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Home Forums Medical Research The Great Mask Debate Reply To: The Great Mask Debate

  • Philip Tisdall, MD

    July 30, 2020 at 10:43 am

    There are 3 means of slowing down the spread of the virus:

    1. Social distancing

    2. Washing hands with every contact and every hour irrespective of contact.

    3. Masks. There are 2 types of droplets. Big ones that are gravity-driven to surfaces where they die in minutes (outside sunlight) or days (smooth metal surfaces). Small droplets that aerosolize as fomites and get transmitted from person to to person. All masks work on the big droplets. The quality of the mask matters for the fomites.

    It is not a straight forward discussion. Remember that this is a very contagious virus (not measles contagious but still up there). This means that most of us will eventually get infected. All we are trying to do is slow the rate of infection enough that we do not exceed hospital capacity and to protect those with a serious risk of death (over age 75 with a comorbid condition).

    After this, it is vaccine or herd immunity.