How would you like to combat a flu virus? Would you prefer to hide in a cave and wait until it passes? Or, combat it while developing a certain level of immunity? Most senior virologist and epidemiologist would recommend the second option but we all tried the first option without even bothering about the technicalities. Some even argued that it helped in flattening the spread curve but in reality, it merely delayed. The article Coronavirus: Scare vs Cure briefly discussed all these points.
Under the revised guidelines, CDC recommends the use of cloth masks assuming that SARS-CoV-2 is airborne based on a recent study and also spreads through droplets according to the WHO guidelines. Face shields and surgical masks are to be avoided for greater good. We all are now happy and fearless to go out in the open by covering our faces with a piece of cloth, special masks, or even a baby diaper. The sanctity lies in achieving the source control thereby preventing respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people. I believe that wearing a baby diaper would be more effective as I have seen and tested its effectiveness with my own baby. The shit never comes out. And I strongly believe that none of the shit can go in too. To support my argument, let us discuss in detail about the pore sizes. The N95 filter physical pore size is 0.3 micron. The SARS-CoV-2 size is 0.12. The micropores in a baby diaper are made up of super absorbent polymer consisting of pore size at around 0.4 micron. The article argues that SARS-CoV-2 doesn’t fly in air alone, they are mixed with water droplets or aerosols. The reason why N95 masks are effective. On that note, I would like to argue that a baby diaper would also be as effective.
A news daily report published the findings conducted by Prof. Yang Wang about effectiveness of N95. The respirators are effective only when they are doubled with eye protectors. The following image from a study reveals a similar picture:
I don’t understand why Netherlands has rejected the use of masks claiming that masks have no scientific basis. Maybe they believe more in what CDC’s former director has to say and not the current one.
Hygiene and maintaining a social distance are much more effective measures. But it gets confusing when WHO recommends maintaining a social distancing of only about three feet, CDC recommends for six feet, and one of the research conducted in March recommended maintaining a social distance of at least 20 feet. The 20 feet social distance was discarded as SARS-CoV-2 was not an airborne disease at that time.
If all the guidelines and studies are to be believed then I think the only way forward is to cover our faces and hands (with gloves of course) and stand apart at 20 feet at least. Because the efficacy of these measures when followed separately is dicey at best giving a false sense of security to the people and government. And if the science behind these findings is not concrete, then reaching towards herd immunity sooner looks more plausible and maybe our only hope.