Anonymous Don Williams said...
1) I hope you and your family remain reasonably well, Ferfal. (I know you are sick, but my understanding is that so far it has been like the ordinary flu for you. Hopefully, you and your family will recover shortly -- and possibly have an immunity to more dangerous versions of this flu if they crop up in the future.)
2) I have an update to some comments I made re N95 masks a few weeks ago.
I bought a few of the expensive ($4 per mask) masks certifed by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in pandemics.
3) As far as I can determine, the FDA's mask's only advantages (over the more common and cheaper N95 masks used in building construction) is that the FDA mask is shaped so as to make it easier for untrained people to establish an airtight seal. Plus , it has a slightly plastic? outer coating that supposedly makes it more impervious to liquids being spilled on it from outside.
4) A FDA pamplet provided with the mask notes that flu viruses are too small to be screened out by an N95 mask and hence that protection against the flu can not be guaranteed.
My understanding , however, is that the mask can greatly Reduce the likelihood of contracting the flu because it can filter out the water droplets in the air formed by sneezes on which viruses ride -- and that the flu virus can not survive long without a water host (i.e.,can't live for very long after the water droplet on which it resides evaporates.)
5) As I noted earlier, however, some experts think that a N95 mask which has become very moist (from being saturated by water vapor from exhaled breaths) can allow flu viruses on the outside surface to migrate through the filter into the mask's inner surface where they can be inhaled. The FDA pamphlet does not discuss this but merely says to discard a mask if it becomes difficult to breathe through the mask.
6) As far as I can tell from the FDA and the US Center for Disease Control, no one has done a scientific test to determine how much protection N95 masks provide --and for how long.
6) In my opinion, it is best to have a lot of the masks (at least 100 per person ) and to discard each mask after 2 or 3 hours of use. Obviously, it would be best to never get within 6 feet of a sick person but people may be sick for a day or so without showing obvious symptons.
June 27, 2009 5:25 PM
Thanks Don, crazy times indeed. We’re doing ok so far.
Just heard on the news Brazil is recommending people not to travel to Argentina, and also to cancel holyday trips. (after 2001, Argentina is cheap for Brazilians )
They are now saying that they will declare national emergency either Monday or Tuesday. They preferred to wait until after the elections tomorrow Sunday so as to not loose votes over the way they are handling things.
My wife and I, we don’t leave the house without a face mask.
The good ones I bought with a valve, they fit well and you feel the mask suck against your face when you breathe in.
The masks that are a bit better, that have a valve, what I’ve been doing is using them more than once (2 or 3 days) if used just for an hour or two. Hanging them under the sun for 12 hours (daylight) evaporates moisture and the sun kills any bug that needs water to survive.
You are right about the bug and how it travels on a droplet of spit in the air. It’s disgusting to see people coughing and sneezing, throwing visible particles into the air and people breathing all that in.
I don’t know what % of protection the mask provides, but I sure am glad to wear it.
Guess the scary part is that we don’t see others doing the same (wearing masks) when they clearly should: Everyone’s coughing, and spitting mucus on the sidewalk, it’s as if there’s no healthy people anymore.
I know most of these are regular flu cases, but it sure is like nothing we’ve ever seen before.
My son suffered it the most. We were really worried and we just don’t know what type of flu he had, the fever was very unusual, very high and it lasted for several days. I think we were lucky that he made it and the pneumonia didn’t get worse.
My little theory is that the government isn’t advising the use of face masks because they can’t provide them, so they prefer to say washing your hands and covering your face when coughing is enough.
It’s madness. I mean, the reporter on the news today said that, he himself, had his family bugged in, and he only went outside to work and then went straight back home. Just like we’re doing, he said his kids aren’t going to school either.
It’s a good thing we have enough supplies to not go out that much, and we have enough soap, hand sanitizer and face masks to last us for a while, as well as medicine for whatever we need.
But hey, there’s no reason to worry! The director of the Malbran hospital said there’s 10.000 infected and 200 dead, and enough beads for 100 patients…
It’s during situations like these that the lack of a real functioning government, what I talk about all the time, becomes evident.
The longer they try to solve things by denial, the more people will die.
Edited to add: In the previous post when I said we shower, of course we shower everyday like normal people. What I meant was that we throw the clothes in the washing machine, shower right away and change into clean clothes as soon as we get home, just in case, as an extra measure.