Advice on the use of masks in the context of COVID-19 World Health Organisation 5th June 2020
“Masks can be used either for protection of healthy persons (worn to protect oneself when in contact with an infected individual) or for source control (worn by an infected individual to prevent onward transmission). However, the use of a mask alone is insufficient to provide an adequate level of protection or source control, and other personal and community level measures should also be adopted…”
transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis The Lancet May 2020. (funded by World Health Organization) This reviews the science relating to transmission of the Covid virus, according to distance, masks and eye coverings, with the recommendation that more detailed experiments should take place – eg variations of face covering layers. “Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection ……For the currently foreseeable future (ie, until a safe and effective vaccine or treatment becomes available), COVID-19 prevention will continue to rely on non-pharmaceutical interventions, including pandemic mitigation in community settings……These data also suggest that wearing face masks protects people (both health-care workers and the general public) against infection by these coronaviruses,”
The New England Journal droplet scatter experiment
The New England Journal of Medicine – April 2020. Using laser light-scattering technology, it shows a researcher talking, both with and without a face covering, and then with a slightly damp washcloth over the mouth. Click here for video.
Reductions in infections when face coverings mandated
Where countries have mandated face coverings the rate of infection from Covid has reduced very significantly and many lives saved.
‘UK Government accused of sleepwalking into disaster over coronavirus’ is a Daily Motion video April 2020 (at 21mins in)
To test effectiveness of your material check out with a spice trial. “Place small pieces of your materials over a glass, sprinkle some spice powder on it and then carefully pour some water on it to let in run through. Compare with a glass of clear tap water – the more discoloured the water the less effective the material!” The Good and the Bad about DIY face masks by Little Hands Design April 2020.
Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic? Cambridge University Press 2013. The experiment was for droplets and aerosols passing through from someone coughing. It did not test for these passing through the air and then through the fabric of a wearer. The results per fabric were as shown above at the materials strip. The table of results in the study showed that the protection for double fabric of tea towels was even higher than for the surgical mask used.
How long might Covid19 be active on a face covering?
“I suspect that you can find viability of the virus for several hours to maybe a day on clothes,” infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Maryland, tells Health. “It depends largely on the environmental conditions—temperature and humidity impact the growth of the virus.”
In general, Dr. Adalja says he doesn’t believe that clothes act as a “major vehicle spread” for the new coronavirus. Health.com April 2020
The scientific advances we need to stop COVID-19. Bill Gates 23rd April 2020
“I see global innovation as the key to limiting the damage.” He goes into detail of innovations in treatments, vaccines, testing, contact tracing, and policies for opening up.
What you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccine Bill Gates 30th April 2020
Bill Gates believes that it is unlikely that an effective treatment for Covid19 will be developed, so “In order to stop the pandemic, we need to make the vaccine available to almost every person on the planet. We’ve never delivered something to every corner of the world before.”
“Our foundation is the biggest funder of vaccines in the world, and this effort dwarfs anything we’ve ever worked on before. It’s going to require a global cooperative effort like the world has never seen.“
“As of April 9, there are 115 different COVID-19 vaccine candidates in the development pipeline. I think that eight to ten of those look particularly promising.”
“Our foundation—both through our own funding and through CEPI—has been supporting the development of an RNA vaccine platform for nearly a decade. We were planning to use it to make vaccines for diseases that affect the poor like malaria, but now it’s looking like one of the most promising options for COVID.”
Gates’ hope is that such a vaccine will be as widely available as it needs to be in around October 2021.
Hindsight or ignoring scientific foresight?
In 2015 Bill Gates gave a Ted talk “The next outbreak? We’re not ready”
“now’s the time, Bill Gates suggest[ed], to put all our good ideas into practice, from scenario planning to vaccine research to health worker training. As he sa[id], “There’s no need to panic … but we need to get going.””
In July 2017 the report on Exercise Cygnus was produced and The Guardian has published it in full. “It stated as its “key learning” that “the UK’s preparedness and response, in terms of its plans, policies and capability, is currently not sufficient to cope with the extreme demands of a severe pandemic that will have a nationwide impact across all sectors”.
The report recommended that a comprehensive “pandemic concept of operations” be created and that NHS England should conduct further work to prepare “surge capacity” in the health service.
It explicitly recommended that the social care system needed to be able to expand if it were to cope with a “worst-case scenario pandemic”..”