Mask use in Japan

Oddly enough, my household members, like me, mostly mask in public. I think it’s routine for household members to take similar precautions. I mean, i know households that don’t do that, but most do. They pick a level of precaution that everyone in the household is willing to accept.

But even if they didn’t, your math is off. My household members are either contagious or not. If not, i simply won’t catch anything from them, no matter how much time i spend with them. If they are, it will be hard to keep the household viral load low enough to protect me, even if we all wear masks.

In contrast, if i spend a brief period with 50 strangers at the supermarket, the odds are that a couple of them are contagious. (Just based on current prevalence.) If I’m wearing a mask, there’s an excellent chance it will reduce my expose to those two people below the effective contagion level.

Masks have been popular and even stylish in Japan ever since the pandemic. No, not covid, two pandemics before that, in the Kansas Flu of 1918.

And of course masks help, regardless of levels of infection, and regardless of prevalence of vaccination. Everyone masked and vaccinated is more protection than everyone vaccinated but not masked. Nobody vaccinated but everyone masked is more protection than nobody vaccinated nor masked. Half the population masked is better protection than nobody masked, and everyone masked is better protection than half. Vaccination offers more protection than masking, but over 80% of Japan is fully vaccinated, so there’s not much room for improvement there.

For you in this particular situation? Your son. For everyone else at the church? Also your son. And while wearing a mask at home would probably not be enough to keep you from getting infected by your son, wearing one to church probably would have helped prevent infections in others.

That’s the difference. Wearing masks with people you live with is far less likely to help than doing so with medium-term contact with strangers. Heck, it’s fairly likely that you were with your son when he got infected. The cost/benefit analysis is different, which is why the two situations have been treated differently since the start of the pandemic.

We don’t know that though. Plenty of people have something or other and don’t infect others. It’s highly variable and has been with Covid. Some people wind up shedding a lot more than others. Also some of the people at church probably have other close contacts who may be sick, if they spend a lot of time with that person they’d be more likely to get something from that other person than my son. Also, there were a couple hundred people in the church and some were far away from my son. And again, we don’t know how infectious my son actually was because that varies a lot.

I will say I would not have taken my son knowing he was becoming ill. But we don’t always know that.

Yes, I think we’re most likely to be infected by family because we see them the most and they are likely to be sick or infectious at some point over a long period of time. Other people we don’t see as much, so either they aren’t sick, aren’t shedding, or we’re more likely to get lucky and avoid whatever they have.

The situation with my son, I’m sitting in a car with him repeatedly, in my own home, it kind of seems a no brainer that there’s a risk of catching something there, moreso than with strangers.

I’m just trying to point out the issue with masks is that you’re trying to gatekeep breathing, they would seem to matter any time someone else is around, if it’s that important you should be masking up in your own home and not avoiding it just because it’s uncomfortable 24/7 as opposed to slapping one on for a 15 minute grocery store run.

…nobody: and I mean absolutely NOBODY, is trying to “gatekeep breathing.”

Yeah. I really think that you (@Jay_Z ) don’t understand how masks work, or why people wear them. None of your arguments make any sense, and some of your statements are nearly incomprehensible.

Thank goodness it’s not just me.

Masks are an attempt to reduce or eliminate viral load that would be spread from one person to another in the absence of masks.

If there is a presence of another individual, you can be infected in your own home as easily as anywhere else.

Now here’s a legitimate question. Is it more likely that you will be infected if you are six feet apart from eight people for 15 minutes, or from one person for eight hours? It really depends on the variables. Let’s suppose there’s a 5% chance that any one individual is infected. And there’s a 1% chance that any infected person will infect you in a 15 minute timespan. In a group of 8 people there would be about a 40% chance that anyone would be infected in the group (really it’s 33.7% since more than one person could be infected, but then the chance of you being infected by the group rises and I don’t care about the math quite that much.) So let’s say that it’s 40% there’s someone infected, 1% chance you will be infected, so the math says 0.4% chance that you will be infected by the group of 8 people.

For the single person example, well it depends on what happens after 15 minutes. If 1% is as high as it gets, then 8 people is worse. If it rises to 2% after 30 minutes, 4% after an hour, and so on, it’s going to surpass the 8 people for 15 minutes. But it really depends on the variables.

It also matters over time in the single person scenario if the person is leaving periodically for another environment where they may become infected. This goes to the lack of a steady state. As with my family, my kids leave the house, come back, now they’re infected, I’m unmasked in front of an infected individual because I don’t know they’re infected and I don’t wear a mask in my own home. The kind of thing I’m ostensibly trying to prevent by masking in public places.

…is it though? What if the room you were in was unventilated and every single one of the eight actually had covid?

It does really depend on the variables. But in the real world we don’t know the variables. We are working with very broad strokes. Nobody calculates risk to the nth percent. It’s simply impossible for anyone to do, and the numbers you presented here reflect your personal bias more than anything else.

The goal in our household is to keep covid out of our household. So we do everything that we can to prevent infection so that we don’t have to mask here at home. Its about the best that most of us can do at the moment. This isn’t hypocrisy. Its just “living with covid” (that’s what the anti-maskers have been demanding that we do, right?) the best way that we can.

My comments were related to households that are not taking extra steps to avoid Covid or anything else, or such steps are not effective. LIke mine. Households where it’s no less likely that any member has been infected with something.

Perhaps, but my issue was specifically with the claim that masks only protect others, and not the wearer.

I don’t doubt that the level of protection is not equal both ways for all masks. My position was purely that a) Most masks provide significant protective benefit to the wearer and b) That in the Western world there was a popular factoid that masks only protect others.

I’m not sure the homemade cloth masks that were popular early in the pandemic provided much benefit to the wearer, but with that caveat, i agree with you.

…the answer to that question is that in most cases we do everything we can to prevent infection so that we don’t have to mask here at home. It really is that simple.

If you don’t want to take extra steps to protect yourself or anyone else? That’s fine. But if you want to know why others who mask out but don’t wear them at home? You’ve got an answer now.

I understand what you are saying. Here is my situation.

I am divorced with half placement of my kids. They live with me half of the time. The other half they are with my ex.

We have joint custody or decision making authority. Even if I wanted to force my kids to mask, I could only do so when they are with me. When they’re with my ex she would have the say and she would not mask them. We are actually in agreement on this matter, we masked according to community standards and mask mandates but no longer mask.

I work from home. So as far as time spent I have various social things that I do unmasked. These can last from a half hour to a couple of hours, typically. My kids go to school full time, most people are unmasked. That seems by far the most likely place that THEY would become sick.

I’m less likely to become sick in such a fashion, since I don’t spend the same amount of time with other people or always in the same proximity. Yeah, I think they’re more likely to get sick in a small classroom with 20 people than I am in a 30 minute visit to a grocery store with high ceilings and 50 people spread over an acre. However, I’m more likely to get sick from these people, my children, whom I’m spending days at a time with, in close proximity.

Containment strategies only work when everyone’s on the same page. Some of us live in situations where that is impossible. For me, the low hanging fruit is, clearly, masking up in my own home whenever my kids are here.

…then, with respect, we gain nothing by hearing more about your situation. The question you posed has been answered. If you’ve made the risk calculus that yes, you would be better off by wearing a mask in your home but you have chosen not to: then that’s fine. You do you. But that isn’t how much of the rest of us see it.

I have posted at length, my situation in detail. I will repeat again that I cannot practice the containment strategies that you practice. It is impossible in my situation. I will leave what I wrote here for others, but yeah, I get that you can’t understand what I wrote.

…I will repeat, at length, I’m not asking you to practice the “containment strategies” that I practice.

You asked a question. I answered it for you. I understand what you wrote. And I’ve said if that’s what you want to do, then that’s fine.

I understand what you wrote, and I’m sure Banquet_Bear does, too. I understand that for YOU there is little marginal benefit from masking. But you have made all sorts of claims about how it doesn’t make sense for anyone to mask. That’s why we are disagreeing with you.

Thank you. I’ve been contemplating writing a response to his posts, but decided not to waste my time.

Don’t really see the necessity of this comment. I’m a person here trying to have a conversation. Snide comments, ganging up, piling on is not something I need to see here.