Masks - Benefits and Risks

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ChemGal

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I do understand the benefit of wearing a mask, if people wear them properly and are good about hand hygiene. I also have concerns though, due to improper uses.

The big one is wearing a mask can lead to a large contagious load of a virus or bacteria - that's kind of the purpose, to prevent people from spewing all of that into the air.
If someone isn't washing their hands after touching the contaminated surface of the mask and then touching other things, that has the potential to spread things much more than if say they quickly touched their lips and something else.
 
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I see lots of people still wearing masks even though we have 1 active case on Vancouver Is. And that 1 is in the hospital. I don't think people read the BCCDC reports. Service staff, I understand. But if it makes people feel more secure, go ahead.
 
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I learned about gloves in a food-safe workshop. Unless you change the gloves or wash your gloved hands everytime you touch a contaminant, they're no better than washing bare hands. Gloves should be used if you have a sore or little cuts on your hands.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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Ok, we probably all heard that masks protect the other people from you more that it protects you from others, especially if it is self made masks. So, consequently, the contamination is inside the mask if you are sick.
One benefit of it is still, that if you sneeze, cough or talk, the majority of your germs stay in your mask and don’t get splashed out 10 ft around you. If you then get into your home, your car and take your mask off but don’t wash your hands, all you pick up is what you get on your hands. Then again, you would be smearing this into your environment, but if its your car, your home, it would be less than you sneezing all around you in public.
Suppose, you never wash your hands and are sick, but wearing the mask in public, you would certainly have it on your hands and next time you go somewhere, you’d be spreading it more onto things.
Now the case that you are not sick and wear a mask. The mask makes you either more aware not to touch your face or it doesn’t fit right and you keep adjusting it, bringing your hands into your face more often. ( however, supposedly, we are touching our face 30 times an hour on average- I don’t know if you could increase that number significantly).
So you keep adjusting your mask, potentially spreading other people’s germs from things you touched Into your face or onto the outside of your mask. Then, again, the question is, are you a hand-washer or not.
If you are a hand Washer, you would probably not significantly increase your risk, because you have your little bottle with disinfectant in your pocket and every time you touch something, you would use it.
If you are not-hand- washer, you are having contaminated hands anyway, and it likely would not make a huge difference if you touch your face 30 times or 42 times.
 

Mrs.Anteater

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Non sterile, droplet stopping masks can get gross. Need to be washed and changed often, otherwise it's like having a dirty tea towel on your face.
....and- there are no sterile masks- they would have to be single packaged masks with an expiration date if they were sterile.
 

ChemGal

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Ok, we probably all heard that masks protect the other people from you more that it protects you from others, especially if it is self made masks. So, consequently, the contamination is inside the mask if you are sick.
One benefit of it is still, that if you sneeze, cough or talk, the majority of your germs stay in your mask and don’t get splashed out 10 ft around you. If you then get into your home, your car and take your mask off but don’t wash your hands, all you pick up is what you get on your hands. Then again, you would be smearing this into your environment, but if its your car, your home, it would be less than you sneezing all around you in public.
Suppose, you never wash your hands and are sick, but wearing the mask in public, you would certainly have it on your hands and next time you go somewhere, you’d be spreading it more onto things.
Now the case that you are not sick and wear a mask. The mask makes you either more aware not to touch your face or it doesn’t fit right and you keep adjusting it, bringing your hands into your face more often. ( however, supposedly, we are touching our face 30 times an hour on average- I don’t know if you could increase that number significantly).
So you keep adjusting your mask, potentially spreading other people’s germs from things you touched Into your face or onto the outside of your mask. Then, again, the question is, are you a hand-washer or not.
If you are a hand Washer, you would probably not significantly increase your risk, because you have your little bottle with disinfectant in your pocket and every time you touch something, you would use it.
If you are not-hand- washer, you are having contaminated hands anyway, and it likely would not make a huge difference if you touch your face 30 times or 42 times.
My big concern is multiple people donning and doffing a mask in the same place, within a few minutes of each other and a surface all are expected to touch after taking off a mask/prior to putting it on again. Non-trained, and without a hand sanitizing option (or trusting people to use it if hand sanitizer is placed, without instructions).
 

Northwind

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Masks can give a false sense of safety. As others have mentioned, they need to be donned properly. I will wear one if required. Keeping a safe distance and hand washing are better.
 

ChemGal

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Masks can give a false sense of safety. As others have mentioned, they need to be donned properly. I will wear one if required. Keeping a safe distance and hand washing are better.
I very much agree with that too. I suspect many of those wearing masks will be more careless about distancing that they would be if not wearing them.
 

Pinga

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Found the thread.

I find the presumptions regarding mask wearing quite off putting and rude.

1. I wear a mask periodically, say once, maybe twice a week for 20 min or so. I have multiple. They don't get gross.
2. I wouldn't go out if I had symptoms.
3. It reminds me NOT to touch my face.
4. I don't take it off when I go somewhere
5. I take very good care of my hands, with washing and appropriate disenfectants

So, the snide comments re mask wearing implies we don't know what we are doing or why we are wearing them
 

Pinga

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And, i do social distancing and remind folks to do so.

A mask is a cue to remind me of covid, not a magical force shield
 

Waterfall

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Face masks protect others, if you want to protect yourself wear a face visor that covers your whole face (made of plastic and easier to keep clean) IMO.
 

Pinga

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Waterfall, is your presumption that we don't know that?
 

Waterfall

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Waterfall, is your presumption that we don't know that?
Maybe not you, but it's my experience that many don't......after working in the health field, I've witnessed doctors, nurses, PSW's walk from room to room without washing hands or changing gloves or masks if required......
And the typical lowering of the mask from over the nose....so they can breathe better
 

Pinga

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Why? They may be transitioning from one store to another and not removing to reduce handling
 

ChemGal

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Found the thread.

I find the presumptions regarding mask wearing quite off putting and rude.

1. I wear a mask periodically, say once, maybe twice a week for 20 min or so. I have multiple. They don't get gross.
2. I wouldn't go out if I had symptoms.
3. It reminds me NOT to touch my face.
4. I don't take it off when I go somewhere
5. I take very good care of my hands, with washing and appropriate disenfectants

So, the snide comments re mask wearing implies we don't know what we are doing or why we are wearing them
The comments about taking them off were in response to the phototherapy clinic, we have to take them off for the treatment. No sink in the room to wash hands, no hand sanitizer in there yet.
 

Pinga

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If it is a specific location, it didn't carry through to all comments
 
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