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Neck skates can not be the “worst” face masks

Too bad for the neck. The simple up, easy down, flexible, easy-to-have-with-outdoor practitioner BFF. The flexible face covering that got a lot of hatred this week and that had runners and other practitioners tilting their hands when outlets reported a study from Duke University with headlines like “Neck Gaiters are Worse than Wearing No Mask at all.”

We like our gaits. We also like science. So we investigated whether that study really meant that we should discard our walkers and adopt a different type of mask for exercise. Here is what the experts said.

The study was not designed to test which mask is better

The study, published in Science Advances, looked at what happened to drops that spewed out when a test subject said the words “stay healthy, people.”

; Drops were seen and measured when the speaker wore different types of face coatings, from an N95 to a surgical mask, to different types of cloth masks, to a bandana and a neck shield (one of the circular pieces of cloth that is like the neck of a turtle, minus the rest of the shirt ).

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The researchers looked for a cheap way to measure how effective face masks are and tested an approach that, to simplify a bit, involved a box, a light and a mobile phone camera.

The setting tests measured the smallest spy when the person was talking and wearing an N95 mask. Three-layer surgical masks also prevented more spying than most cloth masks. But what took over social media is that when the test person carried the endeavor, the researchers measured 110 percent of the drops that were measured without any mask at all.

The thing is, the study was not intended to draw conclusions about masks; it was to test an installation. “The Duke study was an evidence-based study to support an inexpensive and simple method for future studies of worm performance,” said David Nieman, DrPH, professor at the Department of Biology at Appalachian State University and director of the Human Performance Laboratory at North Carolina Research Campus. is a key researcher in exercise and nutritional immunology. “So the results of this study cannot be applied broadly to training conditions,” he says.

How effective a radiation is can depend on what it is made of

The researchers suspect that the headlight broke the respiratory droplets into smaller particles, which is why they measured so many of them. And smaller particles can generally travel longer distances. “This is true,” said Kirsten Hokeness, a doctoral student, immunity researcher and professor and chair of the Department of Science and Technology at Bryant University. “But not all gaits are made of the same material. Skates in this study are described as a “fleece” vessel made of polyester spandex material. This type of material is thought to be breathable and porous. “So it makes sense,” she says, “that particles came through it.” “Some skates are made of layered materials and can fit a little nicely around the mouth and nose. Before deciding whether gaits are effective, it would be wise to see if other types of skates that have a more layered construction would work better and more in line with what was seen with the masks, she says.

The second question that the smaller particles raise is whether smaller droplets are more likely to transmit the virus – and the answer right now is another (we know – frustrating) “we do not know yet.”

How effective a mask is can depend on who wears it

“You can not draw any conclusions about this given that with any mask there are variations in fit, personal size, speed, individual physiology and other differences,” said Stefan Flores, MD, associate professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical. Center. “During most of the tests, a guy wore the masks, and this guy may have had a certain facial structure or maybe spoken in a certain way.” In the few masks that were tested on more than one person, the margin of error is much larger, which indicates that there is a large difference in particle vomiting depending on who is behind the mask.

So the neck protection is neither completely off the hook nor completely useless – there is no way to know that from research so far. “A mask is probably better, but concluding that radiation is worse than no mask at all … is probably wrong,” says Dr. Flores, “and further studies would need to be done.”

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Consider using this mantra

Matthew Ferrari, a doctoral student at the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Pennsylvania State University, says it is “striking” how bad a neck jump worked, although “in general, we find that skates and other single-layer coatings / masks are less effective than multi-layer coatings.”

And until more definitive research can be done, he says, “we will stick to the tried and true advice.” It means in his memorable words: “Keep apart. Stay outside. Use a multilayer mask if you can. Carry everything in a pinch. ”

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