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Former councilor decries maskless assholes in Boston Proper

Former City Councilor Josh Zakim is calling for Mayor Walsh or Gov. Baker to make outdoor mask use mandatory after what he saw on a run through the the Back Bay, downtown, Fort Point and Chinatown today.

Zakim reports he was "incredibly disappointed" in how few people he saw wearing masks as he went for a run (with a mask on):

A lot of dangerous, selfish assholes out there.

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Comments

More than usual? And don't get me started on shellfish assholes..

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Voting closed 19

Police enforce laws not rules. To ask them to arrest citizens for not being masked is not good public policy.

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Voting closed 48

Masks for medical workers? Yes, definitely.

Masks in situations where you are in close contact with people (grocery store, etc)? Probably good. Sure, put one on in the grocery store while we still have a lot of active community spread.

Masks when you're out for a jog keeping your distance from people? Not sure that's anything more than security theater. And wait a few weeks, when it goes from eternal March to eternal July (what, you were expecting spring this year?) and those masks become sweaty and drippy and itchy and gross and get wet and don't do anything anyway.

Keep away from people wherever possible, don't go running in the same place as everyone else.

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Voting closed 139

If you're closer than 10 feet from someone, have a covering on your face.

As for the means of exercise near and dear to both of us (though you are much better at) seeing how Zakim is in a very popular jogging area and seeing on how hard it is to breath normally with a covering on, I could see how he would be concerned. As for me, I keep on breaking curfew so I can count on my hands how many people get near me (but not close) during my runs. I'm even hesitant to do runs that go near Roslindale Square since, well, it's a center that many people pass.

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Voting closed 33

But we happen to have a case of masks that my son bought last year specifically for that purpose - they filter out the pollen.

So I wear them for pollen and they are great. Double as sneeze guards? Sure.

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Voting closed 12

What is your typical running pace? And how do the masks feel when you are running at that pace?

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I want one. every time I go out side I cough like crazy. And wheeze.

its pollen and allergies. Not C19. I swear. It gets worse depending on the weather.. windy days = i can barely breath and coughin up green goo. (a sign that it is NOT C19)

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Voting closed 19

It's a CDC recommendation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-fac...

If it turns out you are substituting CDC recommendations with strong opinions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3sq-Y_3RIY

If your statement is based on facts, then well ok then.

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Voting closed 35

That CDC link literally recommends face masks “when social distancing is difficult to maintain.” It goes on to discuss crowded indoor spaces like grocery stores.

If it makes people feel better and safer to wear masks whenever they’re outside the house, that’s fine. But calling people “assholes” for not wearing masks outdoors? I don’t think so. And it’s not like the homemade masks most of us are wearing are 100% effective anyway.

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Voting closed 63

One of the press conferences he said you should have one with you when you're outside but went on to say that you didn't have to always wear it, but if you get to a crosswalk or other situation where you going to be in close proximity to someone else you put it on for that. I think that seems reasonable. If Zakim is just complaining about people who were not near anyone else I think it's a bit extreme.

Plus, rather than criticizing those who don't wear them it would be nicer if we instead had a campaign to be more appreciative of those who do. I'd call it, "Thank You Mask Man"

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Voting closed 19

Yeah, for myself (I’m in Quincy) I have been wearing masks when walking around busy streets. When I take a walk around quiet side streets, I don’t. It’s easy to see people coming and cross the street before we pass each other.

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The CDC also spent about a month making and using contaminated test kits. The WHO is still not recommending that the general public wear masks.

How often do you think people are washing these "face covers" they have been breathing and sneezing into?

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...everyone's trying to do the right thing, well, most folks. Problem is that most of them just aren't doing it right. No fault of their own, it's just the way it is.

I've got a bit of training in hot/warm/cold zone decon. I had a couple of N95 masks left over from a job last fall. They were used, so there's no way I could donate them to anyone. I washed them out, they work OK. I have two.

So, I set up a decon station in my breezeway, with a small bucket of bleach water on a table. I come home, I rinse out the mask in the water, let it drip dry and use the other one if I need it. I use the bleach water to give stuff like doorknobs a quick wipe. By the time it evaporates, a few minutes has gone by and surfaces should be pretty clean.

I carry a small facecloth with alcohol on it in a plastic resealable bag. Keeps it from drying out. It works. If I'm at the store I wipe the cart before I touch it, then after I leave, a second wipe.

My opinion? Judging from several studies (the Stanford one and the Pine St. Inn one, plus the prison (94% asymptomatic!), plus daily observation, I think the c-19 virus is a lot more prevalent in the population than we have been led to believe up until now.

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Here are recommended methods for preparing N95 masks for reuse, from one of the people who developed the masks. None of his methods involve bleach. Washing with soap ruins the static-charged layer. He doesn't specifically address bleach, but if it were that easy, I think he would. The easiest of his methods is to just park the mask for 72 hours. Since you had more than one mask, you should be able to do that.

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Voting closed 9

I just went to that site. They seem to be talking about medical N95 filtered masks. Mine are NIOSH particulate. Slightly different, I believe. I know that the manufacturers needed a waiver (issued on March 18) to use them medically.
The bleach water is weak, my test strips give me about 200 PPM. Like I say, with alcohol in relatively short supply, it's a 'good enough' solution, I think.
I'd leave them in the sun, but that seems to not be a viable solution.

I'm told that many hospitals have a peroxide mister/autoclave designed to sterilize masks.

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Actually, the latest reversal of opinion says that sunlight disinfects surfaces "rapidly" (undefined). That's opposite to what everybody said a month ago, but there's a government study. So leaving them in the sun will probably work. If it doesn't, don't sue me, 'cause I'm doing it too, and I'll probably be sick.

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(looking out window...fucking perruptor)

So, where is this 'sunlight' you speak of?

oh... OH...just had a thought. the old 'big' halogen bulb work lights have a UV filter on them. If I take the glass off, set it up, I might have a UV disinfectant area.

Or I might go blind or burn my house down.

This is why I never speak out loud at press conferences.

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Voting closed 8

As if government agencies have never ignored the nuances of public health issues in public communications in order to get the most people to do the best thing; i.e., message discipline.

A very in-depth look at this masks outdoors issue:

https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/4/24/21233226/coronavirus-runner...

Wearing masks at all times outdoors is, at best, an abundance of caution, but it's probably unnecessary. I still wear one, just because on dog walks etc. it's hard not to come within a 10-15 foot radius of others once or twice.

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I keep hearing all this about masks outdoors -- that's not based on a modern [as in the past couple of weeks] understanding on how the SARS-COV-2 virus mechanically propagates

No- offense but most doctors have never studied physics -- specifically fluid dynamics

I'm not a medical doctor and while I might masquerade as one on the web -- the relevant bit here is my Physics training

First unless your mask is an element of something like a powered industrial mask -- its primary function is to protect everyone else from you -- not so much the other way.

Anyway -- here is what happens outside when you are running or doing some solitary exercise like chainsawing, rock climbing, etc.

You breathe heavily and expel lots of warm moist air some of which might entrain some virus infected microdroplets or even individual virons. As long as the ambient air temperature is below body temperature -- the resultant cloud at head-height will be buoyant and begin to rise. If there is any wind including your motion through the air while jogging the buoyant cloud will begin to disperse.

It will spread by stretching in the direction of the apparent wind in the same way as a soap bubble elongates when you drag the "wand through the air." Throw in any cross wind and the original bubble will rapidly fragment. As the spreads -- its efficiency as a transporter of a high concentration of virons or microdroplets will rapidly decrease.

Finally as the DHS Sci/Tech "subject matter expert" showed at the Briefing on Friday -- outdoors with its humidity and in particular solar UV is not a friendly environment for the virus -- being disinfected in summer-level sunlight in a matter of seconds.

Moral of the story -- You should wear a mask indoors when you go to a store -- not to protect you -- but just in case your are infected to help protect everyone else. Outside wear a mask if you are into making a fashion statement or expressing solidarity, etc.

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' solar UV is not a friendly environment for the virus'

(checking weather report for next week)

We're screwed. Snow on Wednesday?

When spring and decent sunshine finally show up, surface contact transmission might be greatly reduced. Car door handles, doorknobs, shopping carts left out in the sun, it'll all help.

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Glass pretty much does, but clouds don't.

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The WHO has stood firm on their "only wear a mask if you're infected or caring for someone who is" line. ( cite ). There's also some evidence that the general population actually makes things worse by wearing masks, because you have to touch your face to put one on and you tend to fidget with your face more when you're wearing one. (cite) Given the choice between listening to the CDC vs the WHO, I'm probably going to lean toward the one that hasn't been compromised by the orange menace installing his own top brass.

There isn't clear consensus on this, and it would be irresponsible for the city to start passing laws as though it were.

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Yesterday they announced there is no evidence that having been infected with Covid conveys any immunity to re-infection.

If that's true, is a vaccine even possible?

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There's a big difference between 'no immunity' and 'no evidence of immunity'. I think they could have worded it better, but the interpretation I heard was there have been no studies that conclusively prove there is immunity. There's a lot we still don't know about this virus.

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Remember, they gave us this gem:

IMAGE(http://i.imgur.com/YQ9hFoF.jpg)

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They updated this today, basically backing off this stance somewhat to say that it's unclear to what degree prior infection results in immunity.

If that's true, is a vaccine even possible?

I'm no microbiologist, but I think so, at least in theory. I think there are a couple of issues: 1)antibodies not being a good match for a mutated version of the virus, 2)antibody production not being sustained sufficiently to prevent reinfection. For 1, the virus would be tailored to produce multiple antibodies; for 2, well, it sure sounds like booster shots?

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The WHO has stood firm on their "only wear a mask if you're infected or caring for someone who is" line.

Which, given what we know about people shedding a lot of virus (and therefore being highly contagious) just before symptoms start, seems to me to be insane. WHO's advice is tantamount to, "If you develop symptoms, you should start wearing a mask about 3 days before that...."

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Someone in charge will have given the general public some indication whether this is going to be forever, for the next five years, or just extended two weeks at a time indefinitely forever.

I assumed that the deal was that if we stayed locked up as much as possible, that would give the smart people time to get busy working on what happens next. If they are working on that, it'd be nice if they gave us a hint.

I am certainly not one of those people demanding that my barber and bowling alley open up right now, but I also don't think I'm the only one whose mental health may not last long enough for the uncertainty and the seeming lack of long-term planning inherent in the "this is going to be bad and we're going to have to live like this until furher notice, whenever that might be".

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Voting closed 67

I absolutely agree on the mental-health aspect concern you raised. I actually ended up working more hours than usual, and at a heightened emotionally-elevated pace last week, as I paced my 500 sf condo, alone—all, knowing, I’m likely to be mandatorily laid off in June for 90 days.

Meanwhile, some 450 people in the restaurant industry I know and have engaged with on a regular basis have been without work since mid-March. It’s troubling: I want to help them, but I must plan for my own future resiliency.

The orange shit-gibbon has done nothing to calm national anxiety, and, as you say, it’d be nice if someone in a leadership position gave us a hint.

I’m trying not to be Doomsday Dude here, but it’s rough; is this gonna go on for two more months, two years, or for our indefinite future? Cause I’m not sure my own mental head-space will survive intact much longer than autumn. I hear your concerns, man, so maybe the best we can is all just be a little more compassionate toward each other?

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Voting closed 33

Research into COVID-19 and SARS-CoV-2 is happening, fast. There are currently over 900 COVID research studies registered on Clinical Trials.gov, 235 are interventional and 75 of those are here in the US. All facets of the research enterprise (review boards, funding, etc) are prioritizing research into this disease so that we can safely get high-quality answers as fast as possible. The NIH website has great information about research into COVID-19 at https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus.

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Voting closed 19

Eventually people are going to start worrying more about being ruined economically than about getting sick.

Eventually this virus will become just another of myriad threats to life and health that we live with every day.

When that happens, it will no longer be possible to maintain the lockdown.

My fear is that that moment will arrive long before a vaccine or an effective treatment for Covid-19 has been developed.

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The shutdown and isolation was advertised as necessary to "flatten the curve", not "halt the spread".

If the curve is flattened enough so that hospitals aren't going to run out of ventilators, then the question remains to be asked and answered over how much effort is to be made to attempt to "stop the spread". Or, do we just continue to keep the curve flattened enough to not run out of ventilators, while allowing the spread to continue until a vaccine is ready in 18 months, by which time almost everyone will already might been exposed anyway.

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Voting closed 13

Someone in charge will have given the general public some indication whether this is going to be forever, for the next five years, or just extended two weeks at a time indefinitely forever.

It is incredibly frustrating, but the reality is that we just don't know. Responsible civic leaders and public health officials are blunt about acknowledging that we're learning about this virus as we go, and that accurate predictions about what's to come are just damned hard to make.

It's really the epidemiological progress of the virus that sets the timetable, and we don't know yet where that leads.

There's a huge angry banging and clawing at the front door, Bear? Moose? Axe murderer? Grandpa has grabbed his shotgun, told us to run to the basement, followed us down, and barricaded the basement door; grandpa's peeking out through the keyhole trying to figure out what's up, and we're saying, "Come on, at least tell us how long we're going to be in here?

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The bottom line is it really can't hurt someone else if you do wear a mask, but there is a chance (maybe only slight depending on the circumstance) that it could hurt someone else if you don't wear a mask. So why not stop being a self-centered a-hole and just wear a mask?

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Voting closed 38

Has anyone seen any studies actually backing up the use of putting cloth masks on to prevent the spread of viruses? I ask this in seriousness as I can't find any except for one, below, showing they may actually do more harm than good. Also, wearing a cloth mask, bandanna or scarf without knowing how to leads to a lot of face touching to adjust what becomes a sweaty and heavily breathed-in damp cloth.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/

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Google "coronavirus" "droplets".

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...are the two words in the initial comment that strike me as having the most truthiness, and worth basing all of your outdoor behavior on, for the time being. You're "not sure":

  1. Who is sick (it could be you and you don't know it).
  2. Who is going to come around that blind corner, face to face, as you're running past.
  3. Who you're going to encounter who needs immediate help due to injury or illness (it could be you). Help them, btw, the same as you'd want others to help you.
  4. Who is not paying attention and/or shirking the rules even worse than you (distracted driver, unleashed "it's ok he's friendlyyy!!" dog, etc... no pandemic fully takes the asshole out of a Masshole).
  5. etc, Etc, ETC.

If you're not going to wear a mask while running, please at least have one with you and be ready to put it on at a moment's notice. Please be careful out there. If there's one thing you can be sure of, it's that you're just not sure. Boston Safe + Boston Sensible = Boston STRONG.

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Voting closed 28

we rarely agree. but I do too.

Its all about "closeness"

Closeness to others
Closeness inside spaces
Closeness to yours and others comfort level

Its all about closeness and comfort.

CDC and other say 6 feet but there's alot of stuff that says it needs to be longer or that its more focus on surfaces, like that report about a Korean call center.

Still too many unknowns tho. So its about closeness and comfort of you and others. People NEED to be considerate and smart.

I agree that me walking down my street alone, no I don't need a mask. It's not airborne in that extreme, and if it was we'd all have it by now, as we would have been infected in NOVEMBER as it would have spread fast globally. But alone, no.

but yeah riding the T, inside Dunks, grocery shopping.. hell even standing in line outside to grocery shop you should mask up. Anywhere you are near anyone, you should mask up.

But let's talk about the much bigger issue here. G-d gloves. STOP WEARING THEM. It makes it worse.. again see surfaces link above. It does not help you in ANY instance (indoors or not). Wash your hands or use sanitizer when you can't. Gloves just make it worse and you are spreading it around.

You wanna protect your hands? Carry pocket tissues and use one for every surface you touch,e specially doorknobs/handles. Once you open it, throw it away. do not use it again, as using it again just spreads it. While it is no fail safe as changing your gloves after touching a single surface (and tossing them after), it reduces your exposure risk. (which is the real goal here).

I do the above and carry sanitizer in my pocket. I open doors with tissues, and sanitize my hands when I get inside, and again once I leave. Pretty much at each place I stop at, I use tissues and sanitizer. (and again when I get home outside before I touch the knob, before I do my whole 're-entry' routine I do at home that involves hand-washing, laundry, and a silkwood shower). Sure seems overzealous but I have reasons to be extra cautious. And a few extra steps might be all you need to be safe.

You just have to be smart and safe. And if you can't, just stay home.

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Voting closed 14

I wear gloves whenever I'm out. Not medical latex gloves; just ordinary lightweight work gloves.

Do they protect me from the virus? No. not directly. But what they do accomplish, is to massively improve my hand discipline. Although I'm doing my best to learn new habits, I'm someone who touches my face a lot. I'll absent-mindedly rub at my eyes, pick at the corner of my mouth, scratch my nose, etc. before my brain catches up and says "NO!". But when I'm wearing the gloves, I'll catch myself and stop myself before the hand reaches the face. Gloves have cut my face-touching down to pretty much zero. I never touch anything outside (all presumed contaminated) with the gloves off. I never touch anything inside my house, or inside my car, or inside my pockets (keys, phone, etc.) with the gloves on. Unlike rubber gloves, they are easy to put on and take off without cross-contaminating everything, so, for example, I can pull off a (dirty) glove and stick my (clean) hand into my pocket to get my phone, and then when done, replace the phone and put my hand back into the glove.

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(I know you do from here)

But most don't, and think its protecting them.

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Voting closed 6

A 2015 study on cloth masks suggests they're worse than medical masks (of course) and perhaps worse than nothing at all. The authors explain a couple different reasons for this, the most interesting to this conversation being that reused cloth masks probably retain more germs because of humidity levels/different materials, etc. It also holds the virus closer to your face for longer, increasing your viral load/exposure.

https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

That is, there is a "cost" to wearing the mask that should be contrasted with the benefits.

- In a grocery store? Some risk, high benefit. Probably worth it.

- On Boston Common? Some risk, low benefit. Probably not worth it.

- Alone, in your car, still dutifully wearing the same pair of gloves you've been wearing all day? All risk, zero benefit. Stop it.

It's like wearing a SCUBA mask - undeniably beneficial in the right environment, but it's generally unhelpful (and probably harmful) to your overall goals to mask up in your driveway.

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Voting closed 13

That study measured the effectiveness of cloth vs medical masks in protecting the wearer.

But protecting the wearer is not the reasoning behind recommending or mandating that people wear masks.

The purpose of wearing masks is to protect others from the wearer.

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If he wants to be mad, look at all the people in Home Depot, supermarkets, and other stores still open. Plenty of employees and customers without masks.

Your risk of contagious is much, much higher from the next guy in line or the clerks than from someone jogging past who's only near you for a second or two.

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Voting closed 38

...you are "probably" stating an opinion about which is riskier, right?

Also, whataboutism, amirite?

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I'm going by what experts have written regarding exposure levels. Here's one discussion:

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/01/opinion/coronavirus-viral-dose.html

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Anyone know where we can find masks? Is there some place where the city or state are giving them away?

I've tried looking for both cloth masks or bandanas in stores without any luck. I ordered a shipment online, but it won't arrive for a month or two.

Note: The City of Boston has warned people NOT to use surgical masks or N-95 respirators, saying those must be reserved for health care workers.

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Voting closed 14

CNet has a page of fabric mask sources that they seem to be adding to. At least they have more today than they did last week.

https://www.cnet.com/how-to/20-places-you-can-buy-a-face-mask-or-cloth-c...

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Voting closed 9

I joined NextDoor (it’s free, an App I put on my phone) and people who are sewing and selling masks are posting their contact information there. They also post information about which local stores, and some people, have the surgical type paper masks for sale.

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Voting closed 10

If you have an old t-shirt there are instructions for how to cut one up, although at that point I think you may as well just wrap any winter scarf around your face and call it a day.

The main thing is to keep from spraying droplets on other people and for that, almost any covering will do.

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There are also instructions on how to wrap an uncut T-shirt around your head so it winds up as a sort of balaclava, covering all of your head and face except your eyes. It sounds like it would be ... warm.

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It's a booming cottage industry on Etsy and elsewhere. You can choose from all kinds of homemade masks with varying degrees of quality in terms of design, materials, filtration, but they remain homemade masks, the kind we're all supposed to wear outside now.

You can also find instructions and videos online to make one, without sewing, from a T-shirt, folded bandana (insert a coffee filter or non-fiberglass vacuum filter), etc. If you enjoy origami, you can make a mask from filters, but make sure you can breathe through the material before you get carried away. If you can't sew on straps, use a stapler.

If you have big gaps around your nose or the sides of your face, surgical tape fixes that.

There are various studies, of varying quality, about what types of homemade mask materials are most effective. But generally, any mask is better than no mask if it fits you well and you wash it between wearings, and isn't wet, and you leave it alone on your face.

It's a total gamble as to whether any mask is going to be comfortable or annoying, and so far all of mine are annoying but I wear one the whole time I'm out anywhere. Because Bostonians are asked to do so.

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Voting closed 9

People on these pages were called alarmists for pointing out mask wearing . Times have changed, put a mask on if you are around others. I dont think going out for a run requires one but use common sense people.

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Voting closed 12

Yep, I distinctly recall being peeved by Adam's own references to "placebo masks."

I was very ill starting in late Feb and didn't wear a mask to vote because mask-wearers were resoundingly mocked and harassed at that time and I didn't want to trigger some stupid confrontation while I still felt extremely unwell.

I did load up on cough suppressants and wiped down the station and pen after I voted, but now that my neighborhood is a hotspot, I wish I had worn a mask anyway. It's still unlikely that I had Covid but as colds go it was a vicious one.

Wish this recent 180 on masks would lead to less mockery in general (you can't tell who's ill or immunocompromised by looking!) but here we are.

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Voting closed 17

Back when people thought the masks would somehow protect them from infection when, as we now know, they won't do that, or at least not very well, but what they do do better is protect other people from any infection from you.

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So glad Josh Zakim is a former city councilor.

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has more common sense than these millennialis. She wears a mask.

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First let's get the function of a mask in proper context:

Historically -- Surgeons began to wear masks to keep from spitting and to lesser extent perspiring into an open wound of a patient upon whom they were operating -- not the other way around

The next use of masks came from miners who were trying to keep from filling their lungs with dust -- this spread to other industrial uses -- the actual origin of the N-95 standard specifying filtering of particulates of a defined size [95% capture of 0.3 micron particles -- so called maximum penetrating particles]. The SARS-COV-2 viron is about 0.1 microns in diameter and so it actually should be filtered out more effectively

The complete NIOSH standard for a face covering respirator requires it to fit well enough to control air flow around the junction of the unit to the face and to limit the pressure drops across the mask while breathing in and out normally.

Relatively recently the idea of a mask protecting you against aerosol droplets was added to the mix [e.g. an automobile paint booth] -- different type of materials were needed to provide the aerosol protection and finally the idea that dangerous gases could be rejected with activated charcoal filtration. So the basic concept of the mask got increasingly complex and the standards for the masks got increasingly detailed and voluminous.

Interestingly -- the best of the N-95 masks are the industrial ones as they actually have to be tested to NIOSH standards [derived from the old Bureau of Mines standards] --while the FDA approval only applies to the manufacturing process -- not the final performance

So -- if you are wearing a mask unless its a fully face-fitting respirator system -- almost without any caveats -- you are mostly doing it to stop your spit and possibly other aerosols from getting out to infect others

The rest of the mythology about masks and how to wear, etc is essentially Witchdoctor's incantations

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