Letter to the editor: Cloth face masks do not provide protection against omicron | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Cloth face masks do not provide protection against omicron

Ally Doolin

Mainstream media, a source for all things fear and propaganda, has aired some thought-provoking clips recently. In December, CNN’s Dr. Leana Wen made a statement that would be shocking to the ears of Summit County public health officials: “Don’t wear a cloth mask,” she said. “Cloth masks are little more than facial decorations. There’s no place for them in light of omicron.”

Further cementing Wen’s claim, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former Food and Drug Administration commissioner and a Pfizer board member, told CBS News that cloth masks are not enough to protect from COVID-19. “This is an airborne virus, we now understand that, and a cloth mask is not going to protect you from a virus that spreads through airborne transmission.”

You don’t say? It should not be shocking that the average cloth face mask does not provide filtration of viral particles of 0.5 microns (or less). As a scientist who has performed computational fluid dynamics studies of small particle movement in air, this is something I have personally known since the beginning.

Cloth masks and surgical masks do not protect against viral penetration; however, they do make some people feel better. (This is known as a placebo effect.) If a mask makes you feel safe, by all means, wear one. That is your personal choice. But if you’re really concerned about viral transmission, you should consider upgrading your personal protective equipment. The best protection from the virus is probably a biohazard suit, but since those are expensive and you might look foolish in City Market, a properly fitted N95 (filters out 95% of small particles) with a respirator should work.

Remember to always wear a sanitized mask, avoid touching your face and wash your hands frequently. And please keep Summit clean: Dispose of your masks properly!

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