The value of face masks in pandemics.A little goes a long way.

Advice worth following .It is simple and effective.Why are we not following it and why are governments not advocating it.? It makes sense to me.

Author: Eddie

Consultant Physician.

8 thoughts on “The value of face masks in pandemics.A little goes a long way.”

  1. Thanks Eddie. In UK as far as I can see very few people wear a mask. It almost needs a culture change.
    Hope all our batch mates are keeping well and safe.


  2. Thanks Eddie for bringing up this subject. I have watched 2 interviews given by a Korean Infectious disease expert with over 30 years experience and lived through Avian flu(1997), SARS (2003), Swine flu (2009), MERS(2015) and current pandemic of Covid-19. He too strongly advocates use of Masks in addition to other measures. Anyone interested could see Prof Kim Woo-joo interview In Korean (with english sub-titles) on YouTube under ASIAN BOSS. He makes an interesting comparison of Covid-19 with Ebola, MERS , H5N1 and concludes case fatality rate and infectivity do not go together i.e. Covid-19 has a higher infectivity but a lower case fatality compared to others.


  3. Thanks Eddie for the post .
    Masks are mandatory in Canada – if one is going to be in public places like grocery stores etc . Indeed, I am now rushing out the door, to be first in the line up at 7 am ( Seniors Time – 7-8 am ) at the door, mask and all .
    People are making cloth , washable masks for personal use , some real cute ones are being made, specially by kids . Daughter of Dr Sanjay Gupta of CNN- made a real cute one for Anderson Cooper !
    Home made masks for non working people, as we are frantically saving the Surgical Masks for Essential Workers, and N95 for hospital staff .
    Hope all of you are ok . I am still Alive and Well as you can see !


  4. Eddie,
    I am not sure wearing a cloth mask will prevent me from getting the virus from others even if I wear it properly (taping the edges etc). However, if I happen to be an asymptomatic carrier, it could potentially prevent me from spreading to others. Once the home-based test becomes available the mask may not be necessary. Please read this blog post to learn more about the face mask. Just my two cents!
    Stay well


  5. Surgical mask / Cloth mask will prevent one from breathing OUT the viral particles to some one near by , there by spreading the infection around from an asymptomatic / carrier individual .
    N95- will prevent one from breathing IN the viral particles from an infected person – eg if you are intubating some one with Covid- 19 .
    This is what we have been informed by the Health Authorities over here .
    So, here in Canada, we are all wearing masks . Today at the grocery store , early in the morning , about 90% of the customers – me included – were wearing masks – surgical/ home made . Store staff was not wearing masks .
    We were taken in 20 at a time, and only two cash registers were open , with lines and arrows marked out on the floor- where we should stand, which way to proceed etc .
    It was very weird to say the least . No one was talking. We were all like Zombies.
    At least I felt like a zombie !
    I guess, we will all end up behaving like zombies in a few months .
    The world will Never be the Same .
    Very sad ..

    All we can hope now, is Hope for The Best , till a Vaccine is out .
    Stay Well – Keep the Distance .


  6. Thanks Indrajee, CJ, Deepthie, Abey and Sam, All your points are well taken. Dr Patel raises the issue to try and reduce transmission and not as a prevention against the virus.Keeping us all safe includes much more than wearing a mask, whether it be a cloth, simple surgical or an N95 mask.The virus is now in the community and the only way to reduce the spread is WHEN EVERYONE wears a mask when they are out and about and outside their own bubbles.The mask will certainly REDUCE the spread by asymptomatic carriers who are the “super spreaders”when talking, coughing and laughing.We still do not know the extent of this in our communities as we have yet to do widespread community testing.This virus is now all over the world and while it has mutated already into types A, B and C, there may be more cycles of clinical diseaseto follow.Until we have a vaccine and we develop sufficient herd immunity in our populations it will linger.While waiting for all this to happen, the humble face mask is the only hope of reducing transmission by the silent spreaders BUT for this to be effective , we need all citizens to comply for at least 6-8 weeks to break the cycle.There is merit in what Dr Patel is saying but we need populations to understand the reason for doing it for the common good.I hate wearing a mask, but I will do so everytime, I have to leave my bubble.As Mr Merril Fernando of Dilmah fame woukd say, ” Do try it ” ….


  7. Dr Patel is right. Masks will reduce the spread. It has become compulsory here in Pennsylvania. Wearing face masks was tried in the Czech Republic from the beginning and it has worked.



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