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Topic: Coffee filters as face masks?  (Read 766 times)

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Offline Enthalpy

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Coffee filters as face masks?
« on: March 15, 2020, 06:39:28 AM »
Hello everyone!

What do you think about misusing coffee filters as makeshift face masks against Covid-19? Several countries lack face masks in the present epidemic.

At least the shape fits the function. Cut the paper to fit the face better. Hold it on the face with surgical tape across the whole rim.

Whether paper is good? Under rain it won't last long. The pores in a coffee filter are wider than a virus, but I understand a face mask stops only the droplets that contain the viruses.

Marc Schaefer, aka Enthalpy

Offline chenbeier

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2020, 08:34:20 AM »
In accidentally cases, this can work. But I would not recommend it generally.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2020, 08:04:11 PM »
Today at the supermarket and on the way by foot, I've worn a coffee filter for about 1.5h as a face mask. Observations:
  • I was too lazy to put surgical tape across the whole rim, only a few pieces perpendicular to the rim. They held.
  • Breathing through the paper wastes a manageable pressure, even when pressing the rim airtight. But the filter's volume stores exhaled air. Better a smaller volume.
  • Walking with it was fine. A strong effort on a bicycle wouldn't.
  • The other Sapiens reacted about normally to it. Cats were afraid.
  • Obviously, I ignore how much protection it brings. But it didn't hurt.
  • The filter is useable for a longer time under dry weather.
Two women, one being an identified governmental spook, told me spontaneously and loudly "Masks don't serve", which is the official propaganda despite masks are requisitioned for medics which are homo sapiens too. The least sly explanation is that masks are too scarce for the whole population in Europe, so governments allege they would be useless.

Offline Corribus

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2020, 10:52:50 AM »
Today at the supermarket and on the way by foot, I've worn a coffee filter for about 1.5h as a face mask.
Pic or it didn't happen!

Quote
  • The other Sapiens reacted about normally to it. Cats were afraid.
I LOL'd at this.

Quote
despite masks are requisitioned for medics
I don't know what the scientific line is about this, but based on intuition (and the fact that they are named after surgeons) I think surgical masks would seem to be better protection of other people from you, than protection of you from other people.
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2020, 01:06:51 PM »
[Enthalpy: worn a coffee filter as a face mask] Pic or it didn't happen!
Do you imagine a platypus?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Platypus
I looked the same, except I don't swim so well.

I think surgical masks would protect other people from you, more than protect you from other people.
Quite possible! I'm willing to protect other people too.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2020, 01:51:46 PM by Enthalpy »

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2020, 01:26:36 PM »
In the Czech Republic from March 18 on, people are requested to wear a face mask in public. As masks can't be bought, people sew some themselves. A virologist feels DIY masks have some usefulness:
https://www.n-tv.de/panorama/Virologe-findet-Selfmade-Mundschutz-sinnvoll-article21650041.html
https://www.n-tv.de/panorama/Tschechien-fuehrt-Mundschutz-Pflicht-ein-article21651043.html
(in German, but the information must exist in other languages).

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2020, 03:28:22 PM »
Fun: In France, a group of four people appeals the government to produce faces masks and make them mandatory
http://www.leparisien.fr/societe/sante/il-faut-generaliser-le-port-des-masques-l-appel-de-personnalites-a-olivier-veran-20-03-2020-8284488.php (in French)

  • This comes as masks from China arrived in France, and French companies are ready to produce.
  • The appeal's style is quite critical to the gov, BUT at least two authors regularly do what pleases the gov.
  • So I understand that the gov changes its policy about face masks, and this appeal is a way to prepare the opinion.

And that's only the least sly scenario. Alternately, the European governments could have decided to let the whole population contaminate itself to avoid later waves of illness as happens in Hong Kong, but they were surprised by overwhelmed hospitals. That policy would explain some hostile reactions when I wear a face mask.

Some arguments are fun:

  • The population were advised not to wear masks because there were too few. I mean, paranoiacs, conspirationists, fake news.
  • Masks are efficient for everyone, and even in both directions.
  • Don't wait for a certification. Sure, the industry is ready to sell.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2020, 05:55:13 PM »
I wore the coffee filter hold with double-sided tape for carpets because my usual surgical tape doesn't stick any more, and it held.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2020, 06:04:17 PM »
Today at the supermarket and on the way by foot, I've worn a coffee filter for about 1.5h as a face mask.
Pic or it didn't happen!
Quack quack quaaaaack, quack quaaack, quack quack quack: quack quack!  :spindown:

Offline Corribus

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 11:34:22 AM »
Haha, very nice Enthalpy.
Now let's do a double blind study to see how effective it is. :)
What men are poets who can speak of Jupiter if he were like a man, but if he is an immense spinning sphere of methane and ammonia must be silent?  - Richard P. Feynman

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: Coffee filters as face masks?
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 07:53:33 AM »
;D maybe some organisation did a study, because two people sneezed close to me the first time I wore the coffee filter. I didn't get sick. Fabulous proof.

I have reasonable confidence in the filter paper itself, but the adjustment on the face is just bad. And notice the gap in adhesive tape where the paper crosses the beard, because beards are known to stop viruses, of course. The eyes, a supposed entry path for Covid-19, are not protected at all. That's about as bad as home-made fabric masks mandatory in the Czech republic.

In epidemics where the chances (of the general population, not of medics!) of meeting a sick person are moderate, and the chances of being infected are lower, you don't need a perfect protection. Cutting the spread rate by half can mean enough intensive care units for all badly sick patients, and this makes the difference. This seems to almost explain the low mortality in Austria, Germany (up to now) and Luxembourg as compared with Italy, Spain and France - Britain is next, on the wrong side.

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