Thursday, 23 July 2020

Conservative Confusion

Well this is weird. I distinctly remember a Conservative victory at a General Election, but incompetent panicking has defined the government's reaction to the Covid pandemic. And these are primal Labour characteristics.

Obviously, there is way too much to cover in detail, but let's look at face masks. Originally, we were told these were unnecessary and possibly harmful, they would give people false confidence. We were told about the science behind the decision.

This was handy, because there was a desperate shortage of face masks at the time. But we looked and we saw that it was good. And calmness prevailed.

Then, to ease our way out of the now fairly recognised mistake of lockdown, but without admitting that, we were told we could go to shops again. Then, a while afterwards we needed to wear masks in shops. But not the shop staff. And you don't have to wear them in a restaurant or bar.

I'm assuming that the new update is that coronavirus has become very picky about who it will infect, not people enjoying themselves for instance, and that masks are suddenly efficacious because coronavirus has put a lot of weight on.

But we don't know for sure because we don't need to know the science any more. Just some panic activists and invested scientists saying, 'yeah, blimey you need to wear a mask, because we know it stops large amounts of the deadly big droplets'.

Yes, a mask will help catch a sneeze and smear it over your face, rather than over other people. If you have Covid 19, I'm not sure why you are wandering about, face mask or not, but there you go, that is what 'scientists' fear. If you sneeze, you could try putting your hand over your face, or go really old school and use a handkerchief.

Personally, I don't remember the last time someone fully sneezed over me without trying to stop or mitigate it at all, which is the scenario the 'scientists' present. Remember the government ads telling you that you would die if you hit a brick wall at 30mph, so slow down? Why would you drive into a brick wall at 30mph? If I lost control of a car and was heading at 30mph for a wall, I might press the brake pedal somewhat.

In 2010, the University of Alabama tested face mask efficacy, mainly aimed at pollution and dust. They tested a surgical face mask (one that fits over your nose, closely to the sides of your face and down the neck), a bandana, or piece of folded cloth and a dust mask from a DIY store.

The median particle size was 1.6 microns, which is pretty small. Unsurprisingly, the surgical mask did best stopping around 33% of particles. The 'dust mask' only managed 6.1%!

Coronaviruses however, tend to be 0.1 microns or smaller, so none of the masks would stop it.

So, the masks are useless, except against a sneezing, infected person who isn't quarantining themselves. And currently, your chance of meeting an infected person, assuming they all go out is about 1 in 2500. How many people do you meet a day? And with the rate of false positives in tests, it is reckoned that only around 44% of those listed as positive, actually are.

So yeah, face masks in shops. Great idea. Should see this problem virtually disappear overnight I should reckon.

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