All of Florin's Comments + Replies

COVID Era: Updating On Life Risks

Mild pandemic = mild policy response

How do you decide when to change N95/FFP-2 masks?

Finally, at the highest tier of protection, you can buy powered air purifying respirators for $300 or make your own for $15-30. I don't have any experience with either option, so I can't comment much.

The usual problem with (all?, most? of) the personal-use, non-professional PAPRs, including the $300 example you mentioned, is that they haven't been independently tested by anyone.

With the DIY PAPRs you mentioned, you at least know that the filters should work (since they're certified for hospital use) and when you build it, it's easier to ensure that the seals also work.

Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking

While disposable N95 respirators can sometimes offer better protection for the wearer than any mask, they're not that great due to the generally poor fit they provide.

Despite the high risk of leaks, N95s are probably a better solution for source control than masks due to their ability to filter out aerosols.

Reusable elastomerics offer better fit and more protection (N100) than N95s. There's also some non-anecdotal evidence that elastomerics are more comfortable than N95s. For me, elastomerics are more comfortable than even a surgical mask (due to less humi... (read more)

1Sameerishere3moThis is incredibly helpful, thank you!
Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking

The best study (an RCT) I've seen claims that cloth masks made no statistical difference in case reduction, whereas surgical masks reduced risk by 11% and 35% for people over 60. The study authors speculate that if more people wore masks (less than 50% did), this risk reduction would probably increase. The study was done in Bangladesh from November to January, and I suspect that the variants in circulation at that time were a lot closer to the less contagious original strain. If that's the case, it would be less likely that more mask wearing would increase... (read more)

1Sameerishere3moThanks for that reply. I'm realizing that part of the disagreement here is that I was vague and used "mask" to refer to n95s as well. (I've edited the post to be less vague in that regard). I agree that it makes sense to wear the most effective PPE someone is willing to, and it's interesting to hear that you find elastometrics more comfortable. Would you be willing to share which elastometrics you've liked? I started looking at P100s for the first time yesterday, but there is a bit less discussion of them than N95s.
COVID/Delta advice I'm currently giving to friends

4. If you do worry about it...

...wear effective PPE (elastomeric respirator + eye protection or PAPR) and never worry about it again.

Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing

Another potential problem with giving up is that you may get reinfected multiple times if enough dangerous variants emerge and your risk of death and long covid may dramatically increase.

Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing

Another point that should be emphasized is that the longer people don't have access to effective vaccines and also don't have adequate protection (respirators and PAPRs), the more likely it will be for more dangerous variants to evolve. This situation is a repeat of what happened during the start of the pandemic when mask wearing was discouraged: it allowed the virus to spread like wildfire and accelerated the emergence of dangerous variants.

1tkpwaeub4moNot to dismiss your concerns, but I'm not sweating variants. I do make a point to mask up when I'm in an enclosed public space. 1. Convergent evolution. The variants aren't very variable from one another (and they've had a lot of time to diversify): [] 1. New variants seem to arise in people who are severely immunocompromised. ("supermutators" if you will) [] 1. It is unlikely that we will ever eradicate covid, unless we: a) start putting salt licks in our backyards and declare open season on does and fawns: [] and b) start treating our wastewater with rat poison: [] 1. If it's true that the Russian flu was actually a coronavirus that evolved into OC43 (now endemic), then I'm not too worried about covid becoming "just another endemic coronavirus". The vaccines are simply a way of speeding up the process in a way that minimizes deaths. []
Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing

The argument depends on the population. If people have access to effective vaccines, then effective PPE like elastomeric respirators are probably not needed except perhaps by the most risk-averse individuals. I say "probably" because there still seems to be a bit of uncertainty about long covid even for the vaccinated. At any rate, elastomerics should still be recommended as a replacement of masks in case a variant comes along and makes vaccines significantly less effective or as an option for people that still don't trust vaccines. This would also encoura... (read more)

1Florin4moAnother point that should be emphasized is that the longer people don't have access to effective vaccines and also don't have adequate protection (respirators and PAPRs), the more likely it will be for more dangerous variants to evolve. This situation is a repeat of what happened during the start of the pandemic when mask wearing was discouraged: it allowed the virus to spread like wildfire and accelerated the emergence of dangerous variants.
2Pattern4moa) That seems interesting for economic reasons. b) Or those who are in more risk. c) There is something to using the Intermediate Value Theorem here. Just because going way more Dakka seems like a bad idea, doesn't mean something less extreme wouldn't be an improvement. (Although comfort might be a big factor here - something which doesn't change effects much, but is more comfortable (or looks cooler) might be much more easily accepted.)
Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing

The same reasoning was deployed against wearing masks and doing most of the restrictions and I suspect also against switching from masks to respirators before and even during the winter wave. Millions died as a direct result of this poor reasoning. The same mistake is being repeated in countries that have little access to vaccines. Millions more will die there, if they haven't already. And what if it will become clear that vaccines won't be able to prevent (due to some variant worse than Delta) another massive wave of infections that leads to lots of long ... (read more)

2Zvi4moIf the argument here is that we should tell the public the option exists for individuals, I agree - is that link the best one or does anyone have a better one, so I can do so next week? If the argument here is that policy makers should be trying to get this to become a new norm until things get better, I strongly think that would (1) make life worse and (2) be a complete nonstarter for 90%+ of the population.
Covid 8/5: Much Ado About Nothing

...I note here that if vaccines were sufficiently ineffective in practice against Delta, there would be no reasonable way to stop the pandemic, and I’d want to do the opposite of the implications listed here and stop trying.

I don't see how this can be correct. Effective PPE exists in the form of elastomeric respirators and PAPRs that should be able to stop any pandemic.

Yes, there are More Dakka options available for individuals but at the population level these are non-starters - and if I had to choose between wearing one of those all the time indefinitely and getting Covid, I'd take my chances with Covid.

Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking seems to be using an outdated source, "Howard et al. Evidence Review (version 4 from Oct 2020)," but frankly, it doesn't matter much anyway since we know that masks (mostly the cloth and surgical kind) couldn't stop the more contagious variants that caused the winter wave nor could masks stop the UK's massive surge of Delta infections.

If masks were the only PPE available, doing a hail mary by wearing them might be okay, but since vastly better PPE is readily available today, advising people to wear poor protection makes no sense.

3Sameerishere3moTook a while to reply to this, sorry. Do you have newer sources that you think render Howard et al obsolete? (That's my most important question in reply to your comment... I responded to your other arguments for the sake of completeness, but I would personally find it most helpful if you had thoughts on the above (as may others, I'd imagine, as a lot of people are using I don't follow how the fact that masks failed to "stop the variants or surge" means they are poor protection, or not worth wearing. Unless the claim is that masks are 100% protective against COVID transmission, they can still substantially reduce risk even if they failed to stop the variants or surge. I imagine plenty of people (myself included) find it embarrassing, uncomfortable, and inconvenient to wear a PAPR (and to a lesser extent, a P100). It may be worth encouraging people to favor those more protective PPE, but it's worth making recommendations that people are actually likely to follow. It's not all-or-nothing.
Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking

Masks can can act as a source control measure and as PPE. Unfortunately, while masks may eliminate droplets, they don't seem to have done a good enough job at eliminating aerosols. So, source control isn't practical with masks. And masks are usually a lot less effective PPE than well-fitted, N95 respirators.

But N95s often provide poor fit, and when that's the case, they are no more effective as PPE than surgical masks. However, they may provide far better source control than masks, but unfortunately, nearly everyone needs to wear them to make a significant... (read more) seems to think that a "thick and snug" cloth masks cuts risk to 2/3 vs no mask, a surgical mask to 1/2, a non-fitted N95, KN95, or FFP2 to 1/3, a sealed N95 to 1/8, a P100 respirator to 1/20. (They also estimate the impact of others' wearing masks, which interestingly does not fully match the ranking of impact for you wearing a mask.) (Their sources and methodology are here, updated Jan 2021: I haven't dug deep into this, but it suggests that "If we should wear anything, it should be elastomeric respirators with P100 filters or DIY PAPRs [] (along with eye protection), not masks" is misleadingly hyperbolic. (Of course the PPE you mention is best, but it I'd think we should be encouraging people to wear the most effective protection feasible for them.)
Delta variant: we should probably be re-masking

If we should wear anything, it should be elastomeric respirators with P100 filters or DIY PAPRs (along with eye protection), not masks. While masks may have worked to control the transmission of the earlier, less contagious strains, they failed to prevent the massive winter wave caused by more contagious variants, and since Delta is even more contagious, mask are probably close to useless now.

2jimv4moAre you thinking about masks as PPE (personal protective equipment, which protects the wearer) or as source control (which protects those around the wearer)? My understanding was that most mask wearing is much more effective as source control, but that if you wear something that's well-fitting (so all the air you're inhaling is drawn through the mask rather than around the gaps at the side) and it's rated, say, N95 then it increasingly provides personal protection too. Of course, with source control the challenge is that you can't unilaterally get most of the benefits from it. It's about whether all the other people around you stay masked.
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

A seal check (the procedure you mentioned) can't replace a fit test. For maximum protection, full-face respirators like the Narwall seem to require a quantitative fit test to be performed (rather than a qualitative fit test which is performed using a nebulizer). Unfortunately, the Narwall isn't designed for the quantitative test, and so, it can't be fit tested.

How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

This didn't work for me. I could taste the saccharin when wearing a surgical mask, but I couldn't taste it (but should have) when wearing two surgical masks. I suspect that the diffuser isn't creating the correct sizes of particles and/or is creating too many (the mask did become somewhat damp) and this may cause the smaller particles to combine into sizes that are too big or heavy to penetrate smaller gaps.

What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

Given the fact that we already know that masks have poor performance based on the what I've already mentioned, models are pointless for most situations.

If you're referring to modelling a strategy of maximizing personal (rather than public) protection with a poor performing tool, models could help you do that, but in the case of masks, it will turn out that most strategies are impractical because 1) there will be too many variables to keep track of, 2) some variables will be impossible or hard to obtain, and 3) some variables will be hard to control even wi... (read more)

6gjm5moI don't think further discussion in this thread is likely to prove fruitful.
What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

We know that masks have poor performance, because while masks seem to have eliminated the flu and to have stopped or significantly slowed down the spread of the original variants, especially in Asia, masks failed to have the same effect on the newer variants which caused the fall/winter wave. And since Delta is even more contagious than those variants, masks will be even less effective than they were during the last wave. How you can claim that this is not evidence is beyond me.

I also doubt that it's useful or even possible to accurately calculate the effi... (read more)

5gjm5moYou still seem to be assuming that "poor performance" = "not on their own sufficient to stop the latest variants growing exponentially", and that is just unambiguously wrong. Do you, or do you not, have any information that isn't broadly consistent with the following crude model? 1. An infected person emits virus particles at some (somewhat random) rate, more when speaking or coughing than when breathing normally. 2. If you breathe in virus particles, there is some probability that you get infected; the probability is higher when the number of virus particles is higher. 3. If the infected person is wearing a mask, then the rate at which they emit virus particles is reduced by a constant factor somewhere in the vicinity of 5x. 4. If the not-yet-infected person is wearing a mask, then the number of virus particles reaching them is reduced by a constant factor somewhere in the vicinity of 2x. 5. Newer variants are more infectious, meaning some combination of (a) infected people emit more virus particles, or (b) the probability of infection for a given intake of virus particles is higher. If this model is somewhere near the truth, then the only way for masks to be near-useless ("10%, 1%, 0.1%", as you put it -- but I asked you to explain what these numbers are supposed to mean and you didn't, and I would still like you to) is if the newer variants cause such a colossal increase in the number of virus particles put out by an infected person, or in how effectively infectious they are, that being near them even briefly basically guarantees getting infected. Because otherwise, if you and they both wear masks then that means something like a 10x increase in how much exposure you can have before getting infected, and if the unmasked figure would be (say) 2 minutes' conversation at a 2m distance, then that would turn into 20 minutes, and I at least have plenty of conversations that are longer than 2 minutes but shorter than 20 minutes. Do you have good reason to believe tha
What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

At this point in the pandemic, the level of protection offered by masks is so uncertain (10% 1%? 0.1%?) and likely to be so small that masks are little more than a Hail Mary for those that don't have access to vaccines, respirators, or PAPRs. While a Hail Mary doesn't technically mean that it "doesn't work," it's pretty close, and making a big deal about these distinctions is becoming a little pedantic.

For the vaccinated, recommending masks (which may or may not offer a tiny extra bit of protection) over vastly more effective respirators due to a small-to-none hassle factor seems a bit silly. It's much more reasonable to recommend respirators or nothing.

6gjm5moYou said something about "pure speculation" earlier, but I think that's what you're engaging in here. What makes you think that masks offer "10%? 1%? 0.1%?" protection? Indeed, what do you mean by those numbers? What actual model of transmission leads you to think this? [EDITED to add:] Actually, maybe I misunderstood you; is the "10%? 1%? 0.1%?" meant to be an amount of protection (in which case, why also say "and likely to be so small that ..." -- aren't you saying the same thing twice?) or a probability of any protection at all (in which case, what are you smoking?)? Again, what actual model of transmission is this based on? What masks do is to reduce the fraction (viruses breathed in) / (viruses breathed out), by blocking the passage of droplets or changing the pattern of air flow. Unless the later strains have evolved teleportation or something, it seems unlikely that the factor by which this fraction has reduced in any given situation is much different now from before. I've had trouble finding really convincing figures, but it seems like the typical factor for a surgical mask is somewhere on the order of a 3x-10x reduction in the "outward" direction, larger when speaking or coughing than when just breathing normally (which is good, because speaking and coughing make you emit a lot more viruses if infected). "Inward" protection seems to be somewhat less -- maybe 2x? Home-made cloth masks appear to be substantially inferior to (ordinary, cheap) surgical masks. This would mean e.g. that the amount of time you need to spend near an infected person in order to get infected yourself is 3-10x greater if they're masked, 6-20x greater if you both are. If you think that somehow none of this works any more because of the newer more infectious strains, or that it's all nonsense and actually masks never had any substantial effect at all, then you should either give credible evidence that it doesn't or explain a plausible way in which it would have stopped working (or
What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

If the choice is between wearing a mask and nothing, wearing a mask would probably be better than nothing.

If the choice is between wearing a mask and a respirator or PAPR, choosing to wear a mask significantly increases risk, because we already know that masks offer poor protection. We know this because masks failed to stop the last covid wave.

In the wider context of covid waves: if everyone wore a respirator or PAPR starting before the last covid wave, covid would have been wiped out.

5gjm5moOK, sure: other more elaborate barriers between your face and the outside world are more effective than surgical masks, bits of cloth, etc. No question. But, again, the situation isn't that masks don't work. It's that other things work even better. (I would bet fairly heavily that surgical masks + full vaccination[1] are "enough", given a modest level of general caution otherwise, even for the latest and most infectious strains. Surgical masks are much less hassle than respirators or PAPRs. I do not think I would recommend that fully vaccinated people who aren't extra-vulnerable or extra-anxious should go out and get N95 respirators and the like rather than making do with masks.) [1] With, say, Pfizer or Moderna or (less good but still probably enough) AstraZeneca. The same may be true for others but my ignorance about them is greater. You need a model of the world that's less black-and-white than "X works" versus "X doesn'tt work". Any given intervention reduces transmission by a certain amount. Depending on how transmissible the currently-relevant strain of the virus is, different combinations of interventions will be sufficient or not. Collapsing all that to "works" versus "doesn't work" is a bad idea; it makes it harder to think clearly.
What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

It is obviously correct to wear a mask only if you do not have access to a respirator or PAPR.

Better protection could have wiped out covid just like masks wiped out the flu. While masks may have offered some better-than-nothing protection, it was grossly inadequate protection.

3Neel Nanda5moSure, I'd agree with this. Things like N95s and P100s are much better than cloth or surgical masks.
What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?

"Don't work" in the sense of "masks wiped out the flu but not the massive fall/winter covid wave." One can argue that the last covid wave could have been worse without masks, but that's pure speculation.

The newer variants might have defeated masks by producing more virus particles, for instance; no teleportation required. Whatever the mechanism, it seems clear that above a certain threshold of infectivity (compared to the original covid variants and last season's flu variants), masks don't work, or if you're picky about it, masks don't work that well.

Again, I don't think it's clear that "don't work" is at all a good way to say it.

Consider the following scenario, which I expect has something like the right shape although all the concrete numbers are made up and probably wrong (and of course the numbers aren't as deterministic as this makes it sound): the effect of wearing masks is that the number of virus particles you get hit with from being near someone infected is 3x lower; the likelihood of an infection taking hold is greater when the number of virus particles is larger; newer variants make infected... (read more)

What precautions should fully-vaccinated people still be taking?
Answer by FlorinJun 27, 2021-4

If you want zero risk, wear an elastomeric respirator or DIY PAPR. Masks probably don't work against the variants (masks wiped out the flu but not the massive fall/winter covid wave).

There's no good evidence that outdoor transmission is even a thing, and mechanistic reasons (aerosols can't accumulate outdoors) also cast doubt on the idea of outdoor transmission. In places where lots of people are vaccinated or have immunity by having been infected, the risk is miniscule even in outdoor crowds. If you're extremely risk-averse, wear a respirator or PAPR or avoid crowds altogether.

Masks probably don't work against the variants (masks wiped out the flu but not the massive fall/winter covid wave).

This seems like the wrong inference. The R0 of flu is something like 1.2, the R0 of Alpha was about 4 (at pre-COVID levels of social distancing). 'Masks work' looks like masks reducing R0 by some factor. If this reduces R0 to below 1, it wipes out the disease, if it remains above 1 you will still get a massive wave. Because the R0 of flu is so much lower, 'flu was wiped out but COVID wasn't' is approximately 0 evidence about the effectivene... (read more)

7gjm5mo"Don't work" seems like the wrong phrase. Unless the newer variants have evolved teleportation, masks will be about as effective as they ever were at reducing the extent to which respiratory droplets carry the virus from one person to another. I bet they produce about the same reduction in R as they used to. Against newer more transmissible variants, widespread mask-wearing may not be enough to stop exponential growth among the unvaccinated. But "aren't enough" and "don't work" are two very different things.
3Sameerishere5moThanks! I'm not particularly worried about outdoor things (though your comments on crowds help fill in a gap where I had some uncertainty). More curious whether to attend indoor events without a vaccination restriction.
How do you deal with people cargo culting COVID-19 defense?

If everyone wears ventless FFP2s, I doubt that enough aerosols could escape regardless of factors such as fit, mask degradation, or talking. However, I'd like to see this assumption tested in a controlled environment.

Maybe Antivirals aren’t a Useful Priority for Pandemics?

Actually, I didn't mean to advise against developing treatments and prophylactics, but in the context of a zero sum game or in a fund-only-the-best-approaches game, I would advise pursuing the surveillance/PPE strategy rather than treatments and prophylactics. To be clear, I should have wrote something like this: "While treatments and prophylactics might work for some pandemics, we should assume that they won't work for others, especially the bioengineered kind. Since we won't know ahead of time which pandemic we'll have to deal with next, we should assume... (read more)

2Davidmanheim5moI think we agree - I'm certainly in favor of massive investments in surveillance and in PPE. The key question was whether I was missing something in the push for vaccines and antivirals, as if both were similarly promising.
Maybe Antivirals aren’t a Useful Priority for Pandemics?

For any pandemic (especially bioengineered pandemics), the worst case scenario should be assumed:

1) Any treatment or prophylactic will either not work or not be able to be scaled up quickly enough.
2) Some viruses will spread completely asymptomatically and have very long incubation periods.
3) Some viruses will kill effectively regardless of age or health status.

The strategy that has the best chance of successfully dealing with this threat is to develop 1) a global pathogen surveillance system and 2) cheap and effective personal aerosol filtration syst... (read more)

2Davidmanheim5moFirst, you don't want to assume the worst case and then plan for only that, or you won't have prepared for the less bad cases. You are advising not bothering to develop treatments and prophylactics because in the worst case they won't work. That seems obviously wrong, and not worth discussing. Second, yes, we need surveillance and PPE, but these don't relate to my questions. And if we're concerned about bioengineered pandemics, the bioengineering will explicitly attempt to build around the known countermeasures, so I'm not sure why the first and second paragraphs are combined into a single comment.
A systematic error that lead to a bad policy response to COVID-19

PAPRs have the potential to be better than elastomeric respirators. They can be cheaper (the DIY kind), filter incoming and outgoing air as well as an N100 filter, and fit testing and seal checks aren't needed.

How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

That was actually the procedure for doing a seal check, not a fit test.

This is how to do a fit test (assuming you have a test kit):

A systematic error that lead to a bad policy response to COVID-19

I understand that you're trying to analyze the policy failures in terms of dialectic reasoning, but the policy about masks that results from that reasoning is not good enough. So, perhaps first-principles thinking should be emphasized as a better way to formulate policy, at least in certain situations.

The policy position about masks would be to recommend the use of elastomerics (assuming adequate supply) but not to mandate their use. Mandates would only be required if compliance was so low that there was a high risk of hospitals becoming overwhelmed.

Assumi... (read more)

A systematic error that lead to a bad policy response to COVID-19

Mask synthesis: Use elastomeric respirators. Elastomerics offer better fit and more protection (N100) than any disposable PPE. If necessary, develop respirators that fit even better with little to no fit testing (like PAPRs).

Expert consensus: "Don't wear a mask...oops, wear a cloth or surgical mask until you get vaccinated." This advice has led to millions of preventable deaths and counting.

Conclusion: Don't worship experts. When making critical decisions, quadruple-check any expert advice (especially if it's about a soft science). If the advise doesn't make sense, disregard it and make a decision based on your own research and reasoning.

1Florin5moPAPRs have the potential to be better than elastomeric respirators. They can be cheaper (the DIY kind), filter incoming and outgoing air as well as an N100 filter, and fit testing and seal checks aren't needed. []
2ChristianKl6moI think you get to that position by using first-principle thinking which is a different way to reason then the dialetic way. Practically, first-principle thinking is also seldomly done by those making health policy but we should keep different reasoning strategies apart as rationalists when we want to understand how to think about thinking. As far as the substance matter goes: "Use elastomeric respirators" is a decent personal decision if you are in a jurisdiction that doesn't require you to wear a FFP-2. It's not a general policy position. "Require everyone to wear elastomeric respirators" would be a policy position but there are certainly contexts where those are unpractical. One problem with elastomeric respirators is that they are generally designed for a use-case where filtering exhaled air isn't central for that use-case they often have ventils that allow exhaling unfiltered air. From the outside it's hard to know whether someone wearing a elastomeric respirators is filtering their exhaled air or isn't which makes it harder to enforce policies around them and many people won't understand that they should not use the exhaling vents. While it might be better policy it isn't a slam dunk.
2ChristianKl6moThere are certainly other possible ways to make address the mask issue. I can improve my decision making over that of people who simply follow the official recommendation a large percentage of the population likely won't be able. In a situation like a pandemic I'm very dependent on the actions of others around me.
Covid-19 in India: Why didn't it happen earlier?
Answer by FlorinApr 28, 2021-1

Masks probably work well for less contagious variants and other respiratory diseases such as influenza, but after a certain threshold of contagiousness is reached, they don't.

This is why elastomeric respirators should be used during pandemics rather than masks.

The loosening of restrictions on gatherings might also be to blame.

Sometimes, it can take a while to notice confusion


  1. Not wearing a respirator
  2. Living with people that don't wear respirators
  3. Assuming that if you don't have symptoms, you weren't infected
  4. Assuming that you won't get long covid because you've had minimal symptoms
3cistran8moWhat is the best way to correct mistake 3 on your list?
1masasin8moDidn't really have much of a choice about #2. I was living alone, and didn't want to househunt in the middle of a pandemic. Ended up living rent-free.
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

A false sense of security can kill you.

"Are you being gassed to death? Well, don't use a gas mask because it might provide a false sense of security."

If you can wander the streets freely in some token PPE you bought from a hardware store then it is not a crisis.

"Reusable respirators won't work because I said so."

In another comment:

the only reason I've worn masks is for legal mandate, manners, and to hide my face. If I seriously believed I was at risk I wouldn't be wearing a mask, I'd be at home behind a locked door.

"Seat beats? Forget it. Avoid ... (read more)

1Stuart Anderson9mo-
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

I'm still not exactly sure why you seem to be against wearing reusable respirators when we can't run into our bunkers. It's almost-no-risk, high-reward, especially for a many of us that think there's a decent chance that we could live forever and that much worse pandemics could arrive in the not-too-distant future.

1Stuart Anderson9mo-
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

Paranoia stops being paranoia if it is true. We have the mortality statistics for covid, so you tell me why the science is flawed and I'll listen.

The science isn't in on long covid, and the stuff that's already known about it isn't reassuring.

And even if some of us aren't technically in a high-risk group, we may have had very bad experiences with the flu, and we don't want to have an even worse experience with covid.

If you live with high risk people then covid would be a non issue for you because you'd already have been dealing with infection control

... (read more)
6Stuart Anderson9mo-
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

The "paranoia" can justified for several reasons.

  • You live with high-risk people.
  • You want to avoid long covid.
  • You want to wait for better vaccines.
  • You want to avoid vaccines altogether, since you're going to be wearing a face covering even after you get vaccinated.
  • You're embarrassed by the fact that you should have but didn't prepare for a pandemic (you're a "rationalist" after all and knew about this xrisk stuff!) and don't intend to make that mistake again. You think that much worse pandemics could happen in your lifetime, so you might as well get used to wearing the right gear today. Practice makes perfect.

Lugging around oxygen tanks is not as practical or necessary.

6Stuart Anderson9mo-
How do you run a fit-test for a mask at home when you don't have fancy equipment?

Trying to detect leaks by smelling stuff is useless, since smells aren't affected by particulate filters.

This is how to do a fit test correctly without using fancy equipment:

1Florin5moThat was actually the procedure for doing a seal check, not a fit test. This is how to do a fit test (assuming you have a test kit): []
Anti-Aging: State of the Art

rates of cancer in biologically young people are very low.

And in the OP:

Anti-aging is more feasible for extending healthy lifespan rather than solving the individual diseases of aging

Sometimes, focusing on one disease is necessary, like in the case of cancer. To reach LEV, the risk of dying from cancer would need to be zero. The only way to get there in any reasonable amount of time is to developed a way (like WILT) of dealing specifically with cancer.

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

Partial reprogramming in mice has shown promising results in alleviating age-related symptoms without increasing the risk of cancer.

Actually, it's not really known whether or not partial reprogramming increases the risk of cancer.

Anti-Aging: State of the Art

If you want further evidence, consider that the original paper, The Hallmarks of Aging (2013) published in the journal Cell is the most highly cited academic paper in the entire field - with over 6800+ citations. Although it was Aubrey de Grey who first conceived of the Hallmarks (which he called the '7 deadly SENS' and categorised them slightly differently in his 2007 book, Ending Aging) it has now become the framework used by researchers in the field, and even included in academic courses - such as the lectures I was invited to give to clinical neuroscie

... (read more)