ToDaZeD WetBat™ WTF


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  1. well, Claire, as long as you know all about everything, i got a question for you.

    How are you disposing of all of those masks? just throw ‘em in the trash? or are you actually treating them as medical waste?

    i know that i don’t have a right to an opinion. medical school, 5 year residency, 20 years spent wearing said mask means nothing, i know, not compared to your know it all rants.

    i certainly haven’t decided for myself whether they are beneficial. work from Japan says yes, other work, WHO and CDC, says no.

    but the disposal bothers me. toss ‘em in the trash so that your trash hauler (and perhaps your family) gets infected and the local dump becomes a long term focus of infection?

    or treat said items as medical waste, which really isn’t all that easy, and ends in incineration.

    inquiring minds want to know.

    i assume that i will no longer be welcome here after this post.

    Comment by jlw — March 31, 2020 @ 12:27 pm

  2. One should probably assume that everything is contaminated by now.

    A grocery store is probably one of the most dangerous places to be, but y’gotta eat. It’s like a watering hole on the savanna; an oribi’s gotta drink, leopards* notwithstanding.

    Fortunately, the population’s death rate from the virus is low in pandemic terms (although it’s either 0 or 100% for an individual), so being lucky to survive long enough for medical science to win (vaccine/cure) is the real solution.

    (What? Darwin? Woo, nah, that’s way too long-term to suit me)
    * Dunno if leopards and oribi share habitat — might be cheetah — but you get my meaning
    Scientific explanation (well, it’s biology, so not in my wheelhouse)

    Comment by DougM ☞crotchety and judgmental☜ — March 31, 2020 @ 1:36 pm

  3. ^^ jlw, just curious, do you treat kleenex like medical waste? Do we have a larger problem than the safe disposal of used N95 masks?

    Comment by Nomen Nescio — March 31, 2020 @ 2:44 pm

  4. Is the mask to protect the user or is it to contain contaminating particles so as to protect others from the user?
    I will take one anecdote like Japan over 50 studies from the mission creeps at CDC and the UNiks at WHO (subsidiary of whoever is bribing them that week).

    I might be confused about masks, but I did learn not to lick shoes.

    Comment by Veeshir — March 31, 2020 @ 2:57 pm

  5. Sorry, jlw@1 — I didn’t mean to come off as Miss Know It All. Being subject to the same stress as everyone else, I may have become too cranky.

    My point was that if we have too few masks [and we do] and they must be reserved for use by medical personnel [which they must] maybe the SG ought to just say so outright and not lead us ’round the mullberry bush with convoluted ‘explanations.’ One of his jobs is to instill trust in the office he occupies: this approach ain’t accomplishing that.

    And maybe what will come out of this is a mechanism to ensure the bureaucrats re-fill the *In Case of Emergency* stockpiles and the rest of us decide that dependence on any country not our own ain’t such a good idea.

    As to your question… I had never thought of that. Now you mention it, it seems obvious. Like the shoe thing.

    Although I’m just a smarty pants who writes on a blog, I wonder why no one else is talking about it — or, rather if they will when there are enough masks for regular citizens to wear them as they do in S.Korea/Japan etc?

    I know medical waste is more expensive to deal with than regular waste. I read several differing estimates on how long the virus is viable and infectious on different surfaces. I wonder what might be done to contain the virus it is no longer viable and the masks turn into regular waste — or if that’s even possible?

    Put us some knowledge if you would?

    Until then, I’d love to offer some pretty words of encouragement but I lack those as well. I do appreciate that doctoring is difficult on a normal random Tuesday: I cannot even imagine what it must be like now. I respect your dedication.

    …and don’t assume anything
    ; >

    Comment by Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause* — March 31, 2020 @ 4:02 pm

  6. Claire,
    Isn’t WetBat™ kind’a, you know, racist?
    I mean, geeze, it sounds an awful lot like ‘wetback ‘
    (which, I just learned in the Mexican-food aisle, evidently is)

    Comment by DougM ☞crotchety and judgmental☜ — March 31, 2020 @ 4:58 pm

  7. DM@6–
    oh, it’s all too much for me to keep up with…

    Comment by Claire: rebellious pink pig with car keys - and a *cause* — March 31, 2020 @ 9:18 pm

  8. The Prez suggests scarves. Those’ll help at least with the outgoing (and some of the incoming, I guess).

    As far as cotton fabric surgical-type masks, I’d guess we’d just machine wash them in hot water, with bleach.

    Comment by OldFert — April 1, 2020 @ 4:51 pm

  9. Claire: I thought you might find this Twitter thread to be interesting. The ending is not something I would have expected.

    (And for those who don’t know, the author is using a pseudonym – his real name is Thomas Wictor.)

    Comment by Lord of the Fleas — April 1, 2020 @ 5:02 pm

  10. I am already seeing plenty of people wearing DIY facial protection, from bandanas to gas masks. If you wear a cloth mask, or even pull your t-shirt up over your nose and breath through that for a few minutes, it gets damp. That shows how much moisture you’re exhaling. Since none of us really know if we’re infected, all that moisture – water droplets – could be carrying virus from your lungs and throat. So cover your face for everyone’s benefit.

    I can guarantee that a simple cloth barrier is not going to catch all airborne virus bits, but it will slow things down. Better something than nothing.

    I’m really starting to feel that the WHO and CDC are not acting in my best interest. Nor are various governors or petty bureaucrats. Time for a purge.

    Comment by Drew458 — April 2, 2020 @ 5:56 am

  11. Not a scientist. don’t know any scientists. Would probably move away from a scientist if I recognized one in my local tavern.

    Having said that, while incineration of masks and used tissues and other PPE items might be the best solution, wouldn’t the naturally occurring heat rise in a landfill be enough to destroy any viruses that might be on the contaminated items?

    Being naturally skeptical, there is little I believe from the press releases from any source. Masks are good, masks are bad, they work for medical professionals, but not for grunts like us. Old folks are vulnerable, but young folks are getting sick. And the disease is the cause, but victim seems to have had “underlying medical conditions.”

    All I know for sure is that sheltering in place is no different than being retired, really. You stay home unless you need groceries, for instance, but there’s not much more out there to buy than there was three weeks ago. The doctors who told you that all those appointments were extremely necessary are now calling to say they don’t need to see you for six months. Family members who were reluctant to visit before now have a fine excuse not to stop by, because they don’t want to contaminate you.

    We’ve been “sheltering” since the 11th of March, and the best I can come up with from all this is that maybe 8:00 a.m. isn’t too early to start drinking.

    Comment by MikeAZ — April 2, 2020 @ 8:31 am

  12. Mike ^

    8:00 a.m. isn’t too early to start drinking

    …it’s just too early to get up

    Wait, not ‘drinking’
    Applying hand-sanitizer to one’s throat

    Comment by DougM ☞crotchety and judgmental☜ — April 2, 2020 @ 10:21 am

  13. Doug^

    Worked the night shifts pretty much all my adult life (bosses don’t work nights.) Rising at two a.m. for me is sleeping in.

    Comment by MikeAZ — April 2, 2020 @ 11:49 am

  14. Thanks LotF ^9
    I thought so and find it good to read him again.

    The virus should die after a week or two with no dna to replicate itself in.

    An easy solution is a trash bag with a little bleach in it and a lid till you seal it for the landfill. The bleach vapor will work nicely and cheap.

    Comment by mech — April 2, 2020 @ 1:57 pm

  15. ^^Not dna–-live cells to replicate in.

    Comment by mech — April 2, 2020 @ 1:59 pm

  16. Here in the Pacific Northwest, there’s a company that’s come up with a way to sterilize surgical masks for re-use. They package them up after inspection and send them not only locally, but to other facilities around the country.

    Comment by Max — April 5, 2020 @ 1:55 pm

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