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Will we always be wearing masks on aircraft now?

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Will we always be wearing masks on aircraft now?

Old 7th Oct 2021, 15:36
  #61 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: California
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Originally Posted by tdracer View Post
No, it's not 90%. That's literally fake news. Masks are not some magic bullet to prevent transmission - far from it in fact.
There have been numerous studies of masking vs. Covid transmission rates. The best they found was a 12% reduction in transmission with masks vs. unmasked. Most showed less than 10% reduction.
I'll match my fake news against your fake news any day.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 16:03
  #62 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 2008
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Originally Posted by OldLurker View Post
I seem to recall that sometime last year (?) people were saying something like, it's OK, cabin ventilation is excellent, air replaced many times a minute, each seat has your own air vent, minimal risk of catching Covid during a flight. Did I dream that?
It seemed improbable then too...

Originally Posted by Sholayo View Post
Well, I am in the camp with KayPam - masks will stay forever, since most of the people either do not care to protest or even feel safer withing confines of that 'COVID-theatre'.
My GP commented that HIV brought latex gloves to general practice, and covid will probably make face masks an ongoing feature of general practice. In 2019 only Asians who had experienced SARS wore facemasks in public in my part of the world, I think in 2029 an awful lot of us will still chose to wear them. The world has changed.

Originally Posted by On Track View Post
Where I live masks are mandatory everywhere except inside one's own home. I hate the bloody things, and as I'm double vaccinated I'd be happy to go without one and accept whatever risk that involves. We can't live this way forever.
If mask wearing is going to remain mandatory on airliners then I won't be travelling overseas again. As for domestic travel, I'd prefer to do a road trip in my car or on my motorbike
I live in the same city as you. I can't see myself traveling overseas for another twelve to eighteen months by which time the risk of getting stranded should have cleared and the benefits or otherwise of masks in aircraft (along with whatever pre-flight vaccination and/or testing is required) should be clearer. I did three short trips to Sydney in 2019 and another in 2020 and chose to drive because flying and arranging transport at the far end was much more hassle and expense than it was worth to me, especially getting to Tullamarine at sparrowfart for a sensible price ticket, so covid hasn't really changed my domestic travel choices. That I am retired, with time to spare, factors in too, of course.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 18:16
  #63 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by MarcK View Post
I'll match my fake news against your fake news any day.
OK, I'll bite.
Give me one reference to a study that shows masks are 90% effective at stopping Covid transmission - not droplets - 90% of actual disease transmission. Just one - to an actual, medical study - and I'll concede.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 20:26
  #64 (permalink)  
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First one I looked at:
As such, we estimate less than 1–2 log 10 reduction factors for normal mask wearing in public. The log reduction factor translates into less than 90% virus removal effectiveness. We assume Mred, the base aerosol reduction percentage of face masks (commercial medical products) in a public setting, to be approximately 60% [[url=https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237691#pone.0237691.ref060]60] and estimate the range from 40% to 75%, assuming the best reduction rate is 99% for a NOISH-certified N-95 type respirator [[url=https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0237691#pone.0237691.ref053]53, 57, 58, 61].

Next one:
...immediate near universal (80%) adoption of moderately (50%) effective masks could prevent on the order of 17–45% of projected deaths over two months in New York, while decreasing the peak daily death rate by 34–58%, absent other changes in epidemic dynamics. Even very weak masks (20% effective) can still be useful if the underlying transmission rate is relatively low or decreasing: In Washington, where baseline transmission is much less intense, 80% adoption of such masks could reduce mortality by 24–65% (and peak deaths 15–69%), compared to 2–9% mortality reduction in New York (peak death reduction 9–18%). Our results suggest use of face masks by the general public is potentially of high value in curtailing community transmission and the burden of the pandemic.

Here's an article written for the lay person:

The thing is, masks cost bugger all, and even a small reduction in infection rates has an enormous effect, especially if it takes R below 1.0

Even if you're only concerned with your own health and don't give a stuff about anybody else, masks reduce the number of infectious people around for you to meet.
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Old 7th Oct 2021, 23:26
  #65 (permalink)  
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nonsense I think you meant to say:
Even if you're only concerned with your own health and not about anybody else

Please keep personal remarks for Jet Blast.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 01:47
  #66 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
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Originally Posted by metrognomicon View Post
Having flown between the US coasts a number of times this year, it has become routine with masks. Wearing a mask is considerate of others and protective of myself, and I have no problem with it whatsoever.

I actually double mask with a proper N95 under a nicely fitted cloth over-ear, and I don't eat or drink on the plane. The flight is actually the easy part - layovers and delays at the airport when unable to get fresh air really suck.

A few airports have outdoor terraces and it's much nicer to be there eating and drinking takeout and lounging than in the crowded club. If masks stick around forever I hope building outdoor areas on the secure side become a priority for airports, particularly the clubs.
You've swallowed the government propaganda pill, well done! Wearing the correct mask properly will have an impact on COVID transmissions, if you are a carrier. It offers only very limited protection against infection because the virus will enter through other areas like the eyes. This is the reason that medical staff in COVID wards are wearing something more akin to full PPE and not just a paper N95 mask.

Most people are either not wearing the correct type of mask, wearing it incorrectly or, usually, both. A face mask will offer next to zero chance of protection if, for example, you wear it over a beard. The mask must be covering the mouth and the nose, so many people slip the mask down from their nose so they can breath easier. N95 masks are single use only and stop working when they get wet. They should be replaced every time they are removed including when you remove them to eat/drink on an aircraft. Many cloth masks are not N95 rated meaning they are providing absolutely no protection from COVID. If you see a mask with an outflow valve, it will not be protecting anyone else except the user (assuming they are wearing it correctly, it has the correct rating, etc).

In a medical setting, where people are using the correct equipment and have been trained in how to wear it, masks can have an impact. But in the general population they are not effective in stopping transmission. Governments use them to control the behaviour of the population. It sends a subliminal message that there is a threat and everyone must comply and we are all in this together. It is time people woke up to the threat much bigger than COVID, the incredible draconian measures and policies that Western governments are taking and the use of fear to intimidate and manipulate the populace to freely hand over control and freedom.

I know several anti-vaccine people and the last thing they would want anyone to do is wear a mask to protect them. The one thing I share in common with them is that we are both absolutely sick and tired of this COVID nonsense. And it is exactly that now, nonsense that needs to go away. I've lost more friends and colleagues to mental health and acute/chronic conditions that were not treated because of COVID. I've got many friends who have lost their jobs because of the lockdowns and my kids are now far behind where they should be with their education and most of us will be suffering the economic consequences of this for many years to come. The vaccines have made this no worse than the flu, it is long past the point where we should all collectively take our masks off and demand that we have our freedom back. If we don't, we will loose it for a very long time, if not forever.

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Old 8th Oct 2021, 01:57
  #67 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2007
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nonsense, tdracer asked for a study that shows masks are 90% effective.

You 'bit' by sending him research papers that provide 'predictions' and 'estimates'.

Maybe you can go back to your search engine and find a study that has empirical data that supports these papers? God knows we have been wearing masks for long enough now that if they actually did provide 90% effectiveness a report shouldn't be hard to find.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 02:57
  #68 (permalink)  
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Well, as were comparing his false facts with my false facts, I didn't think it was my job to prove 90%. On the other hand, maybe he can prove no more than 10%. I think nonsence makes the point. If wearing a mask makes me even a little bit safer, and having you wear a mask when near me makes me safer still, then I think I'll opt for the mask. And I'll try to avoid being near those who don't wear masks. Especially since I belive those who are against mask wearing are also likely not vaccinated.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 04:32
  #69 (permalink)  
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MarcK. Just like in aviation, if you want ultimate safety you should never leave the ground, you could reduce your risk to virtually zero by staying at home. It all comes down to risk management. I have no problem with people that want to wear masks, if that makes them feel safer, there are countries in the Far East where people have been voluntarily wearing masks long before COVID. But in a free society we shouldn't be mandating that people wear them.

For you the inconvenience of wearing a mask is clearly minimal and your apparent perception of the reduced risk in wearing one makes it a sensible approach.

For others, they either fail to see the benefit (I include myself in this because I observe so many people wearing masks incorrectly, and the major benefit in wearing a mask is to stop you transmitting the virus to others), or there is an inconvenience to wearing one which outweighs their perception of the benefit, this may be a medical condition, or past mental trauma. The point is, it is best to leave it to people to make their own decision, as we should be doing in a free society. Which brings this back on topic, mask wearing on aircraft should not be mandatory, it should be up to the individuals concerned.

I made the comment about empirical evidence because a lot of people are using, as you put it, 'false facts' to justify the removal of our individual freedoms and liberty. We have got things completely the wrong way round and defaulted to removing liberties and then finding the evidence to justify it. The burden of proof should be very high before governments make decisions on behalf of their populace which removes or constrains their individual liberties. And such constraints should come with a clear time limit.

I flew long haul last week, most people were wearing masks but not properly. A gentlemen who appeared to be doing his best to follow the mask wearing protocol (was taking it off only to eat, wearing it properly over both mouth and nose, etc) suddenly pulled his mask off so that he could sneeze into his hand. This wasn't a conscious decision, but was involuntary as a result of years of habit forming, but this was probably the best moment for him to be properly wearing a mask. My point is, it is easy to see the theoretical advantage to face masks, but in the real world, when you involve fallible humans and all the other practicality's, you can see that any benefit they will be providing is going to be less than the theoretical predictions. Of more a concern to me, however, was the reaction of several people when this person sneezed. I am scared at the direction our society is heading.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 11:21
  #70 (permalink)  
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In London for four days recently, and on the tube - which mandates masks for all - I would estimate that almost no young people bothered wearing masks, (I wore mine).
That's because you're not young! I use the public transport system on a regular basis, where it's too far/time consuming to walk etc, and the number of mask wearers has plummeted since the summer just gone. Just about every person under 20 maskless and a good proportion of adults of all ages likewise. It makes you wonder what's going on, both in transmission/infection rates in the real-world and in the application of mask rules. I wear one on transport and the odd time I'm in crowded/enclosed spaces, just good practice to my mind.

The longhaul airlines will need to alter the mask rules (with/through govt regulators) if they hope to get passenger numbers anywhere near previous levels. As it stands it will just be business and family obligated half-filling their cabins.
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Old 8th Oct 2021, 14:39
  #71 (permalink)  
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If you see a mask with an outflow valve, it will not be protecting anyone else except the user (assuming they are wearing it correctly, it has the correct rating, etc).
My mask looks like a simple cloth mask but it has replaceable 2.5 filters. Yes it has an outflow valve but that it to ensure the expelled air goes through the filter. I have several of these and rotate them through the washing machine, changing the filters regularly.

I work in the world of funerals and I advise everyone to take all possible precautions - even if they seem unreasonable to you.
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 02:41
  #72 (permalink)  
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I'm pretty sure that viruses are a lot smaller than 2.5 microns, so if you want to take all possible precautions why not just wear an N95 mask which does filter viruses? The type of mask you seem to be describing is designed to block air particulates (pollution), not viruses. Yes it will clearly have some protection as it will filter droplets, but COVID is also transmitted through the air, so a mask needs to block viruses as well.
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Old 9th Oct 2021, 08:07
  #73 (permalink)  
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...and then there's the smaller chance of touching an infected surface unknowingly and then rubbing one's face, rubbing the eyes etc. There's only so much that can be reasonably done to minimise risks. I remember being shocked/amused to see several travellers on my flight in March 2020 wearing a full paper suit with hood, N95 mask, gloves and goggles. They must have been very uncomfortable, especially if they needed the bathroom during the flight!
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 08:27
  #74 (permalink)  
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Well I came back to London from Dubai on Friday. Had to wear a mask through the hotel’s public areas, in the Emirates Chauffeur Drive car, all through DXB airport (but was allowed to remove it while seated in the EK Business Lounge), on the aircraft except when eating or drinking, all through LHR T3 and in the EK Chauffeur Drive car home. Total elapsed time hotel room to home approximately 12 hours, 30 minutes. Do I like wearing a mask? No. Do I think it’s a good idea for everyone travelling to wear a mask? Emphatically yes. Is the paperwork and endless repeated checks of PCR test results, UK Government Passenger Locator forms, proof of vaccination a pain in the backside? Yes (handy hint - print them off as it makes the checking process much faster). Are people willing to travel with all this hassle? Well all I can say is that both EK A380s were virtually full. Was it worth it for me and Mrs Wombat to have a great break (first time out the UK for 22 months)? Yes, yes, yes.
And as a PS, we got our day 2 PCR test results overnight - both negative.
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 12:25
  #75 (permalink)  
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Ryanair are missing a trick here, for charging an extra fee for the ability to fly without a mask ...
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 13:42
  #76 (permalink)  
Join Date: Apr 1998
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Remember this recommendation during the early pre-mask days of Covid-19?

I guess you could now wear your mask on your elbow for added safety.

Remember when they said that airline air-conditioning and filters provided enough protection against Covid-19? This excuse allowed politicians, businessmen and celebrities to continue travelling the world on "essential business" during the worst of the pandemic.

Point is the health directives are constantly changing, and much to the detriment of the average punter. I personally believe the people that make up these rules have no idea, but I am just a small fish in this all.

Wearing a mask for lengths at a time doesn't seem to bother me much, however, as a chronic hay fever sufferer from the past I still often get the sniffles in the morning and need to pull my mask down to blow my nose or sneeze into my handkerchief. Imagine sneezing in your mask... what would you do if you didn't have a spare?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 15:28
  #77 (permalink)  
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There are times when I wear N95 and sometimes the cloth with 2.5 filter. Across the last 20 months my partner and I have been most careful. Not just that I work in the funeral world but my partner is front line NHS staff and often has to wear full PPE. Further, her daughter is pregnant.

We have both been working throughout and both have never had a postive test (LF or PCR) so our precautions have paid off. We have our first medium length flight in December and first long haul in the new year.

Mask Types
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 15:47
  #78 (permalink)  
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I often see comments to the effect of full or nearly full flights. However, how many daily flights do these carriers presently operate in contrast to frequencies operated before the pandemic struck?
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Old 10th Oct 2021, 19:04
  #79 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Depends on the origin-destination pair, I guess? In Europe, the significant easing of travel restrictions resulted in traffic levels very close to 2019 at some popular leisure destinations throughout the summer. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same of many other places which remain largely sealed off from the average traveller. Think Australia, China, many Asian destinations. International traffic there remains at 20-30% of pre-COVID levels.

The bottom line? We're not yet at the point where masks are the main deterrent for travellers. For now, the show is still being run by the travel restrictions between the origin and destination. And said restrictions in many places still make masks look like the least evil when it comes to travel.
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Old 15th Oct 2021, 09:03
  #80 (permalink)  
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Face masks no longer mandatory on Norwegian domestic! There is hope....
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