Patterico's Pontifications

7/10/2020

More On Coronavirus and Masks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:02 pm



[guest post by Dana]

State assembly member Autumn Burke (D-Inglewood) reported that she was told that she had “mask to mask” exposure to Covid-19, and days later, tested positive for the coronavirus:

Burke had “mask to mask” exposure to the virus on June 26, she said — the same day that an Assembly employee was last in the Capitol before testing positive. That employee wore a face covering at all times, according to an Assembly Rules Committee email.

It goes without saying that we wish Ms. Burke and her daughter well, and prayerfully they remain symptom-free.

With that, I haven’t seen any report specifically citing mask-to-mask exposure leading to infection before this one. If you have seen a report making a similar claim, please link to it in the comments.

Anyway, as of Monday morning, the California Assembly is now on an indefinite hiatus:

The Assembly is suspending its session until further notice following five confirmed COVID-19 cases among lawmakers and employees.

John Casey, a spokesman to Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, said the Assembly is “closed until further notice,” meaning it will not return for previously scheduled legislative hearings on Monday.

Note:

The Assembly recorded its first COVID-19 case on June 22, when an employee tested positive after reporting to work in the Capitol the week prior…

Meanwhile, there has been a post making the rounds on social media that presents an alleged “contagion graphic” indicating to what degree mask-wearing interferes with the transmission of coronavirus. Here is the unsourced claim:

Untitled (Recovered)

Untitled (Recovered)

Kasier Family Foundation recently looked into the claims being asserted. Because there was no source information to refer to, they contacted the CDC (Center for Disease Control) to see if they could substantiate the claims with actual research. No such luck:

“We have not seen or compiled data that looks at probabilities like the ones represented in the visual you sent,” Jason McDonald, a member of CDC’s media team, wrote in an email. “Data are limited on the effectiveness of cloth face coverings in this respect and come primarily from laboratory studies.”

McDonald added that studies are needed to measure how much face coverings reduce transmission of COVID-19, especially from those who have the disease but are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic.

Other public health experts we consulted agreed: They were not aware of any science that confirmed the numbers in the image.

“The data presented is bonkers and does not reflect actual human transmissions that occurred in real life with real people,” Peter Chin-Hong, a professor of medicine at the University of California-San Francisco, wrote in an email. It also does not reflect anything simulated in a lab, he added.

Andrew Lover, an assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, agreed. He had seen a similar graphic on Facebook before we interviewed him and done some fact-checking on his own.

“We simply don’t have data to say this,” he wrote in an email. “It would require transmission models in animals or very detailed movement tracking with documented mask use (in large populations).”

“We get the most protection if both parties wear masks,” Linsey Marr, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech who studies viral air droplet transmission, wrote in an email. She was speaking about transmission of COVID-19 as well as other respiratory illnesses.

Chin-Hong went even further. “Bottom line,” he wrote in his email, “everyone should wear a mask and stop debating who might have [the virus] and who doesn’t.”

However incorrect the percentages are in the graphic, mask wearing is favored as a preventative measure to limit the transmission of droplets and aerosols:

“The main reason that the masks do better in the outward direction is that the droplets/aerosols released from the wearer’s nose and mouth haven’t had a chance to undergo evaporation and shrinkage before they hit the mask,” wrote Marr. “It’s easier for the fabric to block the droplets/aerosols when they’re larger rather than after they have had a chance to shrink while they’re traveling through the air.”

So, the image is also right when it implies there is less risk of transmission of the disease if a COVID-positive person wears a mask.

“In terms of public health messaging, it’s giving the right message. It just might be overly exact in terms of the relative risk,” said Lover. “As a rule of thumb, the more people wearing masks, the better it is for population health.”

Ulitmately, Kasier Family Foundation drew this conclusion about their findings:

Experts agreed the image does convey an idea that is right: Wearing a mask is likely to interfere with the spread of COVID-19.

But, although this message has a hint of accuracy, the image leaves out important details and context, namely the source for the contagion probabilities it seeks to illustrate. Experts said evidence for the specific probabilities doesn’t exist.

–Dana

44 Responses to “More On Coronavirus and Masks”

  1. Hello.

    Dana (25e0dc)

  2. “We get the most protection if both parties wear masks…”

    End of story.

    Seriously how many times do people need to be smacked in the forehead w/a 2X4 to realize it frigging hurts?!?!

    Stop the bug; start wearing the masks.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  3. With that, I haven’t seen any report specifically citing mask-to-mask exposure leading to infection before this one.

    You also can’t definitely say that it came from masked person X as opposed to unknown unmasked carrier Y, or the kid, or a door handle. It was never going to be 100%, but then that was never the goal. Heck, 1% better is better, 20-50% better is spectacular. Keep yourself safe for a year by wearing a mask and we may have better treatments and/or a vaccine.

    The steroid treatment is somewhat effective in mitigating the illness from progressing from very ill, to critical, and remdesivir is somewhat effective in keeping it from progressing from critical to dead, both aren’t great, but it’s a bit better. The longer delay until you get sick or infect others the less dead people overall, and the less long term effects to things like lungs, and you know, the economy. And it’s only a mask, it isn’t that hard.

    Carl has good take here. He also puts on great matches, I can’t go anymore because I now live far from the desert, plus it’s hot in the summer, even the dry heat.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  4. There was a study that came out in the last couple days that I’m having trouble finding now, that looked at effectiveness of various DYI materials. It was fairly predictable – scarves were basically better than nothing, masks made out of vacuum filters worked pretty well.

    But there was also a note that properly wearing it is important, too. Not just “wearing it under your chin doesn’t work”, but proper fitment to ensure exhalation is directed properly, etc.

    Can’t find it again, search is mired in SEO’ed how-to-make-masks guides.

    john (cd2753)

  5. 70% of what?

    If it was between any two people, the virus would have spread much faster.

    Reuters artcle From April 23rd, when the CDC was against too many people wearing masks. It has links to some early examples of this graphic or claim:

    https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-coronavirus-mask-efficacy/partly-false-claim-wear-a-face-mask-covid-19-risk-reduced-by-up-to-98-5-idUSKCN2252T6

    The diagram in the illustrations makes the following claims: There is a 70% contagion probability between a COVID-19 carrier not wearing a mask and a non-carrier wearing a mask; a 5% contagion probability between a COVID-19 carrier wearing a mask and a non-carrier not wearing a mask; and a 1.5% contagion probability between a COVID-19 carrier and a non-carrier both wearing masks.

    This claim is not substantiated. Although some health authorities recommend the use of masks to help limit the spread of COVID-19, Reuters could not find any evidence to back up these percentages.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5)

  6. Regardless of what you believe, one should wear a mask when out in public, if only to be courteous to others if you don’t believe it helps you. For those that think it is an infringement on your freedoms, pick a different hill to die on, really. Eventually, this too will go away.

    Colliente (05736f)

  7. Another article from late April about that or similar infographics.

    https://www.live5news.com/2020/04/29/fact-or-fiction-mask-infographic-regarding-covid-transmission-chances

    It’s a well known fact that dosage matters.

    You can find a lot of articles from two mots ago or more debunking this nonsensical graphic

    https://www.wusa9.com/article/news/health/coronavirus/verify-viral-image-about-masks-gets-the-numbers-wrong-but-the-idea-right/507-ff915e39-5a79-483d-86b7-98ecc796c8e5 (this is from May 1)

    But it is not so easy to find anything that will trace it to its source.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5)

  8. Snopes April 21 doesn’t know where this graphic came from:

    https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/covid-19-mask-efficacy-chart

    …It doesn’t appear to have originated with a reputable source; this meme does not specify the type of mask (homemade cloth mask, surgical mask, or N95 mask) used in the chart; and we were unable to find any studies that confirm these specific percentages.

    Sammy Finkelman (bd89d5)

  9. But there was also a note that properly wearing it is important, too. Not just “wearing it under your chin doesn’t work”, but proper fitment to ensure exhalation is directed properly, etc.

    There are always a group of folks, my 80 year old mother is bad about this too, who leave their noses out. She’s not trying to do it, but she normally has the little cannula for her O2 concentrator, so I think that when you see all the oldsters like that, just gently mention it and their fine with fixing it. My mom is a 41 year retired teacher, and she’s been retired for 19, so her response is a bit saltier when “I say, hey mom, your nose is out.” Normally, it starts with “I know, you can kiss my @$$”

    I have to take her to a Covid funeral tomorrow for one of her teacher friends, this is the 3rd in 6 weeks. 57 to 81. 57 is way to close for comfort for me.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  10. Can we not just stipulate that they have some effect, and the effect amplifies if everyone else is wearing masks.

    The only differences between the US and Japan, Europe, Australia, and Canada, is better testing and tracing, and masks. Europe has no resource that we don’t, other than a willingness to do the minimum thing…wear a mask dummies.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  11. Europe has no resource that we don’t, other than a willingness to do the minimum thing…wear a mask dummies.

    Several factors conspire to make our Covid response so shamefully weak:

    * A “don’t tread on me” mentality run amok.

    * A distrust or disdain of experts in their own realm of knowledge — which is a perversion of the more reasonable idea that we shouldn’t let arrogant bureaucratic experts micromanage our lives, with the force of government.

    * The strange notion that Donald Trump possesses a common-sense wisdom surpassing all expertise, and that he has consistently been proved right when he disagreed with experts. (Not even close.)

    * The fact that Trump is ignorant, reckless, and grossly self-centered, and sees the whole thing primarily as an attack on himself — as do his cheerleaders.

    We sorely needed a president who might have counteracted the unhelpful tendencies among the America public, rather than amplifying them.

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  12. On July 3rd I received a call from the Assembly Human Resources Department that I had a “mask to mask” exposure to COVID-19 on June 26th.

    This is laughable. Unless this woman had been completely insulated from the world for 14 days, tested negative, and then had contact with only masked people, and then tested positive, she can’t claim mask-to-mask infection. And even then, it’s possible (although seemingly less likely) she could have become infected by touching her face after picking up the virus from a surface.

    norcal (a5428a)

  13. @11

    We sorely needed a president who might have counteracted the unhelpful tendencies among the America public, rather than amplifying them.

    Well-stated!

    norcal (a5428a)

  14. norcal,

    I also questioned the “mask to mask” contact theory because we don’t know who had contact with from point of contact to test. It would seem there could be any number of possible contact points. Her tweet says that she received the info from the Assembly Human Resources Department, and I wonder if that was their wording, or the Health Dept.’s wording because how would either entity be able to say with any certainty exactly what the point of contact was (especially HR)?

    Dana (25e0dc)

  15. So lets do testing to find out how effective masks are. We can spend tax payers money for this!

    asset (1db8fb)

  16. We sorely needed a president who might have counteracted the unhelpful tendencies among the America public, rather than amplifying them.

    Trump is such a fool, and an even bigger political fool. Consider: if he had taken this seriously from the get-go and united the American people from all political walks of life against a shared enemy (Covid), poured the necessary resources into fighting it, deferred to experts, give states what they needed (and were unable to provide themselves), and immediately began to wear a mask everywhere he went, and constantly pushed social distancing, hand washing, mask-wearing, in every sense of the word, he would be so much farther ahead than where he is now. This doesn’t even begin to guess at how many lives might have been saved. He could have simultaneously fought this crisis with everything at his disposal, united the country against a common enemy, and demonstrated solid leadership and management during a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. To put it in crass political terms, he let a crisis go to waste.

    Dana (25e0dc)

  17. Dana @14,

    how would either entity be able to say with any certainty exactly what the point of contact was (especially HR)

    I’ve got it!

    This assemblywoman was on a deserted island for two weeks. All she wore was a mask. Then, a visitor from the Assembly Human Resources Department arrived via rowboat. All he wore was a mask. They proceeded to frolic about. Then, he rowed her back to the mainland. Before there was contact with anyone else, the HR dude administered a Covid test to her. Guess what? Positive!

    norcal (a5428a)

  18. 2. No. :)

    Gryph (08c844)

  19. 14. Nice to know that you’re questioning something. I was beginning to wonder just how many people here were willing to question any of the received wisdom from the “experts.”

    Gryph (08c844)

  20. Nice to know that you’re questioning something.

    Really, Gryph?

    Dana (25e0dc)

  21. I was beginning to wonder just how many people here were willing to question any of the received wisdom from the “experts.”

    I’m willing to question the “experts,” and even the experts. Especially if other experts disagree with them.
    What’s weird — and very damaging in the present moment — is the belief that experts can’t tell us anything about the field they study that any person with “common sense” wouldn’t know, and that “common sense” is actually more reliable than expertise.

    That school of thought has lined up in perfect sync with Trump’s extraordinary hubris about his own native wisdom and effortless knowledge on any topic. Trump was made into the apotheosis of “common-sense wisdom,” notwithstanding the absurdity of his pronouncements.

    Another odd thing about some anti-expert pontificators is their easy certainty of having the power to refute experts on their own turf through sheer intellectual superiority. And then tell us how arrogant the experts are.

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  22. 21. My “power” to refute experts, such as it is, has very little to do with intellectual superiority and far more to do with intellectual honesty. If the experts could get their story straight, they might be able to convince me against my better judgment that they don’t have an agenda. As it is, it’s nigh impossible for me to believe that they don’t. I don’t need to be smarter than anyone to recognize a political agenda.

    And don’t preach to me about Trump’s Hubris, Radegunda. I was warning people about what a grifter Trump was months before he made his entry into the 2016 race official. You can accuse me of a lot of things, but being a Trump apologist is not one.

    20. Really, Dana(!)

    Gryph (08c844)

  23. 22. My “power” to refute experts, such as it is, has very little to do with intellectual superiority and far more to do with intellectual honesty.

    Screen doors in submarines and conserve air by breathing through one nostril, eh, TyphoidGryph.

    Attaboy.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  24. Professionals in a field, any field even experts, learn based on the acquisition of knowledge. Even if someone is an expert in sub construction, they can always learn new things, like jamon iberico and fig jelly improve almost anything.

    Only the uninformed believe that all knowledge should be known about a black swan event, at the start of said event. Only the profoundly dumb, believe that the evolution of the experts knowledge is a sign that they themselves are now the “expert” and the expert in the field is not.

    Antny will can ever be only an amateur sub enthusiast, not a sub construction professional.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  25. 23. You know, you can have the virus without getting sick. You’re far more likely to have the virus without getting sick.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here and do something I don’t do very often, and make a prediction.

    The total number of deaths from SARS Class 2-Coronaviral Disease (2019) will not climb above 190,000. And that’s padding the numbers to hedge my bet. Considering what a good job we did of “flattening the curve,” it may take until January or February of next year to find out if I’m right. But if I am, and it turns out the “experts” were wrong, I’m pretty sure I’m not going to get a single apology out of any of you slander slingers here or anywhere else.

    Gryph (08c844)

  26. 24. The number of deaths in my home state was predicted to be 1250. That’s deaths. The number of actual deaths attributed to CoViD-19 stands at 93, and probably will not go above 125 given the current stats. I’d like to know, if a 90% discrepancy is not enough, what percentage of utter wrongness would force you to concede that experts in any given field are full of sh!t?

    Gryph (08c844)

  27. #22 — I was not “preaching” to you about Trump’s hubris, or about anything else. As a rule, my comments are directed at ideas, not persons.

    I was making a general observation about how Trump’s hubris has attracted a certain way of thinking about expertise. There’s obviously a big overlap between the set of people who revere Trump and the set of people who scorn expertise.

    The people who scorn expertise like to accuse other people of “blindly” following experts, never questioning them, etc. Which is not true. Questioning experts is one thing. Rejecting the whole idea that experts might have something of value to offer is another.

    You can accuse me of a lot of things, but that I accused you of being a Trump apologist is not one, because I have done no such thing.

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  28. The number of deaths in my home state was predicted to be 1250. That’s deaths. The number of actual deaths attributed to CoViD-19 stands at 93, and probably will not go above 125 given the current stats. I’d like to know, if a 90% discrepancy is not enough, what percentage of utter wrongness would force you to concede that experts in any given field are full of sh!t?

    You’re arguing that the death toll that was predicted if social distancing and partial closures didn’t happen is incorrect, because there was social distancing and partial closures, that’s a logical fallacy.

    You know what is happening now that the restrictions have been lessened in South Dakota, an increasing infection rate.

    Of course, South Dakota has some built in advantages, it’s a tiny rural state, national transportation was shut down, the lock downs that affected the tourists that come from the high infection rate locations have fundamentally stopped (there was that one guy), there are never large events there, the Sturgis Rally being by far the largest and is still a month away, and compared to most places that have people, it would be a Tuesday. The current projections, which obviously you don’t want to credit, have South Dakota being extremely safe, if people mask, if not, well they predict that too.

    Colonel Klink (Ret) (305827)

  29. 26. I remember when anti-expert “intellectuals” were saying the experts were ridiculous to make a big deal out of a virus that was only in one nursing home in one (unimportant) state in the far corner of the country.

    Then the virus hit the place where some of those people live. And people in other places were saying: “It’s only in New York City and Washington State! What’s the big deal?”

    How wrong do the anti-experts need to be before they admit that the expert projections were actually closer to the mark?

    Radegunda (e1ea47)

  30. 28. No social distancing or closures were mandated here. Some did happen, but the only ordinance my home town passed lasted for less than a month before it fell through because a couple of city council members didn’t understand how emergency powers work here. BUT…I digress.

    We didn’t survive here because we did everything everyone else did. We survived here in spite of following the absolute bare minimum of recommendations in localities that even bothered to put ordinances in place at all, which were precious few.

    And do you really believe that those minimum recommendations followed actually account for the predictions being off by 90%?! Are you really that credulous? Are you really that desperate for someone to shepherd you? SMDH

    Gryph (08c844)

  31. Gryph keeps bringing up the estimate where deaths in South Dakota were projected to be high. Weren’t some of those projections based on the Smithfield spike? But they were volatile in the beginning.

    He should remind everyone that Trump was 100% off and remains that way.

    Even though the virus took hold in the northeast and the west initially, the actions taken in the 50 states are now producing glaring results.

    Let’s look at the American experiment on this issue. Today’s positive tests (as a percentage of total tests) for states that voted for Clinton vs. those that voted for Trump.

    Trump states average 9.87% positive cases. Clinton states are at 3.85% today.

    noel (4d3313)

  32. The governors in FL, GA, TX and AZ thought they knew better than the experts too.

    noel (4d3313)

  33. I pointed this out the other day. When you compare states that have required masks for more than a month to those that have not…. the results are similar. About 3% for mask states to 9% for non-mask states.

    Astounding.

    noel (4d3313)

  34. Masking worked for hamsters. And countries with cultures that accept masks have fared better. South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, etc.
    They’re not foolproof, but they vastly improve the odds against contagion.

    Paul Montagu (c9d3c1)

  35. Modern flat Earth belief originated with the English writer Samuel Rowbotham (1816–1884). Based on conclusions derived from the Bedford Level experiment, Rowbotham published a pamphlet Zetetic Astronomy. He later expanded this into the book Earth Not a Globe, proposing the Earth is a flat disc centred at the North Pole and bounded along its southern edge by a wall of ice, Antarctica. Rowbotham further held that the Sun and Moon were 3,000 miles (4,800 km) above Earth and that the “cosmos” was 3,100 miles (5,000 km) above the Earth.[2] He also published a leaflet titled The Inconsistency of Modern Astronomy and its Opposition to the Scriptures, which argued that the “Bible, alongside our senses, supported the idea that the earth was flat and immovable and this essential truth should not be set aside for a system based solely on human conjecture”.[8]

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_flat_Earth_societies

    nk (1d9030)

  36. 1) If the CDC is demanding everyone wear a mask, why weren’t they demanding it in April?
    2) if you can maintain a 6 foot distance why do you need to wear a mask?
    3) Why are people wearing masks INSIDE their cars?
    4) CV-19 does poorly in high temperatures and sunlight. Why are people are wearing masks when walking/jogging/biking OUTSIDE?
    5) CV-19 in NOT the black plague. Especially for those under 50. Florida stats show a death rate of 1/500 for those who have symptoms and seek medical treatment. Further, 1/3 of those with CV-19 will have mild or no symptoms. CA stats show only 400 deaths under age 50 vs 200,000 with CV-19.

    rcocean (fcc23e)

  37. 1) If the CDC is demanding everyone wear a mask, why weren’t they demanding it in April?

    This has been explained to you. Scarce supply prioritizing masks for frontline workers.

    2) if you can maintain a 6 foot distance why do you need to wear a mask?

    You don’t, especially outdoors. You can’t always control social in indoor public spaces, so it’s sensible to require masks there.

    3) Why are people wearing masks INSIDE their cars?

    Because they’re uninformed idiots.

    4) CV-19 does poorly in high temperatures and sunlight. Why are people are wearing masks when walking/jogging/biking OUTSIDE?

    CV19 is spreading like wildfire in the southern states.

    5) CV-19 in NOT the black plague. Especially for those under 50. Florida stats show a death rate of 1/500 for those who have symptoms and seek medical treatment. Further, 1/3 of those with CV-19 will have mild or no symptoms. CA stats show only 400 deaths under age 50 vs 200,000 with CV-19.

    And here comes the downtalking. The fact is that this virus is our nation’s 3rd largest killer behind heart disease and cancer, and it does more than just impact the lungs. Just because our idiot president doesn’t take this virus seriously, doesn’t mean the rest of the country need follow suit.

    Paul Montagu (c9d3c1)

  38. Gov. Greg Abbott warns if spread of COVID-19 doesn’t slow, “the next step would have to be a lockdown”
    …….. Gov. Greg Abbott reiterated Friday afternoon that things will continue to get worse. And if people keep flouting his new statewide mask mandate, he said, the next step could be another economic lockdown.

    “Things will get worse, and let me explain why,” he told KLBK TV in Lubbock. “The deaths that we’re seeing announced today and yesterday — which are now over 100 — those are people who likely contracted COVID-19 in late May.

    “The worst is yet to come as we work our way through that massive increase in people testing positive.”
    ………
    “The public needs to understand this was a very tough decision for me to make,” Abbott told KLBK of his face mask mandate. “I made clear that I made this tough decision for one reason: It was our last best effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. If we do not slow the spread of COVID-19 … the next step would have to be a lockdown.”
    ……..
    In three live television appearances Friday afternoon, Abbott acknowledged that his mask order — that Texans in counties with more than 20 cases wear masks in public — was neither popular nor convenient, but said it was important for everyone to join in the effort. His plea to Texans comes as nearly 80 Texas counties have opted out of the order order, while others are refusing to enforce it.
    ……..
    …….. If we do not all join together and unite in this one cause for a short period of time of adopting the masks, it will lead to the necessity of having to close Texas back down,” he said. “That should be the last thing that any government wants.”
    ………

    Rip Murdock (41bc87)

  39. Paul Montagu (c9d3c1) — 7/11/2020 @ 6:53 am

    Masking worked for hamsters.

    The hamsters didn’t wear masks. This is kind of like a typical bad study where they test A and then say that A means B is true. This is maybe a better argument for curtains.

    What they did illustrated that the mask material they used (which this news article does not describe) was some form of barrier against transmitting the virus.

    The researchers created three different scenarios: mask barriers placed just on cages with the infected subjects, masks covering the healthy subjects, [that actually seems to be covering their cages] and one with no mask barriers at all, with a fan between the cages allowing particles to be transmitted between them. [Q. Did thy use a fan in the other cases?]

    With no mask barriers at all, two-thirds of the healthy hamsters — 66.7% — were infected with the virus within a week, the researchers found.

    When the mask was placed over the infected cage, however, that infection rate dropped to 16.7%.

    The infection rate went up to 33% when the mask barrier was only used to cover the healthy hamsters’ cage.

    The hamsters who were still infected despite having the mask barrier also had less of the virus in their bodies compared to those infected without the masks, the researchers found.

    I am not sure what we needed this study for.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c3ef7)

  40. 31. Even before the Smithfield spike, deaths were projected to be as high as 1000+. We’re just over 1/10 of the way there, which still does not give me much faith in the predictions of “experts.” I could’ve done just as well in my predictions, and I’m not a medical professional at all.

    Gryph (08c844)

  41. I’m surprised nobody points out the obvious with the graphic – while we don’t know the actual numbers, the one’s quoted aren’t consistent since the bottom case (both masked) is really the combination of the top two single mask cases which would lead to a 3.5%, not a 1.5% contagion probability – seems like they got a 30% reduction confused with multiplying by 0.3. And it’s not a probability of catching based on a simple encounter, it’s about how much longer you can spend in close proximity and run the same risk – e.g. if you had a 5% chance of contracting COVID by spending 10 minutes within 3 feet of someone with COVID, you could spend 30 minutes if both were masked before breathing in the same number of viri and thus reaching that same 5% chance (just remember all those numbers are made up).

    As far as why you see people wearing a masks in cars, when I go to the grocery store which is a mile away I use a 5 year old N95 mask I bought at Home Depot for dust (removing and repairing popcorn ceiling) and I put it on before leaving in case one of the elastic straps break, or if I have it on at one store and I’m driving a short distance to another store I just leave it on. I don’t suffer from mask anxiety so why not? Before you criticize someone, drive a mile in their mask first.

    Kevin Murphy (eed616)

  42. 41. I see from what you say that you think the probability in the graphic is the probability of cathcing Covid-19 compared to the probability of whatever the probability would be if neither person wore a mask.

    I had some difficulty with that.

    Therefore, both wearing masks would be seem to be 5% of 70% or 3.5%, assuming it was strictly proportional.

    – seems like they got a 30% reduction confused with multiplying by 0.3.

    In other words, someone multiplied 5% by 30% instead of by 70%.

    Of course all those numbers are made up – it’s the general concept someone was trying to get across. The general concept is sort of true.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c3ef7)

  43. Someone thinks that (some months ago) she gave coronovirus to someone who was wearing a mask (but she and her husband weren’t)

    https://news.yahoo.com/husband-knew-dangers-coronavirus-could-103309555.html

    A few days before our longtime next-door neighbor moved out of his New York City loft in late March, he texted us and asked if we would look after his fish and some plants, since he could not move into his new place for a while. “Sure,” we texted back. “It’s not like we’re going anywhere.” Our history of looking after things is spotty, but he needed a hand, and I thought it might be time to skill up.

    His home and ours have only ever been separated by a semipermeable membrane anyway. We share a common outdoor space. We have each other’s spare keys, use each other’s appliances, have permission to just go in and borrow anything when the other is away. When we had young kids in the home, we hosted big pancake breakfasts. As they got older, we would let each other know when we could smell them smoking pot. We had a standing invitation to his dinner parties.

    So he brought over his fish and plants and borrowed our ladder. He was masked, because of the movers. We were not, because we were just lolling about; it was pure luck that we were even dressed. It was a quick handover. We didn’t touch. Two days later, we came down with COVID-19 symptoms. It was bad, especially for my spouse. Two weeks later, our neighbor texted to say he thought he had it too…..My neighbor survived; the fish didn’t. (Too many water changes.) We’re still friends.

    Here is her more contemporaneous description of the illness.

    They were in denial, at first:

    https://time.com/5824463/coronavirus-asking-for-help

    Her husband probably got it from one of his coworkers on a building site in New York City who had tested positive about a week before. They apparently recovered before the neighbor got sick. They had no thermometer in the house until a colleague of hers finally gave it to them. The thermometer at one point read 104 F. They never went to the hospital, although the neighbor got into the hospital with pneumonia.

    She was in contact with doctors (not through telemedicine lines, which had very long wait times, but through personal networking) Everyone pretty much told her that the case wasn’t serious enough take him to the hospital. At that time the advice was that if there was nothing special for the hospital to do, people shouldn’t go there. And, on the advice of one doctor she counted her husband’s breaths to see f they were not more than than 25 per minute. This is before some started recommending that people get pulse oximeters. (which can be used incorrectly:

    http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0720/oximeter_misuse.php3)

    Sammy Finkelman (5c3ef7)

  44. Someone said he was told by a doctor that (a large number – 1,000) were tested for coronavirus (in or around Boro Park, Brooklyn. I think) and none tested positive. Now last there was 1.6% positive test rate. When I brought that up, he reminded me that’s for the entire state, not New York City.

    For now, the virus is practically absent in the New York metropolitan area, although there are little spikes, like in Westfield, New Jersey. at the western end of Union County, about 30 miles from Manhattan)

    There were 6 deaths reported last in New York State (last available day) It had gotten down to 5 and back up to 11.

    In Florida, meanwhile, it’s exploding. According to NBC, about 500 deaths in the last week, with ICUs filling up. Altogether 15,300 cases, 140,000 tested and the positive rate only went down to 13.5% from 20%

    In Texas, 6,000 more cases diagnosed today.

    Arizona has an increase, and Michigan does, and from one nursing home alone in San Diego, California there have been 11 deaths, with over 100 diagnosed.

    Sammy Finkelman (5c3ef7)

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