News You Can Use

The science on masks and viruses:

No mask is 100% effective. An N95, for example, is named as such because it is at least 95% efficient at blocking airborne particles when used properly. But even if a mask has an 80% efficiency, Marr said, it still offers meaningful protection.

Marr said her team aerosolized the coronavirus, pulled it through a mask, and then examined how much virus survived on the mask. The study reported some viral particle remained on some cloth masks, but no virus survived on the N95s or surgical masks.

Marr’s team also touched artificial skin to masks and looked at how many virus particles transferred to the artificial skin. No infectious virus transferred.

“I hope the study kind of shows that it’s something we don’t need to worry about as much as we were told,” Marr said.


11 thoughts on “News You Can Use

  1. “When used properly” is a crucial phrase. From what I understand, N95 masks when used professionally are specifically fitted to the person wearing it.
    Then there is N95 vs. KN95. The latter apparently is a Chinese standard, very similar (according to a website I turned up with Google). But since it’s Chinese it means you’re probably dealing with Chinese products, which may well mean they are do-nothing masks with false labeling.

  2. Viruses that survive on N-95 masks?
    I missed the part where Dr. Fauci (Faux Chi) said the magic masks were viru-cidal.
    Viruses dying quickly on masks or elsewhere is news to me. In the beginning of this experiment in control of Americans, there was some blather about viruses being alive X hours later, with X being a two digit number.

  3. “but no virus survived on the N95s or surgical masks.”

    What they are really saying is that they didn’t find any on the mask. It just blows on through, as the air gaps are too big to capture a virus. Like trying to stop mosquitos with a chain link fence.

    Fauci wrote a paper ~2007? stating that most of the deaths during the 1918-20 Spanish Flu were actually attributed to bacterial infections of the airways. His later paper ~2017? said their conclusion was that the masks collected bacteria, kept people from expelling it as normal, and allowed bacterial colonies to grow inside the mask.

    This is why, when the covid first hit here, he stated that masks would not do any good. A week later, he reversed himself. Who convinced him to do so? I’m guessing that someone pointed out how much money could be generated as a result. The covid vaxx is HIS baby. He attempted to patent it in 2006, but didn’t get it, as they pointed out that it accomplished NOTHING that would be expected of a vaccine. That is the vaxx that was forced on the world in 2020-21. BTW, his first covid19 patent was way back in ’98. He holds ~160 patents on that.

  4. What is all the blather about N95 masks? During the Covidiocy a simple single-layer paper or cloth mask was considered “sufficient” to allow you to pass the mask Nazi’s cordons. Look at the numbers (I spent 27 years designing air filter systems).

    The challenge material for an air-borne virus are the human respirable aerosols on which they ride which range from approximately 2 to 5 microns in size. We’re not talking about the clumps of crud you cough up or sneeze out, just the stuff you breathe out on a second-by-second basis. A typical single-layer cloth or paper mask has an opening size of (roughly, more or less) about 1/250th to 1/500th of an inch. Now were’ comparing apples to kumquats, so realize that a micron is about 1/25,000th of an inch (1 inch = 25,400 microns, we’ll give ’em the 400th).

    The SMALLEST single-layer mask opening size is about 50 microns while the LARGEST human respirable aerosol is about 5 microns. Has anybody noticed this frickin’ FACTOR OF TEN? This is the most optimistic comparison, yet the stuff they claim a mask keeps out is less than 1/10th the size of the opening of the mask. They do literally NOTHING to stop human respirable aerosols. This isn’t blocking mosquitoes with a chain-link fence, this is trying to stop gnats by using burglar bars.

    This doesn’t even begin to address the fact (as pointed out by pkoning above) that nobody wears a mask correctly, and that it is literally impossible to correctly wear a single-layer cloth or paper mask to get an effective face seal. The huge spaces you see between nose and mask, and mouth and mask render it 100% ineffective. Then there are the people who are tired of struggling to breath and pull the mask down below their nose…

    Pkoning also points out that a mask which has some small level of effectiveness on human respirable aerosols like an N95 require extensive training and fitting in their use. No facial hair can be worn (beards are right out). A correctly fitted and worn N95 WILL leave a mark on your face where it seals, and when we were fitted we used to usr Vaseline to ensure a good seal. About the only ones that work well that I used had an exhaust valve so you didn’t have to struggle to exhale, you only had to struggle to inhale against the air flow resistance of the filter media. So they only protected the wearer to some extent, and did NOTHING for anyone/thing around you.

    “But surgeons wear masks when operating” is supposed to be a comeback to facts and data, but the reason the operating team is wearing them is NOT, repeat, NOT to stop air-borne viruses, but to keep phlegm and snot out of surgical incisions to prevent BACTERIAL infections.

    None of this information ever had any effect on the idiots who blindly complied with the mandates like good little Nazis.

    • “’But surgeons wear masks when operating’ is supposed to be a comeback to facts and data, but the reason the operating team is wearing them is NOT, repeat, NOT to stop air-borne viruses, but to keep phlegm and snot out of surgical incisions to prevent BACTERIAL infections.”

      Hence the cunning assertion that we weren’t wearing the masks to protect us from other people but to protect other people from us.
      Without the magic mask on our faces, other people could scream and panic that we, with the naked faces were endangering THEM.

  5. What batwing said. We had mandatory ANNUAL fit tests for masks. NO facial hair could pass. The mask was uncomfortable to wear. The fit test (claustrophobes need not apply) involved being laced into an enveloping hood (while wearing the n95) into which a scented aerosol was introduced. It was a fail if you smelled the scent; you came out of the mask and tried a different-sized mask… there were five sizes, from tiny to extra large. All this for a device with a known 5% failure rate: would we fly in airplanes if they failed that often? Yet I never got TB, so there’s that.
    And yep, the purpose of a regular surgical mask is to protect the operative field from spew, NOT to protect the wearer.
    Watching society mask up, it was (and still is) to laugh.
    I retired at just the right time.
    SP RN

    • I’ve been doing the annual fit test for over 15 years, even though I really have no reason to, just got roped in to get the number of people up I imagine. Every year I joke to the lady running it that I’m going to grow a beard so I don’t have to do it. There’s also the 4+ page medical questionnaire that has to be filled out, reviewed, and finally approved by a medical doctor. Any yes answer on that will likely deny you. Also we had someone last year that none of the masks actually fit due to the shape of her face. Denied. I really got my eyes open a few years ago when we went to the PortaCount system instead of the old hood and solution system. The PortaCount gives real-time quantitative data, not just qualitative tasting. Being the techie guy in the lab, the ladies asked me to help them do a dry run to practice and get everything figured out. So I’m strapped in, and the system shows I have 100% seal. I lean over a couple inches to put my elbow on the arm of the chair, and the seal instantly drops to ZERO. They are freaking out thinking something is wrong with the system. I finally said, “let me try something,” and sat back up straight. Seal came back. I then leaned again, back to zero. Just that small change in the body positioning was enough mechanically to change the shape of my face enough to cause a problem. If I was in a position that I really needed it, I would demand an Air-Mate or a Versaflo PAPR.

  6. By posting this I was testing to see how many people actually read the article and did some basic fact checking.

    Not many.

    N95 masks do not work using a sieve structure.

    The article hints at this and a quick Internet search gives you detailed information. This is one such explanation:

    Particles are captured by the filter media from the processes of diffusion, interception and impaction. The smaller particles move in a random motion (diffusion), increasing the probability of being captured by a fiber. The larger particles have enough inertia to overcome the airflow path and follow a straighter path, colliding with the fibers (impaction). The most penetrating particles, 0.1 to 0.3 microns in size, are captured from interception and impaction. Particles in this size range are the most likely to be able to follow the airflow around the fibers.

    In addition to capturing particles through diffusion, interception and impaction, the meltblown is electro-magnetically charged. In the production process, an electrostatic charge is applied to the filter media. This treatment then creates a charge to the material, which forms an electrostatic attraction toward the charged particulates, including dust.

    Also missed was the fact that less than a perfect seal does not mean complete failure. To avoid getting a virial infection does not require eliminating all the particles. It requires reducing the virial load below an infectious level. This is a time and concentration problem. If the mask blocks 90% of the virus, then you can avoid infection for 10 times longer than someone else in the same environment. You can still be infected but you are less likely to get sick. This is a benefit.

    Temporary major leaks or taking the mask off for a few seconds in a high virus load to drink some water or something doesn’t mean it was pointless to wear it for the other 30 minutes you were in the “hostile” environment.

    Saying, “Masks don’t work” can be interpreted as not false, but it is also not really true either.

    Mask mandates are a completely different thing and beyond the scope of this blog post.

  7. Mr. Huffman:

    I am hoping that you noticed that I prefaced my comment by dismissing the notion that N95 masks were to be used by the general population, or were even the topic of my discussion about potential mask efficiencies.

    I thought that I had been quite clear in, almost every paragraph, noting that I was discussing “single-layer cloth or paper masks”, and NOT expanded media N95 masks. I regret that this was not clear.

    And yes, I am completely familiar with different types of filter media and their filtration mechanisms.

    My experience with testing charged media has been that the charge is completely dissipated in environments with high relative humidity, dropping the efficiency of a charged filter media down to the efficiency of the same media without a charge within hours of operation, sometimes within minutes.

    Note that in the business unit in which I worked we were often asked to produce systems which filtered a million cubic feet per minute down to sub-micron levels. Invariably the biggest problem was filter element installation in the field, since tiny leaks at the seals of the filter elements to the filter housing would lead to massive ingestions of contaminants over time. As far as “reducing viral load”, the exact benefit is completely unknown, and using a mask that is improperly fit (as noted, impossible to do with a single-layer cloth or paper mask that lacks a seal) doesn’t reduce it’s “blockage” (not an actual filtration term) to 90% but probably something like 50%…and simultaneously provides a massive, moist and humid breeding ground for bacterial and fungal growth.

    Generically saying “masks don’t work” is NOT what I was noting, but rather:
    – Single-layer cloth and paper masks (as were required by the mandates) DO NOT WORK for their “intended” purpose.
    – Improperly fitted and/or worn N95 masks DO NOT WORK
    – Properly fitted and worn N95 masks with appropriate filter elements DO work, but when equipped with an exhaust port necessary for anyone not in a young, healthy condition do nothing to protect others.

    The “intended” purposes is meant to illustrate that the mandates had absolutely NOTHING to do with public health per se, but were rather a test to see just how far they could push the public panic in terms of power and control. The results have terrified me.

    • Here in Silicon Valley, no matter where I go, there is always multiple people in view with facial diapers. Even driving by themselves, or walking or riding bicycles around the neighborhood. Lots of store clerks also are wearing them. Might be mandated for them, though.

      I don’t bring up the subject of wearing them anymore, as too often the response is off the wall. Don’t need to fire up the crazy, which is too many of them.

  8. The whole mask thing has been wonderful for criminals, though. It used to be that covering your face made you automatically suspicious. No longer, at least not in the pro-criminal jurisdictions. So robbers and terrorism supporting “demonstrators” all wear face masks with impunity.

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