Wearing Masks vs Not Wearing Masks – East vs West

Wearing Face Masks vs Not Wearing Face Masks. The culture and attitudes to wearing face masks in public is drastically different between the East and West.

Many countries in the East, Singapore, Japan, China, South Korea and others have given their citizens advise (or mandatory orders) to wear face masks in public.

Officials in western countries have been telling citizens that wearing face masks do not help and healthy people should not be wearing face masks.

We have always maintained that this goes against all common sense and logic. Officials are now admitting that the advice was given to save face masks for health professionals.

In this post we won’t go into the moral aspects of this bad advice. It is clear however that front line workers, drivers, retail workers, food service and many non-hospital health care workers have not been wearing masks and it has not only endangered their lives but endangered the lives of the general public.

Up until now, there hasn’t been any data comparisons on this topic but more people are starting to talk and think about this.

Comparison. Countries wearing masks vs. not wearing masks
Comparison. Countries wearing masks vs. not wearing masks

While they are only high level comparison and not a peer reviewed scientific study, it is still eye opening. It is clear that the East countries that are wearing masks have been much more successful in containing the spread of the virus.

Source: Comparing countries that wear masks with those that don’t wear masks


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What is a N95 mask?

There is much confusion and misinformation about the classification and certification of respirators and face masks.

For example, lets look at N95 masks that are NIOSH Approved.


The ‘N” means it is not resistant to petroleum products and contaminants. There are two more ratings and they are R, which is somewhat resistant to petroleum and P, which is strongly resistant to petroleum.

The ’95’ means that it is designed to block 95% of particles that are 0.3 μm (microns) or bigger. For reference a single virus is usually about 3 μm.

So the N95 means it is a mask that is not resistant to petroleum products and contaminants.

NIOSH stands for “The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health”. Here is the what they say on their website about page:

“The Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 established NIOSH as a research agency focused on the study of worker safety and health, and empowering employers and workers to create safe and healthy workplaces. NIOSH is part of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It has the mandate to assure “every man and woman in the Nation safe and healthful working conditions and to preserve our human resources.” NIOSH has more than 1,300 employees from a diverse set of fields including epidemiology, medicine, nursing, industrial hygiene, safety, psychology, chemistry, statistics, economics, and many branches of engineering.”

NIOSH approved means that the NIOSH organisation has approved the mask to be of a certain quality or performance. In this case, they certify that a mask meets the N95 standard.