Originally Posted By: haertig
Surgical masks were really designed to protect the patient from the surgeon, not the surgeon from the patient. They will be much more effective in preventing you from spreading the disease you have, rather than protecting you from getting the disease you don't want to get. A mask may have some effect in protecting you from getting a virus. A very minimal effect. Just like wrapping your head in toilet paper (if you could find any) will have some effect...

I am guessing here, and have no scientific evidence, but I would propose that staying 6 feet away from an infected person without a mask might do you better than being 3 feet away with a mask. I'm talking surgical type masks here. Not the positive pressure, air tank fed, sealed facemasks like firefighters use.

Did you read nurse mike's link? Even a t-shirt material is 50% as effective. Some hospitals are requesting volunteers make them at home for the medical workers use as they can't get anything else. Sure it is a stopgap attempt at reducing the load, but not useless.

I haven't seen TP, bleach, peroxide or alcohol on the store shelves for a couple of weeks. Paper towels in a few places. Some are making masks from layers of paper towels too. Rice and bean are low too.