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Thirteen (54%) mandated counties and seven (9%) nonmandated counties had implemented at least one other public health mitigation strategy not related to the use of masks (e.g., limits on size of gatherings and occupancy for restaurants).
I noted this too; however, there was a follow-up sentence:

However, in sensitivity analyses, similar decreases in COVID-19 incidence after July 3 were observed among mandated counties with and without other mitigation strategies. Therefore, although implementing multiple mitigation strategies is the recommended approach, strategies related to mask use mandates appear to be important.

So restrictions obviously helped, but mask usage seemed to have more of an effect.
 

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I noted this too; however, there was a follow-up sentence:

However, in sensitivity analyses, similar decreases in COVID-19 incidence after July 3 were observed among mandated counties with and without other mitigation strategies. Therefore, although implementing multiple mitigation strategies is the recommended approach, strategies related to mask use mandates appear to be important.

So restrictions obviously helped, but mask usage seemed to have more of an effect.
Not sure I'd read it as "more of an effect" over other measures but none the less, an important one.
 

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Obviously the only mandate any County actually needs is to keep people away from people (social distancing). If we could do that for 6 weeks, nothing else would be required and C-19 would be gone. Since we can't do that we go here:

1) Keep away from most people (bubble numbers, etc.)
2) Keep away from most people (work from home)
3) Keep away from most people (close down restaurants and bars)
4) Keep your nose and mouth away from people (masks)
5) Keep your hands from contaminating your mouth and nose (hand hygiene and don't touch your face)

As we know, compared to "keep all people away from all people" the above precautions in brackets have a very small benefit compared to that, but as we know, combined they get us fairly close. The main reason, in my opinion, that we are not seeing better results is most people break the first rule too often and worse, they are now indoors while they are breaking it. That pretty much wipes out all of the benefits of the other 4 and then some, in my opinion. Doesn't mean we should stop doing them, it actually means we need to effectively deal with the breaking of precaution #1.
 

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Some conclusions of more studies/observations pertaining to the use of masks, for those that require more evidence.


I found this one interesting:

  • An investigation of a high-exposure event, in which 2 symptomatically ill hair stylists interacted for an average of 15 minutes with each of 139 clients during an 8-day period, found that none of the 67 clients who subsequently consented to an interview and testing developed infection. The stylists and all clients universally wore masks in the salon as required by local ordinance and company policy at the time.32
 

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I've noticed stores around me starting to get more busy, more crowded in recent days (perhaps Christmas excitement)

I am now starting using my stash of the KN95 masks, especially when visiting crowded stores. Compared to cloth masks they have strong protection for the person wearing them. Pretty much medical grade, and they can easily be bought at Shoppers Drug Mart, by the way.

We're getting into peak sickness season and people are now also travelling for Christmas, so I think this is becoming riskier. Additionally I suspect that people's behaviour will change with the good news about vaccines. I think they will become more relaxed and less careful, since the public has a very poor understanding of health & disease.

The combination of December travel + vaccine optimism + family gatherings could cause the disease spread to really spike, and I'm preparing for that.

Sadly I think that a lot of people are going to die around Christmas and especially the few weeks following it.
 

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Just have to ask ... why are you visiting crowded stores?
BTW, saw someone in a Walmart curb-side pickup slot with a toboggan the other day. :)
Not much choice, seems everywhere I go is crowded. I am starting to make notes of quieter times of the day ... that's the best workaround.

I have been adjusting my behaviour in response to the crowds. I'm going out less.
 

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Not much choice, seems everywhere I go is crowded. I am starting to make notes of quieter times of the day ... that's the best workaround.

I have been adjusting my behaviour in response to the crowds. I'm going out less.
Thankfully our "non-essential" rules have dropped off most supermarket shopping, stores a very quiet late at night. Even with that we're mainly doing curb-side at Walmart, fast, easy, minimal wait ... last time was only 10 minutes.

One odd thing about curb-side is their inventory system, not sure how it works. We ordered a frozen turkey but they didn't have any, actually no Walmarts in our area showed stock. So I did a late night shop into Walmart and guess what ... they had 6 of the turkeys we tried to order in the freezer. We checked again that night online after I got it and ... no stock. :(

Edit: BTW, we checked Superstore for a turkey ... 8 day wait for curb-side pickup!
 

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Thankfully our "non-essential" rules have dropped off most supermarket shopping, stores a very quiet late at night. Even with that we're mainly doing curb-side at Walmart, fast, easy, minimal wait ... last time was only 10 minutes.

One odd thing about curb-side is their inventory system, not sure how it works. We ordered a frozen turkey but they didn't have any, actually no Walmarts in our area showed stock. So I did a late night shop into Walmart and guess what ... they had 6 of the turkeys we tried to order in the freezer. We checked again that night online after I got it and ... no stock. :(

Edit: BTW, we checked Superstore for a turkey ... 8 day wait for curb-side pickup!
Once we went to heavy restrictions the curbsite waits skyrocketed, then they calmed down.
 

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That unknown is actually known well for other viruses but of course, each virus may have something unique so I can see why a politician would be over-cautious.

I think the main reason we will be asked to continue mask wearing will be until most who want a vaccine, get one. After the demand dies down, I have no doubt we will be removing masks. They are not needed anymore.

We will, of course, continue to have C-19 casualties within the unvaccinated group. That always happens even after herd immunity. It is part of the process. We will just whack-a-mole those outbreaks and deal with their fall out individually, but the rest of us will be going on with our lives.

Either force a person to get a vaccination. Incentivize them to get a vaccination. Or let them deal with the repercussions of not getting a vaccination. I can't see anything else being tolerated.
 

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I don't know if people were aware of this, but there is a dental supply shop offers Level 3 protection masks for $1.99/box of 50.

The obvious caveat is that this seems to be a defective batch:

Clearance - Final Sale, No Returns.

Some of these masks have a weak weld causing the elastic headband to pull away from the fabric of the mask.


That being said, if you have those fabric masks with a pocket for replacement filter liners, you can probably cut the headbands off and just use the covering itself as the filter liner.
 

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This article discusses incidents where passengers on flights refused to wear masks.


A disproportionate number of mask violations were flights in/out of Alberta, especially Calgary. And WestJet (based in Calgary) had the most incidents of any airline, 70% of all incidents!

I plan to start flying again in the spring, but I guess this means I'd better stick with Air Canada.
 

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When I heard that they ran a study with Hamsters wearing masks to see how well they worked I thought someone figured out how to put a mask on a hamster and keep it on. I just had to see a picture of that. Obviously hamsters do not wear masks but they managed to run their tests anyway.


I am not commenting on the validity of this test. I was convinced of the benefits of a face mask in 1986 and so far not much has changed my opinion on it. They certainly cannot hurt if one wears them right.

By the way. When did they decide that NOT covering up your eyes was now safe? I also wore goggles in the microbiology lab in 1986 and yes, I wear protective glasses when I go out today. Funny how they seemed to have dropped that precaution. I can't say how dangerous unprotected eyes are. Probably not overly, but I am trying to not find out the answer to that the hard way...so I wear eye protection.
 

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When I heard that they ran a study with Hamsters wearing masks to see how well they worked I thought someone figured out how to put a mask on a hamster and keep it on. I just had to see a picture of that. Obviously hamsters do not wear masks but they managed to run their tests anyway.
That's too bad. I was also hoping that hamsters were wearing little masks, would have loved to see photos.

By the way. When did they decide that NOT covering up your eyes was now safe? I also wore goggles in the microbiology lab in 1986 and yes, I wear protective glasses when I go out today. Funny how they seemed to have dropped that precaution. I can't say how dangerous unprotected eyes are. Probably not overly, but I am trying to not find out the answer to that the hard way...so I wear eye protection.
I used to wear contact lenses much of the time, but I've completely stopped wearing contacts around other people, and now only wear glasses due to covid. I still wear contacts when I'm doing outdoor sports, away from other people (no covid risk).

If I get on a plane this spring or summer, I plan to wear the KN95 mask and try to nap, or at least keep my eyes closed most of the flight.

( I bought these KN95 masks from Shoppers Drug Mart, online. They can also be found in the stores near the band aids. )
 

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@james4beach @OptsyEagle ypu two are both right that for better protection mask ANDface shield are recommended. I am guessing they recommended just the mask (which is the higher protection of the two() because getting people to follow just that simple order is difficult enough. Also, they do mot want people replacing masks with face shields.

If you are going on a plane or any area where you want more protection I recommend do a mask and face shield. I just recently bought a mask with equivalent n895 filter with an Eye shield attachment. it’s pretty industrial looking so I tend to wear it only when I am going to places where I feel higher risk for me or with higher risk people, like my dad.
 

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I found another good reason to wear a mask. If you are an Ottawa Senators fan it helps hide some of the humiliation on your face when you go out in public. Kind of mandatory after what the Jets did to them last night. lol
 

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We should be developing, manufacturing and holding in reserve, hundreds of millions of N95 masks (or even better masks). There is no excuse for not doing so.
 
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