Retired RN-me for the masses out there: For those virulent "anti-mask" folk, I've got one word for you. Asthma. I must wear an AirPop mask (more for Asian bone structures), not because I want to be cute, or different, or scary. Live somewhere (California) you can cut the air with a fork, I dare you. Have your asthmatic kids live in bad air. Forest fires, vog (volcanic ash air), pollution, etc., aggravate it. Your neighbors burned brakes. Someone getting their roof tarred. Smoke from a fireplace. And TB is still endemic in certain countries. Masks like the Vogmask (~$50), AirPop (~$35-50), or Freka (~$100) are more form fitted. N95 and PM2.5. Not medical grade, but they help.
For the "it's not proven to help" folk, do you REALLY want your surgeon and the staff breathing on your insides without one? Gold standard is still to wear a mask. I would wear one because arterial sprays, pus sprays, etc., also happen. Staff do get regularly tested for TB and other lovelies, but still, in an age of increasing antibiotic resistance...
The old medical masks keep sneezes out of the surgical incision...(Staff are taught to just sneeze directly into the mask because the outburst goes out the sides of the mask. NO turning your head because it will come out the sides towards the patient. If the mask is damp, you change it immediately.)
If a mask leaks, it sucks...literally--usually around the sides. To work with TB isolation or other types of patients, you MUST have a form fitted mask. (OSHA) Molds were taken of my face to ensure fit. Sadly, I was exposed before this "mask fitting" occurred. (TB+, but not active.) You can't see the danger in an open environment like malls, theaters, air plane compartments, etc. When was your last test? Remember, microbes=microscopic.
As far as multicolored masks in the school, rich kids can afford the expensive colorful masks. Poor kids can't. Administrators are trying to level the playing field for everyone as they do with school uniforms. (As a dirt poor kid, I remembered some of the popular bullies rubbing it in. Personally, it gave me more drive.) If kids are going to be conformist milquetoast, they are going to be milquetoast any way. Remember your Nietzsche. (Y'all, they's some folks with real issues out there.)
Let's fight the sociology of ignorance. Peace.
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