CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 7/2 roundup

No mask, no service. That’s one of the gubernatorial announcements starting our second nightly roundup of July:

‘MASK UP, OPEN UP’: In a mid-afternoon media briefing, speaking through his face-covering (screengrab above), Gov. Inslee said it’s time to ratchet the mask mandate to the next level: Starting Tuesday, businesses statewide have to refuse service to people flouting the law. He and Secretary of Health John Wiesman also announced that bar service would be removed from what’s allowed in Safe Start Phase 3, and that all county applications for advancing to the next phase would be paused for at least two weeks. The reason for all this? Here’s what they showed:

More details here.

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard, the cumulative totals:

*10,596 people have tested positive, up 251 from yesterday

*589 people have died, unchanged from yesterday

*1,606 people have been hospitalized, up 6 from yesterday

*175,993 people have been tested, up 4,267 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 9,612/585/1,561/153,505.

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: Find them, county by county, on the state Department of Health page,.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them, nation by nation, here.

WEST SEATTLE TESTING TOMORROW: Weekly reminder – Friday is the weekly drive-up testing day in the north lot at South Seattle College (6000 16th SW; WSB sponsor), 10 am-3 pm.

WORRIED ABOUT INSURANCE COVERAGE? The state insurance commissioner has extended the order waiving deductibles and copays for coronavirus testing.

NEED FOOD? Updated info about meals for kids/teens at two local parks starting next week – read this.

PHOTOS? TIPS? or 206-293-6302 – thank you!

85 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Thursday 7/2 roundup"

  • Bandana July 2, 2020 (10:21 pm)

    251 new cases is alarming.

    • psps July 3, 2020 (12:32 am)

      Yes, and it looks like all the hardship everyone went through to knock it down will have been for nothing and have to be done all over again if this rush to “reopen” continues.

      • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (6:57 am)

        Despite one non peer reviewed pretzel-making study it’s obvious that the spike started two weeks after protests.  Yes, they were outside.  Yes, most had masks.  Yes, Covid was transmitted!  Denial is not a river.  That said, they will come back down now that things have mellowed.

        • heartless July 3, 2020 (1:53 pm)

          Smitty, we talked about this.  Don’t you remember?

          At first I thought you were spreading misinformation because you, yourself, were misinformed.  Then I realized you had been informed, by various people, myself included, who actually gave you things like science and reason and data, and yet you still beat that tired old drum of protests-cause-spikes, despite the VAST majority of experts completely disagreeing.

          And so I am left wondering why you continue to spout falsehoods.  I have my guesses, but I will keep them to myself.  Suffice to say, your ignorance–feigned or otherwise–is not a good look.

          I here link various reports that debunk your misinformation–not for you, because you don’t care about the science or the truth, but for others who might read your words and mistakenly believe you have any evidence for them:
          “COVID-19 has not surged in cities with big protests, but it has in states that reopened early.  Here are some possible reasons”

          “Black Lives Matter protests have not led to a spike in coronavirus cases, research says”

          “Black Lives Matter protests did not cause an uptick in covid-19 cases”
          “Black Lives Matter protests haven’t led to COVID-19 spikes.  It may be due to people staying home”

          • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (3:10 pm)

            It’s the same, non peer reviewed NBER report in every story. A total stretch of logic for PC cover. Yes, I know.  You can only catch covid at barbershops, bars and beaches.  Not at protests!  . Seriously?  Think! 

          • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (5:13 pm)

            Different activities and environments will have a different risk level with virus transmission.  

            Being in indoor public spaces is more risky than being outdoors. People congregating on the beach, some of who are lounging at length around others and not wearing masks, is thought to be potentially more risky than protestors who are outdoors moving around (generally not sitting and standing in one place at length) and wearing masks.

            Understand there are nuances to consider.

      • Blbl July 3, 2020 (8:49 am)

        It’s frustrating for sure, but the hardships are not for nothing. Every person who stays home or vigilantly wears a masks is preventing spreading and is saving lives. Don’t give up just because others are. 

  • Anna July 2, 2020 (11:01 pm)

    It only makes sense that the cases will increase though, as we open up? 

    • Gwen July 3, 2020 (9:22 am)

      Yes, when KC moved to level 2 it was acknowledged that it would likely lead to more cases, along with greater testing capabilities. But the current spike in numbers is happening at an alarming rate. At the moment our hospitalizations and deaths haven’t seen a massive increase, but the entire situation is worrisome.

  • Greg July 3, 2020 (12:21 am)

    I will volunteer.

  • Anu July 3, 2020 (12:32 am)

    Can someone please explain what the cumulative totals stands for? Is it cumulative for a week or some other unit of time? Also, if it’s cumulative, is it a number that includes duplicates?  Or is it called cumulative because it counts tests done over the past few days but the number itself is absolute? Thanks!

    • WSB July 3, 2020 (12:34 am)

      Cumulative for the entire outbreak (dating to 2/28, the night the first confirmed King County case was announced).

      • Anu July 3, 2020 (2:45 pm)

        Thank you, @WSB! Sorry I didn’t frame my question properly. I understand that the total number of cases is cumulative from 2/28. I meant to ask about the “up from yesterday” number. That’s an absolute number, right? Depending on when test results come, I understand that it’s not exactly from that day but trailing by a few days, but otherwise it’s a absolute and unique number, right? without any cumulative duplicates. Thanks!

        • WSB July 3, 2020 (2:56 pm)

          That’s “up from what this same county-provided daily summary reported the day before.” (They include the “change from yesterday” numbers in the summary but we doublecheck with what we reported the day before.) The county posts the daily summary once a day, usually in the afternoon. On occasion they have notations about data corrections that have actually reduced the number a bit, but not often. You can see all the fine print on the linked page.

  • HighlandPark July 3, 2020 (6:59 am)

    You have to remember, testing is increasing which makes it look like cases are increasing. More likely- the data is capturing  more mild cases that wouldn’t have been tested a few weeks ago. 

    • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (3:27 pm)

      It’s not just that there is an increase in testing. Experts are saying there is an increase in the percentage of positives, after taking into account the increase in testing.

  • AMD July 3, 2020 (8:40 am)

    Are they still releasing numbers of SFD and SPD testing/infections/quarantines every now and again?  I saw them for a while and they seem to have stopped.

    • WSB July 3, 2020 (10:28 am)

      No, those were appearing on SPD and SFD sites weekly for a while, then stopped.

  • TF July 3, 2020 (8:55 am)

    Does anyone know the turn around time for results from the drive up testing at South Seattle College? It wasn’t in the details that they provided on the linked post. 

  • Gwen July 3, 2020 (9:24 am)

    Huh, seems to be a lot of silence from the WE MUST REOPEN NOW’ folks who were very vocal just weeks ago.

    • Greg Sprinkles July 3, 2020 (10:45 am)

      Meh, we should still be moving forward slowly with reopening. Case numbers rising shouldn’t be a cause for hysteria unless the medical system becomes stressed.

      Also, if the rising case numbers have taught us anything, it’s that the shutdowns are ineffective in the US for anything other than delaying the spread of the virus, which makes them irrelevant unless we effectively shut down until a vaccine is not only developed but widely distributed. It seems quite clear at this point that the most effective path forward is finding a mix of social distancing guidelines that allows us to approach but not exceed hospital capacity while developing seroprevalence in the community.

      The complete shut downs of society also no longer seem reasonable given that we have much more data on risk stratified by age, and the risk is very small for people under 65:

      • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (12:23 pm)

        The medical system is already stressed. 

        Yakima hospitalizations have been exceeding capacity and they have been transferring patients to other counties. Now that cases are on the rise here, we are headed that way.

        Please understand how serious this is.  If we do not reign this in, there will not be enough capacity to care for patients or places who can accept additional patients, and people will die without receiving treatment.

        This isn’t like anything we’ve seen before. And no this isn’t fear mongering, it’s cautionary.

      • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (12:48 pm)

        Also, the issue hasn’t been the ‘shut downs.’

        The issue is a lack of cohesive and consistent leadership and response nationwide, also reopening too soon and before there is enough cooperation and compliance with individual actions to help redirect transmission.

        Other countries are doing much better than we are in managing the pandemic. Some&nbsp;<span>countries shut down harder than we did, and remained closed until it was safer to reopen, and they had widespread compliance with people doing their part and wearing masks. They are doing much better. Why has this been an issue here? &nbsp;Lack of leadership in bringing the country together in an effective response.

        Our country no longer appears to be UNITED, and the world is watching.

  • Restaurant Worker July 3, 2020 (10:51 am)

    WSB- any update on Duke’s? 

    • WSB July 3, 2020 (11:17 am)

      Only that they were still closed as of yesterday. Have not been over to check today.

  • GAM July 3, 2020 (10:57 am)

    Using the King County data linked in the article,   the rate of positive tests jumped from approximately  2%  earlier in June,  to approximately 3.5% over the past 2 weeks.     Daily testing has increased  almost 3x since June 8.   Rate of hospital admissions is down despite the increase in positive cases,   less than 3 cases hospitalized a day for the last 2 weeks in June.   Daily deaths are less than 1 death a day for the last two weeks in June.     We’ve all been sequestered at home,  makes me wonder who are those individuals testing positive.   

    • AMD July 3, 2020 (11:51 am)

      Fraternities, it seems.  Also seems worth mentioning that there were some data corrections in the last weeks of June.  Deaths happened, but some deaths were removed from the total count because the cause of death was not actually COVID.  The increases and total are the net result of new deaths minus data corrections.  But, again, people shouldn’t need to die for others to take the disease seriously.  Hospitals in harder-hit counties are full, and that means more people dying from survivable causes (stroke, car accident, fall from a roof) due to delays in care.  Wear a mask and don’t gather indoors.

      • J July 3, 2020 (5:19 pm)

        Covid seems to cause a clotting disorder. Autopsies show and overgrowth of megakaryocytes and excessive clotting. Strokes in positive people should absolutely be counted a Covid deaths. If they are being removed, then the death rate will be falsely reassuring.

        • AMD July 3, 2020 (6:43 pm)

          I think the ones being removed were clearly unrelated to COVID…  a couple drug overdoses, a suicide, etc.

    • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (12:07 pm)

      Not sure about all of these stats but some of these numbers are not accurate… In the last two weeks there has been an increase in hospitalizations, as compared to previous weeks. I recall seeing some days that were 10 and 13 for hospitalizations, per recent WSB coronavirus roundup posts.

      As for the death rate being low, that is because the previous month infection and hospitalizations were down. So currently the death rate is lower. Now that we are seeing a surge in infections and hospitalizations, there is concern that in the next 2-6 weeks we will be seeing an increase in deaths due to the current spike in transmission.

      As for the surge causation… Memorial Day holiday weekend and people celebrating/congregating, all the people remiss to taking precautions like social distancing and wearing masks and not washing their hands enough are spreading the virus, workers who are being exposed to others on a daily basis, and the move to a new phase and more places opening at the start of June are all possible explanations.

      I agree more data mining for trends in transmission would be helpful.

    • CL July 3, 2020 (1:04 pm)

      I’m looking at the Washington data.  Since early June, the percent of positive cases has been hovering between 3% and 5% daily.  In May the percent positive tests hovered between 5% and 7% daily, so June is better than May.  My understanding is that the interesting data is rate of infection, not cumulative infections.  Also looking at the number of positives per day is misleading.  As testing accelerates by multiples, of course the number of positives increases  just because more subjects are examined.  The rate staying the same is encouraging and yes staying in a 2% range is effectively staying the same.  There will be new infections and the more we look (increase testing) the more new infections will be found.  Increased cumulative infections is not a reason for alarm.  I’m wondering why the increased alarm justified only by the increase in cumulative infections.  What am I missing here? 

      • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (3:38 pm)

        The alarm is that what follows from increased infections is an increase in hospitalizations and death.

        It’s been explained that experts who are raising concern over the increases are taking into account the increased testing. Even with the increased testing, the percentage of new positives is alarming.

  • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (1:35 pm)

    Comparison of new cases US vs Canada

    • heartless July 3, 2020 (2:20 pm)

      And here is another interesting representation of US data.  Those who chose to make a political issue out of mask wearing (i.e., basic human decency and common sense) are getting a taste of cold, hard truth: 

      • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (3:18 pm)

        Gee.  Let’s look at actual deaths!  You do the math.

        • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (3:42 pm)

          How is this not getting through?

          It may be WEEKS after a spike in infections and hospitalizations before we see an increase in deaths. We’re just at the beginning of another spike here. It may be weeks before we see the impacts.

          • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (4:44 pm)

            The riot spikes started upward weeks ago.  Deaths still declining.

          • heartless July 3, 2020 (5:18 pm)

            “riot spikes”
            And THERE it is.  Good job, thanks for finally showing your red baboon a– to the crowds.

            I must admit to a fair bit of chagrin having strived for so long to discuss these matters with you–discussion (meaning: discerning truths) is clearly not what you are interested in.

            I hope you stop spreading lies, but, honestly, I don’t have much faith at this point.

        • heartless July 3, 2020 (3:51 pm)

          What is it you think your data represent?

          When I look at the chart you posted it doesn’t come as a surprise, and it is in no way a counter-argument to anything I have ever said–in fact it makes perfect sense, and complements the data I supplied:  Deaths come after, often well after, surges in cases.  Dense urban centers, often hubs for international travel, like NY, CA and WA were hit first and left scrambling.  They managed to enact policies that quelled the number of cases.

          And states that have been reopening earliest, states that have governments that are flat out ignoring the nation’s top scientists, states that (insanely) view wearing masks as a political statement, are now seeing a huge flood of new cases.

          Do you not think these new cases  will result in deaths?  Do you somehow think all of this is over already? 

          You say you want to consider actual deaths–okay.  What do you think it means that Texas is reporting more than 6,000 new cases EVERY DAY, that the hospitals in Houston are so full that patients are being transferred to other cities?

          This is scary and heartbreaking and awful, and all I see you doing is pushing the same tired, false agenda. And for what?

          • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (4:52 pm)

            What a bizaro world.  The guy with just over 3500 deaths is the idiot.  The guy with over 30,000 is the hero?  You watch too much CNN,  my friend.  Florida not only has more people than NY but more older people. Yet  10% of the deaths!  This isn’t even an argument, it’s “data”.  Remember? 

          • J July 3, 2020 (6:56 pm)

            I bet they are not counting most of the Covid deaths in facilities. You will have to examine total deaths minus expected deaths after the fact.

          • heartless July 3, 2020 (7:07 pm)

            Did you know that most people who die in vehicle crashes were wearing a seat belt?

            So…  According to your ‘logic’, nobody should wear a seat belt–it’s not even an argument, it’s data!  Those who wear seat belts represent the majority of automobile deaths!  

            This is your logic!

            Yeah, I’m going to take the advice of someone else in this comment section and stop engaging with you.

    • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (4:15 pm)

      WSB, fyi, there seems to be a glitch, the image in my comment above changed from what I uploaded to now showing one of ‘smittytheclown’s images.

      • WSB July 3, 2020 (4:42 pm)

        Looks the same to me.

        • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (5:27 pm)

          I’ve checked on multiple devices and it’s not showing my image but rather an image ‘smitty’ posted at 3:18p.  It initially was showing the image I uploaded but has since changed.

          Reposted the comment with my image at 4:19p so hopefully it sticks.

    • Cl July 3, 2020 (4:49 pm)

      I see. It’s been explained. That provides the answer to my question.

  • Mask wearer July 3, 2020 (4:19 pm)

    (reposting due to glitch with image)

    Comparison of new cases US vs Canada

  • Stop... July 3, 2020 (4:51 pm)

    @smittytheclown- over 100,000 people across the country have died from this. Please digest that figure. Constantly reducing their memories to some charts & graphs dehumanizes these ACTUAL PEOPLE WHO HAVE DIED! Others- please stop arguing with him. It gives these conversations oxygen they don’t deserve. Please stop this kind of dialogue. 

    • WSB July 3, 2020 (5:46 pm)

      Almost 130,000 according to the Johns Hopkins worldwide tracker that we link every night.

    • Smittytheclown July 3, 2020 (6:12 pm)

      So everyone stop talking about it or just me? Just relaying some positivity amidst the fear mongering.  7,500 people die every  day in America.  We are at 500 dying “with”  Covid. Perspective is good. 

    • heartless July 3, 2020 (7:11 pm)

      Thanks for the solemn reminder.  I appreciate it.

  • run_dmc July 3, 2020 (6:54 pm)

    I don’t understand.  Restaurants can open with outdoor (and maybe indoor) dining, but have to refuse service to people who aren’t wearing masks?  How is that supposed to work? How do people eat?

    I also have seen a lot of data thrown around to prove just about everything under the sun with respect to this virus – on every side of the issue. What I haven’t seen with respect to this latest societal mandate is data that shows that wearing masks slows the spread of the virus and that also factors in human behavior.  For example, I see absolutely no consistency whatsoever in either the type of masks people wear, whether they are clean or not (people wearing clearly dirty masks which I assume they’ve been wearing for a while now), or whether people keep them up or not. It seems if you are frequently pulling a mask down (to smoke, take a call, get in your car from one place to another, etc) and then putting them up, wearing one is completely ineffective. I ask because in some states where there are very few to no infections, most people are maskless – like in WY or SD. Whereas in states where people have been wearing masks for a while now, infections have still spiked.  Seems to me that just staying apart from each other – like they do naturally in more rural states is more effective than the mask wearing which no one does with clinical efficacy and more likely than not lulls people into thinking they are being safe/hygenic when they aren’t. 

    I’m tempted to think mandating masks is more about public sector officials trying to engage in the appearance of doing something than anything else.Btw – when does mask wearing end? When the virus no longer exists? When there’s a vaccine (which will only last until the virus mutates, meaning for not long at all)? Never? It would be nice to have some answers to some questions about duration because wearing facemasks for the rest of our lives is rather, shall we say, unfeasible.

    • WSB July 3, 2020 (7:37 pm)

      Your first question is easy. In restaurants – when you enter, when you leave, when you get up from the table (e.g. to use the restroom). That’s already in the guidance.

      • run_dmc July 3, 2020 (10:21 pm)

        Ok – I’m sorry to get super literal about all of this, but I think we need to ask some tougher questions here.  How is a facemask effective if you only wear it when you enter, leave or get up from a table if you are not wearing it when you sit down to eat.  I don’t think the virus knows the difference.  Seems to me you can transmit it just as easily when you are sitting down within 6 feet of someone (and we still don’t know how far the virus transmission distance really is – most studies have shown it’s far more than 6 feet) as when you are entering or leaving – when you may or may not be in the vicinity of anyone at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of keeping restaurants closed at all. I just think we all need to be more skeptical than we are of what we are told with respect to the efficacy of masks.

    • run_dmc July 3, 2020 (10:42 pm)

      J – Actually, I have been reading all of the studies out there I can find.  The ones you’ve cited I’ve seen. And, I read the source material studies, not the news articles about the studies.  As someone who’s been involved in peer-reviewed research, these still don’t answer my questions or meet some scientific standards at least  I’d like to see employed. 

      Only a few issues I have – first, they compare virus “hot spots” with each other, rather than comparing places where the virus spread quickly vs. places where it didn’t. They seem to conflate correlation data with causation – primarily because these studies have been done far too quickly to actually be able to prove causation – wearing vs. non-wearing and consequent spread – with scientific validity.  They also are comparing #s across populations where determining covid sickness incidents and fatalities aren’t consistent with each other so the underlying data they use could vary widely.  And, fatally (at least to me), they don’t review or even account for behavior – which I think is the crux of the issue.  If people don’t use masks similarly (which no one does), will they still be effective, or will they be rendered ineffective.

      And, these are just a few of my issues with the studies that are being rushed out right now. They seem more conclusions in search of data. In fact, I could cite numerous studies that conclude that wearing masks is unhealthy, particularly with long-term use (and a number that were published years ago when looking at health care workers and long-term mask use, so not caught up in the current fraught environment).  No one seems to be relying or even looking at those when making policy decisions – which I guess is fine except when one starts cherry picking the studies that only agree with one’s position.  So, I’d prefer to see some studies that account for a better cross-section of analysis and more real-world use environments.

      • heartless July 3, 2020 (11:44 pm)

        Why are you overthinking this?

        I don’t understand why simple ecological validity isn’t enough for you: the virus is transmitted through tiny droplets that are expelled from the nose and mouth.  These droplets need to get to someone else’s nose or mouth to transmit the virus.  The more of these droplets you block, the less likely transmission.  A mask helps block these droplets.  Now let’s be clear–there’s no opinion in any of that–Them’s the facts.

        But if you really need more, why not just go with the expert consensus?  I mean, it’s great you want to read up on these studies and learn more, but, hate to break it to you, you’re not an expert–so why not just listen to those who have dedicated their whole damn lives to this topic?

        • Anna July 4, 2020 (11:13 am)

          I do think it’s important to ask these questions RUN_DMC. I’m happy to wear a mask to make other people feel comfortable, but I do question the efficacy.  Conclusions in search of data–an interesting way to put it! I wonder how our response to Covid will be viewed in 50 years. 

          • Mask wearer July 4, 2020 (4:55 pm)

            ‘I’m happy to wear a mask to make other people feel comfortable’

            Wearing a mask is not about making other people feel comfortable. It’s about helping to reduce the spread of a serious virus that has already killed 130,000 of our fellow citizens, and has wounded many others, in just a few months.

            There has already been research which shows masks are effective in blocking some droplets and reducing virus particles in the air. Yes it can vary depending on the mask type, and there is information online about this as well, if you care to research.

            Considering we’re in the midst of an emergency/crisis situation, our government is encouraging people to wear at least any type of mask covering that they can, but there is information out there about what is most effective (should cover nose-mouth-chin, more tightly woven fabrics and more layers is more protective, etc). I imagine it would be hard to mandate everyone wear exactly the same mask. Maybe we will get there.

            We are 4 months into this now, and everyone should be well informed and know what to do and should be doing it at this point.

  • Anna July 4, 2020 (7:17 pm)

    Yeah, but as I said, I question the efficacy. I wanted to throw some support out there to RUN_DMC because it seems like questioning mandates even while complying with them is looked down upon here, and that doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Mask wearer July 4, 2020 (7:54 pm)

      It doesn’t makes sense to you that arguing against what experts are suggesting we all do to protect one another in a pandemic, would be seen negatively?

      Why do you question the efficacy? Do you believe the vast majority of experts and leaders to be wrong? This doesn’t make sense to me.

    • Mask wearer July 4, 2020 (8:04 pm)

      … and also, this isn’t something that should require stringent research and study. It just makes sense.

      If the virus is transmitted in respiratory droplets (which we know that it is), then placing a fabric barrier over ones mouth would help block those droplets from being expelled as far in the air.

      I can’t figure out what motivates some of you to be resistant to mask wearing. I think it’s really hard for many of us to understand.

    • heartless July 4, 2020 (8:04 pm)

      Being curious about how masks work, and what drawbacks they present, is perfectly natural.

      As others have pointed out, there is a treasure trove of information out there–and those resources are going to be infinitely more helpful than just posing nebulous doubt in a small neighborhood forum.  Do you have any specific questions about how masks work?  I guess I am asking you: why are you questioning their efficacy?

      In the meantime, let me ask you this: you are a couple feet away from someone with covid.  They turn in your direction and sneeze.  Would you rather they were wearing a mask?  

      • run_dmc July 5, 2020 (11:42 am)

        Heartless – to answer your question. If  someone with covid who was close to me sneezed in my direction and was wearing a mask, I’d be just as concerned as if they weren’t wearing a mask since the virus can actually travel pretty easily through most masks out there. Now, if they weren’t wearing a mask, I believe they’d be much less likely to sneeze directly toward someone because they wouldn’t be “comfortable” since they were conscious they didn’t have any  “PPE” on. And, I’d be FAR more comfortable around someone not wearing a mask who sneezes into their elbow (as you are supposed to do) which they’d be more likely to do if not wearing a mask, than a person wearing a mask who now feels free to  sneeze through it into the open air. And, then, after touching their mask, then touches – let’s say store products.  In this scenario (much more likely), the person not wearing a mask who sneezes or coughs into their elbow and so keeps the virus off their hands, and continues to stay relatively away from people and washes their hands frequently,  is far less likely to spread the virus than the person you hypothesize who sneezed in my direction through a (probably used for days) mask.That is the reason, btw, that health officials ALL said the public should NOT wear masks at the beginning of this virus spread. Because they do know all of these human behavioral issues. I don’t know what’s changed their tune, but I somehow doubt that long-standing knowledge/reality about the efficacy of forced behavior change has done a 180 in 4 months.

        • heartless July 5, 2020 (12:03 pm)

          Weird.  I’d totally want someone who was sneezing on me to be wearing a mask.  But to each their own!

          Your behavior-focused epidemiological concerns are valid.  If people use a mask incorrectly they could very well be at higher risk of transmitting the virus.  That’s why it’s important to teach people how to wear them, how to wash them, and all the other best practices that go along with those.

          It might help to think of seat belts (or airbags).  People were quite skeptical of them at first, and they had many of the concerns that you mention re masks.  And you know what, it is true that if you aren’t wearing them correctly seat belts can increase injuries!  So what we do is we just teach people how to wear them–and since it’s not complicated (again, like masks), people learn and get it right and it’s all worth it, because, just like masks, DONE CORRECTLY THEY SAVE LIVES.

          As for the other parts, I’m really not sure why you would know why health officials said don’t wear a mask but don’t know why they now say we should wear masks.  Maybe just use google?

        • Mask wearer July 5, 2020 (12:26 pm)

          ‘I’d be just as concerned as if they weren’t wearing a mask since the virus can actually travel pretty easily through most masks out there.’

          Sorry run_dmc, this is just not accurate information nor quite logical.

          Video: ‘Why you should wear a mask to prevent the spread of covid-19’

          Also, the majority of face coverings I’m seeing people wear would likely be more reliable than people sneezing into their elbow in time and effectively. Not everyone would do this and completely cover their sneeze well in their elbow. Sometimes sneezes catch people off guard, so having your mouth already covered is helpful. You and I might be excellent sneeze catchers, but not everyone is.

          The reason why the initial advice was to not have everyone wearing masks was because they wanted masks reserved for those most at risk initially (ie. healthcare workers), they were concerned about shortages on ppe. And, they also didn’t know as much as they know now, regarding how it spreads and how contagious it is, which is understandable since it’s a novel virus.

          • run_dmc July 7, 2020 (10:26 am)

            Sigh – you are just never going to accept either any logical arguments or studies, etc. or hear any questions  that don’t fit your worldview or cause discomfort, which is pretty par for the course with most people these days, so you’re in a lot of company.  I realize this because, if you are just going to say “the majority of face coverings I see are more reliable than people sneezing into their elbow,” without more, then you have closed your mind and aren’t open to other arguments or questions – logical or not .  And, cherry-picking videos and articles that support your point is also pretty standard these days.  I could post a hundred that say the opposite, which is why I don’t – because you can always find something online to support your POV so it’s not very useful.  (We’ve also become a society which can’t seem to come up with our own theories and arguments based on our own knowledge and common sense; we always have to “buttress” with something online which may or may not be anymore well-researched or non-biased than our own thinking).

            What I think is tragic is that we have gone from a culture that (across ideological divides) was rightfully skeptical and questioning of authority and demanded better answers than we are currently getting to one that is easily frightened into complying without virtually any questions with incredibly draconian demands from authorities.  In the midst of this, we are missing the learning that comes from asking tough questions – why is it that people in some states are not spreading this virus and others are when they are not wearing masks or closing down entirely? Is it just because they are in more rural areas? (I don’t think that’s the whole answer since people do still congregate in those states and still don’t spread the virus). Is there something they are doing – whether by habit/culture/geography, etc. that other states aren’t? We won’t know, because certain  officials are so resolute that they know what’s best – even though as you note, it’s a novel virus (and given it’s novel, I don’t know why they are so certain in their pronouncements…) 

            But, it is what it is as they say.  I liken it to the global financial crisis of  07-08, when all the “smart” people would say in the aftermath “no one could have seen it coming” even though many of us did.  A year from now if we hear “no one could have predicted that wearing masks was not only ineffective, but caused harm” some of us will be remembering that we asked the questions we did.

  • Cl July 4, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    It’s been explained. It just makes sense. That clears it up.

  • Anna July 4, 2020 (11:13 pm)

    I’m not resistant to mask wearing, just questioning the efficacy of it in some situations, probably because most of the time when I’m out in public I’m with my 2 year old who does not wear a mask. Like yesterday, at the playground, she was playing with other young kids. Some parents were masked, some were not, but if all of our kids are playing together, it really doesn’t seem to matter if the adults are wearing masks, bc our kids are going to pass along whatever germs they are going to pass along to each other, and then, subsequently, to us. Same with the situation RUN_DMC laid out concerning the restaurant deal–if you take your mask off while eating, does it really matter if you have it on while walking into the restaurant, especially considering the current debate about whether or not Covid can stick around in aerosol particles that float in the air. I think when the way we interact with the world changes this drastically, people are going to continue to question. 

    • heartless July 5, 2020 (12:01 am)

      Your playground example is precisely why playgrounds are all still closed.

      As to that restaurant example again, yes it matters.  Ask yourself this: someone walking right past you has covid and sneezes.  Would you want that person to be wearing a mask?  If you simply must eat in a restaurant, you love and respect your fellow humans and only take off that mask when you must do it to eat and drink.  And yes, you put it back on before you walk past people on your way to the bathroom.  To lessen the chances you infect them.

      You keep expressing a desire to question, so it’s curious there wasn’t a single question mark in your post.  It mostly read like a statement.

      • Anna July 5, 2020 (9:20 am)

        I keep expressing support for those who question. Actually, the playgrounds are open!

        • heartless July 5, 2020 (11:50 am)

          It’s great to question, but only if you accept answers!  And I haven’t gotten the impression–sorry if this is incorrect–that you want to reach a conclusion about masks.  Just that you want to continue questioning because…(??) 

          Meanwhile people are getting sick and dying, so I am truly thankful that you wear a mask.  Thank you!

          Sorry if my comment about playgrounds was wrong.  I got my information from the website, which lists “Play Areas” as “Closed”, and again reminds everyone: even for things that are open, observe social distancing–and yes, that includes your kid.  Anyway–here’s the website:

          • Anna July 5, 2020 (12:23 pm)

            Strange! Maybe they haven’t updated their website yet. The first day I saw them open was Thursday, with very official looking signs from King County and hand washing stations. I’ve seen 4 open playgrounds in my neighborhood, so I’m assuming they’re open everywhere in Seattle, but maybe there are just a few trial playgrounds open. I’m not sure.  I don’t think kids can/will socially distance on a playground. I wonder though if younger kids require less than a 6 foot distance, since I would guess that their droplets don’t travel as well as adult’s? I just wanted to throw some support out there to RUN_DMC because I’ve had similar thoughts. I have learned though to keep my questions to myself in my social circle because they are often not welcome, which is too bad really, and I guess that’s why when I scroll down here and see people questioning certain things, I post my thoughts to show them that they are not alone. I am happy to wear a mask, but I still do think it’s mostly for appearances in some situations, like the playground IE. Thanks to you and the WSB for providing a forum for these discussions!

          • WSB July 5, 2020 (1:09 pm)

            City-owned playgrounds are supposed to be closed. If you
            have seen them “open,” it’s because someone tore down the tape.

          • Anna July 5, 2020 (2:28 pm)

            Trying to post a photo. Hope it works! Saw these at 4 different parks. They look official? 

          • Anna July 5, 2020 (2:31 pm)

   is real, right?

          • WSB July 5, 2020 (3:13 pm)

            That’s King County Parks. There are no King County Parks in West Seattle. The county’s nearest parks arw in the unincorporated area (White Center).

        • Anna July 5, 2020 (3:29 pm)

          Ok, interesting! Westcrest and the playground across from Target were also open. Didn’t see any tape stuffed in the garbage or anything, so it seemed official, but maybe not!

        • Mask wearer July 5, 2020 (10:06 pm)

          ‘I keep expressing support for those who question’

          Anna, did you consider that maybe both Heartless and I also question things before accepting them, and we found good answers?

          I am retiring from discussing mask wearing any further here. It’s been thoroughly covered and exhausted, it’s time to move on, and get through this crisis together.

          Heartless, thank you for your contributions to this discussion, well said.

    • Mask wearer July 5, 2020 (9:01 am)

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      This situation will require some flexibility in our thinking, because we can’t just completely quarantine and shut everything down, so we have to balance some risk taking in going out with taking reasonable precautions to help mitigate the spread best we can.

      The idea is to wear a mask in public as much as possible, reducing opportunities for transmission. When you read about how this virus most likely spreads, it makes more sense. The environment, amount of virus output, and length of time exposed, are all factors. That is why it makes sense to wear a mask when you enter a restaurant and at times when you aren’t eating or drinking. 

      If you limit removing your mask to just when you’re eating (and also especially if you were to eat quietly without talking when your mask is removed) the output of droplets into the environment would be reduced.I think many of us aren’t dining in restaurants at this time, even though it’s allowed.

      I’m personally choosing not to dine out in restaurants until we are further into this and transmission is better controlled. The risks to our community seem too high at this point.

      So long as there are still people figuring out how to wear masks or why it matters, I will continue to be cautious with going out.  I hope in another month, we will see more have adjusted and adapted and are managing wearing a mask better (not pulling it down around their chin while shopping, for example).

    • Mask wearer July 5, 2020 (9:16 am)

      This post regarding masks may be of interest…

    • Mask wearer July 5, 2020 (9:21 am)

      Also, the information in the article you shared, supports mask wearing.

      Again, if people wear masks in public as much as possible, and also limit their activities and time in places, that’s less viral output into the air.

  • run_dmc July 5, 2020 (5:03 pm)

    Much of my reply to Heartless only makes sense in context.  I won’t go into the whole original comment I tried to post, but the short story is that decades of public health inquiry, research  and knowledge has shown us that officials trying to force/mandate behavioral change either doesn’t work to address the problem it’s meant to address or often ends up undermining solutions to the problem because people either: 1)  actively resist things they are mandated to do (unless coming from an unimpeachably credible source – like a religious leader for devout communities – which public officials often are not); 2) only go through the motions of compliance, thereby rendering the “cure” mostly if not completely ineffective; 3) stop doing things they should also continue to do because they now have “protection”/”shield”/”a cure”, etc.   So, I’d much rather be around people not wearing masks who cough/sneeze in their elbow, stay home when sick, keep a respectable distance from people around them, wash their hands frequently, etc. than someone who wears the same  cotton mask for days on end and keeps pulling it up and down. The latter person is much more likely to spread a virus, not to mention other bacteria than the person without a mask.  And, the fact that most people are going to exhibit the latter behavior is the reason that health officials in the beginning of this virus spread said there was either no need to wear masks or not to wear them.  And, I don’t think behavior has changed…

Sorry, comment time is over.