So...1 in 24 Canadians has Covid, XBB1.5 (kraken) variant is projected to be at 22% in Ontario by the end of the week, people are still dying of Covid (279 in Canada in the first week of January), and though voluntary mask wearing is low, 69% of Canadians support mask mandates if necessary.

Public health in many regions recommends or strongly recommends mask wearing.

But no mask mandates?
Not even in education and the workplace?

Mandates would make it so much easier for the caring majority to normalize wearing a mask again. Many people understandably don't want to unless it is clearly necessary. are necessary to get mask wearing in public up to >80%, which IHME estimates would halve deaths from covid with a month.

In the absence of clear direction from public health, and protect yourself and those around you as best you can.

Tara Moriarty's lab's estimates of current infections and risk:

Incomplete count of deaths from Covid in Canada:

CTV/Nanos Nov 2022 poll of Canadians:

IHME projections:

@cmclase Although I never argue with public policy, the mask thing has no physics. Covid evolved to skirt masks and go straight for the eyes. No physics, or evolutionary physics was done. The only studies were with uncovered coughs, and without a mask, everybody covers their coughs. With a mask, why bother? I have also found that the electrostatic fibers are instantly neutralized with moisture. All in all, by the millions, masks are useless. I think everybody wearing 'bono glasses' (wrap around) would be more effective. Anyway, I got covid 3 times, and always in very close situations, parties with people shouting and running around. I wish I had worn glasses....


We may not know what proportion of covid enters through the eyes, but I don't think there are data to suggest it is a dominant route?

Plenty of physics on the filtration science side, though. We summarize the data for whole masks on humans here:

I worry about wet and cold masks too. But there are data on extended use of N95s:

And remember that certified level 1, 2 and 3 medical masks achieve excellent filtration without electrets (the electrostatic piece) 95 - 98%. (The problem with medical masks is the gaps at the edges.)

@cmclase Fine, thanks for responding. I find that physics that is not done, is deliberately not done. Are you going to say the the epidemic in China would be 10 times worse without everyone wearing a mask?

@hasmis You are welcome - thank you for your interest!

I wouldn't try to quantify the reduction in risk, but yes, absolutely, mask mandates were shown to have worked. However bad things get in China, they would be/will be worse if people don't routinely wear masks in indoor public spaces. Those studies aren't physics though, they are epidemiology.

We have a bibliography of those studies here:

For the physics question, you might like this engineering take on mask standards - aerosol science is all about physics:

We also wrote a plain-language explanation of how apparently coarse filters such as woven cotton can stop a tiny virus, here:

@cmclase I think we have to leave this to history. All the big epidemics were stopped by engineering and physics. We were wallowing in sh*t, for cholera and such. Now, we've been wallowing in sh*t for indoor air quality, and it has caught up with us.
The big mistake this time was that biologists were in control and loved their power trip. Any physics done on masks was done by biology-types. Again, we wait for history, and we are too much into the power games right now, to argue further. I'm taking a new vaccine every few months - that's biology in charge. :)

@hasmis I respect your wanting to close this, and I will be quiet after this, but the paper I sent you was work conducted by engineers. I was literally the only biology type 🤣 involved

And to say I agree with you. 19th century engineering-types cleaned the water and we in the 21st century can - and will, eventually - clean the air.

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