A bit, probably not much though
To put it simply with masks, the surgical type were developed to stop respiratory particles from healthcare professionals contaminating their patients: they protect others, but offer very minimal wearer protection . As Billy said, if someone coughs very close then the mask may catch some of the particles, but they tend not to be close fitting, so lots of material will find its way around the sides. They do offer a small amount of protection, but it is very small, and I have found when wearing one at work that ice particles from freezers can find their way around the outside to reach cheeks and mouth.
For personal protection you need either FFP2 (95% filtration) or FFP3 (99% filtration) masks. However these need to fit snugly so that you breathe through the mask, rather than around it like the surgical type. Beards can prevent getting an adequate fit, as can failing to make the nose piece follow the contours of the face.
The infection process is a statistical event rather than binary yes/no. To become infected you are likely to need a dose of virus above a threshold - meeting a single virion is extremely unlikely to be enough, especially if you’ve been vaccinated. The infection process relies to a large degree on chance events, like an infectious virus particle literally bumping into the correct receptor (ACE-2) on the outside of the right kind of cell. Your body has lots of defense mechanisms designed to prevent this from happening, even without vaccination. This is why you need a substanial dose of virus to become infected.
Dose is affected by concentration - how many viruses there are in the air you breathe in - and time - how long you breathe in that contaminated air.
If you are outside with free moving air in a place that has just a few people then you are very unlikely to either become infected or to be infectious for others if you have the disease. Mask wearing outside is unlikely to make any difference. However if you are in an enclosed space, where you may be sitting for some time, and with people not far away (though maybe more than 2M) then you are much more likely to receive a significant dose of virus if no-one is wearing a mask.
If you want any sort of a life you have to assume it comes with a certain level of risk, next week we’ll be visiting shopping centres, pubs and restaurants in the full knowledge that the majority of people we will come in contact with won’t be wearing a mask. Being of a certain age, in good health, fully vaccinated, always wear a mask and visiting an area that has a lower case rate than where I live I’m not in the least bit concerned so I won’t be testing myself every day.
Back in the 90s it was always wear a condom - my how things have changed!
Always? All day, every day? A bit inconvenient
When out shopping?
I would think that, in the main… self-testing every day is surely an unnecessary use/waste of resources… unless one’s work situation/personal situation absolutely requires such testing.
following government guidelines should suffice to keep everyone safe.
Well, it’s very hard to breathe through a condom.
Maybe not the best idea?
I feel I may have steered this thread down an unfortunate path.
Now back to Covid testing etc…
As time goes on comments get diluted in some bizzare way so as to not upset, I don’t know why but a beard will definitely prevent getting an adequate fit. I had to test people with the face fit hood and smell test, no beard wearer ever passed.
Does anyone remember when none of this was necessary
I have just got back from a week in the UK. Through my work in France (not medical-related), where I have been in contact with the general public throughout the pandemic, I know of around 10 people who have died from Covid and many more who have caught it, including several who have been in artificial comas. When I explained this during my UK trip to one lady over 60, who had a stand in an art and craft fair and who had told me that I didn’t need to wear a mask because hardly anyone in there was wearing one, she told me these Covid victims just had the flu!! I think that until certain people have personal experiences of Covid victims, they are in denial and in that ‘it can never happen to me/people close to me’ mentality. Stay safe.
But the good news is it will thin down the population of stupid people in the UK so not all bad.
Yes I am in one of those moods this morning
It’s allowed… from time to time…
Sorry to disagree but I am one of those selfish ones who ono
Which certain age
Not a pensioner.