Asia & N95 Surgical Face Masks COVID-19

Noticed from news, that All people in Asian countries, that are fighting the COVID-19 virus, are wearing Face Masks.

The Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bosnia-Herzegovina now require people to wear masks in public, while Austria requires their use in grocery stores

Shouldn’t US population be wearing Face Masks also?

When researchers conducted systematic review of a variety of interventions used during the SARS outbreak in 2003, they found that washing hands more than 10 times daily was 55 percent effective in stopping virus transmission, while wearing a mask was actually more effective — at about 68 percent. Wearing gloves offered about the same amount of protection as frequent hand-washing, and combining all measures — hand-washing, masks, gloves and a protective gown — increased the intervention effectiveness to 91 percent.

Where Surgical N95 Masks are going:
By the end of the day, roughly 280 million masks from warehouses around the U.S. had been purchased by foreign buyers and were earmarked to leave the country, according to the broker — and that was in one day .

To his knowledge none of the masks had been purchased by buyers in the U.S.

This NY Times opinion piece raises some important issues that fuel the questions you ask.

the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. told the public to wear masks if they were sick. However, there is increasing evidence of asymptomatic transmission, especially through younger people who have milder cases and don’t know they are sick but are still infectious. Since the W.H.O. and the C.D.C. do say that masks lessen the chances that infected people will infect others, then everyone should use masks. If the public is told that only the sick people are to wear masks, then those who do wear them will be stigmatized and people may well avoid wearing them if it screams “I’m sick.” Further, it’s very difficult to be tested for Covid-19 in the United States. How are people supposed to know for sure when to mask up?

Yes, I think the US population should be wearing masks but since we have have so few, the front-line health care workers should have priority. This is where federal government proper pandemic planning would have helped.

I wish I had purchased a few N95 masks when they were still available. I would be surprised if you could find a source but you may be able to pay a premium price to score a few.

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There is not enough supply. You fight the virus by staying home. Those are reserved for people who need them who have to go to work at the hospital.


When we tried to buy N95 masks a few weeks ago they were hard to come by, but luckily we have a few ‘go bags’ for emergencies and found maks, mostly the lesser kind, but also a few N95 ones.

I have a reusable N99 mask (Cambridge mask) that I’ve used for allergy purposes at several times over the past few years. I do plan on using it when I need to make my next grocery run and hang it up somewhere for a few days to let the virus die (or maybe hand wash it) when I return. These reusable masks have a limited lifespan and washing them (by hand only) does not extend the life of the filter, so eventually they will need replacing. A disposable mask is always going to be safer than a reusable mask. You can still order Cambridge masks, but they’re back-ordered until June.

I also have N99/N95 disposable masks in my earthquake kit, but those have become so unavailable that I don’t want to use them. I’ll donate the ones I have if the local hospitals put out a request for protective gear.


We had 20 N95 masks in our emergency kit for fires and earthquakes (because there will be lots of dust and fires after a major earthquake). This is in Silicon Valley. We took all 20 of them to the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center … along with 2 boxes of nitrile and latex gloves that I have for car repairs.

They were OVERJOYED to receive even that paltry number!!! If you live in a metropolitan area, your first line medical people are likely desperate for masks, gloves, masks, and face shields.

Yes, we would all likely be better off wearing masks, but the medical first responders that we are all counting on need them more than we do IMHO.

Stay safe out there.



And many hospitals are now telling nurses and doctors to wear bandanas.

Thats not good, Cowboys. Bandannas highly ineffective. I have one in my purse all the time because they are good for so many things. But, they are NOT N95s.

Its our job to ride off into the desert alone in order to keep from getting sick so that we don’t get the hospital people sick. We need to keep them healthy as long as possible. It helps everyone.

This is the gunfight of our lives. Gotta do your best.

Note: Nobodys actually gonna make you sleep in the desert. They are just asking you to stay home and control your impulse to go shopping. Its not that bad. Its NOT time to buy some shoes. I understand the desire, but its our civic responsibility to NOT shop. I know that everybody’s family’s are driving them nuts, but you gotta not shop.

A little bit of good news, 5,000 here, 39 million there…


Wow. That is good news. Let’s hope the trend continues! We could use some lucky breaks at this point.

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Here is some more good news:

3M (one of the biggest N95 mask makers) has been preparing for emergency surge production since the SARS epidemic. They are in the process of doubling their production rate of N 95 masks.

To their credit, they have not increased their wholesale price to distributors.

There must be some greedy distributors, however, because I have read that NYC is now paying $7.00 a mask instead of the normal $0.65-0.85. If that is true, may the greedy distributors be arrested, charged, and rot in hell …

Stay safe out there …



3M is one of ours! Go Minnesota!!!

BTW, no one is going to uptown, Prince. No one. It is totally deserted. The brunch crowd has completely disappeared.


My husband wore gloves and mask to go food shopping. We have a small supply. I am not supposed to go in a store.:mask:Nancy50


Surgical masks are more for protecting the patient from acquired infections than for protecting surgery personnel. Masks in public might also be more a case of protecting everyone else from yourself, than protecting yourself. When everybody is wearing masks, it protects all ways.

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