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  1. - Top - End - #271
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    Lord Torath's Avatar

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Sounds like things may be changing regarding the wearing of masks: Experts Increasingly Question Advice Against Widespread Use of Face Masks.

    Washing hands 10 times daily: 55% effective in preventing the spread of the 2003 SARS virus
    Face Mask: 68% effective

    With the advice of only wearing masks if you're sick comes the knowledge that you may not know you're sick for two weeks after you become contagious.

    A few caveats:
    You need to know how to properly wear the mask.
    Masks are in short supply.

    The US CDC is (sort of) expected to change its guidance on wearing masks soon.

    Edit: Here's a 'real-time' worldwide tracker: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases
    Last edited by Lord Torath; 2020-03-30 at 09:42 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #272
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, the message from Western public health authorities has been pretty uniform in stating that the public at large shouldn’t be wearing face masks to protect against COVID-19.
    I would say that that's not the case. Public officers of various countries (like Italy, France, and, virally, Slovakia) have been showing themselves wearing face masks. This sort of communication is an implicit endorsement.

    If anyone feels like rummaging among laws, I wouldn't be surprised if some Western countries had actually mandated their use in certain settings where they normally wouldn't be necessary.

    I think I remember a German epidemiologist railing against the use of face masks, but because they were being used in the wrong phase, which seemed to allow for their use once the virus had spread.
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  3. - Top - End - #273
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    There are some things to know about the masks.

    Most importantly, they're reasonably good at catching most of the crap flying out of your mouth when you cough or sneeze. So generally, decent if you are infected.

    They are much less good at keeping you safe when healthy. For one thing, the virus will just as happily enter through your eyes, and for another, breathing in is simply different from breathing out - you're actively sucking the air past the barrier to secured to your face by elastic bands, which reduces the protection.

    Now, you'd thing that - so what, it can't hurt!

    But it can. Use the mask wrong (basically, for too long) and it will become rife with bacteria of all sorts - and make you sick.

    But if you know what you're doing, and throw the masks out every 2-3 hours ... by all means.

    (since someone is sure to inform me how wrong I am - that's from the health authorities here in Denmark, and also my girlfriend, who's an ICU nurse)

    (actually neuro-ICU - but whatever)

  4. - Top - End - #274
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Torath View Post
    The US CDC is expected to change its guidance on wearing masks soon.
    The article itself that you linked says this:
    Dan McCarthy, an assistant professor of medicine at Weill Cornell, tweeted that the Centers for Disease Control would be changing its guidelines on masks over the next 10 days to advise Americans to wear them. The CDC replied to the tweet saying there is no schedule to update its guidance on the issue.
    So, while, yes, there were people in that article saying why they think the general public should be using masks, the only mention of the CDC was a tweet explicitly refuting an expectation to change guidelines.

  5. - Top - End - #275
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    The problem with masks is that we just don't have enough for the public to wear. I work with covid patients directly at my hospital and so does my girlfriend and even we are being issued a single mask and being told to make it last for a week. I've actually been in mandatory quarantine for the last 4 days after being exposed to a patient that wasn't wearing their mask.

    The thing is...these masks aren't reusable. They get rife with bacteria. As healthcare professionals we're trained to not touch them, and how to store them properly. The general public is not, and without the ability to replace masks regularly are going to be potentially putting themselves in more danger by wearing it.

    The best thing anyone can do to help us right now is to stay at home and avoid contact with others. You don't need a mask if you're isolating like you're supposed to be.

    Make no mistake. This disease is deadly. Far more so than the flu. Please take it seriously. We're already overburdened to the point of collapse at most hospitals and it's going to get much worse before it's over. My hospital has exactly 2 ventilators left before we have to start making hard choices about who lives and who dies, and we're nowhere near the peak of this thing.
    Last edited by Anteros; 2020-03-29 at 02:38 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #276
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    They are much less good at keeping you safe when healthy. For one thing, the virus will just as happily enter through your eyes, and for another, breathing in is simply different from breathing out - you're actively sucking the air past the barrier to secured to your face by elastic bands, which reduces the protection.
    Only if you don't know how to wear a mask properly.

    The problem is, the majority of filter masks sold to the public are so poorly designed, they can't be worn properly (for example, ones which hook around the ears).

    Even then, some of the official fitting advice for 'proper' masks are not quite correct; officially you can't get a good seal if you have facial hair, but that depends on the thickness of your facial hair and whether you're willing to use vaseline or petroleum jelly to help secure the seal.

    As Anteros said though, filter masks aren't reusable - the longest I've worn a filter mask (a 3M 8812) is about 6 hours and the inside was very damp - another hour or two and the mask wouldn't be protective any more as it would have been soaked through.*

    I also used to wear a silicone and plastic half mask with an all-singing-all-dancing ABEK2P3 filter on and those will last as long as their filters will.

    * That said I've some trials of of companies trying to find a low cost, efficient and effective way of cleaning/sterilising filter masks for re-use to make them last longer due to the current shortages; the most promising one I've seen is using a hydrogen peroxide mist to permeate the mask, then letting it dry.
    Last edited by Brother Oni; 2020-03-29 at 05:32 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #277
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    There's a difference between what a health-care professional is asking from their mask and what a mask as worn by the general public is supposed to do. If an HCP gets sick at all, that's a couple hundred people who need medical aid that won't get it while they're out. So for an HCP, masks must prevent them from getting sick, period. So you need fit testing, N95, care in mask removal, etc.

    On the other hand, for a member of the general public, lets say they wear the mask wrong, reuse it, dispose of it wrong, etc. Instead of 85% protection they're only getting a 30% reduction in infecting others and no reduction in getting infected themselves (plus some small risk of getting a bacterial infection from something else). For them the effect is small or worse than nothing. But for the course of the disease in the community, that takes the doubling time from 3 days to 4. Which means that in one month, some places go from 100 cases to 100000 cases, while other places go from 100 cases to 20000. Which means 16000 fewer cases for HCPs to deal with assuming 20% hospitalization.

    So discouraging hoarding of N95 and surgical masks makes sense, but if everyone makes it a habit to wear even something as ineffective as a tea towel wrapped around the face - sick or not, distancing or not - that'd make a difference. The Czech republic is trying this as part of their measures (basically, aiming for 100% cloth mask coverage) so we'll see the results of that in about two weeks I guess, compared to isolation-only strategies.
    Last edited by NichG; 2020-03-29 at 11:35 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #278
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    Only if you don't know how to wear a mask properly.
    You can wear it like a champ, and the virus will still happily enter through your eyes.

  9. - Top - End - #279
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    You can wear it like a champ, and the virus will still happily enter through your eyes.
    Well, that's true. You're far more likely to breathe in a droplet than have it land on your eye though. The masks do help when worn properly. They're just not full protection.

    They're more useful to stop from spreading the virus than to keep you from catching it though. We make all of our possible covid patients wear one whenever interacting with anyone.

  10. - Top - End - #280
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Anteros View Post
    Well, that's true. You're far more likely to breathe in a droplet than have it land on your eye though. The masks do help when worn properly. They're just not full protection.

    They're more useful to stop from spreading the virus than to keep you from catching it though. We make all of our possible covid patients wear one whenever interacting with anyone.
    Sure.

    I'm not saying masks don't work. But if people have the wrong idea about how safe they are wearing one - it stops being an advantage, and potentially becomes a liability.

    'Oh, sure, I can go visit grandpa - I got ma mask on!'

  11. - Top - End - #281
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Sort of on topic. Have people looked into if antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus might help people who are still fighting it?
    Partially curious since I think I may have been exposed and got off with a mild case, and I'm wondering if there's some way I could help my community now.
    Last edited by Togath; 2020-03-30 at 04:20 AM.
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  12. - Top - End - #282
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    I don't think that's how antibodies work--otherwise, vaccines would just be antibodies from people who've recovered from the virus, whereas they're actually samples of the virus itself with the "nasty" bits disabled to encourage the body to create its own antibodies.

  13. - Top - End - #283
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Actually, that's an idea that's been around. It's normally used to treat snake venom (in this case, the serum comes from horses; don't ask me why antibodies work against venom), but it's within the WHO guidelines to use plasma of patients who got better to treat others. At least one hospital in Italy is doing that, and the results are reportedly good.

    The problem, at least with the horse serum, is the high risk of anaphylactic shock.
    Last edited by Vinyadan; 2020-03-30 at 05:59 AM.
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  14. - Top - End - #284
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    And Mt Sinai Hospital, in New York City, is looking into this.
    https://inside.mountsinai.org/blog/m...-ill-patients/

  15. - Top - End - #285
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Sort of on topic. Have people looked into if antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus might help people who are still fighting it?
    Partially curious since I think I may have been exposed and got off with a mild case, and I'm wondering if there's some way I could help my community now.
    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    I don't think that's how antibodies work--otherwise, vaccines would just be antibodies from people who've recovered from the virus, whereas they're actually samples of the virus itself with the "nasty" bits disabled to encourage the body to create its own antibodies.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vinyadan View Post
    Actually, that's an idea that's been around. It's normally used to treat snake venom (in this case, the serum comes from horses; don't ask me why antibodies work against venom), but it's within the WHO guidelines to use plasma of patients who got better to treat others. At least one hospital in Italy is doing that, and the results are reportedly good.

    The problem, at least with the horse serum, is the high risk of anaphylactic shock.
    Antibodies are chemicals produced by living organisms that bind to other chemicals to render them inert. While they get used to fight viruses (and you mostly hear of them in that context), they also interact with blood cells, bacteria, poisons, and allergens. Using antibodies from something that has fought off a disease to help with a disease is at least 100 years old, since that is what Balto was delivering to fight diphtheria. Oddly, diphtheria is a bacterial disease.

    As for what vaccines are, there are 2 options. The first, and easier to make, option is to infect people with a virus that is close enough to the nasty one but significantly less dangerous. This is how the original vaccine worked. Cow-pox is a similar enough virus to small-pox that being immune to one grants immunity to the other, but it has much less severe symptoms. My understanding is that the measles vaccine is done this way with measles that has been let grow in animal cell cultures until it can barely infect humans. The other way is to get the proteins that your body needs to tag to fight the virus and only inject those into the person. Generally those are grown in a lab somehow (modern genetic engineering is a wonderful thing). I think that the flu vaccine works that way.
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    Rockphed said it well.
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  16. - Top - End - #286
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Here's a 'real-time' worldwide tracker for those who are interested: Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockphed View Post
    The other way is to get the proteins that your body needs to tag to fight the virus and only inject those into the person. Generally those are grown in a lab somehow (modern genetic engineering is a wonderful thing).
    Or they can expose the virus to something that breaks it while leaving some of the proteins intact, like a heat shock.
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Bucky View Post
    Or they can expose the virus to something that breaks it while leaving some of the proteins intact, like a heat shock.
    Thank you. I did not know that. Learning is fun!
    Quote Originally Posted by Wardog View Post
    Rockphed said it well.
    Quote Originally Posted by Yuki Akuma View Post
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  19. - Top - End - #289
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Partially curious since I think I may have been exposed and got off with a mild case, and I'm wondering if there's some way I could help my community now.
    There seems to be a group aimed at using survivors to help
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/COVID19survivorcorps

    In my own estimation the best way the average survivor is going to be able to contribute is by volunteering for high risk jobs.

  20. - Top - End - #290
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    You can wear it like a champ, and the virus will still happily enter through your eyes.
    While this is true, goggles are still fairly available, and eye protection is generally fairly uncomplicated to make. Face shields can be improvised for nearly everyone.

    And even if complete protection is not obtained, reduced exposure means a lesser viral load. Not every virus you encounter sickens you, and lowered exposures generally mean better odds.

    All else being equal, a mask is better than no mask. Even if the mask is not particularly good. And training is not at all hard. The military trains you to use a full on gas mask and chem suit pretty quickly, and then herds people into a gas chamber to give it a live test. People generally do fine. If you've got a good seal on your mask so the airflows going through it, that's literally all there is to getting semi-decent protection against infection.


    Quote Originally Posted by Quizatzhaderac View Post
    There seems to be a group aimed at using survivors to help
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/COVID19survivorcorps

    In my own estimation the best way the average survivor is going to be able to contribute is by volunteering for high risk jobs.
    This presumes that reinfection is not possible. There are a couple of reports of re-infection occurring. This is still largely unconfirmed, and we do not have enough data to know for sure, but honestly, even if you think you had it, you should probably avoid exposure just to be sure. It might also be test confusion and misidentification or some other cause, but that could also apply in your case.

    And of course, the lung damage might leave some recovered patients still a bit rough for performing many jobs, but looking for a way to help.
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  21. - Top - End - #291
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Sort of on topic. Have people looked into if antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus might help people who are still fighting it?
    Partially curious since I think I may have been exposed and got off with a mild case, and I'm wondering if there's some way I could help my community now.
    Yes, there's promising evidence that it could help actually.
    https://www.houstonchronicle.com/new...y-15164229.php

    Unfortunately, that particular treatment is not widely used in the U.S. yet so I doubt there's any way for you to contribute locally at this time. That said, as time progresses this treatment seems likely to grow in popularity so you may have the chance to contribute in this way in the near future. It's definitely something to keep an eye out for.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    While this is true, goggles are still fairly available, and eye protection is generally fairly uncomplicated to make. Face shields can be improvised for nearly everyone.

    And even if complete protection is not obtained, reduced exposure means a lesser viral load. Not every virus you encounter sickens you, and lowered exposures generally mean better odds.

    All else being equal, a mask is better than no mask. Even if the mask is not particularly good. And training is not at all hard. The military trains you to use a full on gas mask and chem suit pretty quickly, and then herds people into a gas chamber to give it a live test. People generally do fine. If you've got a good seal on your mask so the airflows going through it, that's literally all there is to getting semi-decent protection against infection.




    This presumes that reinfection is not possible. There are a couple of reports of re-infection occurring. This is still largely unconfirmed, and we do not have enough data to know for sure, but honestly, even if you think you had it, you should probably avoid exposure just to be sure. It might also be test confusion and misidentification or some other cause, but that could also apply in your case.

    And of course, the lung damage might leave some recovered patients still a bit rough for performing many jobs, but looking for a way to help.
    Best estimates right now are that survivors will have short to mid term resistance but not permanent immunity. It's suspected that these re-infection cases may have just been a lapse of symptoms that later re-manifested in patients who were cleared too early. Unfortunately, like everything else regarding Covid-19 we're doing a lot of guess work and nothing should be taken as sure truth. I certainly wouldn't take a high-risk job with the thought that you can't get reinfected at this time. You also need to make absolutely certain that you're completely free of the virus so you don't risk spreading it to others.

    On a personal note, my covid test after exposure came back negative yesterday so I went back to work on my covid unit. The biggest problems we're personally battling right now is lack of public education and a complete lack of protective equipment/ventilators. We're having to re-use equipment for weeks at a time that is normally meant for single use for a few minutes, so if anyone has anything to donate on that front I'm sure your local hospital would appreciate it.

  22. - Top - End - #292
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Togath View Post
    Sort of on topic. Have people looked into if antibodies from people who have recovered from the virus might help people who are still fighting it?
    It can, as others have said, but the thing is, there is only so many antibodies you can inject into someone, and viruses reproduce. That's why it works better as antivenom: the venom is a limited quantity (usually a known limited quantity), so we can inject as many as needed. Viruses and other quasi-living creatures however are constantly increasing in number, so how much you'd need is hard to tell, and if you don't get enough in the patient, the virus will just bounce back - which is why vaccines generally train you to generate your own antibodies, rather than borrow someone else's.

    As with anything in biology, there are exceptions, of course, and I swear I did see there was a call for plasma from survivors (if nothing else, it helps train the test kits), so you might still find something you can do to help.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Somewhat weird question, but why aren't charcoal gas masks effective against Covid? Is the virus significantly smaller then airborn poisons?
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Somewhat weird question, but why aren't charcoal gas masks effective against Covid? Is the virus significantly smaller then airborn poisons?
    Well, viruses usually *are* very small, but ignoring that for the moment: how would it help much if a gas mask *did* block it? They're not the sort of things that are designed to be worn 24/7 and I don't imagine they're in ready supply in any case.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Tvtyrant View Post
    Somewhat weird question, but why aren't charcoal gas masks effective against Covid? Is the virus significantly smaller then airborn poisons?
    The masks are big bulky and expensive?

    No, poison molecules are smaller than viruses.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post

    All else being equal, a mask is better than no mask. Even if the mask is not particularly good. And training is not at all hard. The military trains you to use a full on gas mask and chem suit pretty quickly, and then herds people into a gas chamber to give it a live test. People generally do fine. If you've got a good seal on your mask so the airflows going through it, that's literally all there is to getting semi-decent protection against infection.
    To address this bit here, yes the military trains you quickly, but that involves a week of practice before the gas chamber (to be fair most of that time is spent on increasing speed of donning). Also those masks are pretty idiot proof, spend like five minutes adjusting the fit and you'll never have to change it again. The masks I've been seeing people wear need a lot more work to be effective, and need to be replaced often.
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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    I think I'm now all but fully recovered. A lengthy process, and by no means altogether a pleasant one, but I've had far worse flu's. Interestingly, I think I had a follow-up infection. The symptoms I felt were specific for covid-19 disappeared maybe 5 days ago, but then I may have caught something else - or it may have been my body burning off the last bit of covid-19, there's no real way to know. But after being almost recovered, I had another few days of high fewer and desperate coughing. Neither of which I had with covid-19.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyndmyr View Post
    All else being equal, a mask is better than no mask.
    But all things aren't equal. If people think they're protected, they'll start taking stupid risks. I think.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Here's some good news. The Corona Virus's death rate is lower than we originally thought.

    Here's the not so great news. It's still more deadly than a seasonal flu.

    Source.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    But all things aren't equal. If people think they're protected, they'll start taking stupid risks. I think.
    People are largely taking stupid risks regardless. At least this way they have less of an impact on others when they do so.

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    Default Re: The Corona Virus

    Quote Originally Posted by NichG View Post
    People are largely taking stupid risks regardless. At least this way they have less of an impact on others when they do so.
    Well - my point would be that when people start thinking they're safe .... they'll not only be wrong, but they'll be reckless. But the masks or no masks isn't a discussion I really care about. It's sort of a reverse seatbelt discussion: You can't really mess up a seatbelt, but even if you somehow do, you're mostly just killing yourself. The opposite for masks: You think you're fine, for all sorts of reasons you're not, then you go visit grandpa, go work at the retirement home, and go to rock concerts, movie theaters and international flights.

    I do not trust people to properly understand anything involving percentages.

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