Axios alerts us:
The WaPo afternoon Trump-Virus round-up email thingie:
At least 10 states, including Texas, California, Florida and Arizona, reported their highest weekly infection rates in recent days as 29 states logged increases. The national average is rising again after a month-long plateau while millions of Americans return to work, places of worship, restaurants and rallies.
The data suggests that wherever governments roll back quarantine rules, covid-19 rushes in to fill the void, which health experts predicted months ago. “But there is little sign that states are reconsidering politically popular decisions to open the economy,” our national desk reported.
One week ago, Miami-Dade’s largest hospital system saw its seven-day average COVID caseload settle into a 10-week low of 101 inpatients.
Then it hit.
“Looks like the second round of COVID is upon us,” said Martha Baker, president of the union that represents healthcare workers at Jackson.
A 50% increase in just one week…
“”This time we’re starting to see younger patients coming in,” Ellis said. “So more of 30-, 40-year-old patients coming in, late 20s.”
I know I sound like a skipping CD (I am an old and my metaphors are oldish), but everyone needs to follow best practices NOW, even the jaded Yutes of today:
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Max Parsell hasn’t been wearing a mask during the coronavirus pandemic and doesn’t intend to start. It’s a matter of principle.
“Making individual decisions is the American way,” Parsell, a 29-year-old lineman for a power company, said as he picked up his lunch at a barbecue joint at a rural crossroads south of Jacksonville. “I’ll social distance from you if you want, but I don’t want the government telling me I have to wear a mask.”
Parsell need not worry: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has not made mask-wearing mandatory here in Florida. That’s in sharp contrast with what’s happening more than 2,000 miles away in California, where Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Thursday reacted to rising caseloads by making mask-wearing mandatory.
Also in the WaPo email thingie:
“I see people with valve masks in public. Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of protecting others by allowing unfiltered exhalation?” — Thomas in Florida
Face masks with coin-sized valves on the front might appear to be better options, but they are not as good at preventing the spread of the coronavirus than the seemingly lower-tech, non-valved masks.
Some masks designed for hot, dusty construction work — where the intent is to filter out dust before it hits the wearer’s lungs — have “exhaust” valves that allow exhaled air to flow out more easily, to keep the mask-wearer cool.
Mask-maker 3M illustrates how it works: inhaled air filters through the fabric part of the mask, and hot, humid exhaled air exits through the valve. It’s a one-way system that works really well when you’re tearing out a kitchen to remodel, but the valve defeats the purpose when you’re trying to slow the spread of a virus.
Masks are recommended to prevent respiratory droplets from spreading into the air when you exhale, speak, cough or sneeze, and the valves allow those droplets through. Medical masks, you’ll notice, do not have valves specifically for that reason.
San Francisco went so far as to say that valved masks do not comply with its face mask order. “Any mask that incorporates a one-way valve (typically a raised plastic cylinder about the size of a quarter on the front or side of the mask) that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling allows droplets to be released from the mask, putting others nearby at risk,” the order says.
The best face masks to prevent the spread are still the simple cloth kind. A few layers of cotton prevent most of the potentially infectious respiratory droplets from escaping into the air around you, and they are also much cooler than the form-fitting N95 masks.
I’ve been seeing the valve kind a lot in Seattle, it never dawned on me that the purpose of the valve was to 1-way vent it. I figured it was like some sort of filter.
That’s really stupid.
And now I know.