The New Normal (6) — Standards

church gargoyle no mask

We are writing a series of posts to do with the ‘New Normal’. They discuss what the world of industrial safety may look like once the current pandemic abates and business  and church activities resume. Previous posts in this series are:

The Episcopal diocese of Virginia has published guidelines for a phased reopening of our churches. There are four phases — we are currently in Phase One. Phases Two and Three call for the use of face masks whenever people meet with others on church property. This is a sensible requirement since preliminary data suggest that masks are the most effective type of protection. One source (unfortunately I do not have the reference) suggests that masks reduce the risk of infection by 80%, all the other factors such as physical distancing are just 20%.

Due to the unavailability of commercially-made masks many people are wearing home-made cloth masks. These are good for protecting other people, and they set the right tone — people who wear masks are sending a message that they care. However, there is no control over the design or effectiveness of these masks. So, while they do provide protection and should always be used, their effectiveness is quite variable.

It has been suggested that the masks we use should meet an industrial standard such as ASTM Level 2, as shown in the following chart.

ASTM Standards for Face Masks

By the time that we are ready to move into Phase Two it is probable that the production of industrial-quality masks will be up to speed and that a requirement to meet standards will be more realistic than it is now. Of course, there will be those who cannot afford to purchase an ASTM-qualified mask, and there will be those who come to church but forget to bring their mask. Therefore, assuming that funds are available, each church should have a supply on hand to take care of these people.


ASTM standards for use in COVID-19 pandemic

The following information was taken from the ASTM web site.

ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to important ASTM standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment – including face masks, medical gowns, gloves, and hand sanitizers – to support manufacturers, test labs, health care professionals, and the general public as they respond to the global COVID-19 public health emergency.


Front cover for book Faith in a Changing Climate: A New City of God

Book Update

The book Faith in a Changing Climate: A New City of God is proceeding quite well. The chapter titles are shown below. The full Table of Contents (.pdf file) can be downloaded here. You can see that we have added a new chapter: ‘Chapter 1 — Dress Rehearsal’. In it we consider how the current pandemic may provide lessons to do with long-term issues such as climate change, resource depletion and population overshoot. (Some of the thoughts in this chapter come from the ‘New Normal’ series at this blog.)

  • Chapter 1 — Dress Rehearsal
  • Chapter 2 — An Age of Limits
  • Chapter 3 — The City of Man
  • Chapter 4 — Hubris and Nemesis
  • Chapter 5 — Truth and Consequences
  • Chapter 6 — Predicaments and Responses
  • Chapter 7 — Theology
  • Chapter 8 — The Church’s Response
  • Attachment A — A Personal Journey
  • Attachment B — Thermodynamics
  • Attachment C — Jevons Paradox
  • Attachment D — Denial
  • Further Reading
  • Works Cited
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations
  • Index

We are looking for people to review the book. If you are interested send us an inquiry at https://iansutton.com/contact-sutton-technical-books.

We are also looking for a suitable publisher. If you have any suggestions, let us know. You can use the same comment box.

 

 

Author: Ian Sutton

Ian Sutton is a chemical engineer who has worked in the chemical, refining and offshore oil and gas industries. He is the author of many books, ebooks and videos.

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