Masks — Pandemic Diary Day 2

March 26th

So I know this is a simple diary from an “old” person in California during this pandemic, but I have always believed that sometimes facts makes one feel better. So, as I listen to how rare Personal Protective Equipment (PPE ) has become such a crisis in our country I was fascinated with a thread in my Twitter account.

I have a friend named D who I consider one of the smarter people I have the pleasure of knowing. She has a twitter handle that covers politics. BUT, I want you to understand that I do not give a flying fig about your politics in this pandemic. But should you be interested her Twitter handle is @itsWanda. This subject comes from one of her Twitter threads that has been going on for a few days.

Masks. Everyone is screaming at large corporations in California about withholding masks. Well...I learned from @itsWanda that it is far more complicated than that.

In 2019, California’s Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted a regulation forcing employers to provide respiratory equipment, including N95 masks, for workers when the Air Quality Index, or AQI, reaches unhealthy levels.

“Surgical masks or items worn over the nose and mouth such as scarves, T-shirts, and bandanas will not provide protection against wildfire smoke,” the rule said. “An N95 filtering facepiece respirator…, is the minimum level of protection for wildfire smoke.”

Sadly, over the last few years, due to global warming and drought we have had far too many fires in California making a law like this a necessity. So let’s hold off deriding California companies for holding onto N95 masks, there was an honest reason for this.

Sadly, what these companies have is not nearly enough.

Based on the scale of the crisis, tech companies can only fill a small hole in the massive mask shortage. Facebook is providing 720,000 masks, though not all of them are N95. Apple CEO Tim Cook said the company is sourcing protective masks and other pieces of equipment, in part through it supply chain, for health workers in the U.S. and Europe. It is said that the U.S. will need up to 3.5 billion N95 respirator masks over the next year.

There is so much information and whole lot more mis-information out there. I am not a source, I am just hoping I can clear some of the clutter while I continue to simply document my experience under SIP in this horrendous period in our lives.

I have run across sites talking about helping out by sewing masks. I am really flumoxed by this as I doubt that simple paper towels and cotton will fill the requirement of an N95 mask which: when subjected to careful testing, blocks at least 95 percent of very small (0.3 micron) Covid 19 particles.

But I learned that on the CDC page: Strategies for Optimizing the Supply of Facemasks, that as a last resort, a homemade mask is acceptable.

It absolutely should be accompanied with a lot of other protective equipment that at this point is also not available, but maybe it is a simple way that those of you that sew and have idle hands and a little bit of anxiety can pour some of that into sewing. Here is a pattern.

Trivial Things

The NYT Crossword Puzzle was medium in difficulty in my opinion, the hardest section for me was the top left, with Fiero being a sporty Pontiac — I was way too stuck on GTO and it just did not fit.

The high today in San Francisco is to be 56 degrees and sunny

NYSE opened at 21468

Italian word of the day: Speranza for hope

Spanish word of the day: Esperanza for hope

OED word of the day: Proclivity

Days under Shelter In Place: 12

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My travel blog www.PassportandBaggage.com and my www.ArtandArchitecture-sf.com blog are quiet due to the Pandemic. I need to write, so here I go.