Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Dr. Miller Examines Masks in the Age of Omicron

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The following is a press release written by William Miller, MD – Chief of Staff at Adventist Health – Mendocino Coast Hospital:

Is a discussion of masks needed at this point in the pandemic?  I think so for two reasons.  First, unlike two years ago, there are now a huge number of different masks on sale from an even bigger number of manufacturers.  How can you tell the difference and decide which one to buy?  Second, while we all hope that this pandemic will start to show a decline over 2022, Omicron has presented a challenge that makes one’s choice of mask more important than before.

The Omicron challenge.   While Omicron appears to be less virulent with a lower rate of serious illness and death, this is offset by its tenfold increase in transmission rates.  This means that while a lower percentage of people with Omicron may end up in the hospital, the total number of people getting infected is also higher than before.  Why is Omicron more contagious?  The answer rests with the spike protein on the surface of all coronaviruses.  The spike protein is the key that fits into the lock on the surface of a host cell allowing the virus entry.  This lock is known as a receptor and in normal life functions to allow messengers, like hormones, to enter the cell.  Viruses take advantage of these receptors to fool the cell into giving them entry. The better the key fits, the more likely the cell will open the door and thus become infected.

Here is the important part.  A better fitting key means less virus particles need to be inhaled to get a solid infection going. In other words, the result of a better spike-receptor match is increased contagion.

The virus has not developed new ways of floating through the air; it is still primarily spread by respiratory droplets.  However, because the Omicron variant can lead to more infection than before, it is important that our masks be even better at filtering out the virus.

Masks versus respirators.  A respirator is simply a mask that has been certified by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to protect the wearer from inhaling potentially dangerous particles.  In order for it to do this, respirators must make a tighter fit around the face than a mask and are generally thicker, being made of multiple different layers each with different filtering properties.  A key component of respirator manufacture is one or more special layers of polypropylene fabric that are given an electrostatic charge to attract and trap even very small particles which might otherwise pass through.  Another requirement is that they must have headbands and not ear loops. This is to reduce the risk of the respirator being knocked off or accidentally dislodged.

Medical grade paper masks are loose fitting and thinner and were primarily designed to trap respiratory droplets from escaping the wearer and entering into a patient’s wound, such as during surgery.  As such, they are highly effective in controlling the spread of infections from wearer to patient, which is why they are used extensively in surgery.  However, they offer less protection in the other direction.  They are not made with the special electrostatic fibers so, along with their relatively loose fit, will not trap small particles or aerosols. 

Cloth masks and gators generally provide even less protection than a medical grade mask and are not advised at this time.

What do the numbers and letters mean?  The number specifies the percentage of particles it must be capable of filtering out.  An N95 respirator must filter out at least 95% of large and small particles down to the aerosol size.  N95 respirators are not designed to filter out gases or vapors.  While they must filter out small aerosols, they do not resist oil-based aerosols and the “N” designation stands for “non-oil” indicating that the respirator does not protect against oil aerosols.  “R” designates oil resistance and “P” designates oil proof, however, neither of these two types are relevant when we talk about viruses.  There are also N99 and N100 respirators, but these are for special applications when using highly dangerous compounds and are usually part of a face covering shield.  This designation system was created by NIOSH and is used in America.  In the European Union, the FFP2 is an equivalent designation to the N95.  In China and most Asian countries, the equivalent designation is KN95 or in Korea KF94 for “Korean Filter”.  The KN95 does not require the head strap and thus can be found with ear loops which are far more comfortable.

The respirator advantage.   Once again, the key elements that make the N95 superior to a simple medical grade face mask are the special layered materials used to make it and the tighter fit around the nose and mouth.  This level of filtering is simply not provided by the medical grade mask.  Since the infectious dose with Omicron is so much lower than with previous variants, having that extra filtering capability is important.  The downside to respirators is that, since they are thicker it is sometimes more difficult to breath through and since they require a tighter fit, then they are definitely more uncomfortable. 

Finding a reasonable balance.  My recommendation is to first find masks that are built well enough not to fall apart and are reasonably comfortable to wear.  They should fit as snuggly around the mouth and nose as possible without causing pain especially over the bridge of the nose.  I continue to wear a medical grade mask when simply out in public such as at the grocery store, but if I will be in a more enclosed space with a large number of people, for example, flying in an airplane, then I use an N95 or KN95 respirator.  This is especially important if a lot of folks around you are not wearing masks.  I recommend avoiding cloth masks all together, but a cloth mask is better than going without a mask as it will reduce the escape of respiratory droplets that the wearer is producing.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Dr.Miller; Here are the questions I am asking now.

    1. Should I even bother wearing a mask since I’ve already recently contracted and recovered from Covid?

    1. Do I have natural immunity? For how long am I immune?

    2. While I have natural immunity can I be a carrier of it?

  2. 3.Can I catch a different variant of Covid than the one I already had?

    4.Is there any way to KNOW which variant I had?

    • The medical professionals do not know what “variant” one has from the test for sniffles or common cold tested as PCR quarantine-fodder.. If you ask which variant after a “positive” PCR polymerase chain reaction, the professional cannot say, because they don’t know. So how this is the age of omicron is a mystery. Trust starts at the top in DC. From there we obtain the official politicized science narrative. From there we receive the treatment protocol that is so life threatening to hospital “covid” admissions. Lockdowns, masks, social distancing, illegal unlawful mandates, confiscation of income, ruined businesses, social division, that which controls the narrative controls perception. They own the field and move the goal posts as needed to keep the lie alive. Indeed, the situation is so riddled with fraud that lies are being used as “truth” to support more lies. The real pandemic is obvious.

    • Thanks for the link, Floyd. Masks are as big a scam as is the “covid” fear porn. Some science worthy stated quite rightly that a mask is to a virus what a chain link fence is to a mosquito. LOLS. It’s surprising people continue to believe the well meaning who spread falsehoods.

    • Thanks Floyd for the link. Many of those pithy comments about the mask fraud are hilarious. The controlling fraud IS “Covid”. The infringements on our Constitutional guarantees such as lockdowns, masks, and gene therapy mandates are symptoms of the real disease……politicians and technocrats seeking our enslavement to scientism and their laughable metaverse. The stunning statistics are out. There is a HUGE INCREASE in
      speech therapy for young children. Why? Because young kids need to see unmasked faces. They learn speech language by observing word formation of the lips, tongue and mouth. One can surmise not only are the children being deprived of speech abilities, there are other consequences from lockdowns, social distancing, fear, peer interactions, insecurities. The bastards come now for them with the experimental gene therapy jab. Yeah, sacrifice to the god of scientism as young as six months. Regarding Gavin Newsom, he is California’s Pierre Trudeau. Liars and hypocrites.

  3. Thanks for leaving out crucial details such as a COVID virus being at ~0.1 microns.

    Simply read over 3M’s insert for a SURGICAL N95 mask, “This respirator helps protect against certain
    particulate contaminants but DOES NOT eliminate exposure to or the risk of contracting any disease or infection.”

    Some particle sizes to drive the point home.

    Human hair 100-150µm
    Skin flakes 20-40µm
    Dust floating in air >10µm
    Common pollen 15-25µm
    Common spores 2-10µm
    Bacteria 1-5µm
    Tobacco smoke 0.1-1µm
    Metal & Organic fumes <0.1-1

    (Last but not least)
    VIRUSES <0.1

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8320385/
    Filtration Efficiencies with no Edge Gaps & 1µm particles (COVID ~0.1µm)

    High-efficiency masks:
    R95 (60.2%)
    KN95 (46.3%)
    KN95 w/gap (3.4%)

    Cloth Masks: (9.8%)

    Surgical masks: (12.4%)

    Yes, those individuals who get all 'uppity' over having 9.8% to 12.4% of protection AT BEST is definitely a false sense of security.
    KN95 with a gap (like misfit or facial hair) drops protection down to 3.4%… eeeek.

    If people were serious about protecting themselves, sport a PAPR. (Powered Air-Purifying Respirator.)
    Or have facilities upgrade their HVAC systems for better filtration/cycling and get up to more modern standards which could potentially reduce the risk up to 90-99%. But that costs money, and they would much rather have you sport a face cloth/surgical and enjoy that 9-12% filtration efficacy which is literally a joke.

  4. There is no “Covid” epidemic in this county. Nor anywhere else. It’s all made up. Top down deception. Fear porn induced through the hypnotic television liars. There IS developing an epidemic of the gene therapy jabbed that is putting people into hospital with terrible adverse reactions. Those are jabbed and said to have “Covid”. Gosh, what happened to the earlier 100% effective and safe sales pitch? What’s the efficacy after three months out?
    Virtually zero if not actually zero. Time for jab 2 and 3. Sign up for boosters out into infinity. What a great business model. Now they come for the six month old babies. When will the dumbed down population shake off the hypnotic trust in the false religion of scientism?

  5. Don’t gather round people just tune into zoom
    Make sure you wear masks when you enter a room
    And kill every germ that may threaten our doom
    If your health to you is worth saving
    Isolation and depression as we all die alone
    And my Depends may need a- changing
    Verse 1

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a journalist for the everyman. Journalism has become a craft practiced largely by the urban elite. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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