Scientists say we can end the pandemic without a vaccine

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We’re all quite familiar with the benefits of wearing face masks during the pandemic.

And while acceptance of wearing them for the foreseeable future may not quite have set in yet, scientists may have found a reason to make the process more appealing.

They say that if at least 70 per cent of the public wore face masks consistently, the pandemic could be stopped.

Studies exploring the physics of face mask use and disease transmission, as well as investigations into materials, design and other issues affecting the way face masks work, have reinforced the efficacy of masks in filtering or blocking the virus.

In the journal Physics of Fluids, investigators have collated and analysed all they know about masks, including how they should be worn and the most effective materials.

They found that wearing the right masks, the right way, could effectively eradicate the virus without the need for a vaccine.

When studying the size of fluid droplets expelled from the nose and mouth when a person talks, sings, sneezes, coughs or even simply breathes, scientists were able to identify the best masks to wear.

“Larger droplets, with sizes around 5–10 microns, are the most common,” say journal authors Sanjay Kumar and Heow Pueh Lee.  

“These droplets are still quite small, however. To compare, a human hair is about 70 microns in diameter.

“Even smaller droplets, those below five microns, are possibly more dangerous. These can become aerosolised and remain suspended in air for long periods.

“Among the many types of masks in use (cloth masks, surgical masks and N95 masks), only N95s can filter out aerosol-sized droplets.”

However, the authors acknowledge that wearing a mask for many hours on end can be uncomfortable, especially in hot and humid conditions.

This, they say, may lead to ‘short cuts’ in how masks are worn, making them less effective.

The investigators said masks made of hybrid polymer materials could effectively filter infected particles and still keep the face cool.

“There could be some relation between breathing resistance and the flow resistance of the face mask, which will need to be studied for a face mask-wearing interval,” said Heow Pueh Lee.

“Also, the environmental condition in the compartmental space within the face mask will need to be more accurately quantified using miniaturised sensors and the development of human replicas for such studies.”

The investigators studied whether face masks reduce the effective reproduction number, as when the reproduction number drops below one, the epidemic stops spreading.

They used a New York State study as an example and the results were promising.

“The results suggest that the consistent use of efficient face masks, such as surgical masks, could lead to the eradication of the pandemic if at least 70 per cent of the residents use such masks in public consistently,” said Sanjay Kumar.

“Even less efficient cloth masks could also slow the spread if worn consistently.”

The wearing of face masks in public coupled with lockdowns has enabled Victoria to go from a disastrous case rate to 30 days without a single infection.

This performance has captured the world’s attention.

The director of the United States National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr Anthony Fauci, now hails Australia as the model nation for combatting COVID-19.

“What Australia has done is the proof of the pudding,” said Dr Fauci.

“When you uniformly implement public health measures, be that full lockdown or partial lockdown, you can turn off the surges. That worked.

“It’s clear that countries and states that do not embrace restrictions do not blunt the curve as well as those that do. The epitome of that has been the success of Australia.

“I know that Victoria is down to almost no cases or even zero cases. In the US, we are in a difficult situation because of the reluctance of substantial proportions of the population not to fully implement the mitigation methods.

“There is an extraordinary divisiveness in our country. When that spills over into the implementation of public health measures – where things like wearing a mask become almost a political statement – it really complicates the issue.”

Do you take issue with wearing a face mask? Would you accept wearing a mask for the foreseeable future if it meant eradicating the virus, or would you prefer to wait for a possible vaccine?

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Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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13 Comments

Total Comments: 13
  1. 0
    0

    No, no issue at all.

    In February/March I bought N95 masks for the family along with a supply of filters. Stupidly, at least half of those had dual breather ports. In other words, those protect the user, not others. Still, we had enough without ports to go around and all started wearing them, religiously. Then began Tasmania’s very long period without any cases (after a quickly dealt with influx in the N-W from the cruise ship.) We all quickly got acquainted with no more precaution than regular hand washing and avoiding touching public things.

    Now re-opened, it is time to don masks again as it would be incredible if there were no events.

    Wear masks and get tested at the drop of a hat. There is no political implication; if nothing else your old parents deserve at least that.

    • 0
      0

      And, importantly download the app which will note your whereabouts (even if it does not seem to have been responsible for making too many connections.) Also fill out any available contact tracing diaries available at places you are visiting.

      We owe it to each other.

      We have blown a heap of the future’s gold in attempting to isolate ourselves from this. To not make that somehow work for us would be the height of idiotic extravagance.

  2. 0
    0

    “Do you take issue with wearing a face mask? Would you accept wearing a mask for the foreseeable future if it meant eradicating the virus, or would you prefer to wait for a possible vaccine?”

    Whenever we ask a group of scientists for an opinion it is an absolute certainty that there will always be a conflict. The result is that we hear comments like “the science is settled” by those who support the group of scientists that agrees with their ideology. I note the disclaimers regarding the types of masks that lessens the opinion.

    I have no issues wearing a face mask but there will always be those, like the anti-vaxxers, who won’t conform to advice that helps not only them but the rest of the population. If wearing the correct mask will eradicate COVID-19 before a vaccine is available the choice is simple.

  3. 0
    0

    More B/S designed to condition people into obedient acceptence of this Hoax.
    Masks have been proven to do more harm than good when worn for long periods and to say mask wearing cured Covid in Victoria is drawing a long bow and shows up the total lack of honesty by these so called “Scientists”

    • 0
      0

      Steff. I think you need to educate yourself further on this topic.
      It has been proven masks are effective. And I can most definitely inform you this is no hoax. I lost a family member to this disease. They were previously healthy.

    • 0
      0

      You people are blindly walking into your enslavement.
      The whole lot of us are going to end up wearing masks for the rest of our lives because of your blind acceptence of all these ridiculous Covid rules
      Meanwhile the great Reset continues and is right out in the open now and you Fools still believe this Covid Hoax.

    • 0
      0

      The problem with your post Steph”, is that no one has actually said COVID-19 has been ‘cured in Victoria” at all whether due to mask-wearing or something else.

      At best it has been controlled but there is no cure.

      Such a shame that you feel the need to be rude to anyone who disagrees with you when you can’t get the basics right in your own post.

    • 0
      0

      907 deaths in Australia, NZ 25, France over 50,000, USA over one quarter of a million. The southern hemisphere countries were lucky to be able to seal their borders. Steff, get real, wear a mask, comply with all health recommdations. I shall get vaccinated and continue with the other precautions for a while yet. Please do the same and be respectful to those who have lost friends and family, or who are suffering long-term after effects.

    • 0
      0

      Steff, you should move to the US. You’d fit in well there!

    • 0
      0

      Okay Steff, if that is how you feel then go with it. But be sure that any time a medical professional wears a mask when treating you, be it your podiatrist, dentist or cardiac surgeon, let them know that they are not required to wear a mask when treating you as you do not believe in them.
      As for wearing masks having been proved to be harmful when worn for long periods, my ex-nurse wife tells here is an element of truth in this. in a clinical setting masks should not be used for more than four hours before being replaced ie on an 8-hour shift a minimum of two masks. In an infectious setting a new mask (and gown and gloves) will be worn when going between patients. It is not because wearing a mask is harmful but because with the the passage of time the mask itself may become contaminated. However in a non-clinical setting a mask can be used for an indefinite period.
      Of course masks need maintaining, just as one would change clothing on a regular basis and launder them, masks need changing and laundering (or disposal) as well. Just simple hygiene.
      You can find ‘opinions’ on the internet saying that masks can be harmful, just the same as you can probably find opinions that smoking tobacco does not cause cancer, asbestos is harmless and DDT is your friend. But Steff, these ‘internet opinions. do not make it true.

  4. 0
    0

    “They found that wearing the right masks, the right way could effectively eradicate the virus without the need for a vaccine.”

    All well and good but it simply wouldn’t happen! People simply cannot follow basic instructions about mask-wearing. How many people do you see with their noses uncovered? How many masks do you see that do not make a good seal round the wearer’s mouth and nose even when the nose is covered? How many people do you see with the mask round their chin? How many people are going to be wearing masks when all other forms of compulsion such as heavy fines are removed? And mask-wearing is not a solution by itself. You still have to maintain social distancing and that means including at home with friends and family from different households. That is not going to happen either and we can see this already with the relaxation of rules.

    Good Luck Mr Fauci getting 70% of Americans in all states, in all towns in all counties to wear a well-fitting mask appropriately. Even in Australia that would be impossible without punitive actions for not doing so. Just look at the difference between Sydney and Melbourne in the mask-wearing stakes. It was never mandatory in NSW and only strongly advised in places such as supermarkets and rarely if ever did 70% of people comply!


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