A computer simulation by Japanese scientists at research giant Riken and Kobe University, illustrates the effectiveness of different mask combinations worn to curb the spread of droplets during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, in this presentation slide supplied by the Riken Center for Computational Sciences. Red is a loosely fitted non-woven mask. Green is a fitted non-woven mask. Green and brown are a non-woven mask with a polyurethane one on top. The bar graph illustrates the "droplet collection efficiency". The blue bar shows the results of wearing loose-fit non-woven (surgical) mask. while red shows a fitted non-woven mask, and purple shows a fitted non-woven mask plus polyurethane mask. Photo: Riken/Handout via REUTERS
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Supercomputer shows doubling masks offers little help preventing viral spread

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By Rocky Swift

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And those plastic shields do zero. plasticcovidmaskuseless.nz.com

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Supercomputer shows doubling masks offers little help preventing viral spread.

This headline is misleading. It shows why semantics is important.

It should state that it offers little additional help in preventing viral spread.

19 ( +24 / -5 )

Of course they don't..we don't need a study to know this...

2 ( +11 / -9 )

And they needed a supercomputer to verify something that al virologist were saying for over a year?

Well,better late than never.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

This headline is misleading. It shows why semantics is important.

Deliberate

10 ( +13 / -3 )

As long as the right type of masks are fitted properly they give sufficient protection. Most masks probably aren't worn properly, especially those lose uniqluo jobs that are popular.

85% is very high and 89% is even higher. I say wear two masks for peace of mind that you are not putting lives at risk... our worse!!!

1 ( +8 / -7 )

And they needed a supercomputer to verify something that al virologist were saying for over a year?

Well,better late than never.

> The findings in part contradict recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two masks were better than one at reducing a person's exposure to the coronavirus.

Something is clouding your mind

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

85% is very high and 89% is even higher. I say wear two masks for peace of mind that you are not putting lives at risk... our worse!!!

Difference seems significant to me also.

Makes me wonder if the said "little help" is the conclusion of the researchers or just the writer of the article

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Wearing two non-woven masks isn't useful because air resistance builds up and causes leakage around the edges.

"The performance of double masking simply does not add up," wrote the researchers, led by Makoto Tsubokura.

That makes sense. Masks' fitting against the face side is more important.

But do we right now really need the high-end supercomputers to run to find a result? How come it is used for more urgent and significant projects to curb the ongoing pandemic?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

How come it is used for more urgent and significant projects to curb the ongoing pandemic?

I'm assuming you meant to say "not used for more urgent.."

I'm assuming they are used for those also, concurrently. At least i hope

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Actually the graph shows an increase in effectiveness of around 40% over loose fitting masks and around 10% increase over fitting masks and a 5% increase over surgical masks.

With few people in public actually wearing N95 surgical masks - just from observing - then 2 masks actually offer between 10% ~ 40% more protection.

I'm not pushing 2 masks - I'd never wear them - but the article focuses on what it wants to focus on and highlights just that.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Doubling masks are unnecessary.

Its all about wearing a proper mask e.g KN95, N95 or something along those lines, and wearing it properly and tight.

Should this be done by everyone, along with social distancing and ventilated indoors, and transmission levels would be lower.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Not a scientist, but a question: Could the same ‘supercomputer’s be used to run simulations, if it is truly possible to safely usher athletes and support staff from planes into the airport terminals, then, into the buses; into the Olympic village’; and later, in and out of the different venues?

Not a virologist, but just seems like all the sweaty bodies in the intense heat and humidity, touching an infinite number of permeable surfaces in multiple confined spaces must be something the ‘brain trust’ has factored in.

If they could show this simulation on the morning news, like all the explosive sneezes we continually have to watch during medamayaki, they may get the public support they’ve been looking for.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

snowymountainhellToday 05:14 pm JST

Not a scientist, but a question: Could the same ‘supercomputer’s be used to run simulations, if it is truly possible to safely usher athletes and support staff from planes into the airport terminals, then, into the buses; into the Olympic village’; and later, in and out of the different venues?

Yes and no. The "supercomputer" does the computing, but you need to pass it, process it, etc. Like LS-DYNA does physics only.

Same like your car. Can it swim? Yes and no. Yes only if you change it. It's cheaper to buy a boat and way quicker.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So, ‘no’?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yeah well, how about 3 masks? Or 5 masks? Infinite masks?

A N95, a non woven mask and a cloth mask walk into a bar...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Yes, computers are used for far more complex phenomena like global climate

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

What's the difference between a non woven mask and a cloth mask?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

let's put 4 for a better protection !!!

or 5, why not ?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Modeling is interesting, but it would have been much more with a demonstration the model can predict results in a laboratory setting (at least), that would have increased the impact factor a lot. Also it would be if they modeled the most sensible of the recommendations (the second layer used to increase the fit of the first non-woven mask) instead of the predictable less effective method of just increasing resistance without caring for the openings on the side.

But do we right now really need the high-end supercomputers to run to find a result? How come it is used for more urgent and significant projects to curb the ongoing pandemic?

How do you know it is not being used for other purposes? also, a supercomputer is not able to model from incomplete information, this kind of model is relatively easy to do because it involves mostly physical forces, but something with far less known variables requires a lot of work done first before getting meaningful results.

Its all about wearing a proper mask e.g KN95, N95 or something along those lines, and wearing it properly and tight.

The thing is that wearing N95 and equivalent is not easy, especially for long periods of time, so people can have better protection from something easier to wear constantly instead of struggling with a respirator lowering its efficacy with endless adjustments, removing it frequently, etc.

Also, people with any amount of facial hair would be wasting the respirators because even a stubble makes impossible to get a proper fit.

Not a scientist, but a question: Could the same ‘supercomputer’s be used to run simulations, if it is truly possible to safely usher athletes and support staff from planes into the airport terminals, then, into the buses; into the Olympic village’; and later, in and out of the different venues?

Theoretically yes, realistically no.

There is simply no way to evaluate and quantify all the unknown variables involved in the situation you are interested in simulate. Any model based on incomplete information would not be useful.

If anything the opposite would be easier, run a model with the proposed measures and the prove how even a tiny change (wind speed, face shape, style of body movement, etc.) could change completely the effect of those measures, making impossible to predict if they are going to be effective or not.

Yeah well, how about 3 masks? Or 5 masks? Infinite masks?

Law of diminishing results, there is a point where the disadvantages make the extra cost not justified. Double the cost in money and confort for an extra 30% efficacy? maybe yes, but for an extra 0.3%? not so much.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Tsubokura also said that droplets spread widely behind a person when he or she is moving, such as walking or jogging. He added that if an infected person speaks while on an escalator, there will be a higher risk of people behind getting infected.

From Japan Times same topic

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The findings in part contradict recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two masks were better than one at reducing a person's exposure to the coronavirus.

So it is not yet conclusive. I feel like going with the Fugaku findings... Better fitting and disposability (to ensure better hygiene) seems to me more crucial and practical for everyday life.

Meanwhile, California is urging double mask use, probably in response to the CDC recommendations.

California Makes Double Masking Official

https://laist.com/latest/post/20210304/california-health-officials-make-double-masking-official

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What a misuse of such expensive technology. Next time they’ll probably prove that PI is somewhat between 3.1 and 3.2, but probably nearer to 3.1

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Waiting to hear from my two universities that have suddenly decided my classes should be face-to-face. Final decision coming. Masks/visors mean the classroom is not safe. I have sent in my objections. Wish me luck.

Zoom is the answer until Japan-wide vaccinations have been achieved.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

The findings in part contradict recent recommendations from the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that two masks were better than one at reducing a person's exposure to the coronavirus.

So it is not yet conclusive. I feel like going with the Fugaku findings..

It's actually wrong to say it contradicts the cdc findings because the findings reinforces it, two masks are better than one

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Agreed. You can interpret this any way you like, but saying it contradicts the CDC study simply confuses the issue and muddies the water for everyone.

The truth shown there is that for the casual mask-wearing general public, a second mask, (while obviously not perfect), does provide a better baffle than just one. Every little bit counts. Simple.

And no, agreed, it’s not realistic to have everyone in the world wearing N95 masks.

in Japan the big buzzword is Fushokushi 不織布 meaning non-woven cloth (matted or felt type fibrous cloth), said to be more effective than anything that is machine-woven. The advice has been to combine two different materials, one of which should be this magic ‘fushikushi’.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

PS Edit Bill’s damn predictive text above to “Fushokushi”!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also, people with any amount of facial hair would be wasting the respirators because even a stubble makes impossible to get a proper fit.

This I can fully attest to.

I have a well trimmed beard and my work often requires that I wear protection from very fine particles.

I have even at points tried shaving off my beard but my beard grows at a crazy rate that by mid day there is enough stubble that a proper seal regardless of the mask does not keep these particles out.

I now use what may seem extreme to some, that is a full head covering with ventilator but that is because some of these dust particles contain toxic materials.

But this is not a practical idea to go walking around, so when out I use what I used to use before buying my very expensive full head unit.

This consists of an oversized full face reusable medical grade micropolymer material external masks with a disposable internal medical grade mask.

Oddly enough had this made long before covid.

I know it is not 100% effective and I don't expect it or anything else to be,

But it is at least far better than nothing or a really poor fitting surgical mask over my beard.

For those clean shaven a good quality surgical mask should be just fine.

Is it comfortable? No not really but it is at least something to try and reduce the chances of my contracting the virus but more to prevent me from infecting other if I do unknowingly have the virus.

Even a 50% reduction of airborne droplets is better than no reduction.

If you do not care about yourself at least care about others and have a little respect.

A little discomfort is a very small price to pay to at least make others feel safer even if you are a mask/covid denier.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Face shields and face plastics are useless.

There are many situations we all know in the daily life when a mask is useless ( outdoors, supermarkets, all indoor places where we do not stay long and static and there isn’t any interaction with others) ans some when it is useful ( hospitals, meeting rooms, badly ventilated crowded restaurants, indoor places with interaction with others)

But putting a mask or two or three, whatever the number, is often the result of emotional reactions rather than scientifically based.

The supercomputer has done a good job

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Are you saying if the lead position in one of the cycling events has the virus, Everyone behind and in their ‘wake’ could become infected? @ i@n 6:25p JST

- “...droplets spread widely behind a person when he or she is moving, such as walking or jogging....if an infected person speaks while on an escalator, there will be a higher risk of people behind getting infected.” - from JapanTimes

Tried watching the 1 min. Tokyo’20 simulation but it’s just animation silliness (looks like it was produced 30 years ago, somewhere between Dr. Suess’s and Sazae-san’s production companies.) https://tokyo2020.org/en/schedule/cycling-road-schedule

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

a study released on Thursday by research giant Riken

Remember Haruko Obokata? She worked at Riken. They lauded her "research" until it blew up in their collective faces. I don't trust anything that comes out of Riken.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I could have sworn this news was already announced last year. Why are they doing old studies again? We need NEW information.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thanks a lot! @nandakandamanda 7:32p JST; do NOT Google Image ‘fushikushi’! - (wow.can’t ‘unsee’ that!)

It’s 不織布 .

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@snowymountainhell

I wasnt saying anything, that was a direct quote from Japan Times, i was juat thinking that maybe some would be interested in some more related info and go to the JTimes article directly.

Anyway, the quote only mentions stationary and relatively slowmoving people, im sure it has far less impact on cyclers,if any

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Need to run the numbers using unwashed masks, since the surveys I have found show only about 25% of people are washing them.

Why even use a super computer's valuable time when...."Dr.Fauci said,...." is the gospel.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I will take that extra 4% and be thankful for it.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Using a single surgical-type mask, made of non-woven material, had 85% effectiveness in blocking particles when worn tightly around the nose and face. 

What I want to know is how likely will I get infected by the remaining 15% of particles? Without that information this study is useless.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Can't wait until crap comes to an end

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2021/03/05/national/double-masking-effects/

Here's the much better piece at JTimes.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

What I want to know is how likely will I get infected by the remaining 15% of particles? Without that information this study is useless.

Actually that information is already out there by others so not needed as part of this simulation.

But to put it simply based on what I have read.

If the infected person is wearing a mask, this can reduce infected droplets from becoming airborne by between 74% and 90%.

If you are also wearing a mask and wash your hand after removing it the risk of catching the virus is very low. But again this depends on certain factors, how high the infected person's viral load is, how close you are not that person, if they are just breathing normally or if they are coughing or sneezing at the time they are near you.

Regardless of all that it is a simple common sense point if they are wearing a mask and you are also your chances of catching the virus are far far far lower than if neith of you have a mask on or if only one of you is wearing a mask.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Corona virus has been with us for many years. This one will be around for some years to come but the deadly effects should lessen with more people being vaccinated.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Call me crazy, but 81% to 89% efficacy seems more than "offers little help."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Being vaccinated also does little to stop virus spread.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Whatever, I almost never wear mask anyway. And if I must be at a place where the request to wear one is a more than a mere onegai, I wear them either under the nose or on the chin.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

1 or 2, but wear a mask propperly, for You, for your family, people are dying, follow science and don't be an antimask loser...

Whatever, I almost never wear mask

For example..

2 ( +5 / -3 )

What I want to know is how likely will I get infected by the remaining 15% of particles? Without that information this study is useless.

No, it's still useful.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Call me crazy, but 81% to 89% efficacy seems more than "offers little help."

Yeah, JT's sloppy headline writers strike again. Maybe "offers little help over one mask", but clearly two masks do offer a lot of help.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Whatever, I almost never wear mask anyway. And if I must be at a place where the request to wear one is a more than a mere onegai, I wear them either under the nose or on the chin.

Haha! My friend and I have been playing a game where we see people like that, and the first one to punch the other in the shoulder and say "MaskLoser" wins!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

There is no need to double mask, just put on N95 and KF94 masks and you will be fine.

Don't use Uniqlo Airism or surgical masks, these can't protect you.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Supercomputer shows doubling masks offers little help preventing viral spread

This is the supercomputer they were boasting will greatly accelerate drug development, typhoon prediction and here we are without a homemade vaccine and this costly machine is wasted on stuff that can be done on a tablet.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The graphic says 81%, not 85%.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agreed. HUGE blooper.

And why didn't they keep the same colo(u)rs for the masks and bar graphs?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not mentioned in the article, but the graph explanation also points out the effectiveness of a closed 'nose-fitter' (sic) (bendy metal strip inserted?) non-woven mask compared to a loose mask, at 4%. (No.3)

No 1. Says that double masks with one of them a tight-fitting Fushoku-shi type increases your protection over a single loose mask by 20%.

No.2 Says that simply increasing the tightness of fit of your loose mask can give you 8% added protection.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Supercomputer shows doubling masks offers little help preventing viral spread

Do we really need a supercomputer to know that? And does the supercomputer compute the added health problems from the restricted breathing that double, triple, or quadruple masks would cause?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

A better way of helping stopping the spread of this virus would be to focus on cleaning all 'touch points" like door handles, credit cards, money, reduce contact where people go into a shop to buy goods touching food to examin it ot look at the packaging labels, yes masks help, but this virus is spread by other means.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

nandakandamandaToday  12:30 pm JST

Agreed. HUGE blooper.

And why didn't they keep the same colo(u)rs for the masks and bar graphs?

And websites and newspapers are continuing with the mistake around the world.

Anyone who has ever been witness to an event, then read about it or saw it reported on TV knows how incredibly incompetent reporters and writers are. But, there's no reason why writers should be any less incompetent than the rest of the general population.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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