Wear A Mask - it's airborne!
If you are in a country that has not yet eliminated COVID-19, wear a mask when mixing with other in enclosed spaces, whether vaccinated or not. Thin masks like the stretchy spandex (lycra) ones offer (say) 10% protection to you and perhaps better than 10% protection to others (if you are infected). If you can afford N95, FFP2, KF94 masks then consider having those instead of cloth masks as that is the best protection you can get.
If you’re wearing a surgical-style mask that you bought from the supermarket or a corner store, consider a fitter.
If you can’t wear a mask or cloth face covering stay at home and get your food/groceries delivered.
If you can afford it, get KF94 masks (that are not cloth or washable) for use when mixing with other in public. Citizen Scientist, Aaron Collins, reviews masks for filtration effectiveness and talks about KF94 masks quite a bit. Leave the N95 and FFP2 masks/respirators for respective medical and emergency workers.
Spunbond Polypropylene masks
Your washable & breathable mask should feature spunbond polypropylene (SBPP) and be a good fit with nose wire. The more of the spunbond polypropylene the better - six or more layers of the thin SBPP (38 gsm or layer) or four+ layers of the thicker SBPP (68gsm). Here’s the filtration you should expect (using data from a study commissioned by MakerMask.org)
Here is a quick to sew pattern that features as many layers of spunbond polypropylene as your sewing machine can work with.
High thread count cotton masks
Some studies in 2020 picked this as a material to use in mask making. Superficially, this material offers high protection, bit it comes with a high price - the fabric pulls onto your nostrils and lips as you breathe in. That is because breathability is more of a problem for high TPI cotton than for other fabrics. Spunbond polypropylene is far better, but requires multiple layers to get the filtration up. In summary - high TPI cotton is a massive mistake for mask construction.
We have known since the start that masks would help slow or stop the pandemic:
- Feb, 2021: Effectiveness of Mask Wearing to Control Community Spread of SARS-CoV-2 - Brooks & Butler
- Dec, 2020: University of Wisconsin “fitter” study (see fitters)
- Nov, 2020: Virginia Tech: Cloth face coverings help protect both wearers and those nearby - Pan, Harb, Leng & Marr.
- Q4 2020 onwards: Aaron Collins with the equipment needed at home tests high-filtration masks he’s acquired for filtration and leakage
- Aug, 2020: Max-Planck Institute (Germany): Aerosol filtration efficiency of household materials for homemade face masks: Influence of material properties, particle size, particle electrical charge, face velocity, and leaks - Drewnick et al.
- May, 2020: University of Chicago and Argonne National Labs (USA): Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks - Konda et al.
- May, 2021: Cheng, Ma2, Witt, Rapp, Wild, Andreae, Pöschl, and Su: Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission
Articles & More Information
- July 21, 2021; Scott et al: The introduction of a mandatory mask policy was associated with significantly reduced COVID-19 cases in a major metropolitan city
- June 29, 2021; BBC: Covid: Masks upgrade cuts infection risk
- June 5, 2021; Cheng et al: Face masks effectively limit the probability of SARS-CoV-2 transmission
- March 5, 2021; The Virus Spread Where Restaurants Reopened or Mask Mandates Were Absent
- January 29, 2021; New York Times & Colorado State Mask Study: How to Choose the Best Cloth Face Mask for You
- January 28, 2021; Buzzfeed: What Is Double-Masking? Here’s How It Can Keep You Safer From The Coronavirus
- January 28, 2021; Salon e-Zine: How high-filtration masks — like the KN95, N95 and KN94 — differ
- January 28, 2021; CBC: Why you might want to start wearing better masks — even outdoors
- January 27, 2021; Slate e-Zine: Do You Really Need Two Masks Now?
- January 26, 2021; Jeremy Howard et al: An evidence review of face masks against COVID-19
- December 2020; William G. Lindsley: Efficacy of face masks, neck gaiters and face shields for reducing the expulsion of simulated cough-generated aerosols
- August 26, 2020; Wei Lyu and George L. Wehby study: The Forgotten Science Behind Face Masks
- August, 2020; Webmd article: Community Use Of Face Masks And COVID-19: Evidence From A Natural Experiment Of State Mandates In The US
- Masks do not create a false sense of security, See Twitter thread by Rob Shirkey
- Active since March 2020; Masks4all.co portal has been pushing the “masks for all” message. And a discussion forum on reddit for the same
- Since March 2020; damerousky.cz: Citizen made portal for making masks, started in the Czech Republic (Europe) and now an international multi-language effort
- DiyMasks.ie - more citizen made mask choices and links
- October 15, 2020; Goddard’s Journal video: second review of mask studies over the years and that they work
- March 25, 2020; Goddard’s Journal video: first review of mask studies over the years and that they work
- Wikipedia Maintains a long page on mask use in the pandemic here
Goddard’s Journal - listing the “masks work” studies
Goddard’s Journal was among the very first to gather the studies that proved masks work. The author did work that many governments did not:
Goddard’s first video - March 2020
Timings from start of video:
- @ 1:17 Jefferson et al (2011) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21735402 Of the nine case-control studies cited in Goddard's quotation of Jefferson, seven involved healthcare workers and two involved mask wearing by uninfected members of the public, Wu et al (2004) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3322931 and Lau et al (2004) @ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15200846
- @ 2:01 Jefferson et al (2008) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18042961
- @ 2:29 MacIntyre (2015) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25858901
- @ 4:09 Hui & Chan (2010) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20674795 and Breban et al (2013) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23831141
- @ 4:21 van Doremalen et al https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973 and Ong et al (2020) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2762692
- @ 5:26 Tracht et al (2010) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2818714
- @ 6:58 Cui et al (2019) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31499643/.
- @ 8:22 Tracht et al (2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3307882
- @ 9:55 Aiello et al (2012) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22295066
- @ 10:36 Suess et al (2012) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22280120
- @ 11:04 Cowling et al (2009) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19652172
- @ 11:32 Larson et al (2010) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20297744
- @ 12:03 Simmerman et al (2011) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21651736
- @ 12:57 Aiello et al (2012) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3266257
- @ 14:11 MacIntyre (2009) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662657
- @ 15:45 Foo et al (2006) https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17026695
- @ 17:19 DIY facemask https://youtu.be/Pb59qBUNg1o (video)
- @ 18:34 DIY facemask https://youtu.be/Bs-E_R5WWsY (video)
Goddard’s second video - October 2020
This was a follow up to the first, as noted at the start of the video. Timings from start of video:
- @00:30 Wang et al (2020) https://gh.bmj.com/content/5/5/e002794
- @ 01:42 Chan et al (2020) https://academic.oup.com/cid/article/71/16/2139/5848814
- @ 05:28 Chu et al (2020) https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext
- @ 10:07 Leung et al (2020) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2
- @ 12:03 NHK program on airborne transmission https://youtu.be/vBvFkQizTT4
- @ 12:42 Anfinrud et al (2020) https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2007800
- @ 14:02 Fears et al (2020) https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/9/20-1806_article
- @ 14:33 Lednicky et al (2020) https://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(20)30739-6/fulltext
- @ 14:55 Bourouiba (2020) https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2763852
- @ 15:05 Verma et al (2020) https://aip.scitation.org/doi/10.1063/5.0016018
- @ 16:46 Fischer et al (2020) https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/6/36/eabd3083
- @ 19:14 N95 mask-valve leakage https://youtu.be/JEy1cF2pMdM (video)
- @ 20:33 Anti-mask misinformation https://youtu.be/hJpS_jajub0 (video)
- @ 20:42 That misinformation debunked by Prof Jimenez https://twitter.com/NuritBaytch/status/1300064418458472453
- @ 20:49 Swiss-cheese protection model https://my.clevelandclinic.org/-/scassets/files/org/employer-solutions/covid-19-returning-to-work-guide.ashx
Anti Masker groups motivated by politics, hatred of your group/country, bad science, their own bad breath and more, link to things that can (they claim) prove their case. Their bogus talking points:
- “just search for it, I don’t have to give you links to studies”
- “masks starve your oxygen” - they do not
- “Country X or state Y doesn’t have masks and they’re better than your country”. Ask them what they think about Taiwan or South Korea who’ve performed among the best (with masks), and they get all racist or suggest it is faked.
Raina MacIntyre’s work
Study ‘MacIntyre et al, 2015’, figures quite a lot as an anti-masker “truth”. Goddard’s Journal went into this study above. Meanwhile, Raina C MacIntyre is disgusted with mis-representation by the anti-masker crowd. She has published more in the last eighteen months to further indicate her science that masks work and we should wear them:
- September 29, 2020; Prof Raina MacIntyre in BMJ Opinion: Cloth masks should be washed appropriately everyday.
- December 20, 2020; Prof Raina MacIntyre in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Mandating masks across greater Sydney will make a difference”
- December 17, 2020; Prof Raina MacIntyre in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Until we address airborne transmission, we fail to address masks and ventilation and keep peddling the myth that washing hands and wiping surfaces is enough. We need universal masking in closed public spaces”
- October 12, 2020; Prof Raina MacIntyre in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Mandating masks in public places would reduce the risk of transmission from asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic people, protect well people, and enable greater freedom of movement.”
- July 4, 2020, Prof Raina MacIntyre in the Sydney Morning Herald: “Face masks have not been recommended actively, although would likely help control the epidemic in Victoria. There is increasing evidence that spread of SARS-CoV-2 is as much due to the air we breathe as it is to what we touch or who coughs in our face. This, plus asymptomatic infection, is a reason why physical distancing and masks are a good idea.”
- June 27, 2020, Prof Raina MacIntyre in The Lancet: Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection for prevention of COVID-19
- April 21, 2021, The Impact of Universal Mask Use on SARS-COV-2 in Victoria, Australia on the Epidemic Trajectory of COVID-19