Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-12-2019, 01:16 PM
LoneRhino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 134

Question about people wearing surgical masks


I'm spending the spring/ summer in Mexico and I see a lot of people wearing surgical masks. Mostly people working in food service and in some stores. Every single person I see has the mask covering their mouth but not their nose. Is this doing anything? If they're wearing for their protection don't you have to cover your nose too?
  #2  
Old 05-12-2019, 03:31 PM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,161
It's for your protection, not theirs. I think the general idea is that coughing is bad, hence only the mouth needs covering.

Last edited by MrDibble; 05-12-2019 at 03:32 PM.
  #3  
Old 05-12-2019, 05:14 PM
cochrane is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: The Nekkid Pueblo
Posts: 21,290
That's no protection if the wearer sneezes, as a sneeze can expel mucus through both the mouth and nose. Both orifices should be covered. I know when I go to dialysis, both the tech and I wear masks over our mouths and noses when I'm being hooked up to or disconnected from the machine.

Last edited by cochrane; 05-12-2019 at 05:15 PM.
  #4  
Old 05-13-2019, 01:26 AM
MrDibble's Avatar
MrDibble is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Cape Town, South Africa &
Posts: 25,161
Quote:
Originally Posted by cochrane View Post
That's no protection if the wearer sneezes
Totally agree.
  #5  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:05 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 18,990
I've seen the not-covering-the-nose thing on PBS medical shows and such a lot lately.

Yeah, that's not right.
  #6  
Old 05-13-2019, 12:20 PM
Omar Little's Avatar
Omar Little is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Within
Posts: 12,670
Go to Japan and you'll see about 25% of the people there were medical masks. It has become a cultural fixture there and many other Asian countries, and sounds like it is spreading to other parts of the world.

There is no one specific reason for the proliferation of this behavior that began when SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) broke out in China in the early 2000's. The continued reasons for people wearing medical masks in public range from:

1. Wearer doesn't want to catch illness
2. Wearer has illness and doesn't want to spread
3. Wearer is self conscious about appearance
4. Wearer is shy and fewer people interact with people wearing masks
5. Wearer believes the masks are fashionable

https://gogonihon.com/en/blog/why-do...le-wear-masks/
  #7  
Old 05-13-2019, 08:42 PM
LoneRhino is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 134
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Go to Japan and you'll see about 25% of the people there were medical masks. It has become a cultural fixture there and many other Asian countries, and sounds like it is spreading to other parts of the world.

There is no one specific reason for the proliferation of this behavior that began when SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) broke out in China in the early 2000's. The continued reasons for people wearing medical masks in public range from:

1. Wearer doesn't want to catch illness
2. Wearer has illness and doesn't want to spread
3. Wearer is self conscious about appearance
4. Wearer is shy and fewer people interact with people wearing masks
5. Wearer believes the masks are fashionable

https://gogonihon.com/en/blog/why-do...le-wear-masks/
I get why people are wearing masks, it's the covering the mouth and not the nose that's baffling me. Granted I'm seeing this in Oaxaca, Mexico. Maybe it's a peculiar thing that's only happening there.
  #8  
Old 05-13-2019, 11:21 PM
TokyoBayer's Avatar
TokyoBayer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 10,214
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
Go to Japan and you'll see about 25% of the people there were medical masks. It has become a cultural fixture there and many other Asian countries, and sounds like it is spreading to other parts of the world.
In Japan, it's mostly during the pollen season for the sugi tree. The mountains were deforested during WWII, and replanted with sugi. Unfortunately, during the pollen season it can be really bad. I was fortunately to have lived there for 24 years before I developed an allergy to sugi pollen.

There are a number of people who will wear masks for other reasons, including the occasional wanted person attempting to avoid capture, but the biggest reason is allergies.

Because of the actually necessity of the masks, they are worn covering the nose as well as the mouth.
  #9  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:18 AM
Annoying Buzz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Somewhere
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRhino View Post
I get why people are wearing masks, it's the covering the mouth and not the nose that's baffling me. Granted I'm seeing this in Oaxaca, Mexico. Maybe it's a peculiar thing that's only happening there.
My wife (Japanese) tells me to wear them whenever I have a cold. The issue is that the masks tend to be snug around my chin, while I have a big schnozz and wear glasses. The result is that my glasses fog up when I exhale, so I pull it down when I need to read something (which is pretty much all day at work). On top of that, it just tends to slip downward over the course of the day anyway.
  #10  
Old 05-14-2019, 03:37 AM
Nava is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hey! I'm located! WOOOOW!
Posts: 41,190
Quote:
Originally Posted by LoneRhino View Post
I get why people are wearing masks, it's the covering the mouth and not the nose that's baffling me. Granted I'm seeing this in Oaxaca, Mexico. Maybe it's a peculiar thing that's only happening there.
No, I've seen it in work environments. It generally comes from people not understanding that the mask is doing jackshit unless it covers your nose; yes, they do fog up glasses (they do not fog up goggles, which after all are what one should wear for safety). In the same work environments I've seen hairnets which did not cover all hair and beard nets which were large enough to cover the wearer's beard fully but which barely covered the chin.
__________________
Evidence gathered through the use of science is easily dismissed through the use of idiocy. - Czarcasm.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:04 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017