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I have been wondering lately about the implications of bad work environments on the pandemic, namely itís progression and spread. And, furthermore, what affect the Great Resignation might have on its ending and manageability.

A majority of workplaces are just a collection of job holders punching the clock. Iíve worked in countless places that donít foster any sense of community and shared responsibility, and I believe it has had a negative affect on the publicís willingness to adopt behaviors different from their norms.



Right, I think whether masks are effective in reducing spread is not really the question here. That's just the first question.

Once you establish masks are effective, the second question is "are they effective enough to stop the overall spread of the virus, or do they just delay it?"

When you answer that, then the third question is "is that delay highly important given the very low hospitalization rates for vaccinated people?" That is the actual question we're wrestling with, I think.

In other words, marginal differences to transmission may matter a lot when there's a potential to overwhelm our system (hence the whole "two weeks to bend the curve" thing, which made perfect sense and was well worth even seemingly overreacting for). But if vaccines are widely available and both deaths and hospitalizations plummet among the vaccinated, I'm not sure why the moderate effectiveness of masks represents a moral imperative, rather than, as was suggested earlier, just a slight delay in the spread through the population.
As crumbrsoom said, the original purpose for cloth mask wearing is (or was) to reduce spread. Which, since too many people aren't vaccinated, you can't assume you aren't around them. I recall there being some studies around one year out showing that cloth masks did have some effect on protecting the wearer. Since makes some sense to me as a layperson, because even if it doesn't prevent you from being exposed enough to become sick, they could also reduce the amount of the virus at your initial exposure, giving your body some extra time to start fighting it off (though more effective when paired with some type of paper filter - even a coffee filter. Or double masking).

It's important to note, this was for the original strain. By the time delta was hitting the US, I was hearing on science radio shows (i.e. NPR Science Friday specifically), guest scientists specifically saying, "we aren't in a shortage of masks anymore. people should really upgrade their masks." With omicron, I'm seeing more of those articles.

I remember articles possibly even in the summer of the first year, but definitely before the mass vaccination process was underway for the general public, speculating on what the end of the pandemic might look like, and even there, they were saying, "likely whatever vaccine we may won't be 100% effective, and you'll still have to wear masks for months after your vaccination, as you'll have to wait for everyone else to get vaccinated and the general infection rate to drop low enough."

As my memory goes, this was the general story until about early spring 2021, and part of my gut says the temporary abrupt shift towards ending it right away really stemmed from the original numbers of the vaccine on the original strain looking really good. Even in the wild. I remember thinking at the time though, "Weren't we supposed to have to wait a few months for the masks to come off? What about the delta variant showing up in India? Shouldn't we not get ahead of ourselves on that?" I still read that moment as wishful thinking clouding judgement.

Though I think I've drifted from your original question in my rambling.



however, people have certain needs: eat food, drink water, get exercise, find stimulation other than just sitting in front of a screen.
I forgot about the hierarchy of needs! It goes water, food, shelter, cruise ships, right?

Do you expect others to worry about covid as much as you do? Do you think having a more authoritarian style of lockdown and more onerous regulations would fix the problem [b]in the long term?
Sorry, but I don't equate being annoyed with a co-worker with an "authoritarian style of lockdown."

I think the poster is overstepping his boundaries.
Literally what boundary has he overstepped?

Has he reported his co-worker to HR or taken other steps to evoke professional repercussions? No.

Has he taken any action to prevent his co-worker from taking a cruise? No.

Has he confronted his co-worker or scolded him for taking the cruise? Not that we know about, and I highly doubt it.

So what is this boundary he's crossed? Having an opinion and expressing that opinion in a way that will never, ever have any negative impact on his co-worker?



Yeah, I don't see how Captain Terror being unhappy with his coworker's poor judgment (regarding a decision that directly impacts him) is anywhere close to restricting the coworkers freedoms. By that measure, you would be overstepping your boundaries and restricting somebody else's freedoms literally anytime you disagreed with them on anything, because you would feel they shouldn't think that way.



Literally what boundary has he overstepped?

Has he reported his co-worker to HR or taken other steps to evoke professional repercussions? No.

Has he taken any action to prevent his co-worker from taking a cruise? No.

Has he confronted his co-worker or scolded him for taking the cruise? Not that we know about, and I highly doubt it.

So what is this boundary he's crossed? Having an opinion and expressing that opinion in a way that will never, ever have any negative impact on his co-worker?
To me, "want" is a strong word. You can disagree and that's fine. I think him not wanting his co-worker to go on his cruise is too much. You can go on and on and try to expand or prolong this conversation but that's what I think. I can express my opinion correct? Not sure what the need for countless posts is when there's no right or wrong answer. Unless you want to continue to answer your own questions then be my guest.



On another site I read someone still making the argument that everyone should wear a mask because "Masks don't protect you... but they protect others from you."

Think about this for a moment and the illogic quickly becomes clear: the argument surmises that masks have some sort of one-way stoppage system for airborne micro-particles that may be propelled many feet by say a sneeze. If they don't protect you, but protect others FROM you then they can't stop particles from coming in, but will only stop them from going out. This theory makes no sense.

In reality: cloth masks do not have any form of one-way system - if micro-particles within bio-produced aerosols can flow in, they can flow out - and more easily flow out if they are propelled by a cough or sneeze.

If air can flow in and out, then micro particles can go in and out with the air as well.

If you can smell cigarette smoke with a mask on, it means you are inhaling chemical particles that are airborne, so you can just as easily inhale any contagions that are as small as chemical molecules in cigarette smoke or smaller.

If you can see your breath on a cold day while wearing a mask, then you are visually witnessing billions of micro-particles going through your mask - and if you're sick, that breath you can see may contain millions of microscopic contagions as well.

The best masks can do (and Dr. Fauci himself said this early on in 2020) is stop droplets. Droplets containing contagions are probably the least form of spread as gravity pulls them to the ground within a couple feet (so if you are keeping a distance and not spitting directly in someone's mouth as you talk, the chances of spreading virus via droplets is very low).

Masks do not stop aerosols (produced by a strong cough or sneeze) where bodily fluids (mucus or saliva) are "atomized." Microscopic contagions are dependent on their vehicle - if they are in a droplet, they may be stopped by a mask, but if they are riding on an aerosol, such as produced by a sneeze, then a mask will not stop them.



Yeah, I don't see how Captain Terror being unhappy with his coworker's poor judgment (regarding a decision that directly impacts him) is anywhere close to restricting the coworkers freedoms. By that measure, you would be overstepping your boundaries and restricting somebody else's freedoms literally anytime you disagreed with them on anything, because you would feel they shouldn't think that way.
What I basically told him was not to worry about what he can't control. The morality police are worried about protecting others but the big key is people protecting themselves. That's why I got vaccinated, and Planet Terror did that when he got vaccinated. The hospitals are full of people who did not protect themselves, not people that we didn't protect. That doesn't mean there are no exceptions. I'll be wearing a mask tomorrow because I may have been exposed. I wear a mask in medical facilities and in old folks homes even when I don't have to. What I won't do, as a vaccinated person when I have no symptoms, is worry about my vaccinated co-worker when I'm not at work. No f**king way



Every time I read backwards in this thread, it feels like there's more posts I didn't see the first time (and feel like there are others being referenced I'm still missing). Finally getting back to Captain Terror's original post of complaint, I concur with Rock, I don't see how people are objecting to someone venting about their co-workers exercising some poor judgement. I also can't help but think that complaint would be satisfied if that co-worker simply took a few extra days off after returning and then took a test, given how prevalent omicron currently is right now.

Outside of the covid-context, it feels like people would complain if someone said, "I wish my co-worker didn't come to work sick. They're going to get the rest of us sick" Which, I don't know, maybe people would object to someone venting that complaint on an online message baord.



Every time I read backwards in this thread, it feels like there's more posts I didn't see the first time (and feel like there are others being referenced I'm still missing). Finally getting back to Captain Terror's original post of complaint, I concur with Rock, I don't see how people are objecting to someone venting about their co-workers exercising some poor judgement. I also can't help but think that complaint would be satisfied if that co-worker simply took a few extra days off after returning and then took a test, given how prevalent omicron currently is right now.

Outside of the covid-context, it feels like people would complain if someone said, "I wish my co-worker didn't come to work sick. They're going to get the rest of us sick" Which, I don't know, maybe people would object to someone venting that complaint on an online message baord.
Nobody objected to him sharing his feelings, but people are objecting to me sharing my feelings about his. A vaccinated person doesn't want a guy to go on a cruise but apparently doesn't give a crap if the rest of his co-workers spend the day at the mall and have an orgy afterwards. I remember the good old days of this thread when people were only terrible if they didn't get vaccinated. Of course once they got vaccinated it wasn't enough. All rise!



On another site I read someone still making the argument that everyone should wear a mask because "Masks don't protect you... but they protect others from you."

Think about this for a moment and the illogic quickly becomes clear: the argument surmises that masks have some sort of one-way stoppage system for airborne micro-particles that may be propelled many feet by say a sneeze. If they don't protect you, but protect others FROM you then they can't stop particles from coming in, but will only stop them from going out. This theory makes no sense.

In reality: cloth masks do not have any form of one-way system - if micro-particles within bio-produced aerosols can flow in, they can flow out - and more easily flow out if they are propelled by a cough or sneeze.

If air can flow in and out, then micro particles can go in and out with the air as well.

If you can smell cigarette smoke with a mask on, it means you are inhaling chemical particles that are airborne, so you can just as easily inhale any contagions that are as small as chemical molecules in cigarette smoke or smaller.

If you can see your breath on a cold day while wearing a mask, then you are visually witnessing billions of micro-particles going through your mask - and if you're sick, that breath you can see may contain millions of microscopic contagions as well.

The best masks can do (and Dr. Fauci himself said this early on in 2020) is stop droplets. Droplets containing contagions are probably the least form of spread as gravity pulls them to the ground within a couple feet (so if you are keeping a distance and not spitting directly in someone's mouth as you talk, the chances of spreading virus via droplets is very low).

Masks do not stop aerosols (produced by a strong cough or sneeze) where bodily fluids (mucus or saliva) are "atomized." Microscopic contagions are dependent on their vehicle - if they are in a droplet, they may be stopped by a mask, but if they are riding on an aerosol, such as produced by a sneeze, then a mask will not stop them.
I think the flaw in your logic is a mindset that is hardwired to a binary notion of, "the virus either gets through or it doesn't." Apart from possible airflows, think of it more as a certain percentage gets through. If someone's asking, "if I have this mask on in a room where sick people are filling it up with their germs, is it going to filter out enough to reduce my risk of getting sick?" vs. "I am sick in a room with other people, the amount it filters out, how much will it reduce the risk to other people?" And also factor in, I suspect, that the airflow of breathing out into the mask probably has more air going through the mask that air leaking in through the seems that you're going to breathe in, and it's starts to make sense that the risk reduction is greater to other people than it's going to be to yourself.

Again, there's probably a tipping point of effectiveness given how much more contagious the more recent strains are, that I don't know how much having just a cloth mask is going to help. I'm not a scientist.



Remember folks I asked questions but I didn't get any answers.

Is it ok to go to a sporting event?

The mall?

The grocery store?

Maybe take a few days off work after having dinner with the fam to, you know, protect the vaccinated co-worker?



Nobody objected to him sharing his feelings, but people are objecting to me sharing my feelings about his. A vaccinated person doesn't want a guy to go on a cruise but apparently doesn't give a crap if the rest of his co-workers spend the day at the mall and have an orgy afterwards. I remember the good old days of this thread when people were only terrible if they didn't get vaccinated. Of course once they got vaccinated it wasn't enough. All rise!
How many people are at this orgy? That might affect how comfortable I'd feel about it - again, particularly in the next few weeks.



Remember folks I asked questions but I didn't get any answers.

Is it ok to go to a sporting event?

The mall?

The grocery store?

Maybe take a few days off work after having dinner with the fam to, you know, protect the vaccinated co-worker?
In the next few weeks, a sporting event seems questionable. Granted for me this is all a little abstract, since I haven't had to go into an office in nearly two years.

The mall is... I've not been in a mall longer than the office. I actually don't have a concept for what malls are like anymore.

The grocery store - depends. I guess it depends on the area and the masking practices. If I was in Tak's area I'd probably go back to just ordering groceries to be delivered rather than go to the supermarket. Again, that's for the next few weeks, while I expect omicron to be surging.



Nobody objected to him sharing his feelings, but people are objecting to me sharing my feelings about his. A vaccinated person doesn't want a guy to go on a cruise but apparently doesn't give a crap if the rest of his co-workers spend the day at the mall and have an orgy afterwards. I remember the good old days of this thread when people were only terrible if they didn't get vaccinated. Of course once they got vaccinated it wasn't enough. All rise!
Sounds like you just did in the rest of your post.



Granted, one thing this pandemic has highlighted for me is that I hate being around other human beings about 90% of the time.



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I forgot about the hierarchy of needs! It goes water, food, shelter, cruise ships, right?



Sorry, but I don't equate being annoyed with a co-worker with an "authoritarian style of lockdown."



Literally what boundary has he overstepped?

Has he reported his co-worker to HR or taken other steps to evoke professional repercussions? No.

Has he taken any action to prevent his co-worker from taking a cruise? No.

Has he confronted his co-worker or scolded him for taking the cruise? Not that we know about, and I highly doubt it.

So what is this boundary he's crossed? Having an opinion and expressing that opinion in a way that will never, ever have any negative impact on his co-worker?

I probably shouldn't have said anything, as I wasn't referring to this other dispute...but no I don't think needing to step out of the house should be equated with cruise ships...I was mostly just saying that no amount of complaining about people not fallowing the rules is going to change the current situation, I'm sorry that you feel trapped with people who aren't being that considerate.



I think the flaw in your logic is a mindset that is hardwired to a binary notion of, "the virus either gets through or it doesn't." Apart from possible airflows, think of it more as a certain percentage gets through. If someone's asking, "if I have this mask on in a room where sick people are filling it up with their germs, is it going to filter out enough to reduce my risk of getting sick?" vs. "I am sick in a room with other people, the amount it filters out, how much will it reduce the risk to other people?" And also factor in, I suspect, that the airflow of breathing out into the mask probably has more air going through the mask that air leaking in through the seems that you're going to breathe in, and it's starts to make sense that the risk reduction is greater to other people than it's going to be to yourself.

Again, there's probably a tipping point of effectiveness given how much more contagious the more recent strains are, that I don't know how much having just a cloth mask is going to help. I'm not a scientist.
I get what you're saying. There are tons of variables & situations to consider.

I'm not saying masks do nothing, but is what they do really enough to justify robotic-like adherence to wearing them (or do things like double mask outdoors as some have advised)?

People could argue that when we sneeze we don't just produce aerosols, but droplets simultaneously as well - and that's true.

The mask stops the droplets, but not the aerosols - so it may be stopping some virus, but not all of it. And the contaminated aerosols at close range that can be sucked in on the inhale through another's mask (like smelling cigarette smoke on the inhale) are probably enough to infect someone else (depending on many other factors, of course, like the viral load spewed out and how much is left that gets inhaled).

Are masks a better mitigation measure than nothing? Probably.

I wear one in public, but more to not get hassled and because it makes others feel better.

(Yet, I've been sick more in the last two years after wearing masks, social distancing and living an isolated lifestyle with infectious illnesses - so how I'm getting them, I don't know if these measures are supposed to prevent transmission of contagions. SEEMS like I've caught more viral infections with the consistent use of these mitigation efforts than I ever did before using them.)

Masks may be better than nothing, but are they effective for the purpose they've been purported to be?

I make the analogy of being in a joust and wearing a down vest...
Is a down vest better than nothing? Sure... if, by the off chance, you receive a glancing blow the vest may snag the tip of the jousting pole and prevent you from getting a severe puncture wound (this is like a mask stopping a droplet), but if you receive a straight on blow to your torso, a down vest will do nothing to stop you from being critically injured or killed (this is like a mask NOT stopping the contaminated aerosol of a sneeze).

So, it probably makes more sense to avoid jousting altogether rather than wearing a down vest all the time in case you happen to get into a jousting match!

P.S. I also keep hearing the argument that surgeons wear masks, so if masks don't stop germs, then why are they always worn during surgeries?

Same reason Fauci gave - they stop droplets. Surgeons & nurses do a lot of necessary talking during surgeries. People can't talk without inadvertently spitting to some extent - so the mask keeps droplets from entering open wounds & incisions. The other reason is to protect surgeons & nurses from splash back that can happen - they don't want to get any of the patient's fluids in their mouths or on their faces either.



Sounds like you just did in the rest of your post.
My issue is that he feels that way, not that he's verbalizing it here. Again, "want" is a strong word in my mind. It makes me wonder if he would get what he wanted if he did have a say. You see, if a co-worker of mine went on a cruise, even if I didn't like it, I would want him to do what he wanted to do. If I felt I needed to, I would take extra precautions for myself.



What I won't do, as a vaccinated person when I have no symptoms, is worry about my vaccinated co-worker when I'm not at work. No f**king way
My mother has a cardio-pulmonary disease. I do not have the luxury of not worrying. I've done nothing but worry for two solid years. The list of sacrifices my family has had to make in the past two years in order to keep her alive is very long but I won't share that because "nobody cares". The fact that "nobody cares" has been made exceedingly clear on a daily basis.

Despite this, I have taken zero steps to prevent the cruise from happening.

This thread depresses me so I'm going to pretend that it doesn't exist. Thanks to @Takoma11 and others for the backup, you've said everything I wanted to say, only more politely.
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My mother has a cardio-pulmonary disease. I do not have the luxury of not worrying. I've done nothing but worry for two solid years. The list of sacrifices my family has had to make in the past two years in order to keep her alive is very long but I won't share that because "nobody cares". The fact that "nobody cares" has been made exceedingly clear on a daily basis.

Despite this, I have taken zero steps to prevent the cruise from happening.

This thread depresses me so I'm going to pretend that it doesn't exist. Thanks to @Takoma11 and others for the backup, you've said everything I wanted to say, only more politely.
I suspected something like this, and I think anybody would feel badly for what you have had to deal with and wish you the best, but it doesn't change anything. Your high-risk mother had a Thanksgiving party because she wants to live her life. I wouldn't just count that as nothing because it was in November, Especially since it was her putting herself in that situation rather than your coworker who she will never meet. If I were you, I would tell my coworker to have a great time and wish them a healthy return. When he gets back, you should treat him like everybody else because doing otherwise would be a mistake. I'm not saying to let your guard down with him, I'm telling you not to do it with everybody else. Everybody knows the data about cruise ship infections. It doesn't matter because the virus is everywhere else as well. The grocery stores are infested with it and I imagine anywhere else where people gather. Protect yourself and your mother the best that you can because focusing on other people is a waste of time and stress.