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 Face masks
Author: oian 
Date:   2021-08-25 08:41
Attachment:  DSCN0559.JPG (139k)
Attachment:  DSCN0560.JPG (135k)

I saw the thread on bell covers, some places however require masks while playing. Currently California does not require face masks or bell covers for Church Orchestras, but that may change.

As far as face masks go, I've tried both the flap and slot types. Both were more trouble than they were worth.
I came up with the solution shown in the photos which works well for me. When you get done playing just put on a regular mask.

To make one, Go to a hardware store and get an "O" ring (The thicker the ring material the better) that is a slip fit over your mouthpiece. Get one of the "formed" masks and use hot glue around the outside of the O ring to stick it to the mask. Cut out the mask material inside the O ring.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-25 10:23

Nice!

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 Re: Face masks
Author: marcia 
Date:   2021-08-25 20:21

Perhaps I have missed some crucial piece of information, but that is the purpose of a face mask being worn while playing, given that the air is being blown through the instrument's bore?

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 Re: Face masks
Author: marcia 
Date:   2021-08-25 20:22

oops--typo. Should read "what", not that.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: kdk 2017
Date:   2021-08-25 21:20

marcia wrote:

> Perhaps I have missed some crucial piece of information, but
> what is the purpose of a face mask being worn while playing,
> given that the air is being blown through the instrument's
> bore?

In theory:
(a) some minimal amount of air may leak from around the player's mouth.
(b) the mask can provide some protection against inhaled particles (and maybe aerosols) when the player breathes in.

I haven't myself seen any documentation to demonstrate (a), and even the masks that are designed for the purpose have openings that might well defeat (b).

They have one other benefit: they make school administrators feel like they're being responsive to CDC guidelines and protecting their students.

:)

Karl

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 Re: Face masks
Author: marcia 
Date:   2021-08-25 21:28

As I have thought all along, I suspect the comment about school administrators is the real reason.  ;)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: Chris P 
Date:   2021-08-25 23:47

You know what the best solution is?

Don't bother with them.

They're just a paranoia easing exercise at best and a money grabbing opportunity at worst. In all forms - bell and instrument covers included.

If this is the depths this messageboard is going to stoop to, then I'm done with it all. I've had enough of seeing this crap on several facebook pages with both people believing some pseudoscience as well as a constant barrage of adverts promoting them and guilt tripping people into parting company with their own and much needed cash and I've had it up to here with it all.

THEY DON'T WORK.

What does work is adhering to social distancing regulations and hygiene, plus vaccines which is the ONLY way we'll combat this pandemic.

Unless you want to look like an arse and bow to ungrounded claims.

Chris.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: oian 
Date:   2021-08-26 00:17

When I made the mask, the State of California in their infinite wisdom had declared that any person playing a wind instrument was required to wear a "face covering which covered the nose and mouth while playing. It also made it very clear that a face shield would not be an acceptable substitute". I even called the California official number to get a clarification. I asked how is one supposed to wear a mask while playing a Bass Clarinet. The official answer "I don't know how that could be done, I suggest that you play without a mask and then put one on while not playing".

I know that blowing through a mask with a hole in it , be it a mask with a flap or the one in the picture doesn't do anything useful (especially with all the open holes in a Woodwind), but it it satisfied the local powers that be and allowed me to play and was more user-friendly than a flapped mask.

Fortunately shortly after I made it the Governor deferred to the CDC guidelines and the mask mandate was dropped.

Karl: I don't know were you live, but you should see the long list of rules for music programs in California schools this school year!

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 Re: Face masks
Author: Mark Charette 2017
Date:   2021-08-26 02:04

Jajaja! The best defense against hijacking airplanes is the lock on the pilot's cabin door.

But we take our shoes off, go thru scanners, and various other dances so we can travel.

Wear your masks & clarinet bell covers (where required) so you can play.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-26 04:28

Chris P wrote:

> You know what the best solution is?
>
> Don't bother with them.
>
I'd be a fool to argue with your well documented comments on what does and doesn't work.

Where we differ is I might don the mask and bell cover under the theory that they don't do harm--even if they also positively do no good--if that's the politics I have to live with to play. I'd only do so if my love for playing trumps my desire for not catalyzing falsehoods about such devices protecting people, albeit this one not an overtly dangerous "fools paradise" to practice as long as it is not a substitute for the prudent measures you discussed.



Mark Charette wrote:

> Jajaja! The best defense against hijacking airplanes is the
> lock on the pilot's cabin door.
>
> But we take our shoes off, go thru scanners, and various other
> dances so we can travel.
>

Mark: I'm certain that you concur that the first directly protects the flight deck/crew, which indirectly protects the passengers, vessel, and ground below...

while the second directly protects the passengers, attendants, vessel and ground, and indirectly the flight deck/crew (e.g. heaven forbid a bomb)

..and that both checks are essential.



Post Edited (2021-08-26 04:29)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: m1964 
Date:   2021-08-26 05:06

Chris P wrote:

"You know what the best solution is?

Don't bother with them.

They're just a paranoia easing exercise at best and a money grabbing opportunity at worst. In all forms - bell and instrument covers included.

If this is the depths this messageboard is going to stoop to, then I'm done with it all. I've had enough of seeing this crap on several facebook pages with both people believing some pseudoscience as well as a constant barrage of adverts promoting them and guilt tripping people into parting company with their own and much needed cash and I've had it up to here with it all.

THEY DON'T WORK.

What does work is adhering to social distancing regulations and hygiene, plus vaccines which is the ONLY way we'll combat this pandemic.

Unless you want to look like an arse and bow to ungrounded claims."

Agree with above 150% - I'd rather not play with an orchestra than wear something like that ABSOLUTELY USELESS contraption.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-26 15:10

For those of you who are running orchestras with or without all these precautions, do you mind my asking what rate of infection you are actually getting amongst your players?

I just wonder because if they are all staying well or getting ill and recovering, then that is probably the most important thing.

Our (UK) government declared at the start of summer that we had enough vaccine coverage in the older generations that we could all go back to normal behaviour. They said that all the younger, unvaccinated people would then get covid, but that statistically that was actually safer for those kids than having the vaccination.

So society prompty opened up, and I have spent the whole summer working through a really tedious covid infection, which I still have now. But my son got the bug too, and recovered quickly. So I suppose he has got his immunity, and he worked through the illness in the holiday, which is what they wanted.

I'm just wondering - because if immunity by infection is the safe thing for younger people, does that mean it should actually be mandatory unmasked clarinet playing for all under 18s, as the fastest route to herd immunity?

(I'm kind of joking there obviously, but from the logic our government seems to go by, that's what it seems to imply, if your older folks are all vaccinated.)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-26 19:26

SunnyDaze wrote:

......

>
> I'm just wondering - because if immunity by infection is the
> safe thing for younger people, does that mean it should
> actually be mandatory unmasked clarinet playing for all under
> 18s, as the fastest route to herd immunity?
>
> (I'm kind of joking there obviously, but from the logic our
> government seems to go by, that's what it seems to imply, if
> your older folks are all vaccinated.)

More than kind of joking, I pray you to be completely so. I don't know the age cutoffs outside the States for inoculation, but as I'm sure you concur, vaccination at worst provides symptoms of malaise for about a day, thereafter providing protection, albeit neither permanent nor absolute, without shedding.

Infection provides similar outcome provided the infirmed survive, and suffer no long term effects, nor spread infection or catalyze its mutation into new strains.

I sense frustration at changing and less than completely logical guidelines at your end Sunnydaze, from which pure satire that in no way diminishes the severity of the epidemic, but rather arises as a coping mechanism, originates. :)



Post Edited (2021-08-26 19:27)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-27 23:31

You may be quite right about the coping mechanism SecondTry :-)

I just think it's so amazing that the different countries' government policies are so different. I mean our government says "get out and get on with it, no masks required, even in nightclubs" and in America you are having such worries about how to mask a clarinet.

The chief medical officer here always says "we will not know who made the right decisions until years after the event" and I do see what he means.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2021-08-28 00:19

Since the topic of bell covers was also broached:

As mentioned in earlier "bell cover" posts...I think a very valid scientific question is whether bell covers will actually increase the spread of the virus. Individuals will be touching a (potentially) virus-saturated piece of moist material and then go about touching eyes, doorknobs, cases, cabinets, other people, etc. in very high use situations (rehearsal being let out and students rushing to get to their next class, etc.)

A lack of a good answer to this question is one reason I'm personally against use of bell covers. There's no harm in doing things for optics...unless there is. ;^)>>>

I'd rather not go back to playing than have to jump through meaningless hoops which might do more harm than good - all to create optics/messaging that "we're trying."

The same could be said of masks. The results from the first year of masking (world-wide) are mixed at best. The areas which masked should have fared far better than the areas which didn't - yet that isn't what the data I've seen shows.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

Side note: I wonder how many kids will launder the bell covers throughout the course of a semester.



Post Edited (2021-08-28 00:25)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-28 01:29

Fuzzy - I hadn't even thought about the washing. I suppose mothers are having to buy several and hot wash and rotate them. I bought a big stack of masks when the schools opened and we rattle through them, and then hot wash the whole set in one go.

I hadn't though about hand contamination from removing the covers. I suppose with a clarinet in particular, the kids fingertips would be covered in whatever they are breathing out, but that would not be the case with a horn or trombone.

Are these children eligible for vaccination in the USA? It seems to me as though only vaccination, or immunity by infection is going to get them out of this, and one way or the other, I suppose they are going to get that quite quickly when they are mixing in big groups like this.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2021-08-28 06:55

SunnyDaze,

My worry is about the masks too. There really should have been a very clear-cut line between the masked vs unmasked societies. There wasn't. Just a lot of data that was hard to interpret.

For this reason, I wonder (especially for children) whether masks are beneficial at all...as kids are prone to constantly fiddle with their mask. (Touching moist - potentially infected surfaces and then interacting with their surrounding environments.) I can only imagine how much worse this will be for masks made to use with musical instruments, where kids will be touching the masks frequently as a necessity of proper use near/in their mouths.

In answer to your question about whether children in the US are eligible for the vaccine...the last I heard, children in the 12-15 year age group were allowed emergency use (not really sure what that means - and don't know if it changed since the FDA officially approved the Pfizer vaccine a few days back.)

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-28 15:35

Hi Fuzzy,

Yes I see what you mean about masks. My son was in primary school when it all started, and the stories that came home from school about attempts to instill personal hygiene were pure hilarity. I'd better not repeat any of it, but honestly, the masks are the least of the problem. I think the bubble idea was a work of real genius by who ever came up with it. That was the one thing that did seem to work.

I wonder if this is why monks and nuns used to live in secluded sects in the past? Maybe it meant they could get on with stuff without catching bugs from outside?

Jen

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 Re: Face masks
Author: davyd 
Date:   2021-08-28 19:48

"For those of you who are running orchestras with or without all these precautions, do you mind my asking what rate of infection you are actually getting amongst your players?"

I work retail (no 'work from home' for me) and I haven't heard of any of my colleagues even getting sick from, much less dying of, covid. The concert band that I play in - we kept going, outdoors in 7/20-11/20 and 4/21-7/21, and again, if anyone got sick, I didn't hear about it.

"I just think it's so amazing that the different countries' government policies are so different."

Here in the USA, different states, counties, and cities have different policies which are always changing. You can literally just cross a street, and be subject to different ground rules.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-28 21:31

Fuzzy wrote:

> SunnyDaze,
>
> My worry is about the masks too. There really should have been
> a very clear-cut line between the masked vs unmasked societies.
> There wasn't. Just a lot of data that was hard to interpret.

I must confess Fuzzy, sometimes you just say things that make me mad, because I feel like you haven't thought them through first.

This one's particularly bad because you literally cite the very reasons why what you seek (precise epidemiological guidance) couldn't be done, in your very contradiction of seeking absolute rules from a sea of new and less than crystal clear infection data that was/is, to use your (correct) words "hard to interpret."

The epidemiological community makes its best educated guesses as to where lines are drawn in its guidance based on the very limited information it has on a novel (i.e. new) virus' infection rate and the infirmity it causes. As it tries to balance public health and individual freedom it faces continual unfair bashing about not getting that correct it pronounced 6 months ago when less was known.

>
> For this reason, I wonder (especially for children) whether
> masks are beneficial at all...as kids are prone to constantly
> fiddle with their mask.

You don't have to wonder. The science on this fortunately is in and that it is beneficial for children to be wearing masks (my discussion pertains to school, as must yours) despite these limitations and others you cite. It is not my opinion that Florida and Texas governors DeSantis and Abbott's desire to oppose the forced use of masks on this population runs opposite to science. And lest anyone think these words political, let me also add that I'm proud that Arkansas Governor Hutchinson, barring the same party affiliation, realized his mistake and reversed course on the need for masks in school.

Fuzzy: I want to make a point here. We're all entitled to our opinions. But if you want to come out and say, by analogy "gee I wonder if I could play the clarinet without the bottom joint and bell," an idea that acoustical science would deem as absurd as medical science has the idea that kids might be better off without masks in school, then people are going to shut you down if for no other reason than it's irresponsible to put such ridiculous ideas in other people's heads.

By all means postulate about that in the world that hasn't already been shown to be a certain way, and share it with others if you like. But to come to some social venue and wonder if pediatric masks make sense at school is like coming here to postulate whether the current US President won the election (spoiler alert: he did.)

>
> In answer to your question about whether children in the US are
> eligible for the vaccine...the last I heard, children in the
> 12-15 year age group were allowed emergency use (not really
> sure what that means - and don't know if it changed since the
> FDA officially approved the Pfizer vaccine a few days back.)
>

The emergency use you describe pertains to the FDA emergency and expedited indication of a set of COVID vaccines for use. Every COVID vaccine, for everyone recommended to be inoculated in the US is currently under emergency use barring the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Comirnary, which was recently granted FDA full approval.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-08-29 03:18

< https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/300393908/a-us-elementary-school-teacher-took-off-her-mask-for-a-readaloud-within-days-half-her-class-was-positive-for-delta >

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-29 06:10

Donald, Thanks for sharing that. That is the kind of story that I feel I can really understand. The whole business of statistics, and the huge numbers everywhere are just so easy to interpret in many different ways, but this story makes the case really clearly.

I really like this similar story:

https://fortune.com/2020/08/25/covid-outbreak-starbucks-seoul-masks-employees/

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 Re: Face masks
Author: TomS 
Date:   2021-08-30 08:20



Tom

Post Edited (2021-09-03 02:39)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: Fuzzy 
Date:   2021-08-30 09:27

TomS,

Quote:


If I remember correctly, the study's reccomendation was to social distance further and investments in clean, filtered fresh air systems.


This is also what our local/state scientific community presented. They further stated that aerosol density expelled from an individual were found to be roughly equal whether six feet away or 40 feet away - depending on the room size/shape and air ventilation / lack of air ventilation. They strongly recommended that buildings in our state (especially schools and businesses) begin planning for upgrades to the ventilation systems.

It looks like MIT just (August 13) published a study looking at various airflow problems as they relate to aerosols (their observations validated much of what our local folks told us last year). They still recommend masks - but the study doesn't address surface-spread contamination other than surfaces covered in aerosol, nor the effectiveness of masks among school children in real-world scenarios. So, I remain concerned about masks on kids - especially when such masks might have holes which require kids to touch/open holes/etc near their mouths.

Fuzzy
;^)>>>

[EDIT: I forgot to mention that the study also mentioned that vertical airflow is (basically) good, whereas horizontal airflow in the room is (basically) to be avoided. I wonder how this data might affect the idea of bell covers?]



Post Edited (2021-08-30 09:31)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-30 16:51

Airflow and good ventilation makes perfect sense to me. Whenever I'd had to have someone come and fix the boiler or something urgent in the last few months, I've found myself opening every door and window in sight, and thinking "yes, this feels right". The school are very keen on ventilation too.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SunnyDaze 
Date:   2021-08-30 16:54

I still feel as though there's a huge difference between catching covid with an inoculating dose of 3 million virus particles, versus catching it with an inoculating dose of 300 virus particles - in terms of the severity of disease that results.

I feel as though a lot of the precautions that people are taking are probably going to reduce the inoculating dose that people are going to get, and that that is probably a good thing. It may be more realistic than attempting to exclude the possibility of transmission entirely.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-30 18:50

I'd be surprised to hear that masks promote infection despite their well known limitations and the need for multi tiered approaches to preventing the spread of germs.

This is particularly the case outside of clinical settings where its users aren't trained in the mask's proper use.

Children can and should wear cloth masks at school as much as possible. You can breath relatively easily with such fabrics over N/K95 varieties and their benefits have been demonstrated. This doesn't change even if one study was spot on (it may not have been) as to the limits of their effectiveness. It doesn't change even if one study was spot on that they are actually worse than no mask at all.

If, on the other hand, peer reviewed reputable institutions show we got masks wrong I'd be the first to adopt policies consistent with their findings. Until then: masks and where age acceptable, shots. Full stop.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: TomS 
Date:   2021-08-30 19:09



Tom

Post Edited (2021-09-03 02:40)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: bradfordlloyd 
Date:   2021-08-31 02:12

As my community band returns to in-person rehearsals this week, and we have just been informed that masks are required for all players, this string has been helpful. Like others, I don't see how masking while playing wind instruments will be helpful or effective, but I'm doing it anyway. I've now purchased two different kinds of slitted masks to see which is "best" -- which I think means "most comfortable"

I'm vaccinated and healthy, and hope that others are as well....Prayers for all of us as we wrestle with this brave new world.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: TomS 
Date:   2021-08-31 05:22



Tom

Post Edited (2021-09-03 02:41)

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-31 21:52

TomS wrote:

> The cloth masking was mostly for panic control in the beginning
> before "the shots" and now, just a sign of obedience, IMHO.

Cloth masks have been shown to reduce infection in both directions. Sure, they're not as good as (properly worn) K95s, which aren't as good as N95s, but better than nothing and worth their wear when covering the nose and mouth.

The danger of offering an opinion that conflicts with science, without offering your own test data, is that people, yourself included, can adopt these practices and makes matters worse.

This is not to be conflated with inability to offer opinion. For example, do you like the Vandoren Optimum ligature best? If so that's fine with me. It's an opinion that isn't conflicted by testing or whose adoption may pose risk to you or others.

> If they had turbo-charged N95 production and professionally fit
> them to all individuals (clean shaven) and educate on disposal
> of said masks, proper hand washing and other safety procedures,
> we'd made much more progress.

Here again, this sadly isn't demonstrated in society. People know that they shouldn't drop their mask below their nose. They do it anyway, and in so doing render even the most effective mask at suboptimal performance for them and others. Maybe some of this is education but I've seen people drop masks seconds after those that remind them to pull it up leave the scene.

I don't know why all the time
> spent on TV talking about how many are sick and how many are
> dying wasn't spent showing some detailed powerpoint
> presentations or cartoons about the evolving personal
> protective science and what each person could do. Geezzz.

Because bad news sells, and because maybe, just maybe, when people see how sick they can become they will be incentivized to get the shot and practice good hygiene.

> But, I'm gonna enjoy music, no matter what! Heck, I just
> bought a new clarinet in the midst of the crisis! The extra
> Covid practice time has made a big dent in my problems!
>

Me too, but if the problem approaches critical mass again, I'll do so in non-direct social situations.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: SecondTry 
Date:   2021-08-31 21:58

May I make a request?

Offer all the opinions you want on Face Masks. Say, for example, "I hate face masks."

I'm right with you on that. But please don't offer an opinion on the efficacy of them or the vaccine that conflicts with the best currently available data.

That's not asking too much, right?

Doing so can cause you or others to adopt behaviors that are bad for themselves and society.

To a decent extent, we are facing the Delta variant because not enough people got vaccinated fast enough and/or didn't wear masks, and we will be subjected to new variants because of this. And many of these people didn't act responsibly because they hold opinions (that they got from somewhere) that aren't backed by science.

Thank you.

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 Re: Face masks
Author: donald 
Date:   2021-09-01 00:00

Bradford- I agree that the mask isn't going to do anything while I'm playing, but it'll do SOMETHING when I'm not playing. I'll use a "playing slit mask" when teaching to avoid taking another mask on and off every time I demonstrate (and the risk of being tempted to just leave it off).

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 Re: Face masks
Author: TomS 
Date:   2021-09-03 02:38

I've pulled my posts ...

Do you own research and see what I'm talking about ...

Tom

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