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  1. #4611
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar View Post
    Maybe, maybe not. I think one thing the mask mandate does do is that it elevates the awareness of increased risk, so there are other behavioral changes that go along with it.

    Our hospitals are at or near near capacity. I suspect if things don't improve there will be further restrictions on indoor activities and no one wants that. Businesses that require staff and customers to be vaccinated are exempt so the slogan is, "Mask or vax". It sounds like the penalties will not be too harsh and other than blatant violations there will not be especially strict enforcement.
    I think you are right about added awareness when there’s a mask mandate. There are so many micro actions around masks that thinking “mask or unmasked “as a blunt force instrument is silly to me. But that is all government can do, it has the power to mandate masking. Checking proper masking protocol is outside of its ability.

    Do you know how many people fail to wear masks even remotely correctly? Tons. We don’t even talk about that here.

    I wear a mask when I’m supposed to, as best I remember.Do I wear it correctly? Well, not always. Is the mask itself correct? Well, not always.

  2. #4612
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iris lilies View Post
    Checking proper masking protocol is outside of its ability.

    Do you know how many people fail to wear masks even remotely correctly? Tons. We don’t even talk about that here.

    I wear a mask when I’m supposed to, as best I remember.Do I wear it correctly? Well, not always. Is the mask itself correct? Well, not always.
    My understanding is that the point of the mask requirement isn't necessarily to protect any one specific individual, but rather to dampen the rate of spread. So, "good enough, some of the time" can help drop the curve for your overall society, while individual people, well, maybe not so much.

    Which is why I wear fit-tested N95 masks, because in addition to slowing the spread, I sort of want to stay healthy myself. I know, I'm selfishly using an N95 that probably could save a starving child in Somalia, but that's the way of the world.

  3. #4613
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bae View Post
    My understanding is that the point of the mask requirement isn't necessarily to protect any one specific individual, but rather to dampen the rate of spread. So, "good enough, some of the time" can help drop the curve for your overall society, while individual people, well, maybe not so much.

    Which is why I wear fit-tested N95 masks, because in addition to slowing the spread, I sort of want to stay healthy myself. I know, I'm selfishly using an N95 that probably could save a starving child in Somalia, but that's the way of the world.
    Right, any masking helps, but much of the masking out there barely helps. There are right ways and wrong ways to participate in masking culture.

    I wear an N95 that I have adapted to my head with elastic because my ears don’t hold it on. Guess how often
    I change it out. I am an example of “the right mask mask worn wrongly.” Just an example.

  4. #4614
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    I suspect that this right mask worn wrongly stuff is mostly myth though. It really is a case of making the perfect an enemy of the very good. It's striving for a perfectionism that just does not apply in non-medical contexts.

    Should it be changed out regularly, if you are tending to covid patients esp before the vaccine sure (although due to shortages early on that wasn't always possible), but that a limited group of people, but yea if one is taking care of covid patients. But for most people the insisting on absolute perfection if one wears a medical grade masks, while generally drawing no distinctions in mask quality at all, did absolutely no good. Was it best before the vaccine to also social distance when possible? Of course.
    Trees don't grow on money

  5. #4615
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I consulted with an arborist the other day. Outside, masked (both of us), 10 feet apart or so. Felt very safe.

    Because my artsy side hates the look of N95 masks*, I wear a 2-layer cotton jersey liner under a 3-layer (including KN95 filter) Vermont Beau-Ties mask, which also fits close to my face. And I keep my distance, so I think I've got it covered.

    *If the ugly blue foldy things are N95s, why do they almost always gape out at the sides? That can't be effective, can it?

  6. #4616
    Senior Member bae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JaneV2.0 View Post
    *If the ugly blue foldy things are N95s, why do they almost always gape out at the sides? That can't be effective, can it?
    Years back, I went on a quest for The Perfect N95 for me. It had to fit my face properly, it had to make a seal that would pass our regular testing (with my preferred facial hair style), it had to be robust enough to live in the pockets of bunker gear or backpacks, and ideally it had to be vaguely comfortable. I must have gone though nearly a dozen options before finding one that was Just About Right. Which was a fold-flat variety, but it doesn't gap once donned correctly, as it allows for a reasonable amount of molding to your face.

    Luckily I had an entire mountain of these things in stock when the pandemic began, as I'd been handing them out to coworkers for them to try out as well. The standard ones our department issued were terrible - they passed the fit test, but in field use they got destroyed often before use. That kind might have been suitable for use in a controlled environment, but not-so-much outside that context.

    I guess the key is - try lots, which of course was hard during the initial stages of the pandemic.

  7. #4617
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I think "Try lots." is good advice.

    I'm particularly fond of my red flannel buffalo plaid model--perfect for the PNW.

  8. #4618
    Senior Member rosarugosa's Avatar
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    Jane: the "ugly blue foldy things" are not N95s. I hear them most commonly referred to as "procedure masks."

  9. #4619
    Senior Member Yppej's Avatar
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    Rogar, mask or vax makes sense to me because it provides an incentive for vaccination. Mask mandates that apply to vaccinated people do the opposite and create moral hazard.

    Of course, anyone who wants to wear a mask should be able to. I even saw one in a bank a few weeks ago.

  10. #4620
    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rosarugosa View Post
    Jane: the "ugly blue foldy things" are not N95s. I hear them most commonly referred to as "procedure masks."
    That makes sense. I understood that real N95s were supposed to be individually fit to best contain droplets.

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