Re: "Seeing only political science here" Letters, Oct. 4.
As a retired medical professional with a master's degree in Public Health, I’d like to respond to the author's viewpoint on mask wearing for COVID-19 protection. (Oct. 4)
This teeny virus, which the author states is 125 nanometers, is carried by bodily fluids varying in size from misty aerosol droplets to spit balls. As anyone who has worn a mask for 15 minutes can attest to, a lot of those droplets are caught in the mask. One also sees this moisture on a cold winter’s day when your breath freezes on exhalation…. Cover it with a scarf, and you get drenched, which is why masks are not to protect you but for the other guy.
Second, this teeny virus is very small compared to the weave of the cloth, however there are two layers in a tightly woven cotton mask where the weaves don’t match up, giving the screen effect much more filter. A tight seal around the edges is also important.
Third, catching the moisture in a mask decreases the viral load spread in the air and is improved with social distancing.
Fourth, the 2018 influenza research cited by the author, found at the CDC website, was a literature review of 10 random controlled trials that also noted: “Most studies were underpowered because of limited sample size, and some studies also reported suboptimal adherence in the face mask group.”
Fifth, just because small sampled, poorly controlled research, randomized or not, doesn’t show benefits, is no proof. There just needs to be more thorough studies, specifically for COVID-19.