Is prevention is better than cure?

Posted by ajp2019 @ajp2019, Apr 18, 2020

There still more questions than answers?
1-Why do 'medics' use N95 masks when there are N100 ?
2-Is it true that 100% public use of ANY kind of mask, would measurably reduce new infections?
3-Is it true that a 10-second immersion of a latex gloved hand in 70% alcohol is sufficient decontamination?
4-Isn't 'Prevention' better than 'Cure'?
5-Could we all go back to work tomorrow with mandatory latex gloved hands and adequate masks?
I will if you will !

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@ajp2019– Good afternoon. Boy have you asked some poignant questions! Were you up all night coming up with these? 🙂 I believe that all of us are antsy and very anxious to get back to being productive.
1. Masks in a medical setting stop the wearer's fluids from contaminating other patients. They type and the number of masks has been determined because of a certain percentage of success that the mask succeeds in stopping particles. Mask N95 stops 95% of non-oil particles and 100 stops 100% of non-oil substances. Mask 95 was, at some point determined to be a safe for this medical usage. I assume that availability and cost efficiency would also figure in as to why one was chosen over the other. I also imagine that trials were performed to help make the decision.
2. I don't know what the outcome would be and it's too late now to get accurate data. If everyone wore masks correctly, washed their hands often and for 20 secs, maintaining a good social distance (I personally think that 6' is way too short but we can't have people lining up into other states or properties) and following all of the "rules" it would seem logical that contamination/infections would diminish in numbers. But there are variables with this too. Everyone would have to be wearing the same mask from the same company and wear it properly. Each Governor would have to have the same rules and make sure that they are enforced. And I'm sure that there are a lot more.
4. No. A cure is better than having to prevent something. Right now prevention is the only way to contain this virus.
5. No, I don't think so because there has to be better testing. Masks and hand-washing alone do not stop this virus. Staying away from people does.


1. N100 masks are harder to breathe through (significantly, in my opinion) and thus compliance with use is likely to be lower.
2. We don't know this – all evidence is anecdotal, but probably not because most masks are not worn effectively – the hope is any reduction in spread by mask use, whether it limits particles or simple encourages safer behavior, will help.
3. Again, not enough is known, but to be effective, the gloves would need to be repeatedly decontaminated., which is not realistic.
4. Prevention is the only treatment we have right now, and the cost, without a vaccine, is enormous and unsustainable (ie the current shutdown.) A cure is needed before we can get back to anything resembling normal life – and it will need 2 components – effective life-saving treatment for those infected and experiencing severe illness, and a vaccine to prevent further infections.
5. Latex (or nitrile) gloves can still spread the disease by touching a contaminated surface, then a clean one, or ones own face! Effective, frequent handwashing is better than gloves – especially as the public is currently (mis)using them – creating potentially infectious litter, and assuming gloves, even if not properly worn, removed and disposed of, are some kind of armor against infection. Masks, again, are seldom worn, handled and cleaned or disposed of properly, therefore cannot prevent transmission completely. Distancing is needed to prevent transmission, along with kowlwdge of who is infected, and whether antibodies confer short or long term immunity.


@sue, Excellent post and explanations, Sue!

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