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Covid/Mask questions?


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Well, I would, were I in that situation.

First, it's a pretty easy thing for me to do.
Second, the mask can help you prevent spreading other germs, which is also desirable, especially as hospitals/doctors in many places are currently overwhelmed. Doing pretty easy things to avoid spreading germs (CV19, flu, even just regular colds) seems like a positive thing to me at this current time. Heck, I think I am turning into a "always mask during cold/flu season" person. 
Third, there's a mask order in our area.

There's probably more reasons, but I'm running on not a lot of hours of sleep, so I'll just end with, yes, I'd still mask.

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We still don’t have crystal clear information on immunity.
A business where masks are required doesn’t know who’s had it.  Or who thinks they’ve had it. 
Social norms perpetuate social norms. The more people wearing, the more likely others are to wear.
Now is a terrible time to spread any other germs.

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Well, my sister lives in an area with a lower rate of people wearing masks.

She needs to pick up a prescription in person from Wal-Mart, and is planning to walk in and out of the store if there is a line with people not wearing masks (or just a line in general).

That is her situation right now.

I think it would be really willfully ignorant for someone not to be aware that there are people who are taking these kinds of precautions right now, and therefore rude and  inconsiderate not to just put a mask on.

If someone was at a gathering or other situation where everybody there knew the person was already infected and had gotten an all-clear from the doctor, I would think it was fine.

But my understanding is that that is not the case, that it’s not known why some people have been re-infected or what the timeline has been, what the risk factors are, etc.

I don’t think very many people have been re-infected but I think it has happened — so if that is the case (my understanding) I don’t understand why someone would not still need to wear a mask, and this is also my understanding of why it would still be recommended, beyond just consideration for other people.

 

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Yes, I would still wear a mask. To safeguard myself and to safeguard others.

One of my young adult children has a friend that just tested positive for the second time--the first time was in June, and both times were symptomatic.

Their doctor said they had four patients who tested positive for a second round this past week. (They live in an area with no mask mandates and high community spread.)

ETA:  The person was symptomatic both times. 

Edited by Pippen
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I think also right now — it is a political statement.  And then — it’s not just a neutral thing to do.  I think it would be disingenuous for someone to claim right now they were unaware of the political-statement aspect.

Well — I would make exceptions to that — but in general I think it would be disingenuous.  

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I just read about a case that was a known relapse based on the genetics (not a reinfection but presented as one with a couple months between testing positive and tested negative after the first).  I don’t think we know enough about immunity and this virus.  Not to mention it is good not to be spreading anything right now and many places have mask orders.  

Edited by FuzzyCatz
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First, where we are, it is required to get into stores. Now they aren't enforcing it really, so not everyone. 
Secondly, if you aren't wearing a mask, you are leading your influence, IMHO, to the anti-mask/NBD/ignorant folks. People who don't know you will assume that. I've had a few tell me they didn't wear masks because people looked at them weird. Peer pressure for adults? I didn't realize this was a thing, but for some, it is. So, I think wearing a mask may well provide support for others to also wear a mask. 
Thirdly, just because you have recovered now is no guarantee you won't get it again. How will you know until you get symptoms and are tested? I have two friends who had COVID in late March. One is still struggling with the after effects.  Why should they have to wear a mask to protect others? 
Because they both just turned up positive again last week. 

And lastly because it makes many others more comfortable. I've seen older people shy away from the non-mask wearing folks in the grocery store. Obviously that makes them uncomfortable, and in this stressful time, I don't want to add to any burden. 

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Yes, for all the reasons others have said:

You don't know for sure that you're immune.  There's a lot we don't know about it yet.

Other people won't know that you've had it, so if they are near you in a close space, they may become worried.

It's a kind gesture.  It shows people that you care about their safety.

With so many other things to worry about right now, you can also think of it this way:  it also helps protect people against catching other things from you:  flu, colds, etc.

In our state, it's absolutely required in any indoor public space.  You will not even be allowed into a store or any public building without one.  (Or if somehow you got in, you will be asked to leave once they see you.)

 

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I’ve known several people who have tested positive twice.  So having had it doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get it again/ spread it asymptomatically.  
 

But, other mentioned reasons are also in play:  peer pressure, making things easier for people in stores, not spreading other germs.  

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But I think there are a lot of false positives.  Vivica Fox was on Dr. Oz last week talking about her false positive.  I really believe this is a problem with the testing. Especially those that aren't really showing symptoms, or minor symptoms. Even the NP that gave me my antibody testing (the newer ones that just came available a week ago) was telling me how unreliable some of the actual Covid testing was.  More so with the rapid testing I think it was.

Edited by 1GirlTwinBoys
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50 minutes ago, 1GirlTwinBoys said:

But I think there are a lot of false positives.  Vivica Fox was on Dr. Oz last week talking about her false positive.  I really believe this is a problem with the testing. Especially those that aren't really showing symptoms, or minor symptoms. Even the NP that gave me my antibody testing (the newer ones that just came available a week ago) was telling me how unreliable some of the actual Covid testing was.  More so with the rapid testing I think it was.

The PCR tests have a high false negative problem, but I think virtually no false positives.  But I think you're right that the rapid (antigen) tests do - I think it's because they're designed to be less specific for the sake of speed.  I think the idea is to catch many more cases more quickly, and if you are positive, follow it up with the more specific, but takes longer and is harder to administer, PCR test.

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30 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

The PCR tests have a high false negative problem, but I think virtually no false positives.

I just read a great blog post by Ian Mackay (Australian virologist) about why false positives really aren't an issue with PCR tests: https://virologydownunder.com/the-false-positive-pcr-problem-is-not-a-problem/. Worth a ready for anyone interested.

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3 minutes ago, Plum said:

I just read an article about the CEO of Sanford Hospitals choosing not to mask after recovering from covid. 
 

https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/sanford-health-ceo-i-ve-had-covid-19-won-t-wear-a-mask-as-symbolic-gesture.html

It sounds like the CEO is an outlier in his own health organization. Perhaps his background is not in a medical field?

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31 minutes ago, SusanC said:

It sounds like the CEO is an outlier in his own health organization. Perhaps his background is not in a medical field?

Nope not a doctor. 
It does address the OP’s question  though. 

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Goodness. My eyes tricked me for a moment. Being from CA, I read STANFORD at first and thought...no way! And then I read it again SANFORD in South Dakota. 

I would continue because of the possibility of reinfection and honestly, I really would prefer not to get sick during this season at all.

Edited by calbear
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16 minutes ago, calbear said:

Goodness. My eyes tricked me for a moment. Being from CA, I read STANFORD as first and thought...no way! And then I read it again SANFORD in South Dakota. 

I would continue because of the possibility of reinfection and honestly, I really would prefer not to get sick during this season at all.

I did the same thing. 

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12 hours ago, Lecka said:

I think also right now — it is a political statement.  And then — it’s not just a neutral thing to do.  I think it would be disingenuous for someone to claim right now they were unaware of the political-statement aspect.

Asians tend to mask during flu season every year and the local Asians I know are generally apolitical. A lot of them also stockpiled N95 every year because of California’s annual wildfire season.

Last year whenever my husband accompanied me to medical appointments, he has to mask up when inside the medical centers because of flu season. The medical centers I went to all provided masks during flu season for many many years. 

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We know that most of the people who are testing positive twice have not been infected a second time, the test is just a continuation of the first?  We know that antibodies last at least a few months.  We know that people infected with SARS have immunity 17 years later.  So why can't the millions of people who have already had it not wear a mask?  If they have to wear a mask because reinfection is likely to happen, then how is a vaccine going to work?  If they have to wear a mask even if they aren't likely to get reinfected, it is just a symbol forced upon a growing population to elevate others fears.

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2 hours ago, hopeallgoeswell said:

We know that most of the people who are testing positive twice have not been infected a second time, the test is just a continuation of the first?  We know that antibodies last at least a few months.  We know that people infected with SARS have immunity 17 years later.  So why can't the millions of people who have already had it not wear a mask?  If they have to wear a mask because reinfection is likely to happen, then how is a vaccine going to work?  If they have to wear a mask even if they aren't likely to get reinfected, it is just a symbol forced upon a growing population to elevate others fears.

Except we don't know that those things are true at all.  We are finding increasing numbers of people who we can confirm their second infections are NOT a continuation of the first.  

They need to wear a mask because they might get reinfected, and because they might infect others.  If they are, in fact, developing second symptomatic infections again from the same infection, then it's very possible that they are infectious, so it's likely even MORE important that they mask to prevent them from infecting others.  

Plus, they need to mask to prevent spreading other germs.  And relieving other people's anxieties and preventing store people from having to argue with them is not inconsequential.  

Everybody masks every time.  It's easier that way.  Just do it.  

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Out of the tens of millions who have had a positive PCR test, what percentage is getting reinfected?  0.0001%?  0.1%?  10%?  50%?  Last week, the numbers I saw were 25 confirmed and about 400 suspected. It seems like any new piece of information concerning this specific virus is taken as gospel and shared even if it is not an occurrence widely spread across the general populous, nor is any other information given for perspective about the same instances in similar circumstances.  

The vaccine will not prevent 100% of infections in 100% of people, isn't proven to prevent subsequent symptomatic/asymptomatic infections, and isn't proven to prevent person-to-person transmission, so all vaccinated people will still need to wear a mask because some could be contagious.

If this is a virus that is going to be in circulation all the time, based on the premises above (reinfections, vaccine ineffectiveness, *any and all* general communicable respiratory illnesses), the conclusion is masks will either be worn by mandate or worn due to societal pressures in perpetuity because there will always be deaths from respiratory illnesses.  Seriously, where do we draw the line?  When is logic and self-responsibility going to be applied?

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19 minutes ago, hopeallgoeswell said:

If this is a virus that is going to be in circulation all the time, based on the premises above (reinfections, vaccine ineffectiveness, *any and all* general communicable respiratory illnesses), the conclusion is masks will either be worn by mandate or worn due to societal pressures in perpetuity because there will always be deaths from respiratory illnesses.  Seriously, where do we draw the line?  When is logic and self-responsibility going to be applied?

Quite possibly masks WILL be worn forever, or at least in non summer months.  

Why would that be a huge deal?  

 

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Re. reinfection: There was an obituary in our local paper recently that stated that the gentleman had survived his first bout of Covid a few months ago, then caught it again and died from it. 

I would err on the side of caution and not make any assumptions about immunity.

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Three of my friends have had COVID on multiple occasions, despite two of them being careful about safety precautions before, during and after both (all three in one case) occurrences. It makes sense because there are already six variants of COVID-19, and viruses generally mutate further the longer they exist. (The good news is that the more a virus mutates, on average the less lethal it becomes). Catching and fending off one grants immunity (probably, for most people) to that variant - but only resistance (at best) to others. Now, for a lot of people, that resistance is going to be strong enough that they might as well be immune. However, the amount of resistance people build up varies dramatically, and doesn't always tally with how severely they had it in the first place. So there's no way of knowing if one is going to be resistant enough to a particular variant or not, especially as we know the threshold for transmitting the virus isn't always the same as the threshold as getting any sort of symptom from it. (Any of us might have had COVID, but we can't guarantee everyone else has if any strangers are present).

Masking is a good habit, especially for people who go to lots of busy places, and by this point, I think most people who are going to get into that habit are doing so. It seems silly to stop masking when it's probably still beneficial.

Edited by ieta_cassiopeia
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