We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Masks, as I understand it, are to prevent YOU from spreading unknowingly to someone else. As many are asymptomatic and don't realize it. The masks are not there to stop virus at the microns level, they are there to reduce the distance your spit particles can fly if you cough, sneeze, talk forcefully, sing.
Now that the CDC has said that surface touch transmission is not as common as they had originally thought, we can, with some certainty, assume the transmission is through droplets in the air. So masks are actually now much more important than they were before...in a closed environment. Such as an elevator, bus, subway, office, hair salon, etc. Anywhere you cannot socially distance yourself.
I'd even say grocery store as there is really no way to keep six feet apart down the aisles...I've tried it.
Also, Hong Kong just released a study with animals and showed masks were effective in reducing transmission.
In close contact, a face covering as they advise against masks that have filtering capability for the non-special, can prevent spittle from being flung in someone's mouth.
But the same can be achieved by controlling where you point your spittle-maker. Such as at the grocery store, when passing someone, look away and down. Breath through your nose. If you must talk to them, move 6 ft away. If you are uncontrollably spittle making such as by coughing or sneezing, then wear a mask.
Whole lotta unsupported assumptions going on here. Until there are some actual, repeatable studies that prove conclusively that particles of THIS VIRUS specifically are not expelled in large quantities by an infected person unless they are carried in droplets or aerosolized vapor in their breath or sneezes, there is no reason to think that a bandana or similar common cloth mask is going to be effective at all. If virus particles are expelled all by themselves, free-floating like dust in the air, then ordinary fabric is far too porous to stop them. And the truth is, we just do not know whether that is the case. Anyone who says otherwise is lying or trying to appear unduly authoritative. If such studies exist, let's see them. Until then, either wear an N95 or N99 mask (and I have my doubts about them too -- if they really work so well, why have we seen so many sick healthcare workers who are presumably using them?), and wear it properly, or else you're just wasting money, and worse — you're creating a false sense of safety for yourself and others around you, because if you are sick, even if you're wearing a cloth mask, there's still a possibility you could infect others in close proximity. It's virtue signaling of the worst sort -- likely ineffective, possibly even dangerous.
No Use For A Name