The Controversy Over Masks

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

The issue of masks has been talked about since the Corinavirus pandemic began. First we heard how there was a shortage of them for medical personnel and that private citizens shouldn’t wear them. That has seemed to be the main thrust of the government’s message throughout the last few months. But there were a few months where they were saying to mask ourselves with cloth masks. Now they’re back to the no mask message once again.

There are even people out there now, who are telling us that wearing masks is dangerous, because it recycles our own CO2. Well, if they’re dangerous, then why do health professionals wear them all day long? Where are the statistics showing that health care workers have lung problems from wearing masks?

Interestingly enough, few of those government leaders were ever wearing masks themselves, even when they were telling us to. So at the best, they were sending a mixed message; one that nobody could make heads of tails out of.

All this has generated a huge amount of confusion, along with all the other conflicting reports and advice coming out of our government at all levels. Worse than that, it’s created a huge amount of distrust for our government, even the CDC, which has historically been one of the most respected federal agencies there was.

So what should we be doing about masks?

To answer that, I think we have to look beyond our own borders. Since the beginning of the pandemic there have been nations where the people took to wearing masks on their own; not because of government edict; but because the people decided to. Those countries have had very little problem with the pandemic. Could it be because the people were taking proper precautions?

It has been shown that:

  • If a healthy person wears a mask, but an unhealthy one doesn’t, there’s still a 70% chance they will catch the disease.
  • If an infected person (even asymptomatic) wears a mask, but healthy ones don’t. there’s only a 5% chance the healthy person will become sick.
  • But if both wear masks, there’s only a 1.5% chance that the healthy person will catch the disease.

Considering the long incubation period on this disease and the number of people who are infected, but asymptomatic, none of us have any way of knowing whether we’re spreading the disease or not. Wearing a mask, to protect others, shows that you are concerned about others, not just yourself.

But for masks to work, they need to be used correctly. There are a number of factors that need to be taken into consideration.

  • The mask is to catch droplets of spittle ejected while coughing, sneezing or talking. For this to work, the mask must be absorbent. The 3-layer medical masks are not absorbent on the outside.
  • Disposable masks are just that, disposable. They should only be used 8 hours at the most.
  • Cloth masks only work if they are thick enough that you can’t see a bright light through them.
  • Masks can become contaminate. They should be washed after each use. If you can’t wash it, then lay it out in bright sunlight to kill the virus.
  • Any mask must fit snugly around your face to work, especially your mouth and nose.
  • Don’t touch your face. If you’re wearing a mask and rubbing your eyes, you could be giving the virus entrance to your body.

I’ve seen where people have posted on Facebook, saying that if social distancing was effective, we shouldn’t need masks, and if masks are sufficient, we shouldn’t need to social distance. But I must disagree. Even when you’re trying to social distance, you’re going to walk within range of others and if those others cough, the aerosol droplets will hang in the air for some time.

Two nights ago, my wife and I went out to eat in a restaurant for the first time since this has all started. The restaurant was following social distancing guidelines, with the tables spaced several feet apart. Another couple was seated at a table behind us, which put the man more than six feet away from me, facing me. He was coughing throughout his meal.

The next evening, I came down with the flu. I know I caught it from him, because he’s the only person, besides my wife, that I’ve had any sort of contact with. I also know it was the flu and not COVID-19, but because I was tested, they’re apparently not doing any testing in my area this week, but because I got over it in about 24 hours.

Although I had worn a mask into that building and when I was leaving and the people working in the restaurant were all wearing masks, I still caught the flu. Social distancing wasn’t enough. In that case, masks weren’t enough either, since I had to take the mask off to eat. But had I been wearing that mask the whole time I was in there, I would have been safe. At least I didn’t spread it on to anyone else.

We need to be the ones who think these things through for ourselves; not just accepting what the media and the government tell us. That’s the only way we can be sure that we are safe.

So be safe; take care of your family; and don’t forget to keep your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

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