Using vapes to prove masks don’t work is dumb

ok this bothered me enough to look it up and my hunch was right.

I saw a video from a doctor proving masks don’t work. This is a typical example screenshot: he sucks in a giant hit on a vape pen and then exhales a cloud of vapor around the edges of a very (intentionally) ill-fitting mask:

ok so how big are the particles exhaled by people who vape?

Call it 1 micrometer. Well fine, viruses are smaller than that, right? Right, guise?

There’s a difference between the size of a virion and a particle someone exhales than can carry it into your mucosa. The filtration of a mask obviously depends on the kind and fit of the mask used, but come on here. If you’re doing science, don’t be obviously wrong and/or disingenuous.

If you’re demonstrating a filter doesn’t catch particles, stop using something 5 to 30 times smaller than the thing you’re demonstrating it doesn’t catch. All of which is beside the point. The video from the first picture here, shows that most peoples’ masks DO work . . . to keep from spreading high-velocity large particles. See how he was blowing clouds of small bits out the sides?

Masks catch the big chunky aerosols. That’s the deal. That’s what they’re for. A surgical mask prevents your cough and sneeze juice, as well as your mouth-breather breath, from blasting out straight at the person in front of you. They leave a cloud of smaller particles that evaporate and are not hazardous, or agglomerate and fall down within ~1meter of yourself.

Saying “masks don’t work” because they don’t provide 100% protection is silly. Nothing but sealed Level IV Virus Protection Super Suits with forced air from a HEPA filter is gonna be 100% proof.

yeah, but…

Oh, and since that’s the next question. Yes, masks filter out fine particles. Even this article saying they aren’t perfect shows that they do work to some degree.

Mask *mandates* don’t work because people can be responsible adults without being told. Maks *do* work, but only for what they work for. This is not an open question.

Thank You, An Open Letter from an Old Veteran’s Perspective

Dear healthcare worker,

If you haven’t already, hopefully you will soon notice an increase in the number of people who thank you for doing what you do every day. Some of you won’t know what to do with this newfound wave of gratitude from your neighbors, friends, and random strangers. As a veteran, I have an analogous perspective and I offer you my advice: Say “You’re welcome” and think of the following and try not to feel weird about it.

Veterans get this all the time. These days, when someone finds out they are talking to a veteran of military forces, it is almost universal that they’ll say “Thank you for your service.” It feels weird until the veteran finds the proper perspective. Here is some stranger that I never met, thanking me for something they don’t know what I did, in some cases before they were born. They don’t know if I put my “110%” into it, or if I was a dirtbag slacker. They don’t have a specific incident in mind for which they are grateful. They don’t even know when or where I served my country. But still they all express gratitude.

From the fresh veteran’s perspective: I did my duty, I did my time, maybe some bad things happened, maybe they didn’t, but I got out and I moved on with my life. Mostly moved on, anyway. It was ‘just this thing I did’ and now here is some stranger thanking me?

From the civilian’s perspective, I was sticking my neck out for them. The most horrible of things could have happened to me and mine, and this grateful stranger doesn’t know if they did – but they could have. They don’t know what hazards I endured, but they do know there was a term of years when I put myself at risk to defend them and everything they hold dear. It goes without saying that there were sacrifices involved, and these were on their behalf, so they are grateful.

I don’t know you. I never did something specifically for you. But I did something for a class of people that includes you. I did some things and you are grateful so “You’re welcome” is the polite response. Not many ask for details. It’s apparently enough that they know I did something for them.

Healthcare worker, in normal times your daily routine is fairly routine. You go to work, you do some stuff that is common for you. Patient (x) needs (x) amount of (x) therapy, sign the chart, swipe your badge and come back tomorrow. I’ve talked to some of you, and you are not inclined to think what you do is extraordinary. The people you treat every day, some of them are grateful on an individual basis for individual things you did for them. You can understand that. You saved Joe’s life, he’s grateful. You helped Mary’s arm feel better, she’s grateful. You gave somebody a scrip for medicine they think is going to help, hey they’re glad and grateful. You intubated someone and watched their sats like a hawk while it was touch-and-go, they’re grateful. That’s easy to understand.

But here is a stranger coming up to you and clapping, seriously? Yeah, seriously.

COVID-19 is a game changer for all of us. Usually you only help “other people”, a few patients; not all of us. This year, you are doing something for a class people that includes all of us. Maybe (hopefully) you never have to help me in particular, but you are helping some of us to deal with this new illness. Here I sit in the comfort of my “Stay at home/stay safe” couch, and you are not only going out to work your usual (sometimes long) shift. You are putting your health at risk. Not just like regular, where you always get a cold during the annual cold season. Not just like regular, where you might pull a muscle moving a patient. For the novel coronavirus, while you are doing your normal job someone can seriously injure or even kill you invisibly, in a moment, by accident.

We get that. You are putting yourself on the line in a way that could be harmful to you, to protect some of us, some of our parents, some of our grandparents. And you don’t quit. You keep going back day after day after day. Some of you are going to be losing record numbers of patients through no fault of your own, every day – and the next day you will go back. Because the patients need you, and it’s your thing you do. It’s who you are. You have a little packet of employee access cards on your lanyard and they all have your picture on them so you will go back again because that’s you.

You don’t have to. You could hang it up. You could zip up one more bag and say that’s enough forever and leave the rest of us wanting when our turn in hospital comes. But you’re going to be there tomorrow.

For us. We recognize your risk. We recognize your willingness to sacrifice for our sake.

For you, maybe it’s just ‘the thing you do’ but we see you fighting our invisible enemy for all of us. So thank you.


John Q. Public

Psychic Trauma

I came to an important realization recently. People can get sick and not be aware they are ill.  Mentally.

Someone mentioned to me the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).  This is the germ which causes mononucleosis, which often amounts to a bad cold that teenagers often catch from what they thought were hidden romantic encounters.  I did a little research and found that very nearly everyone ends up testing positive for antibodies to EBV – which means that very nearly everyone has been infected and recovered.  But I found out that not everyone recovers fully.  This is a herpesvirus, which means that some unfortunate individuals will have the disease lie dormant in their bodies for years – and some will suffer symptoms that are difficult to explain, until it is found that the EBV has emerged and again become active in the patient’s body.  This led me to discover an analogy which is useful to me, and I share it in hopes it will be useful to you also:

When someone is in a car crash and their spine is fractured, we would not expect them to shake it off and keep living a normal life without medical care.  When someone played football in school and a knee was injured, we think very little of their complaints of a “bum knee” for the rest of their life, especially when the weather changes.  But psychic injuries generally are not thought of in the same way.  If someone lives through a traumatic event without physical hurt, for the most part they are expected to shake it off and keep on living life normally – and this is a great mistake.

The spirit of a man is as much a part of him as his body.  Just as a physical injury can cause emotional symptoms (e.g., getting depressed because you’re stuck in a wheelchair) so can psychic injuries cause physical symptoms (flu-like symptoms, panic attacks, etc).

If someone has a bad experience, it can leave them with an emotional “bum knee” for the rest of their life.  What a psychiatrist might call an emotional trigger is the equivalent of our former footballer’s weather change which brings the “old knee pains” back.  We expect our friend with the bum knee to show up to work, perhaps with a brace on the knee, even in bad weather.  What kind of brace can be put on the spirit which is reminded of bad times?  There’s nothing, really.  With no sign of physical injury to keep us from showing up to work, we have “no real excuse” for not being functional. But the brains are scrambled a little bit and the person is dysfunctional.  This is a disorder, caused by stress after a trauma. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  A freak-out, brought on by apparently nothing – but it isn’t from nothing.  It’s an old injury playing up again that nobody can relate to but the wounded, or maybe some of those who have been in like condition – or a trained professional.

If someone has the sniffles, they should take Sudafed. If someone has emotional sniffles, it’s not so easy. Some people meditate or do breathing or mindfulness exercises to relax. If someone has a broken ankle, they should go to a doctor. If someone has a broken spirit – they should also go to a doctor.  Check your insurance plan, it is probably covered as much as physical medical treatment.

It may be worth noting that this is a layman’s perspective and I might have used the wrong words. Psyche, mind, spirit, emotions, vital force, chi, whatever you want to call the non-physical aspect of a man is what I’m talking about here. If you can’t get past the question of terminology and see the point at which I am driving, feel free to get stuffed.

Okay, This Is No Shit…

I’ve already mentioned previously that I’m really fast, mentally. Fast as in, I have often decided how to react before people around me have registered there is a thing to react to. Fast as in, I haven’t been satisfyingly startled by someone trying to prank me in … well, ever. Fast as in, I’m not even ticklish. Well okay … anyway

And I’m the security detail. I’m the one with a gun keeping an eye on things from the back. Except when I’m sleeping. I guess I’m “that guy” you don’t want to wake up because it’s scary. Yesterday, DW came to wake me up a minute before my Naptime’s Over alarm would have gone off. Then she regretted waking me up because I realized it was her as I was on the way up, with a fist at full-cock and she didn’t want a face full of it. She said something like “Geez, just don’t hit me” after I had already not.

I can come out of sleep already processing circumstances, is the point – fast enough to not knock out someone who comes to awaken me, halfway through the activity.

Also, I can see in the dark. At least, I can see way, way farther into violet hues than a lot of people I know, and I can navigate with confidence when other people are in pitch dark midnight blackness. To me, our house at night with various LED indicators and clocks etc. is never really pitch black. And last night was a bigass full moon, so I could see – not well, but I could see what was going on in the house without switching on a light.

Okay so. background storytime is over for now. This morning I woke up at 04:-something AM and heard a noise that could have been a child sneezing and/or wandering about doing potty business. No big deal. Back to sleep. A few minutes later, a noise probably from the house settling, in the vicinity of my bedroom door. No big deal. Back to sleep. Thus often interrupted, I was sleeping badly. I don’t know what woke me at 05:-something but I woke up on my side, face pointed horizontally across the bed and off toward the door. There was a person there.  About as tall as the shortest of our children.

And completely white.

And translucent.

At this point, my brain is half asleep, and half has just started going 100 miles an hour, and the whole self is about 86% of the way toward losing its shit completely. [expletive deleted] ghost, right here in my bedroom and I’m trapped under the covers.

Okay self, SITREP time. Here is a translucent, child-sized, white-including-the-clothes person, standing next to my bed. Odds were pretty small, but the sleeping part of my mind said it still could be a child. I put out an arm to grab its shoulder. Maybe it would have been a half-punch-speed grab, but I was about to start freaking out here.

My arm went straight through this thing,I kid you not. At this point, I was at a loss for an appropriate response. The wakeful part of my mind was thinking it might have been a bad idea to have reached out and grabbed at this thing, whether it had been grab-able or not.

My eyes drifted left, to where my hand had gone. The whatever-it-is followed my eyes’ motion, staying in the same place within my field of view. Floating now over the foot of my bed. Okay 100% now for-sure this is not one of my children.

I closed my eyes. It was still there with my eyes closed. This did not make me feel better.

When I wake up in a nightmare, I repeat the Lord’s name quietly to myself. It’s often as good a prayer as I can come up with, plus I figure it’s at least a nuisance to whatever spirit might have decided to come mess with me, if that’s why I’m having a nightmare. So here I am “JesusJesusJesus”ing and I realized:

I was rolling around on the bed. I had been on my side. My eye was smooshed on one side by a pillow and the eye was recovering. I told the apparition, (said silently, to myself, in my head) “now you are going to fade away. you are going to start strobing and shrinking, and shrinking” and it did.  I recognized this as mental noise, it went away, and I chilled out. No big deal. Back to sleep.

I think, if I were a little slower, I would have pitched a full-scale fit right then-and-there. But I swung an arm, then rolled over on my back. No screaming, no jumping out of bed and dragging the covers with me, no waking DW up to a freaking-out husband. Thank God it was -literally!- nothing.

The Problem With Socialism

…is that, eventually, you run out of other peoples’ money.  All along the way to abject poverty being spread across the general populace of a Socialist nation, we have the same thing:  Fellow-travellers and Communist/Socialist sympathizers in places that are not (yet!) Socialist keep going on about how great the Socialism is, and how if only we would do what they do our place would be better, like their place is.

And then they refuse to give cancer patients their medicine.  I long ago grew tired of hearing advocates for single-payer healthcare saying how well it works where it’s been tried.  Next time, I’ll remember to ask them if this is what they mean by “it works.”

h/t: instapundit

Fat Preachers: Not Helping.

It’s 2015.  Dietary science has progressed somewhat in the last couple hundred years, and we know now for certain what causes morbid obesity.  It’s listed in the Bible as a sin: GLUTTONY.  People who are fat display a lack of self-control that extends to self-harming.  The thing they should value the most, they allow to fall into disrepair.

Preacher, you want to tell me how I should live, but you’re a big fatass fat guy?  Yeah, sorry I can’t hear all your good advice over the sound of how fat you are, up on stage.  Lose a hundred pound and then ask me again to repeat what you just said.

Everyone has a pet sin.  Alcoholics can hide it.  Homersexuals can hide it.  Gluttons, it’s right there in the open.  Righteousness, you’re doing it wrong and it shows!

VFD, tell me you did not just say being a fat preacher is a sin!  Seriously?

Yessir.  I can see, maybe a little paunch.  Even a spare tire isn’t going to wreck your ankles, knees, hips, back, heart, kidneys, and food budget.  Being a bigass fatty McFatpants is neglectful of your body to a dangerous extent, and this is not even open for debate.  Fatties who are supposed to be instructors in righteousness, you are preaching that self-control is not mandatory.  Even basic self-CARE is not mandatory.  Do whatever, eat whatever, but listen to the words coming out of my mouth.  No.

You’re a bad example and you should feel bad.  P.S. you’re not helping one little bit to dispel the non-Christians’ stereotype of churches being full of hypocrites, and you bring shame on the gospel of Christ.

Stop it.

Will Wonders Never Cease?

Thanks properly belong to God of course, who designed the human body to be a self-healing machine – and who also instills the germ of wisdom in the inventive mind.

But I know a woman who underwent hysterectomy on Friday afternoon and was able to walk herself from the car to the pew before and then back to the car after church.  Because laparoscope.  Instead of slicing the abdomen open and (literally) laying the guts out on the table, these days a normal hysterectomy has two inch-long incisions and a smaller one in the belly button.  Advances in medical technology are a blessing to be sure, and in some ways it’s a good time to be alive.

More Like This, Please!

Doctor/Scientists 3D print a replacement trachea for (eventual, probably) implantation into the human body.  That’s cool for some pretty important structural problems.  Coming later (also eventually, probably): 3D printed replacement noses and ears.  That plus some new burn healing skin production stuff currently in development will save some peoples’ ability to live normal lives.

I know it is a curse to live in “interesting times” but . . . it’s kinda neat also.

:Facepalm: – worthty Medical News

The quality of students coming out of Schools of Journalism continues to be a cause for dismay among the thinking persons of the world.  Just TODAY we have two complete failures of what used to be common sense.


hmm… this is awfully close on the heels of the CDC saying circumcision was commendable, in that the demonstrated medical benefits outweigh the very small risks involved with the surgery.  Let me spend more time on google than 100% of reporters apparently did and ….ah, here we are:

Science: little bitty babies exposed to pain killer in Tylenol have increased autism rates.

We gave our sons anesthetic gels applied to the site directly.  Who feeds drugs to a baby that’s not sick, anyway?

and then:

Headline: Depo Provera contraceptive increases (DOUBLE!!!) risk of spreading HIV!!!

My first thought was: I bet those chicks are going raw-dog because they’re on the shot.  100% for-sure this is why they are spreading the “HIV” at higher rates, I bet you a dollar.  In the same search result, from the same website (!) we find:

Science: Depo-Provera Has No Effect on Transmission of HIV

WHEEEEE that was fun.  In related news, drinking water is directly linked to dying from ebola, and exposure to oxygen causes side effects strongly linked to death.  Because of course, for reporting purposes, correlation is THE SAME as causation.  Don’t even think how, it’s a link and that proves the cause because SCIENCE!


Doomed, that’s what we are.