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Are people wearing masks in your office?

  • 11-03-2021 10:24am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    I had to visit two offices today (not Ireland) and no one in any of the offices were wearing masks. Everyone laughing and talking and coughing and acting like they've never heard of COVID-19.

    I've read a lot of studies on covid and there are a couple of things which are clear:

    * Masks protect other people from you, rather than protecting you from other people. Basically masks catch droplets which reduces the amount of virus you emit and also reduces how far the virus travels.

    * The virus floats in the air (at viable potency) for up to 16 hours.

    * The virus spreads up to roughly 7 metres around you.

    So all it will take is one person to get infected and a large group of people in the office will also get infected. It's just luck it hasn't happened so far.

    I know a lot of people don't read or dig into things, so I don't expect them to understand everything about covid, but surely they're aware it exists and that it spreads from person to person? I don't understand.

    Do you have an issue like this in your office? Why is it happening? Does anyone care?


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,318 ✭✭✭ JustAThought


    what country OP?


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    what country OP?

    Japan, where mask use is fairly high, so I'm thinking things must be a nightmare in the West.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,386 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    Yeah, masks have been mandatory for the last few months. Before that it was only when you got up from your desk to move around.

    Now, only time you can take your mask off it to go eat or have a coffee.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    I had to visit two offices today (not Ireland) and no one in any of the offices were wearing masks. Everyone laughing and talking and coughing and acting like they've never heard of COVID-19.

    I've read a lot of studies on covid and there are a couple of things which are clear:

    * Masks protect other people from you, rather than protecting you from other people. Basically masks catch droplets which reduces the amount of virus you emit and also reduces how far the virus travels.

    * The virus floats in the air (at viable potency) for up to 16 hours.

    * The virus spreads up to roughly 7 metres around you.

    So all it will take is one person to get infected and a large group of people in the office will also get infected. It's just luck it hasn't happened so far.

    I know a lot of people don't read or dig into things, so I don't expect them to understand everything about covid, but surely they're aware it exists and that it spreads from person to person? I don't understand.

    Do you have an issue like this in your office? Why is it happening? Does anyone care?
    This seems to be more about your own personal issues with COVID. It's not really a general requirement apart from in retail and companies make their own decisions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Yeah, masks have been mandatory for the last few months. Before that it was only when you got up from your desk to move around.

    Now, only time you can take your mask off it to go eat or have a coffee.

    Are people following the rules?

    Is there punishment if you ignore them?

    That's one of the issues with Asia in general, lots of regulation but almost zero enforcement.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,710 ✭✭✭ The Continental Op


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Yeah, masks have been mandatory for the last few months. Before that it was only when you got up from your desk to move around.

    Now, only time you can take your mask off it to go eat or have a coffee.

    Out of interest who supplies the masks?

    Wake me up when it's all over.



  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    is_that_so wrote: »
    This seems to be more about your own personal issues with COVID.

    :confused:

    The science isn't my own personal issue with COVID.

    What are you trying to say?


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,386 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    Are people following the rules?

    Is there punishment if you ignore them?

    That's one of the issues with Asia in general, lots of regulation but almost zero enforcement.

    Yeah, rules being followed ok.

    People are monitoring compliance. I don't know of anyone getting any punishment but if you continued to ignore the rules, it wouldn't be long before your manager was informed and he'd have to have a word with you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,386 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    Out of interest who supplies the masks?

    The company supplied every employee with a handful of washable cotton masks at the start of it all last year.

    And you can get replacement ones in the stores dept.

    Many are now using their own masks as well, most of the population have been buying their own over the last year I'd guess.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    NIMAN wrote: »
    Yeah, rules being followed ok.

    People are monitoring compliance. I don't know of anyone getting any punishment but if you continued to ignore the rules, it wouldn't be long before your manager was informed and he'd have to have a word with you.

    That's good.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,429 ✭✭✭ theteal


    London office is not open.
    Malta office is semi-open. All people on site wearing masks. They've had a little surge in cases last few days too.
    The guys in Florida are shy so don't put on their cameras so I'm not sure over there tbh. I know the senior guys with their own offices are not wearing them.
    I can't recall any meetings with other sites so not sure what the craic is in other countries.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    :confused:

    The science isn't my own personal issue with COVID.

    What are you trying to say?
    Well, it's not all the science, it's a snapshot of some of the more alarming bits of it. That you have formed your own judgement of others based on your own personal view of the risk of the virus. I'd say mask up and distance or stay out of offices if you can.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,710 ✭✭✭ The Continental Op


    is_that_so wrote: »
    Well, it's not all the science, it's a snapshot of some of the more alarming bits of it. That you have formed your own judgement of others based on your own personal view of the risk of the virus. I'd say mask up and distance or stay out of offices if you can.

    He's not the only one to form those views. I'd agree 100% with the OP understanding of the science.

    Wake me up when it's all over.



  • Registered Users Posts: 5,318 ✭✭✭ JustAThought


    OP - very surprised to hear that Japan of all places isn’t compliant or wearing masks!

    Here (Ireland!) it’s masks everywhere and people taking it seriously - that said most people are working from home ( mandatory where possible) and all non essential businesses are shut. Legally obliged to wear them on public transport snd in the few shops and retail units that are open so people are - and are being either doorstopped by a staff member on the way in and made wear one and wash their hands or heckled to not go in


    Also you’re supposed to wear one in places in public where you cannot help avoid being close to
    other people - eg congeated paths, bus stops on narrow paths etc and to my huge surprise people are! Also when q’ing outside on the street for take-aways/coffees etc
    So - its taken seriously here!

    whats the story with the olympics OP - much buzz there or are they going ahead?


  • Banned (with Prison Access) Posts: 1,714 ✭✭✭ ThewhiteJesus


    no mask at desk but anywhere else yes, and there is very few of us in the office so yes i'd say it's safe


  • Registered Users Posts: 29,386 ✭✭✭✭ NIMAN


    no mask at desk but anywhere else yes, and there is very few of us in the office so yes i'd say it's safe

    That's the way we were up until the latest wave at the turn of the year, then the company made it compulsory at your desk too.

    A pain, but can see where they were coming from.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    He's not the only one to form those views. I'd agree 100% with the OP understanding of the science.
    It's a factoid, a true one, but a small part of the science. There are a whole lot of other things that need to happen before someone can potentially contract COVID, especially a bad dose of it. It's also not their business how companies approach this.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    is_that_so wrote: »
    Well, it's not all the science, it's a snapshot of some of the more alarming bits of it. That you have formed your own judgement of others based on your own personal view of the risk of the virus. I'd say mask up and distance or stay out of offices if you can.

    It is science.

    Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?

    "Breathing out, singing, coughing, and sneezing generate warm, moist, high momentum gas clouds of exhaled air containing respiratory droplets. This moves the droplets faster than typical background air ventilation flows, keeps them concentrated, and can extend their range up to 7-8 m within a few seconds."

    "Laboratory studies also suggest SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV viral particles are stable in airborne samples, with SARS-CoV-2 persistent for longest (up to 16 hours)."


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,657 ✭✭✭✭ listermint


    NIMAN wrote: »
    That's the way we were up until the latest wave at the turn of the year, then the company made it compulsory at your desk too.

    A pain, but can see where they were coming from.

    Tbf it's spreading from air conditioning so unless your not breathing at your desk ...

    Companies should probably be knocking AC off and opening all windows. For constant fresh flow, AC just spreads air from different rooms around the building even to those senior managers with their own offices who bizarrely don't know there are pipes above their heads


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    OP - very surprised to hear that Japan of all places isn’t compliant or wearing masks!

    Here (Ireland!) it’s masks everywhere and people taking it seriously - that said most people are working from home ( mandatory where possible) and all non essential businesses are shut. Legally obliged to wear them on public transport snd in the few shops and retail units that are open so people are - and are being either doorstopped by a staff member on the way in and made wear one and wash their hands or heckled to not go in


    Also you’re supposed to wear one in places in public where you cannot help avoid being close to
    other people - eg congeated paths, bus stops on marrow paths etc and to my hige surprise people are! Also when q’ing outside on the street for take-aways/coffees etc
    So - its taken seriously here!

    whats the story with the olympics OP - much buzz there or are they going ahead?

    People here are too polite to say anything. So you could be on the packed subway without a mask coughing like crazy and not a peep from anyone.

    As far as I can tell no one gives a **** about the olympics :o


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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,373 ✭✭✭ Wildly Boaring


    no mask at desk but anywhere else yes, and there is very few of us in the office so yes i'd say it's safe

    Same with us.
    No mask at desk.
    Desks partioned and staggered seating. So nobody opposite, behind or beside you.
    Masks at all times once you stand up. Or even if you turn to talk


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    It is science.

    Two metres or one: what is the evidence for physical distancing in covid-19?

    "Breathing out, singing, coughing, and sneezing generate warm, moist, high momentum gas clouds of exhaled air containing respiratory droplets. This moves the droplets faster than typical background air ventilation flows, keeps them concentrated, and can extend their range up to 7-8 m within a few seconds."

    "Laboratory studies also suggest SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2, and MERS-CoV viral particles are stable in airborne samples, with SARS-CoV-2 persistent for longest (up to 16 hours)."
    Yeah, but that's just a nugget. You haven't actually analysed the size of the place, the ventilation, the time spent there, if anyone even has it and if they are infectious, the possible levels in the air, whether it gets into your body, never mind your own immune system response. I'm not challenging the science but your personal response here is clearly based on a very small part of it. There's nothing wrong with that but don't just assume it should be everyone else's.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    is_that_so wrote: »
    Yeah, but that's just a nugget. You haven't actually analysed the size of the place, the ventilation, the time spent there, if anyone even has it and if they are infectious, the possible levels in the air, whether it gets into your body, never mind your own immune system response. I'm not challenging the science but your personal response here is clearly based on a very small part of it. There's nothing wrong with that but don't just assume it should be everyone else's.

    I provided science from the British Medical Journal, a highly respected medical journal.

    Do you have any science which proves it is incorrect?

    Can you be clear with what you're trying to get at - is it people don't need to wear masks at their desk? Or you don't believe that and are just trying to have an argument?


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,141 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    I provided science from the British Medical Journal, a highly respected medical journal.

    Do you have any science which proves it is incorrect?

    Can you be clear with what you're trying to get at - is it people don't need to wear masks at their desk? Or you don't believe that and are just trying to have an argument?
    No, I think your issue is with people not wearing masks. You've outlined where you're coming from but both companies and employees have their own choices and they may not coincide with yours. This is something none of the rest of us have any control over and we can only be responsible for ourselves.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    is_that_so wrote: »
    No, I think your issue is with people not wearing masks. You've outlined where you're coming from but both companies and employees have their own choices and they may not coincide with yours. This is something none of us have any control over.

    The problem here is you think the science is my opinion.

    Like, it's just your opinion man. ✌🏻

    We should all want to protect lives. Wearing a mask to protect other people shouldn't be controversial.

    I'll leave you to it.


  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators Posts: 7,850 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Jim2007


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    Do you have an issue like this in your office? Why is it happening? Does anyone care?


    I've been working from home for years and have not visited the offices for over five years...


    My daughter goes into the office a few times a week and is required to wear a mask when she is not alone in her shared office space. It's an owner run company and he takes it very seriously. He send one person home who 'forgot' to wear their mask on a regular basis and told him to seek a new job!


    This is Switzerland.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23,904 ✭✭✭✭ Mrs OBumble


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    So all it will take is one person to get infected and a large group of people in the office will also get infected. It's just luck it hasn't happened so far.

    Except thats not how it works.

    There are lots of cases of one house member getting sick, and most others in the house not getting it, even ones in particularly close contact ( sharing beds, spoons etc). And that is with testing and retesting , so it's not about asymptomatic cases either.

    I've seen figures (can't find the souce) that originally the household transmission probability was 10% and with the UK variant its 30%.

    I'm personally aware of a factory in Ireland with excellent cleanliness and great ventilation (needed because of what they do) with no masks, no distancing, several hundred people working there - and no one has got sick.

    So it's not nearly as simple as we might hope.

    Personally I prefer people who are unmasked but keep their distance, than ones who believe that the magic shield on their face protects everyone.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,235 ✭✭✭ Loveinapril


    I work in a residential project so we have to wear masks for most of the day, although I take mine off in my office when I am on my own. There can be 2-4 people in one room at a time so we have windows open and are socially distant with masks if possible, but if we are sitting 2+ metres away we sometimes remove the masks. A staff member contracted Covid last year and luckily none of the other staff or residents caught it so we must be doing something right! Only a few more weeks until we get vaccinated, hopefully (very aware that this only protects us and doesn't stop transmission).


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,733 ✭✭✭ OMM 0000


    Except thats not how it works.

    There are lots of cases of one house member getting sick, and most others in the house not getting it, even ones in particularly close contact ( sharing beds, spoons etc). And that is with testing and retesting , so it's not about asymptomatic cases either.

    I've seen figures (can't find the souce) that originally the household transmission probability was 10% and with the UK variant its 30%.

    I'm personally aware of a factory in Ireland with excellent cleanliness and great ventilation (needed because of what they do) with no masks, no distancing, several hundred people working there - and no one has got sick.

    So it's not nearly as simple as we might hope.

    Personally I prefer people who are unmasked but keep their distance, than ones who believe that the magic shield on their face protects everyone.

    If you look at almost all transmission cases, it was due to someone not wearing a mask, typically multiple people not wearing masks.

    Pretending we think masks are some sort of magic shield is wrong. It is a risk reducer. Far more effective than people not wearing masks but keeping a distance. In fact, let's spell this out for an office environment.

    Option A: Everyone wears masks and the risk becomes very low.

    Option B: People don't wear masks, but keep a distance. Based on the science this means you need to be at least 8 metres apart and not enter each others airspace for around 16 hours.

    You really prefer option B?

    I am the opposite of a lefty authoritarian but I am practical so I know in a closed environment (indoors) the most practical, simple, and effective solution is masks. Outdoors with common sense distancing we know masks are not required.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,318 ✭✭✭ JustAThought


    OMM 0000 wrote: »
    People here are too polite to say anything. So you could be on the packed subway without a mask coughing like crazy and not a peep from anyone.

    As far as I can tell no one gives a **** about the olympics :o

    Really? I’m surprised such an obedient population isn’t following what the are told. Or have they all been vaccinated already? Or has the government not made it mandatory to wear masks???

    I’m all eyes on the olympics here - vested interest - Was looking at a link provided via the officaiL sources in Japan gov and it seemed that it was all sunshine & roses and great expectations for a timely and successful games. IOC & others in crisis talks over it and the qualification criteria and how athletes isolating can meet the qualifying criteria and gain eligibility to compete. Are they going ahead so? Or are they still building stadiums !?!!

    Anyone travelling for the games will be really expecting to be kept safe. It’ll cause an absolute furrore and international chaos if its spread further by lack of governance or compliance.

    Or is it a bit like the Fukishima disaster where the government and ombudsman bodies just kept raising the radiation threshold tolerances to mat h the pollution levels while saying it was safe and everyone was ok (and evacuating and abandoning towns and whole agricultural zones) ?


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