I promise at some point, I will post about something other than masks, but I feel vindicated on my early pro-mask stance. In March, I wrote the following:
Furthermore, I find the anti-paper mask rhetoric in the US irritating. Paper masks do help prevent contagion, which is why Asian governments recommend them, including China and Korea, the only countries so far to actually control this thing. My Korean friend is completely mystified by the anti-mask perspective in the US. Buying them now may not make sense since medical personnel need them more, but I’m skeptical about whether medical personnel can just wear any old paper mask. Furthermore, many, many people already own masks in their homes which they could wear. We, for example, have open boxes of masks from when S was in the hospital and H and I had colds. We wore a mask whenever we held her. And, she didn’t catch our cold.
I am still mystified as to why everyone in Asia is happily wearing medical masks and we in the US are still walking around like bandits with bandanas over our faces. Furthermore, the mask recommendation from the CDC is still *very* lukewarm:
In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
So, you don’t need to wear a mask unless social distancing measures are difficult to maintain? And possibly not if there’s no community-based transmission? It’s hard to blame evil “republicans” for not enthusiastically wearing masks given the weakness of the CDC recommendation.
I am currently following the CDC recommendation, but since I almost never go anywhere where I’d be within 6 feet of people, I almost never wear a mask. I have groceries delivered, and I don’t go anywhere else most of the time. I did wear one to the pediatrician with S and I will wear one for my teeth cleaning today. (I’m very unenthused about going to the dentist, but I put it off due to pregnancy and then S’s health issues, and it needs to get done.) But otherwise, I don’t wear one. I see my friend in Japan post pictures of her family, and they wear paper masks any time they are outdoors, even if they’re a mile from the nearest human. Furthermore, if you’re going to wear a cloth masks, I suspect it’s much better to wear one that’s an actual mask as opposed to pulling bandana up over your face, which leaves tons of gaps and so on.
There was obviously a hamster study that was very encouraging. I was very disheartened by another study that suggested even N95 masks would be ineffective given the size of the holes in the mask as compared to the size of Covid virus particles. I think it’s interesting that the consensus is suggesting that masks do work, meaning that it doesn’t matter that the particles are smaller. This makes sense if you think about it. If you threw a bunch of basketballs at a net with holes 1.5x or even 2x the size of the basketball, most of them would be stopped.
Anyway, I want to start going out to parks and things more with the kids, so I think we’re all going to start wearing masks. I still don’t plan to wear them when I run, though. I find it easy to maintain 10+ feet from other humans when running and generally am only within 100 ft of a few people at all, so hopefully that’s not really a risk to me or them. (Pedestrians rarely wear masks outside in my area, excepting older people, especially people of Asian descent.)