An acquaintance was going to buy masks and asked me what the numbers meant, I cautioned that the particle size of COVID19 virus airborne pods are way too small to be trapped by the 'normal-everyday MSA/NIOSH rated #60 mask, or even a #97 or "super 99" mask, (which are all designed around a 3-micron particulate size)... one micron is 0.00004 (hundred thousandths) of an inch... which we can’t see with the human eye, Flu virulets are (0.170 microns), the COVID-19 virus is smaller yet at 0.100 to 0.125 microns in diameter (thats 4 hundred thousandths of an inch) A strand of human hair is approximately 30 microns, or .0012".
So, in the end-analysis, masks and bandannas only protect you from heavy "drops" and large sized fomites or expectorants (like from a sneeze or cough)... and, that's a two-way street... either "your" coughing on someone, or 'them" coughing on you. But, masks are a soothing placebo that helps eliminate "fear" and isolation... "if" 6 plus-foot social distancing is used to keep "most of" the lighter-small aerosols that are floating around from reaching either of you.
Back in January, the CDC and the US Attorney General "both" did not recommend the use of masks for “people who are well”. US Surgeon General Jerome Adams even went as far as to tweet a warning: “STOP BUYING MASKS” a month later.
Among the many many other mixed signals, reversals and lies the public has been told since January are" "This is not airborne, it is "only" transmitted through person to person contact", " mail and packages "cannot" transmit the virus", "always stay 3 feet apart", "it is not as contagious as the flu", "it does not live on surfaces" on and on...
My cautions put forth back in March were:
REMEMBER... this is a highly contagious virus that lives for up to 72 hours... there are three dangers.
1) The accumulated heavy spit, phlegm, and fomite "not" fully trapped in masks, drop to the deck, onto shelves, furniture, cargo, door handles, clothing, counters, pets, seating, handrails, floors, elevator buttons, shipping boxes, and take-out food containers... is carried about on shoe soles, by hand contact, and air contamination.
2) The smaller lighter weight aerosol virulets (aerosols, or droplet nuclei) that are airborne, move for 30-40 feet before being inhaled, layered on skin, hair, into your eyes, onto clothing or into air conditioner/heater/blower devices. these aerosol particulates are of concern Indoors or in outdoor high-density gatherings where the "cloud" can be seen above groups of assembled people (ready for inhalation/contamination), none... repeat, none of the small nuclei are trapped by masks or face coverings, they are simply too tiny, and travel long distances.
3) The intentional avoidance to not create a panic, or of toppling the economy has led to dangerous misinformation, and "lack of" information campaign that puts many of the unknowing and uninformed at risk, the high infection rates are blamed on many unaligned causes, and the pushing of mask-wearing and the "impossible" safe-distancing has been used as a calming antidote but has ended the concerns of eye ingestion (the # one way into your mask covered body) or contact by touch.
The continued unavailability of latex-vinyl gloves, or eye protection as goggles or glasses, or even as masks themselves has easily been explained away as "not needed" to avoid panic, well, the panic is upon us... and now we are uneducated as to what we are fighting, and totally unaware.
Watching the protest/party-down/restaurant cheating/mass assembly traveling public activities, and their "belief and reliance" on the safety of face coverings, and the exoneration of all other contagion methods as valid, and how gullible the public is... has me not surprised at the surge of daily infection rates nationwide. This "is" airborne transmitted.