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Wear your mask

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I feel like a good percentage of people on this board do take COVID seriously and do wear masks based on what I have been reading the last few months. I just want to stress the importance of wearing masks especially the right masks this morning because of what is currently going on in my family.

My uncle who is a germaphobe and has been taking COVID very seriously went to a work meeting last week with 6 other men and because none of them were wearing their mask, he decided to not wear his too. Guess what? 6 of the 7 men in this meeting now tested positive for COVID. I literally want to drive to NJ and shake my uncle so hard because he is the type that if you're sick in general he makes sure everything is wiped down in the home, his cars, etc. he is not about germs at all. Well my mom's birthday was last week so my uncle, his wife, their two kids, and my grandparents went to my parents' house to celebrate and now my Dad has COVID and 3 other family members are showing symptoms and got tested yesterday, awaiting results. I don't know if anyone saw my blog earlier in the week about my cousin's gf getting COVID from now wearing a mask and gave it to my cousin too.

Wearing a mask is SO important especially as numbers are starting to surge again. Meanwhile, if I get COVID this weekend, I am to blame because we will be seeing my cousin and his gf that just got over COVID 3 weeks ago at my aunt's for the weekend. I am really not happy they will be there because they don't take COVID seriously and don't wear masks. We will not be hugging them or sharing tight spaces with them, but we will be seeing them so we are taking a risk. We will not be seeing our friends expecting a baby until 3 weeks have passed after exposing ourselves this weekend because we don't want to risk them at all.

Needless to say my parents and brother were supposed to come down this weekend to see my dad's family, but they will not be in attendance. At least they found out all this before coming, but I will miss seeing them Sad

Everyone stay safe please!

Comments

ESMOD's picture

Unfortunately, the reality is that it's likely your Uncle would have gotten covid in that type of environment whether he had a mask on or not.  The best protection is avoiding being in confined places with groups of people.. especially closer than 6 feet.. I'm sure those rules were also broken at that meeting.

My company has gone remote work location for all but the most essential on site employees.  What was there about this meeting that couldn't have been accomplished over zoom/skype/microsoft teams? 

Now, I DO wear a mask when I am going into a public space such as a grocery store.. or when I went to the DR office the other day for a wellness exam.  But, those are brief visits where I also stay well away from other people.  

There was a recent study that was done in a prison setting where it showed that transmission was happening even when there may have been only very brief.. minutes long unmasked exposures.. Honestly, I'm thinking that the transmission was happening despite the masks anyway.. they gap.. they are not always of a medical filtration level that is sufficient to catch the virus.. they aren't worn properly anyway.

Don't get me totally wrong.  I DO wear my mask.. I do it for multiple reasons.

1.  Politeness as it is an outward sign that I am doing the right thing to at least attempt to not be a carrier of the virus

2.  It's mandated and while there are exceptions.. It's just easier to not buck that system.. 

3.  There is some small chance that it might catch one or two viruses that someone else breathes out... I absolutely wouldn't rely on a mask to be around someone I KNOW has the virus.. but it may be a "better than nothing" attempt.

What I really rely on is not going places.. not having visitors.. limiting trips to stores.. not having any hair or nail appointments.. I literally have not gotten my hair touched since last December... I have not had my nails done since Feb (except my lame attempts).. I consolodated my annual wellness visit at my GYN so that I only had to make one trip to a medical facility in one day.. Eating out? nope.  

But.. it is easy for one person to become a spreader.. like your uncle did and it only takes one time to make a bad decision like he did at that meeting.. for it to go wrong.

tog redux's picture

Masks do offer some protection. That's why doctors and nurses have always worn them. He would be less likely to have gotten COVID if he had worn a mask. 

 

Crspyew's picture

Even in an enclosed space masks are an important mitigation.  It was reckless and irresponsible for those in the meeting to disregard wearing masks.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I know you CAN still get COVID even with wearing a mask, but it does eliminate quite some risk to getting it.

My mom sent me an article of a study that said the CDC changed it from being prolonged exposure such as 15 minutes or more to several shorter encounters in a 24 hour period can expose you just as much to catching the virus if exposed to a carrier of it or someone with it.

When we were visiting the small town bf is from, within that town bascially any stores, etc. no one was wearing a mask even though it is state mandated and I was surprised. The signs on the doors don't say "required" like they do here, but say "recommended."

It is definitely a shame!

You are much more careful than we are. We do go to the store only 1 a week, go out to eat outdoors, I do get my nails done every 3 weeks (did not between end of Feb - July), had my hair done once (last week), and I have been to the doctors a few times not by much choice but necessity (asthma that wouldn't get better). However, as soon as we get home from anywhere the clothes come off to be washed, we get a shower, we constantly wipe everything down and sanitize, etc. I don't even take my purse anymore inside places because I read that leather purses can be a major carrier. I see a handful of people that I know are taking the same percautions as we are and unfortunately, this weekend we will be risking seeing 2 people that don't and I really hope it does not come back to bite us in the ass.

ESMOD's picture

I read that same article.. it was about a study at a prison.. and they found that some people were exposed even when people were wearing a mask almost all the time. though there were some "brief" instances throughout the day where masks were not worn.. for minutes or moments.. that added up to as little as 15 minutes a day.

But they can't pinpoint exactly when that transmission occured can they?  They don't know if the transmission occured in the 10 minutes cummulative that the people were not wearing a mask.. or during the hours where everyone was wearing a mask. 

What has been discovered is that the virus is aerosolized to the point where it can remain suspended in the air long after it comes out of your lungs.. and that this can be made more "virus laden" when the area is small and less ventilated.  So, you are better off outdoors with a free exchange of air vs in a small conference room.  

So.. again..masks may provide a false sense of security.. when what people should really be doing is avoiding confined areas with groups of people.  

Even now.. limiting visits with relatives is probably what people need to do.  It is not the time to go visit people outside your immediate household.. in fact.. I can see the quandry that people are in when they have visitation since it absolutely is mixing households.. and that does increase risk.. (even if the risk to the household members may be relatively low due to their age).. no one likes being sick.. even a cold.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

article, but did not want to say so if it was not.

What frustrates me is I wish people did that from the get go. I mean people did, but not everyone. I feel like if the lock down had gone as it was intended instead of people pushing the limits or not following it at all, things would be better off now. We didn't see anyone for months, it was not until mid June that we saw anyone, both worked from home, we went outside for walks only, etc. Now people, even myself, especially with the holidays coming up, do not want to stay away from the loved ones they have been for so much of the year.

I may be wrong, but it seems as though the people getting the virus now are not getting AS sick as they were. Not saying it is okay to get it now, it is no big deal, not by a long shot, but I am not as worried about the family that has it currently as I would have been some months ago.

ESMOD's picture

My husband's cousin.. who I dubbed the "covidiot" was one of those people.. she "rushed to get her mani pedi in" before the announced lockdown for these services.. she also took advantage of a great "cheap trip to mexico all inclusive".. at the beginning of the pandemic.. after we KNEW it was out there and spreading.. then she comes back and laments all over social media how she is SURE she has it now.. and has all these symptoms and "I can't get a test".. then she finally gets a test.. and it's negative..and just as soon as she gets 'out of quarantine" mode.. she is off renting an air bnb for a month at the beach.  I have seen her take multiple girls trips this summer etc..  and she IS a medical professional.. a dental hygenist.. of all people should understand that what she is doing is completely idiotic... but she is so un selfaware.

On the other hand.. I am sitting in my home office in a county with low positive cases and have limited my trips to the grocery store to one or fewer a week.. cook meals at home...don't visit with friends or family except a handful of times where we were outside and socially distanced.. I do wear my mask in public.. on the off chance it can do any amount of protection for me.  I'm not worrried about passing it because there is so little chance of me getting it with my limited interaction with other people.. it would be super bad luck if I happened to get it from a quick grocery trip 3 times a month. which is pretty much the only time I am in an enclosed area with other people.  My husband has similar exposure situation..so we are not a risk to each other.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I don't care how cheap it is, right now you couldn't pay me to get on a plane or anything like that. When my great grandma passed, the family decided that we will do something and spread her ashes when this is much much better. I was relieved because I had no intentions of flying to Flordia for any sort of service, etc. We took a road trip, stayed overnight at bf's dads then 1 night in a hotel in Chicago, but everything we did/saw was outside and were super careful about it. I mean as careful as you can be and be traveling. I also did go see my parents/siblings in the summer and we went to the beach, but a beach that only had about 30 people on it and it was waaay more than 6 feet apart. There are ways to still enjoy some normal things, but with percautions, at least that is how I feel about it. Once this all started, I took off my nails myself because I was like well, won't be getting them done for a while and I didn't. Luckily the nail salon I do go to is doing what they can to make it safe.

I unfortunately have risk with my bf being in the marine corps. He does what he can to stay as far away from people, but he can't not show up. I go to the office twice a week and there is only one other person here on the days I am here and she is 4 offices down from mine. Luckily my co-workers take it as seriously as I do so not really concerned there, just on the few days I have to go to a job install. Then I am around contractors/subcontractors, installers, etc. Masks, gloves and distance, luckily has paid off so far while there under those circumstances.

ndc's picture

I wear a mask in public because it is mandated here and I'm a rule follower. While I suspect it provides some level of protection,  I would not rely on masks,  especially the ill fitting cloth masks most people wear. And the way people use them - not washing them, mishandling them, touching them - I certainly don't count on masks.  I just try to avoid being indoors with people outside my circle,  which will get much more difficult as we go into our frigid winter. 

Ultimately,  I think if I get covid it will be from my family members - my DH who goes to work at a different site each day and is in and out of people's houses with no knowledge of their health or habits,  and my skids who attend full time school in person and ride a crowded school bus to get there.  The school kids (and DH) wear masks,  but incorrectly and not constantly.  I take no comfort from the masks. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

especially with me wearing make up, I must or I break out so bad!

If I get it would probably be from my family too or when I go to the job site for my work. I am wearing my mask and gloves, but there are so many people in and out of the building on install days it is crazy

SeeYouNever's picture

Covid preys on our relationships with people. I know lots of people who don't wear a mask around people they trust and go on with gatherings as normal. The virus is counting on this. It doesn't matter if you trust a person or not, they might be contagious and not even know. Everyone thinks it won't happen to them until it rips through a whole family at once. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

At this point, my great grandmother died of COVID and a decent number of people in my family have had it/have it now. It has been especially challenging because we will be moving in just over 6 months to the other side of the country so I want to be able to see certain people etc. but you have to weigh the risk not only to yourself, but the people you are seeing. Like I said for about 4 months we didn't see anyone, but things were getting kind of better so we have been within reason, but I fear we will have to go back to not especially after all the holidays coming up

futurobrillante99's picture

I've had access to free and speedy testing from Rite Aid. I pull up, do the swab and 1-2 days later I get my results. Do you have access to testing? I would encourage you and your family to get the testing done. You don't have to have symptoms to be tested at Rite Aid - and I've never been charged once.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

changed to a walgreens, in fact I think all rite aids in my area are now walgreens instead. All the people coming from Florida got tested this week or last and came up negative. However, maybe just because I don't like her, but I have a suspicion that my cousin's gf did not get re-tested even though she says she did.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

and rotate them out frequently. Masks without filters are basically useless from what I heard

ndc's picture

And yet masks without filters are what most people use. Ill fitting ones at that. Which is why I don't take much comfort from all the mask wearing. 

futurobrillante99's picture

You can say I'm simply lucky, but I've flown to Texas and South Carolina during Covid. I've traveled on a 2 week road trip with my BF to PA, NY, VT, NH and ME. I traveled with my BF to visit his FIL and the FILs new girlfriend for an overnight. I've worked remotely 4 out of 5 days a week but go into work and have to interact with other people. I grocery shop. I've been to breweries and restaurants. I've gotten my hair and nails done a few times. I've had a massage. I've been outdoors riding bikes nearly the whole time.

The key things I've done are to WEAR a mask wherever required and when near other people, limit my social circle to about 4-6 people, practice social distancing, and practice good handwashing/sanitizing. I've never been in huge maskless groups. There is no physical contact with anyone outside my small circle. I've also been tested for COVID both times after flying to Texas and SC. I was also tested in NH during our road trip just to meet travel requirements in the North East.

Long before this virus, I've been taking vitamin B, C and D at the recommendation of my doctor. There is some anecdotal evidence the D-deficiancy can leave people more susceptible to the virus (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/expert-answer...), but it's not been proven.

I know some people say masks are a hoax and it's all about controlling the masses. I disagree. I wear a mask for all the reasons ESMOD does. Partly because it's my participation in the social contract, but also because I believe it provides some mitigation in the transmittal of the virus.

Follow the guidelines, use common sense, but stay active so that you're healthy and please eat healthy to keep your immune system strong.

Yes, like most, I've had to miss out on a few things like international travel and concerts, etc. But, my life hasn't been that greatly limited due to the virus and I attribute not getting the virus to following the guidelines and using common sense.

I'm in Maryland and we had some early hot spots and we're pretty steady in our case numbers, so it's not like I live in a state that makes it easy to avoid getting sick. Several cases have happened at work, but most people caught it OUTSIDE of work. My employer is doing a great job sanitizing the place.

 

tog redux's picture

I've only traveled within NY, which has a low COVID rate, but as long as businesses are following the guidelines, I'll shop, go out to eat. I've been away for a weekend and I've had my hair cut. I've been to friend's houses who I trust and are in my bubble, and I've spent time with family.  I've seen clients in person for work. 

You do not have to live in a cave to be safe if you follow reasonable guidelines.  Our COVID rate here is 1%. I wouldn't play the lottery if I had a 1% chance of winning, I'm not going to hide away when I have a 1% chance of getting an illness - and that 1% is without using any precautions.

Be careful, stay out of large groups inside, wear your mask, and stay apart from people. Don't go to businesses that have groups of maskless people congregating. Don't go to large indoor events. 

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

My sister goes to college in New York and I am very happy how the school prepared for everyone going back and they have been doing much better than colleges in other states because they did prepare and are actively testing, etc.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

I think the mask if you're wearing the RIGHT kind of mask can definitely mitigate things. BF and I have been in general just trying to be healthier in our eating, drinking, and been keeping track of our exercise. We just bought a bubble backpack that now our cat also comes on our 1.5 mile+ walks a day. Everyone has been enjoying us getting back into actively trying to be healthier.

Im in NOVA so I know what you mean!

futurobrillante99's picture

At first I bought N95 masks but they were not the medical kind. I have a box of the basic medical masks with the blue paper on one side and the elastic over the ears. If you rotate them and leave them in the car, it's possible to reuse them after a day or two. Covid doesn't survive to well when exposed to sunshine.

When exercising, I'll wear a nylon buff to pull up over my nose and mouth, but we're usally not very close to people when riding bikes or hiking.

I don't really use the t-shirt material type masks most people use and I don't like the cloth ones that everyone is wearing but can't keep up over their noses (the ones designed to fit over the nose more comfortably). I see a lot of people with noses hanging out. Yuck. The basic masks I use cover my nose and mouth comfortably.

Everywhere we went in the NE had plexiglass shields - stores, restaurants, bars, etc. Everyone was socially distanced, plenty of hand sanitizer and everyone was wearing masks. It was great to see and a good reason why Vermont, in particular, has very low virus rates.

We really did our part not to mess with their numbers and followed all rules while on our trip. We mostly camped, but stayed in hotels and an airbnb - everything was very clean wherever we went.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Ones my parents neighbor made. I try and wear only one a day then I take out the filter and wash it. I have about 8 of these so I just rotate the masks and the filters

tog redux's picture

I have surgical masks through work and I usually wear those - occasionally a cloth mask if I'm going into a restaurant and will be taking it off, or just running into a store.

The Northeast is low because they took all kinds of precautions that make it safer - and if the majority of people follow those, that makes everyone safer.  I haven't seen a maskless person in my local Wegmans for 6 months.  People are complying, and it shows. But we can still go out and do fun stuff.

Cover1W's picture

It's like knowing where cholera comes from, but you can't see it or taste it and the water looks clean and everyone else is drinking from that well, so why not?  Everyone else looks healthy....

or

I'm visiting a known malaria area but I don't need any nasty malaira drugs, those mosquitoes look normal to me and besides, those mosquito nets just trap the heat and night and I can't sleep so I don't use them - it's not like any scientists say differently anyway...

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

Unknown water, I don't mess with. My bosses' neighbors daughter got some brain eating parasite from going in this unknown lake over the summer, it is extremely rare and she was dead within a week, was only 17. Very very sad and another reason why stuff like that I don't mess with at all. 

futurobrillante99's picture

I disagree. If your friend wore a mask, but touched a surface someone had sneezed on (unbeknownst to her) and then touched her face without washing her hands, she may have exposed herself to it. It's not enough JUST to wear a mask. You have to be diligent about handwashing and not touching your face.

futurestepmomnowstepgf's picture

If masks did nothing the numbers would of never dropped especially with things opening back up 

queensway's picture

Mamabear, I hope your friend will be okay. This virus kills some people. And I hope you will wear a mask.

tog redux's picture

How do you know when she caught it? They are not pointless.

Also - handwashing is key.

Cover1W's picture

I work in a research faciility that is working on combatting COVID. We have almost weekly updates directly from the SCIENTISTS  who research this.

* If masks were worn by 75% of the population at all times when out of the house/out of isolation then the epidemic would be stopped.

* If you wear a mask out but are with people that do not your protection drops to 50% - because masks prevent YOU, the mask weaerer, from giving it to others.

* Basically, leave the area if you are around other people not wearing masks who you do not know are COVID free.

That's it. It's not hard. I live an an area with low transmission because we ALL WEAR MASKS. It's such a simple concept to prevent a potentially highly transmittable, often fatal or at least debilitating (you don't hear of those who get it, get very sick and are not hospitalized), and has lasting effects after the COVID sickness is gone - it's respiratory and potentially circulatory system injuring.

 

Gimlet's picture

Right?  Even if it meant just a small risk improvement (and it's more than that), it's worth it. 

My husband's best friend is 52 and healthy.  No risk factors other than age.  He got it in March and had to call an ambulance at work this summer because he collapsed on the stairs.  He still gets tired very easily and is worried that he will have long term effects from the infection. 

queensway's picture

Thank you. Yes everyone should wear a mask. I am so sick of these people who think that the numbers aren't real or they don't believe in the virus.Why should I wear a mask. Oh sure it will just go away on its own. Nope. Please wear a mask.

still learning's picture

I agree and wish EVERYONE would take this seriously so we could get it under control.  Just this week I was exposed at the workplace. My boss called me in on a shift to cover because the previous staff was "not feeling good."  What my boss didn't tell me was that this staff had tested postive for covid and had possibly infected our clients and other coworkers as well. I unknowingly walked into this situation where one of our elderly clients later tested positive. We do wear ppe at work but it's just the basics, paper masks, gloves. I had to care for a client with a temp high enough to go to the hospital and take her temp etc while she was coughing in the room.  This is real folks! Luckily I tested negative on the rapid results test but am now home quarantining while I await the longer test.  I'm livid that my workplace allowed me and several other staff to knowingly be exposed without full disclosure.  The sick staff and all her kids are now covid positive.  Apparently she didn't do much distancing in her personal life and brought it to work.  Now me and my entire family who have been super careful are at risk.  

Wearing a mask and social distancing is a small inconvience to slow and prevent this spread.  The risk of transmission between 2 people is very small if they are both wearing masks.  

Meeting are usually boring and ineffective any, they should have done a phone or zoom session.  Very stupid for all involved.  I guess we know that if his coworkers jumped off a bridge then he would too.  

Cover1W's picture

You are lucky.  My neighbor's daugher just tested positive because a co-worker showed up to work with active symptoms, rapidly became sicker during the day, no masks, AND then he told his supervisor that he had tested positive for COVID. WTF?  The entire office was immediately shut down and deep cleaned. Now her whole household is on lockdown.  We are hoping she doesn't get the symptoms because she is high risk.

I have three friends who have had relatives die of it, and another who "recovered" with side problems.

It's serious.

Mamabearof3's picture

You disagree lol ok just make stuff up then. She’s fine. So am I. We both had it. Families all fine. Flu. Pneumonia. Cancer. Riding in cars. All deadly. I have auto immune issues and wearing a mask destroys my health so no thanks. I managed to survive covid with my health issues but ten mins in a mask and I’m sick for hours.

queensway's picture

Oh well there you have it. All is well in Mama Land. Good for you. Surely the only person you care about is yourself. And I bet you think the earth is flat.

queensway's picture

Your letter of the day is N. Your number of the day is 95. Spread the word.  N95 And please don't spread the virus. PEACE

Wilhelm's picture

I agree with wearing a mask. At the moment here ( qld, Australia) we have no known cases out in the population. People are to quarantine for 2 weeks if they come into the state.

Generally people here are not wearing masks, not even at the local hospital.

I do have two friends who caught the virus early on while on a cruise. One of them nearly lost her life and another of her friends from the cruise died. I always carry a mask and avoid indoor public areas. We live a pretty much outdoor lifestly in Australia.

Asian workers in the area are all wearing masks but they did prior to the pandemic.