Pine64 is Giving Away 50,000 Face Masks to Makers

It’s interesting how to see how different countries handle the COVID-19 pandemic response. In Asia, virtually everybody is now wearing a face mask, sometimes hand-made due to supply issues, but in Europe and North America at least, I’ve seen authorities tell healthy people not to wear a mask at all, and reserve them to health professionals. I’ve even seen some nasty comments on Twitter complaining about people wearing masks at the grocery store (in the US) as they took supply out of health professionals.

I personally think this is madness for a disease that is known to transmit from asymptomatic people, and I’m shocked to learn some people working at supermarkets are not given masks. But when I send photos from Thailand to my brother in France, he’s always surprised to see everybody wearing a mask. But everything points to masks being effective.

N95 masks are the best, followed by surgical masks, but hand-made masks, or even wearing a bandana helps, although they do not filter droplets just as well, and while you wear any of those masks, you should probably just take the same precautions as if you didn’t wear any.

Governments have stockpiles of oil and food, but most (all?) did not prepare for a pandemic and face masks are in short supply. So with China having stabilized, many companies are now producing face masks, even electronics manufacturers since prices have gone through the roof, and I’m receiving emails daily about TV boxes or electronics company selling face masks… For reference, a box of 50 face masks used to cost about $2 locally, but now the quote I get for similar masks from China is closer to $14.

Some companies are also trying to help makers specifically, and for example, Seeed Studio offered free face masks to Makerspaces and Fablabs. Full disclosure: I also received a box of 50 face masks.

Sadly, all boxes are gone, but Pine64 is now giving away 50,000 face masks to makers as Pine64 factory is also making those like everybody else.

Since demand is likely to be high, priority will be given in the following order:

  1. Forums and chat moderators
  2. Partner-project developers
  3. Community developers (anyone who contributed code to a PINE64 device
  4. Developers from key projects to PINE64 community (e.g. SUNXI, Lima, Panfrost, etc.,)
  5. Others at my discretion

You’ll find the full details in Pine64 Forum announcement. I’ll post other face mask giveaways in the comments section if any.

Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.

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Willy
Willy
5 months ago

In my opinion masks are not the solution and it’s even visible on the graph. They are useful to protect people exposed to a lot of other people (doctors, supermarket workers for example), but for the rest of the population they only slow down the virus diffusion but will not prevent it from reaching 60% of the population which is the threshold above which it will stop spreading that fast, so it will just take longer and make the trouble last much longer, putting the world at stop for that long. It is absurd to think that we’ll kill this… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> At the moment people are dying at home from heart attacks or brain attacks because people are scared to go to the hospital as they fear being infected!

They also die because nurses flee due to closing borders and other repressions: https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/#latest (and even if they later die caused by dehydration they then count as Covid19 victims and add to the death toll further increasing panic/repressions).

geokon
5 months ago

I find this common train of thought baffling… you can’t argue the virus can’t be contained when they’ve literally stopped the virus in Taiwan Korea and China. We’ve stopped SARS and MERS before. Yes it might flare up in very small incidents, but when the numbers are sufficiently low then it doesn’t affect the vast majority of society, health authorities can quickly respond and track down all contacts and quarantine suspects and life goes on as normal. There is no need to have a 60% infection rate.. that’s just nuts and would involved so many needless deaths. This whole thing… Read more »

Willy
Willy
5 months ago

> you can’t argue the virus can’t be contained when they’ve literally stopped the virus in Taiwan Korea and China This means nothing. As long as the population is not immune and there still exists at least one infected person in the world, nobody’s safe. Should we keep 7 billion people in their home-jails for years ? And should we put them in their home-jails for 3 months every year with the regular flu? At some point the paranoia must stop! People are going totally crazy, some threatening cops to spit on them, others shouting at people walking in the… Read more »

geokon
5 months ago

@Willy It’s like you didn’t read half of what I wrote… Life in Hong Kong/Taiwan/South-Korea (and starting in China) is not “crazy” or as hysterical as you are making it out to be. People are not under house arrest and things are more or less back to normal. I don’t know where you live, but maybe you’re projecting your current predicament onto places that have already dealt with the virus? There are minor outbreaks (due to travel) – as you say that’s kinda inevitable – but the numbers are small enough that they can be managed on a case by… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> Life in Hong Kong/Taiwan/South-Korea …. People are not under house arrest and things are more or less back to normal.

As it is in Sweden for example. No repressions, no excess mortality. And BTW no masks.

It might take a while until we realize that this whole pandemic is mostly a data literacy issue…

geokon
5 months ago

Right all the people dieing in Wuhan/Lombardy is just a statistical fluke and a product of our overly active imaginations

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> Right all the people dieing in Wuhan/Lombardy is just a statistical fluke No, but the attribution based on a newly released virus test developed in January might be. Wrt to air pollution northern Italy is Europe’s Wuhan, the health system is one of the worst and collapses regularly in Winter and the excess mortality of past Flu seasons was way higher than in other European regions (BTW: currently excess mortality is just slightly higher mostly due to local effects like medical personell in quarantine or at home looking for their children while in the rest of Europe it’s lower… Read more »

geokon
5 months ago

Correcting statistical mistakes is important and I’m sure that the misattribution of the cause of death is a problem but it’s a bit of a leap to then conclude that the horrors happening in hospitals in Lombardy and Wuhan were actually a normal seasonal occurrence that simply no one had bothered to film/document before. I don’t take issue with your statistics, but you’re again arguing about mortality figures while the original question is if this virus is stoppable. I think evidence shows that it is. If, China, an underdeveloped country caught off-guard can stop it – then there is no… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> while the original question is if this virus is stoppable Well, I ask myself the question whether the virus has not already widely spread. How should we know if tests are not done on a representative sample? > having 60% of people sick, shrugging and letting the old/sick die and hospitalizing hundreds of thousands of young people Which data is backing this? Surveys where testing not just focused on ‘sick’ or dead people in hospitals but also included asymptotic people (so going towards a representative sample) ‘found that 50% of all test-positive persons showed „no symptoms“ at all, while… Read more »

chwe
chwe
5 months ago

>Which data is backing this? Surveys where testing not just focused on ‘sick’ or dead people in hospitals but also included asymptotic people (so going towards a representative sample) ‘found that 50% of all test-positive persons showed „no symptoms“ at all, while the other 50% mostly showed „very moderate cold-like symptoms“. interesting.. if you then cite a blog which cites buzz feed (buzzfeed dot com/albertonardelli/coronavirus-testing-iceland) which cites some other weird cites from the things tests happening in Iceland where you’ve (according to buzz feed cause I’m honestly too lazy to go down the whole rabbit hole of these crappy source… Read more »

tkaiser
tkaiser
4 months ago

> For those thinking that their country does better than italy.. let’s discuss this in 10-12 days

Sure.

In the meantime studying lists of facts instead of sensational media reports resulting in trillions of people panicking seems a good idea to me: https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

BTW what went wrong in Italy is nicely explained here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JNFVJIFGGs0

willy
willy
5 months ago

In France, doctors say they have almost no more report of heart or brain attacks, nor prostatis cancers. How many such undiagnosed people will die early due to the *measures* in place instead of the virus ? There’s no need to prevent people from going out if the problem is just to prevent them from being close to each other. However by packing many of them in an appartment, you’re certain to spread the virus from one person to all inhabitants. And in general there’s no way a frozen country will efficiently fight any attack, including a virus. You need… Read more »

Devman
5 months ago

How is that comparable? Hong Kong has 75% of Sweden’s population in 1/450th the area.

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> How is that comparable? Hong Kong has 75% of Sweden’s population in 1/450th the area. No idea how that’s comparable or why you compare? I mentioned Sweden as an example of an European country that did not turned from a democracy into a totalitarian police state within the last weeks unlike many others. And Sweden seems to deal pretty well with this pandemic based on the data published. All without police, the military, mass surveillance and locking down the whole country. They simply try to protect those who need to be protected and tell ill people to stay at… Read more »

willy
willy
5 months ago

Well in France it’s simple: you can’t go to work, you’re forced to stay home, you can’t go out without signing a duly dated and filled authorization, and you can’t even do your errands because they organize endless queues in front of supermarkets in which they only let 10 people in every 20 minutes! So basically I eat bad food that I refill once a week from a local store that’s still accessible. And with the absurd measures that were taken here now they’re scared to put an end to the confinement because likely too few people were infected and… Read more »

None Needed
None Needed
5 months ago

It’s pretty conceivable that tobacco/nicotine liquids will be next, partly out of geniune humanistic ideas, partly out of the desire for more control. In quite a lot of developed and developing countries smoking is already stigmatized in media and confined to designated areas in real life. Given the overall level of fear, it would be a waste of a perfectly good crisis to not to point at smokers and say: “Hey, they’re deliberately making themselves an easier target for the virus for their egotistic pleasure! They will be a liability when the next wave comes! Either they’re addicted and we… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
5 months ago

Lets not forget many people are trying to win Darwin Awards, even if their not aware they are doing so.

Darwin Awards: Vote for the Award Nominees! The Darwin Awards commemorate the (remains of) individuals who contribute to the improvement of our gene pool by removing themselves from it.

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> they’ve literally stopped the virus in Taiwan Korea and China Nobody knows how the virus spreads in either country. It’s just that they do not report as much positive test results as in the past (which can simply be the result of less testing). To know how the virus spreads you need to test against a representative mix of the population and not just on ‘patients with symptoms’ or ‘contact persons’. Same problem with ‘Covid19 deaths’ and then the calculated ‘death rate’ by using these two numbers. The 1st number is way under-estimated and the 2nd largely over-estimated (since… Read more »

KotCzarny
5 months ago

fun part is that in .pl we dont count 2nd AT ALL. a lot of deaths are classified as co-existing diseases, which gives false results. also, the main reason to slow down the initial spread, is to allow hospitals and other services to still work during the pandemy.

tkaiser
tkaiser
5 months ago

> fun part is that in .pl we dont count 2nd AT ALL And the 1st number which should indicate how the virus spreads is obviously a misinterpretation since as in every other country the data collected is not from a representative sample. We’re treating persons with a positive virus test as ‘Covid19 patients‘ which is already strange and then we take these numbers as an indication how the virus would spread within the population. In germany we see an exponential growth in test-positive persons (called ‘Covid19 patients’ even if not showing any symptoms at all) obviously due to an… Read more »

pmos69
pmos69
5 months ago

You could say that, but then, the death toll is also going up exponentially, and that invalidates your statement.

pmos69
pmos69
5 months ago

And if you doubt the death toll being attributed to covid-19, up to this day, up to this time, I know only of 3 studies that confront covid-19 attributed deaths with variations in the normal death rates expected. (1 for Spain, 1 for a few Italian regions and another for my country.

The numbers don’t match: Increases in the number of deaths in relation to expected numbers are about 4x the numbers being reported for covid-19.

The Portuguese government has initiated a formal investigation into the issue today.

geokon
5 months ago

This is FUD. Yes there is some ambiguity in case numbers and you can’t make a definitive numerical assessment with valid error bounds. And yes, I agree that estimates of the death rate are very fuzzy, but it’s the best we have and in the end it’s hardly relevant from a policy standpoint. The death rate in countries that handled the situation poorly (like Italy), whatever it is, is clearly problematic and given the chaos you see currently in hospital systems I think you’d agree it’s at the very least much higher than the standard flu. It’s well beyond what… Read more »

Willy
Willy
5 months ago

> This FUD people keep spreading is doing a lot of harm b/c it’s making the situation out to be unsolvable when we has specific counterexamples Not being able to feed and heal correctly 100% of a country while around 0.05% passed through hospitals is not FUD but a reality. I’ve been eating shit food for 3 weeks now and will soon really need to find a dentist. And I’m not the only one, it’s the same for 100% of the country. And regarding hospitals, even if medical staff really suffers from the situation, it’s important to note that we’ve… Read more »

William Barath
William Barath
5 months ago

The masks protect others from you, not you from others. They do not protect you from inhaling aerosolised droplets from someone coughing or sneezing. They do provide a small amount of protection for others near you if you cough or sneeze and you are a carrier.

If you are healthy, wearing the mask is a waste of resources, and a false sense of security.

Wearing a mask when you are healthy just sends the wrong message, to yourself and to the vastly ignorant general population around you.

pmos69
pmos69
5 months ago

“They do not protect you from inhaling aerosolised droplets”. They also don’t protect me from falling pianos. That’s not the point. “If you are healthy, wearing the mask is a waste of resources, and a false sense of security.” Do people do daily tests? How would anybody know their aren’t infected and contagious? Testimony from people wearing face masks and protective eyewear also go against your statement about them giving a false sense of security. People who actually use them mostly say they act as a constant reminder that the situation isn’t normal, and that extra care should be taken.… Read more »

theguyuk
theguyuk
5 months ago

Everybody is a expert back seat driver suddenly. Hindsight is 20:20 vision. ” Should more of us wear face masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus? This question is to be assessed by a panel of advisers to the World Health Organization (WHO). The group will weigh up research on whether the virus can be projected further than previously thought; a study in the US suggests coughs can reach 6m and sneezes up to 8m. The panel’s chair, Prof David Heymann, told BBC News that the new research may lead to a shift in advice about masks. The former… Read more »

Willy
Willy
5 months ago

Agreed, which is why with our government saying “we’ll be transparent” it’s not that serious 🙂

None Needed
None Needed
5 months ago

I see a lot of bushfire experts changed their area of expertise to epidemiology in a matter of months. It’s uplifting: with millions of fluid experts debating the truth on the global marketplace of ideas humanity is sure to overcome anything and we may even achieve cold fusion (in twenty years, as customary). Ultimately in the long haul a lot will be defined by the containment measures enforced by different governments we live under jurisdictions of. That’s another very intersting topic to discuss with all-around experts, especially when and if these sweeping powers will be ratcheted down. Regarding personal protection… Read more »

Philipp Blum
Philipp Blum
5 months ago

Sorry, but this situation isn’t great. I got some masks, because I do soldering work. But not these kind of masks. If I would get my hands on these masks, I would rather donate it to a local hospital than using it myself. This is ridiculous. Now, we are giving face masks to people with good connections? Not happy about it…

Philipp Blum
Philipp Blum
5 months ago

FFP3 are even better. But currently, if they have the option between surgical masks or no masks, they probably choose the surgical ones. And that is the point here. And this is what I don’t like.

Da Xue
Da Xue
5 months ago

Tkaiser is right. There is no excuse to implement a totalitarian state. The knee jerk reaction will kill and ruin far more than the virus. Poor people and businesses are being destroyed. Supply chains are ripped to shreds which will have far more deadly impacts that will only be evident a month from now. People just do not think ahead and realize the complexities. You cannot base policy on a one-dimensional metric that is not uniform or even consistently measured. Healthcare overrun must be on the table as an acceptable end in order to prevent other even more catastrophic ends.

Willy
Willy
5 months ago

This morning on the radio a professor working in a hospital said that estimates are that in France the confinement has saved around 2500 lives to covid-19 but will likely have killed many more from various other causes, first ones being worse hygiene and lack of medical treatments for various other things. That’s exactly what I’ve been suspecting would happen from the beginning. The worst is that we’re now “discovering” that it worked too well here and that possibly too few people have been infected yet to relax the rules… Also I can’t stand anymore all these selfish people thinking… Read more »

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