July 8, 2020

Home made masks work

Finally, some better visual information to reassure us that wearing homemade masks works. This is video from Florida Atlantic University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science, which just published a research study in the journal Physics of Fluids that shows the effectiveness of different types of face coverings. An uncovered cough can travel 8 feet, but was reduced to only 3 feet by a bandana facial covering. A folded handkerchief covering helped more by decreasing it to 1.25 feet. The winner beat even the cone style commercial mask by decreasing the distance traveled from 3 feet of the cone mask to only 2.5 inches by the homemade, two layer sewn mask made from quilting material. The video also demonstrates how helpful a breeze is in dispersing the aerosols. Keep those homemade masks coming! Share the video with the skeptics you know as well.

Granted these are simulations, and not real coughs. However, they help me feel safer as long as people cover their noses. I am not happy with the photo accompanying The Seattle Times article about this because the father is not covering his nose, which decreases the masks filtering effect. This photo is not a good example. I see too many people not covering their noses and I feel vulnerable when I am around them, just like I feel vulnerable when I am near people with masks with one way valves. OK for them but not safe for us.

We needed some good news today, because, otherwise, the news in many states is not so good. Hospital numbers are increasing and causing strain on those hospitals and their staff, but the worse news is it appears many places are running out of personal protective equipment like N95 masks, face shields, and gowns. This is very disheartening and disappointing: the lives of the health care workers are at stake. We as a nation should not be accepting this. How have we as a nation failed? It is heartbreaking to watch from afar. But even in Seattle our cases are starting to creep up. Sweden is being used as an example that their choice to not shut down, like other countries, cost them lives, but did not actually help out their economy. The economy is affected more by the pandemic itself.

So many of us continue to do the right things- sheltering in place, wearing masks, washing our hands, limiting our exposures. We know it works and we can be safe if we do those things. Hang in there. Please keep up your good habits to stay safe.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and call a friend you have been missing. We can’t forget those things.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.