Effectiveness of Masks Varies by a Number of Factors - Granite Grok

Effectiveness of Masks Varies by a Number of Factors

Door ajar unsplash photo-1627562835717-a6bdeb81d3b3

Riddle me this, Batman: When is a door not a door? When it’s ajar. To be fair, American English is a can of worms. How can a word such as “sanction” mean both approval and a penalty?

I’m actually old enough to remember when racism meant judging or treating people or discriminating based on race. That was way back when paper dictionaries couldn’t be changed overnight (see: Oxford University Press and the word “woman” in 2020). Now it can mean whatever the speaker wants.

Should I even mention “chest-feeding”? Probably not.

If changing a definition isn’t winning hearts and minds, how about adding a modifier? Hate used to mean “to feel great hostility or animosity.” Add “crime,” and now it mostly means something which is disliked (or hated) by a particular group. I mean, if there is a “hate crime,” is there a “love crime”?

At least “hate speech” has an opposite in “love speech”. Unfortunately, “hate speech” is now determined by the listener, not by some objective standard.

Another victim is “justice.” The traditional definition is fair treatment in accordance with standards or law. Add “economic” or “social” and, voila!, it no longer has a set meaning. If what I think is proper justice for a particular group differs from what you think, how can the difference be reconciled?

So, you still can’t affect the culture? You say that you want more for your money? It’s word substitution time! Instead of equality of opportunity, we’ll use equity, which is meant to be equality of outcomes. How can a thinking person believe that this is in any way realistic? I will never get my share of athletic or musical ability, no matter how you hold talented people back.

While not really a work-related issue, making non-binary choices binary is a close friend.

Take mask use: they work or they don’t work. As there are different materials and construction, mask efficiency is on a sliding scale. At the nearly useless end are bandanas and such. At the top end are biohazard respirators. Everything else is in the middle. The common blue non-cloth mask with elastic loops wasn’t allowed in my operating room suites as they didn’t filter out the smoke particles from electric cautery. On the other hand, wearing two masks actually increases the amount of air that leaks around the masks. On the third hand, if the outside of your mask is contaminated with germs, aren’t those same germs on your clothes?

If you choose to wear a mask, it should fit properly. Let’s not pretend that it is some magic shield, though.

Did you know that N95 masks have sizes, should be properly fitted and tested, and can’t be worn over any sort of beard? I didn’t think so