Thinking Citizen Blog — Hand Washing, Mask Wearing, Physical Spacing

Thinking Citizen Blog — Thursday is Health, Health Care and Global Health Policy Day

Today’s Topic: Hand Washing, Mask Wearing, Physical Spacing: conflicting advice, symbolic gestures, moral dilemmas

So how far is far enough? (spacing) How frequent is frequent enough? (mask washing, hand washing). Different experts say different things. No evidence. Tons of evidence. Very effective. Not really. It’s all about the symbolism. Wearing a mask is a good reminder to keep your distance. Shaming is appropriate. No, it isn’t. It’s all about the touching. No, it’s all about the air droplets. Do compliance differentials drive infection rate differentials? Globally? Locally? Should we all be wearing eye shields? Today, a few notes. Experts — please chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.

PHYSICAL DISTANCING: HOW FAR IS FAR ENOUGH?

1. “Staying 3 feet away from another individual can lower the risk of transmission to less than 3% from an estimated 12%, the researchers found.” (First link)

2. “A distance of 6 feet could lower that risk to 1.5%.”

3. Is it ok to have physically-distanced get-togethers with friends? how many at a time?

MASKS AND EYE SHIELDS: what kind? disposable better? frequency of washing?

1. “And wearing a mask can reduce the risk to about 3% from roughly 17%.” (first link)

2. But which type of mask? does it matter? Multi-layer masks (12 to 16 layer re-usable cotton)? N95 masks? surgical masks? Only effective if you discard them or wash them with a certain frequency?

3. “Eye protection is not often considered but it can reduce the risk from 16% to 5.5%.”

HAND WASHING: the first thing stressed a few months ago, no more, why?

1. Because everyone knows about it already?

2. Because masks, physical distancing, and eye shields matter more?

3. How much better are alcohol-based-hand-rubs (ABHR) than soap and water?

Physical distancing, masks can dramatically reduce COVID-19 transmission: Study

Most Comprehensive Study to Date: Optimal Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/coronaviruse/who-hh-community-campaign-finalv3.pdf?sfvrsn=5f3731ef_2

Which kind of face mask is the best protection against coronavirus?

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

YOUR TURN

Please share the most interesting thing you learned in the last week related to health, health care or health care policy — the ethics, economics, politics, history….

Or the coolest, most important thing you learned in your life related to health are or health care policy that the rest of us may have missed.

Or just some random health-related fact that blew you away.

This is your chance to make some one’s day. Or to cement in your mind something really important you might otherwise forget. Or to think more deeply than you otherwise would about something that matters.