Once again about the benefits of masks and gloves: an explanation of a radiochemist
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Once again about the benefits of masks and gloves: an explanation of a radiochemist

21 October , 17:20Society
If masks really protect us from coronavirus, then gloves can be replaced with other means. However, it remains unclear how long we will have to defend ourselves?

It is no secret that despite the educational work in the media and social networks, many Russians still wonder why they are so persistently forced to wear gloves as protection against coronavirus. With masks, more or less, everything is clear, but gloves ... Besides, their use causes a lot of inconvenience. Moscow doctor Andrey Volna, who has already spoken out on this topic more than once, decided to explain again and in the most accessible language:

For non-specialists. For us, everything has been clear for a long time. At this point, I stop publishing materials on the need to comply with elementary hygiene rules during an epidemic. Those who want to hear have heard. And to be honest, even I got tired of hearing insults.

The new wave of coronavirus is not growing by itself: the speed of its spread depends on the actions of people.

At the very beginning of the epidemic, when the anti-mask campaign was at its maximum, I already wrote a post on this topic. Now it's time to repeat and clarify something else.

The people do not understand everything. And the point is precisely for people to understand, and not just refer to: “but such and such a famous doctor said such and such”, “but such a respected person said such and such”. By the way, even the most respected doctors have a distant idea of the effectiveness of infection through aerosols and contact. The fact is that controlling the transmission of viruses is quite difficult, and when someone gets sick or does not get sick, there can be various reasons for this. As for the WHO, it has long opposed masks for the reason that the recommendations of this organization should be based on studies with a huge number of infected people, while those tested for infection should be in the same conditions and with control of susceptibility to infection. But this was very difficult to do in the given conditions.

We, radiochemists, see any pollution immediately and therefore are able to control it.

I will briefly repeat my conclusions about masks.

ANY masks significantly reduce the likelihood of infection, but do not completely protect. Almost completely protected by professional products. Therefore, cheap masks are ineffective for doctors who work with high concentrations of the virus for a long time.

But even bad masks with air leaks are very effective at low concentrations of the virus, because they reduce the likelihood of infection tenfold. This is also due to the fact that large aerosols are well retained and poor masks. If these are primary aerosols - originating directly from a sick person, then each large particle contains hundreds of times more virus than a small particle (r-cube). Large particles, even with a scarf, are significantly delayed and still poorly wrapped in the air stream. Social distance is also very effective against large aerosols. Small aerosols can be very dangerous if you are in a confined space for a long time.

A mask already worn on the patient is LESS effective, since when exhaling, part of the air passes directly, especially when there is a valve. But it is also useful for a healthy person, and for a patient, perhaps, it is harmful.

When should you wear masks and when not necessary? Everything is obvious here: you need to wear a mask where there is a large crowd of people (supermarkets, mass parties, theaters, busy streets, elevators, public transport). Even more careful protection should be given in hospitals and pharmacies, where the number of patients may be increased. Of course, when you are walking in the park, walking on a free street or driving a private car, you DO NOT NEED to put on a mask at all - it is better to breathe more freely.

You should not touch the outside of the used mask, but this is not very dangerous: most of the viruses will be inside the tissue, and only a very small part of them will transfer to your hands when touched.

Let's now - in more detail about gloves. The anti-glove campaign is now in full swing. Immediately, I note that there is usually less chance of catching a virus from your hands, but anything can happen - it depends on how you behave.

Here people, too, often do not understand the mechanism of the spread of infection.

If you touch a surface with an infection, then it will be quite difficult to completely wash it off your hands: both radiochemists and doctors have to wash their hands for a long time and thoroughly. Contamination is much easier to wash off rubber or plastic gloves - just many times easier.

Better yet, throw away your gloves immediately after short-term use - for example, right after leaving the supermarket. You should not walk in them too much time. And all the same, then wash your hands on occasion.

If you have touched something with dirty gloves before - (it is better, of course, not to do this), this is not so scary. The fact is that with each successive touch, the concentration decreases tenfold. For example, if there were 10,000 viruses on the handle at the entrance to the store, then when you touch your glove, 100-1000 pieces are transferred, and after shaking hands with a friend, you will give him 1-10 pieces. There is a difference. The most dangerous places are door handles, carts, baskets, as well as railings (do not wipe them with your palms), terminal buttons or intercoms.

The virus can enter your body if you even involuntarily rub your eyes with contaminated hands, blow your nose, or eat something.

Sanitizers, of course, help, but they quickly wear off and evaporate, hands should be treated with them very carefully and very often. Gloves are better.

But wearing rubber gloves is unpleasant, and for some people it is harmful. It is much more convenient to use any clean piece of paper. The most convenient is half of the used A4 format, folded in half. But a napkin and even a piece of newspaper will do. After touching something dangerous, it is better to immediately throw it into the trash can and then get another out of your pocket.

And gloves should be worn when you go, for example, to a supermarket, and you have to touch different things very often.

The chance of getting the virus directly through the eyes or skin is much lower. But doctors here too need to protect themselves, because they work with high concentrations of the virus and for a long time..."

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