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Enthalpy

Coffee filters as face masks?

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Fun: In France, a group of four people appeals the government to produce faces masks and make them mandatory
leparisien.fr (in French)

  • This comes as masks from China arrived in France, and French companies are ready to produce.
  • The appeal's style is quite critical to the gov, BUT at least two authors regularly do what pleases the gov.
  • So I understand that the gov changes its policy about face masks, and this appeal is a way to prepare the opinion.

And that's only the least sly scenario. Alternately, the European governments could have decided to let the whole population contaminate itself to avoid later waves of illness as happens in Hong Kong, but they were surprised by overwhelmed hospitals. That policy would explain some hostile reactions when I wear a face mask.

Some arguments are fun:

  • The population were advised not to wear masks because there were too few. I mean, paranoiacs, conspirationists, fake news.
  • Masks are efficient for everyone, and even in both directions.
  • Don't wait for a certification. Sure, the industry is ready to sell.

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On 3/18/2020 at 11:29 AM, Enthalpy said:

In the Czech Republic from March 18 on, people are requested to wear a face mask in public. As masks can't be bought, people sew some themselves. A virologist feels DIY masks have some usefulness:
n-tv.de and n-tv.de
(in German, but the information must exist in other languages).

The measure is not protect yourself, that one is about minimizing droplet production. They recommend, for example the use of shawls or ski masks, which offer little when being sprayed on. The article specifically said that there is no scientific evidence that simple surgical masks are going to protect (though, as a sidenote, it would be very difficult to determine to begin with*). The virologist cited in the article specifically says:

Quote

Man denkt immer, man schützt sich selbst mit der Maske, in Wirklichkeit schützt man aber andere"

"Everyone thinks you protect yourself with the mask, but in truth you are protecting others. That thought specifically was used by the Chinese government to ask folks to cover their faces.

Fundamentally, of course, minimizing exposure to your face can also reduce exposure, but it requires a number of behavioural changes that are often not conducted. Such as having a tight seal with your face, but not touch it while wearing. That is hard as after a while they tend to itch and especially if you are not busy with your hands, it is easy to touch and contaminate. 

*As a whole studies have shown some reduction when worn by sick people. For the reverse data is more scarce and there may be a potential weak effect, but only paired with other measures, such as hand washing (and the latter has shown a much stronger effect).

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Maybe. Or maybe not. I feel reasonable that a filter stops the droplets in both directions, and even small ones. But this wasn't my point there.

Point was that the French quartet tells "filters are efficient for everyone" and "in both directions", which is quite the opposite of the former gov communication.

And that they tell that the gov had alleged "masks inefficient and protect only the others" because masks didn't suffice for everyone.

And better, that the French quartet serves probably to prepare the public opinion to the brutal change of governmental policy, from banning masks to making them mandatory. I had wondered how the gov would do that, here we are.

Next step: gov explaining to the people that Daesh is our ally again. That one will be less easy. Let's observe how they do it.

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Sorry, but I must viciously comment... Okay, they forget to secure masks for medical personnel on time. Sounds like a beginners mistake, but fine. It happens... But then asking people not to buy masks because "it won't serve you, but will certainly serve us" sounds really naive.

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2 hours ago, Enthalpy said:

Fun: In France, a group of four people appeals the government to produce faces masks and make them mandatory
leparisien.fr (in French)

  • This comes as masks from China arrived in France, and French companies are ready to produce.
  • The appeal's style is quite critical to the gov, BUT at least two authors regularly do what pleases the gov.
  • So I understand that the gov changes its policy about face masks, and this appeal is a way to prepare the opinion.

And that's only the least sly scenario. Alternately, the European governments could have decided to let the whole population contaminate itself to avoid later waves of illness as happens in Hong Kong, but they were surprised by overwhelmed hospitals. That policy would explain some hostile reactions when I wear a face mask.

Some arguments are fun:

  • The population were advised not to wear masks because there were too few. I mean, paranoiacs, conspirationists, fake news.
  • Masks are efficient for everyone, and even in both directions.
  • Don't wait for a certification. Sure, the industry is ready to sell.
!

Moderator Note

This is off-topic for the thread, too political for this section, and conspiracy isn't an argument in good faith. No more of this, please. 

 

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I wore the coffee filter hold with double-sided tape for carpets because my usual surgical tape doesn't stick any more, and it held.

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People know that the purpose of a coffee filter is to let water through, and sieve the grounds, yes?

Sounds pretty useless as a liquid barrier.

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32 minutes ago, kisai said:

People know that the purpose of a coffee filter is to let water through, and sieve the grounds, yes?

Sounds pretty useless as a liquid barrier.

I don't think anyone is sneezing 12 cups of water in Enthalpy's face. Surely a few droplets of water will be caught in the fibers and not just drip into his nose.

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

I don't think anyone is sneezing 12 cups of water in Enthalpy's face. Surely a few droplets of water will be caught in the fibers and not just drip into his nose.

Surgical masks are basically used for that, i.e. as a temporary barrier. The important bit is safe handling of such masks. I have seen a couple of folks wearing masks around their chin while chatting and then putting them on and then adjusting them after walking through a door outside. That, of course is not helpful at all, as folks are touching their faces after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. Adjusting them or taken them on and off increases contamination risk. In biological safety situation masks usually go on only once and then off once. This is probably why there is little data showing usefulness of masks wearing for infection protection.

However the reverse seems to be true. When specifically sick folks wear masks it seems to reduce transmission a bit, I guess because folks keep their distance and it gets harder to sneeze at somebody with mask on.

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There are a few reports and comments that have raised the concern that non-symptomatic spreaders could be a bigger issue than previously anticipated, especially in countries which are still undertested (such as e.g. USA). In this cases adopting a broad facial coverage policy (scarves or surgical masks are fine and probably more comfortable) could be a benefit as it reduces the spread of droplets from unwittingly positive folks. 

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I would think that covering one's face with the lapel part of their jacket, or coughing into their elbow, would mitigate the spread of droplets almost as much as a surgical mask. Masks are not sealed respirators, and have quite a bit of 'leakage' around the periphery.

Common manners, or coffee filters in a pinch, would go a long way towards neutralizing that type of spread.

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It's just a matter of time IMO (or more precisely a matter of masks becoming available)

But despite lack of scientific data either way, it will eventually be admitted that masks can protect the user...even if not a "trained professional" that badly needs one.

 

"Other nations recommend wearing masks to avoid coronavirus, but the Trump administration has not seen a benefit."

https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/30/coronavirus-masks-trump-administration-156327

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Of course masks offer improvement over lack of mask. Was that ever in question? 

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4 minutes ago, iNow said:

Of course masks offer improvement over lack of mask. Was that ever in question? 

Yes. It's been discussed in this thread.

Also:

https://www.healthline.com/health/cold-flu/mask#recommendations

In the case of the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, the CDCTrusted Source notes that:

“CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19. You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A facemask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms.”

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A coffee filter can mask some small percentage of effluent, but is not itself a mask. We may as well be talking about socks and scarves and t-shirts over our mouths. Better than nothing, but not good. 

The CDC is also trying to balance economic demand / panic buying with the need for medical professionals to have access during these times of shortage and scarcity. 

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9 minutes ago, iNow said:

A coffee filter can mask some small percentage of effluent, but is not itself a mask. We may as well be talking about socks and scarves and t-shirts over our mouths. Better than nothing, but not good. 

The CDC is also trying to balance economic demand / panic buying with the need for medical professionals to have access during these times of shortage and scarcity. 

All discussed in the thread (socks is new)

And the "better than nothing" has been debated. Some good points in that regard but not, IMO, enough to claim no general benefit.

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42 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

All discussed in the thread

Yeah. This thread annoys me. Oh well. First world problems. 

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6 hours ago, iNow said:

Yeah. This thread annoys me. Oh well. First world problems. 

I'm not sure what your point is. 

It's a first, second, and third World problem.

Per CNN: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html

"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies programsaid at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.
"There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage," Ryan said about masks and other medical supplies. "Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."
 
 

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1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

It's a first, second, and third World problem.

Coffee filters as a mask, is a second/third world problem?

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29 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

Coffee filters as a mask, is a second/third world problem?

Mask shortage certainly is. Politically "correct" dishonesty may be as well, but that is debatable.

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1 minute ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Mask shortage certainly is. 

Yes, but they're unlikely to improvise with something they don't have.

COVID-19 is entirely a first world problem; the poor can't just put their poverty on hold, like the rich can with their wealth... 

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1 hour ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

I'm not sure what your point is. 

My point is that this thread annoys me, obviously pretty low on the “this matters in the grand scheme of things” scale. My annoyance is a first world problem, not the virus or related cascading impacts. 

6 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

COVID-19 is entirely a first world problem

I think I follow what you’re trying to say, but this is really inaccurate. The richest are safest, not the other way around. 

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8 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

COVID-19 is entirely a first world problem; the poor can't just put their poverty on hold, like the rich can with their wealth... 

If, or more likely when, it spreads to developing countries I think you are going to realise that is not true. 

There are also other areas where is is going to be absolutely devastating: various war-torn countries and the associated refugee camps, which are already overcrowded and under-resourced.

I suspect we are also going to see a massively increased problem of poverty in first world countries, as well. (As if it wasn't bad enough already.)

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

I think I follow what you’re trying to say, but this is really inaccurate. The richest are safest, not the other way around. 

I understand why you think that, but my point is:

5 minutes ago, iNow said:

The richest are safest, not the other way around.

That's why. 

The poor have more important things to consider.

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5 minutes ago, dimreepr said:

I understand why you think that, but my point is:

That's why. 

The poor have more important things to consider.

Not everyone in first world countries are rich and not everyone in third world countries are poor. Your statement remains inaccurate.

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