Is 2 metre distancing really necessary ?

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  • RoyC
    Participant

    The 2 metre distancing is designed for high velocity droplets possibly containing virus produced in uncontrolled coughing and sneezing. The wearing of face masks contains these droplets so the means of tranmission is primarily by physical contact. Therefore enhanced cleaning of surfaces plus atmospheric disinfection (i.e. spraying) plus masks eliminates any need for spacing. The only theoretical problem is eating and drinking in flight – no problem short haul but for long haul ? Could pre-boarding health check be sufficient precaution ?

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    ASK1945
    Participant

    The 2 metre distancing is designed for high velocity droplets possibly containing virus produced in uncontrolled coughing and sneezing. The wearing of face masks contains these droplets so the means of tranmission is primarily by physical contact. Therefore enhanced cleaning of surfaces plus atmospheric disinfection (i.e. spraying) plus masks eliminates any need for spacing. The only theoretical problem is eating and drinking in flight – no problem short haul but for long haul ? Could pre-boarding health check be sufficient precaution ?

    RoyC: your explanation is only partially accurate.

    Whilst droplets (from sneezing and coughing) do drop to the ground, there is an aerosol effect as the virus has very fine particles which linger in the air in enclosed spaces for up to an hour.

    It’s not often I say this (if ever!), but Michael O’L is correct when he said that leaving the middle seat empty will have no positive effect.


    RoyC
    Participant

    ASK1945 – what you are saying is correct and without face masks the 2 m. distancing may only eliminate 95% of droplets but my point was that by wearing masks the 2 m. distancing is not necessary. Ryanair is our most convenient flight from Algarve to Bristol and I shall have no problem sitting with a mask on for 2 hours without eating or drinking. Going to Dubai to see our son is a different problem.

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    If masks are not used the virus will continue to spread in most countries

    Where masks have been used by everyone for an extended period the virus is well under control.

    As yet there are no short cuts or half measures that have not proved to be problematic.

    It’s not rocket science and why there is this continued residence rather baffles me.

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    SimonS1
    Participant

    Where masks have been used by everyone for an extended period the virus is well under control.

    Sweeping statement.

    One of the first countries to move to a lockdown, disinfection and masks was UAE – people were asked on 4th March to wear masks outside the home and Steve Harvey was quoting it as the “safest place on earth”.

    I was talking to my team in Dubai this morning, announced cases this week are the highest yet and up about 50% on last week. Doesn’t sound well under control to me – perhaps that is why Steve Harvey is a comedian?

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    Agreed a ‘Sweeping statement’ but a largely correct one.
    Dubai clearly has a problem which is very possibly due to greatly increased testing and a substantial drop in mask wareing

    “We are seeing an increase, and this is particularly relevant for the Gulf countries, as there’s been an increase in the testing capacity,” Richard Brennan, WHO’s regional emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean, said on a conference call on Tuesday. “Associated with that, there’s been an active outreach to the community members to encourage them to be tested.”

    Confirmed 21,084 +698
    Recovered 6,930
    Deaths 208

    I have a brother-in-law in Dubai who has the virus and is in hospital. We speak to him every day of course and he relates that many people have stopped routinely wearing masks or properly distancing over the past couple of weeks. BTW He seems to be doing OK at the moment but it is early days for him.


    Roger
    Participant

    Actually, from what I have read, medical opinion regarding the efficacy of masks is divided and certainly not as cut & dried as would seem to be implied in some of these posts.

    The virus particles are minute, and several orders of magnitude smaller than the holes in all face coverings, so it is not at all clear what purpose wearing a mask serves other than perhaps to provide a ‘comfort blanket’ to oneself and others.

    And 2 metre distancing is not a universally recognised requirement – the exact distance varies from country to country.

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    canucklad
    Participant

    a mask serves other than perhaps to provide a ‘comfort blanket’ to oneself and others.

    And 2 metre distancing is not a universally recognised requirement – the exact distance varies from country to country.

    Sum’s up , why as travellers we pretty much cork screwed ….Every individual country adopting a different approach or interpretation of their own medical experts has led us to a global situation that makes the current situation here in the UK between our own 4 countries seem like a walk in the park.

    Too many ego’s (both leaders and experts) creating so much noise that clarity and common sense is being drowned out.

    So much so that Paranoia is fast becoming more dangerous than the Virus itself. Governments need to ratify agreements to allow us to live with invisible menace and get on with our lives.

    If anyone saw the report of the Japanese Cruise Ship experiment you’ll know what I mean !

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    Roger
    Participant

    I agree canucklad, especially about clarity and common sense being drowned out by “noise”.

    I shall refrain from commenting about the political class!


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Actually, from what I have read, medical opinion regarding the efficacy of masks is divided and certainly not as cut & dried as would seem to be implied in some of these posts.

    The virus particles are minute, and several orders of magnitude smaller than the holes in all face coverings, so it is not at all clear what purpose wearing a mask serves other than perhaps to provide a ‘comfort blanket’ to oneself and others.

    And 2 metre distancing is not a universally recognised requirement – the exact distance varies from country to country.

    Roger

    I have commented extensively about face masks on other threads – and your second paragraph “completely hits the mark”.

    What makes it worse – in the UK – is the lack of understanding of the population about their use, their purpose and how to use them effectively.

    Every day I do an hour’s exercise around our area. This morning was typical. About a quarter of people I passed were wearing masks of different qualities. Some were wearing PPE2 masks, which are actually designed for operating theatres – not necessary for daily exercise! About half of those wearing masks were wearing them inappropriately – not covering their nose, or even resting them under their chin, as they were talking to someone.

    I saw several pull up their masks back over their face using their ungloved fingers – probably rendering the masks useless anyway.

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    SimonS1
    Participant

    I have commented extensively about face masks on other threads – and your second paragraph “completely hits the mark”.

    What makes it worse – in the UK – is the lack of understanding of the population about their use, their purpose and how to use them effectively.

    You are right, the WHO has always said masks have limited effectiveness especially when not used correctly. However politics is also about gestures, and by doing this it helps to pander to the Sun readers and Facebook medical experts who think ‘something must be done’.

    Personally I am ambivalent, if it reduced the risk by 10% it is worth doing, however I cannot see that it is a panacea for Covid 19.

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    Roger
    Participant

    ASK1945

    Thanks.

    If you are interested, Dr John Lee, a retired pathologist, has written a very illuminating article about face masks in ‘The Spectator’ (about four or five weeks back, from memory). You may, of course, have already seen it. If not, non-subscribers – of which I am one – can access a couple of free articles every month.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    Roger

    Thank you for the suggestion.

    However, as I described in a different thread, I have been involved in the health sector for over 50 years and have copious material already to support what I have written.

    It’s not me who needs an “illuminating” article but the British public. As SimonS1 quite correctly said:

    ” ………….politics is also about gestures, and by doing this it helps to pander to the Sun readers and Facebook medical experts who think ‘something must be done’.”


    Roger
    Participant

    ASK1945

    Fair enough – I don’t think I was suggesting you needed an illuminating article, simply that you might find it interesting.

    I’m not sure the British public is interested in illumination. I think they have formed a view about the way things are and the dangers (as they perceive them) of attempting to get back to something approaching normality too quickly, and I think the government now finds itself in the position of having to pander to their fears and insecurities as well as to pressure from mainstream and social media. And that presents a problem in terms of the way forward and the pace at which they can move.

    I worked closely with, and advised, politicians for more than thirty years, so I understand a bit about how politics works.

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    cwoodward
    Participant

    It has been mentioned above that masks are not a panacea for Covid 19 and I don’t believe that anyone has ever seriously proclaimed that they are.

    However where masks have been used extensively for long periods of time by all the outcomes have been much better than in countries where that has not been the case.
    In several of the more advanced (richer) Asian countries masks have been universally warn with the result that the outcomes in these countries have been far far better than in countries where masks have not been used. 10% better has been alluded to above. A 70 to 80% better outcome would be nearer the mark.

    Masks have never been mandatory in Hong Kong yet 99% of the population where masks 99% of the time and have been doing so since January
    Given its proximity to China, the large number of incoming travellers and open boarders in the early months and it’s very densely populated small geographic footprint HK was a prime candidate for a very serious if not disastrous virus situation…..it didn’t happen.
    The number of cases and fatalities in HK and the other countries mentioned has been very small and most have large very densely populated areas.
    Wearing a mask outdoors very quickly becomes a habit. We keep a box next to the front door and it is now automatic to take one on the way out.

    As a comparison had the UK with its huge resources, richer, far less dense population spread and much more time to prepare taken proper and appropriate action sooner and the population had worn masks then the present disaster and huge loss if life would I am certain have been largely prevented.

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