Way back on May 5, 2020, we published a post titled, “The surprisingly simple way to open America in 14 days and avoid a depression”
The essence of the post was: If everyone wore a mask, the transmission of the COVID-19 virus would be reduced to low levels approximating the effect of “herd immunity.”
Sadly, President Trump, being concerned about how wearing a mask made him look, discouraged mask-wearing. So, his followers did their best sheep imitations by not wearing masks.
The predictable result: Millions of Americans became infected and many thousands died.
Yesterday (8/15/20) we published excerpts from an article saying that men, far more often than women, refuse to wear masks because they feel the masks make them look weak. It is a macho thing.:
Performative masculinity is making American men sick, American men are failing the pandemic.
By Alex Abad-Santosalex@vox.com, Aug 10, 2020
According to bias, behavior, and health experts, the reason is maddeningly simple: Masks aren’t manly.
The post belittled the lack of self-confidence exhibited by men, so frightened about not looking “manly,” they are willing to risk their lives and the lives of others, by not wearing masks.
In response to that post, I received a note from a reader who wrote, “Sneeze goes right through masks. Masks are useless except to keep from drooling into the surgical field.”
The reader is correct — and incorrect.
You will not become ill if just one COVID-19 virus enters your mouth.
All viral diseases, including COVID-19, rely on “viral load,” the number of viruses that are in your body at any one time.
“Viral load, also known as viral burden, viral titre or viral titer, is a numerical expression of the quantity of virus in a given volume of fluid; sputum and blood plasma being two bodily fluids.” Wikipedia
The key to preventing the spread and the severity of sickness from COVID-19 is to reduce the number of viruses transmitted from person to person, i.e. reduce the viral load.
The fewer viruses received, the more likely will a person’s immune system be able to respond effectively.
That is one reason why social distancing has a positive effect. The farther you are from a person, the fewer of the person’s viruses will make it to your mouth. At six feet distant, some viruses will be transmitted, though fewer than at two feet distant.
It also is why an outdoor setting is less conducive to transmission than is an indoor venue. Outdoors, the breeze dissipates the concentration of viruses far better than does indoor air circulation.
The above-mentioned reader is correct that viruses do penetrate masks. If there were zero penetration, a mask-wearer would not be able to breath.
- Masks reduce the number of virus-containing droplets that penetrate the mask to be projected by an infected person.
- Masks reduce the distance of droplet projection by an infected person, reducing the number that reach another person.
- Masks reduce the number of droplets that penetrate the second person’s mask and are received by that person.
In total, the number of virus-containing droplets transmitted from infected people to non-infected people would be greatly reduced if everyone wore masks.
In this vein, here are excerpts from two informative articles:
Determining the viral load of patients helps predict the risk of severe disease and death, allowing clinicians to implement more aggressive care.
The new study is the first to report on the SARS-CoV-2 viral load at diagnosis as an independent biomarker of the risk of death in a large cohort of hospitalized patients.
The team also noted that viral load in the COVID-19 disease may correlate with infectivity, disease phenotype, morbidity, and mortality.
The researchers discovered that a high viral load was tied to mortality or the risk of death among hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
Not only does viral load determine whether or not a person will become infected, but it also determines how serious the infection will be and the outcome, including the likelihood of death.
The more viruses you receive, the worse your outcome.
And then, there’s this:
TIMESOFINDIA.COM | Last updated on – Aug 11, 2020,
A study published recently in the Journal of Infectious Diseases makes a case for commonly used mouthwashes in fighting COVID-19.
According to the latest findings, gargling with mouthwash solutions may help inactivate the viral load of the SARS-COV-2 virus persisting in the mouth and throat and thereby, help lessen the spread of the infection.
The study, however, made it clear that using mouthwashes is no guaranteed treatment for the viral outbreak or protecting one from the infection; what it can possibly do is lower the chances of spread and transmission.
Researchers have based their evidence of using oral disinfecting solutions after studies based out of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany found out that high quantities of coronavirus exist within the upper respiratory tract, including the mouth and the throat.
It is also possible that the oral and throat cavities act as the ideal environments for the virus to settle in healthy individuals post-infection.
Since the spread of respiratory droplets, coughing, sneezing or talking are the likely causes of spread, a gargling solution like mouthwash could reduce the risk of transmission and subsequently lower the viral load or even stop it from multiplying.
Although the article wasn’t specific on this point, we assume it refers to alcohol-based mouthwashes (most are), since alcohol does inactivate viruses.
Here, the mouthwash acts as a kind of “mask” in that it reduces both the projection and the reception of the virus. You give fewer and you kill some of what you receive.
For most problems in life, including diseases, partial solutions are all we have, and they are better than no solutions.
Herd immunity is one such partial solution. Herd immunity does not provide total immunity. Not everyone benefits. But it reduces the incidence and the effect of diseases.
With regard to COVID-19, we may never find an absolute prevention or cure. Even if a vaccine is developed, it may not be 100% effective. Partial solutions are all we ever may have.
One excellent partial solution is universal mask-wearing. Masks reduce the projection and the reception of the virus.
Additionally, it now is suspected that gargling with mouthwash will reduce the virus load in your mouth and throat, where most of the virus begins to do its damage.
And these reductions, by reducing overall virus load, will reduce sickness and death.
So I say to my readers, never demean any solution because of it not being 100% effective. Our lives rely on partial solutions.
Wear a mask. Gargle. Help yourself and help your neighbor.
Rodger Malcolm Mitchell
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THE SOLE PURPOSE OF GOVERNMENT IS TO IMPROVE AND PROTECT THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE.
The most important problems in economics involve:
- Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
- Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”
Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:
Ten Steps To Prosperity:
The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.