Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era

From The New England Journal Of Medicine

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.


my faith in the Journal has dropped significantly.

Somehow I contracted covid in spite of their assertion

I’m so sorry! I hope you are recovering now!

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I too hope you are recovering, however, getting covid had little or nothing to do with whether or not you were wearing a face mask. Other Medical journals and research are showing that universal masking is just not effective for many reasons.

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That isn’t true. It reduces spread of infection.

This one, in the context of medical workers, says:

What is clear, however, is that universal masking alone is not a panacea. A mask will not protect providers caring for a patient with active Covid-19 if it’s not accompanied by meticulous hand hygiene, eye protection, gloves, and a gown.


It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals.

Who is saying that it is just not effective"?

It’s posted in the article.
Also the NIH and others as well have been stating this too

  • Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Charles A. Morris, M.D., M.P.H.,
  • Julia Sinclair, M.B.A.,
  • Madelyn Pearson, D.N.P., R.N.,
  • and Erica S. Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D.

From the Department of Population Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute (M.K.), Brigham and Women’s Hospital (M.K., C.A.M., J.S., M.P.), Harvard Medical School (M.K., C.A.M., E.S.S.), and the Infection Control Unit and Division of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital (E.S.S.) — all in Boston.

I quoted form that article. The article does not say what you seem to be saying.

Do you have a link to the NIH article?

So sorry. So much for zinc and Vit-D.

Hope that your case is among the mild ones.

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Masks, used with distancing and hand washing ARE effective. None of them alone are and masks most definitely help if the wearer is Covid positive and doesn’t know it yet!

The fact that it helps remind us to keep our distance and not touch our face is also very useful. I’m a bit tired of articles that lead someone to think they are worthless. A well made and correctly worn mask is 85% effective against this virus…compared to an N95 mask that is 95% effective. It protects others from YOU as well as giving a benefit against the virus.

If a mask is 85% effective then the viral load needed to infect you is much greater than the viral load of a person with no mask.

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When you into the articles, the problem that discussed are improper use and incorrect ideas about what mask actually does, which can lead to unsafe use.

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I often see people with horrible fitting masks, wearing them under their nose, etc…I want to ask why they even bother…but, I don’t want to encourage them to not wear one at all. That’s counterproductive. I wish there were public service announcements that showed people how to properly wear and remove their masks as well as how to clean them. Oh well…

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Actually it had something to do with someone else at work not wearing a mask.

And the research does indicate that masking reduces transmission levels.

This article is just a review and does not indicate that.

Randomised controlled trials in health care workers showed that respirators, if worn continually during a shift, were effective but not if worn intermittently. Medical masks were not effective, and cloth masks even less effective. When used by sick patients randomised controlled trials suggested protection of well contacts.

What most people in favor of masks are overlooking are the specifics in this and many other studies. And the medical community is itself at odds over whether or not masks for the general population work. When you delve into the specifics of many tests, the answer for specific criteria is yes. BUT, that specific criteria is not the situation in the general populace.

When you consider and weigh a lot of the studies, particularly particle size and material limits from other viewpoints, other historical documents on infection spread and masks, clarity starts to demonstrate that very specific conditions and situations, coupled with specific procedures are worthwhile. These do not apply to the general population. Statistically, the numbers would fall in line if masks were effective in the general population universally. Unfortunately this is not the case as many studies are continuing to show.

There are far greater problems that need to be addressed, such as the practice of placing covid patients in the midst of the most vulnerable to the virus (e.g. nursing homes). Targeting responses in these specific areas is far more productive than the general use of masks in the general population. Identifying causation is far better than assuming correlation and taking actions that don’t account for causation.

And I’m adding this to demonstrate how misapplied the response has been. Too many “experts” are giving contrary advice. The universal masking crowd seems to be continually proven wrong and/or frustrated by new and emerging data disproving their assumptive correlations.

Please don;t quote out of context. The word “effective” must have defined criteria and standards.
Surgical masks, work properly, are effective in limiting the spread of aerosols from the wearers mouth and thus would reduce their transmission of virus. They are not respirators and are not highly effective in preventing the inhalation of small aerosol particles. Asking if a hammer is effective has no meaning. Asking if it is effective as a screwdriver is ill-concieved.

I wear mine under my nose. I can’t breathe with a mask on. I take 4 breaths with the mask over my nose, and then i start gasping. I’ve been trying for 3 months now to wear the thing over my nose, and it just doesn’t work for me.

And it’s the talk-spit that is dangerous, not my exhaled breath through my nose.

So far no one at work has objected. I think they realize that if I am given an ultimatum to wear the mask over my nose or take a leave of absence, i will take the leave of absence, and that can’t happen, as we are so short-staffed due to the ridiculous furlough policy.

It’s really hard for me to trust our adminstrators who are requiring all of us to wear masks from the time we get out of our cars at the beginning of our shift until we get back into our cars at the end of our shift–and these same adminstrators are also requiring all of us to take mandatory furlough days and supervisors to take mandatory furlough weeks–leaving our departments and 2nd and 3rd shifts dangerously short-staffed. Mistakes have been made–nothing life-threatening yet, but it will happen eventually. The fools. If they really cared about our health and safety–they would listen to us instead of to their stupid balance sheets, and STAFF US ADEQUATELY!!!

Over a month ago, the ceiling in our department started leaking, and then part of the ceiling fell in. They fixed it by piling two plastic bucket under the gaping hole, taping them together with duct tape, and then taping plastic to the ceiling and the buckets to stop the water from dripping on us. At the time, I joked that it looked like a COVID-trap.

That stupid thing is still there, and last week, I came within 60 seconds of having another part of the ceiling fall on me–I had been sitting at the desk and I got up to do some unpacking of boxes, and I heard a huge noise, turned around, and saw part of the ceiling and a stream of water on my chair. What have they done about it? They mopped up the mess and put a few buckets under the leak. EVERY person in our department has tripped over those buckets at least once, and some poor souls repeatedly–after all, no one expects buckets in the middle of the floor.

Yeah, they really care about us. When I asked if I should say something to administration (since I am one of the senior employees–been there more then 30 years), I was told “NO! They’ll fire you! Just keep quiet.”

So sadly, all of my CAF pals get to hear me griping about the situation. Sorry about that.


The “addition” compares deaths 2018 influenza with the onset of COVID-19.mmvaccoines, Transmission rates, relative duration of epidmemic? Just a bit fo cheery-picking by who knows who tosay knows what.

This is such a Med Tech problem! We never speak up for ourselves! The nurses sure don’t take this kind of crap.

During one three year period, we had a lab manager that actually stood up to her superiors. It was the best three years we had in the lab…things got fixed, we got desperately needed supplies and insisted on doing our own inventory…we kept getting shortages before!

You actually have more power than you think…but I know it doesn’t matter. We tend to be too meek and mild against the higher ups.

I hope things improve quickly…before that bucket falls on someone’s head. THEN they’ll panic about being sued and get all concerned and apologetic. Yep, been there, done that!

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Thanks for the kind words! It’s no wonder that people don’t enter the profession. May as well work in a factory. No worries about “saving lives.”

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