I figured out what happened to all of the masks

A friend’s son developed a low fever last week, a stiff neck, and some other cold/flu-type symptoms. He is a strapping college-age lad. She arranged a doctor’s appointment for him last Friday. The clinic was empty and he was met outside by a nurse who put a mask on him. He was diagnosed with “maybe a virus, possibly meningitis”. Due to his temperature being only 99, he was not given one of the scarce coronavirus tests, but he did have a range of other tests. On Saturday, the family got the test results: maybe meningitis, maybe leukemia(!). This will take some sorting out, apparently.

I’m posting this because I think it explains the mask shortage. Before the coronaplague, only the doctors and the occasional flu patient had to wear a mask. Now a mask gets used (and thrown out) every time a patient comes into the health care system for any reason.


  • memo from New York hospital: The hospital “normally uses 4,000 non-N-95 masks a day. Currently [they are] consuming 40,000 such masks per day, which is estimated to reach 70,000 per day,” Smith writes.

4 thoughts on “I figured out what happened to all of the masks

  1. That and the fact that at the time of the outbreak the combined federal and state pandemic response stockpile contained 26 masks. . . . just kidding . . . there was no stockpile.

  2. It’s not just masks here in Austin they’ve got store clerks wearing disposable gloves of the sorts normally used only by food service and medical workers (they’re different kinds, and I’ve seen both on clerks). I just got back from the H-E-B (a Texas grocery chain), and they were offering them to the customers as well.

    I guess if I get food poisoning because the people making the food were out of gloves, I can thank the hysterical idiots who took all the gloves to push a grocery cart around.

  3. Essential Businesses. Strippers in Portland, Ore. are delivering Boober Eats and apparently they’re well-stocked with PPE:


    “All the calls, people are just giddy and fun,” Boulden said. “Sometimes it’s a surprise for someone, sometimes it’s a birthday, sometimes it’s people that are really stoned…
    But social distancing seemed to be a struggle for the women themselves. The club has turned into the headquarters for Boober Eats, and on Friday, it remained full of dancers, delivery drivers and members of the media. Some of the dancers greeted each other with hugs and took selfies together…
    For his part, Boulden is providing masks, disposable gloves and sanitizing wipes.”

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