Mask to protect against viruses

I was shocked to realize that the assorted health agencies had not made serious provisions for testing to find out who might be infected with the corona virus and was even more shocked to learn that they have not made much effort to have appropriate supplies available for hospitals dealing with large numbers of infectious patients. This shocking neglect to adequately supply hospitals means that there is almost no protective equipment available for the rest of us.

Everyone who cooks, delivers or hands food out through a takeout window should be wearing a mask. All store clerks should be wearing masks both for their protection and the protection of the customers. Everyone going to a pharmacy or to get medical care should certainly be wearing a mask. Since there are not enough surgical masks and other protective equipment for medical personnel the rest of us need to improvise. Fabric masks and other types of masks can at least decrease exposure to airborne droplets containing infectious viruses. These are directions for mask made of coffee filters. They are not nearly as good as a surgical mask, but are better than nothing.

COFFEE-FILTER FACE MASK

What you need:

Two coffee filters
Two to three feet of craft ribbon or string
Tape

Keep the coffee filters nested. Place them cup side down.

Fold the bottom edges of the mask up about an inch (approximately 2-3 cm). Fold the top edge about a half inch (or about 1 cm).

Then fold the top over another half inch. This will make the top part of the mask slightly stiffer so it will hold the bend over your nose better.

Place the ribbon in the top and bottom troughs formed by the folded edges of the coffee filters. Tape the folded edges of the filters down to hold the ribbon in place.

Loop the ribbon over one ear and tie the free ends of the ribbon to hold the mask in place over your face.

***********

This mask will not stop lone viruses from getting through because the coffee filter is too porous. It will tend to block large droplets from coughing or sneezing. Droplets can contain huge numbers of viruses and be very infectious.

The air needs to come in from the sides of the mask to avoid drying out droplets and to avoid accidentally drawing them through the mask when the person inhales.

This mask is not nearly as good as a surgical mask, but better than nothing. It is much easier to wear a mask like this than to walk around holding a tissue in front of your face.

I found that I am sensitive to the odor of cheap masking tape but the cellophane tape was OK for me. Masks should be tested at home for comfort and allergens before trying to use them.

The coffee filters should be thrown away after the mask in used. Washing hands with soap and warm water will destroy the virus, so it is important to wash your hands after handling used masks. The roll of ribbon was 47 cents so this is not too expensive, but I plan on removing the ribbons and washing them in hot, soapy water to use again.

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Lookout's picture

two paper towels with a 3-4 ply tissue against your face. They were 90% as effective as an N95.
https://www.ripphysics.com/OLLI/MultiSessionClasses/COVID19/maskN95.pdf

I'm using a bandana style weed eating mask with a paper towel + tissue insert against my face. You can tuck it into your shirt collar and be well protected. Good for those with beards. Not using a face shield, but I wear glasses.

When returning to the house, the paper is disposed and the bandana washed. Looks like commercial masks will be available in early May.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout The paper towel sound good, too. Anything that blocks airborne droplets should make a big difference. I do not use paper towels and am not about to brave the stores to wrestle other customers for the last roll.

Thanks for the excellent link. I had looked at a version of this that had the first half of the information, but decided to share my coffee filter mask idea because it is easy to make, fits fairly comfortably and does not require sewing skills. I am in Florida. Yesterday almost nobody at the store was wearing a mask. It looked crowded and I decided not to shop.

At the very least Homeland Security should have prepared for an attack by bioterrorists. That was part of the excuse for the Patriot Act. This virus can be destroyed by soap and water, acid and/or heat. It generally only survives a day or two on surfaces. The actual mortality rate is probably less than 1%. What were they going to do if some terrorist group had spread a more dangerous virus? A lot of people agreed to give up civil liberties to be protected from terrorists. It looks like a big protection racket.

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Lookout's picture

@ScienceTeacher

less than 3 min

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@ScienceTeacher

At the very least Homeland Security should have prepared for an attack by bioterrorists. That was part of the excuse for the Patriot Act.

I'm starting to beleive that they want surplus proles to die. This staves off environmentally disaster and solves the problem of what to do when automation makes most jobs obsolete. UBI? No, mass extermination. Build death camps? No. Just let a pandemic do your work for you while crying crocodile tears.

EDIT:
Especially the 60 and up proles. Solves the SS crisis and releases all that money for corporate giveaways like the bill before the Senate now. Note that Nancy, Chuck and company are enthusiastic about it, not objecting to the corporate giveaways at all.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness the surplus SSI funds were spent as fast as they came in, mostly on tax cuts for corporations and wealthy people. So, killing off seniors doesn't mean more cash in their pockets but that they won't get a demand to repay it through tax hikes. Would be a shame if all of them at the same time would have to unload all their surplus mansions, yachts, a jets to meet new tax levies, forcing them to sell low when they'd purchased high.

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@Marie
But so was I, in essence, if not detail.
Now we have Trump v Biden,. I don't count my SS in my long term budgeting any more.
Trump also wants to gut my CSRS pension. Not sure about Biden but he "may have to reluctantly trade it away". Remember that comparison of Nixon, Wallace and Humphrey?

I don't even feel like voting in November, assuming I'm still alive and we still have an election. Not sure what's the best protest. Leave president blank? vote Green? Don't vote at all? The last gets dismissed as laziness.

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1 user has voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Will Trump even make it to November? This is only going to get more devastating:

Wuhan and its province Hubei were locked down on 1/23. Five weeks later, 2/29, the confirmed cases in Wuhan (population 9 million) was 48,557. As of 3/19 confirmed Hubei was 68,700 and as of that date 85% of the cases in China. NYC is now approximately only 20% of US cases and it's everywhere.

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@Marie
Pressure mounts on Bernie to drop out.
He lost Illinois two to one. Funny, I don't know a single biden voter. I know my brother-in-law backed Amy Klobuchar and I might have voted fo her in the general. But we have the unique perspective of Biden surging ahead without campaigning at all. (I'm being sarcastic)
The Fix Is In. Or idiot boomers and blacks are voting for a mirage or just because Obama has endorsed him.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness
Biden is desperate to have the April and last scheduled debate cancelled.

What did the primary results in the counties in IL look like? In 2016 it was Cook county that gave HRC the IL win and there was good enough evidence for me to conclude that it had been rigged.

If you had voted for Biden would you admit it? Recall in 1974 that a majority of people denied having voted for Nixon in '72,

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mimi's picture

I gather all sorts of posts here and elsewhere describing DIY mask making. It helps.

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@mimi I am trying to figure out how to share this and other simple mask making ideas with people who really need them. This is an educated, informed group but the people in the minimum-wage delivery jobs are the ones who really need masks. There seems to be an echoing silence from the news media.

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It is shocking that we don't have enough protective equipment. Staff in hospitals are being told to re-use personal protective equipment. If this isn't the perfect formula to spread the virus as far as possible, then I don't know what is. I am appalled, horrified, and dismayed by this ridiculous situation.
Everyone everywhere wear a mask when out. A makeshift mask is good. Thanks for all the mask 'recipes'. People must make their own.

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@randtntx @randtntx One big concern is that other viruses have not disappeared. I read one recommendation that medical masks could be left over night in a paper bag because Covid-19 does not survive more than a day or two on paper surfaces. Other viruses could still be present though and be spread among the patients and staff.

Health care professionals deserve much better.

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@ScienceTeacher
model on almost all medical "devices". Thus, for example, they don't loan you a pair of crutches, they "sell" you the crutches (either you or your insurance foots the bill). Same with those plastic boots they give you if you sprain your ankle or you have a stress fracture in your tibia. When you're done with the boot, they don't want it back.

Years ago I was prescribed an ultrasound bone stimulator for a problem that had thwarted diagnosis. The stimulator was pretty much a "nothing else worked, maybe this will" attempt by the podiatrist. So ... I go in to get the thing, and they put me in an exam room, and a guy comes in to show me how to use the thing. He is not a physician's assistant or a nurse from my care facility, he is a represenative of the company making the machine. The device looks and feels like something you could built from a Radio Shack kit for maybe a hundred bucks. He explains to me that this machine is now mine -- that I will not be returning it. He runs a demo showing me how to use it. He explains that I am entitled to a bottomless, lifetime supply of ultrasound gel. And then he sends me on my way.

Due to an intervening surgery, I did not use the thing for the first 6 weeks it was in my house. And then the Explanation of Benefits came, noting that my insurance would pay for 80% of the THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS that the machine cost, and that I was on the hook for the other $700. I thought ... Fuck That. Contacted the company. Thank god I hadn't used it, because it contained a chip that counted how many times it had been used -- which in this case would be exactly and only once, during the demo. They weren't happy about taking it back, but they had no choice. I contacted my insurance company to make sure they knew I had sent the damned thing back, so they were entitled to a refund of their $2800.

Similarly, pretty much all PPE in a hospital is sent to the incinerator. Other than scrubs, pretty much nothing is laundered/reused, because under normal circumstances, it's more expensive to properly sterilize (and certify the sterilization) than it is to just buy another mask.

These, however, are not normal times. Masks that aren't covered with blood or other goo could be trivially tossed into a clothes dryer with a towel that's been soaked in a mild bleach solution and run at high heat on autodry. If the material of the masks can handle the heat, there's not much that will be left alive on there. Maybe botulism spores. Prions would probably remain viable. Conceivably, I suppose, some virions of some unusual pathogenic viruses might somehow remain viable -- though I doubt it.

The healthcare policy point is simple: It's certainly possible to make masks that could be sterilized, as well as to have machines that can sterilize them. We choose not to do that, because incineration is easier and foolproof. We don't need to have 10 billion masks stockpiled, we just need to have masks that can be re-used if, in a crisis, they must be.

As for your average joe homebody, yeah, anything soft and not fragile that can handle the highest setting heat of your clothes dryer can be tossed in there with a damp cotton rag (bleach not really necessary), and it will come out pretty damned sterile. SARS-Cov-2 won't persist, at any rate.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd You are so right about our throw-away society. There is no excuse for this situation or this epidemic to have gotten as far as has. Proper testing and contact tracing at the beginning would have kept things from getting out of hand. Masks and health care for everyone would also have kept it from spreading.

Washing the current masks does decrease their effectiveness. I looked it up recently. I also used surgical masks several years ago when there was black mold in an apartment I had just rented. After accidentally washing a mask I discovered that it did not work as well afterward. After that I did wash used masks for lawn mowing and attic cleaning, but would not want to have to count on them to stop a virus. I threw the last few tattered masks out when I moved a couple of years ago or I would wash them again on the theory that they would be better than nothing.

Right now people are experimenting on the best ways to re-use masks that were not designed for it. You are absolutely right that this should have been done years ago.

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5 users have voted.

@ScienceTeacher
actually washing the things, just sterilizing them with heat. Definitely, as soon as you put soap on them, who knows what might happen to the fibers? A mask that could stand up to washing would have to be designed with an appropriate textile ...

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2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd I saw something last week that said the efficiency of N95 masks decreases with heat sterilization and too much heat might melt some component of them. I cannot remember where but it was a hospital or academic website. They tried various ways of cleaning them and had recommendations based on filtration tests. Reusing a cleaned mask is much better than no mask, but they really were designed for single use. Moist heat was discouraged.

I did not copy the article because even if there was some way to get an N95 mask the nursing staffs need them so much worse. Surgical masks, testing and contact tracing are stopping the epidemic in China. They should have already stopped the epidemic here. Last week it was not so clear that there were no adequate government anti-terrorism stockpiles to give our health-care professionals.

This entire situation is surreal.

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@ScienceTeacher
of heat on some of the polymers in the masks. Don't really know what's in them. Again, it would be best if the things were simply engineered with the understanding that they might need to be reused.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

Raggedy Ann's picture

if I'm out. I wash it when I come home. There is also a nice way to make a mask out of a t-shirt.

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12 users have voted.

"When will our conscience's grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?" Eleanor Roosevelt

"The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new." Socrates (469-399 BC)

CB's picture

China compared to Europe and the US.

As the coronavirus outbreak grows in scale and scope, combating COVID-19 has become a global issue. CGTN's live program "COVID-19 Frontline" invites experts from China, the UK and the U.S. to exchange ideas. In this episode, the experts discuss whether everyone should wear masks to contain the spread of virus or not.

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dervish's picture

@CB can't even get that stuff in their dreams.

They're wearing trash bags in parts of NYC.

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"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

CB's picture

How the COVID-19 pandemic was controlled in China - 47 min - subtitles

'Fang Cang' shelter hospitals have closed after 35 days and treating over 12,000 patients. Yang Jing is a COVID-19 patient who was quarantined and treated in one shelter hospital. During Jing's stay, she recorded her daily life there, showing patients, medical staff and cleaners. (This video was adapted from a Chinese news program News Probe.)

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They forcibly take sick people off the streets and put them in hospitals. For FREE! For 22 days! Imagine if they did that here. How would that help Mark Zuckerberg anyway?

On a more serious note, what about gloves and everything we touch or bring home? And that feeling of hopelessness that no matter what it's a date with the grim reaper.

It would almost make sense to just get infected now and at least have a shot at treatment. Later when every system is overloaded it feels like all that's left is to wait in an endless line for help that will never come.

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@Snode If you buy something that is not heat sensitive (like a package of toilet paper if you can get some) just leave it in a hot car for a couple of days. The virus only lasts a day or two on most surfaces. Heat also inactivates it. The virus has a lipid membrane around it so soap and water will destroy it.

Gloves are great if you can get some. Pull them off from the wrists turning them inside out to discard them. Hand washing with soap and hot water really will get rid of the virus though.

I watched the video about the Chinese version of quarantine. That is the real way to enforce quarantines. We might even have people trying to fake the illness if we did that here (OK maybe Chinese quarantine is not that great but still . . .).

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@ScienceTeacher A hot car is still weeks away, but I'm still running the wood stove. Is washing and heating gloves an option? Does sunlight do anything to deactivate it?

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@Snode

Hanging stuff in the sun until dry, and maybe a little longer, should pretty much do the job (check official recommendations).

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8 users have voted.

There is no justice. There can be no peace.

@TheOtherMaven Second the motion, you are so right that UV light kills germs. One of my list of thoughts to slow this thing down is to hang our laundry out to dry. Some towns and cities will have to rescind ordinances about clotheslines, but that would help disinfect things for people who have a place to hang out their laundry.

Laundromats worry me as a source of viral spread. If there is enough soap even a cold water wash followed by insufficient drying time might be enough to get rid of this relatively fragile virus, but this is not ideal. Then the clothes could still get contaminated again in the laundry carts and on the folding tables. Sick people will still need to have clean clothes and people spread the virus even before they have any symptoms.

Sunlight will fade expensive clothes and the bright colors of the guest towels, but it would be great if everyone could hang out blue jeans, family towels, T-shirts and used face masks.

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CB's picture

@Snode
no longer available if anyone was thinking of going to China to take advantage of it. Mosking

Mandatory 14 day quarantine for all new arrivals at the traveler's expense is now required. Too many people were not obeying self-quarantine rules and the majority of new reported cases had originated outside the country.

Beijing's SARS hospital opens to tackle imported COVID-19 risks
2020/3/17

Beijing announced the launch of Xiaotangshan Hospital on Monday. The facility, once designated to treat SARS patients in 2003, will be used to screen international visitors and returned nationals, to treat mild coronavirus cases and quarantine suspected cases.
...
Starting from Monday, all overseas arrivals to Beijing will have to undergo a 14-day quarantine at designated places. The policy came out to respond to the increasing risks of epidemic expansion brought by imported infection as the number of imported cases reported in Beijing climbed to 37 as of press time, with six new patients confirmed on Monday who had traveled from the UK and Spain.

Passengers who show no symptoms in the airport inspection will first go to the Beijing New International Exhibition hall, a designated connecting place for new overseas arrivals to register their information and do further tests.

After being confirmed to have no suspected infection, those whose destination is Beijing will be directly sent to local concentration places for quarantine; those whose destinations are outside Beijing will be received and sent directly back to their designated cities via plane or train under the full escort of specially tasked local government staff who are now based in Beijing, and they will later be put under isolation at local hotels in their own cities.
...

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TaZsa's picture

Here are some patterns to make them:
https://www.craftpassion.com/face-mask-sewing-pattern/
My sister up near Brainard and all the stichers and sewers up there are making them like mad and donating them to nursing homes and the rest. She tells me they are having to stop production because the elastics to pull over ears is out of stock everywhere.
Another link for info; https://buttoncounter.com/2018/01/14/facemask-a-picture-tutorial/
She sent me 2 beautiful ones (she quilts) and told me to salt infuse it! https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/salty-masks-kill-coronavirus/
Apparently soaking mask in salt water solution can do this. She told me to take lukewarm water and pour salt in and stir until it stops holding the salt anymore, no longer dissolving.
Then add the mask, outside mainly, I'm going to do both! Soak it and let dry. Don't wash out the salt...Take care all you!

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@TaZsa

to do the loops around the ears
better than duct tape Wink

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8 users have voted.

@TaZsa The quilted masks are gorgeous. Thanks for the link!

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Steven D's picture

Thanks

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"You can't just leave those who created the problem in charge of the solution."---Tyree Scott

CB's picture

The US just pushed Italy out of 2nd place after China. At the current rate of increase the US will be #1 in the world in a day or so.

https://ncov2019.live/
★ China 81,285 ↑ 67 (0.08%) 3,287 ↑ 6 (0.18%)
★ United States 74,573 ↑ 6,181 (9.03%) 1,079 ↑ 45 (4.35%)
★ Italy 74,386 7,503

It's going to be rough for the US. China only had one epicenter due to it's extremely rapid response and lock-down. This allowed the rest of the country to support this one epicenter (they brought in 40,000 medical personnel from the other provinces). I figure there will be at least 6, possibly 8, epicenters in the US.

EDIT: Italy just jumped back into 2nd place

★ Italy 80,539 ↑ 6,153 (8.27%) 8,165 ↑ 662 (8.82%)

Heh.... race to the bottom

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@CB Yeah but We're Number One! We're Number 1!!!! We're Number One!!!!!!! in the race.

(to the bottom. Oops.)

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CB's picture

@ScienceTeacher
Italy is less than a head in the lead but the US has put on a burst of speed...

★ China 81,285 ↑ 67 (0.08%) 3,287 ↑ 6 (0.18%) 74,051 2,314
★ Italy 80,589 ↑ 6,203 (8.33%) 8,215 ↑ 712 (9.48%) 10,361 3,612
★ United States 79,215 ↑ 12,643 (18.99%) 1,172 ↑ 136 (13.12%) 49 1,381

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@CB
U.S 82,179 cases. 1,177 deaths, 1,864 recoveries.

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@CB
oh!

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We are so screwed.

edg's picture

My understanding is that the National Stockpile of medical supplies was not replenished by the Obama Administration after much of it was used during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

What is the National Stockpile?

The stockpile is an undisclosed number of government warehouses stashed with resources to combat large-scale crises. The warehouses are strategically placed throughout the country, ready for deployment.

More information about the National Stockpile:

[All bolding by EdG]

The Public Health Service Act authorizes the secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the secretary of Homeland Security, to maintain a stockpile of drugs, vaccines, and other medical products and supplies, known as the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), to provide for the emergency health security of the United States and its territories.

The current SNS program has its origin in the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS), which Congress required the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to create in 1999. The mission of the NPS was to assemble large quantities of essential medical supplies to provide to states and communities during an emergency within 12 hours of a federal decision to deploy the stockpile. In 2003, the NPS was renamed the SNS.

In addition to the SNS, most states have their own stockpiles of medicines and supplies that were purchased either with partial federal funding or with state funds. The Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) was created in 2004 to focus on emergency preparedness in the largest cities and metropolitan areas in the United States, where more than 50 percent of the nation’s population resides.

Source: Strategic National Stockpile

Additional source (2nd paragraph): Amid mounting shortage, 5 facts about the nation's stockpile of emergency medical supplies

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@edg

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edg's picture

@Marie

...unless you spend the money needed to build, maintain, and replenish inventory. Trying to do things on the cheap almost never works.

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@edg
multi-billionaires; so it works for some.

Difficult to buy any household goods today that aren't cheap crap. But right now it would be nice to be able to purchase masks (retail price in January was $0.0431).

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edg's picture

@Marie

I read somewhere recently that the switch of manufacturing to China with its subsequent loss of 4 million American jobs, huge trade deficits, and lack of ability to be self-sufficient in an emergency saves consumers up to $300 billion annually, which is less than the trade deficit's $400 billion hit to yearly national income.

So, we're losing money with that cheap crap. Of course, a small subset of billionaires and corporate execs make a lot of money from it while the rest of us lose.

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8 users have voted.

@edg
ash trees destroyed by the emerald ash borer. You don't want to know. Needless to say, that's a cost that no economist ever tossed into the free trade calculation.

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9 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd
Must have cost a fortune to cut them all down.

At least mine was replaced with a nice flowering pear tree. And I know how to care for pear trees. Two across the street have been replaced multiple times. Mine has grown very nicely.
Just cut off the suckers, prune to an open pattern, mulch with a nice organic cedar mulch. No fertilizer necessary, except when it was new I would spray with seaweed. AND WATER IT IF IT WILTS IN SUMMER! Been getting nice crops on my regular pear trees too. And the flowering tree is always covered in tiny round pears. Haven't eaten any. Birds get them first. They wouldn't eat the fruit on my crabapple when I had one but they love the little pears.

EDIT: they remind me of green marbles. Lots of wild fruit is that size (American plum is just a little bigger, grape size). I suppose that size is ideal for birds to scatter seeds.

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We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@edg
"cheap crap". Those days are long gone.

The majority of America's high quality, high tech equipment is made in China (or Korea & Japan). TV's, computers, cell phones, electric cars, solar cells, wind generators, pharmaceuticals, subway cars for Boston, the list can go on and on. We only need to look at the label on everything we use in our homes including our underwear and shoes. Every single item on my desk has been made in China - except for the paper in the printer. Even that was probably made in a Canadian pulp mill and just cut up into sheets and packaged in America.

The tech is no longer "stolen". Much of it was given to China in return for their manufacturing prowess. China now leads the world in patent applications other than in quantum computing (but they are closing that gap quickly).

83% of America's GDP comes from the service sector. Even when this pandemic is over, I don't see manufacturing ever coming back. Don't forget that India and Africa are waiting in the wings to also get a piece of this action.

China is now back to work (75%). Meanwhile, America is facing some very dark days ahead.

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@CB
My first one (US made) latest six years, next one three, and last one a year and a half. At that point I went back to my manual drip coffee pot.

Part of the problem is electronic stuff wears out faster, but old appliances were well-built, and possibly over-engineered. Not so good for a consumer society, but US factory workers earned a living wage.

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CB's picture

@Marie
Still working after 10 years. You can buy cheap and you can buy quality from China. Just as you can could from American manufacturers.

Chinese workers earn a living wage in China. Over 700 billion Chinese have been raised out of abject poverty in the last 2 decades. How many Americans have gone in the reverse direction? The Chinese government helps companies succeed so that they can hire more workers. The American government helps corporate interests (along with their incestuous cousins the bankers) to reduce their work force.

Don't blame China for America's "Easy Money", "Greed is Good" philosophy.

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3 users have voted.

@CB
nonetheless, I'm going to make up some statistics here, and state that 80% of what comes here from China is cheap crap, and that 80% of our cheap crap comes from china. The quality of almost all ordinary household goods -- hand tools for example, or kitchenware (jesus, i just bought a fucking flour sifter that barely works) or whatever -- has sunk so low that they are practically disposable. If you want a great example, compare a set of Sears Craftsman mini-screwdrivers from 20 years ago with the garbage ones now. I will not buy any power tool made in China, because It. Will. Be. Crap.

This is not entirely China's fault. This is the bargain that American industry struck with China: Make it for as little money as possible, and we will outsource to you. In fact, for all I know, Chinese factories produce great hand tools and power tools that never find their way out of China.

There is a related well-documented problem on Amazon -- huge quantities of horrible junk coming into the country, almost all from China, often under counterfeit trademarks, often sold by Amazon 3rd-party vendors, that is utterly worthless -- stuff that should never have been made. Go read the comments for any random products, they're full of warnings and disgusted dismissals ("Not even worth sending back").

Beyond all of which, Edg's ultimate point is this: Nothing ever got made in China and sold in the US because Americans were incapable of producing it. Everything that ever got made in China and sold in the US, was done that way in order to maximize the profits of the transnational corporations. If those same corporations had been forced to accommodate their profit margins to the externalized costs (including the social cost to American workers and the environmental cost to the Chinese) that came piggybacked onto their wonderful trade deals, it would never have been worth it. And it still isn't worth it.

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9 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd
And don't forget those $8 an hour programmers that programmed the 737 MAX's control system. There isn't a shortage of programmers in the USA. There is a shortage of college educated programmers willing to work for $9 an hour.

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We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@UntimelyRippd
electrical or machine tools, NOT just "assembled in the US from domestic and internationally sourced parts"?

The US has lost it's once commanding position as a manufacturing nation. It's not coming back.

Elon Musk Delivers 1,255 Ventilators to California After Buying 'Oversupply' From China

Musk’s Moment of Truth Arrives With Made-in-China Teslas

China is now a major global supplier of CT, MRI and ultrasound equipment, some domestic and some joint ventures with US and EU companies.

yes, yes, we all know that you love china.

No. I just hate the constant denigration of China, Russia and other nations on Washington's current hit list. America needs to look in a mirror and work on it's own glaring problems. I'm just holding one up.

I'm used to this kind of shit. I got it in DKos about Libya, Syria, Iran and Russia - four other countries that I "love".

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@CB
it's become almost impossible to find non-China examples. Makita is one of the few manufacturers that still produces any of its models outside of China. Vulture capitalists bought up once-reliable brands like Black and Decker and outsourced production to China. My grandfather owned a B&D drill that worked for 30 years. Many "modern" chinese-produced power tools (B&D and Harbor Freight are among the worst) will burn out after 30 to 40 hours of actual use— and I mean, they’re engineered with that understanding and that intention. You can get a couple of large projects out them, and then they're dumpster-bound.
It's fucking insane.
The only thing that makes it possible is that Americans pay for such products with overabundant dollars relative to what Chinese workers are paid, and relative to the regulatory not-burden of operating a factory in China. It's not sustainable, either from an economic perspective or an environmental one.
This is what underpins our throwaway society: It isn't "worth" fixing anything, because for less money I can "hire" an underpaid, overworked Chinese laborer who lives in a company dorm with anti-suicide nets under the windows to build me a brand new piece of junk that will also fail, likely when it is most inconvenient. It's capitalist mythological bullshit that we should be "okay" with this, because it's done such wonders for the Chinese. The purpose of the capitalist mythological bullshit spew is it obscure the otherwise clear and curious question: Why did the "prosperity" (such as it is) of 1 billion poverty-stricken Chinese depend on them working grinding schedules to produce garbage for the American consumer, rather than working reasonable schedules to produce high quality goods for themselves.
I’ve read that Chinese law apparently stipulates a 5-day, 44-hour work week, yet we read articles like this one describing a sociopathic work expectation in which the workers' status approximates indentured servitude. Jack Ma heroically sent boatloads of medical supplies to our beleaguered shores. What a fucking hero. Jesus, you'd think he built the fucking things himself. Here he is blathering about "996", the de facto work schedule of many Chinese -- 9AM to 9PM, 6 days a week:

Ma, worth a cool $39.3 billion, according to Forbes, also wrote in a message to employees last Thursday that read, “I personally think that being able to work 996 is a huge blessing,” especially for the young. “How do you achieve the success you want without paying extra effort and time?”

The secret to Jack Ma’s success, of course, is that the workers pay the extra effort and time, and Jack Ma collects the success generated as they grind away the precious hours and days of their precious few human years, because he doesn’t pay those employees for that time, and he has no intention of ever doing so. Like every other fuckface capitalist, when these folks end up broken and empty, looking back on decades of fruitless labor, wondering what the fucking purpose of their existence ever was, he’s going to blame them for not being rich, or even financially secure, when of course the system guarantees that no matter how hard everybody works, the bottom half are completely fucked, and the next 40% are largely fucked, and the actual outcome for 99% of those workers is going to look exactly the same as it would have if all of them had worked 44 hours per week instead of 72. I don't think Jack Ma is doing anybody anywhere in the world any favors, and I will refrain, out of deference to the sensibilities and liabilities of this site's owner, from saying what I think should be done with him. I do know that anyone who thinks I, or my kids, or my neighbors, or anybody else in the US should be obliged to "compete" with Chinese productivity (“but look what it’s done for Chinese workers!”) can Fuck. Right. Off. Any such person is my material enemy; is making war on me, my family, and my community; I will treat such a person exactly as befits an enemy in wartime.
Put that in your happy happy joy joy china china pipe and smoke it.

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1 user has voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

edg's picture

@CB

340,000 coronavirus tests Spain bought from China don't work

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4 users have voted.
CB's picture

@edg
I'm sure the Chinese company rectified the situation? How did the other 5 million plus kits work? Any complaints about the 500 million masks and 950 ventilators shipped from China?

Maybe they can purchase this medical materiel from the US?

340,000 coronavirus tests Spain bought from China don't work, report says
...
The report in the Spanish daily El Pais is based on sources in a large Spanish hospital that has tested some of the 340,000 kits upon their arrival.

"The rapid tests, manufactured by the Chinese company Bioeasy, based in Shenzhen, have a sensitivity of 30%, when it should be higher than 80%," the sources told El Pais.

One of the microbiologists who studied the kits said, "With that value it does not make sense to use these tests."
...
In response to the criticism, authorities have promised to distribute hundreds of thousands of masks and COVID-19 fast tests this week. On Wednesday, Health Minister Salvador Illa announced a 432 million euro ($474 million) purchase of Chinese medical material, including 500 million masks, 5.5 million test kits and 950 ventilators.
...

How many test kits manufactured by American firms failed?
Coronavirus Test Kits Sent to States Are Flawed, C.D.C. Says

Do you think the US will get their promised 1 million test kits out by the end of the week or will they need to buy more from S. Korea. Latest report from Washington says the COVID-19 fast test will be available shortly.

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@edg

"When one checks the original reports from Spain and from the Czech Republic one learns that these countries bought anti-body tests which only react when a person has had the virus for some time and developed anti-bodies against it. These tests can obviously not be used to find persons who are infected but have not yet developed anti-bodies."

MoA

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edg's picture

@artisan

You complain about a mildly out of context report on China while accepting the many wildly out of context reports the media publishes about the US? Okay........

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CB's picture

@edg

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edg's picture

@CB

Russia Hysteria Infects WashPost Again: False Story About Hacking U.S. Electric Grid

The Washington Post on Friday reported a genuinely alarming event: Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. power system through an electrical grid in Vermont. The Post headline conveyed the seriousness of the threat.

What’s the problem here? It did not happen.

There was no “penetration of the U.S. electricity grid.” The truth was undramatic and banal. Burlington Electric, after receiving a Homeland Security notice sent to all U.S. utility companies about the malware code found in the DNC system, searched all its computers and found the code in a single laptop that was not connected to the electric grid.

Source: The Intercept

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CB's picture

@edg
is completely fucked. I have got more truth from RT, CGTN and MoA in the last fucking decade than I ever got from US media.

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CB's picture

@artisan
https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/more-bits-on-the-corona-crisis.htm...

Look at the US trajectory. The WHO was correct. The CDC completely failed.

China had to learn from scratch. S Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong followed China's expertise.

The US has now exceeded China at 85,327 confirmed. The US went it's own way. This is the result of American hubris.

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@CB Some of the recent increase is probably due to the recent increase in testing. Once tests are freely available we will be able to follow the trajectory better.

Several weeks ago I had assumed that we were doing the sane thing and testing all people who were suspected of having the virus and their contacts. If that had been true our Fearless Leaders would have been correct to insist that things were under control. If we had done testing and contact tracing from the beginning there would not be a serious problem now.

Right now there are such serious sampling errors in our data that it is hard to tell how bad things really are.

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CB's picture

@ScienceTeacher
the US will have 8-10 epicenters which will eventually overwhelm the entire country. China had only ONE so their provinces were able to assist this relatively localized outbreak. Once the medical system is overwhelmed, the death rates will rise exponentially.

I don't think the Trump admin will be able to contain this pandemic which is sweeping America like China has done. This is Trump's fault. We all watched him prioritize the financial aspects while downplaying the health risks to Main Street for two months.

I don't understand why the majority of Americans think he is doing a great job.

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@edg @edg Any way to find out how much stuff they have stashed? And how much they spent?

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edg's picture

@ScienceTeacher

(From a variety of sources.)

March 10: In an interview, the stockpile’s acting director Steven Adams reiterated that the SNS stocks roughly 13 million N95 masks — though health secretary Alex Azar has told lawmakers that as many as 5 million may be expired. There are also 30 million surgical masks.

March 24: New York City, for example, had requested 2.2 million of the specialized masks, known as N-95 respirators, from national stockpiles but has so far received 78,000.

March 24: Only 16,600 ventilators. That’s the total number of breathing machines that sit in the Strategic National Stockpile, the government reserve meant to fortify overwhelmed hospitals in a crisis. It’s a small supplement to the U.S. medical system’s estimated 160,000 or so ventilators — many already in use.

March 26: According to the Los Angeles Times, the Strategic National Stockpile shipped out roughly 100 million N95 masks to protect doctors and nurses during the 2009 swine-flu epidemic. The supply was never replenished.

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@edg
but Obama left a yellow sticky note on the phone reminding Trump to do it.

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From Pepe Escobar

On March 16, the Macron government orders a partial lockdown. ...Police initially are not required to wear masks; most have been stolen anyway, and there are not enough masks even for health workers. In 2011 France had nearly 1.5 billion masks: 800 million surgical masks and 600 million masks for health professionals generally.

But then, over the years, the strategic stocks were not renewed, to please the EU and to apply the Maastricht criteria, which limited membership in the Growth and Stability Pact to countries whose budget deficits did not exceed 3% of GDP. One of those in charge at the time was Jerome Salomon, now a scientific counselor to the Macron government.

Just in time orders and deliveries; keep the stock rooms as close to empty as possible. IOW, no reserves for potential spikes in demand. Move the domestic factories to China - (shaves a penny off the production cost) that in turn practices just in time production and need not bother with finished goods warehouses. Lock-down closes the factory for a month and presto, no surgical masks for the global health care markets, much less the public at large.

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CB's picture

@Marie
with large, modern automobile manufacturing and petrochemical prodcution cannot ramp up their production to make the necessary products. It appears there is a lack of will, not capability.

China pushes all-out production of face masks in virus fight

From carmakers to oil producers, companies gear up to make essential item
February 19, 2020

HONG KONG -- The Chinese government is urging companies to ramp up production of face masks to meet surging demand as the new coronavirus continues to spread.

Companies ranging from state-owned carmakers to oil producers are installing production lines as the government aims to raise output by at least 70%. But it will not be easy to meet demand from 1.4 billion people desperate for a measure of protection against infection. Many people complain they cannot get masks anywhere, and it is unclear when the shortage will ease.
...
Beijing has urged companies to suspend operations to prevent the spread of the deadly virus -- except for factories that make masks and protective suits. With workers trickling back from the Lunar New Year holiday, mask production was back at 94% of capacity as of Feb. 11, officials say.
...

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@CB b) absent a high profit motive, it only happens under duress.

I'm reminded of WWII. FDR's team(s) had run all the numbers on what would be needed on what would be needed if the US were dragged into the war. (Side note illustration: The War Department submitted its space requirements in early 1941. Funding was approved by Congress on July 28, 1941, the contracts were let, and construction began on September 11, 1941 and final completion was in January 1943. Each wing was occupied as soon as completed. FDR's original plan was that it would be decommissioned at the end of the war.)

The story goes that when FDR presented tank and military vehicle quotas to auto manufacturers, their response was, "We can't possibly meet those quotas and supply automobiles to the public." FDR responded with, "What makes you think that you're going to continue making cars?" It would be an understatement to say that they were happy to comply.

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CB's picture

@Marie
for these companies if they put their resources into it. They already have the basic equipment in-house. China had no difficulty. "Just get 'er done" used to be an American adage. Now it's "Show me the money".

Trump now has the legal tools to force them to re-tool. It's his call.

Otherwise we will rapidly see more of the following in the very near future:

US Physicians/Healthcare Workers For Personal Protective Equipment in COVID-19 Pandemic

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@Marie
I had a surplus 110/220 transformer from an SG-3(?) WW II Navy radar. I used it to run my 220v window A/C in an apartment that only had 110. I looked up the manual in our library out of curiosity. (I was Civil Service working for the Navy at Great Lakes at the time) The manual had an addendum on the contract history. The contract to "design, develop, and manufacture 600(?) radars was let to (Westinghouse? GE?) in January 194x (42? 43?) The design prototype was approved in March, production began in June and was completed in August!
My old encyclopedia said that over a thousand warships were built in WW II, mostly by the (now long closed) Brooklyn Naval shipyard, including four battleships/battle cruisers and 30(?) cruisers and hundreds of destroyers. Compare that to five years to build a warship today.

One of my favorite stores was about the Manhattan Project. There was such a copper shortage such that even with top priority there just wasn't copper to be found. It was needed for electromagnetic isotope separation. They went to General Groves, who asked "Isn't there something else we can use?" Groves was an engineer and probably new very well that silver and dold were better conductors than copper. He got the sarcastic answer,"Oh! Sure! You could use silver or gold." The next thing to happen was Bernard Baruch complaining to FDR. "What's this Manhattan Project? I have a requisition for sixty tons of silver. We don't talk about tons at Treasury. We talk about troy ounces!" Roosevelt replied, "Don't ask what it is. If you have the silver give it to them." And they did.
No matter what you think of the Manhattan Project or Groves, I think the story illustrates a triumph of human will. Some Destroyers were also made with silver bus bars. A supervisor at NAVSEA used to be a worked at Norfolk Naval Shipyard and told me about that. they had a list and looked top reclaim them when the destroyers came in to be scrapped. The magnets at Oak ridge are radioactive and are just a disposal problem.

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3 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
financed the land, buildings and equipment and then leased it back to various corporations at a very modest rate to produce what was required for the war effort. At the end of the war these corporations purchased these plants for pennies on the dollar and turned to manufacturing civilian goods for a global customer base that no longer had a pot to piss in nor the wherewithal to make one. They shipped us the cheap raw materials and we turned it into blue jeans, rock & roll records, appliances and cars to be shipped right back to them.

I grew up in this era when America WAS the greatest nation in the world.

Then it got greedy AND lazy in the 1970's. As they say, the rest is history.

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@CB
Thank God I can't sing "Born in the USA" with meaning like my wife's brother Bob can.
Spent his adult life serving the government in the Army then the VA, now confined to a bed in nursing home, while we are forbidden to even visit him,while Medicaid confiscates everything he owns and sequesters his SS and pension. A pauper. What a gift from Uncle Sam. The US is too busy stuffing billionaires with more cash while their loyal servants are cast on the heap like yesterday's garbage.
"it ain't me! It ain't me! I ain't no fortunate son."

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness Pentagon construction.

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I have a full facial mask covering nose and mouth. Just need to figure out a filter to put into the front tube hole which will allow air to come in. Otherwise it is a very secure fit as it has elastic head gear.

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edg's picture

@MrWebster

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), auto-CPAP, and bilevel positive airway pressure (BiPAP or BPAP) machines typically used for treatment of sleep apnea (either in the home or facility setting) may be used to support patients with respiratory insufficiency provided appropriate monitoring (as available) and patient condition.

Source: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/letters-health-care-providers/ventilator-supply-mitigation-strategies-letter-health-care-providers

Dr. Casey Patrick noted he has seen some CPAP setups online that utilize O2 at 6L/peep valve/Ambu/viral filter and Non-invasive Ventilation (NIV) mask that are nearly a closed circuit. Dr. Patrick said if he were going to use NIV, he would have two main considerations:

1. Do I think the patient has an exacerbation of obstructive lung disease or acute pulmonary edema? If not, NIV is unlikely to be of significant benefit in the first place (in pneumonia specifically).

2. If the answer to No. 1 is yes, then I want to have a system set up with a viral filter as close to the patient as possible. Also, I want the system to be as closed-circuit as possible with an additional viral filter on the inhalation limb as well. Ideally, NIV would be used in a negative pressure/flow environment as well (realizing that these stipulations are often not available on the ambulance).

Source: Airway management adjustments in the era of COVID-19

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@edg

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CB's picture

Do you think these are stylish?

For more designs:
Photo Face Mask: The Evolution of Protective Gear

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3 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

1) Should you be exposed to an airborne pathogen, any reduction in the viral load readhing the nose (and mouth) is beneficial

2) Designs for home made masks are proliferating. Many incorporate a pocket for a replaceable filter. If you make one, make one with such a pocket

3) Kick ass filter material is as near as your nearest HEPA grade vacuum cleaner bag. If you don't have any you can probably find some either locally or online/mail order from numerous sources, places like Sears, for example, in addition to amaz*n.

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4 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

CB's picture

@enhydra lutris
it was extremely difficult to breath thru any vacuum bag material. Think of the suction from a vacuum cleaner compared to what you can do with your lungs.

Anyone have a bag to test this?

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3 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@CB
the air would be infiltrating around the filter. I' ll have to look into that.

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@CB
eyeholes, tape over them (inside and out) with cellophane packing tape, and put the whole damn thing over your head! Maybe use one of those cheap 6-for-12-bucks headband/bandanna/neckgaiter/scarf thingamajigs to gather the filter around your neck.

as the final component of this project, arrange a flash-socially-distant-mob somewhere so that everyone who shows up can find themselves in a cognitive storm of flipping between hilarity and horror. What a scene!

up
5 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

CB's picture

@UntimelyRippd
to breath through your idea may just be a winner!

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2 users have voted.
enhydra lutris's picture

@UntimelyRippd
wear waders.

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3 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

@enhydra lutris

up
2 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

up
2 users have voted.

We are so screwed.

enhydra lutris's picture

@CB
are using them all the same, they are second only to n95 masks if effectiveness.

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2 users have voted.

That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

edg's picture

@enhydra lutris

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edg's picture

@enhydra lutris

One of my businesses is an online vacuum cleaner supplies store. I just tested HEPA vacuum bag material for breathability. HEPA is extremely difficult to breathe through when attached with a good seal.

The typical vacuum cleaner motor produces about 3 pounds per square inch (psi) of suction. Maximum human suction is 1.3 psi for men and 0.94 psi for women. That's maximum. Normal breathing psi is considerably less.

However, most masks don't provide a perfect seal and none stop all contaminants. Their primary function is to catch droplets and contaminants that would otherwise be breathed into or expelled from the lungs. Standard surgical masks are primarily designed to protect the environment from the wearer, whereas respirators like the N95 are supposed to protect the wearer from the environment.

Gold standard N95 respirators filter out 95% of very small (0.3 micron) particles and trap almost all bacteria and most viruses in their filter matrix. They must be fitted to the individual, won't work for some people, and the seal must be established and maintained to achieve high efficiency.

In comparison, HEPA vacuum bags filter 99.7% of 0.3 micron particles and would make efficient face masks IF they could be breathed through. But that's not practical when air movement is provided by human lung power.

Here's an excerpt of an article I wrote for my website explaining HEPA:

What is HEPA Filtration?

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtratiion is an extended-surface dry-type filtration system with a minimum particle removal efficiency of 99.97% for particles down to 0.3 micron diameter (300 nanometers) as well as providing high efficiency filtration of both larger and smaller particles. A HEPA rating is established using a smoke challenge test consisting of particles of 0.3 micron average diameter.

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CB's picture

@edg
several years ago and they are fantastic for those who have allergies to mold spores and smoke particulate. They made a remarkable improvement in the quality of my sleep within a few weeks of running.

I recently tried to buy two more sets of filters from Amazon but they restricted me to one. I bought the second a week after. They're out of stock at this time. They come from China.

So I'm now stuck at home. Good thing I made two batches of wine. I hope this will not be longer than 60 bottles of wine.....

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edg's picture

@CB

I ran across an article that says HEPA air purifiers can help in clearing airborne coronavirus from a room. Link: Air Purifiers & Coronavirus. There are caveats about it not being proved yet and testing is still underway, but from what I know about HEPA filtration, if air containing coronavirus passes through the machine, the HEPA filter will trap almost all of it. If that weren't true, ventilators in hospitals, which use HEPA filters, would just dump infected air back into the room. In fact, the CDC has recommended HEPA or equivalent filtration of airflow exhaust for mechanical ventilation.

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4 users have voted.

According to Dr. David Price, only medical professionals working in hospitals need N95 quality masks. For us civilians walking around elsewhere, a simple surgical mask is fine and even a bandana is better than nothing. The reason is because the coronavirus is mainly spread by droplet emission. This means that to get infected, you have to be very close to someone while they sneeze or cough on you, or they have to expel droplets onto a surface, which you then touch, and then you touch your face. That is the usual mode of transmission. If you have any sort of mask, it will help you prevent touching your face, thereby interrupting the typical transmission path. Combine this with good hand hygiene (washing hands, using hand sanitizer) and the risk of being infected is greatly reduced.

Dr. Price knows whereof he speaks: he has spent the past several weeks caring for Covid19 patients in NYC's Weill Cornell hospital. Below is a link to a video in which he talks about how you catch Covid19, how you can protect yourself from catching it, and what to do if you do catch it.

https://vimeo.com/399733860

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