Please make a Face Mask to Help Mitigate the Spread of Coronavirus

March 26, 2020

 

Regarding the coronavirus pandemic, the CDC, WHO, medical professionals and our political leaders all keep repeating the following three mutually inconsistent statements, in various iterations and contexts.  My inner department of common sense cannot resolve them.  Distilled for clarity, they are:

 

Contagious people should definitely wear masks.

Even though you feel healthy you may be contagious.

If you feel healthy you do not need to wear a mask.

 

Undoubtedly, the underlying reason for advising the general public to not wear masks is because it would instantly lead to panic buying and vast shortages for the doctors and nurses on the front lines (which we unfortunately already have).  It is critically important that the highest quality equipment be reserved for our health care workers.

 

Transmission between people is not a mystery.   Understanding this does not require medical expertise.  It is a simple mechanical engineering problem.  Physically separating people by quarantining or social distancing or sheltering in place obviously helps tremendously and to some degree.

 

Recognizing that contagious people, with little or not symptoms, are spreading virus wherever they go is a fundamental fact that needs to be addressed.  Aerosolized virus, emitted by just breathing, remains in the air for some time and can be breathed in by another.   It is eventually deposited onto surrounding surfaces and remains viable for some time. This is a significant part of the problem and why everything must be disinfected over and over and over.

 

Please!   I strongly urge everyone, no matter how sick they feel, to make a sufficient face mask and wear it whenever they are in the public sphere.   Many plans and instructional videos are available on the internet now.  Here is just one presented by medical professionals.  If sewing is not an option there are many other ways to do it.  Be resourceful.  This will do much to help mitigate the spread that occurs by coughing, sneezing, speaking and just BREATHING.  The most effective and efficient way to mitigate the spread is to stop it at its source.

 

Two simple actions that we can all take to practice good Personal Containment (PC):

1.  Wear a containment mask to inhibit the potential spread of virus from your own nose and mouth.

2.  Keep your own hands and clothing disinfected.

 

Think about it.  If we all did this it would help tremendously to stop the spread.   If taken to heart we have the potential to not just flatten the curve, but to eliminate it completely.  The cost to the federal government for such an action is $0.  The time to full and complete implementation could be hours to days.  The number of infections is increasing exponentially.  The sooner we act the better off we will all be.

 

Really now, if we can put a man on the moon surely we can figure out how to solve the relatively trivial problem of keeping the moisture leaving our own noses and mouths from entering our neighbor’s noses and mouths.

 

with urgency,

Arthur Ganson