"Guerre des Masques" the War of the Masks


The CDC now recommends wearing face masks in public. This set off a huge scramble for supplies.

"Guerre des Masques"

The global coronavirus pandemic sparks a 'War for Masks' in a desperate global scramble for protection.

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across Europe and the United States, a global scramble for medical equipment such as respirator masks and gloves is underway. Several countries have accused the United States of trying to hijack their orders, but the details of who may have done what to whom are still murky.

In France they are calling it the "guerre des masques" -- the war of the masks, and on Friday German officials also made allegations against the United States.

Andreas Geisel, a senior official in the state of Berlin, said that the US had committed an act of "modern piracy," alleging that a consignment of 200,000 respirator masks destined for the Berlin police had been diverted to the US while in transit in Bangkok.

"This is not how you deal with transatlantic partners," Geisel said, adding that "even in times of global crisis, no wild west methods should be used."

As stockpiles dwindle and countries embark on what one French official called a "global treasure hunt," governments are reluctant to allow protective and other equipment to leave their shores. Many governments say the prices being offered and demanded for personal protective equipment (PPE) are exorbitant.

On Friday, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said an order for ventilators that had already been paid for had been impounded in Turkey.

Pot Calls Kettle Black

Please note French border guards impound trucks filled with 130,000 face masks bound for Britain for NHS workers battling coronavirus.

French border guards impounded trucks filled with 130,000 face masks bound for the UK leading to hurried negotiations between the British and French governments.

The masks were meant for brave NHS workers battling coronavirus across the country.

After realising what was on board, border guards in France held the truck in the wake of President Emmanuel Macron's promise to 'requisition' face masks for the French crisis, reported The Sun.

Every Country for Itself

So much for EU solidarity. It's now every country for itself.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (48)
No. 1-15

Good article. Seriously considering shorting the euro. With Brexit and Covid19, EU is hanging by a thread.

ClydeThe Raven
ClydeThe Raven

A clean cotton wash cloth held in place with string, shoelaces, whatever will work just as well. I have several and clean/disinfect mine with a bleach solution. Wear one while others dry from disinfecting.
Be careful with the strength of bleach solution. If the cloth gets wet it'll burn your face.


Making homemade masks is simple. Saw this on TV and it works, I made two myself yesterday. With a cotton T-Shirt with short sleeves:

  1. Cut the shirt in 2, cutting up the sides, through the armpit. Cut over
    the shoulder and to the collar.

  2. Fold the shirt from waist to the collar, I folded mine 5 times.

  3. Wrap around you nose and mouth, tie in back of you head with
    the sleeves.

I used a worn white Nordstrom under-shirt.
Drawback, I went for a walk today which was sunny but in low 50's, my sunglasses were fogging up so I pulled it down went not near people.


A crisis like this points out the flaw in globalization where a few companies/countries produce protective equipment. Adam Smith was wrong, and I am rebutting by writing "The Poverty of Nations".


And yet the Australian Government health spokesman is urging people to NOT wear masks in public. He states that they're dangerous.
Despite many other countries now telling people to wear masks either voluntarily or by decree or ignoring many eminent epidemiologists advice of the benefits of wearing masks.
There's obviously a great shortage of available masks in Australia and the government doesn't want to be caught out


The theory is the mask protects other people from you. If people believed the theory, there'd be a much lower demand for masks.



I'm shocked! Masks? Really?

P.S. - has anyone been listening to the White House Press Conferences? Seriously??

P.S.S. - watch FOXNEWS and make money.. Tucker Carlson said that this was an issue back in late January..... people laughed. I would LOVE to see them laugh now.


FYI. My wife has suspended her medical research and is back working on the front lines in a local hospital. She has to ration her ppe at the hospital because increased demand can not be met by the current supply. Hospitals all over the world are facing the same problem.

She recently sewed a few cloth masks for use while out in public. She is well aware that these masks do very little against a virus, but she is of the opinion that even a couple of percent difference is useful in an exponential growth situation.

Her biggest fear is that people will use masks that are needed for front line workers. So please; if you have N95 masks, donate them to front line workers and use a cloth mask for personal use instead.


"In France they are calling it the "guerre des masques" -- the war of the masks, and on Friday German officials also made allegations against the United States."

It reminds me of people fighting over the last package of toilet paper on the shelf, except it is now at the governmental level.


Mask reuse is important too, whether homemade or commercial.

"Separately, a research team at Stanford Medicine tested various ways to clean used N95 masks --including soaking the masks in bleach and alcohol hand sanitizer and even cooking them in a microwave oven. They found that alcohol and chlorine bleach broke down the fibers in the masks so they didn’t screen small particles as effectively anymore. The study authors cautioned health care workers against trying to clean masks this way. Microwaves melted the masks, making them useless."

"The fastest and most effective way to sterilize a used mask, they found, was to put it in an oven on low heat -- about 158 F -- for 30 minutes. A typical kitchen oven works fine for this, according to the study authors. Masks cleaned this way keep about 97% of their ability to screen out small particles."

"Another great way to clean an N95 mask? Steam. Holding the mask over boiling water for about 10 minutes kills germs but also preserves about 95% of the mask’s ability to filter tiny germs like viruses"


If my president says he is not wearing a mask, then I don't have to wear a stinkin' mask either!


Here in CA, the latest edict from our political/health overlords is that we can no longer bring reusable bags into stores. We have to accept their bags at 10-25 cents each (of which we do not know their providence or how safe they are)! Of course, the stores don't seem to have a problem taking our cash payment, which comes from outside the store and may be filthy with the virus.

What's next, handing out booties at the door because the virus might be on our shoes? Making us wear gloves and hair nets? Even full ponchos?

In the local Safeway store, traffic in the aisles is one direction only and they are supposed to maintain 2 cart distance between people. They have also installed red squares for people to stand on to maintain proper separation distance and only a limited number of people are allowed in the stores at any one time, leading to lines outside at every store (in the rain today). Local Costco store lines were over 1/4 mile long Saturday!

In another smaller grocery store I was at Saturday, I had to wait in line 20 minutes to be allowed in. They only allowed about 15 people in the whole store in an attempt to minimize people coming next to each other. Stores are going to lose so much revenue from this!

Last, our overseers have closed the most popular hiking trail in our country that normally got around 120k people per month on it (more since the economic closure and so many people out of work). Why? Because people were not maintaining their ordered separation distance! I feel like we are all in 5th grade again when someone gets caught chewing gum and the whole class gets punished.

If you want to know what a dictatorship or police state feels like, come visit San Mateo or San Francisco counties in CA.


What a shock....
So now we all need masks after being told for weeks that it actually increased our risk to wear one...

Why didn’t they just say: Hey, help out. Let’s save the masks for hospital workers and first-responders who need them.

Global Economics