Coronavirus

COVID-19 and the Tragedy of the Open Access Health Commons

Why libertarians (and everybody else) should socially distance, wear masks and get vaccinated.

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The COVID-19 pandemic resembles a tragedy of the commons—a situation where people have little incentive to invest in conserving or producing a resource because they cannot prevent other people from using or taking it. The results are overconsumption, underinvestment, and ultimately the depletion of the resource.

Classic examples of the tragedy of the commons include overfishing, air pollution, water pollution, and overgrazing. In the case of COVID-19, the resource is the public spaces that we all share with one another. Many of these are privately owned, such as grocery stores, salons, bars, restaurants, theaters, and concert venues. Others are not, including public schools, public subways, public parks, and city sidewalks.

Disease microbes treat human bodies as a resource they use for reproduction. To prevent the microbial overexploitation of the health commons requires germ management. The best way to prevent invasive viruses, bacteria, and fungi from wreaking havoc is to enclose the commons of human bodies by erecting barriers to forestall the transmission of germs from person to person. Good fences make good healthy neighbors.

Social distancing measures, facial coverings, and—hopefully soon—safe and effective vaccines are the best ways to enclose the health commons against the COVID-19 scourge. Let's take a look at each of these barriers to coronavirus transmission.

Social distancing measures include limiting large gatherings of people, closing buildings, and canceling events. They include encouraging people to telecommute for work; closing bars, restaurants, theaters, gyms and schools; canceling sporting events and concerts; and advising people to try to maintain a personal space of six feet when interacting with others in public.

Let's consider the case of closing restaurants and bars. Many individual restaurateurs and bar owners would surely voluntarily assume the costs of such pandemic precautions as limiting indoor service, spacing tables further apart, setting up physical barriers, and restricting the number of customers served at a time. Taking such costly precautions also benefits the entire economy, and people who are not customers, by reducing the risks of an outbreak and enabling recovery to begin. But if all other businesses are paying for such costly measures, a competing restaurant has an incentive to free-ride off a healthier pool of customers by easing its own social distancing rules. The tragedy of the health commons occurs as social distancing erodes among competing dining and drinking establishments, revving up the epidemic again. There is, therefore, a strong case for compensating the businesses that shut down to implement social distancing policies and their employees who had to stay home.

Social distancing really works. A new review of the initial effects of social distancing measures adopted prior to May 2020 in 10 countries, including the U.S., found that they "appeared to have [a] tremendously positive effect on limiting the COVID-19 spread." In the absence of a robust testing, tracing, and voluntary quarantining system (which is another way to enclose the health commons), the easing of social distancing measures beginning in May by various states afforded the coronavirus greater access to the health commons. As a result, increasing virus transmissions fueled a second higher wave of diagnosed infections in June and July. That wave has fortunately not produced the same level of mortality that the first wave did. The lower case fatality rate likely results from a combination of factors, including improved treatment regimens, expanded medical capacities, and the fact that these diagnoses are concentrated among less immunologically vulnerable younger Americans.

How about the widespread wearing of facial coverings? A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and the virus is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. A just-published study in JAMA Internal Medicine reports that asymptomatic carriers of the coronavirus are likely to be just as infectious those who experience symptoms of the disease.

Again, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that the ubiquitous wearing of face masks does protect people from becoming infected. A June study in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A notes that some countries where face mask use by the public is around 100 percent have experienced significantly lower rates of COVID-19 spread and associated deaths. A July preprint reviewing the literature on the efficacy of facial coverings to prevent disease transmission notes that reducing the spread of disease "requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and other measures, and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact." The researchers conclude find that "the preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets." They calculate that near universal masking could spare as much as trillion dollars in losses from the U.S. economy.

A June study in Health Affairs took advantage of a natural experiment by comparing COVID-19 transmissions between March 31 and May 22 among states that had adopted universal mask mandates and those that didn't. While the researchers advise caution with respect to their calculations, they find that mandating face mask use in public is associated with a decline in the daily COVID-19 growth rates and estimate that mask wearing may have averted 230,000 to 450,000 cases before May 22. Interestingly, they find "no evidence of declines in daily COVID-19 growth rates with employee-only mandates."

In any case: Whatever we think of governmental mask mandates, surely we can all agree that private businesses are free to adopt policies requiring that their customers wear face masks.

Masking works primarily by acting as a "source control." That is, it prevents pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic infected folks from inadvertently transmitting their viruses to healthy people. Last week, an article in the Journal of General Internal of Medicine suggested that wearing facial coverings also likely protects uninfected people by reducing the amount of virus they ingest when they encounter an infected person. Lower viral exposure likely results in milder forms of the disease.

But the best way to enclose the health commons against the virus is the rollout of safe and effective vaccines. Fortunately, it looks increasingly likely that such vaccines will become available before the end of this year.

The goal of vaccination is to achieve herd immunity. Vaccines do not produce immunity in everyone, so a percentage of those are vaccinated remain vulnerable. Herd immunity works when most people are immunized against an illness, greatly reducing the chances that an infected person can pass his microbes along to other susceptible people, such as infants who cannot yet be vaccinated, immunocompromised individuals, or folks who have refused the protection of vaccination. Right now, epidemiologists typically estimate that the COVID-19 threshold for herd immunity is around 60 to 70 percent.

People who refuse vaccination are free-riding off herd immunity. Anti-vaccination folks are taking advantage of the fact that most people around them have chosen the minimal risk of vaccination, thus acting as a firewall protecting them from disease. But if enough refuse, no firewall gets built and the health commons remains open the virus. Disturbingly, a new Gallup poll reports that while 65 percent of Americans would take the personal responsibility to protect themselves and others by getting a COVID-19 vaccination 35 percent say that they would not. That is uncomfortably close to what epidemiologists believe is the threshold needed to enclose the health commons against COVID-19 by means of herd immunity.

With respect to the COVID-19 virus we are all living in an open access health commons. Given the data, we should all, as free and responsible individuals, seek to protect ourselves and others by enclosing that commons through social distancing measures, by wearing face masks, and by getting inoculated once safe and effective vaccines become available.

NEXT: Prosecution for Re-Tweeting Request to Identify Police Officer

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  1. Guess I’ll post this before Palin comes here with his usual idiocy.

    There are now 53 studies that show positive results of hydroxychloroquine in COVID infections. There are 14 global studies that show neutral or negative results — and 10 of them were of patients in very late stages of COVID-19, where no antiviral drug can be expected to have much effect.

    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/08/04/an_effective_covid_treatment_the_media_continues_to_besmirch_143875.html

    1. And a look back at when HcQ was banned in Sweden due to the retracted Lancet study.

      https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/08/07/theres-a-mountain-of-evidence-that-hydroxychloroquine-is-an-effective-treatment-for-covid-19-n763953

      Weird spike just a few weeks after in deaths….

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    2. The “experts” can and will argue about HcQ until the proverbial cows come home. But I have yet to hear anyone explain why the decision on whether I use that treatment cannot be between me and my doctor; it’s nobody else’s fucking business. Whatever happened to “my body my choice”?

      1. The experts can continue to argue, but the actual data is pretty damning against the negative acolytes.

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        1. No doubt. Sex with kids, changing one’s “gender” and legal drug use have been added and I suppose that’s where it all stops.

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      3. That only applies to one ‘choice’, didn’t you know that?
        Seriously, though, I find the Zero Aggression Project site is far more libertarian than Reason as of late: we have plenty of options that still protect the vulnerable and allow those who are not as vulnerable some freedom of choice: Give the vulnerable special ‘all masked shopping hours’, allow the choice of anti-body therapy as an alternative to vaccination, stop demonizing HCQ 10, and the list could go on. So I come to reason.com and this was the first thing that catches my attention. Here are two links from ZAP that are light-years more libertarian in principle than this:
        https://www.zeroaggressionproject.org/jim-babka/reopen/
        Or the quicker route to the Advocates article:
        https://www.theadvocates.org/2020/05/ten-principles-of-the-reopening/
        https://www.zeroaggressionproject.org/perry-willis/zap-covid-19/

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  2. I live in Damnearalabama, Georgia, if I socially distanced any more I’d have to move to a deserted island. I not only don’t know of anybody that’s had the coronavirus, I don’t know of anybody that knows of anybody who’s had the coronavirus. The shit’s like Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster as far as I’m concerned – why the hell should I have to start worrying about this shit now?

    1. That’s right! Even the pictures of it are blurry!

    2. Because misery likes company and folks can’t stand anyone else being happy, successful, or doing the shit they can’t do. A few years ago in a drought with water use restrictions, I had a neighbor who called the police because my kids were having fun in the pool [we weren’t filling it… just playing].

      It’s also part of this guaranteed equal outcome bullshit. If I choose A, then I can force you to “choose” it too.

      1. Your kids were playing in an empty pool?

        1. Makes it harder for them to escape.

        2. Presumably the pool had water in it before the drought, hence no incremental water usage.

          1. Well, water would be lost over time to evaporation. If they aren’t refilling it, eventually it will dry up.

  3. I will wear a mask if the property owner requests that I do.

    I respect property rights, not government.

    In case of government mandate, I support altering or abolishing government, not wearing masks. I might need to wear a mask while abolishing but that would still be voluntary.

    1. That’s all I do as well. The Cops/Sheriffs here stated pretty clearly they are ignoring the mask rules except in cases of a business call of a customer refusing to leave or put on a mask.

      I don’t bother wearing one outside.

      1. Well, that’s progress, I guess.

    2. I will wear a mask if the property owner requests that I do.

      I respect property rights, not government.

      Yep.

    3. I agree with this on principal, Jeb. I agree this should be a local business enforcable thing, not government. Once again government needs to fuck off and let the people do what they desire. Many places and people were already wearing masks and closing their store interiors to help slow the spread.

      But what about conceal carry? Every grocery store has a sign stating I can not carry a firearm for protection without being a licensed owner or police officer. But as I live in a city, and can’t even legally raise chickens in my yard, I HAVE to shop at a market so I can complete my diet. Essentially every single store has a no guns allowed sign. So in theory I’m not allowed to protect myself because these people don’t want me to be able to on their private property, but my reality is I have to use their stores or I don’t eat and function in society. This issue is easier, they can’t see my firearm, whereas they can for sure see my face if I don’t have a mask on. Just curious of your stance on that. For me, I will protect myself and any who desires to disarm me is not to be trusted.

      What really saddens me is a sickness that, while bad… is even turning self proclaimed libertarians into authoritarian idiots. When “public health” can be used so widely by government as to require a type of clothing or mask at all times in public, the slippery slope that can create makes me worried. “You don’t have a right to cough on me” is what I’ve heard. No, you don’t have a right to be 100% protected from illnesses that spread in populaces. Stay your ass at home if you want to protect yourself from the virus. But libertarians I’ve seen agree with fines, government mandates, and even criminalization for not complying… sad days.

      1. Sounds like you should move.

  4. Meanwhile millions are still out of work and on the dole. Prognosis negative.

    1. But at least Democrats are asking for a compromise of only 2 Trillion in extra spending to extend it.

      1. Extending the dole by printing trillions in Monopoly money will lead to high inflation. We can’t get ahead that way. And no, Mr. Keynes, the money will not stimulate the economy with a third or more of it shut down.

        1. Even if Keynes were right, no one is following Keynes, or rather they’re only following the borrowing part. While Keynes did advocate borrowing during crisis he also insisted that once the crisis was over the debt be paid down. We’ve been in a “need to borrow” crisis for 100 years and haven’t paid a penny toward the debt. We make the yearly interest payment and even borrow that.

  5. “Let’s take a look at each of these barriers to coronavirus transmission.”

    I would you rather you look at why NONE of this was done on this scale EVER before in the USA. WHAT is so magical about the Communist Chinese Virus? Why weren’t masks required for all the other virus illnesses over the years?
    I would rather you look at the impact of masks on those with respiratory illness, or conditions such as claustrophobia. As in why there are no actual exemptions available, just platitudes about not being really required, but if you get pepper sprayed or beat up for not having a mask, though shit.

    1. Any Maskerader who stops wearing their mask after COVID-19 is “over” (whatever that means) will be a hypocrite. There will still be viruses going around that will kill tens of thousands every year. If we don’t have the right to exhale now, we never did and never will.

  6. Now now, Mr. Bailey. I am sure some of our colleagues will be along shortly to explain to us all that since masks aren’t 100% effective, therefore they are 100% useless. Logic like that is hard to refute.

    And I note, Mr. Bailey, that you refer to science, studies, logic, and reason in your analysis. Those cannot be trusted. What can be trusted, are (1) my own preconceived biases on the matter, (2) my Uncle Fester who hasn’t had a lucid thought in 5 years but nonetheless believes that masks are the work of the Devil, (3) all of my Facebook and social media friends who, just coincidentally, all agree with me, and (4) that one Youtube video I watched that seemed really convincing.

    Furthermore, Mr. Bailey, I note that you did not spend one single word in this article denouncing The Left or accusing them of socialism or Marxism or wanting to destroy America. That is an irredeemible oversight on your behalf. I expect that from now on every single Reason article that I read from you should be considered to be a safe space for leftist-haters like myself and expect my feelings to be reinforced by your writing.

    In short, Mr. Bailey, you are what’s wrong with Reason today and the reason why it is no longer the proud libertarian magazine it claims to be.

    1. Part of the problem with masks is the way the case is made. Usually any skepticism about masks is met with “Experts say they work, you fucking science-denier! So stop being a selfish prick and put your fucking mask on!” Yeah, that will win a lot of converts.

      If then asked the obvious question “if they work why can’t I go back to work or to church or have a funeral for my grandma?” the usual response is then “they aren’t 100% of the answer and need to be supplemented by other behaviors”.

      An approach I found much more persuasive that definitely softened my resistance was to start by explaining masks as part of a risk mitigation strategy.

      Another thing that would help a lot is some consistency not just in the message but in the actions of politicians. Arbitrarily declaring that leftist protests are fine but any other gathering is a “super-spreader”, or by denying people the right to have funerals and then having a big funeral (sans masks) for John Lewis wrecks the credibility of the message.

      1. The main problem is that the pro-mask crowd is simply resorting to the precautionary principle and declaring it as fact, as Jeff has done many times including today. As Bailey does here.

        The fact is we have decades of studies that never showed any positive benefit for mask usage against respiratory viruses. This was found on the CDC and NIH websites up until march of this year.

        The primary change since then has been the condoning of masks for Covid (only recently added to include “possibly the flu”) since march.

        The majority of the pro-mask studies are not done on actual science or data collects, but instead rely on non validated models to push their views. Models are simply coded assumptions for the most part. They’ve essentially removed the history of actual studies and switched it over to reliance on said models.

        For example:

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662657/

        Notice the buzz words they are forced to use due to: Incorrect mask usage, adherance to mask usage, and unknown other criteria.

        Their conclusion uses the word “may”

        Masks may therefore play an important role in reducing transmission.

        That is found in virtually every pro-mask study. Virtually none of them actually show a benefit from mask usage, which actually coincides with the previous 40 years of studies.

        So in reality, we are fining people over not following a precautionary principle unsupported by actual data.

        1. The conclusions of scientific papers pretty routinely use the word “may” to couch their findings. It isn’t a part of some agenda. It is due to the tentative nature of science itself.

          Perhaps part of your problem here is that you are expecting some ironclad, irrefutable, absolute truth on the issue of masks, and because you don’t find it, you think the issue is fishy. Well there is no such thing as absolute truth in the world of science. It just doesn’t exist, not when it comes to epidemiology and not when it comes to anything else either in science.

          1. Jeff, you really don’t understand science, especially science in the use of creating regulatory frameworks.

            That’s fine, just stop saying you’re a libertarian.

            The fact that you keep rushing to a strawman argument of my clear statements is just proof you don’t care about actual argumentation.

            Likewise, I also already understand you don’t believe in objective truth.

            1. LOL whatever man. I’ve only worked in the realm of science for my entire adult life. But sure whatever I “don’t understand science”.

              Do you think regulatory frameworks use “objective truth” in how the regulations are constructed? Or do they use things like “best available scientific evidence”?

              1. LOL! Whenever someone says, “I’ve only worked in the realm of science for my entire adult life”, the one thing you can be absolutely sure of is that he knows absolutely nothing about science. I run into people like you that come to me for employment and I’m quite familiar with how people parse their words when they are full of shit.

                “The realm of science”…. okay so you are a lifelong school janitor who cleans up the 8th grade science lab. The one thing you’ve shown in all your comments is that you have zero understanding of anything that is ACTUALLY science other than how to spell it. For all the times you claim “science”, you can’t actually form a scientific argument, and you know if you tried, you’d out yourself.

            2. Jesse, what did you study in college?

              1. Did you get your GED?

          2. “The conclusions of scientific papers pretty routinely use the word “may” to couch their findings. It isn’t a part of some agenda. It is due to the tentative nature of science itself.”

            Gotta go with Chemjeff on this one – you don;t understand. The “may” part of the conclusion is only part of the process. They also – unless the study is a complete SNAFU – state some degree of confidence or probability. There is very little confidence in masks – take a look at what the Netherlands just decided.

            1. Meant Jesse not Jeff

            2. Sigh, I guess I am gonna have to post this again.

              A list of 70 papers about the effectiveness of masks,

              1. Gee, I guess a list of papers tells fucking lefty ignoramuses something, right fucking lefty ignoramus?

          3. The word may be in routine use, but plenty of publications do without it. When they actually have data, they’ll state those percentage differences and their level of statistical significance; no need for “may” there.

            1. The term “may” as used in scientific fields is generally considered to have all the seriousness of a 50% chance of sumpin happening forecast by Mitsy the weekend weather girl. It basically has 4 values:
              1] Creating a hypothesis – the only legit use
              2] Attempting to avoid legal pitfalls related to claims
              3] Get out of jail free card when your bullshit is proved false [I only said “it may”].
              4] Attempting to bullshit folks into believing you know something you don’t or are trying to sell it to desperate people. This has largely been Faucci MO. He has said virtually everything MAY happen. Take your pick.

              If you want to up the ante on uncertainty, say “it may help to…” May provides uncertainty and Help makes it completely worthless [go ahead and prove it didn’t *help*, even if it failed completely]

              1. It is amusing to see all these people who have never read a scientific paper up until this year finding hidden code words in the grammar of scientific articles that reinforces their preconceived biases. Such as the use of the word “may”.

                Science is a tentative process. Meaning, that while scientists are usually very confident in what they have done, most of them anyway are humble enough to realize that they probably have not considered every single possible alternative explanation for their results. So instead of saying something definitive like “These results PROVE that… ” they will tend to say something like “These results may lead to the conclusion that….” Because scientists are not monolithic, it is not always the case, but it is commonplace. This is especially true when dealing with fields like epidemiology which are highly statistical in nature. There are loads of confounding variables that are possible for any particular study. So even if a particular study yielded a good correlation with a high degree of statistical significance, it is possible that the study did not consider absolutely every single confounding variable, hence the use of the phrase “It may mean that…” instead of something like “It is definitively known that…” If you don’t believe me, go read any book on scientific writing. You will see the same suggestions made there. It is not some conspiracy to mislead readers. Quite the opposite, those with axes to grind and agendas to push are using this tentative nature of science as a cudgel to suggest scientific results are less certain than they really are. That since a paper rightly uses tentative language such as “may” in the conclusion, to suggest that the phrase “It may be the case that…” is equivalent to “We have no fucking idea” and to throw sand in the air casting doubt on legitimate science, giving room to consider very unscientific ideas instead.

                1. It’s amusing that you continue to denigrate people who disagree with you and then claim everyone else is uncivil.

          4. “The conclusions of scientific papers pretty routinely use the word “may” to couch their findings. It isn’t a part of some agenda. It is due to the tentative nature of science itself.”

            Yes, when there is a lack of real evidence.

        2. This.

          Every study done before it was politically necessary to declare masks as effective declared no such thing.

          In fact, they found the opposite.

          https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data

          1. “Every study done before it was politically necessary to declare masks as effective declared no such thing.”

            Which should horrify all of us. It’s just accepted now that scientific results will be created to support the reigning intellectual dogma.

            Makes it difficult to trust the experts.

            1. Old Ron Baily doesn’t sound too “Libertarian” does he? Kind of like, “You’re free to do what the group thinks you should do!” Everyone is going to get the virus and all the mask wearing does is to slow down the spread rate. The main purpose of wearing a mask is to signal how much one cares. By about Thanksgiving, everyone will have been exposed to and have (or have had) the virus. But it won’t be enough for some who will insist we mask up as we greet the family for Turkey Day.

              Isn’t mass hysteria fun? Can’t we round up some Japs and put them in concentration camps again? They could serve as rehab experts for those who won’t comply with the mask wearing.

        3. +1 excellent Jesse


      2. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.

        Of course, COVID is so very very different and special and definitely not at all like the flu.

        CDC Reports Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020
        Policy Review
        Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

        Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure. Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.

        1. In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25)

          1. Yeah, but it *may* *help* with something else. The ultimate combo of qualifiers.

          2. If you look at the RCT’s in that meta-review, you will see that some of them reported that there was no reduction in the transmission of flu viruses, not because masks didn’t work, but because *people didn’t fucking wear the masks*. So yes, if you don’t wear a mask, then the mask won’t stop the flu virus. No scientific study needed for that conclusion.

            1. Does cherry-picking pay a ‘living wage’, Jeff?

      3. Because there was no credibility of the message to begin with.

        If politicians can’t take their own safety in to consideration, then how can their message that they’re taking our safety in to consideration valid in any way?

    2. since masks aren’t 100% effective, therefore they are 100% useless. Logic like that is hard to refute.

      You stupidly used this same strawman in the roundup thread. It was dumb then, it is dumber repeated.

      1. What happened to your claim that “40 years of studies show that masks don’t work”???

        1. The fact that you equate that strawman with the fact that I stated we threw away 40 years of studies due to Covid is hilarious.

          You’re scientifically illiterate.

          1. How precisely were 40 years of studies thrown away due to Covid?

            1. It’s like arguing with a brick wall. Because masks, especially for asymptomatic people, do not help mitigate the spread of respiratory illnesses based on 40 years of literature.

              It is done purely so you can virtue signal like a good little lemming.

              1. Because masks, especially for asymptomatic people, do not help mitigate the spread of respiratory illnesses based on 40 years of literature.

                Could you cite some of these papers?

                1. I did earlier Jeff. You know that. You commented on it. Instead of reading the cited papers in the inks you attacked the author of one of the posts.

                  I gave you another name as well on Alex Berenson who has documented this change quite well this year and even has 2 books on it.

                  I referred you to the statements from the government of Denmark citing the same list of studies showing no effectiveness.

                  Yet you fucking sit here asking for more citations you dishonest fuck?

                  1. He’s too busy looking for a number system where 2+2=5.

                  2. Oh that’s right. Your Lew Rockwell citation of “science”.

                    The citations in that article are a mix of judicial opinions and news articles (hint: not science), with only a couple of actual scientific articles in there.

                    Here’s one:

                    The study, published in JAMA, found that surgical masks were as effective as N95 respirators at preventing the flu, which is to say, not all that effective because, of the 446 nurses who took part in this study, nearly one in four (24%) in the surgical mask group still got the flu as did 23% of those who wore the N95 respirator. And, because both groups wore masks, it’s impossible to say how they would have fared compared with not wearing a mask at all.

                    So in this study, there was no control group, and nurses who used an N95 respirator got the flu at the same rate as nurses who used a surgical mask. That actually doesn’t seem too bad. What is the problem again?

                    And then there was the CIDRAP article, which showed that the science on whether homemade cloth masks are helpful to stop the spread of the disease are more in doubt. Well duh. There is a lot less quality control with the homemade masks. But even then the science is uncertain, not “it doesn’t work at all”.

                    There are no “40 years of studies” that supposedly demonstrate that “masks don’t work”. There are plenty of studies that show that the commonly used masks don’t stop particles the size of viruses. That is not earth-shattering, they were never meant to stop particles of that size. That is not their primary purpose. It’s to stop droplet-size particles, not virus-size particles.

                    This entire exercise is an attempt to use the tentative nature of science as a cudgel to make a political statement. No the science on masks is not 100% rock solid true, because NOTHING in science is 100% rock solid true. That doesn’t justify going around and throwing sand in the air and saying “it’s all a bunch of hooey”, because it’s not.

                    1. you’re asking for control groups now? Nome of the studies you cited had one. Dumb fact.

                      How do you propose that? 100 people in a room, half with masks, half without and a sick dude coughing? Lol.

                    2. There are these things called “natural experiments”. Where, due to circumstances beyond the scientist’s control, a natural control group is established. For example, a legislature in one state passes laws mandating seat belts, but a neighboring state doesn’t. One could then study scientifically what the effect was of the seat belt mandate using one state as a control. That kind of idea.

                      In the study above, even though there was no control, so we don’t know how many of the nurses would have gotten sick without wearing any mask, the N95 group and the surgical mask group got sick at the same rate. If the conclusion that we can draw here is that the surgical mask works as well as an N95 mask, what exactly is the problem here?

                    3. I repeat: your whole schtick here is to use the tentative nature of science against it as a weapon. Because scientists are (for the most part) responsible people and do not make sweeping declarative conclusions that aren’t reasonably supported by the data, so instead they make tentative ones, and use that tentativeness, encapsulated in the use of words like “may”, as an excuse to throw sand in the air and declare it all as worthless. That is YOU not understanding what science is. That is YOU perverting science in the service of an agenda. Shame on you.

                    4. “There are plenty of studies that show that the commonly used masks don’t stop particles the size of viruses. That is not earth-shattering, they were never meant to stop particles of that size. That is not their primary purpose. It’s to stop droplet-size particles, not virus-size particles.”

                      And that’s the issue. Droplets evaporate, but virus particles do not. A study may end when the mask stops the test particle (generally a latex sphere of the particle size being studied), but in real life, the virus that may be inside the droplet keeps right on existing even when the droplet is gone. Without the droplet, there’s nothing preventing it from hitching a ride on the next exhalation, right through the mask.

                      You have all kinds of studies that show that masks can stop droplet-sized particles, but they are all based on the faulty assumption that this virus, unlike all of the other respiratory viruses, does not transmit by aerosol, and mainly by aerosol. It was a novel virus, meaning little was known about it, and yet we had people assuring us that it has a transmission modality different from all the other respiratory viruses.

                      When the evidence began to stack up and it became obvious that aerosol transmission is the dominant mode for COVID as with other respiratory viruses, the CDC continues to ignore this and essentially put its fingers in its ears and say “mmm, mmm, mmm, I can’t hear you, I can’t hear you.” Researchers have been pressuring the CDC to accept this information, but they refuse to do so. So much for science, right?

                      The mask thing is based on the faulty and disproven assumption that COVID spreads mainly by droplets. Masks are useless against aerosols, the main mode of transmission for respiratory viruses, which is why the CDC, WHO, US Surgeon General, and Fauci himself all used to agree with what was at the time the common knowledge view in medicine, that masks among the public do not restrict the transmission of respiratory viruses. The inadequacy of cloth and surgical masks against virus-sized particles is well-established, but here’s a few examples anyway:

                      https://academic.oup.com/annweh/article/54/7/789/202744

                      https://www.ajicjournal.org/article/S0196-6553(07)00774-2/fulltext

                2. I know of you won’t read it…

                  But this is theist fucking time I will bother with your dishonesty.

                  https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20088690/

                  1. Results: We observed significant reductions in ILI [influenza-like illness] during weeks 4-6 in the mask and hand hygiene group, compared with the control group, ranging from 35% (confidence interval [CI], 9%-53%) to 51% (CI, 13%-73%), after adjusting for vaccination and other covariates. Face mask use alone showed a similar reduction in ILI compared with the control group, but adjusted estimates were not statistically significant. Neither face mask use and hand hygiene nor face mask use alone was associated with a significant reduction in the rate of ILI cumulatively.

                    So masks alone helped a little, but it wasn’t statistically significant. Masks along with other hygiene procedures reduced the spread of the disease in a statistically-significant way. I don’t see the problem here. Masks help a little, they work better along with other hygiene procedures. What do you object to here?

                    1. So you don’t know what statistically inignificant means.

                      Kudos for being dumb.

                      Again. You’re relying purely on the precautionary principle to support government fines and even criminal threats.

                      Good for you dummy.

                      Know what else happens a little Jeff? Not being obese. So you help yourself out first.

                    2. Masks help a little. They help more when coupled with other hygiene practices. That is a far way from stating “masks don’t work”. Stop being an asshole about this.

                    3. Statistically insignificant means that the result is considered null, which is to say that the result of this particular study is that masks do not work.

                      When you factor in the well established risks that masks pose to the wearer, it behooves us all to err on the side of caution by rescinding all mask mandates across the board.

                    4. >>”Masks help a little. They help more when coupled with other hygiene practices. That is a far way from stating “masks don’t work”.

                      Do you actually read what you write before you hit Submit? You really don’t understand statistical significance, do you? Your comment is like saying, “scratching your ear plus $3 will get you a cup of coffee. So don’t say that scratching your ear didn’t help.”

                    5. Statistical significance is usually taken to be something like the 90% or 95% confidence interval. So if a result is not “statistically significant”, what that really means is that the authors cannot say with 90% or 95% certainty that the result may be explained by the input variables. It could be explainable with less certainty, just not the very high certainty required for “statistical significance”. So it is not incorrect to say “masks may help a little” – again, with that tentative language, because we don’t have a huge amount of certainty as to the degree by which masks help. It is not equivalent to saying “masks are useless”. It simply says that we don’t have a large amount of certainty about how much masks help. That’s all. Glad I could clear that up for you.

                  1. We conducted a prospective cluster-randomized trial comparing surgical masks, non–fit-tested P2 masks, and no masks in prevention of influenza-like illness (ILI) in households. Mask use adherence was self-reported. During the 2006 and 2007 winter seasons, 286 exposed adults from 143 households who had been exposed to a child with clinical respiratory illness were recruited. We found that adherence to mask use significantly reduced the risk for ILI-associated infection, but <50% of participants wore masks most of the time. We concluded that household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease.

                    In other words, masks don’t work if you don’t wear them. Shocking!

                    1. So your argument is everyone is wearing them correctly? Can’t wait for you to advocate for mask fitting police.

                    2. Well, Jesse, since you were the one who claimed that “40 years of studies” showed that masks don’t work, and this was supposed to be one of them, the fact that this study only really showed that masks don’t work *when they’re not worn* doesn’t do anything to prove your point.

                    3. Great, Jeff! Everyone here respects lefties who cherry-pick results!

            2. Here again is a study that shows masks do work:

              https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

              Masks are effective in stopping larger droplet particles:

              One category of evidence comes from laboratory studies of respiratory droplets and the ability of various masks to block them. An experiment using high-speed video found that hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers were generated when saying a simple phrase, but that nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a damp washcloth. Another study of people who had influenza or the common cold found that wearing a surgical mask significantly reduced the amount of these respiratory viruses emitted in droplets and aerosols.

              In addition, epidemiological evidence suggests masks are effective:

              But the strongest evidence in favor of masks come from studies of real-world scenarios. “The most important thing are the epidemiologic data,” said Rutherford. Because it would be unethical to assign people to not wear a mask during a pandemic, the epidemiological evidence has come from so-called “experiments of nature.”

              A recent study published in Health Affairs, for example, compared the COVID-19 growth rate before and after mask mandates in 15 states and the District of Columbia. It found that mask mandates led to a slowdown in daily COVID-19 growth rate, which became more apparent over time. The first five days after a mandate, the daily growth rate slowed by 0.9 percentage-points compared to the five days prior to the mandate; at three weeks, the daily growth rate had slowed by 2 percentage-points.

              Another study looked at coronavirus deaths across 198 countries and found that those with cultural norms or government policies favoring mask-wearing had lower death rates.

              1. Again, respiratory droplets are a red herring. The evidence strongly shows that the virus is airborne, like all the other respiratory viruses. Cloth or surgical masks don’t do anything against airborne viruses. Even N95 masks only have 95% efficiency against 300 nanometer particles (with the COVID virus size being in the range of 100 to 250 nanometers).

                1. Once again:

                  The virus is transmitted in three ways: by physical contact, by aerosols, and by droplets.

                  Masks help with transmission via droplets. They don’t help with transmission by aerosols. Nobody is seriously claiming that masks stop 100% of the transmission of the virus. But they help, a little, with stopping one of the modes of transmission of the virus.

                  Because masks are not 100% effective against every mode of transmission, does not mean that masks are 100% useless.

                  1. Interesting tactic given that you were a chief proponent of the “since walls don’t stop all illegal immigration, they are worthless” argument.

                    1. Blu, stop trying to hang on to the disintegrating notion that Trump isn’t the worst president in history. You see the mental gymnastics required for it. You see how ridiculous your arguments are. Just let it go.

                    2. Shitstain, stop trying to use lies every time you post

              2. You know what stops droplets? Your hand, handkerchief, or arm.

                Covering your cough or sneeze is all that’s required to stop covid from leaving your body and getting on someone else. And then wash your hands.

                It’s the manners you were taught at age 3.

                There is no evidence of airborne transmission. It’s all spread by dirty people without manners.

    3. What can be trusted, are (1) my own preconceived biases on the matter, (2) my Uncle Fester who hasn’t had a lucid thought in 5 years but nonetheless believes that masks are the work of the Devil, (3) all of my Facebook and social media friends who, just coincidentally, all agree with me, and (4) that one Youtube video I watched that seemed really convincing.

      Which is ironically your stance as you admitted to earlier when you finally worked out that masks are not the panacea you have been claiming, especially for asymptomatic people.

      You kept simply with appeals to authority while dismissing actual studies that countered your preferred narrative.

      Odd that.

      1. I never claimed that masks were a panacea. That is you again lying about what I wrote.

        Masks help, and, as Enjoy Every Sandwich notes above, are a part of an overall risk mitigation strategy.

        1. Masks help is not proven out by actual studies prior to March for the most part and is an unproven assumption even in the studies you happened to post earlier. Almost universally they relied on modeling and not actual data.

          This is what you don’t get.

          You think science is simply “hey this sounds plausible” and rush to implement the findings as rules/regulations immediately after.

          You’re an idiot.

          1. Modeling is a part of the scientific process. And yes a study I cited this morning did have direct experimental evidence showing that certain types of masks helped to reduce transmission of droplets of fluid.

            And science is a tentative process that does not and has never discovered “absolute truth”. If you want absolute truth, consult your pastor.

            1. Modeling is only useful among scientists for suggesting a direction to pursue research. It is NEVER useful for making conclusions or directing public policy. It is in fact counterproductive in the latter because the public doesn’t understand how useless it is, presume whatever they are hearing to be fact, act on it, and it is inevitably wrong. And the larger the population, the more useless it is. Which is why Fauci and crew have been all over the place on their models. You cannot “model” a unknown disease through a diverse society that has hundreds of millions of participants who react in ways that can’t be anticipated.

              1. Modeling is only useful among scientists for suggesting a direction to pursue research. It is NEVER useful for making conclusions or directing public policy.

                That’s not true at all. You really have no fucking idea how much science relies on models, do you?

                It is in fact counterproductive in the latter because the public doesn’t understand how useless it is, presume whatever they are hearing to be fact, act on it, and it is inevitably wrong.

                That is not a problem with modeling per se, that is a problem with scientific literacy among the general public. If a scientist says “based on X assumptions, and using Y model, I predict that Z will happen”, and then some idiot rushes to Facebook and says “did you hear what that scientist said? We’re all gonna dieeeeee!!!!!”, then whose fault is that? The scientist? Or the Facebook idiot spreading unfounded rumors because he doesn’t know the difference between a model and a statement of fact?

    4. “since masks aren’t 100% effective, therefore they are 100% useless”
      The logic is easy to refute because it is wrong, even 50% effectiveness would have a major reduction in virus transmission.

      1. You would be correct if you only ever had one exposure. Same thing with a coin flip. For most of us however, we will be within that supposed exposure distance of someone positive dozens of times. Go ahead and flip a coin that number of times and see how hard it is to get past 4 consecutive flips in your favor. You’d have to be Hillary Clinton running a primary campaign to beat those odds.

        1. Molly’s sort of stupid that way.

  7. Ron, explain the horrible flu’s in 1957 and 1968. How the country didn’t shut down and life went on. The government let people and doctors figure it out. Yes, the numbers then were just as bad and there were fewer elderly and both flu’s hit the entire population.

    1. What really cracks me up is that still — to this day — only about 50% (48.5%) of folks bother to get the flu vaccine. When I ask others about getting the flu vaccine, they have really, really good (?) excuses why they cannot get a flu shot. LOL

  8. You may be fine with taking a vaccine that was developed and tested at “warp speed” but I’m not, and it has nothing to do with trying to be a “free rider”.

    I’ve never been an “anti-vaxxer” and I’m not one now. But have any of the “experts” explained why a process that usually takes years now magically can be done in a few months? Or why they’re so sure they can quickly create a vaccine for this coronavirus when they’ve never been able to create one for other coronavirus strains?

    1. I agree, I am not an anti-vaxxer either. I have gotten all my vaccines except one. the flu vaccine. I to am not getting a warp speed vaccine of anything. All you have to do is look at the history of big pharma and the FDA to know this could be anywhere from useless to deadly.

      1. My experience with the flu vaccine is another thing that bothers me. I do know people who apparently have experienced some success with it, but I myself never have. I get the flu anyway, and sometimes the shot itself seems to make me sick (I say seems because I accept that the timing of my sickness could be a coincidence).

        1. And I have never had a flu vaccine and have never had a flu bad enough to notice.

        2. That’s because it is a mucosal virus (like Covid) that is T cell mediated (like Covid) and doesn’t need antibody stimulation of the humoral immune system through an unnatural injection into muscle tissue to rid oneself of.
          Flu shots are ineffective because the entire idea of overstimulating the humoral immune system is unnecessary and leads to side effects. Hence, it isn’t even effective at flu prevention.
          Wanna talk about immunity?
          How are we even HERE?

    2. Advances in genetic manipulation CRISPR and all that.

    3. They have developed coronavirus vaccines beofre. But with both MERS and SARS, the virus disappeared before it could be tested. In the cases of the other four coronaviruses that have ‘common cold’ type symptoms, they have also been developed but can’t really be tested because any ‘common cold’ vaccine has to include about 100 viruses.

      So what happened where was that there were already a lot of target for coronavirus – in a lot of different labs in different places too. Basic the development already mostly happened. Only the testing really had to start from scratch

    4. Not a free rider of anything. I had Covid. I’m an RN with two science degrees and I understand how this stuff works. Apparently most do not, which is so highly disturbing. I would not recommend anyone take this unless they’d like an autoimmune disease in the coming future. This one is a hard pass.

      1. I agree. Most people are completely clueless about viral transmission and immunity. While there have been several approaches to a vaccine, there is simply no way that you can rush something like this to market, and I do not trust any organization [government or corporate] that has much to gain by being first to market. I’ve lived long enough to have seen dozens of drugs that weren’t even rushed and didn’t have the profit draw of a universal global market, yet still had to be pulled back once they hit the general population.

        There are hundreds of potential side effects from being very mild to death. And there’s no ability to assess anything other than very short term risks in trials that are also short term. Which I think is also a reasonable assumption that the Chinese are making when they wish to conduct their trials in Brazil instead of their own backyard.

    5. Every flu vaccine is made new and tested every year. Vaccines can be made in under a year for viruses that don’t mutate too quickly. The only reason others take longer is red tape and funding problems.

  9. Why libertarians (and everybody else) should socially distance, wear masks and get vaccinated.

    I agree (mostly). I also think it should be my choice.

  10. But in all seriousness, Mr. Bailey, this is a good article. Thanks for writing it.

    1. Yes, but you admitted earlier today that masks don’t really do anything for asymptomatic people yet are still pushing it.

      Bailey also ignores this fact.

      So you probably enjoyed it much.

      1. You have this habit Jesse of incorrectly “paraphrasing” what I wrote earlier, repeating it as fact, and then attempting to use it against me as some sort of gotcha.

        Nowhere did I ever write that masks don’t do anything for asymptomatic people. That was your erroneous interpretation of what I wrote.

        Masks cut down on virus transmission by helping to stop the big droplets that contain lots of virus particles. So if you have the virus but are asymptomatic, and you accidentally sneeze on someone else, you can spread the virus to that other person unwittingly. Masks help to cut down on that possibility.

        1. When the droplets evaporate, the virus particles are ejected from the mask upon exhaling.

          1. And all the virus particles NOT clinging to large droplets go sailing straight through – – – – –
            Because we are not talking “masks” at all, we are talking “cloth face coverings”.
            And yet, for all this, the CDC still says there is not enough science to recommend masks/cloth face coverings for asymptomatic individuals for the flu; just for the Communist Chinese Virus.

          2. Whereby their infectivity changes because they are no longer in a medium that can support them. How infective they are at that point depends on conditions such as temperature and relative humidity. Or you might re-inhale the virus particles, which isn’t great but it’s better than infecting a new host. Or the viruses might die before being ejected.

            Here is an interesting study on the matter:

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3372341/

            1. Yeah, very interesting:
              “…can be…”
              Almost as convincing as “…may…”
              Are you hoping no one reads the shit you post?
              Fuck off.

        2. If someone is asymptomatic, how would they sneeze as that’s an actual symptom? And how many grown adults (let along teenagers) just go around sneezing on people?

          1. You don’t need to sneeze to spread the virus. Talking launches thousands of micro droplets into the air.

            1. First, I was responding to chemjeff’s comment about asymptomatic people sneezing on people. Please actually read the thread for context. Second, droplets don’t stay airborne forever. During the Summertime if the UV rays don’t kill the viral particles then they bind quickly to moisture in the air falling harmlessly to the ground. If you think you’re in mortal peril every time you step outside sans mask, then you should leave living to the adults.

            2. No. They don’t.

          2. People sneeze for all sorts of reasons other than being sick with a virus.

      2. You don’t know if you are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic till after the fact, and pre-symptomatic are contagious.

        1. “You don’t know if you are asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic till after the fact, and pre-symptomatic are contagious.”

          If you are scared, crawl in a hole. No one guarantees your safety, certainly not me.

  11. Member when Reason wasn’t full of government sycophants?

    1. I’ll check with the Central Publishing Committee to see what my opinion is.

    2. It’s horrible. I’m so disgusted when people who have zero science background tell ME about science when it IS my background. Guess what? No vaccine will enter my body. You can all have the “freedom” to take whatever poison you’d like.

      1. If vaccines are your background you would not call the poison.

        1. If you had any idea what they are, you wouldn’t have made that comment. Do a little research beyond some blog or a CNN article to determine what vaccines are and how they actually work. They actually ARE toxic, as are most medicines. For most people, most vaccines can benefit them and their bodies are able to handle the toxic effects and yield a positive result. For others, they can’t and they have severe reactions. This is also why there is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP).

          The difference is that in prior instances, there hasn’t been a rush to market. Trials are not only for determining effectiveness, but safety. Safety isn’t just short term and there’s no way of effectively understanding long term risks in trials that are short run.

          Nobody is saying that any US company would intentionally put out a drug that will kill people [though that has happened]. But to deny that money and profit aren’t a factor in being first to market and not realize that potential windfall profits won’t cause rush to judgment is to deny human motivation.

  12. Thanks, Ron. Especially appreciate linking to the research papers, rather than other Reason articles or press-release summaries.

    IMO, the quest for “herd immunity NOW!” is deeply flawed for the US, given its large size, mobile population, and widespread distrust of relevant institutions. You said the Gallup poll results were “disturbing”… I’d say they were predictable.

  13. Why we shouldn’t, a second great depression brought on by shutting down the world’s largest economy. It’s estimated 1.5 million more people are going to die just from tuberculosis because we shut down.

  14. Great article.
    Now go do it over, using the “cloth face coverings” that the CDC is actually talking about. You know, everything from a bandanna to a single layer of cheesecloth, worn any damn way EXCEPT closely fitted over the mouth AND nose, and constantly touched, constantly moved around, and removed for talking at distances of less than six feet.
    Then carefully explain why a dictator can demand fines and jail time for trying to just stay alive.
    All within the alleged restrictions of the US Constitution.

    1. The last time I went to the grocery I watched the guy touch his mask 10 times and then he touched all my groceries. I was like “Why the fuck are we wearing masks if he’s going to do that?”

      1. Because mask wearing is mandatory, and therefore is the only thing that really matters when it comes to controlling transmission. It’s how the human mind works. People will go along with the program to a degree, but they are not going to be obsessive about it. They wear the mask, it’s a huge bother, it sucks balls to do, so they figure that’s as far as they will go, and that they’ve met their obligation.

        Mask mandates mean that people are relieved of the burden of not touching the face, washing hands, not hanging out in groups, avoiding mass events like protesting the police, and the rest of the stuff. By telling them they MUST wear masks, you elevate that above and beyond all other things, so it becomes, in practice, the only thing.

        If you are not going to wash your hands before and after touching the mask, every single time, you’re better off skipping the whole thing. Masks make people touch their face far more, and when they do touch them, they are touching a piece of cloth they’re directly inhaling through for hours on end, something that never happens without masks. They’re greatly increasing their own risk of catching this virus and any other pathogens that are extant, and they’re also spreading any pathogens they may be giving off by touching the germ-ridden mask surface and then your groceries.

        The virus isn’t just on the inside of the mask, of course… the mask’s pores are far too big to filter the virus, and the droplets will evaporate within seconds. After that, the virus is free to go wherever the exhaled air carries it.

        One study on the effectiveness of masks in stopping COVID virus in infected individuals not only demonstrated that surgical and cloth masks were ineffective in stopping the virus from spreading via coughing (which generates the largest droplets, the ones that hypothetically should be the easiest to stop), but that the inside of the masks worn by known symptomatic COVID patients for the test were relatively free of the virus. It was the outside of the masks where the virus particles were found in large quantities. That’s the part of the mask that would be touched if someone were to touch one… the outside of it.

    2. I recently saw a woman pull her mask down to sneeze. I mean, she’s all about virtue signaling, but doesn’t want her own germs hanging in front of her face.

      1. The guy at the produce stand touched all my fruits and veggies wearing dirty plastic gloves. I couldn’t hear the price, so he pulled his mask down to repeat. Then took my money and gave me change from his wad of dirty cash. Same dirty gloves. He does a swift business so extrapolate my experience by all his costumers for the day. A lady in the supermarket coughed all over the banana bin with a thin loose-fitting mask. People are constantly pulling them down to talk, smoke, and breathe easier. And wearing the same mask for days in a row is another issue. Masks and gloves must be used properly to be effective and that’s a small percentage of people.

      2. She may not be about virtue signaling. Was she in a place that required masks?

      3. She could be virtue signalling. But it could be required, could be that she really has no clue what/why she’s doing it [just doing as she’s told], so she does what comes naturally. I saw an elderly lady at Costco standing in line do the same thing with a cough.

        The biggest risk in my opinion is that when people put on their mask or gloves, they now believe they are protected. The mask takes on this dual role of making them not publicly scorned AND also adds this psychological invisible cloak of invincibility. There’s nothing more dangerous than a bulletproof vest that isn’t.

  15. Science

    I’ve got some science for you. We have never developed a successful vaccine for a corona virus.

    Ever.

    So while we are waiting for your magical vaccine, many people are stuck at home with not much to do but eat and get fat. Conveniently, obesity happens to be a co-morbidity factor in COVID-19 deaths. So like night follows day, government comes up with policies that are likely to make things worse while promising a solution that may never come.

    I wear a mask in public because I feel like a jerk if I don’t. And social distancing is not much of an issue. But I have as much faith in a vaccine as I have in the power of government to do something right. Herd immunity will likely occur when people get tired of the security theater and just decide to ride it out.

    1. Great point! I get so tired everytime the news tries to guilt us with running a story about some ‘healthy person in their prime struck down by coronavirus.’ Then cut to a picture of the person who was at least 300-400 pounds.

      1. How about when that healthy young person actually turns out to be in their 40s (over halfway to the grave by our life expectancy standards)?

      2. The news is one of my sore spots. Dumb ass reporter walks out and sets up her own broadcast camera. She’s alone, clicks the button, pulls up her mask to do the report [muffled]. As soon as they are done, she pulls her mask off, packs up the camera and leaves. WTF did she just accomplish besides virtue signalling?

  16. I’m trying to get vaccinated by not wearing a mask.

    1. This ^^^^^ +100

  17. This shit could be almost over by now if we’d taken the Swedish route. Just stop it with this shit. It’s another cold/flu type thing, just like all the other ones. It will pass. Shit happens. Ain’t no one getting out of this motherfucker alive.

    1. This.

      It has the same pattern everywhere. Cases rise for 6 weeks or so, then start tapering after about 8 weeks, then it becomes a mostly non-event.

      1. And another “this.”

        When you engage in all kinds of measures to slow the spread, assuming they actually work (so I’m not counting masks here, as they do not), you’ve bent down the death curve at the same rate you’ve bent down the building of herd immunity. The effect is that the deaths are just delayed, not prevented. Herd immunity is the one thing that stops this… the rest of the stuff is just temporary delays, and it comes at great cost. Sweden’s numbers will bottom before anyone else’s, and while the rest of the countries are still racking up cases and deaths, they’ll be done with it. But no, the rest of the countries think slowing the spread of the disease will somehow end the pandemic sooner, just like driving half the average speed you usually do will result in you getting to work sooner.

  18. Thanks Reason. I’m an RN with two science degrees. Don’t you DARE tell me what I should or should not inject into my or my family’s body- it makes my blood boil. Do you all even know what mRNA is? Have you ever heard of a T cell? Are you aware that we have immune systems and that there are ways of stimulating T cell production? No, I didn’t think so.
    Don’t Tread on Me

    1. It is amazing that even those who have the education can be so ignorant. You know that vaccines are one of the biggest public health victories in human history.

      1. Any how many successful vaccines were developed and used in several months without the standard trials done to determine if there are any negative long-term effects?

        1. The covid vaccines are using the same vaccine platforms that have long term testing.

          1. This response is not an answer to my question. Platform technology has potential, but notable challenges. People have suffered debilitating effects and death from rushed vaccines. Honest discussion and debate of the risks and cost benefit analysis is warranted.

          2. The covid vaccines are using the same vaccine platforms that have long term testing.

            That’s nonsense. No RNA or DNA vaccines have been approved for human use, let alone found widespread use in humans.

            And even traditional “vaccine platforms” have often had serious side effects; that’s why we don’t vaccinate against many diseases for which there are actually vaccines available.

          3. Goddamn you’re stupid.

    2. Can you tell us which hospital you work at, so we know to never go there?

      1. You have no choice. You will go where your insurance company gets the best deal.

      2. They didn’t even get the polio vaccine right for like ten years after first producing it. It’s not fucking stupid to be wary of a new vaccine that was developed in less than a year. Especially if authoritarians want to force it on you.

  19. We’re all in this together! Do your part for the good of everyone! Heed the science! Obey the orders!

    Oh, and Free Minds and Free Markets.

  20. What a croc of shit. Herd immunity is the sole means of stopping an infectious respiratory disease, with or without the expedient of a vaccine. All this social distancing bull is anti-science nonsense, meant to extend the life of the pandemic, and of course the attendent government command and control…

  21. I get my annual flu vaccine, but admit that I will not be rushing to get in line for a COVID vaccination, for reasons hinted at by the last Reason article: mostly I don’t trust a rushed-out, hastily approved vaccine to be any safer than the last few times we rushed out a pandemic vaccine. Especially given the extremely low risk of the virus itself actually doing me any significant harm…the cure may indeed be worse than the disease in such a case. And especially since we’ve seen this movie before…

    We can look toward some past experiences, and ask ourselves “how will it be any different this time?” And realize that every time we’re told “it’s different this time”…they were wrong. I expect to hear almost verbatim arguments as to the safety and efficacy of some future COVID vaccine.

    In 2009, the H1N1 “swine flue” was a considered a pandemic…it ended up being a non-event (unlike in 2017-18, when 60-90k Americans died from the H1N1 flu):

    The (H1N1)pdm09 virus was very different from H1N1 viruses that were circulating at the time of the pandemic. Few young people had any existing immunity (as detected by antibody response) to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus, but nearly one-third of people over 60 years old had antibodies against this virus, likely from exposure to an older H1N1 virus earlier in their lives. Since the (H1N1)pdm09 virus was very different from circulating H1N1 viruses, vaccination with seasonal flu vaccines offered little cross-protection against (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection. While a monovalent (H1N1)pdm09 vaccine was produced, it was not available in large quantities until late November—after the peak of illness during the second wave had come and gone in the United States. From April 12, 2009 to April 10, 2010, CDC estimated there were 60.8 million cases (range: 43.3-89.3 million), 274,304 hospitalizations (range: 195,086-402,719), and 12,469 deaths (range: 8868-18,306) in the United States due to the (H1N1)pdm09 virus.

    Additionally, CDC estimated that 151,700-575,400 people worldwide died from (H1N1)pdm09 virus infection during the first year the virus circulated.** Globally, 80 percent of (H1N1)pdm09 virus-related deaths were estimated to have occurred in people younger than 65 years of age. This differs greatly from typical seasonal influenza epidemics, during which about 70 percent to 90 percent of deaths are estimated to occur in people 65 years and older.

    Here’s an article that came out right after the first H1N1 vaccines became available in 2009…

    “Swine flu myth: The vaccine isn’t safe – it has been rushed through tests and the last time there was a swine flu scare the vaccine hurt people. Why take the risk to prevent mild flu?

    Debora Mackenzie

    “During past pandemics, a third or more of the entire population has got flu, and the risks of flu killing you or…

    “What about the vaccines? People’s nervousness about swine flu vaccines is understandable. In 1976, after the death of a US army recruit triggered fears of a repeat of the deadly 1918 pandemic, around 48 million Americans were given a swine flu vaccine. Of these, 532 developed Guillain-Barré syndrome, a paralytic condition caused by rogue antibodies attacking nerve cells. Most people recover from Guillain-Barré, but not all; 25 died after 1976 and others suffered lasting damage.

    They attempt to prove to the reader that this time it’s different! “Still think it’s safer not to get vaccinated?”

    By 2012, evidence began mounting that the safety of the vaccine was not, perhaps, all it had been promised. It was not “different this time” after all.

    “Swine Flu Vaccine May Be Linked to Rare Nerve Disorder”

    “The H1N1 swine flu vaccine of 2009 is linked to the painful Guillain–Barré syndrome, just like the 1976 swine fl…

    ” The H1N1 (swine) flu vaccine was associated with a small but significant risk for developing a rare nervous disorder called Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS), say doctors in a report detailed in the July 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

    Not only not different, but pretty much exactly the same!

    It’s now 2020, and thousands of people are still dealing with issues from that round vaccines…note that the worst-case models caused the panic and were revised down, but people were still forced to submit to the vaccinations…all the while being lied to about the safety and testing behind the development…

    “Nationwide vaccinations started in the UK on 21 October 2009, despite the fact that experts at the DH had known since May the flu was milder than first thought. On 22 October, ministers agreed to revise down the worst-case scenario from 19,000 deaths to 1,000.

    “Ahead of the vaccinations starting, Dame Christine Beasley, then chief nursing officer for England, told Nursing Times: “We’ve gone through exactly the same procedures as we do with seasonal flu vaccine and it’s as safe as a vaccine can be.”

    “On the day immunisations began, the RCN’s Peter Carter was quoted saying he was “entirely satisfied” the vaccine was safe because it had undergone “rigorous testing”.

    “While the concern was to save lives, it is alleged that senior figures in the department, including the chief nurse, chief medical officer, and national flu director, did not give a full picture of the vaccine.

    “But it made no mention of the fact the European Medicines Agency had licensed Pandemrix under “exceptional circumstances” based on “mock vaccines” that did not include the actual ingredients that would eventually be injected into people. The EMA confirmed this approach was “unique to pandemic preparedness vaccines”.

    “These NHS Staff Were Told The Swine Flu Vaccine Was Safe, And Now They’re Suffering The Consequences”

    Shaun Lintern

    When nurse Meleney Gallagher was told to line up with her colleagues on the renal ward at Sunderland Royal Hospital, for her swine flu vaccination, she had no idea the injection she was about to have had not gone through the usual testing process.

    It had been rushed into circulation after the swine flu virus had swept across the globe in 2009, prompting fears thousands of people could die. From the moment the needle broke Gallagher’s skin, her life would never be the same.

    “I remember vividly we were all lined up in the corridor and we were told we had to have it. It wasn’t a choice,” she claimed. “I was pressured into it. We were given no information.”

    The date was 23 November 2009 and Gallagher was one of thousands of NHS staff vaccinated with Pandemrix, a vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK).

    Eight years later, her career in the NHS is a memory and she’s living with incurable, debilitating narcolepsy and suffers from cataplexy, a sudden, uncontrollable loss of muscle tone that can cause her to collapse without warning. Because of her condition, she can no longer work or drive.

    People with narcolepsy experience chronic fatigue and difficulty sleeping at night. They can have night terrors, hallucinations, and a range of mental health problems.

    Gallagher is not alone. More than a dozen frontline NHS staff are among around 1,000 adults and children across Europe who are believed to have developed narcolepsy after being given Pandemrix. Today BuzzFeed News can reveal for the first time their battle to gain acknowledgement for a government decision that they say ruined their careers and has dominated their lives since.

    She said she had been denied an informed choice over the jab. “They can’t just do what they want with vaccines, otherwise it’s like Russian roulette and you can’t do that. I just want someone to stand up and to say they were wrong and apologise. Someone to be sorry for what they have done. I feel really angry.”

    Gallagher’s vaccination was part of a concerted effort by the Department of Health to immunise as many workers as possible. At the time, there was widespread global concern about the spread of the swine flu virus and fears it could replicate the Spanish flu of 1918.

  22. The pants shitters are starting to set the stage for some admissions that were painfully obvious from the beginning. Sooooooooo the only thing we can do is just learn to live with it like every other virus that’s ever existed? Who da thunk? Good thing we needed to slaughter millions of jobs and hundreds of thousands of small businesses to figure this out.

    https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/08/07/coronavirus-vaccine-dr-fauci-says-chances-of-it-being-highly-effective-is-not-great.html#aoh=15968407873434&referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com&amp_tf=From%20%251%24s

  23. It’s sad to see an article like this on Reason. We could all of course wear hazmat suits where ever we go and never ever catch anything ever again. Or how about the novel idea of making healthy decisions and taking care of our immune systems.

    And part of maximizing your immune system is occasional exposure to pathogens. That exposure trains it. It’s why up to 50% of humans may already have the blueprint to beating SARS-COV2 via t-cells developed from prior episodes with the common code.

    You can cower in place, Ron. That’s one less Karen out and about. The rest of us are going to enjoy fresh air and company of friends.

  24. The responses to this article clearly demonstrates why the US is leading the world in covid deaths and things are not getting better. There is a major chunk of the population that will resist all public health measures. We could have beaten this by now and mostly returned to normal, but the covid virus has many allies in the US.

    1. Spikes are occurring all over the world even in mask loving nations. One of the few exceptions is Sweden which never closed down and is now seeing major drops in infections.

      New solution: all Karens continue to cower in place forever.

      1. There is a big difference between “spikes” and our complete disaster.

        1. The biggest disasters were in the heavy lockdown states of NY, NJ, and CT. And it’s ridiculous for you to pretend that other places like Italy and Spain haven’t had horrible results.

          Conversely, places like South Dakota and Sweden never implemented your lockdowns. In the case of Sweden they now have a high level of immunity and are seeing big declines of infections and deaths.

          Stay inside Karen and leave the great outdoors for the adults.

          1. Sweden as 13 times the daily death rate of its neighbors and has consistently done worse than them.

            Plus, any success they did have was probably because of voluntary social distancing and other measures, which the government encouraged.

            I struggle to explain America’s massive failure without pointing to the instructions from our government, or at least the fat man in charge of it, to act like hysterical babies and defy social distancing at every opportunity.

            1. If you think cowering in place is success, then you are truly as useless as we’ve all assumed. Having the courage to take it on the chin early so that your society can resume normal existence is no doubt past your comprehension. Everyone else will eventually catch up to them once they realize that living under a rock with the likes of you is untenable.

              1. By taking it on the chin you mean other people should die for your freedoms.

                1. Man up Tony…. if that actually remains a part of your DNA. Unless you are immune compromised or a big fat fuck with COPD and diabetes, you’ll be fine.

                  1. Don’t you think it’s somewhat important to be right about this? You could for once not bring politics into a thing. Thanksgiving will probably be more fun for everyone else, at least.

                    1. “Don’t you think it’s somewhat important to be right about this?”‘

                      Shitstain, don’t you think it’s important to be honest about this? Try it some time.

            2. “I struggle to explain America’s massive failure without pointing to the instructions from our government, or at least the fat man in charge of it, to act like hysterical babies and defy social distancing at every opportunity.”

              As a fucking lefty ignoramus, you struggle to explain most everything, but in this case, rather that focus on what lefty shits demanded at gun point, you chose to respond to that voices in your head.
              Hint: It’s odds-on that you can’t cite Trump saying ‘ignore social distancing’ and he certainly never forced people, at gun point, to do so.
              Hint: Cuomo ‘forced’ sick people into nursing homes.
              Fuck off and die, you limy piece of lefty shit.

              1. A cogent analysis as always.

                1. Shitstain, calling you on your bullshit is boring, but it remains cogent.

    2. I’ve come to think that the US leads to world in COVID deaths because the US population of elderly is over-represented with obese, diabetic, hypertensive people relative to other countries.

      Death from COVID seems to be strongly related to these comorbidities, and we’ve jammed a lot of these people into nursing homes where the virus runs rampant. I think it’s still close to half of all COVID deaths in the US are in nursing homes?

    3. The responses to this article clearly demonstrates why the US is leading the world in covid deaths

      Belgium, the UK, Spain, Italy, Sweden, Chile, Brazil, France, Mexico, and Ireland all have COVID death rates per million population higher than, or comparable to, the US.

      and things are not getting better.

      Things are not getting better because draconian government measures prevent the virus from running its course in the US.

      We could have beaten this by now and mostly returned to normal,

      Yes: by following Sweden’s model. The only way to “beat this” is to let the virus run its course.

      But the policies that mostly progressive and Democratic states have adopted, namely excessively flattening the curve, are dragging this out longer and longer, for no rational reason.

      1. It’s actually worse than that. The longer this spreads out, the more chance the virus itself has a chance to mutate and start all over again. Had we just protected those at serious risk [and kept Cuomo away from them], the wave would have moved through the population and run its course. People who think they can wait this one out seriously have no concept of adaptation of species. Like every other plague, it burns out if allowed to move through the population at it’s own speed. Time is only on our side if there really is a safe and effective wide spectrum vaccine. But given enough time to linger in a society, time also benefits the virus.

    4. Umm. As far as the disease goes, things have been getting better since April. This is a completely man made disaster.

  25. Bailey’s argument assumes that prevention of infection is the right way but with so few dying from CV19 , especially when you exclude the elderly (who are typically susceptible to respiratory viruses like the flu) and those with other health problems. The fact is that CV19 is mostly marketing, using fear to convince people that death from CV19 is just around the corner. Ask youself this, do you know anyone who has died from CV19 who was not either elderly and or suffering from other medical conditions prior to CV19? Chances are you don;t and there’s a reason.

    Why is government and the pharmaceutical industry treating CV19 like as if its the next black death when its yet to kill as many people as the 2018 flu season did? It does not add up and thats because Cv19 is a marketing campaign to condition the public for a global vaccine in which the company that gets the vaccine out first stands to make billions from.

  26. “Health commons” — Geez, what a completely nonsensical and dishonest metaphor (and thus, I supposed, not unexpected from ‘reason’). Just put aside all the persiflage and answer one simple question — if social distancing works, why masks, and if masks work, why social distancing?

    This comment not approved by Silicon Valley brain slugs.

    1. If socks work, why shoes, and if shoes work, why socks?

      1. To be fair, there should be no question about wearing socks. In general, feet are disgusting.

  27. “Disease microbes treat human bodies as a resource they use for reproduction. To prevent the microbial overexploitation of the health commons requires germ management. The best way to prevent invasive viruses, bacteria, and fungi from wreaking havoc is to enclose the commons of human bodies by erecting barriers to forestall the transmission of germs from person to person. Good fences make good healthy neighbors.”
    The human race has lasted so far not because we’ve built fences but because we have developed immune systems. The fact that this particular virus is “novel” does not change this simple fact. Every virus was “novel” at some point. Want immunity? Get exposed. Maybe Ron and his fellow hysterics can short circuit the Wuhan plague by destroying the economy and sentencing millions to premature death from poverty and disease but generations that follow will be pissing on your graves. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and that age old truth assumes that the weak will die. Ron sees a brave new world wherein Top Men can create cures and vaccines for every conceivable human ailment. We are centuries away from that fantasy world.
    And by the way, I got the Covid 2 weeks ago. I’m 64 years old. Knocked me on my ass for 3 days and 3 more before I was back to normal. Pretty typical flu, no big deal. Got the home test because my wife talked me into it but she never got it. I’ll probably outlive all of the terrified little pussies like Ron hiding out in their houses. I’ve never stopped working and I only wear a mask if the business requires it. But I’m immune bitches and I can’t give it to you. What have you got going on Ron?

    1. And now your wife is probably immune from her exposure to your case.

    2. “sentencing millions to premature death from poverty and disease”

      Well they shouldn’t have to worry about the disease part. Diseases can’t hurt you! You’ve just explained that.

      1. Do you ever post without a lie, a strawman or some other mendacity, you slimy piece of lefty shit?

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  29. Few people talk out loud about all the brutal choices that are being made as we speak. You guys will say it openly enough: let the oldies die so that I might enjoy a margarita in Cabo. But you don’t understand how this works, so your bloodlust must come naturally.

    The rest of us are complicit in letting salt-of-the-earth Trump-voting meat packers get infected en masse so our hamburger helper is on the table. All the essential workers, chosen to sacrifice their safety so others may sit at home and bitch about their freedumb. Now you want to throw teachers into the hot zone.

    The ones we allow the luxury of staying safe at home, our choice for the fittest to survive, if you will… millennials who work in media.

    1. “Few people talk out loud about all the brutal choices that are being made as we speak. You guys will say it openly enough: let the oldies die so that I might enjoy a margarita in Cabo.”

      Few of us here lie about the issue as consistently and maliciously as you.
      You have not one shred of evidence that masks and social distancing will keep ‘the oldies’ from dying as a result of this disease, so your emotional whining is based on total bullshit.
      Fuck off and die.

    2. Few people talk out loud about all the brutal choices that are being made as we speak. You guys will say it openly enough: let the oldies die so that I might enjoy a margarita in Cabo.

      In epidemics, we isolate the vulnerable, not the healthy. So, “the oldies” avoid dying by self-isolating.

      The governmental anti-COVID measures are harming and killing people far more than COVID.

  30. Also, wait a minute. So you’re telling me the people who advocate for a higher death rate and (hypothetical) earlier economic recovery are also not going to get vaccinated in order to help achieve herd immunity?

    1. “Also, wait a minute. So you’re telling me the people who advocate for a higher death rate and (hypothetical) earlier economic recovery are also not going to get vaccinated in order to help achieve herd immunity?”

      1) Nobody is ‘advocating for a higher death rate’, shit stain.
      2) There’s nothing “Hypothetical” regarding an economic recovery.
      3) Whether someone chooses to get vaccinated or not is none of your business, you pathetic piece of lefty shit.
      Fuck off and die.

      1. You being an ignorant bug chasing creep affects me and my health, so when do I get to have you locked up for your reckless stupidity?

        1. 1) Your health is your concern, not mine. If you are worried about getting sick, take whatever precaution you desire. But to be really clear, I sincerely hope you are terminally ill; the world will be a better place when you are dead.
          2) Lock yourself up, shitstain; see 1), above.

    2. So you’re telling me the people who advocate for a higher death rate and (hypothetical) earlier economic recovery are also not going to get vaccinated in order to help achieve herd immunity?

      Correct. Next question.

    3. https://www.statista.com/statistics/1104709/coronavirus-deaths-worldwide-per-million-inhabitants/

      Once again you prove you’re full of shit and don’t understand statistics.

  31. “How about the widespread wearing of facial coverings? A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets”

    They’ve been saying that from the beginning, which is quite an assumption to make about a virus that was an unknown at the time. They just assumed that unlike every other respiratory virus, it doesn’t spread by aerosol. Now that the evidence is in, it’s known that SARS-CoV-2 is just like the others, and it is spread by aerosol transmission like the rest.

    Masks and standing 6 feet away were based on this completely fake assumption about droplets being the main mode of transmission. You can cite all the studies you want that that show that they can stop droplets, but it won’t be relevant to the way the actual virus spreads.

    The empirical studies that show an effect of mask wearing by the public are also flawed. There’s no way to separate the actual effect of the mask from other variables that could be affecting the observed rate of infection (which itself is highly problematic to measure, as selection criteria for testing prevent random sampling that would be necessary to establish a prevalence among members of the public).

    It’s very easy to massage the statistics in these kinds of analyses to come up with any result you want, like with Mann’s famous “hockey stick” graph for global warming, which would produce the same result regardless of what data was fed into it. It takes time for peer review and scientific discourse to validate or refute regression studies such as these.

    If you want to talk about actual science about masks, it was that body of work that was done over the last hundred years of human history since the Spanish flu, right through the start of the COVID panic. Fauci, the US surgeon general, WHO, CDC, and others all agreed that mask wearing by members of the public was ineffective in stopping the transmission of respiratory viruses, and that they could actually be hazardous if used improperly (which all people do, in practice).

    That was based on solid science, which is why it was the agreed upon common knowledge of those in the practice of medicine. It was not hurried science that was paid for in order to prove a pre-existing point of view was accurate.

    Then suddenly Fauci changed his tune, saying that now we should use masks, and that the reason for the contradiction was that he lied before to protect supplies of masks for health care workers in light of the shortage caused by the pandemic, and that he’d known from the start that masks work.

    That statement tells us something about the character of Fauci. He quite obviously thinks it is okay to lie to people, and to place them at greater risk, if he thinks that there is some greater good to be had. Another word for that would be “manipulation.”

    Fauci claimed that the whole bit about masks not working was something he made up because of the shortage, but how could he have made up the entire medical establishment’s studied knowledge base on the matter from before the time that COVID was even known? You can’t seriously claim that you made something up when it was the uncontroversial sum of human knowledge before and after the event that triggered the shortage that you were supposedly trying to alleviate.

    The second bit of the claim Fauci made was also laughably silly. Dr. Fauci, you say you were were trying to preserve supplies of equipment for medical staff amid the shortage? How does that jibe with how you immediately recommended people use makeshift cloth face coverings as soon as you changed from “no masks” to “all masks?” What do makeshift masks have to do with shortages of medical equipment?

    If you knew months ago that improvised coverings are effective, why did you continue to tell people not to use them and that they were not effective when there was effectively an endless supply of T-shirts, bandannas, and other cloth that people could have used?

    It doesn’t fit any more than the “I made up the entire medical establishment’s view on the matter” statement. You can’t say he simply didn’t think of using improvised coverings, as the medical science journals reveal that the topic has been much studied in the months and years leading up to COVID’s appearance, and the results of all of that study were part of what led the medical community to agree on their ineffectiveness in preventing respiratory virus transmission.

    There’s no way that Fauci was unaware of this. He was aware of the studies, and their results, when he advised against using any kind of mask, including those cloth ones that were never subject to any kind of shortage.

    It’s also highly questionable that a man who has been in the position he is for as long as Fauci has would ever unequivocally declare something ineffective and potentially dangerous if he knew it actually did work, shortage or no shortage. Shortages are temporary, after all, and there never was a shortage of improvised masks. Why would you poison the well against masks if you knew they were an effective tool for fighting the virus that you might want to use down the road?

    To believe Fauci’s statements about why he was changing the advice requires huge suspensions of disbelief. The most solid science we have on the matter is that which was reported to us in the start of the pandemic… that masks among the general populace are not effective against respiratory viruses, and that they are potentially hazardous when used as people actually use them. The rest after that point is politics, not science.

    1. It gets better. Fauci then says use goggles on the unsubstantiated claims it passes through the eyes. A friend was talking to a PhD and her speciality is coronaviruses and she said that’s not the case.

      Nose and mouth yes. Not the eyes. But he’s telling people to wear goggles. It’s time to replace Fauci.

      1. Way past time to replace Fauci. But since the narrative being pushed is that getting rid of Fauci is what Trump wants, the left must object and his job must be protected at all costs. The fact that he’s an admitted and unremorseful liar who sucks at his job be damned.

        1. No kidding:

          https://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/511129-the-memo-trump-team-pounces-on-biden-gaffes

          Notice the smug passive-aggressive hand waving at the end.

          No way should a man like that still be employed. He’s been shooting his mouth off only adding confusion.

          I don’t doubt Trump wants to fire him. And with good reason and just cause in my view.

          For some reason he wants to keep this pandemic panic going.

          Now contrast this little shit to how Dr. Tegnell speaks in Sweden.

          I’m envious. But happy for Sweden.

          They kicked all of our sorry asses.

          America and the Commonwealth were handed our lunch.

          Bottom line will forever be: Sweden did it without looking like idiots in masks (think walking into a restaurant with a mask on for a few seconds until you’re seated only to take it off. It’s so fucken stupid it frightens me people allow it) and not traumatizing and infantilizing their population through lockdowns.

          We’re the idiots. Not them.

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  33. In an ideal hypothetical universe—one in which we never suffered government-mandated lockdowns, distancing, or masking, I would be more likely to agree with your perspective.

    And even in light of what we’ve been made to bear at the hands governors and unelected public health officials by emergency decree, I agree with the notion that we should do the best we can, by our own good judgement as thinking people, to protect one another.

    Here’s the problem—we are still living under a regime of rule by fiat. So while I want to help my fellow humans avoid unpleasant consequences, I cannot:

    1. Abdicate my own clear-eyed judgment that continued distancing and lockdowns cannot defeat the virus—but merely delay its spread. The emergency medical services capacity crisis is—by any reasonable estimate—abated. Further extension of emergency measures must now be subject to the legislative process if they are to remain in effect without posing a dire threat to the notion of representative government and the rule of law.

    2. Any outward sign—compulsory or voluntary—of my acceptance of and compliance with the current state of affairs is an affront to my conscience. And as it is a reasonable—albeit certainly more risk-tolerant—position to take that emergency services will not be overrun if the virus is now permitted to run its inevitable, natural course;

    I will not wear a mask—insofar as it functions as a giant, unavoidable badge proclaiming “I am in favor of our society’s indefinite subjugation to rule by emergency decree.”

    We don’t live in your hypothetical world. Mask mandates are compelled speech, whether we like it or not. I hope I am not alone in raising my voice in objection to it.

    1. “…hope I am not alone in raising my voice in objection to it.”

      As I hope I wasn’t alone in promoting street-riots the day Newsom mandated the lockdowns and shuttering of businesses.

    2. 1. I can agree with the first part – any continued use of “emergency powers” should go through the legislative process at this point.

      2. Now that is silly. If teeth brushing were mandated tomorrow, would you stop brushing your teeth? Would you let your teeth rot in order to “own the libs”? Of course not. You ought to wear a mask whether it is mandated or not, because it is simply the right thing to do to help stop the spread of the disease.

      1. Now that is silly. If teeth brushing were mandated tomorrow, would you stop brushing your teeth? Would you let your teeth rot in order to “own the libs”? Of course not.

        Teeth brushing is effective; mask wearing is not.

        1. Not the point here. The point is about the mandates and refusing to participate in behavior that is mandated so as not to appear to justify the mandate. If teeth brushing were mandated, would you stop doing it, so as to not justify the mandate? Or would you continue to brush your teeth as usual, but oppose the mandate nonetheless?

          1. The difference between teeth brushing and mask wearing is that one is a private activity and the other is a public statement, more precisely, a public statement of conformity.

            So, what you’re really asking is whether I would put my health at risk in order to publicly oppose the mandates of a totalitarian and collectivist government? And the answer is yes. Wouldn’t you?

            However, the issue doesn’t arise with respect to masks because they are only a public statement; they have no medical function.

            1. But you could say the same thing about a hypothetical toothbrushing mandate. After a few months, wouldn’t the presence of white teeth in public be a “public statement of conformity”?

              So, what you’re really asking is whether I would put my health at risk in order to publicly oppose the mandates of a totalitarian and collectivist government? And the answer is yes. Wouldn’t you?

              It would very much depend. If this same totalitarian government made it a crime to get sick with Ebola, I wouldn’t inject myself with Ebola just to prove some point. Would you?

              So you would let your teeth go rotten if there was a toothbrushing mandate? Really?

              1. “So you would let your teeth go rotten if there was a toothbrushing mandate? Really?”

                Keep trying those hypotheticals, asshole. Maybe one day you’ll come up with a “gotcha” question; until then, you’ll be seen as a fucking lefty ignoramus incapable of honest engagement.

              2. It would very much depend.

                I’m glad you realize that. And what it depends on is whether refusing to comply is an effective and visible protest against an authoritarian/totalitarian government.

                Not wearing a mask is highly visible, it is a good form of civil disobedience as far as I’m concerned, since it is of no risk to me, but it causes a lot of handwringing among authoritarians, collectivists, and leftists. Just look at yourself.

              1. That was supposed to be a bulls-eye emoji and a cheers emoji. Guess the comments don’t support the full Unicode set.

      2. Re 2: The expression “cutting off your nose to spite your face” comes to mind. The “nose” being a reduction in spreading to the point that most of us can get on with most of our lives while we wait for a reasonable effective vaccine or medicine to be produced and the “face” is a desire not to appear to give in to government by fiat. Unless you are you have moved completely offgrid and somehow avoid paying taxes on the land you occupy, you’re putting up with government (by fiat, as it always is). Unless you’ve got a health issue, wearing a mask isn’t going to hurt you, and it might help control this thing a bit.

        1. Are you familiar with ‘claiming facts not in evidence’? You could look it up.

        2. The distinction I’m making is between government by emergency executive order and government by law duly enacted by elected representatives according to a constitutionally-sound process.

          And before you bring it up, I know that a properly enacted statutory law enabled the emergency powers I object to. But the powers as now exercised—in my judgment as a reasonable (and law-trained fwiw) person—either exceed the bounds laid out in the enabling act, or demonstrate a constitutionally-impermissible exercise of powers granted in the enabling act, or both.

          Bottom line? This is about defending the rule of law.

          It is not trivial, and isn’t something I am willing to trivialize for the sake of any other principle—even one as important as public health.

          I get that it seems harsh or cold-hearted to some—but I believe upholding a government of laws is far more crucial to the long-term wellbeing of all Americans than is my compliance with any of our current public health policies.

      3. 1. I am instead just continuing to shelter in place—not a great thing for the local economy but it is an alternative choice I am lucky to be able to make.

        2. I am not trying to own anyone. I find spectator sports boring and decline to turn our public discourse into one.

        3. Your teeth-brushing analogy is flawed, which suggests to me that you may have missed my point.

        Whether or not I adhere to your hypothetical teeth-talitarian regime’s dictate, nobody who sees me in public (well, at anything other than directly in my face if my diet involves any quantity of cilantro) will be able to tell whether I am compliant. My compliance or not is thus not advertising itself.

        This is the flaw in your analogy—because as you are no doubt keenly aware, one can differentiate masked and unmasked faces from a distance. You can thus quickly estimate the number of those around you in public who are complying with the diktat. And if you are inclined to oppose it, you may feel pressured to comply in silence by presuming you are alone in your dissent.

        By this mechanism, my compliance becomes a communication tool in service of an authoritarian agenda. Setting aside the fact that I would charge a fortune to anyone who wanted to use my face as a billboard—I will not permit it to be used in service of power I see as illegitimate.

        Hope that clears up your confusion. Have a nice day!

        1. The above reply was meant for NOYB2’s reply to my comment. Not sure how it ended up incorrectly nested under GroundTruth’s—though I probably selected the wrong reply button in error. Sorry about that. ✌️

          1. And compound that error by misidentifying the person I was addressing. The reply is meant for chemjeff, not NOYB2. Sorry yet again. 🙂

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  35. Dis virus thingy is 50 to 200 times larger than an ATOM (depending on the size of the atom). Maybe ultra-violet laser masks that could also give you a close, clean shave at the same time would work.

  36. The COVID-19 pandemic resembles a tragedy of the commons—a situation where people have little incentive to invest in conserving or producing a resource because they cannot prevent other people from using or taking it.

    The only tragedy about the commons is that it exists. That is, government creates “commons” spaces and then can’t administer them properly. If those “commons” were actually privately owned, there would be no “tragedy of the commons”.

    The results are overconsumption, underinvestment, and ultimately the depletion of the resource.

    Even within the dubious framework of the “tragedy of the commons” literature, that has never been demonstrated.

    1. How do you plan to start accounting for the air that we all breath?

      1. Scared? Crawl in a hole and stay there.

      2. If you own private property and the air on that private property is being polluted by a neighbor, you can recover damages. What’s the problem?

  37. How dare anyone tell me to change my behavior because of a virus.

    1. Well, yes. You have the right to change your behavior and control your property.

      You do not have the right to tell me or others how we choose to live our lives or what risks we are willing to take with our lives.

      1. Sure. You just…stay over there.

        Heh I remember when I was a puppy in the hospital. All nicely scrubbed and gowned to witness the surgery. OR charge nurse would look at you with up and down with those cold eyes when you went in. Then put a piece of blue tape on the floor.

        “ You stay here. You got me! Here.” Then she brought me a footstool so I could at least see. Well that was a lesson.

        So people need to be appropriate and act with some grace and courtesy. The people doing checkout at the grocery. They need every protection they can get. They are brave workers bringing you food. Be nice.

        1. So people need to be appropriate and act with some grace and courtesy.

          Correct. That’s what people like me do.

          It’s a–holes like you who are incapable of understanding how voluntary cooperation and private property works and therefore insist on government mandates. Government mandates that, I might add, have demonstrably accomplished nothing.

          1. How about you keep your political beliefs out of a trip to the grocery store?

            1. How about you keeping your bullshit to yourself?

            2. How about you keep your political beliefs out of my grocery store and my trips to my grocery store? Whether I wear a mask at the store should be between the owner and me; government has no business interfering.

              In any case, I do. I just have stuff delivered. If grocery stores go out of business as a result, I couldn’t care less.

      2. 80’s sarc

        1. I’m just glad condoms prevent gays from getting pregnant.

  38. Again, accumulating evidence strongly suggests that the ubiquitous wearing of face masks does protect people from becoming infected.

    Bailey links to two papers, neither of which provides strong evidence of anything.

    But the best way to enclose the health commons against the virus is the rollout of safe and effective vaccines. Fortunately, it looks increasingly likely that such vaccines will become available before the end of this year.

    You are talking about vaccines based on methods never before tested in humans and that have been around for a few months, involving viral proteins that kill humans by interfering with the immune system. You have to be absurdly naive to think that that is “safe and effective”.

    If you are a healthy person under the age of 50, you’d be a fool to take such a vaccine.

    1. I am actually looking around to volunteer for a trial. Is that foolish?

      I missed the one around here by Moderna. Already started.

      There will be another. If I can I would. Might be a chance for a mitzvah if you know what that is. An opportunity to do some good in the world. Even if it fails more is learned. Like the light bulb. Edison learned a thousand ways not to make one.

      1. I am actually looking around to volunteer for a trial. Is that foolish?

        The biggest risk from participating in a COVID trial isn’t serious side effects from the vaccine (significant, but less than 1%, I’d guess), but the fact that it screws up future COVID diagnosis and treatment should you get it. Is that worth it? That’s for you to decide.

        If I saw COVID as a serious threat to society and if I believed a vaccine was likely going to work, I might consider it; I think neither of those is true.

        1. It does not screw up anything. If it does not work you try another approach.

          Empirical methods have long been used in medicine. The shotgun, what are they calling it now, warp speed, is what is going on.

          One thing we do not agree. This is a very bad dangerous bug. I know this.

          1. It does not screw up anything. If it does not work you try another approach.

            I was talking personal risk to you. YOU will never participate in another COVID trial, and YOUR future course of COVID and its treatment will be uncertain. Any vaccine that is found may not work right for YOU.

            One thing we do not agree. This is a very bad dangerous bug. I know this.

            That’s interesting, because even epidemiologists don’t know this. In fact, data shows it mostly kills people who would have died anyway. What’s your evidence and your definition of “very bad”?

  39. Ron, good summary of the current knowledge!

    Your closing statement “ With respect to the COVID-19 virus we are all living in an open access health commons. Given the data, we should all, as free and responsible individuals, seek to protect ourselves and others by enclosing that commons through social distancing measures, by wearing face masks, and by getting inoculated once safe and effective vaccines become available.” sounds pretty much what I’ve been to people for months : “I may be the most hard-core individualist you’ll ever meet, but I also understand that freedom comes with a responsibility to not do harm to others”. I’ve been hoping this might morph into a few gentle conversations with my “liberal” (i.e. leftist) coworkers and neighbors about the concept of negative rights vs. positive rights. Hasn’t happened yet, but I keep trying.

    1. Since virus transmission has been killing the elderly and vulnerable since humans began walking upright, I guess social distance and masks are permanent now. 45% of COVID deaths >80 yrs old. 90% of COVID deaths >64 years old.

  40. I call horseshit about the masks Ron. Masks are manufactured consent and behavioural modification based on specious evidence.

    The evidence shows, at best, voluntary usage. It does NOT justify mandatory usage enforced by obscene coercive measures.

    You may not care but I do care these decrees came well before any studies came out supporting usage. Never mind the fact the official position was (correctly in my view) that they’re useless and for psychological purposes.

    I’m sorry I’m going to need much more than what you argue here to allow for government decrees to infringe on my rights. I also see the demands students wear them in school eight hours a day (well, at all really) as CHILD ABUSE. I’ll be damned if bureaucrats will put my kid’s health in harm’s way. These are the same people who pimp idiotic four food groups propaganda I’ve always ignored. And I most definitely ignore the masks demands. I see it as superstition.

    Not only that, I have little confidence in public officials (in general but now more so than ever given the way they’ve mishandled this from the onset. The lockdowns you seem to support were never rooted in any sound science but I ague were an over reaction to now discredited flawed models producing millions of deaths.

    When that didn’t pan out, as well as the death rate dropping (because of the LTF fiasco distorting perception and statistics), new treatments and the example of Sweden we should have PIVOTED.

    Instead, we’ve double down on the stupid. And now we have situations where piece of shits like Cuomo is running NY aground and Newsome shutting down wineries – expect his.

    An ostensibly free and literate society does NOT tolerate this.

    Why in the world would anyone listen to officials who failed to isolate the vulnerable but closed schools? They should have done the opposite. Now that data is evolving and showing clearly this is not deadly, it seems to me the combination of that and effective treatments means we can get off this vaccine fetish – at least in terms of waiting around for it like a bunch of pussies. We should be happy if anything and pressure should be exerted on governments to relax.

    Re masks specifically. There’s FAR MORE strong evidence going back years that counter this tiresome position.

    Presented with viruses that have been at it for around 1.5 billion and human, I’m gonna bet on the virus if all we’ve got are these stupid masks. Really not impressed by how weak our mettle is.

    And the link annoys me double fold: It works in consult with lockdowns. I guess you support lockdowns and buy into this crap masks saving money to the economy? Know what saves the economy? OPENING IT.

    People were ALREADY adjusting their behaviours PRIOR to a lockdown. All it did was delay, traumatize and confuse. So what it *may* have slowed it down? Look at the TRADE-OFFS. To me it seems grossly disproportionate to the threat.

    Talk about deliberately ignoring the fact the lockdowns had enormous negative impacts on MILLIONS of people around the world. It’s a Pyrrhic Victory at best.

    How about this? How about given all that we know about the virus and the effective treatments (HCQ and RLF-100) and the fact it’s basically a 99.8% survival rate, we stop dicking around with people’s lives and the fricken unintended consequences due to our foolish micro-managing of the virus and open up.

    It’s incredible how we’ve denounced over 100 years of how to handle infectious diseases and done the opposite of what we should be doing.

    For example, telling people to stay in is outrageous when in fact we should be OUT THERE. And this asymptomatic stuff. Guess what? We’re all asymptomatic of something all year round. What do you expect us to to do? Continue on with this charade?

    Last, if you think the jerk offs pushing these protocols are following it themselves, you need to give yourself a head shake.

    To me, at this stage, this is all vindictive malice to push these measures and designed to also to protect the sorry asses of public officials.

    Enough with this pandemic panic. I’m not waiting for a vaccine and I’m not going to play these games.

    For the love of God, they’re social engineering our every move. Why in the hell would you ever consent to the Wuhan virus?

    Why? Why would you give up any amount of liberties for this?

    I stand by Sweden outsmarted all of us.

    Here, we tried to reinvent the wheel by making it square.

    1. I notice your second link has Jeremy Howard – a computer scientist – as part of the team.

      I don’t know what’s up there but he’s been at the centre of this mass mask wearing campaign.

        1. https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1435/rr-40

          That all being said. I’m keeping an open mind.

          But I’m already seeing behavior on the street where people looking at each other as a threat is on the rise. Anecdotal but this kind of friction for this virus is not necessary.

  41. One thing bugging me this entire pandemic is this – frankly – nonsense about “asymptomatic” contagion. There may be “pre-symptomatic” spread, in cases where symptoms have not advanced enough for the victim to be very aware of them. But there probably cannot be truly asymptomatic spread, by people who never suffer any symptoms whatsoever. (I make a distinction between being unbothered by symptoms and not having any. These are not the same thing.) In every viral infection, a virus invades a host cell, takes over the nucleus, replicates, then murders the host. There is no other way, and thus there is always a growing trail of dead host cells. These piling carcasses, along with the body’s immune reactions to the invaders, produce our “symptoms” as the body works to clean out the casualties.

    Now, it’s possible that, in some people, very few such viral replications occur and only a few cells are murdered, such that the patient never shows any symptoms whatsoever. But if that is the case then the number of viruses that could be expunged through singing or coughing or sneezing or whatever – the “viral load” – is going to be vanishingly small. Meanwhile, with everything from radiation to aromatherapy, it’s the dose not the poison. If the viral load expunged is very small, it is going to be extremely unlikely that it will infect ANYONE, because too few virus particles will survive to establish an infection.

    So, Please, let’s just forget this stupidity of truly asymptomatic spread. We are not that dumb. Please.

    1. The WHO was probably right when they said the spread was rare among asymptomatic people. They had to retract because of the screaming pant shitting banshees who somehow want to believe the worse. When most public health officials were correctly cautioning against masks including Fauci (and even here where I live) they were shamed and mocked into shifting. They not only let the virus dictate policy but the lowest common denominator in public opinion using flawed studies to sell their bull shit to save face.

      I keep reading how there’s ‘overwhelming evidence’ in favour or masks and every time I read those studies I’m left more annoyed and unpersuaded by the study.

      I don’t profess to know the history of mask research but it seems to me it became a thing in the after math of the Spanish flu. I’ve been able to locate studies going back at least 25 years that focus on influenza. Those studies generally determine the effectiveness to be ineffective and it’s pretty much stayed that way until March of 2020 when studies suddenly started showing they work. This timeline doesn’t seem to make sense to me.

      My position is simple. Wanna wear a mask go ahead. Just don’t make it mandatory. You don’t have any justification for it.

      And spare the bull shit of asymptomatic healthy people protecting the vulnerable group. Don’t under estimate the fact many politicians fall under the demographic most vulnerable. So it’s not surprising there’s a little bit of narcissism at play here where they ask us to inconvenience our lives to the point of social engineering to protect them.

      And never mind the hypocrisy as I noted up top. Check the rat Mayor of Brampton, Ontario:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q4F4Jqr0bE8

      Fucken assholes across the board in the clip.

      1. That video from Brampton is nuts. What a jackass. My kids play youth sports. We lost mountains of money when everything got canceled. I was pissed at the clubs for not being honest and refunding us. But at least they had a figleaf to hide behind.

        1. You should see his response. Go to his Twitter.

          Self-entitled coward got caught and he blames ‘white supremacists’.

  42. CA, which was one of first states to emphasize masks (LA was the first city to mandate it outside) is obviously a Covid success story. Right?

    The mania and obsession over masks is tiresome and pointless. Yes, it helps mitigate the spread. But it won’t beat Covid. That’s like saying we could have won in Vietnam if we kept throwing numbers at the Vietcong.

    There are 300 million plus people in America. After about 2 months of captivity, most of them threw their hand in the air, said “nuts to grandma” and started to go outside. And then several thousands of them joined protests. Almost no one wears masks in parks and sidewalks. No one wears mask at home or when they eat.

    Does any Reason writers wear stifling masks 6 hours straight outside their home? It’s nonsense. For all intents and purposes, the mask war has all the characteristics of a drug war. You can’t stop this many people from not wearing masks, or doing whatever they want outside. We’re not going to track everyone on their phones and send cops to apprehend anyone not wearing masks would be a minor disaster.

    So again, freaking out over some unmasked guy eating a burrito on park street pointless. Social distancing as if some guy walking 10 feet away from you like he was an infected zombie is prudent, but ultimately pointless. America has shit ton of people and territory and a tiny crack is enough for a spread. Unless you absolutely like a hermit for months, the thing will bite you – it’s likely 50/50. We should have tried to adjust to this new normal months ago to protect the economy.

    1. Be sure to tell your surgeon that you prefer no masks.

      1. Be sure to ask help dragging that strawman around, shitstain.

      2. The heck does that even mean? You don’t wear a mask in surgery.

        Take it from me. I’ve had two ACL surgeries and shoulder surgery.

        1. You do not because kinda hard to get to the parts where the air goes in and out. Unless you have general anesthesia with inhaled gas in which case you probably have an ET tube down. None of which you would recall anyway since they knock you out first.

          The surgeons, nurses, and techs most definitely have them and other protective gear. Would not want to mess up that perfect ACL repair with a post op infection.

          So in real life you walk in that room there is someone the equivalent of a Abrams tank who will stop you if you are not properly gowned, scrubbed, gloved and masked. Also that head bandana thing which looks cool.

          I think that was the point.

          Not the same thing as what I wore, and everyone else at the grocery today. Ya know the checkout person and all of these other people there who bring me food deserve any help they can get. Hundreds, thousands of people, more come in and out every day.

          Don’t be a schmuck. They are doing it and us big tough brave people can too.

          1. I know the surgeons wear them you shnook.

            “They are doing it and us big tough brave people can too.”

            Fuck off.

            Simple enough for you?

            1. I do like simplicity. If you can take something and parse it down to the essentials then you understand it. I really do not care if you hate the masks. Not like it is going to drift over Lake Erie and end up here.

              Fuck off is a simple reply.

              Because I never miss an opportunity to try and learn. Beginning with Listor and germ theory it was a Polish bacteriologist Carl Flügge in 1897 who came up with the theory of “respiratory droplets” carrying germs and the idea of a face mask. It took decades for the practice to become universal.

  43. I’ll be glad when they drop the 6 ft. distancing rule so I can go back to 12 ft.

    1. The thing about the social distancing is I believe the WHO and Europe it’s 1.5 meters (3ft) but in North American it oddly became 3 meters (6 feet).

      I’m even going to go as far as to say social distancing may be limited in its effectiveness as well. Everything seem so arbitrary.

      At this point, why not act this way during flu season?

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  46. Why are we still counting for? The virus hits one cell and the body fights it off or it doesn’t.

    Facts:

    350,000,000 Americans, 5,000,000 cases, 1.42%

    350,000,000 Americans, 162,000 deaths, .00046%

    The flu kills more than that.

    The virus is real, lying Fauci is not.

    Cancel WON. The soul of America is loss forever

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  48. Let us consider the value of your life…open the bars.

    1. A shot of Jack will cure anything.

  49. In deed. This is one of those times, when people should be exercise the principle of beneficence. This is one of those tragedies we should attract an all-hands-on-deck attitude from every corner. There have been a lot of scientific studies that defy the tragedy of commons as seen from studies by article writers from various areas.

  50. Here’s my immediate problem with the article. It isn’t even full sentence and he lost me:

    “…and enabling recovery to begin.”

    Define recovery. Define the beginning of said recovery. Then at least we know when we can stop the masks and distancing and isolation and agonizing loneliness. Without articulating our goal, everything else is window dressing. We are far beyond flattening the curve.

    I love the concept of the tragedy of the commons, but it doesn’t work here. It’s a property law concept suggesting that people will mistreat public space because why take care of it if no one else does? Why not leave your trash around? Why not take all the fish in the stream for yourself? If you don’t do it, someone else will.

    We are not screwing up the use of a public resource. And the garbage about free riders taking advantage of a healthier public caused by the responsible actions of others sounds an awful lot like an argument in favor of Obamacare.

    So riddle me this: How can you be in favor of all these restrictions and worried about “free riders” but oppose mandatory health insurance?

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  52. Hey Ron, OT, take a look at the mortality rates in the UK vs US. per 10e6 population. As of Aug 31, infection rates are 4x greater in the US than UK ( testing rates are about the same) but death rates are about the same. Put another way, an infected person is 4x more likely to die in the UK than the US and both countries got hit about the same time.

    Interesting numbers to have in your pocket the next time someone calls for British style socialized medicine / medicare for all / etc.

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