Is 2 metre distancing really necessary ?

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Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 58 total)

  • SimonS1
    Participant

    10% better has been alluded to above. A 70 to 80% better outcome would be nearer the mark.

    Actually I said “if it is worth the risk by 10% it is worth doing”.

    I wouldn’t hazard a guess on the difference it actually makes, as (like you) if I was an expert in virology we wouldn’t be debating on here.

    In my experience Asians have always had an attachment to masks, I have seen people wearing them on Dubai metro for years.


    ASK1945
    Participant

    cwoodward wrote: ” ………………….. 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.”

    This has already been discussed on another thread – and I wrote that I was concerned primarily with the wearing of masks for long flights. Short flights, up to an hour would not necessitate removal of the mask for drinks or food, and neither would a one-hour or less tube journey. Once the mask is handled, it becomes useless.

    However, I cannot let the above assertion go unchallenged. Specifically, you wrote “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.” Whilst this may be factually accurate, it is very simplistic to decide this as “cause and effect”. There are many reasons why outcomes are different in some countries – and the wearing of masks MAY be one of these.

    As SimonS1 has written, there is a suggestion of a 10% reduction of outcomes has been posed (although it’s difficult to imagine how this was measured in a randomised controlled trial), but to assert that the effect is a 70 to 80% reduction is completely unevidence based.


    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    Regarding the suggestion of a 10% decrease through wearing masks, like most other posters here I am no expert – but I do find that assertion somewhat difficult to believe. Yes, the virus particles are small enough to pass through most masks, but I would find it extraordinary if 90% of them got through (yes, I know the statistics don’t work quite like that, but I suspect it is close enough).

    As alluded to above, Hong Kong has an incredibly dense population – 400 square miles, of which 40% is country park and another 35% is agricultural or semi-rural, leaving about 7.5 million people populating a little over 150 square miles. It is also heavily dependent on mass public transport. Its lockdown has been less severe than most countries (leaving aside mandatory 14-day quarantine after entering HK). It was one of the first places impacted outside mainland China.

    Yet out of that population of about 7.5 million there have been just 1,056 confirmed cases, and four deaths. And however much scepticism others may express, I do believe that a lot of this is because people almost immediately started wearing masks, and taking other precautions such as avoiding touching “common” surfaces (a lot of people in my office go around with a tissue to open doors, press buttons etc and then dispose of the tissue), using hand sanitisers frequently and so on.

    I also can’t help wondering whether the double-wearing of masks – ie a carrier wearing a mask and a potential victim wearing a mask – doesn’t reduce the risk still further, so that a 10% reduction figure is even less plausible.

    However, as I said, I am no expert. Sometimes, though, empirical evidence can be a strong indicator of reality (ex hypothesi, you might say).

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    canucklad
    Participant

    There is a degree of “David Brailsford” thinking here….
    Attention to detail , seeking out marginal gains that will improve overall performance, ultimately making the difference between winning Gold & Silver.

    From the very beginning I’d say that the HK authorities started out on a strategy of burning the virus out rather than just managing the R0 number .

    What I liked about HK was the Infection Map that you could access on line. Seeing where in the territories people who had tested positive stayed. Ian can correct me, but from a distance it really felt as if the community were working together.

    A totally different game plan from our rulers . Whose myopic thinking has got us to where we are now. Sadly for me, the most myopic of all is turning out to be our First Minister !

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    SimonS1
    Participant

    Sadly for me, the most myopic of all is turning out to be our First Minister !

    Indeed, sad to play politics in this time. A week ago she poo-pooed the changes announced before grandly announcing the same changes a week later.

    No wonder most people don’t take these folks seriously.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    K1ngston
    Participant

    There is a degree of “David Brailsford” thinking here….
    Attention to detail , seeking out marginal gains that will improve overall performance, ultimately making the difference between winning Gold & Silver.

    From the very beginning I’d say that the HK authorities started out on a strategy of burning the virus out rather than just managing the R0 number .

    What I liked about HK was the Infection Map that you could access on line. Seeing where in the territories people who had tested positive stayed. Ian can correct me, but from a distance it really felt as if the community were working together.

    A totally different game plan from our rulers . Whose myopic thinking has got us to where we are now. Sadly for me, the most myopic of all is turning out to be our First Minister !

    A question to both you and Ian, and it is purely a question, did the unease that preceded the COVID outbreak also lead to fewer numbers in HKG as people were not really going about their business beforehand?

    I ask this because all medical expertise would point to the fact that masks are NOT instrumental in preventing the spread of the virus so there must be something other than masks that prevented widespread infection in HKG, whereby in Singapore for example cases were much higher before the dormitory effect took over and masks are prevalent there

    Super informative otherwise

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    DavidGrodentz
    Participant

    K1ngston, yes HK has been quieter, both during the protests (weekends were noticeably quieter), and during various periods during the outbreak, especially when most of the government employees were working from home and a lot of private companies followed suit.

    A lot of that is due to the absence of tourists, especially from China. Around 60 million tourists visit HK every year. But quieter is relative, as Ian’s figures show, HK is never really quiet.

    I travelled back from A holiday in Malaysia on the last day of CNY, at the end of Jan, when Covid 19 was just a relatively minor inconvenience. Everyone on the flight was wearing masks, except during the food service. The Malaysian Airlines crew were also doing the same

    I know that wearing a mask will not necessarily protect me, but I do believe that someone else wearing a mask will help to protect me, obviously combined with social distancing and other measures. If everyone wears a mask, surely that helps (in percentage terms). Even some medical experts recommend wearing masks if you are sick.

    One thought though. If someone takes the time to source and wear a mask, are they also more likely to use hand sanitizer and wash their hands more frequently? Taking it to a much baser level, we have all left a gent’s toilet directly behind someone who has gone direct from the stalls / urinals to the exit. That seems to be less common now

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    IanFromHKG
    Participant

    There is a degree of “David Brailsford” thinking here….
    Attention to detail , seeking out marginal gains that will improve overall performance, ultimately making the difference between winning Gold & Silver.

    From the very beginning I’d say that the HK authorities started out on a strategy of burning the virus out rather than just managing the R0 number .

    What I liked about HK was the Infection Map that you could access on line. Seeing where in the territories people who had tested positive stayed. Ian can correct me, but from a distance it really felt as if the community were working together.

    A totally different game plan from our rulers . Whose myopic thinking has got us to where we are now. Sadly for me, the most myopic of all is turning out to be our First Minister !

    A question to both you and Ian, and it is purely a question, did the unease that preceded the COVID outbreak also lead to fewer numbers in HKG as people were not really going about their business beforehand?

    I ask this because all medical expertise would point to the fact that masks are NOT instrumental in preventing the spread of the virus so there must be something other than masks that prevented widespread infection in HKG, whereby in Singapore for example cases were much higher before the dormitory effect took over and masks are prevalent there

    Super informative otherwise

    DavidGrodentz has already partially answered your question, K1ngston, although the WFH took a while to be introduced. Up to that point, there wasn’t much noticeable difference in activity save as regards the protests. The civil service is now back at work in offices (as am I) and generally I would say things are pretty normal here in terms of activity.

    One other point I shoudl have mentioned, though, is that a significant number of the cases in Hong Kong – and virtually all of the recent cases – were imported; and Singapore had the same problem with a significant majority (at one point) of their cases being imported. That, of course, means that there was a fairly low rate (after the peak) of locally contracted cases. The same cannot be said of the UK, I believe, where most cases were locally transmitted. In that context, one cannot help but think that the protocols people here have been using have been more effective than the 10% figure that has been quoted. As David also points out, though, that is perhaps because masks are just one element. I referred earlier to the fact that a number of people here are avoiding touching common surfaces (examples are using keys to push lift buttons, or using tissues to operate door handles, and so forth).

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    TupeloKid
    Participant

    https://www.halifaxcourier.co.uk/read-this/coronavirus-droplets-travel-further-windy-weather-and-your-height-could-affect-your-risk-contracting-it-2859090

    According to a study quoted by the Halifax Courier, my go-to source for world news, short people and those standing down-wind of a sneeze are at higher risk than taller people and those standing upwind. The same applies to farts, although I don’t think this has necessitated a formal study.

    4 users thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    Reverting to the original question – is 2 metres necessary – I relate what happened at the garden centre I went to yesterday.

    This was a large (4,400 sq metres) garden centre, mostly outdoors. The staff were letting only 28 people in at any one time; they said they had orders from the government (always a useful cop-out) to only allow 1 person per 100 sq metres (a rule that no supermarket seems to be imposing, but then they are not outdoors I suppose…). That meant a max of 44 people, and as they had 16 staff on site, the could only allow 28 customers in at a time.

    Needless to say, in the queue in the car park, we were (mostly) 2 metres apart, but instead of 100 sq metres per person, we probably had more like 8 or 10. And as soon as we were inside we all made a bee-line for the same place (the grow-your-own fruit and veg), so we were on each other’s shoulders anyway.

    The rules on social distancing do not make sense.

    2 users thanked author for this post.

    ASK1945
    Participant

    Reverting to the original question – is 2 metres necessary – I relate what happened at the garden centre I went to yesterday.

    This was a large (4,400 sq metres) garden centre, mostly outdoors. The staff were letting only 28 people in at any one time; they said they had orders from the government (always a useful cop-out) to only allow 1 person per 100 sq metres (a rule that no supermarket seems to be imposing, but then they are not outdoors I suppose…). That meant a max of 44 people, and as they had 16 staff on site, the could only allow 28 customers in at a time.

    Needless to say, in the queue in the car park, we were (mostly) 2 metres apart, but instead of 100 sq metres per person, we probably had more like 8 or 10. And as soon as we were inside we all made a bee-line for the same place (the grow-your-own fruit and veg), so we were on each other’s shoulders anyway.

    The rules on social distancing do not make sense.

    Yesterday I picked up pre-ordered groceries from Waitrose in an “oldies” window for this. Everybody was socially distanced awaiting their turn, most were wearing gloves and many masks, properly fitted to their faces.

    I went to my local garden centre this morning, also. Again, it was large and mainly outside. There was no queue for entry which was controlled, direction was controlled, 2 metre markings were measured out etc, etc.

    All the people inside were “oldies” and kept well apart – nobody came near to encroach on my space. Some people wore maks and everybody wore gloves (they were handed out). Payment was touch only and all the payment machines were outdoors.

    Today’s UK newspapers carried numerous stories about overcrowded public places, yesterday, overwhelmingly the younger generations. All through the last few weeks, our Mayor, bless him, ordered a vastly reduced train and tube services through London, even during the rush hours, so our media repeatedly showed film and pictures of young people going to work in overcrowded trains, with passengers up each others’ armpits. In my local area, during my daily one-hour exercise, I have seen parties of young people crowded together in gardens and parks, in social groupings, with no 2 meter distancing – as if the whole problem is over.

    It won’t be us “oldies” who bring on a second wave of pandemic.


    TominScotland
    Participant

    Canuklad and SimonS1 – I think in fairness to our First Minister, her concern was with the pace of unlockdown (is there such a word?) not with the principle. I am in no position to evaluate her judgement. I also happen to think that her leadership is much more reassuring and consistent than that of the mini-Trump in Downing Street but that is a personal observation!!

    1 user thanked author for this post.

    Cedric_Statherby
    Participant

    unlockdown (is there such a word?)

    As a first stab, one might assume the opposite of Lockdown should be Lockup, but somehow I don’t think that works!

    My second attempt to provide an opposite was Freeup, but again, not quite (and too close to Fry-up, of Great British Breakfast fame).

    Perhaps instead we should use the good English word Freedom.


    esselle
    Participant

    Lockdownup?

    Unlock?

    Delock?


    capetonianm
    Participant

    Liberation?

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 58 total)
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