This document contains first an Washington Post article, and then a New York Times article
Also, look at this NY Times article (diagram) how to make your own mask LINK
Also, Tucker Carlson: The Feds Are Lying. We Should Be Wearing Masks. LINK
Here's Rob's thoughts on the following two articles
I think they are excellent articles. My Stanford Virus professor just held a class Zoom session tonight (even though we're 2 weeks past end of the quarter) just to trade info.
He is completely in favor for people wearing masks can help.
There are at least 5 reasons to wear masks:
- stop most of your own respiratory droplets from getting out in the air
- if you sneeze or cough or shout or sing or just have some droplets going out
- almost anything will stop most of them, even a bandana like Jesse James over your face
- stop you from touching your face
- reduce by some amount the airborne droplets you breath in
- yes, a bandanna or home-made mask will not stop all of them, but it can cut down a whole bunch of them
- it reminds people around you that they should be careful and take many different precautions such as wearing masks, washing hands, not kissing and hugging friends and family, etc.
- stop 99.999% of the droplets
- for this you need a high quality N-95 or equivalent mask
- these should be saved for healthcare workers who are 2' from very sick people all day long
My professor put it this way: if everyone in the grocery store had home made masks or bandannas on, just think about how that two-fold factor of reducing most of the airborne droplets would be
Simple DIY masks could help flatten the curve. We should all wear them in public.
Got a T-shirt? You can make a mask at home. Washington Post LINK
The Czech government has required masks in an attempt to slow down the coronavirus outbreak.
By Jeremy Howard
Jeremy Howard is a distinguished research scientist at the University of San Francisco, founding researcher at fast.ai and a member of the World Economic Forum's Global AI Council. March 28, 2020 at 12:18 p.m. PDT
When historians tally up the many missteps policymakers have made in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the senseless and unscientific push for the general public to avoid wearing masks should be near the top.
The evidence not only fails to support the push, it also contradicts it. It can take a while for official recommendations to catch up with scientific thinking. In this case, such delays might be deadly and economically disastrous. It’s time to make masks a key part of our fight to contain, then defeat, this pandemic. Masks effective at “flattening the curve” can be made at home with nothing more than a T-shirt and a pair of scissors. We should all wear masks — store-bought or homemade — whenever we’re out in public.
Why one expert says healthy people should wear DIY face masks
According to the CDC and World Health Organization, only the sick, and their caretakers, should wear face masks. Research scientist Jeremy Howard disagrees. (Allie Caren/The Washington Post)
At the height of the HIV crisis, authorities did not tell people to put away condoms. As fatalities from car crashes mounted, no one recommended avoiding seat belts. Yet in a global respiratory pandemic, people who should know better are discouraging Americans from using respiratory protection.
Facing shortages of the N95 masks needed by health-care workers, the U.S. surgeon general announced on Feb. 29 that masks “are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus,” despite significant scientific evidence to the contrary. This is not just a problem in the United States: Even the World Health Organization says, “you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.”
There are good reasons to believe DIY masks would help a lot. Look at Hong Kong, Mongolia, South Korea and Taiwan, all of which have covid-19 largely under control. They are all near the original epicenter of the pandemic in mainland China, and they have economic ties to China. Yet none has resorted to a lockdown, such as in China’s Wuhan province. In all of these countries, all of which were hit hard by the SARS respiratory virus outbreak in 2002 and 2003, everyone is wearing masks in public. George Gao, director general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, “Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”
My data-focused research institute, fast.ai, has found 34 scientific papers indicating basic masks can be effective in reducing virus transmission in public — and not a single paper that shows clear evidence that they cannot.
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Hospitals battling coronavirus are short on vital supplies. This aid group is rushing to help.
Studies have documented definitively that in controlled environments like airplanes, people with masks rarely infect others and rarely become infected themselves, while those without masks more easily infect others or become infected themselves.
The CDC is considering recommending the general public wear face coverings
Masks don’t have to be complex to be effective. A 2013 paper tested a variety of household materials and found that something as simple as two layers of a cotton T-shirt is highly effective at blocking virus particles of a wide range of sizes. Oxford University found evidence this month for the effectiveness of simple fabric mouth and nose covers to be so compelling they now are officially acceptable for use in a hospital in many situations. Hospitals running short of N95-rated masks are turning to homemade cloth masks themselves; if it’s good enough to use in a hospital, it’s good enough for a walk to the store.
I'm an ER doctor. The coronavirus is already overwhelming us.
The reasons the WHO cites for its anti-mask advice are based not on science but on three spurious policy arguments. First, there are not enough masks for hospital workers. Second, masks may themselves become contaminated and pass on an infection to the people wearing them. Third, masks could encourage people to engage in more risky behavior.
None of these is a good reason to avoid wearing a mask in public.
Yes, there is a shortage of manufactured masks, and these should go to hospital workers. But anyone can make a mask at home by cutting up a cotton T-shirt, tying it back together and then washing it at the end of the day. Another approach, recommended by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, involves rigging a simple mask with a paper towel and rubber bands that can be thrown in the trash at the end of each day.
Masks used to ward off coronavirus show up on Hong Kong beaches
It’s true that masks can become contaminated. But better a mask gets contaminated than the person who is wearing it. It is not hard to wash or dispose of a mask at the end of the day and then wash hands thoroughly to prevent a contaminated mask from spreading infection.
The virus makes us weigh the value of a life. We can’t know if we’ve gotten it right.
Finally, the idea that masks encourage risky behavior is nonsensical. We give cars anti-lock brakes and seat belts despite the possibility that people might drive more riskily knowing the safety equipment is there. Construction workers wear hard hats even though the hats presumably could encourage less attention to safety. If any risky behavior does occur, societies have the power to make laws against it.
Many authorities still advise only people with symptoms to wear masks. But this doesn’t help with a disease like covid-19, since a person who does not yet show symptoms can still be contagious. A study in Iceland, where there has been unprecedented levels of testing, found that “about half of those who tested positive [for covid-19] are nonsymptomatic,” according to Iceland’s chief epidemiologist, Thorolfur Gudnason. In fact, in early February, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony S. Fauci warned there was strong evidence that covid-19 spreads even among people without symptoms. If we all wear masks, people unknowingly infected with the coronavirus would be less likely to spread it.
I also have heard suggestions that widespread usage of masks in the West will be culturally impossible. The story of the Czech Republic debunks this notion. Social media influencers campaigning to encourage DIY mask creation catalyzed an extraordinary mobilization by nearly the whole population. Within three days, there were enough masks for everyone in the country, and most people were wearing them. This was an entirely grass-roots community effort.
When social distancing requirements forced a small bar in Prague to close, its owner, Štefan Olejár, converted Bar Behind the Curtain into a mask manufacturing facility. He procured sewing machines from the community and makes about 400 cotton masks per day. The bar employs 10 people, including a driver who distributes the masks directly to people who are not able to leave their homes.
There are “mask trees” on street corners around the country, where people hang up masks they have made so others can take them.
The most important message shared in the Czech Republic has been this: “My mask protects you; your mask protects me.” Wearing a mask there is now considered a prosocial behavior. Going outside without one is frowned on as an antisocial action that puts your community at risk. In fact, the community reaction has been so strong that the government has responded by making it illegal to go out in public without a mask.
When I first started wearing a mask in public, I felt a bit odd. But I reminded myself I’m helping my community, and I’m sure in the coming weeks people who don’t wear masks will be the ones who feel out of place. Now I’m trying to encourage everyone to join me — and to get their friends to wear masks, too — with a social media campaign around #masks4all.
Community use of masks alone is not enough to stop the spread. Restrictions on movement and commerce need to stay in place until hospital systems clearly are able to handle the patient load. Then, we need a rigorous system of contact tracing, testing and quarantine of those potentially infected.
Given the weight of evidence, it seems likely that universal mask wearing should be a part of the solution. Every single one of us can make it happen — starting today.
It may be time for everyone to mask up
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is having second thoughts about masks. See whole article here
For weeks, it (and we) said that ordinary citizens in the U.S. did not need to wear them unless they were sick and coughing or were caring for someone who was.
Now, with the number of cases in the U.S. doubling every three or four days, it looks as though that may not have been the best advice.
New data cited by Dr. Robert Redfield, the director of the C.D.C., shows high rates of transmission by people who are infected but don’t know it yet. An infected person can be contagious for 48 hours before developing symptoms, if they get them at all. Having a mask on could cut down on the number of transmissions from asymptomatic people.
So the C.D.C. is now considering whether to recommend that more people — maybe everybody — wear a mask when out in public.
Not a high-grade N95 medical mask, though. Those are scarce and should still be saved for those who need them most, medical professionals and others on the front lines. One reason the C.D.C. hesitated to advise universal mask-wearing was to avoid making shortages of those masks even worse.
But for this purpose, you don’t need that type; ordinary surgical masks and even homemade masks will do. They will help slow transmission in the community, even though they don’t ensure complete protection for the wearer.
And there’s a side benefit: Wearing any kind of mask, even a bandanna, will make you less likely to touch your face — an important route for infection.
Make your own mask. It isn’t difficult, and you may already have everything you need at home. Here’s a guide.