The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Merry Christmas—

and all that rot, as my Dad used to say.

May it be a happy day and season for you.


Taking Omicron Seriously


Week-end Wrap – Political Economy – December 26, 2021


  1. Scott Weinstein

    CBC ran stories that no name N95s we’re tested and there is no quality control or accountability. Esp those cheap from China.
    Some are less effective (25%) or ‘N25’ than single regular medical masks which could be 30-40*%.
    Getting a snug air tight fit is key regardless of mask. In hospitals, we do a N95 “Fit Test”: Put on the mask properly. (We put a large hood over our head but this isn’t practical at home). Spray something with a distinct smell at the mask. If the mask wearer can’t smell it, the fit is good. If they can smell it, adjust fit, size of mask or try a different type or band mask.
    Shave your beard which always prevents airtightness.
    Wearing 2 reg medical mask may be more effective than a bad N95.
    N95s can be reused as long as they don’t get too floppy or bent. To save them and money, wear a reg medical mask OVER them, and change the medical mask.

    Scott RN

  2. Ché Pasa


    It’s always amazed me how quickly the days get longer after the winter solstice.

    It’s been so warm and so dry out here in the wilderness; the trace of rain we got yesterday barely turned the top layer of dust to slippery mud, and now the sun is coming out once again, sure to bake the mud into more hardpan.

    My we all enjoy this festive season. There will be time enough to kick some butt! 😉

  3. Bill

    And to you. May the best of the season come your way

  4. someofparts

    Hope you had a good holiday Ian and that you and those you care for are well.

  5. Astrid

    Smells come from molecules that are many orders of magnitude smaller than virii and Covid is transmitted by aerosol particles that are bigger than the virus. Though smell may come on larger particles that may be filtered by a mask, a general smell test (perhaps there’s a better standard in hospital fit yesterday but this is bad advice to the general public) isn’t going to tell you anything about how well it blocks Covid transmission.

    N95 is a NIOSH standard and I haven’t seen any indication that any NIOSH compliant N95 respirators tested below 90% though poor fit could be a problem. KN95 is not a NIOSH standard and may be highly variable, but mixing the two concepts and not citing to source of this claim is problematic, to say the least.

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