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The_Blindside

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Even I think getting rid of face coverings, passes and home working is at least a month premature. I'd be laying low for a further month or so if I was in England with a vulnerable relative and be revisiting the situation then. We are still talking about a sizeable number of people dying and the chances of picking Omicron up on public transport or in the workplace at this moment in time must still be pretty huge. I'd be wanting a detailed breakdown of the proportion of ICU and deaths that are of those without full vaccination before supporting this (it'd have to be upwards of 90% to get me on board at this moment in time). I'd also be wanting confirmation of what proportion of English cases are the more lethal Delta variant. Is it effectively completely out of circulation now? Thank duck for devolution remains my mantra. At home until 31st March as a minimum. Even if they've routinely cocked it up here, they don't have quite such a taste for trailblazing experimentation with human lives and don't seem to consider that telling people to put on a face covering during a pandemic is the most beastly thing imaginable.

Well the answer as we know is No. it just baffles me that there just isn’t the proper guidance how we live with this yet and that proper FFP2 grade masks are not yet recommended, whereas Biden’s administration is giving away 400m of the equivalent out free next week in the US. A still highly transmissible airborne virus circulating and making people ill and it’s the typical triumphal tone of “yes, we’ve beaten it; all back to normal.” All to ward off the hounds of his backbenchers from dumping Boris because he broke the rules and Because we’ve boosted 64% of over 12s (just forgetting to mention these will wane against symptomatic illness after 10 weeks). All until the next variant right?

Supposedly we have to wait until March for Bojo’s governments to produce a long term plan of how we live with this. One they’ve had over 2 years to sodding produce. What’s it going to contain? Boosters annually and anti virals to get through the next few years no doubt.

But in the mean time - “let’s all be cautious (whatever that means) for remaining weeks of winter”. Yet recorded cases today back to over 100,000, patients in hospital in the UK at almost 20,000 with COVID. Trust in the British people to live with this virus which actually takes a collective effort and proper Government and public health policies and guidance. Not grounded in individual choices.
 

The_Blindside

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This story has largely been ignored in the British press/media. Wonder why such an important tool has been largely ignored by the British and devolved Governments in stopping catching and transmission of the virus? :rolleyes:

The only story I have found was an article in the Independent.

An embarrassment really. All we have is the main story of Bojo breaking rules and having parties and when he is going to get the boot.

It’ll also take until Spring for the long term plan of “how to live with Covid” will be released, when a simple messaging of:

  1. Get fully vaccinated/boosted to stop getting seriously ill.
  2. Wear a good fitting FFP2/KN95 mask to slow transmission/reduce catching it in the first place.

I suppose UK governments have spent all their budget and political capital on vaccines/drugs and the LFT tests, whilst forgetting on the whole picture. And of course trust in the British people’s individual instincts on this because it’s all over and we have beaten this. :mad:
 

Kiwiwomble

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question, these are still disposable masks? our N95 ones in aus are still supposed to be thrown out after use, so is this actually going to be much help long term? 400m is a bit over one per person, are we not jyst going to end up with people re using their one free "good" mask over and over which is actually going to be less hygienic
 

The_Blindside

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question, these are still disposable masks? our N95 ones in aus are still supposed to be thrown out after use, so is this actually going to be much help long term? 400m is a bit over one per person, are we not jyst going to end up with people re using their one free "good" mask over and over which is actually going to be less hygienic

You can use them more than once, as long as they aren’t saturated and the edges aren’t frayed. The advice should be have a few to air and rotate especially if they are not in congregate spaces and environments long enough. Plus, recycle them when they need to be thrown away - no different from the blue surgical masks. We have Wilkinsons here to dispose of them and who recycle them and I have a hospital near me where I dispose/recycle.

I bought a box of 50 from Amazon for £15 and the ones I have used have survived several washes as well. I think for everyday peeps not in a hospital environment with high viral loads it will be fine. Just Drs/ Nurses who have worn them for a 10-12 hour shift they need to only wear them once. But a lot of them are still wearing the blue surgical masks here, which is crazy.

Also, I would say giving them out free is a good start. I doubt all the c.330m Americans will take up the offer (especially the hard core anti mask/anti vaxxers), which may mean tourists etc could get one when over there or Americans can get more than one.
 
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Which Tyler

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You can use them more than once, as long as they aren’t saturated and the edges aren’t frayed. The advice should be have a few to air and rotate especially if they are not in congregate spaces and environments long enough. Plus, recycle them when they need to be thrown away - no different from the blue surgical masks. We have Wilkinsons here to dispose of them and who recycle them and I have a hospital near me where I dispose/recycle.

I bought a box of 50 from Amazon for £15 and the ones I have used have survived several washes as well. I think for everyday peeps not in a hospital environment with high viral loads it will be fine. Just Drs/ Nurses who have worn them for a 10-12 hour shift they need to only wear them once. But a lot of them are still wearing the blue surgical masks here, which is crazy.

Also, I would say giving them out free is a good start. I doubt all the c.330m Americans will take up the offer (especially the hard core anti mask/anti vaxxers), which may mean tourists etc could get one when over there or Americans can get more than one.
The problem is - at 50 for £15 they're probably fake (and there are thousands of tonnes of fake Chinese knock-offs with fake certificates - as a chiropractor [close contact, low risk patient group, low patient numbers] we're not allowed to use masks with Chinese certification [or we weren't. I that may have been dropped in November]). If an FFP2 masks costs less than £1 each, it's probably fake; they typically cost around £3-£5. You can get genuine ones cheaper, but usually it's someone splitting bulk boxes so they've got the tens of thousands level of discount.

They're no longer FFP2 after 1 single wash.

You CAN get re-usable ones, but they're re-usable as in sessional, so you can wear it all day, but if you're really, really careful, you can hang it around your neck when you have a coffee, and give your face a 10 minute breather/ doing so counts as a re-use.

What you're describing is a false sense of security, and, after it's first wash, no better than a fresh IIR mask (better fit, worse filtration structure) after a few washed, no better than a cloth mask.

You CAN get FFP2-equivalent masks that are (hand) washable, but you'd be lucky to get 1 for £50, and they're not rated as FFP2 BECAUSE they're washable.


ETA: Quick look on Amazon - they're recommended FFP2 masks, at £27 for 60, Product name includes “FFP2/KN95/N95 Face Mask UK” “CE Certified” “Used by Healthcare Professionals”
Hidden in the description is “This product is tested by recognised laboratory and having EU type examination certificate issued by Notified Body.”
Reviews such as “Not sure these are the same quality as ones I’ve bought before they are a lot thinner”

NB, an "EU type examination certificate" isn't an actual EU certificate. "Notified Body" is mysteriously un-named. Based on the Amazon listing for this item, it is a fake FFP2 mask, and that's before washing it.
 
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The_Blindside

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The problem is - at 50 for £15 they're probably fake (and there are thousands of tonnes of fake chinese knock-offs with fake certificates).
They're no longer FFP2 after 1 single wash.
You CAN get re-usable ones, but they're re-usable as in sessional, so you can wear it all day, but if you're really, really careful, you can hang it around your neck when you have a coffee, and give your face a 10 minute breather.

What you're describing is a false sense of security, and, after it's first wash, little (if any) better than a fresh IIR mask.

You CAN get FFP2-equivalent masks that are washable, but you'd be lucky to get 1 for £50, and they're not rated as FFP2 BECAUSE they're washable.
Should say the £15 was with discount voucher I had. 30 are now going for £27. And yes they could be fake, as made in China to their KN95 standard, but also says it conforms to FFP2 and CE mark. Still would need to do proper research.

As for washes - it still hasn’t fallen apart and they are still better than cloth masks which are not made to any standard. I know it is not proper advice and should be used only once, but then that comes down to my choice and judgement if it becomes useable or needs recycling.

And I use a head band so it is tight to my face - better than cloth or surgical. The other option is double masking with the blue surgical masks. Still no guidance on this from the Govt.

Again there is this thinking and messaging that any mask is better than no mask. But that is just misunderstanding that not all masks are equal and our understanding of how the virus is transmitted since 2020 has Changed.

Plus I have worn these past year (including in the office for 7/8 hrs) and have yet to test positive from the virus. In my mind the “false sense of security” has worked for me. Can’t speak for anyone else as not everyone wears one or even a FFP2 mask, plus not everyone wears them properly tight to the nose and face to reduce leakages - comes down to education again.

But that is why the UK Governments need to start providing ones which do meet proper regulatory standards to stop fakes. It just isn’t even spoken about atm and production here can be ramped up (jobs) and wide spread recycling schemes set up as part of learning to live with Covid.
 
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Which Tyler

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Sorry, I've editted my post without realising you've replied.
There are fake certificates, you can't trust it, and even if a genuine KN95, that's a different standard to N95, which in turn is a different standard to FFP2 - they're broadly similar, but not interchangeable - despite what their sellers want everyone to think.

Falling apart is an absolutely terrible measure - unless your eyesight is good enough to tell the structure down to 0.3 microns (hint, you can't see anything below about 30 microns).

Yes, it's your judgement, but it's not science.

You can use headbands on any masks, there's a huge variety of options to improve the fit of a mask - how important the fit is depends on the individual situation. Masks are worn to significantly reduce the amount of virus particles breathed out by an infected person, an poorly fitted cloth masks still reduces this by >50% - which is fine for most situations, closer contact, indoor and prolonged time frames will make that not enough. A good fitting FFP2 mask will still leak in those same situations, just less. A fitted (actually pinched across the nose, actual elastic at the sides) IIR mask is fine for something like 1-2 hours in terms of the fit.

I've worn IIR masks for the past 21 months, including at work in close contact with patients, I'm also yet to test positive (testing twice a week since what? May?). N=1 is anecdote. Using that to confirm your sense of security is a pretty good definition of a false sense of security.

I fully agree that the government can and should do something about fake certificates - but until they do, you can't trust anything with a Chinese certification.


I'm not saying "don't wear an FFP2" - I'm saying that you're not wearing an FFP2, probably not even fresh out of the box. I'm also saying that IMO you're putting too much weight and trust in them - even were they genuine.
It's your risk assessment, and that's fine, but you're also getting your knickers twisted about other people having a different risk assessment, regardless of their knowledge level.
 

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Never Mind Homer GIF by MOODMAN
 

The_Blindside

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Sorry, I've editted my post without realising you've replied.
There are fake certificates, you can't trust it, and even if a genuine KN95, that's a different standard to N95, which in turn is a different standard to FFP2 - they're broadly similar, but not interchangeable - despite what their sellers want everyone to think.

Falling apart is an absolutely terrible measure - unless your eyesight is good enough to tell the structure down to 0.3 microns (hint, you can't see anything below about 30 microns).

Yes, it's your judgement, but it's not science.

You can use headbands on any masks, there's a huge variety of options to improve the fit of a mask - how important the fit is depends on the individual situation. Masks are worn to significantly reduce the amount of virus particles breathed out by an infected person, an poorly fitted cloth masks still reduces this by >50% - which is fine for most situations, closer contact, indoor and prolonged time frames will make that not enough. A good fitting FFP2 mask will still leak in those same situations, just less. A fitted (actually pinched across the nose, actual elastic at the sides) IIR mask is fine for something like 1-2 hours in terms of the fit.

I've worn IIR masks for the past 21 months, including at work in close contact with patients, I'm also yet to test positive (testing twice a week since what? May?). N=1 is anecdote. Using that to confirm your sense of security is a pretty good definition of a false sense of security.

I fully agree that the government can and should do something about fake certificates - but until they do, you can't trust anything with a Chinese certification.


I'm not saying "don't wear an FFP2" - I'm saying that you're not wearing an FFP2, probably not even fresh out of the box. I'm also saying that IMO you're putting too much weight and trust in them - even were they genuine.
It's your risk assessment, and that's fine, but you're also getting your knickers twisted about other people having a different risk assessment, regardless of their knowledge level.
Well at least we’re having a conversation about it. I don’t profess to be an expert, but it does annoy me that this important tool is just not given the weight it should do and this Government is not giving much guidance in learning To live with Covid. Just catch it naturally without a mask now it is not legally enforceable or even with cloth masks c.50%.

Just seen the front page of the daily heil, saying it was Bojo’s 6 month old that caught covid. Poor mite. Who from Carrie? Bojo?
 

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Well at least we’re having a conversation about it. I don’t profess to be an expert, but it does annoy me that this important tool is just not given the weight it should do and this Government is not giving much guidance in learning To live with Covid. Just catch it naturally without a mask now it is not legally enforceable or even with cloth masks c.50%.

Just seen the front page of the daily heil, saying it was Bojo’s 6 month old that caught covid. Poor mite. Who from Carrie? Bojo?
Work party, the Mail is completely off its rockers at the moment. Its readership are either the whole 22% who still support Johnson or are trying to bludgeon them into submission.
 

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Just seen the front page of the daily heil, saying it was Bojo’s 6 month old that caught covid. Poor mite. Who from Carrie? Bojo?
Anecdotaly any child care facility is rife with it atm,
My 5yr old niece caught (non-symptomatic) covid at school - where there are also 3 teachers and multiple other kids off,
Someone at my work has both of their secondary school age kids off with it atm,
another person's kid's nursery is closed because there's too many staff off atm
 

ncurd

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Anecdotaly any child care facility is rife with it atm,
My 5yr old niece caught (non-symptomatic) covid at school - where there are also 3 teachers and multiple other kids off,
Someone at my work has both of their secondary school age kids off with it atm,
another person's kid's nursery is closed because there's too many staff off atm
Schools have long been a fester pot for the disease but we turn a blind eye to it to not shut them down. We're removing facemasks from schools now because it might sure up the backbenches a bit due to their weird anti-mask stance (even if they aren't superb they do provide some protection, especially in close proximity setting like ummmm schools....and parliament). But yeah all but two adult cases I know of have all been through people's kids.
 

The_Blindside

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Also going back to not trusting Chinese certification, sorry but where do you think all these LFT tests we are all using are made?
 

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Also going back to not trusting Chinese certification, sorry but where do you think all these LFT tests we are all using are made?
There's a difference between procurement by medical authorities from recognised medical production companies and buying stuff off Amazon marketplace
It's not that being Chinese makes it inherently untrustworthy it's more that anyone can mass produce masks and claim they're meeting certain standards but they're not checked by any independent authority
 

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I think schools should have had an extended Christmas break, nothing massive but maybe a week either side. In hindsight we (Ireland) survived it but I don't think it was an educated call at the time.

Closing schools long term is out of the question in my opinion but by the sound of it they've nearly been covid free zones which isn't right.
 

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I think schools should have had an extended Christmas break, nothing massive but maybe a week either side. In hindsight we (Ireland) survived it but I don't think it was an educated call at the time.

Closing schools long term is out of the question in my opinion but by the sound of it they've nearly been covid free zones which isn't right.
Should note I wasn't calling for schools to be closed but we should absolutely be investing in making them safer. Maybe with 4.6 billion of CVOID fraud we just wrote off...
 

The_Blindside

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There's a difference between procurement by medical authorities from recognised medical production companies and buying stuff off Amazon marketplace
It's not that being Chinese makes it inherently untrustworthy it's more that anyone can mass produce masks and claim they're meeting certain standards but they're not checked by any independent authority

What is the difference? This is from a Government who passed off the making of PPE to their so called “mates”.

These Chinese masks are still made to KN95 standard. Whether you want to trust that standard is another question. But also whether in turn to trust the European FFP2 standard, which broadly the same.

Still, A lot of PPE equipment, whether procured by medical authorities and masks, whether FP2 or surgical will be made in China because we are still reliant on their cheap Labour.
 

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