I keep thinking about articles discussing importance of being both #VaxxedAndMasked. Some comments via 🧵. (1/x)

Data shows:
✔️ Vax safe & wildly effective
✔️ No vax 100% (think raincoat or sunscreen)
✔️ Masks very effective
✔️ Both help indiv & public health
✔️ Delta is a beast
2/ Through hard work we know:
✔️ COVID could spread by several routes
✔️ Airborne aerosols likely to be a critically important piece of that spread
✔️ We can reduce w/ masks, distancing, reducing #SharedAir
✔️ Vax reduces number & severity of infections
3/ So if the only factor (indiv or collectively) is to provide the best protection, the answer is clearly to #VaxUp ASAP & to still #MaskUp in crowds or indoors w/ anyone who is unvaxxed. Delta is dangerous & many not yet protected.
4/ But the question isn't just about physical or medical science, it is how we can motivate behavior best for all.

❓ Did rescinding mask mandates increase a vax push?
❓ Does pushing masks now undermine vax credibility?
❓ What level of risk would be reduced by further masking?
5/ As @j_g_allen said ☝️ about whether to push being #VaxxedAndMasked - "If it was straightforward, we wouldn't be talking about it."

That's true, b/c the convo is no longer limited by physical evidence, but led by social science & public health strategy.
6/ Current public discussion of vax/masks may be confusing, b/c respected experts may disagree on the strategy for public health. But I think it is important to point out that this does NOT imply disagreement about whether vax & masks work & are important. Better agreement there.
7/ E.g. I occasionally disagree w/ colleagues I trust on matters of opinion, e.g. about what mandates may produce the best outcomes for the community. I generally do NOT disagree on issues regarding the physical evidence about COVID spread and prevention.
8/ Of course
- still real uncertainties wrt details of COVID transmission, esp. variants
- and denialists sow misinformation & block progress.

These are still real challenges. But we generally know the principles to seriously slow the virus; the ? IMO is application of strategy.
9/ Also still questions about how the Delta variant will affect breakthrough infections, incl. the level of risk to unvaxxed children, immunocompromised & others, and *how* beneficial masks might be.

But the principles of prevention are still the same.
10/ I also think an important part of the discussion is that many disagreements in US culture come down to philosophical or ideological divides over fundamental differences in whether you tend towards valuing individual rights over those of the community, or the opposite.
11/ This tweet gets to the heart of that discussion. To me, the COVID challenge is a collective one & we must work together. Risks acceptable to one are a further risk to all others. As a society we should protect each other, even if it frustrates some.
12/ I also don't think selected mask or vax rules during a pandemic unnecessarily infringe on civil rights. We have determined by our laws that you cannot bring a knife on an airplane. The risk to the community is too great & we restrict civil liberty to carry knives as a result.
13/ But ultimately, the ?'s about whether to require vaccination or masks in certain settings is a complex sociological question of what strategies to apply to motivate the best collective action &, thus, public health. The physical science is solid. How to apply that is messier.
14/ During interviews, I work to separate my professional expertise (aerosol science, analytical chem) from my personal thoughts about mask strategy. I have a right to my strong opinions on how to protect the vulnerable, but I'm not paid for that part.
15/ Recently the Amer. Acad. of Pediatrics recommended mask-wearing for everyone in schools over 2 yrs (regardless of vax).
And @NationalNurses wrote a letter to #CDC recommending universal masking for all.
16/ COVID is still ravaging the world - even if many now wish to ignore it. I am fully vaxxed, but currently wear my #N95 in crowds & will continue to support measures that further protect the vulnerable in the community.
#VaxUp #Maskup #Ventilation #HEPA
17/ See also today's take by @KatherineJWu.
#Masks are still important.
They're a critical aspect of public defense against COVID.
I don't think their use undermines the importance of vaccinations.
I agree that donning a mask is not a high cost to bear.

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More from @HuffmanLabDU

21 Jul
Why should vaccinated people wear masks? Seven points outlined by @Bob_Wachter in article by @amyjeangraff & in 🧵 with his reasoning below.

I'm still very careful about taking off my #N95 mask in mixed settings & support #mask mandates for schools.
1) The rate of breakthrough infections is small but very real.
2) The rate of breakthrough infections with delta is likely somewhat higher than with the original virus; this number is still being debated.
3) Delta might be more likely to lead to a serious infection than the original virus.
4) Though the chances of long COVID with a breakthrough infection seem to be low, there is no rigorous evidence on this & we certainly have seen mild primary infections cause prolonged symptoms.
Read 6 tweets
21 Jul
Should you still wear a #mask, even if you're vaxxed?

Answer isn't just about science, but also your risk tolerance & philosophy of humans. Nice overview by @olgakhazan w/ (contrasting) comments below by Profs @linseymarr @cmyeaton @j_g_allen @ashishkjha
"According to Rivers, the vaccinated should keep masking indoors in these places until children under the age of 12 can get vaccinated. 'I don’t think we should give up on mitigation until we can offer kids the same protection afforded to everyone else,' says @cmyeaton."
"Though your heart might not break for your local anti-vaccine conspiracy theorists, 2 - 4% of American adults are immunocompromised, which means the COVID-19 vaccines do not work as well for them. By masking, you are ... also protecting kids & the immunocompromised." @olgakhazan
Read 8 tweets
20 Jul
Jeff Bezos (deflecting the absurdity of the billionaire space competition) gives unrestricted $100 million each to @VanJones68 & @chefjoseandres.

$200M is is like 0.001% of the Bezos worth, so a great value.

But watch the acceptance speech from VJ below.
This is why I love @VanJones68:

"Can you imagine grassroots folks from Appalachia, from the hood, Native American reservations, having enough money to be able to connect with the geniuses that have disrupted ..."
"... the space industry, disrupted taxis and hotels and bookstores– to start disrupting poverty, to start disrupting pollution, to start disrupting the $90B prison industry together."

Read 4 tweets
16 Jul
Really important for students, parents, & educators to understand current COVID risks -- especially for all unvaxxed individuals (incl. kids <12 yrs).

#Masks, #ventilation *still* critical components.

Interview w/ @DrLeanaWen & thread w/ some quotes 👇.
"Here's where the layered mitigation strategy is so important. Think of it like wearing layers. If it's not very cold outside, having 1 or 2 layers of protection is enough. If it's very cold, you need multiple layers. If you remove one layer, you could replace it with another"
"... other mitigation measures, too, such as an investment in improved #ventilation using federal Covid relief funds & keeping students at home when they are having any possible symptoms of Covid-19. All ... added together will substantially reduce transmission risk in schools."
Read 9 tweets
14 Jul
Story by @DenverChannel on impacts of recent wildfire smoke in #Denver. A few tips 👇. (1/4)

My only time for the interview was during baseball practice with three kids at the park! Amused & glad @CB_Cotton found a creative way to use the baseball shots!
2/ But there are ways to reduce your exposure to wildfire smoke. My new go-to link is here by @etgall: elliott-gall.medium.com/wildfires-and-….

Tight-fitting, HQ masks & room filters (HEPA or DIY) can help a lot. I have several DIY fans running in my house right now:
3/ Also, to get an idea for how bad the smoke from #wildfires will be in your area, there are some great tools available online for free. My favorite is the AirNow Smoke/Fire Map: fire.airnow.gov. Other tools also below.
Read 4 tweets
2 Jul
Great new study on #HEPA air cleaners by Lindsley et al. out today via @CDCMMWR: masks reduced aerosol by 72%, HEPA by 65%, together by 90%.

Conclusions are consistent with messages for months, but important that #CDC amplifying this strategy.
Short 🧵
2/ "The use of masks without air cleaners reduced the aerosol exposure of the receivers by 72%, and the use of air cleaners without masks reduced the exposure by up to 65%. When used together, the HEPA air cleaners and masks reduced exposure to respiratory aerosols by up to 90%."
3/ "These findings suggest that the use of portable HEPA air cleaners and universal masking can each reduce exposure to simulated SARS-CoV-2 aerosols in indoor environments, with larger reductions occurring when air cleaners and masking are used together."
Read 10 tweets

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