[LMB] OT: Tell me about your masks, was: William may have been right after all

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 24 07:00:54 GMT 2021

Mark, I don't think people were pooh-poohing him about the idea that we might need better masks (N95s vs. cloth masks). I was a little annoyed with "from the White House" (and the NPR article only cites "experts," as far as I see, not any "government source" -- although there is a link to the CDC), and I thought the word "forever" in the post was hyperbole on the part of the radio personality that William was quoting (although it could have been William's "forever"). 

And what's this "have to" doing in the post? The White House says we HAVE to switch over? Them and whose army? No, sadly, this is a war of persuasion in the US, and *I* think the US should be doing a much better job of marketing masks as a good and safe thing. 

I don't get the outrage that I read in the subtext of William's post. If we take it at face value, what's wrong with the White House advising people to step up their game against Omicron?

I know from William's other posts that he doesn't want to catch COVID. I also know that several of his family members and himself have been put in danger (and William, I do hope Brian is doing better -- my daughter and her husband caught some sort of COVID despite being doubly vaccinated. They are doing OK now). 

Facts are facts: A cloth mask is generally "gappy" -- both around the edges of the masks unless it's been tailored to the individual -- and often in the weave of the material. I think it helps a little, but in the way that plastic wrap might be an effective sort of birth control. It's got to be done right, with the right materials, and worn every time one may be exposed to the coronavirus. And even then . . . well, it's very easy for things to go wrong.  

N95s and FFP2s or better have been recommended (sorry, lost the link from yesterday's research) as better than a cloth mask, and that's true, especially if they are fitted and we're not talking beards. These would be like using condoms for birth control -- they are meant to filter out aerosols, and are reviewed and tested to do so (unless they are counterfeit). Accidents happen -- wearers don't put them on properly, or someone (maybe a cat) punches holes in them, or they slip. But they still are far more effective than plastic wrap for birth control. 

IF I misread the outrage in William's post, I do apologize. I suppose he could have been very excited and thought it was a great idea that the White House was offering advice (and advice endorsed by experts!) for fighting the coronavirus in our very own hometowns. 

Here in Japan, where they've been pulling out the masks every time there's a plague since The Spanish Cold (direct translation), the government from the beginning has urged people to do their own research, really think it through, and decide NOT to be a spreader of the virus. (jishuku -- or 自粛). I dunno. It's worked OK. We've done worse than some Asian countries, but not bad compared to other countries around the world. 

We're a little worried now. My prefecture had 29 cases yesterday. It feels like Omicron is lurking in the corners, ready to pounce. I get a better fit when I double mask (surgical underneath, cloth on top), so I might go back to doing that, and keeping away from crowded New Year's events (going to the shrine, sales, etc.).


On Friday, December 24, 2021, 02:57:02 PM GMT+9, Mark Allums <mark at allums.email> wrote: 

Those poo-poo-ing William Wenrich may want to apologize:


Mark Allums

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