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#298058 - 01/13/21 04:17 AM Re: Mask preferences [Re: haertig]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: haertig
Remember, just a few short months ago the CDC and other medical professional were saying masks were useless for the general population. Now their recommendation is 180 degrees opposite. It's not like masks are something new. They've been around forever, and should have been studied to death already. The majority of the studies I have seen that promote mask use for the general population have all been done very very recently. I find that odd.

Many people believe the CDC was concerned that there wouldn't be enough PPE for healthcare workers, and so de-emphasized mask use for the general population. When mask production caught up with need, there was no longer need to discourage the population from snapping up masks.

If you look at the Asian countries that have long experiences of dealing with flu epidemics from China, mask use has generally been a part of their government's public health policy. *Their* medical communities & equivalent of CDC do not have ambiguous messaging about mask use. For them, COVID-19 is not the first such pandemic they've countered. For us, it is our maiden voyage, and we're discovering the lessons they learned years ago.

Edited by Bingley (01/13/21 04:19 AM)

#298059 - 01/13/21 04:21 AM Re: Mask preferences [Re: haertig]
Bingley Offline

Registered: 02/27/08
Posts: 1515
Originally Posted By: haertig

How reliable is this? It's missing countries!

#298060 - 01/13/21 06:40 AM Re: Mask preferences [Re: Bingley]
haertig Offline

Registered: 03/13/05
Posts: 2288
Loc: Colorado
Originally Posted By: Bingley
Many people believe the CDC was concerned that there wouldn't be enough PPE for healthcare workers, and so de-emphasized mask use for the general population.

But if they hope to maintain one shred of credibility, then they shouldn't "de-emphasize" by lying about mask effectiveness.

Once they try the excuse "Yes, we lied to you, but it was for a good reason", who in their right mind would ever believe a word they say again?

#298061 - 01/13/21 01:15 PM Re: Mask preferences [Re: TeacherRO]
williamlatham Offline

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 263
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
They have all 152 countries. It is interesting to sort on death per 1,000,000 people and see how things fall out. Probably due to population density.

#298062 - 01/13/21 06:44 PM Re: Mask preferences [Re: Bingley]
Burncycle Offline

Registered: 09/16/04
Posts: 570
Fauci and the SG did mislead the public, and Fauci implicitly admitted just prior to the April 3rd announcement to wear improvised masks that the driving factor of his decision was a shortage of PPE for medical workers and fear of panic buying.

The problem here is, from both a public official and a medical professional standpoint, that it represents conduct unbecoming - you do not lie about the potential efficacy of an intervention to mitigate risk, period. It doesn't matter if he felt the reasons were noble. That destroys the public trust.

As a firefighter I often work closely with our EMA, and when doing contingency planning panic buying is a known variable that can be accounted for. So the idea that people might panic buy should have been irrelevant. The public often assumes the Government is like the special forces of management: lean, efficient and on top of things. After all, we spend billions on emergency management organizations from homeland security, CDC, FEMA, all the way down the line, whose actual day job is preparing for various eventualities.

Yet it takes a pandemic to discover our strategic national stockpile was woefully inadequate to address any sort of surge, and to discover our domestic production capability has also degraded, such that we rely upon overseas sources and "just in time" logistics for mission critical items like PPE. That's not a simple oversight, that's a national security risk, it should never have been a thing. It's like finding out something like 80% of the entire world's IV supplies come from a single facility in Puerto Rico only AFTER a hurricane knocks it out.

We had on the order of 119 million N95 masks in the strategic national stockpile in 2009 prior to the H1N1 pandemic, which was never fully restocked. Even if it had been, it's well short of what one of HHS Secretary Alex Azar's deputies testified we would actually need to address shortfalls during a nationwide pandemic of this scale: 3.5 billion. These would last on the order of a few weeks at national scale and is only supposed to be a stopgap while domestic production is ramped up. At ~$2.50/kg in material costs (pre pandemic) that would amount to a mere $200 million, and widespread availability of N95 level masks would allow those who want to wear them to do so while greatly ameliorating the issues of others refusing to, since source control oriented masks (cloth / surgical masks) tend to only work effectively if everyone is wearing them.

Unfortunately, NIOSH approved N95 masks are still not widely available a year into this, though they do pop up from time to time, Amazon still refuses to sell to ordinary individuals and they have to make due with alternatives, with other sources (like Ebay) sometimes selling fake masks.

I do have access to them thanks to work, but I do hope this sort of thing is rectified in the future and never happens again. I will certainly be incorporating lessons learned and purchasing more when available. Reusable half or full face respirators make a lot of sense given the duration involved in a pandemic of this scale (1-2 years of wearing every day)

Edited by Burncycle (01/13/21 06:47 PM)

#298063 - 01/13/21 07:59 PM Re: Mask preferences [Re: TeacherRO]
Tjin Offline

Registered: 04/08/02
Posts: 1805
We also had a discussion about masks here, with our national virologist saying there is no evidence that masks in the population are actually proven to help. He did say it works in a medical setting.

Since then masks have been mandatory, but looking at how masks are worn, I'm not sure if he is wrong. A properly fitted mask works. But look outside and you see that masks are worn on the tip of the nose, below the nose, below the chin, people pulling their masks down to talk, people taking them off to smoke, some people wearing very used/dirty masks, etc, etc. Honestly, I think more than half of the people here do not have the discipline or skill to wear a mask properly.

As for mask availability, surgical style masks are everywhere and dirt cheap. You can get a 50 pack shipped for 3.20, which is less than what I would need to pay as a consumer to just ship it.

There are also FFP2 (N95 equivalent) that are half the price then they were before Covid. Although the better 3M's are still rare, the cheaper model based on the KN95's is very available and as cheap as 1,20 per piece.

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