From: Mark Martin



I recently read the masking comments from the Winona Post of 10/6/21. Some of the comments state that we need to follow the science to determine whether masks should be or should not be worn. Mr. Reinert states that the newest research finds that the virus is spread by aerosol of small particles which he states the masks do not stop. While no one states the actual research, it appears they allude to the research out of Singapore, in the August 6, 2021 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases entitled, “Viral Load of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome for Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Respiratory Aerosols Emitted by Patient’s With Coronavirus Disease, 2019 (COVID-19) While Breathing, Talking, and Singing.”

The research did show that fine particulate aerosols are produced at a much higher level while talking than was previously thought. It was also found that even some people will emit fine aerosol viruses while just sitting and breathing. The statement was made that masks do not stop aerosolized particles. Therefore, because aerosolized particles are much more prevalent than before, there is no reason to wear a mask.

Contrary to this reasoning, the authors of the study stress the importance of reducing fine particulate aerosolized viruses by non-pharmaceutical ways. Their recommendations are to use physical distancing, increased and better room ventilation, HEPA air filters, as well as universal masking. Their reasoning, is that they found a 90 percent reduction in aerosolized particles using all of the above recommendations with universal masking. Without universal masking, they found only a 65 percent reduction in aerosolized particles. It would appear at this time that the science shows the efficacy of masking while indoors and does not support the idea that masks are ineffective for aerosolized particles.

Therefore, if we are to use science to make our decisions, we need to use all of the science. Like Paul Harvey said, now you know, the rest of the story.