Rubbish article: Health Authorities Apparently Lied About Wearing Masks. [Incorrect] | Australian Frequent Flyer
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Rubbish article: Health Authorities Apparently Lied About Wearing Masks. [Incorrect]

Renato1

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MODERATOR NOTE: Take the below-linked to article with a pinch of salt.




The New York Times ran this piece the other day.
which I thought interesting as we had a little debate about just this issue in one of the threads somewhere here about a week ago.

Regards,
Renato

Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired
To help manage the shortage, the authorities sent a message that made them untrustworthy.
By Zeynep Tufekci
Dr. Tufekci is a professor of information science who specializes in the social effects of technology. March 17, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

When news of a mysterious viral pneumonia linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, reached the outside world in early January, one of my first reactions was to order a modest supply of masks. Just a few weeks later, there wasn’t a mask to be bought in stores, or online for a reasonable price — just widespread price gouging. Many health experts, no doubt motivated by the sensible and urgent aim of preserving the remaining masks for health care workers, started telling people that they didn’t need masks or that they wouldn’t know how to wear them.

As the pandemic rages on, there will be many difficult messages for the public. Unfortunately, the top-down conversation around masks has become a case study in how not to communicate with the public, especially now that the traditional gatekeepers like media and health authorities have much less control. The message became counterproductive and may have encouraged even more hoarding because it seemed as though authorities were shaping the message around managing the scarcity rather than confronting the reality of the situation.
WEAR A MASK
 
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Himeno

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You really have no idea what these things are actually saying do you.

It seems like you get most of your information from known dubious sources, or completely misconstrue what the sources are saying when you view a reliable source.

To be effective, the masks needs to be the correct type. The mask needs to be fitted to the user. The mask needs to be worn correctly. Masks are single use and are not meant to be warn for hours on end. Masks become less effective and become breeding grounds the longer they are warn as they get damp from breathing. There is a limited amount of masks.

The majority of people do NOT wear masks correctly. They reuse them after they become useless. They are not trained in their use and contaminate them quickly after putting them on. Many in the general public with a mask think they are "protected" when they are wearing a mask that is no longer effective and thus think they don't need to follow other preventive measures.

As people do not use masks correctly, they are wasting them. As masks are limited, they need to be reserved for use where they will be most useful. Masks are most useful when worn by people who are sick - to reduce the chances of them getting others sick, and by people who are in close proximity to people who are sick.
There is little benefit to people who are healthy wearing masks, especially when they are single use and there is a limited supply.
 

RooFlyer

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There is little benefit to people who are healthy wearing masks, especially when they are single use and there is a limited supply.
Might have been more informative if you addressed the points made by the article rather than having a go at the OP.

For instance - mask wearing and the analogy with hand washing. Most people don't wash their hands properly, but they are are not then told don't bother. There has been education / signs, campaigns etc for this. Could be the same with masks - if people don't wear them properly etc, then educate them on wearing, uses and limitations for the masks they have. Supply can be easily limited at the sales point.

When we de-planed in Adelaide from Doha, we were met by this chap.

IMG_2431(1).jpg
 
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There is a truly tragic loss of medical staff life due to insufficient personal protection equipment. Frontline staff should absolutely get priority for masks etc. Italy 🇮🇹 is a tragic case of what can happen as doctors and others are dying in greater numbers than anyone else.

If people could actually put the masks on properly and then not touch them they would be useful if you are already sick (although you should not be out at all if you are sick), they may give some protection to others from your coughing etc. if you are not sick do not waste the masks.
 

MEL_Traveller

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Might have been more informative if you addressed the points made by the article rather than having a go at the OP.

For instance - mask wearing and the analogy with hand washing. Most people don't wash their hands properly, but they are are not then told don't bother. There has been education / signs, campaigns etc for this. Could be the same with masks - if people don't wear them properly etc, then educate them on wearing, uses and limitations for the masks they have. Supply can be easily limited at the sales point.
Education campaigns seem to be having little effect on some - as we've seen with folk trying to skirt the social distancing rules.

With hand washing, if you don't do it right, there's nothing lost. Except a bit of soap.

With a mask, if you don't fit it right it offers little or no protection and uses a valuable resource that is needed by front-line health workers.
 

Pushka

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There is a truly tragic loss of medical staff life due to insufficient personal protection equipment. Frontline staff should absolutely get priority for masks etc. Italy 🇮🇹 is a tragic case of what can happen as doctors and others are dying in greater numbers than anyone else.

If people could actually put the masks on properly and then not touch them they would be useful if you are already sick (although you should not be out at all if you are sick), they may give some protection to others from your coughing etc. if you are not sick do not waste the masks.
Not for an instant have I thought about looking for and wearing a mask, unless of course I was infectious and needed to protect others and had to go out looking for medical assistance. Or to protect my partner if he had to stay with me. But I can't get a mask anyway in that case. On the other hand I did get a few cakes of soap that would last a couple of weeks. That is the priority.

We must protect the medical people. If they become as ill as those elsewhere facing the full brunt then we are pretty much, well, you know the term.
 

drron

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Sorry Renato1 but in another thread I described how I wore a mask when working on an influenza ward.going to see a patient I would wash my hands,put on a gown,mask and gloves.After seeing a patient the gown,mask and gloves were discarded and hands washed again.Then to the next room and the proceedure is repeated.We do not wear the same mask all the time as it becomes contaminated and by the end of the day possibly increases your chance of infection.
Despite this by the end of the week I had picked up a virus-fortunately the Respiratory Syncytial virus.Only picked up as I had a swab done.But then needed to keep away from young children or pregnant women.

now this is also done by the nurses,cleaners and other staff looking after such patients so you can see the number of masks used in such a ward is very large each day.Sorry but those who have bought up all the surgical masks you have left the front line health workers to be more likely to catch the virus.

By the wat RooFlyer did you ask the guy who came onto the plane did he wear the same mask all day?Sorry to be pedantic.

Those who should wear a mask are those described by get me outta here-people who are coughing and sneezing.
 

straitman

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With a mask, if you don't fit it right it offers little or no protection and uses a valuable resource that is needed by front-line health workers.
I don't wholly subscribe to this.

An N95 mask offers 95% protection. If not worn exactly correctly then it doesn't suddenly drop to zero. A small leak on a mask that someone has tried to fit correctly would reduce the value but only by 5-10% surely.
 

tgh

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Sorry but those who have bought up all the surgical masks you have left the front line health workers to be more likely to catch the virus.

This is a dreadful statement that attempts to place blame on thoughtful individuals for the abject failure of the medical establishment and the individuals within it.
Medicine buys from producers and wholesalers, Individuals bought masks from retail stock.
The medical establishment and the individuals within could have easily secured sufficient supplies ahead of retail.
To suggest that someone walking into a shop several months ago and buying a few masks was deliberately contributing to future front line medical failure is a bitter and twisted perception of reality.
 

straitman

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Sorry but those who have bought up all the surgical masks you have left the front line health workers to be more likely to catch the virus.

This is a dreadful statement that attempts to place blame on thoughtful individuals for the abject failure of the medical establishment and the individuals within it.
Medicine buys from producers and wholesalers, Individuals bought masks from retail stock.
The medical establishment and the individuals within could have easily secured sufficient supplies ahead of retail.
To suggest that someone walking into a shop several months ago and buying a few masks was deliberately contributing to future front line medical failure is a bitter and twisted perception of reality.
What was stated and your take on it are miles apart and to use your own words a 'twisted perception of reality' IMHO.
 
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A bit of context is that doctors etc in hospitals are reliant on those hospitals buying PPE. Those hospitals have now run out. I would not like to be needing surgery right now with surgeons not having the appropriate cover for themselves or for me.

When my ophthalmic surgeon cancelled all face-to-face consultations and I was very lucky to get one of the last,, the staff there advised me that he was under pressure to continue to do surgery because the private hospital wanted to keep earning. As his colleagues overseas were dying in this pandemic he has declined to do so. It will be interesting to see what sort of pressures doctors are under continue working without appropriate PPE which now cannot be purchased because the wrong people are buying them. Let’s hope this supply chain catches up soon.

Sorry but those who have bought up all the surgical masks you have left the front line health workers to be more likely to catch the virus.

This is a dreadful statement that attempts to place blame on thoughtful individuals for the abject failure of the medical establishment and the individuals within it.
Medicine buys from producers and wholesalers, Individuals bought masks from retail stock.
The medical establishment and the individuals within could have easily secured sufficient supplies ahead of retail.
To suggest that someone walking into a shop several months ago and buying a few masks was deliberately contributing to future front line medical failure is a bitter and twisted perception of reality.
 

RooFlyer

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With a mask, if you don't fit it right it offers little or no protection and uses a valuable resource that is needed by front-line health workers.
I don't believe the 'little or no protection' bit is correct (are you talking about transmission out or receipt of the virus?), but I stand to be corrected by a medico. Again, given that there are obviously masks out there, AND they are being worn, why no education about them, like washing your hands? Other than 'don't bother'?

I bought a pack of 5 P95 masks from Bunnings I think in late January, when I knew I had an overseas trip coming up and the virus spread was pretty obvious. If health professions want them, they are welcome but I don't think an opened packet, taken with me overseas, would be wanted.

I wore two on my return trip to Australia when I was unavoidably in close contact with others. I was (and still am) asymptomatic but it was 1) 'just in case' should I be a carrier and 2) my last line of defense should someone with the virus cough etc near me. I think it was fitted correctly, but I did fit it myself, not by someone else, which wasn't really practicable.

It seems just about all the 'advice' is that I shouldn't have bothered. What do people think (genuine question) ?
 
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This author does not seem to have qualifications in any fields required to make these comments credible.

The New York Times ran this piece the other day.
which I thought interesting as we had a little debate about just this issue in one of the threads somewhere here about a week ago.

The text of the paywalled article is as follows.
Regards,
Renato

Why Telling People They Don’t Need Masks Backfired
To help manage the shortage, the authorities sent a message that made them untrustworthy.
By Zeynep Tufekci
Dr. Tufekci is a professor of information science who specializes in the social effects of technology. March 17, 2020, 5:00 a.m. ET

When news of a mysterious viral pneumonia linked to a seafood market in Wuhan, China, reached the outside world in early January, one of my first reactions was to order a modest supply of masks. Just a few weeks later, there wasn’t a mask to be bought in stores, or online for a reasonable price — just widespread price gouging. Many health experts, no doubt motivated by the sensible and urgent aim of preserving the remaining masks for health care workers, started telling people that they didn’t need masks or that they wouldn’t know how to wear them.

As the pandemic rages on, there will be many difficult messages for the public. Unfortunately, the top-down conversation around masks has become a case study in how not to communicate with the public, especially now that the traditional gatekeepers like media and health authorities have much less control. The message became counterproductive and may have encouraged even more hoarding because it seemed as though authorities were shaping the message around managing the scarcity rather than confronting the reality of the situation.

First, many health experts, including the surgeon general of the United States, told the public simultaneously that masks weren’t necessary for protecting the general public and that health care workers needed the dwindling supply. This contradiction confuses an ordinary listener. How do these masks magically protect the wearers only and only if they work in a particular field?

Second, there were attempts to bolster the first message, that ordinary people didn’t need masks, by telling people that masks, especially medical-grade respirator masks (such as the N95 masks), needed proper fitting and that ordinary people without such fitting wouldn’t benefit. This message was also deeply counterproductive. Many people also wash their hands wrong, but we don’t respond to that by telling them not to bother. Instead, we provide instructions; we post signs in bathrooms; we help people sing songs that time their hand-washing. Telling people they can’t possibly figure out how to wear a mask properly isn’t a winning message. Besides, when you tell people that something works only if done right, they think they will be the person who does it right, even if everyone else doesn’t.

Third, of course masks work — maybe not perfectly and not all to the same degree, but they provide some protection. Their use has always been advised as part of the standard response to being around infected people, especially for people who may be vulnerable. World Health Organization officials wear masks during their news briefings. That was the reason I had bought a few in early January — I had been conducting research in Hong Kong, which has a lot of contact with mainland China, and expected to go back. I had studied and taught about the sociology of pandemics and knew from the SARS experience in 2003 that health officials in many high-risk Asian countries had advised wearing masks.

It is of course true that masks don’t work perfectly, that they don’t replace hand-washing and social distancing, and that they work better if they fit properly. And of course, surgical masks (the disposable type that surgeons wear) don’t filter out small viral particles the way medical-grade respirator masks rated N95 and above do. However, even surgical masks protect a bit more than not wearing masks at all. We know from flu research that mask-wearing can help decrease transmission rates along with frequent hand-washing and social-distancing. Now that we are facing a respirator mask shortage, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending that surgical masks are “an acceptable alternative” for health care workers — again, obviously because some protection, even if imperfect, is better than none. In the face of this, publicly presenting an absolute answer — “You don’t need them” — for something that requires a qualified response just makes people trust authorities even less.

Fourth, the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. told the public to wear masks if they were sick. However, there is increasing evidence of asymptotic transmission, especially through younger people who have milder cases and don’t know they are sick but are still infectious. Since the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. do say that masks lessen the chances that infected people will infect others, then everyone should use masks. If the public is told that only the sick people are to wear masks, then those who do wear them will be stigmatized and people may well avoid wearing them if it screams “I’m sick.” Further, it’s very difficult to be tested for Covid-19 in the United States. How are people supposed to know for sure when to mask up?

Fifth, places like Hong Kong and Taiwan that jumped to action early with social distancing and universal mask wearing have the pandemic under much greater control, despite having significant travel from mainland China. Hong Kong health officials credit universal mask wearing as part of the solution and recommend universal mask wearing. In fact, Taiwan responded to the coronavirus by immediately ramping up mask production.

Sixth, masks are an important signal that it’s not business as usual as well as an act of solidarity. Pandemics require us to change our behavior — our socialization, hygiene, work and more — collectively, and knowing our fellow citizens are on board is important for all efforts.

If as some people like to argue, that masks do not protect the wearer from biohazardous, airborne pathogens, then why do scientists, virologists, wear full protective gear, biohazard suits, and masks if not to protect themselves?

Please ask yourself these questions. Find the answers for yourself. Why are they fully protected if masks are not effective against stopping airborne pathogens from entering through your nose and mouth?

Because masks are effective. They just don’t have enough. So they chose to lie to the American people. This is killing Americans. Don’t believe the lies and the propaganda and the misinformation. Wear a mask to protect yourself. The study shows that even homemade masks offer some degree of protection from infection rates.
WEAR A MASK
 

amaroo

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It's very basic principal to understand - masks are life critical PPE for the people trying to save lives. It's not for the ones that are at home waiting it out where the biggest danger they face is total boredom.

 
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I’m generally very positive and see the funny side of things. However, this does seem to be a life and death situation for our medical staff. Most of the people who comment on things here don’t have major articles in national newspapers. I’m not sure which angle is the levity though.

Hmmm ...just like 99% of people on AFF :) (C'mon a bit of levity is OK, isn't it? 😇 )
 
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Actually, I have just found a good angle. One that perhaps shows a morsel of levity. If you carry an unused mask with you everywhere and you suddenly need to go to hospital you can donate it to your surgeon to wear for your procedure. 😆
 

RooFlyer

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I’m generally very positive and see the funny side of things. However, this does seem to be a life and death situation for our medical staff. Most of the people who comment on things here don’t have major articles in national newspapers. I’m not sure which angle is the levity though.
I can't do anything about the life or death situation for our medical staff (not to mention susceptible people like me), so am happy to invoke some levity where I can, and where appropriate. Poking fun at AFF users (in generality) I'm OK with, as long as it isn't personal.

Actually, I have just found a good angle. One that perhaps shows a morsel of levity. If you carry a sterile mask with you everywhere and you suddenly need to go to hospital you can donate it to your surgeon to wear for your procedure. 😆
Oops ... too late. :(
 
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Not poking fun at anybody. Not personal. I thought it was actually quite a useful suggestion but make of it what you wish.

I can't do anything about the life or death situation for our medical staff (not to mention susceptible people like me), so am happy to invoke some levity where I can, and where appropriate. Poking fun at AFF users (in generality) I'm OK with, as long as it isn't personal.



Oops ... too late. :(
 

tgh

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This reply lacks humour.. my apologies...

Medicine traditionally uses surgical masks , these products offer limited protection. ( citations available)
Industry uses p1 ,p2 and P3 masks ; they are considered an industrial product for hazard mitigation. ( citations available)
I normally stock a P3 mask and a few dozen P2 masks in my workshop for hazard protection.
The masks are commonly available and are also useful as an aerosol guard , that is what likely drove the retail buy up.

A "panic" buy up of anything that looked like a mask developed ; surgical masks which are of little or no use were also purchased partly because industrial masks ran out quickly and partly because surgical masks are very simple and extremely cheap to buy.
Government could have stopped this panic buying in its tracks but failed to do so.

Government failed to educate the differences in the products AND probably also failed to upgrade the medicine sector from surgical to P2

We are in the age group where Covid is more likely to be serious , I have 2 x P3 respirators and 20 p2 masks
I remain personally offended by suggestions that our Personal Health should be negated to compensate for some failure of Government to plan pepare and act in a timely manner.
 
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