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An open letter by Dr Eddy Hunt
Dear ****
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Eddy Hunt

I cannot understand the Government's opposition to the public use of face masks.  They say only that they are acting of "scientific advice" and that the evidence of effectiveness is "weak".  I have yet to see a serious argument that we are safer with our faces uncovered and "weak evidence" is surely an argument for more research - not for taking more chances.

The basics are, I believe, well-established.  Corona viruses leave the body via the nose or mouth carried in droplets.  Almost all of these will be absorbed by a layer of cloth in front of the face.  Once the droplets are in the environment there appears to be uncertainty regarding the lifetime of the virus compared to the amount of time for it to become separated from its water environment.  Once the virus is free in the air, then face masks provide almost no protection - but the extent to which that is a danger is unclear.

Intuitively, in a closed environment (public transport, shops, etc.) the time the virus is in the air is likely to be short - hence almost all of the virus will still be in the form of droplets.

In short: If wearing face covering were obligatory - in enclosed environment people would benefit from two layers of protection.  In an open environment they would benefit from at least one layer.  Where, therefore is the argument against face covering?

A friend in Spain has just received some free masks in his letter box.  Here the latest argument appears to be that health workers need to be prioritised.  Since early March I have been wearing a face mask made from a high absorbency cleaning cloth.  The materials cost about 30p and there has been no lack of supply.  If production had been diverted, then shops could be filled with face masks selling for about 30p.  To me it beggars belief that the lives of members of the public (and indirectly the NHS workers who will have to treat them) are being risked over such a trivial matter.

Any support you can give toward getting the Government to take a less dismissive approach to the dangers of Covid 19 would be gratefully appreciated.

Dr Eddy Hunt, BSc MSc PhD
Virus Epidemic - Suggestions for the Minister
An analysis by Dr Eddy Hunt
Contact Dr Eddy Hunt:
Virus Epidemic
Suggestions for Chris Bryant MP, Rhondda

1. What we know so far
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2. The projected course of events
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3. What we could be doing - but are not doing at present
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Letter to Chris Bryant, MP, Rhondda, 12 March 2020
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Letter to Leanne Wood, Welsh Assembly Member, Rhondda, 12 March 2020
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About myself
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