Mask wearing: do the opposite of what the CDC/WHO has been saying?

post by shminux · 2020-04-02T22:10:31.126Z · LW · GW · 4 comments

So the standard advice has been not to wear surgical masks if you have no symptoms, justified by the two mutually contradictory arguments uttered in the same breath: "they don't help" AND "healthcare workers need them". Well, it turns out that surgical masks don't help much in a hospital setting, where there is a high concentration of virus-containing aerosol, and N95 respirators or even more stringent protective equipment is needed. On the other hand, the community transmission is much more likely through droplets and surface contact, something where masks are likely to be effective against, especially to avoid infecting others, together with washing hands, disinfecting surfaces and social distancing. Goggles might be a good idea, too, to avoid accidentally touching one's eyes. In retrospect, that was pretty obvious, but hindsight is, well, 2020.

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comment by Raemon · 2020-04-02T22:27:32.877Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Link for the surgical masks update?

comment by jmh · 2020-04-03T13:04:01.136Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

I have a thought and not sure if it makes sense, but would argue against masks to some extent or at least about how we might implement mask wearing and other behaviors at a personal level.

If the issue with infections are the load and period of time being exposed to a viral environment then someone that has a mild case will be expelling virus every exhale and then pulling some of those viruses back in with their inhale.

Is there any potential for those with mild cases wearing a mask for a long period of time in creating a worse infection for themselves?

comment by Kenny · 2020-04-04T04:54:59.417Z · LW(p) · GW(p)

Maybe people should, after removing a mask, wash their hands, then their faces (with a cloth too perhaps), and then their hands again?