[LMB] OT: Tell me about your masks right after all

Damien Sullivan phoenix at mindstalk.net
Sat Dec 25 05:47:27 GMT 2021

On Fri, Dec 24, 2021 at 07:00:54AM +0000, Bujold list wrote:

> 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. 

I've been following stats, and a friend has a site that makes it easy to
see history https://plague.wtf/

For most of the pandemic, Japan was worst in class among rich
Asian/Oceania countries, which was still better than the rest of the
world, like tied with the very best European countries.  AIUI Japan
never did proper lockdowns -- the goverment seems surprisingly weak? The
Tokugawas would be disappointed -- so it was mostly universal masking
holding the line, plus avoidance behavior and contact tracing.  Vs.
Australia, New Zealand, and Taiwan, doing lockdowns to local extinction
of the virus, and South Korean in between.

Then covid seemed to almost vanish from Japan! It was mysterious.
Starting to tick up now, though you can't see it on a graph

As for my mask, I went straight for 'surgical' ones off Amazon last
year.  Then I got mask fitters from Fix The Mask, which work quite well
in sealing the edges; surgical + fitter/brace can get up to N95 level
filtration in lab tests.  I also bought some disposable and re-usable
N95s/respirators, wasn't that happy with them... mostly I've been using
KF94s recently, especially Good Manner brand ones.  I got some 'cord
lock toggles', which you can put on the ear loops, to tighten them.

The 3M Aura masks look pretty good -- KF style, but headbands -- but I
got a bunch off Amazon resellers for speed, and now I don't trust them;
for my flight to Vancouver I ended up wearing KF, then a trustable
classic N95 when my ears hurt.

As for what to wear, omicron has raised the stakes from "everyone should
wear a decent mask to protect others" to "everyone should wear a very
good mask to protect themselves", especially if you live somewhere where
people *don't* wear masks.  And even countries that *do*, like Canada or
Spain, are seeing rates rise rapidly; I have no idea how much of that is
omicron getting around masks vs. people eating out and such enough to
spread.  Me, I'm still avoiding dine-in, especially now...

(Yes, I'm well-vacced.  Yes, omicron is said to be 'mild'.  Past mild
infections can still give you long covid, and I'm overweight.  I'd
rather avoid infection at all.)

-xx- Damien X-)

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