health

Should you wear a mask in public if you don't have the coronavirus?

15 Comments
By LAURAN NEERGAARD

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15 Comments
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I understand why people would wear masks travelling on the subway in Tokyo, or Shanghai, or any city that forces a lot of people together inside a very small space. But living in Melbourne I get really annoyed when I see people walking around the streets wearing a mask. I have to say that most of these people are Asian, and probably Chinese. My neighbours are from China and they won't even leave their house without wearing masks, and they go everywhere by car. The reason I get so annoyed is for the reason mentioned in the article - masks are in short supply and would be far more useful being worn on the faces of people working in the frontline against Covid-19. We've even had appeals from health authorities for people to donate masks, but it seems some people would rather keep them for themselves even if they never go within ten metres of any other living being.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

A lot of people won’t know that they have coronavirus and be innocently infecting others. Furthermore, the masks that ordinary people wear are not suitable for health workers anyway.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

No!

The need to wear a mask in Japan is paramount as social distancing is not possible here.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@Hello Kitty 321

Furthermore, the masks that ordinary people wear are not suitable for health workers anyway.

But they are produced. If every mask manufacturer converted 80% of its production line of dust mask to health worker mask production, the last 20% would be for allergic people and the like which will get their mask as part of their treatment in hospital, should not that solve the problem of mask shortage ?

After, that will probably mean a reduction of their income.

Regarding the efficiency of mask, I guess as Japan rely mostly on mask and hand washing to stop the spread of the pandemic ( https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/backstories/877/ ), we are kind of part of a giant experiment. We will see how things go.

I think as of now we have :

South Korea : mask + testing

Germany : testing

Japan : mask

...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

No. Handwashing and social distancing is far more effective. There was a expert on BBC news this morning who studies airborne contagion and said that only high grade medical masks, worn properly, are any good. Ordinary paper and fabric masks do not work.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

@Luddite

Anything that prevents contact with any foreign bodies is positive.

Wearing any type of barrier is going to be more effective than none.

Unless a full barrier suit is worn then there isn’t a 100% effective method from contagion.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

My wife always does and I do sometimes because it may not be 100% effective against the coronavirus but it is effective against other foreign matters.

I was supose to travel to Kobe for a post op check this week but my personal doctor advised me not to travel because of the coronavirus because my immune system is still weak. He strongly advised against taking packed trains and even if travelling by car to open the windows.

We also do proper hand washes and gargles.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

My wife always does and I do sometimes because it may not be 100% effective against the coronavirus but it is effective against other foreign matters

Seems fair enough. We do get posters here telling people to take the masks off because they don’t like them. I find that irresponsible and possibly even dangerous.

My coworker wears one because he said it helps reduce his pretty bad hay fever.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

No harm in wearing a mask in public in Japan, and it could even be better than a naked face. Better safe than sorry. Certainly it is seen by the majority as good manners at the very least.

Besides, Austria have just mandated the wearing of facemasks when entering supermarkets, (handed out at the door) and Germany is looking to follow suit.

All this 'Oh, but you are taking them away from medical staff' is directed at people wearing proper N95 medical masks, right? The only masks we have available at home are ordinary ones we found back in in January and the ones we have made with vacuum cleaner hepa filters. There are no regular masks on sale anywhere, despite the TV shots and promise of millions upon millions of them.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Oh, re gargling @zichi, this too is something recommended by top doctors here, but not mentioned at all in the West. I have got into the habit and gargle with some antiseptic solution mornings and evenings.

My Japanese wife never wears a face mask in public, but she is in the distinct minority and I dread to think that she may catch something very soon. I have to keep reminding her to wash her hands etc.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do not wear one. My wife does and would take it off when she got home and put it on the kitchen table or kitchen counter.

There is a new rule now. It hangs in the genkan.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“They are not effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus 

That's a lie from the Surgeon General there, isn't it? Masks have an effect, a limited one which I cannot quantify, so they are effective. I don't like wearing masks and am from a non-mask culture, so I actually kind of resent other people (Japanese etc.) wearing them, but even I recognize that there is some effect to wearing one.

Millions of people do millions of things to achieve only limited effects. You can eat well and exercise all you like and still die young. This does not mean these things are not "effective".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The answer at this point in time, if one is near other people, is YES.

In the US we are being told not to wear masks in public, because Trump for the longest time insisted in calling this plague a hoax, and did nothing to prepare for it. Telling us that masks are not effective helps them to hide their incompetence. Another recent strategy from the White House is to tell the lie that nurses are stealing the masks in order to sell them out the back doors of hospitals. Any lie is better than the truth that they didn't do their job.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Many nations in the EU advice not to wear a mask for several reasons, mainly due to enormous shortages for medical usage and not to cause any panic. (A mask is seen as the utter most level of protection by many EUropean citizens. Fact is that you can spread the virus by not being ill of it, but carrying it with you. So any level of protection to counter spreading the virus - any kind of mask - is in fact a good protection.

The culture to wear a mask, not only to protect yourself but also the ones around you (because coughing and sneezing is blocked) is not yet common in the EU...will change for sure in the nearby future.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Everybody must wear mask as Corona virus is capable and can spread through air and can remain contagious for hours after patients have left . So people may be able to get infected with Corona virus without even coming in contact with infected person . It is highly essential that one must maintain safe distance of at least 27 feet away from the infected person for his or her own safety and security.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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