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

M. Haller Yamada thefabmadamem at yahoo.com
Sat Dec 25 06:44:55 GMT 2021

On Saturday, December 25, 2021, 02:47:32 PM GMT+9, Damien Sullivan <phoenix at mindstalk.net> wrote: 

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

Micki: Testing was very hit or miss here, so I think it's mostly the masks we have to thank. LOL, quite honestly, I'm not sure what the Tokugawas did about any plague. Good research topic for a snowy winter day (which we may have soon). As for the mystery dip in cases, it was pretty sudden. I believe the official explanation is that most people got their vaccinations in time for the elections in November. That's kind of a cynical view, that the government rolled out the vaccines quicker to make themselves more popular in the elections. Even more cynical (and probably not true at all) is that reporting being suppressed before the elections (or testing) could really help a party out. 

It's probably not true. The current LDP has been in charge for ages, except for a brief period when the opposing party got in charge, and couldn't do any better. 

Most people in my circle were enthusiastic about the vaccines, and are enthusiastic about boosters -- but feel quite strongly that they should "wait their turn" and not push for speedier rollout. 

That's anecdata for you. 

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-)

Micki: Nice masking! I resigned from my job just as COVID was getting started, so my main tactic has been avoidance. And the masking, of course, and getting my vaccine as soon as it was available. Oh, and ventilation. Got the window open right now, even though it's around freezing. Mostly for the cats, but I can also justify it as good, fresh air. 

It's just so fascinating how what goes around comes around. The whole mask issue has been around for more than a century when these kinds of aerosol plagues pop up. Ventilation, avoiding crowds (parades), social contact restrictions. We just have better masks and a modern twist on things. 


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