Masks and cleaning


This post will probably make people lose their minds, especially during this pandemic. I’m stilling heading outside, trying my best to not let all this bell ringing fear keep me inside. Besides the Monday rain, I’ve been outside for at least 4 hours every day. I need to feel not like a prisoner in my own home. At the same time, I don’t do much to antagonize my chances of surviving despite them improving by staying indoor.

“Social distancing”, now called “physical distancing”, might sound something complicated though honestly anyone who’s in their 20’s and early 30’s have endured this. You might now know it is “binging”, you sit at home away from contact from anyone and watch TV or play video games. I’ve done this many times and in the past, I’ve gone months without setting foot outside unnecessarily. Before I had a prescription, video games was my life. It ruined me pretty bad where it took me longer to graduate high school and set my life back permanently. Agreed I should stay inside and join everyone being stuck indoors and wait out, but there are still things I don’t dare admit about my home life which disturbs people. Those facts about my life I keep to myself are enough reason to choose going out than staying in. Living in the city, staying two metres away from someone is uncommon. Though usually anyone can agree your personal space is within arm’s reach. Even walking down the street I try and keep a distance from people around me since in the city, there are people that can just easily get you sick because they’re constantly exposed to diseases.

However this what annoys me a lot and why I titled my post about this, cleanliness. I don’t have a problem for being cautious and taking precautions, I for one do my best on the daily to clean my hands before and after I eat since I don’t want foreign germs and matter going into my body. I work in an industrial atmosphere where lubricants and solvents are either toxic, poisonous or cancerous upon ingestion. So the use of soap, water and heavy rubbing is a must. At times, water and soap is unavailable especially now when restaurants are restricted to take-out and delivery here. For this we have a modern solution, hand sanitizer. Though alcohol based, it does get a bit harmful for your skin if you use too much of it. I don’t like using it because it doesn’t make a good substitute to proper hand washing. Why pay for an inferior product when you can have a cheaper and highly effective solution? I’m not turning people away from hand sanitizer but it’s a poor solution for lazy people who refuse to learn to wash their filthy paws.

I think at the same time when hand sanitizers showed up on the scene around 2004, there were more and more people wearing surgical masks. It become a bit of a fashion trend in a lot of Asian countries and it seems to be re-surging and being part of western society as well. If you have hoarded or bought masks during this crisis, I feel so sorry for you since you sort of been peer pressured to do it. To clear up what each mask does, here’s the short explanation from my knowledge:

  • Surgical Masks are commonly used in hospitals to prevents people coming in contact to your cough or sneeze. Does protect you a bit but won’t stop anything aerosol or airborne. Wearing one to stop a virus is equal to using paper to stop a bullet.
  • Dust Masks are for vapours and particulate. Though it does firmly seal around the nose and mouth, it’s as effective as a surgical mask against an airborne virus. It doesn’t. Though if you hoarded a bunch of these, good time to learn to graffiti paint or take up carpentry.
  • Respirators are any mask with a filter. These are especially great when you’re constantly in a space with heavy aerosol or particles in the air. Does it protect against a virus, some but not all. Viruses are really small and these do well with prevention especially with 95% of particles that are of a particular size.

But the biggest kicker is this, none of these will stop you from getting sick. They’re all prevention tools to reduce your chances, but absolute protection is unlikely if you are already exposed. So hand washing, using hand sanitizer and being decked out like a hospital worker might reduce your chances greatly, if one gets in and survives then it’s kind of moot to be protected. The best we can do with absolute success is working together.

At this very moment, some really smart folks are figuring out this virus and creating a vaccine against it. For them, I urge people to not hoard equipment so these people have the right stuff to keep us all alive. Then there are the people trying to keep those people keeping us all alive, let them do their job. If they don’t do their job, then that’s one more thing you can hang over them when election day comes.

The best we can do is just remember what our parents taught us. Hand washing and keeping as clean as humanly possible. And absolutely not feed into the fear and panic. Keep calm and carry on.

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