Delta is Hunting You and Your Children
Ins and Outs of Booster Shots
Winter is coming. People will spend more time indoors, and the opportunity to spread Covid-19 is greater. Among the unvaccinated, the Delta variant is turning this into a massacre. Vaccination is still the best and first defense. However, in interior spaces without adequate ventilation, masks have a vital role.
On July 27, I wrote: The Delta variant of COVID-19 attaches more efficiently to human cells than the original COVID-19. Infections produce a thousand times more virus particles. A person with Delta is infectious 50% longer than COVID-19. Unvaccinated people of all ages, when hospitalized with Delta, are twice as likely to need mechanical ventilation.
How do children become a risk group now when they were not at the beginning of the pandemic? At the beginning of the pandemic, a child at home could handle the amount of virus that might come from one or two family members. With Delta, every member of the family is likely to be infected, and each one is producing a thousand times more virus and for twice as many days as the original Wuhan Covid-19.
The sheer volume of virus particles overwhelms the child’s immune system. His/her parents or siblings may have had a known case of Covid-19 or just asymptomatic transmission.
For indoors or crowded spaces, we will need masks. Let’s understand what makes a mask work.
Mask fit does not have to be perfect. A good test is resistance when you inhale. You should not feel airflow at the edges when you exhale. This means that most of any covert aerosol is passing through the filtration material, and not out the sides. Many people improve their mask fit by using two masks with different silhouettes or different materials at the same time.
Surgical masks, thick cotton or multilayer cloth, denim, or high thread count bed sheets make good masks. The multilayer cloth masks leave room to add disposable filtration material, such as CPAP HEPA or 2.5 NM filters. Coffee filters remove small particles, but they have too much resistance to airflow in the exhale/inhale test.
The Missing Ingredient: Humidity
Before February 2021, research on masks has been done with mannequins, iridescent dust, and lasers, but not actual people. In the Biophysical Journal study, real people wearing N95, surgical, light cloth, and heavy cloth masks exhaled into a box that measured humidity. All four masks held back the humid breath significantly, but the heavy cloth mask was the winner. With every exhale, the mask traps humid air, which impairs Covid19 distribution on inhalation.
The higher the amount of moisture in the air, the less infective COVID-19 becomes. Humid air makes viral particles clump together, stick to filtration materials, stick to mucus in your upper respiratory tract, and prevents them from reaching the lungs.Assume that being inside is being exposed. Click To Tweet
My recommendation for average citizens is no mask outdoors, multilayer cloth mask indoors. Surgical masks are an alternative for those who seek convenience. For direct patient contact, N95 is still the standard.
The Delta variant overwhelms whatever space it is in. It would be best if you assumed that being inside is being exposed. The consequences of not wearing masks (and not getting vaccinated) are overflowing children’s ICUs. I had hoped Delta would burn itself out, but that does not appear to be the case.
Masks do not trap carbon dioxide. Masks do not block oxygen. Masks do not interfere with development of the brain. Masks do not stunt growth. If students and teachers handle this well, a mask will simply be an article of clothing like socks.
Get your child their favorite superhero mask; they will think they are cool and will wear them everywhere.
Confusion Over Booster Shots
If you are confused about the “Booster Vaccine,” you are not alone. We have three federal agencies – CDC, FDA, and President. Biden was making public assertions about Pfizer, Moderna vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The President wanted a unified message – everyone gets a booster starting in October. The most scientific group – the CDC – wants different recommendations for each vaccine and each age group. Among adults:
Two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine:
Reduces hospitalization with Covid-19 by 91% in the first 120 days
Beyond 120 days, vaccine efficacy drops to 77%.
Two doses of Moderna’s vaccine:
Reduces hospitalization with Covid 19 by 93% in the first 120 days
Beyond 120 days, vaccine efficacy drops to 92%.
Pfizer 77% vs Moderna 92%.
Moderna effectiveness is not declining. That makes it hard to justify a booster. I got Moderna shots in February so I could start vaccinating others and at 92% efficacy after 4 months, I will defer to other older, sicker patients, and to shipping excess shots to poorer countries.
Home mask production during COVID-19 pandemic By: Changku88 5 April 2020, 15:47:18