Doctor says face mask is "basically a giant Petri dish you have strapped to your face"

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This is an excerpt from a Facebook post from Dr. David Lang of Wisconsin.

  David Lang
ReOpen California 17 hrs ·

 It’s been about a month since my last FB post on the Covid pandemic. I want to share my current perspective as an ER physician in a small rural hospital in Wisconsin. I live just across the border in Minnesota. Again this is a bit long, but I hope worthwhile.

... This is the point where I will ruffle some feathers. The masks I see people wearing around town are by and large worthless. The reason doctors and nurses wear masks during surgery and medical procedures is not to prevent spread of virus particles. It is merely to prevent droplets of spit and bacteria from their mouths and noses from contaminating surgical wounds. In the hospital, if we were concerned about smaller particles such as viruses we will use an N95 mask. Every year we go through an extensive fitting for N95 masks to make sure that we are getting a complete seal because if we do not have a good seal the mask becomes worthless.

Having random people walk around in public with a N95 that has not been fitted and is removed every 3 minutes is pointless. Walking around with an ill fitted cloth mask is merely a reservoir for moisture and other disease causing bacteria. It most certainly will not stop any virus. Plus, every time you touch the mask and your face with your unwashed hands you are merely seeding your mask with any bacteria you picked up. It is basically a giant Petri dish you have strapped to your face.

Numerous studies have shown sneezes or coughs go right through surgical mask and cotton masks. It is like trying to hold back a river with a screen door. And as I said my last post, wearing filthy gloves all day and not washing your hands is also useless. You’re much better off carrying around a container hand sanitizer in cleaning your hands every 5 minutes.

... I certainly get that this is a scary time for many people. There is a vast amount of conflicting information on TV, in newspapers and certainly online. I encourage everyone to look at the raw unfiltered information on both ends of the spectrum and make your own decision about what is best for you. Life is a series of risks. Driving to work is a risk. Getting on a plane is a risk. Eating sushi for lunch is a risk. We all need to decide what an acceptable risk is for ourselves. If you feel better and safer walking around in a mask by all means do so. If you feel safer staying at home and not going to restaurants or stores until things quiet down a bit, then by all means do so. I would not drive a motorcycle, as to me it is not worth the risk. But I would go to a restaurant, shop at a store, get my hair cut or send my kids to a camp. If you feel differently, that is great and you have every right feel that way. Please just look at all the information and make an informed decision for yourself. I feel we just cannot keep going down the path we are on any longer. Things need to change. . Stay well!


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