It's interesting that more and more governmental health entities globally are issuing updated guidance. For example:
UK HM Government, updated earlier this week - Document
There are some circumstances when wearing a face covering may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.
Doesn't exactly scream confidence. It continues:
It is important to know that the evidence of the benefit of using a face covering to protect others is weak and the effect is likely to be small, therefore face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact...and increasing hand and surface washing.
From the Netherlands OMT (Outbreak Management Team), updated this month - Netherlands COVID Page:
The OMT does not recommend the general use of non-medical masks in public spaces if it is possible to keep 1.5 meters away.
Enough studies have been done on this over the years (here, here, and here just to cite but a few) to show that some of the pushback on masks may be coming from a place more rooted in fact than many think.
We all want easy solutions and a feeling of control over what has proven to be a very complex situation. Unfortunately, there are some things in life that humans simply don't have much control over, and this seems to be one of those situations. If you want to wear a mask then please feel free. I understand and respect that position. I'd simply ask that those who are zealous about others wearing masks also understand and respect the opposing position, especially given that most of the science is on their side.
What is the downside to wearing a mask for those who do not want to? Being uncomfortable? Not looking cool? Nobody seems to care that you have to wear a shirt and shoes of some kind to go into nearly every single establishment.
If you choose not to wear a mask outside, at your neighbor's house, etc...knock yourself out. But this push back on governments requiring them in businesses and so forth is just ignorant.
I think it comes down to nothing more than "you told me I have to, so I'm not gonna."
The people crying about having to wear a mask are not reading any studies and the people telling them not to wear a mask aren't either. There are many studies that show that masks do work. I share a few below but I have to ask this, if masks aren't effective why do surgeons and dentists wear them?
...if it is possible to keep 1.5 meters away.
In the end this is the whole point. Keep your distance from other people, when you can't you wear a mask.
There are more studies where these come from...
"The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at reducing spread of the virus when compliance is high."
“We detected coronavirus in respiratory droplets and aerosols in 3 of 10 (30%) and 4 of 10 (40%) of the samples collected without face masks, respectively, but did not detect any virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols collected from participants wearing face masks, this difference was significant in aerosols and showed a trend toward reduced detection in respiratory droplets.”
“The study, conducted prior to the current pandemic with a student of Milton's colleagues on the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong, does not address the question of whether surgical masks protect wearers from infection. It does suggest that masks may limit how much the infected -- who in the case of the novel coronavirus often don't have symptoms -- spread diseases including influenza, rhinoviruses and coronaviruses.”
Masks as they relate to the transmission of airborne pathogens is not some new mystery. How long have surgeons been wearing masks in surgery? The physics are pretty straight forward when it comes to reducing the risk. It's not a panacea, but this idiotic notion that the presence of any anomaly or sliding scale of effectiveness negates the whole premise fundamentally shows that people don't understand how basic science works.
And you have to be a special kind of moron who thinks that going to a bar and dry humping each other doesn't have consequences.
So a few takeaways from your quotes:
1: Wearing a mask "may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms."
2: Wearing "face coverings are not a replacement for the other ways of managing risk, including minimising time spent in contact...and increasing hand and surface washing"
3: Wearing a mask is not recommended "in public spaces if it is possible to keep 1.5 meters away."
All of that suggests, to me, that an amusement park is one of the places where a mask would be beneficial. If you feel up to going to a park, you are probably not exhibiting any symptoms, but you *could* still be infected, so, in caution, you would want to protect others. Amusement parks, with their lines, are a place where it is difficult to maintain distance and depending on dispatch times, is difficult to minimize time spent in contact. Furthermore, there are many surfaces that are going to be difficult to keep clean that are going to be in contact with many people, not the least of these being the rides themselves. I dont think it's realistic to think they will be wiped down between dispatches, but even if they were, that would increase wait times.
I dont think most rational people think that you should wear a mask all the time. Admittedly, I look askance at people wearing a mask while driving alone. And I could even see times in an amusement park (or nature park, beach, etc.) where you could keep the spacing and not wear the mask. But, if you're going to be in an enclosed (-ish) space near people, it seems awfully self-centered to me to *not* mask up.
What I find most disturbing (not the right word, but the one I'll use) is that people who are virulently (pun intended) anti-mask seem to think that businesses cannot make decisions to protect their employees if that inconveniences them. I dont know how this works in an amusement park, but I've seen people complain that they have to be let in stores mask-less 'because of the ADA', but not realize that the business only has to offer "reasonable accommodation". Maybe parks could let people in mask-less at let them enjoy the outdoor shows, where they can maintain distance, but disallow them into enclosed station houses where distancing is impractical.
However, my faith in (certain parts of) humanity is waning and I believe that anyone who is picking a fight over a mask probably has no problem violating social distancing either. Whatevs, we probably wont be at a park anytime soon anyway.
PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux
Let's also not forget that the two hair stylists that saw over 140 clients while symptomatic did not transmit the virus. Everyone in that scenario was wearing a mask and the salon was practicing social distancing.
^^The reason to wear a mask when you're driving alone is to avoid touching your face or the mask with possibly contaminated hands. If I'm running errands around town, I wear mine. If I'm driving for hours at a stretch, not so much.
I see a lot of people here in NYC wearing their masks on their chins, and I presume they have them to put on when entering a store or whatever. It's not really a best practice, I think (and I'd be happier if they wore masks on a crowded sidewalk, even though I believe that risk is probably minimal).
Spent 4 days at Hersheypark, last week, while it was in the 90's, wearing a mask, and I didn't even come close to passing out. Did I enjoy wearing it? Of course not. But, hopefully, I didn't get Covid-19. At this point, since I hate everyone, I wear it to protect me...LOL!
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