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Random Fashion Thoughts (Part 3: Style farmer strikes back) - our general discussion thread

Landau

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Sure, but in some extreme cases this is almost veering into Joe Rogan territory of ‘do masks even work in the first place?’ It is irresponsible, and as they say ignorance is bliss. If we can get people to feel comfortable and confident in mask wearing without getting into the ifs, buts, hows, the better IMO. Alas, that’s not the case at least in the US at large.
Yea, but the opposite is just as true. You can very easily get yourself into a "oh well it never seals perfectly so this is all pointless" rabbit hole just as easily as you can the opposite. Just wear a mask. If you like the fancier stuff that's fine too, but the point is that the delta between not wearing a mask and wearing anything is greater than wearing anything and wearing ultra high end seamless hepa filter masks unless you have a huge weighted exposure to it at which point you get an elastomeric respirator
 

emptym

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Hm, that's a good point, I hadn't thought of that.

When this whole thing started, I interviewed JefferyD, who was working to make masks for hospitals. He told me about spunbond, which is the nonwoven material that's used for filters. He also talked about how he thinks it's important to have a moldable nose bridge for a tighter seal, and have fewer seams on the mask, as seams create small holes. (This was when people were still making masks from spunbond).

So since then, I've just been looking for masks that have a nose bridge, spunbond filter, and fewer seams. But hadn't thought about how a pouch-contained filter might be less effective

I have a few packages of basic medical masks, which is what I've been mostly wearing. And I have a blue linen Proper Cloth mask with a pouch-contained filter, which I wear on occasion. Maybe I should stick with the medical masks.

Ralph Lauren is coming out with this mask this season. It has three layers, like other filter-based masks, but also this system that tells you when you need to change filters. Apparently, these little things change color or something.


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The medical ones seem to leave even more of a gap around the edges than regular ones. I thought I read or heard from a doctor friend they're mainly to protect the wearer or patient from really large droplets or even fluids like blood splatter, but they don't do much with aerosols.

Btw, this was a great line:
...For a guy who wears suits with a 6" leg opening, you post surprisingly like a guy who wears a 9" leg opening.
 

dieworkwear

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The medical ones seem to leave even more of a gap around the edges than regular ones. I thought I read or heard from a doctor friend they're mainly to protect the wearer or patient from really large droplets or even fluids like blood splatter, but they don't do much with aerosols.

Btw, this was a great line:
I'm far, far from an expert on this area, but my understanding is that most masks are made from one of three materials.

There's metlblown, which is what you'll find in an N95 mask. Then there's spunbond/ spunbel, which is what you'll find on medical masks and most filters. And then there's cloth masks.

Meltblown is the gold standard, but there's a huge shortage of the stuff. The machines that make meltdown are in short supply and they take a lot of time and money to build. But if you can get a good seal on an N95 mask with meltblown, you can filter up to 95% of particles.

Then there's spunbound/ spunbel, as you'd find on a medical mask. This New York Times article says medical masks will filter up to 60 to 80 percent of droplets. So not as good as N95's meltblown, but better than cloth.

Finally, cloth filtration really varies, as it depends on the material. But it's not as good as the others because it's a woven material, which has tiny holes between the threads. Meltblown and spunbond are nonwovens.

So I think it's true that medical masks don't give you as much filtration as an N95, but it's better than not wearing a mask or wearing a woven mask. How a medical mask compares to a pouch-held filter, I don't know.
 

LA Guy

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LA Guy

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LA Guy

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Landau

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There are significant differences between types of masks and how much you limit your own cloud - i.e. how well you protect others. There is some difference in the amount of protection you yourself get. I've only seen one preprint on this, and the protection is apparently ~50% for masks with filters and well fitted (I don't remember how they determined this) which was the highest of the non-medical masks. This as opposed to something like 70% for proper surgical masks, 95% (N95 properly fitted) for N95s, and N99 for N99 industrial masks. So, apparently, not insignificant, but not really anywhere as good as if everyone was masked.

I guess that the point is that you are not going to be able to protect yourself fully, and that your protection increases with greater overall compliance to CDC guidelines. There are somethings that are just asking for trouble, masks or no, like working out in a group cardio class (seriously people), but having a mask *might* protect you from limited, incidental contact.
I mean, with all due respect, citing an unknown preprint of something on Medrxiv isn't definitive, my point still stands with those numbers (i.e. the gap between 0 to 50 and 50 to 75 is huge). Add on top of that compliance friction from trying to educate people to get this kind of mask which costs inexplicably more to most people, the fact that most people dont run into that much virus day to day and the cost/manufacturing/logistics difficulty and it becomes a much more difficult question to answer.

From an epidemiological point of view, Id much rather 90% of people wear shit masks that only work 50% as well than 45% of people wear fancy whatever masks that work 75% as well. I dont hate on people who wear fancy masks, but seeing as the vast majority of people also dont strictly observe mask rules anyway, e.g. most people let masks hang when talking to other people, most people take off masks when sitting down to eat, most people take off their mask to sneeze, etc etc, Id worry more about just educating people about basic "wear your mask and try not to take it off" more than "get seamless whatever facemasks, but dont wear them correctly".

Not saying the rest of y'all aren't wearing it correctly, but its also not like the vast majority of you guys are working in service or medicine where the gap between 50 and 75% makes a huge difference. The most I do is go for a grocery run maybe, maybe go for a walk outside. And if you were or were part of a vulnerable population, again, you'd probably be wearing an elastomeric respirator like most residents/nurses/doctors I know are by now.

My whole point being if you want to look good, fine, but speculating on the effectiveness of mask a vs mask b based on stuff you heard from other people who are also kind of speculating based on common sense is meh. I generally make fun of academic science, but one thing it has taught me is common sense is often misleading. On the other hand, if you wanna claim seamless masks look better or a certain material looks cooler or wears better day to day without fogging up glasses or other QOL things thats fine.

Basically we agree but are having a classic styleforum conversation about "Yea but..."
 

LA Guy

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Landau

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I agree with you. The important thing are masks that cover the nose and mouth and restrict plumes. Reasonably well fitted masks are important for this, and there are some basic guidelines. You can do a simply "blow" test with a tissue around your face to see basically how well you are doing. The is primarily an exercise in community health protocols, rather than in personal health protocols, but a lot of people don't seem to get that.

My only point was that we are going to be wearing these things for the foreseable future, unless our understanding of the disease transmission changes fundamentally, so, being people on Styleforum, we may as well make the best of it. I like the bandana print masks because it makes me look a little like an old wild west bandit. I doubt that that protects me or the next guy very much in and of itself.

fwiw, I'm not speculating, at least not as much as the next guy. My doctorate was in atmospheric sciences (mostly long range transport), and most of the department and my group was focused on aerosols, including research on filtration devices against biochemical warfare agents (including filtation and then destruction of the agent with very strong (UV) light. I shit you not.)

My wife is the lead in a COVID-19 research group, and I've "come out of retirement" so to speak, to help with the project. My wife asked me about the residence times of aerosols (as opposed to large droplets), and I busted out my old grad school texts and did some back of the envelop calculations. That was shortly before masks became recommended. Previous to that, we had thought that the primary source of infection was fomite transmission, and everyone was doing stuff like spraying down their Amazon packages with bleach. Better than the lungs. Come to think of it, that was maybe 6 months ago? Seems like a lifetime.

I'll admit that the research was more exciting in March and April when we thought that the country was going to have a shining moment and come together with a great deal of resolve to solve this problem, but it soon became a disheartening slog.

I hear from the clinical side as well. Two of my brothers are in the medical field - one as a frontline doctor (though he jokes that he makes the residents do the tough work) and the other is an administrator in a reasonably sized LTC facility. Luckily, they are in Canada, and they were both better organized at the beginning, and better prepared now, though one of them just experienced on outbreak in one of their wings.
Thats all well and good but that doesn't prove that x is more efficienet than y by the specific numbers you cited based on a preprint you saw. I don't distrust your numbers but it doesn't matter either way.

Masks were always recommended, but it just had crap messaging and a combination of a worldwide shortage where doctors had to reuse n95s and no one knowing the mechanism of spread meant something different than it does today. Fwiw I have plenty of relatives too in medicine, and Ive also worked on modeling this in a project youve definitely heard about and have expertise in this field. But again, we agree so shrug.
 

LA Guy

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Mghart

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Has anyone heard when Japan Post might begin offering EMS again?

I didn't realize it was suspended before ordering something and now my only two options are DHL (🤮) or Seamail (🙃). The proxy will hold it in the warehouse for 30 days so curious if anyone has insider info 🧐
I would be surprised if it became available by the end of the year at this point. I monitor it weekly, but no remote changes for US shipping options. The shop I order from directly has been using DHL or FedEx as an alternative for me.. significantly more expensive than EMS, but its the only option if I want to buy stuff right now.
 

Superb0bo

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Meanwhile here in Sweden: no masks.
I did some social norm violations in Stockholm, as being the only one in the subway with a mask when visiting in August. The Netherlands has been slow as well, now its "strongly recommended" for all indoor public spaces (only mandatory in public transport).
 

FlyingMonkey

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What @Landau says is 100% correct - it's astonishing how bad US has been so bad at getting this, along with everything else about this pandemic. The whole argument about 'sealed' and medical masks is completely missing the point that people in Taiwan and Japan and other cultures already accustomed to mask-wearing to prevent the spread of droplet-born diseases already understand.

In Ontario, we have to wear masks in any indoor setting (other than your own home). People are already used to it, they do it, and objections are very few. We wear fitted masks similar to the ones already show that my wife has made based on patterns that are widely available on the net, designed for non-surgical hospital use. If you've got basic sewing skills and the materials you shouldn't need to buy anything fancy. Anyway we have a selection in a whole lot of interesting printed fabrics. And yes, they are made with a pocket for a further filter.
 

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