, or bugs from flying into your mouth and nose, but they will do nary a thing to keep said virus (or bacteria) out of your personal ecosystem.
In addition… REUSE of a used cloth mask with its poor filtration may actually contribute to infection…. ESPECIALLY if you are already harboring lungs that have been compromised. (think COPD, asthma, emphysema, etc)
Here is a study if you’d like confirmation of the above information: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/…
😷 2. Secondly, according to the WHO website, “using a mask incorrectly may hamper its effectiveness in reducing the risk of transmission”.
The WHO website also clearly states this:
Community Setting/ Individual WITHOUT respiratory symptoms should heed the following “a medical mask is NOT required, as no evidence is available on its usefulness to protect non-sick persons. “
Whereas…. “Individuals WITH respiratory symptoms should: - wear a medical mask and seek medical care if experiencing fever, cough and difficulty breathing, as soon as possible or in accordance with to local protocols”
Seems pretty black and white to me (according to the WHO website.... not me).
Sick= wear mask 😷
Not Sick= don’t wear mask
… but don’t believe me, please, do read for yourself.
😷 3. What about other masks? Glad you asked! There IS a difference between mask types AND there’s actually a hot market for them right now in case you hadn’t noticed.
✅ N95 Masks are considered the industry standard in blocking particles. They block particles over 0.03 microns. Said virus has been found to be as small as .02 microns, and according to this website, the N95 mask will work for about 95% of the virus particles PROVIDED the mask size fits the face properly, facial hair has been removed, and other considerations have been taken.
Please don’t rely on me for this information…. Here is the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation’s (APSF) information: https://www.apsf.org/…/perioperative-considerations-for-th…/
Not all masks are N95. Surgical masks, as a rule, are not, unless indicated as such. If they are not labeled as N95, the ability to shield oneself from the virus has gone down considerably.
Because N95 masks are a hot commodity, so are (unfortunately) scam artists who make fake ones. Be wary from who and where you buy N95 masks.
Here is information on how to identify a true approved N95 mask: https://www.cdc.gov/…/npptl/usernotices/counterfeitResp.html
Additionally, according to the CDC website, “Used respirators (N95 masks) are considered contaminated and ideally should be discarded after each patient encounter. A user should never touch the contaminated front of the respirator with his or her bare hands. Hands should always be washed after donning and doffing the respirator. “
😷 4. Wearing a used and contaminated face mask (paper or cloth) for long periods of time on a daily basis actually INCREASES the risk of infection TO THE WEARER. Additionally, the longer the same mask has been worn around others, the more concentrated the infectious load becomes.
Add in high warm moisture content, and lower oxygen intake (A mask wearer actually does breathe in less oxygen and more carbon dioxide than a maskless person, especially if worn for extended periods of time), the stress of wearing a mask for extended periods of time (not to mention the said pathogen load now living in your mask)..... and well..... all of these are lovely amenities if you are looking to acquire a truly happy colony of ill mannered bacteria (or virus) to call your very own.
(Even the CDC website has this to say about reusing masks that have not been properly decontaminated: “Used respirators are considered contaminated and ideally should be discarded after each patient encounter.” Please refer again to the CDC website linked above)
Something about all of this seems counterintuitive to what's going on in real life....... or is it just me?
😷 5. Finally…. What about disposing of your used masks? Please discard them properly…. Do not leave them in your buggy, or the parking lot of the shopping establishment. That is just wrong. Used masks, as you have just learned, have a buildup of potentially infectious particulates that could include viruses or other pathogens, and if left around willy-nilly could actually give somebody something…. Which is what we are ALL trying not to do.
Really.... wouldn't it just be easier to work on supporting your immune system? Not just now, but always?
Stay well. Be kind. Operate in truth. 😘
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!