Researchers Suggest Surprising Benefits Of Using Masks
In a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, researchers suggest that masks may be able to mitigate how severe an illness an individual gets if infected by coronavirus. Other researchers suggest that since masks hold off many pathogens, they may allow the immune system to work better if coronavirus attacks.
Severity Of Coronavirus Infection May Be Determined By Face Mask Use, Study Suggests
Face masks may limit the severity of coronavirus cases, University of California San Francisco researchers said in a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Although face coverings are more effective in preventing droplets from being expelled into the air than they are in preventing droplets from being breathed in, masks still may be able to mitigate how severe an illness an individual gets if infected by COVID-19, researchers explained in the release. (McGorry, 9/9)
The New York Times:
A New Theory Asks: Could A Mask Be A Crude ‘Vaccine’?
As the world awaits the arrival of a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine, a team of researchers has come forward with a provocative new theory: that masks might help to crudely immunize some people against the virus. The unproven idea, described in a commentary published Tuesday in the New England Journal of Medicine, is inspired by the age-old concept of variolation, the deliberate exposure to a pathogen to generate a protective immune response. First tried against smallpox, the risky practice eventually fell out of favor, but paved the way for the rise of modern vaccines. (Wu, 9/8)
In other mask news —
Scarcity Of Key Material Squeezes Medical Mask Manufacturing
Rachel Spray is still grieving the loss of her fellow nurse who died after being exposed to the novel coronavirus at Kaiser Permanente Fresno Medical Center. Now, as she stands in front of the gleaming glass and concrete hospital, she says she “dreads going in there” and fears she’ll be next. That’s because like those in many U.S. hospitals, management is rationing supplies, she says, keeping medical-grade masks under lock and key. (Mendoza, Linderman, Peipert and Hwang, 9/10)
The Washington Post:
Masks Can Cause Dry Eye, Experts Say
When the elderly man came in to see Ohio-based ophthalmologist Darrell White in early May complaining of a burning sensation in his eyes and occasional blurry vision, White knew exactly what he was dealing with: another case of dry-eye syndrome. What didn’t entirely make sense, though, was that White, a dry-eye expert, had been caring for the man for 20 years, and not once had his patient shown any symptoms of the common condition. (Chiu, 9/9)
Can A Parade Of Coffins Scare People Into Wearing Masks?
In one of the more macabre attempts at public health messaging, Indonesian officials had an idea: What if they build coffins, put dummies wearing masks inside them — then display them around the capital city of Jakarta? They hoped it would scare people into following the pandemic rules so they wouldn't end up ... in a coffin. (Renaldi, 9/9)
Fauci: Lack Of Masks At Trump Rallies Frustrating
Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious diseases expert, said Wednesday that the lack of masks at President Trump’s campaign rallies is frustrating. “Is that frustrating to you?” host Gayle King asked Fauci on “CBS This Morning,” noting the lack of masks among some attendees at Trump’s rallies amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Well, yes it is, and I’ve said that often,” Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, responded. “That situation is we want to set an example.” (Coleman, 9/9)
NC: Trump Rally Exceeded Pandemic Limits, But Not Illegal
A crowed political rally hosted by President Donald Trump put people’s health at risk but was legal under state pandemic rules that exempt certain gatherings where people exercise free speech, a spokeswoman for North Carolina’s governor said Wednesday. Trump spoke at Smith Reynolds Airport in Winston-Salem on Tuesday. Thousands of supporters crammed together without the 6 feet (1.8 meters) of social distancing the White House itself has recommended. An executive order issued by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper earlier this month mandated masks in public and limited mass outdoor gatherings to 50 people. (Anderson, 9/9)