Unmasking the Myth/ The Masking of America

March 30, 2020 Joe Brady

34 studies summarize – Wearing masks prevents the spread of disease

Social Responsibility begins with social distancing and continues with Community Masking

China Shipping One Million Masks to the US

White House Airlifts Medical Supplies From China in Coronavirus Fight

Officials have teamed up with medical supply companies to speed the arrival of masks, gloves, gowns and other goods.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/business/economy/coronavirus-china-supplies.html Do it Yourself Masks Actually Do Work

DIY masks would help a lot.

Look at Hong Kong, Mongolia, South Korea, and Taiwan, all of which have Covid-19 largely under control. They are all in close proximity to China and have extensive commercial and social ties with China. None of them have had to resort to a lockdown. China’s Wuhan province got a late start in dealing with the virus so by the time people were aware of the pandemic it was too late to stop. However once China realized what they were dealing with and once everyone did start wearing masks the numbers started to level off. The Chinese consider the masks as an important part of preventing the spread of the virus in the community. In countries, hit hard by the SARS respiratory virus outbreak in 2002 and 2003, everyone is wearing masks in public.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/28/masks-all-coronavirus/

Countries that encouraged the wearing of masks like Taiwan, Singapore, and Japan, have a flatter curve.

Evidence-Based Medicine

The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford University develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for healthcare. They recently published a paper by Trish Greenhalgh and Xin Hui Chan, of the University of Oxford and others. They found that although they are not as good as a respirator, systematic review evidence provides cautious support for the use of standard surgical masks.

See https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/what-is-the-efficacy-of-standard-face-masks-compared-to-respirator-masks-in-preventing-covid-type-respiratory-illnesses-in-primary-care-staff/

Don’t Do it for Yourself, Do it for the Good of Everyone

George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, stated, “Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.”

The rationale for not recommending that the public in the US wear masks is that there is a legitimate shortage of manufactured masks, and these should go to the front line troops the hospital workers. But anyone can make a mask at home by cutting up a cotton T-shirt, tying it back together and then washing it at the end of the day. Another approach, recommended by the Hong Kong Consumer Council, involves rigging a simple mask with a paper towel and rubber bands that can be thrown in the trash at the end of each day.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/28/masks-all-coronavirus/

This From Deaconess Health

We are welcoming fabric masks from our community as we prepare for COVID-19.

Thank you so much for your interest and care. 

Orders for standard/disposable masks are on long back-orders, due to both demand and supply chain issues.  Other hospitals across the country are reporting the same supply concerns.

While fabric masks are not to be used in the care of COVID-19 patients, according to the CDC, fabric masks are a crisis response option when other supplies have been exhausted. Fabric masks can also be helpful in other areas of patient care as supplies of PPE are depleted.  

“Prior to modern disposable masks, washable fabric masks were standard use for hospitals,” said Dawn Rogers, MSN, RN, FNP-C, Patient Safety & Infection Prevention Office.  “We will be able to sterilize these masks and use them repeatedly as needed.  While it’s less than ideal, we want to do our best to protect our staff and patients during this pandemic.” 

(I’ve been told Joann Fabrics has got precut kits.)

How to make your own surgical mask

Read the article and if you are handy with a sewing machine Doctor’s groups are looking for donations of homemade masks

https://www.deaconess.com/How-to-make-a-Face-Mask

Watch the Video