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William D'Andrea

Keeping Mouths and Noses Covered

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Posted (edited)

     Here's something I'm wondering about.  During this coronavirus outbreak, everyone is being told to find something to cover their mouths and noses, to help prevent spreading or catching the infection.  Medical masks are no longer available, outside the medical profession.  Many people like myself are using scarves.  A major problem is that any infection would stay on the cloths, and could still infect others, or ourselves.   Someone has suggested that we wash our scarves every day.

     A different idea has occurred to me.  Instead of taking all the time that's involved to wash and dry the cloths, why not just take three minutes to heat them in a microwave oven?   After three minutes in a microwave oven, there won't be a single germ on the garment.  Whoever's wearing it over his or her nose and mouth, would be inhaling and exhaling the cleanest air there is.  I think it's worth a shot.  

    This is just a suggestion.  Does it seem like a good idea?     

Edited by William D'Andrea

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I don't think I'd get behind that idea. It can be rather dangerous, depending on the fabric. It could catch fire.

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2 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

I don't think I'd get behind that idea. It can be rather dangerous, depending on the fabric. It could catch fire.

I've been wondering about that myself.  Like I said, it's just an idea.

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   Okay.  Instead of microwaves, how about spraying the cloth with a deodorant aerosol spray?  I use Right Guard Sport.  On the label are the words, "Dries on contact".  "Helps protect your clothes with its anti-stain formula".  And "Meets EPA Clean Air Standards".

   That sounds safe enough, and might actually work.  Would anyone agree that it's worth a shot?

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I don't think deodorant would kill a virus. Not sure I'd want to keep breathing it in either. ???

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11 minutes ago, lynnmosher said:

I don't think deodorant would kill a virus. Not sure I'd want to keep breathing it in either. ???

I'm not actually planning to do so.  I was just wondering.

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You're better off washing your mask with soap and water.

 

Soap is an alkaloid, and it's excellent  at stripping off the protective layers of bacterium and various viruses.  Hence the reason why washing your hands is one of the best defenses against things like the flu and salmonella.

 

Microwaves work by breaking H-bonds in substances.  The only way it might be effective is if you soaked the mask in water, and then microwaved it.  The water turns to steam, and cooks anything living in the fibers.  That being said, soap is cheaper, and less dangerous.

 

Deodorant does nothing to decontaminate anything.

 

That being said - the mask they want you to wear is to trap moisture, not to block the virus.  It's the droplets coming from you that carries the virus.  The mask is there to prevent YOU from infecting someone else.  And if offers *some* protection from other people.

 

Your best bet is to wash your mask, maintain a distance from other people, washing your hands, using your own personal tube of toothpaste, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you wash your hands.

 

I often take with me a paper towel dampened with soapy water.  I'll use it to wipe down my steering wheel, my hands after I handle money or credit cards, credit cards, and stuff like soda cups at McDonalds.  It's not a 100% solution, but it's pretty effective.

 

 

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I think the face coverings only serve to stop us from rubbing our noses, mouths and cheeks. And it does go so far as to make us make a conscientious decision to move them to scratch at least. Then when we get home wash hands. Better yet, take hand wipes with you, so you can clean your hands after contact before getting home.

 

(And, if we're social-distancing properly, a large pack ought to carry us through the whole quarantine.)

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6 hours ago, Spaulding said:

I think the face coverings only serve to stop us from rubbing our noses, mouths and cheeks.

 

No.  Your skin is actually very good at preventing infections.  The main culprits are eyes, nostrils, and mouth / lips / tongue.  Most viruses can penetrate the mucosal layer, and that's how you get infected.  This means is someone sneezes in your face, your cheeks are protected, but your eyes / nose / mouth aren't.  I'm sure that wearing a mask also has a preventative effect, keeping you from rubbing your nose or your mouth.  But it doesn't stop you rubbing your eyes.  Even with that, you'd have to stick your fingers in your mouth, or up your nose to get infected.  Or...inhale someone's infected cough / sneeze spew.

 

You ask any doctor, they'll tell you that cloth masks are a weak measure of protection.  You'll also hear that weak protection is better than no protection.  They are recommending cloth masks, because fibers like cotton absorb moisture.  They also act as a baffle should you cough or sneeze.  So, when mucus / saliva droplets get expelled through a cough or a sneeze, a good portion of them will get trapped in the weave of the mask.  The same works in reverse.  It'll also diffuse the spray a bit.

 

So if you make one, wash it periodically.  Hot, soapy water generally does the trick.

 

A face mask doesn't hurt either.

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1 minute ago, suspensewriter said:

Wow!  Thanks, Alley.  (I just use hydrogen peroxide though)

Just passing along the info. It's not like I have all the answers. (Just don't tell my kids! 🤫

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Posted (edited)

The coronavirus spores are encased in a layer of fatty acids. Soap causes fats and oils to emulsify in water.

 

Only an antiviral mask with a HEPA filter can keep the virus out. But an ordinary dust mask can catch the water droplets when you sneeze or cough, so it's useful in preventing the spread of the disease.

 

So my wife is crafty and I have a mask for every workday. No elastic, but I use hair ties on the ribbons. The masks go in a repurposed grocery bag until laundry day. 

 

A Walmart associate is considered an essential worker. They take our temperature and ask screening questions when we enter through a separate entrance.

Edited by EClayRowe

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