If everyone wore N95 masks, could we go back to work?

Question for the medical folks on the board:

If we had a sufficient supply of N95 masks, and everyone were forced to wear them, could we return to work?

There would still be risks but that seems like it would remove most of the transmission risk.

Just curious. Thanks in advance.

The short answer is no.

There are 2 primary ways this Coronavirus is spread from person to person: (keeping in mind it is primarily spread by respiratory droplets)

  1. (by far the most common route of transmission) Your hands transmit droplets to your face. Virus enters through your eyes, nose, or mouth. So, the most important preventative measure is extremely diligent hand hygiene. (Perhaps the single most important reason to wear any mask in the general public, at least where your own health is concerned, is to train yourself to keep your hands off your face).
  2. Sustained (probably at least 15 minutes), close (probably inside of 6 feet) contact with an infected person. This is the scenario that makes aerosolized transmission most possible. This virus is still transmitted by respiratory droplets, but this scenario makes breathing in such droplets more possible.

A few more caveats:

  • Universal use of N95 masks wouldn’t replace diligent hand hygiene, which is arguably the most important preventive measure.
  • Universal use of N95’s isn’t even necessary/required of health care workers walking down the halls of hospitals today.
  • Supply of N95’s is already scare in many places (I realized you qualified your question… just stating the obvious)
  • And, finally, wearing a medical procedure mask around all day is uncomfortable enough… no way could you expect everyone to wear an N95 all day everywhere. Those things are terribly uncomfortable.
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When I went out yesterday

I don’t even understand how you can take yourself seriously wearing that ridiculous thing in public.

I mean, the mask is necessary, but a St. Louis hat? Come on. Don’t become hysterical.

This Mets fan still hasn’t forgiven the Cardinals for 2006. Someone should have banged the trash cans louder for Beltran in that last at bat. :slight_smile:

Here comes another Adam Wainwright curve ball. :sunglasses:

That was the best 12-to-6 curve I had seen since Dwight Gooden in his prime. In defense of Beltran, that was unhittable.

Thanks, hogstetrician!

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