To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

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Gaybutton
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To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Gaybutton »

I am among the people who think the masks are essentially useless, but I wear mine in public anyway. I can't think of a valid reason not to wear it, the exception being people who want a mask, but can't find any. The mask shortage has been happening for weeks. I have no idea what is taking so long to re-supply, but that's the way it is nevertheless.

I see no excuse for refusal to wear a mask in public, useless or not, because so many people get upset with people who are not wearing a mask. Wearing a mask isn't going to harm anyone, so if you have a mask, then wear the fucking mask.

Besides, so many places are not allowing entry to anyone without a mask.

I haven't seen anything in the news that tells us how many people who did become ill were faithfully wearing their masks, but became ill anyway.
_________________________________________________________________________________________

Tensions rise between some foreigners who refuse to wear masks and local Thai businesses and residents

By Adam Judd

Saturday, 28 March 2020

As the Covid-19 situation worsens in Pattaya and Thailand and local entertainment venue workers have now been out of work for almost two weeks with no sign of relief in the near future, local Thai residents have begun to complain to the local Thai news media, including The Thai version of The Pattaya News, about some foreigners not wearing masks. Additionally, foreigners have been reporting to The Pattaya News English about claims of being told they have to wear a mask in public by local law enforcement officials or face a fine. The Pattaya News was unable to independently verify these claims.

In the Western World many doctors preach not to wear masks, to conserve them for medical staff and that they do not provide protection from the Covid-19 virus. The World Health Organization also advises that wearing a mask is not needed unless one is already sick or in the medical profession. Here is a link to some of the science behind these viewpoints:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/disease ... -use-masks

However, many Asian doctors, especially from China, claim against the Western scientific advice that mask wearing helped stop the virus in China. This advice is what is primarily adhered to by Asian countries, including Thailand, which has heavily stressed wearing a mask as part of its prevention measures against Covid-19.

In Thailand and Pattaya places that require wearing a mask have been steadily increasing. Signs on public transportation, Makro, Banks and even 7-11 state that patrons will not be allowed in without a mask.

One user e-mail to The Pattaya News, from Kenneth, an expat resident, stated the following:

“I was going to visit a local grocery store for groceries and wasn’t wearing a mask as my country advises against it if you are not sick. Upon entry, the security guard immediately became confrontational and aggressive, nearly physical, to the fact I was not wearing a mask. I was not aware of the policy and would have been happy to comply, however, the aggressive nature and the guard continuing to point towards the door cost them my business, not just now but likely permanently.”

However, as an alternate viewpoint, from the Thai owner of a popular Thai Coffee Shop on Beach Road located not far from Central Pattaya, who did not give her name via e-mail but only stated she owned the shop:

“Most Foreigners won’t wear masks. They don’t think this helps. This is not what we have been told and it scares us when they come close and won’t wear one. Yes, some Thai’s don’t wear them also but almost every foreigner won’t wear them and it makes me worried that every day I am working in my take away shop I could catch the virus.”

The Pattaya News has also had several e-mails and messages stating that people were allegedly stopped by law enforcement claiming there was a fine for not wearing a mask in public. This is not true and we advise anyone stopped by these individuals to immediately call the local call center for further assistance at 1337.

In addition, finding masks in Pattaya due to a shortage is still difficult, causing many foreigners to state they were simply unable to find any to purchase and most pharmacies were out. We have also seen alleged claims on comments on social media that masks being sold at some retail outlets were “only for Thai nationals” and foreigners were forbidden from purchasing masks, making the situation more difficult.

The Thai Government has stated they are resupplying masks nationwide as quickly as possible to all citizens, residents and tourists.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/03/28/t ... residents/

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Jun
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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Jun »

Reasons to wear a mask:

1 Scientific.
The medical advice seems to be mixed. However, as I've read some studies showing the virus can spread attached to larger droplet particles in the air and remain in the air for some time (link), I intend to carry on wearing a mask until effectiveness is disproven.
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc2004973

Much less scientific, but I note the only countries which are successfully controlling this virus also have the population wearing masks. Amongst other measures.

Note the virus also can survive on surfaces. So I am one of the few to disinfect shopping trolley handles etc.


2 Cultural
All over the planet, there has been a "blame the foreigner" mindset for centuries. Why would anyone want to encourage such thinking by not wearing a mask in countries if wearing one is expected ? It's a time to conform.


When in Thailand, I wore a mask in high risk areas like on the MRT. In the UK, I wear one when I go into the grocery store, which is the only indoor place I plan to go for a few weeks.
I also don't have an endless supply of masks, so I tend to spray my mask with alcohol after use and then leave it in either sunlight or a warm place.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Trongpai »

Jun wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:37 pm
Reasons to wear a mask:
2 Cultural
All over the planet, there has been a "blame the foreigner" mindset for centuries. Why would anyone want to encourage such thinking by not wearing a mask in countries if wearing one is expected ? It's a time to conform.
It may not be a law here in Bangkok but I don't see many people without masks. Last night at my local foodland I was shopping with a mask and I did not notice anyone without one. This wondering toddler was making a bee-line in my direction when the mother went into panic mode and grabbed the child and gave me a look like I was the Frankenstein monster. This Foodland is in the burbs and I was the only farang in the store. I got the impression that everyone was giving me a wide suspicious berth. The cashier threw my change and receipt on the counter and took a step back. She did not do that with the two Thais in line just before me.

I would not be surprised if there were some acts of public aggression directed to an unmasked farang.

BTS and MRT require masks as does many other places in Bangkok.

I noticed today some makeshift plastic face shields attached to baseball caps for sale. Add a face mask and you're outfitted similar to what medical personnel are wearing in the ER's.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Bangkokian »

Gaybutton wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:15 pm
I am among the people who think the masks are essentially useless,
I used to be of the same opinion and quite vociferous about it, quoting the WHO advice.
Saying that the masks allow the virus to enter to the user but that they stop droplets of virus bearing drops of fluid (cough etc.) -- so the only people who need to wear them are people already infected. And I'm not infected am I? No fever, no cough.
That is until it emerged that people can be infected even when asymptomatic. In other words, you can be passing on the virus without suspecting that you are infected.
We wear masks for the protection of OTHER people, not ourselves.
Surgeons etc. wear masks to protect the patient, not themselves.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by ceejay »

I went to the Sriphat Medical Centre in Chiang Mai on Friday last week. They have a screening unit outside, and they are dressed in full biohazard suits. If you did not have a mask, you were given one.

You cannot now enter some places (such as Kad Suan Kaew mall) without a mask, which renders whether or not you want to wear one moot.

I agree with Trongpai. A farang not wearing a mask runs the risk of being on the receiving end of public aggression on the street.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Trongpai »

ceejay wrote:
Mon Mar 30, 2020 4:09 pm
I went to the Sriphat Medical Centre in Chiang Mai on Friday last week. They have a screening unit outside, and they are dressed in full biohazard suits. If you did not have a mask, you were given one.
It was the same at Bumrungrad. It appears that medical staff don't have the confidence in masks alone as sufficient protection. The medical staff and doctors were in full head gear, not just the face shield, full head cover and long sleeve biohazzard suits.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Jun »

Science:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... -mechanism
In particular, the third paragraph.

Culture:
When visiting or living in a foreign country, people should expect to respect the requirements of that country and in particular any requirement which COULD be justifiable & reasonable.
I just wish some who have unfortunately arrived in my country would be equally respectful

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Gaybutton »

WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick

By Jacqueline Howard, CNN

March 30, 2020

(CNN) - World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.

"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

"There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage," Ryan said about masks and other medical supplies. "Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, an infectious disease epidemiologist with the WHO, also said at Monday's briefing that it is important "we prioritize the use of masks for those who need it most," which would be frontline health care workers.

"In the community, we do not recommend the use of wearing masks unless you yourself are sick and as a measure to prevent onward spread from you if you are ill," Van Kerkhove said.

"The masks that we recommend are for people who are at home and who are sick and for those individuals who are caring for those people who are home that are sick," she said.

World Health Organization officials warned at a media briefing last week that globally there is a "significant shortage" of medical supplies, including personal protective gear or PPE, for doctors.

"We need to be clear," Van Kerkhove said last week. "The world is facing a significant shortage of PPE for our frontline workers -- including masks and gloves and gowns and face shields -- and protecting our health care workers must be the top priority for use of this PPE."

https://us.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/cor ... index.html

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by Jun »

CNN wrote:
Tue Mar 31, 2020 3:47 am
"There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage," Ryan said about masks and other medical supplies. "Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."
I believe that's the main reason why they are not recommending wearing face masks in the west.

Masks are needed for health care workers and there's a shortage of them.
In some cases the shortage is due to theft (allegedly including by health service staff).

Personally, I've seen sufficient evidence to wear a mask when I go into a public building -ie the grocery store.

I'm re-using masks, so not depriving the health service of them. I spray alcohol onto the mask after use to reduce the risk of that harbouring the virus, followed by drying it in sunlight or in a warm place.

Incidentally, Austria has broken ranks by making them compulsory in supermarkets now.

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Re: To wear a mask, or not wear a mask

Post by RichLB »

For those considering not wearing masks, you might wonder why, if masks serve no function, it is deemed so essential health care workers wear them and why it is such a crisis that there is not a sufficient supply to protect them. (How's that for a run on sentence?)

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