Masks Are a Tool, Not a Panacea

They help keep the disease from spreading, but they won't single-handedly keep the COVID-19 numbers from going up.


Surely it is reasonable to expect people who know they are infected with COVID-19 to isolate themselves so they won't risk infecting others. But pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic people can unknowingly infect people too, wandering about in what amounts to an open-access health commons. Libertarians usually choose to enclose a commons by assigning property rights, so that owners can bear both the benefits and the costs of ownership. Alas, there isn't an obvious way to erect a fence preventing infected people from causing harm to non-consenting others.

But what about wearing a mask? Is that an enclosure that will work?

At the beginning of the pandemic, several research groups produced initial assessments of masks' efficacy in blunting the community transmission of the coronavirus. Most agreed that the available evidence either for masks or against them was of pretty poor quality.

For example, an April 2020 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report on fabric masks' effectiveness noted that "there are no studies of individuals wearing homemade fabric masks in the course of their typical activities" and added that "the current level of benefit, if any, is not possible to assess."

Over the succeeding months, fortunately, more studies and analyses have been conducted. The general conclusion is that the widespread adoption of facial coverings in indoor and outdoor crowded spaces does help slow community transmission of COVID-19. As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidance last week to encourage facial coverings in community settings.

Initially, the recommendation to wear facial coverings was largely about "source control"—that is, preventing infected people from transmitting their microbes to non-consenting others. The latest CDC guidelines cited studies that suggest face masks can also protect their wearers by reducing their exposure to viral particles.

Let's review some of the evidence behind the CDC's recommendations.

Experimental Evidence

A May article in Clinical Infectious Diseases reported a study in which two groups of hamsters were partitioned by surgical masking material. The healthy hamsters were separated from hamsters infected with COVID-19, with the researchers allowing unidirectional airflow from the infected group to the uninfected group. Two-thirds of the unprotected group became infected, whereas only 17 percent of those protected by surgical masks did. And the hamsters in the protected group that did become infected had milder symptoms and lower viral loads than those in the unprotected group.

In April, a team of researchers tested cloth masks made of varying materials, including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, various synthetics, and combinations thereof. "Overall, we find that combinations of various commonly available fabrics used in cloth masks can potentially provide significant protection against the transmission of aerosol particles," they reported in the journal ACS Nano. In June, the journal Physics of Fluids described the results of tests on various facial coverings, including bandanas, folded handkerchief masks, stitched cotton masks, and masks commonly available at pharmacies. All of them significantly impeded the flow of droplets, with bandanas being the least effective and stitched cotton masks the most effective.

In August, some Duke scientists used a laser setup to compare the number of respiratory droplets transmitted through various masks over time while someone was speaking. Surgical masks were fairly effective at reducing respiratory droplets, while the bandanas and neck gaiters they tested were not. (To the researchers' dismay, some media outlets misreported that neck gaiters were actually worse than no masks at all.) A subsequent study at Virginia Tech found that neck gaiters were about as effective as other cloth masks at blocking aerosols.

In August, another study reported the results from 94 experiment runs with combinations of eight different fabrics, five mask designs, and airflows to simulate both talking and coughing. The researchers noted that "facial coverings or masks can significantly reduce the airborne dispersion of aerosolized particles from exhalation." As a result, "wearing masks when coupled with social distance can decrease the potentially inhaled dose of SARS-CoV-2 aerosols or droplets especially where infectious contaminants may exist in shared air spaces."

A September article in Scientific Reports compared the efficacy of N95 masks, surgical masks, cloth masks, and paper masks. The cotton cloth masks shed small cellulosic fibers, making it difficult to completely evaluate their efficacy in blocking expiratory particles. Nonetheless, they concluded that for the four kinds of masks tested, "our results strongly imply that mask wearing will reduce emission of virus-laden aerosols and droplets associated with expiratory activities."

In a study published in October by the journal Extreme Mechanics Letters, researchers tested masks made of 11 common household fabrics, comparing their efficacy with that of medical masks. The researchers found that "most fabrics have substantial blocking efficiency" and that "cloth face coverings, especially with multiple layers, may help reduce droplet transmission of respiratory infections."

Community Evidence

So the experimental evidence suggests that facial coverings do significantly prevent infected people from spreading the coronavirus. Does that mean that mask-wearing offers community-wide protection against infection?

One way to find out would be to run randomized control trials (RCTs) in which half of a community wears masks and half doesn't.

Several teams of researchers had already tried to run RCTs with two groups of pilgrims participating in the Hajj journey to Mecca, giving one group surgical masks and keeping the control group unmasked. After the pilgrimage, researchers would then check the groups for respiratory infections. A pilot study conducted in 2011 found that 31 percent of the masked group exhibited respiratory symptoms, whereas 53 percent of the unmasked group did. But laboratory testing could find no difference between the groups. A similar, more recent Hajj RCT found that face mask use did "not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections." The researchers cautioned that their "trial was unable to provide conclusive evidence on facemask efficacy against viral respiratory infections most likely due to poor adherence to protocol."

An RCT conducted in 2015 among health care workers in Vietnam has led to some confusion about what the results actually showed. In that study, the control group wore regular medical masks while the experimental group wore cloth masks. The researchers found that over the course of the trial, laboratory tests confirmed respiratory viral infections in 0.7 percent of those wearing medical masks versus 2.3 percent among those with cloth masks. Cloth masks clearly were not as effective as regular masks, but the trial is silent on how much protection cloth masks offer compared to not wearing a mask.

An August meta-analysis of existing RCTs made a strong effort to take participant noncompliance into account. It "found support for the efficacy of face masks among the general public," concluding that "face masks protect populations from infections." A 2017 CDC report on preventing pandemic influenza reported similar evidence that the community use of face masks might help stem an outbreak.

Research in the June Health Affairs compared when 15 states implemented community face mask mandates early in the pandemic; it found that "states mandating the use of face masks in public had a greater decline in daily COVID-19 growth rates after issuing these mandates compared with states that did not issue mandates." A similar October study by Canadian researchers looked at mask mandates in 34 public health regions in Ontario. In "the first few weeks after implementation," it reported, "mask mandates are associated with a reduction of 25 percent in the weekly number of new COVID-19 cases."

In a July review of the efficacy of facial coverings, an international research team concluded that the "near-universal adoption of non-medical masks when out in public" could—"in combination with complementary public health measures"—reduce the rate of viral infections.

A summer meta-analysis of 21 studies in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease "showed the general efficacy of masks in preventing the transmission of [respiratory viral infections]." The authors added that "such protective effects of masking are evidentiary for both healthcare and non-healthcare workers."

An October analysis by some European researchers was a bit more cautious about the efficacy of facial coverings. "There is limited direct evidence of low certainty based on seven observational studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic that wearing face masks reduces the risk of transmission of [the coronavirus] in community settings," it concluded.

In an October 27 report, a group of Vanderbilt researchers compared the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tennessee jurisdictions with mask mandates to those without. They noted that COVID-19 diagnoses were rising in Tennessee, as in most of the rest of the country. But "hospitals that predominantly serve patients from areas without masking requirements continue to see the highest rate of growth in [COVID-19] hospitalizations." They further noted that "areas with virus mitigation strategies—including but not limited to masking requirements—have seen lower growth in hospitalizations since the summer months."

Other Possible Effects

As noted, the main goal of wearing facial coverings is to prevent infected people from inadvertently transmitting viruses to uninfected people. Researchers now think that viral spread from asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic people may account for more than 50 percent of transmissions in COVID-19 outbreaks. Yet some recent research indicates that masks can also protect their wearers from infection by filtering out virus particles that they might otherwise breathe in.

Variolation was the practice of inoculating an uninfected person with a small dose of the smallpox virus with the hope of inducing a mild infection, resulting in future protection against the virus. Some researchers think community use of facial coverings may result in an inadvertent version of COVID-19 variolation. Noting that masks do not perfectly protect their wearers from infection, an October study suggested that mask wearers tend to receive a lower dose of the virus and consequently experience a milder infection. An October 29 article in The New England Journal of Medicine cited several studies suggesting that lower doses of the COVID-19 virus produce less severe—in fact, often asymptomatic—cases of the disease. But many researchers disagree that variolation can occur with COVID-19 infections.

Mask Mandates?

President-elect Joe Biden plans to urge governors and mayors to adopt mask mandates in order to help mitigate the rising number of COVID-19 cases. A number of Republican governors have already rejected that proposal. But setting mandates aside and just looking at Americans' behavior, an October HealthDay/Harris poll reports that "more than nine in 10 U.S. adults (93%) said they sometimes, often or always wear a mask or face covering when they leave their home and are unable to socially distance, including more than seven in 10 (72%) who said they always do so." That's up from 90 percent in a poll in August.

Most Americans have heard and are heeding the message that facial coverings can help mitigate the pandemic. So if most of us are wearing masks, why is the daily toll of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations now surging to record-breaking levels?

Masks are not panaceas. Wearing them helps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but it will not by itself stop or reverse the pandemic. People need to take other measures to protect themselves and others from infection, including social distancing and consistent hygiene. Over the past few months, COVID-19 fatigue has led many Americans (myself included) to widen our social circles and spend some nights out, opening us up to a greater risk of infection. Colder weather is also crowding us together indoors, making it easier for the virus to jump from person to person.

As free and responsible individuals, we should want to avoid causing harm to other non-consenting people. The evidence shows that masks work. Please wear them.

NEXT: Arkansas Cop Shoots Family Dog After Going to Wrong Address 

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  1. I can't wait for the rebuttals.

    1. The CDC rebuts itself often enough.

      1. Nothing to say about all the studies and other evidence in the article? I thought not.

        1. This is pretty fucking hilarious coming from a guy whose state just implemented another lockdown in response to a massive case spike, despite mask mandates and public gathering restrictions being in place for months.

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          2. That's because there are a lot of assholes who refuse to wear masks and social distance in public, thereby getting everybody else screwed over. These spoiled-brat scofflaws don't give a wet rat's ass about anybody except themselves.

            1. And yet 90% of the people who got Covid in the CDC study said they wore masks nearly all the time... weird.

              1. Damn, son, you really are a slow learner, aren’t ya?

            2. "If the holy relics failed to heal you, it's because you weren't faithful enough."

            3. That’s because there are a lot of assholes who refuse to wear masks and social distance in public...

              so what do you want, every single person has to wear a mask every single minute he/she is out in public...?

              and btw, you're full of crap...mask wearing in the hot spots is in the 90th percentile...

        2. "all the studies and other evidence in the article"
          The article suggests there is evidence that paper surgical masks block a small percentage of respiratory particles but only an assumption that this will also intercept the virus. Lot's of words but few facts.
          Do the recounts, Trump wins and Whoopee cushion can "Suck It Up".

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    2. Stuff your mask down your throat.

      1. Well now, not very accurate.

        "Stuff your mask up your butt, take it out, stuff it up again."

        That's a proper rebuttal.

        1. I stand corrected.

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      1. What do you mean "appeared" to clinch a victory to become the 46th President? Biden won the 2020 POTUS Election fair and square--and legally, to boot. It was much closer than it should've been, but I'm glad he won, nonetheless.

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    5. Isn’t there enough digital ink on the subject that apologizes for the status quo on this issue?

      The case for liberty needs a strong, clear, full-throated defense, and Reason should be doing just that. Mask scolding is so ubiquitous you’re just publishing white noise.

      Let’s see an article about the negative impact of universal masking—the dehumanization inherent to such a mass imposition on bodily integrity, the psychological impact on individuals with PTSD, the damage to our children’s perceptions of what living in a free society means, the denigration of individualism before the will of the collective, and so on.

      We’ve got enough voices shouting “it’s for your own good”, and a dearth of voices defending the dignity and rights of individuals against the onslaught. Reason is supposed to be that voice.

      If you stop doing what your readers support you to do, we’ll find someplace else to spend our attention that actually does it.

      1. But if it saves just one life.....

      2. Well, Ronald Bailey, like the mask, is a tool...

      3. Excellent comment. Seems to me that one important purpose of a libertarian publication should be as a contrarian gadfly looking to poke holes in the political and social trends of the day. Plenty of people are telling us why masks are supposedly good. There is no doubt that they have downsides too. Let's hear more about that.

        1. Notice how the Great Barrington Declaration got memory-holed in the span of, oh, a week or so?
          I guess some epidemiologists and health scientists just aren't as sciency as others.
          Now get down on your knees, wear that mask and shut up!

          1. Yeah, that one is amazing. Many highly-respected leaders in their fields signed onto that and yet it is almost completely ignored.

            1. Anyone still pushing lockdowns is retardedly ignorant, or just plain evil.

      4. Second.

        No question that shooting every last person who contracts a previously-unknown disease will slow, if not stop the spread, of new diseases. Just like with guns, the ideology of 'controlling the virus' is a thin veneer for 'controlling the people'.

      5. I canceled my subscription over this article. It seems reason would prefer safety to liberty and they want to convince us to do the same. Government mandates are completely antithetical to libertarianism.

        1. Come on now! There are certain things that our government really SHOULD watch over and monitor, and the Covid-19 virus pandemic is sure as hell one of them. Donald Trump's criminally irresponsible mis-handling of the Covid-19 virus is why this pandemic is running so rampant and so out of control here in the United States, and in other parts of the world right now. Over a quarter of a million unnecessary deaths from Covid-19 is way too damned many.

          1. trump is responsible for the outbreak in the rest of the world including europe (who incidentally most of has gone full lockdown mode, yet cases continue to explode)? That's quite the stretch there, I'm not a fan of him but blaming one man for a global pandemic sounds fucking retarded. We've still got our border open to Mexico even, the only places doing "well" closed their borders to everyone but citizens (japan, south korea, new zealand)

      6. Amen.

        Start from first principles, of self-ownership, or Non-Aggression Principle, or anything liberty.

        There's almost nothing which doesn't fall apart when looked at that way. I remember reading Coase's (I think) light house study, showing that private light houses had been the norm for centuries, support by nearby ports, and had no need to be taken over by governments as a public service. Roads, schools, all sorts of things have done quite well where governments have left them alone. Union troubles arise because government either mandates closed shops or forbids them.

    6. The current massive spike in cases we're undergoing is rebuttal enough.

      1. One would think so.

      2. The only thing "massive" is the exaggeration.

        1. That certainly is the conundrum, isn't it? If the masks work, the cases aren't nearly as bad as they're indicating and it's the testing process that's flawed. If cases are in fact spiking this hard and this high like Peter North at a video shoot, then the mask mandates and all these restrictions are theater on the level of the TSA, as a totemic social placebo.

          But don't expect these assholes or their apologists to EVER admit they might be mistaken about their assertions. "Shut up and listen to the experts, citizen, where's YOUR degree?"

    7. meet the 7% who don't ever wear masks..... because, freedom.

      1. "If the masks don't work, it's because you weren't faithful enough."

      2. The irresponsible 7% who refuse to wear masks and social distance are the people who really are screwing everybody else over! It's beyond disgusting. If these irresponsible scofflaws were hit where it more than likely hurts the most -i. e. in their pocketbooks, they just might GTFU a bit.

        1. LMAO, sure it's *their* fault, not the mask mandate that failed to prevent the MASSIVE spike in cases we're seeing now.

          Your obsequious Scientism is both pathetic and hilarious to see. Your totems failed, shitlib, and you can't handle it so you're lashing out at the heathens.

          1. hey fucktard..... you still are too stupid to understand that i have never said there should be a mandate.....

            1. Hey fuckface, your mask totems failed and you're too intellectually stunted to accept that the "experts" don't know any more about this than you do.

        2. The irresponsible 7% who refuse to wear masks and social distance are the people who really are screwing everybody else over!

          I guess it's never occurred to you to question the efficacy of your precious masks and distancing policies...yeah, it's the fault of the occasional unmasked individual you see out riding bikes and taking walks...

    8. Bailey is a scared dummy.

      The masks even say "not for medical use" on their packaging.

      1. I haven't worn a mask and will never wear a mask for this Kungflu hysteria.

        1. People like YOU will end up putting yourself, your friends, neighbors and family, not to mention tons of other people at risk for Covid-19. Do you prefer that?

          1. If they act like YOU, sure!

          2. We've been hearing that for months, dirtbag. You just can't handle the fact that your magical mask talisman failed.

          3. People like YOU will end up putting yourself, your friends, neighbors and family, not to mention tons of other people at risk for Covid-19.

            bull crap; in order to infect someone, one has to cough, sneeze, or in some other way expel viral load, and not just a passing in the street; at least a minute of contact is it your experience when you go out in public that anybody, masked or unmasked, does this to you...?

    9. Read the article. It's got all the rebuttals you need.

      In particular, read the citations to the actual studies that used replicable methodologies. The best of those could only say that "There is limited direct evidence of low certainty based on seven observational studies conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic that wearing face masks reduces the risk of transmission of [the coronavirus] in community settings". Studies in laboratory conditions are interesting but not useful until validated in real-world conditions.

      The frustrating part is that after laying out the findings and all their weaknesses, Bailey nevertheless jumps to a full-throated conclusion that is unsupported by the sources he cites.

      1. Bingo!!

    10. If you're going to play at being a long-tabber, demonstrate reasoning capacity. The results were mixed, and always have been.

    11. None of those studies actual show masks lowering inflection rate. Just innuendos.

  2. Let's review some of the evidence behind the CDC's recommendations.

    * The CDC's recommendations on masks, vaccines, lockdowns, and everything else disease-related or not have changed more often that Trump changes tweets.
    * The CDC likes to call guns a public health threat.
    * Government recommendations in general change faster than voters toss out one set of bureaucrats and install another. Witness the FDA food recommendations for a start.

    So no thanks to any additional evidence.

    1. i don't like the CDC, so i won't listen to anything anybody has to say.......


      1. Stooge.

        1. tool is better than the stooges.

  3. Masks Are a Tool

    So is Kirkland.

    1. So is Bailey, willing to shill for whatever proggy point of the day is as settled fact.

      1. Man, I'm rereading "The Road to Serfdom", and going through the editor's forward, apparently Hayek was warning about the SocJus crowd back in '73.

        1. Mainly because Hayek and his co worker, von Mises, saw the rise of socialism first hand in Germany, and predicted the outcome. They may call it different things, but the methods and directions head to the same endpoint, regardless of the intentions for which it was implemented

    2. "Masks Are a Tool"

      "So is Kirkland."

      Masks are not that bad.

      1. They're not unbearably smug to the point that one hopes that they are eaten by ants, true.

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  5. “ The evidence shows that masks work.”

    “Please wear them.”

  6. "Masks save lives, period."

    Are you calling Joe Biden a liar? Or is this just more goal-post shifting where first we're told if you wear a mask and social distance you'll be fine but then they keep adding more and more conditions to what you have to do to keep everybody safe? I expect any day now for somebody to get carried away with the joke and tell us we have to hop up and down on one foot while patting ourselves on the head with our left hand and singing the Baby Shark song just to see how many people will actually do it.

    1. I'll believe that politicians believe masks work when politicians stop quarantining healthy people and shutting down the economy with bogus essentiality classifications.

    2. Masks, social distancing, and good hygiene are recommendations that have been quite constant.

      1. Define consistent.
        It does not include 'masks are not necessary for the general public' followed by 'masks are a good idea if you can't social distance' followed by 'masks are recommended in crowded settings' followed by '"cloth face coverings" AND social distancing are mandatory'.

        The only consistent "advice" has been wash your hands and stay home if you are actually sick.

        1. Mandatory unless you're on an airplane, in which it's ok to sit half an inch away from other random people.

        2. Constant since April. It is frikken November.

          1. And they failed. Utterly, completely failed.

      2. The only constant in CDC recommendations has been their constant changing.

      3. "Masks, social distancing, and good hygiene are recommendations that have been quite constant."

        Along with "Kneel!"
        Fuck off, slaver.

      4. Uh, no.

        I've heard masks are the key, but they are not. They do help in some specific situations. If you want to know the truth about people's belief regarding how effective the mask is at preventing spread, just tell people you have the virus and are going out anyway but you will wear your mask. Watch how quickly they argue the mask is not effective in preventing the spread.

      5. Give them time. Hardly consistent. Oft times contradictory. Even the distance recommendations are inconsistent depending on if they are expressed in meters or feet.

    3. So Chuckles Schumer wants to kill people by going out in celebration, in close contact, without a mask?
      Same for damn near every democrat in the country?

      I thought so.

    4. Quite a few would be my bet

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    1. Case counts are meaningless, since more testing yields more cases, and a lot of tests are on known-infected people to see when the infection is gone.

      Literally have no meaning.

      1. Besides which:

        "Elon Musk took 4 COVID-19 tests in one day, but half were positive and half were negative"

        Every bit as valid as a coin flip!

        1. I knew he was bipolar

    2. you got that backwards.

      1. "Ignore the massive case spikes, my talisman works. If you have faith in the Blessed Face Diaper, it will protect you from all forms of infection! All you need is faith!"

  8. One side wants to deny that there's even a risk, to the point that they claim COVID-19 is merely the flu. The other side is so risk averse they act as if any encounter with another human being will end civilization as we know it. Both sides are wrong because both sides are living at the extreme ends of spectrum. The middle is much closer to being right.

    This is not the plague. Neither is it the flu.

    At the same time, zero-tolerance thinking that demands zero-risk is every bit as stupid as claiming it's all a conspiracy to steal an election.

    The risk is real, but risk is a part of our daily lives. We must learn to live with the risks and realize that sometimes shit happens. It some point we have to realize that Little Infant Johnny is not going to die because he eats mud, the neighbor's pit bull isn't going to maul us to death the first chance he gets, and the other neighbor taking a jog through the park without a maks isn't going to cause a new surge in deaths.

    So what we do is be sensible. We wear masks. We socially distance when possible. Avoid large gatherings. Work from home when we can. We don't freak out when we see someone without a mask, and we don't freak out when some private business requires masks. No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service is sensible.

    If you're not elderly and catch the virus, you'll probably be fine. But your elderly mother won't be. So wear a fucking mask. Wash your hands thoroughly. Sheesh.

    Common sense. I haven't seen a lick of it since before the turn of the century. Sigh.

    1. No, no no. Taking any precautions whatsoever, to include just acknowledging basic reality, is tyranny!

      1. Saying no to slavers is always a good idea, even if there are risks involved.
        Fuck off, slaver.

        1. These are PRIVATE BUSINESSES saying to wear a mask in their stores. That's not tyranny. Peeing on the floor of Verizon is NOT striking a blow for liberty. Sheesh.

          1. How about my body, my choice? I hear that’s supposed to end all arguments.

          2. These are PRIVATE BUSINESSES saying to wear a mask in their stores. That’s not tyranny.

            and if you ask these private businesses why they require a mask, they say because the governor requires yeah, it is tyranny...

      2. "If the masks don't work, it's because you were unfaithful."

        1. That's what a group of my friends think. We're in California, and the winter wave of cases is all our fault because we didn't follow the rules hard enough. But this same wave is hitting every other state, as well as Europe and Asia. I have no idea about South America or Africa. But when Europe has the same problem, their pointing fingers at eebil Trump voters and those who don't worship Dumbocrat governors is just stupid.

          1. I've been seeing that argument in various forms for months, and it's really ramped up now, with cases skyrocketing nationwide.

            They literally see masks as holy relics, gathering restrictions as sanctified acts, and "studies" as sacred texts, and if they don't work or fail to anticipate anything that might render those things to be flawed, it's not because the measure itself was wrong, it's because of a small, faithless minority that resulted in the fall of Israel.

      3. Acknowledging reality doesn't mean coming to the same conclusions about how best to deal with it.

      4. Taking any precautions whatsoever, to include just acknowledging basic reality, is tyranny!

        whiny little brat, aren't you...?

    2. One side wants to deny that there’s even a risk, to the point that they claim COVID-19 is merely the flu.

      The flu comes with plenty of risks. Saying it's like a flu isn't saying it has no or little risk. Flu is far more risky for young people, infants and pregnant women, for example.

      Sorry, but halting normal social interaction for a year is insane. It's harmful in tons of ways. If it was a few weeks, maybe I could be convinced, but I cannot and will not live that way.

      1. >

        I agree. The problem is we don't have a vaccine like we do for the flu. Keeping the masks and reasonable social distancing makes sense until we get a vaccine rolled out. But politicians doubling down on lockdowns is just wrong. Shit happens and this is one of the shits that happens.

        And also, as Nick Gillespie often points out, it's private businesses that are doing this voluntarily. It's the politicians that follow behind the social norms with arbitrary rules and police.

        1. The flu vaccines (plural, never forget) change every year, and some are more effective than others.

        2. Well, if the claimed effectiveness is to be believed, then we should soon have a vaccine that is far more effective than flu vaccines.

        3. Private businesses can never be assholes? News to me. But I guess just leave, and never give them your business again. And cheer when that business deservedly fails.

        4. Despite having flu vaccines, and despite having flu-specific treatments...

          "The CDC estimates that between 46,000 and 95,000 Americans died due to influenza during the 2017-18 flu season."

          “On 10 February 2018, Fortune reported that influenza in the United States was killing up to 4,000 Americans a week…In the first week of February, deaths from influenza and pneumonia were responsible for one of every ten deaths in the US, with 4,064 from pneumonia or influenza recorded in the third week of 2018, according to CDC data. The 2017–2018 flu season was severe for all US populations and resulted in an estimated 959,000 hospitalizations and 61,099 deaths. This is the highest number of patient claims since the 2009 flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, during the 2017-2018 season the percentage of deaths attributed to pneumonia and influenza (P&I) was at or above the epidemic threshold for 16 consecutive weeks. Nationally, mortality attributed to P&I exceeded 10.0% for four consecutive weeks, peaking at 10.8% during the week ending January 20, 2018. Another estimate (September 2018) attributed more than 80,000 US deaths to this strain of influenza.

          Did we shut down the world? No. Did we have mandatory masking and social distancing? No. This was just 3 years ago. It was just a blip, maybe a fleeting concern in vulnerable folks minds.

    3. This is not the plague.

      Masks are useless against the plague. It is spread by pests.

      1. Depends on which plague. Bubonic plague is passed by fleas via rodents. But respiratory plagues, like pneumonic plague, can be passed by exhaled droplets. Thus masks help in that case.

    4. common sense went out the window on this one..... someone one one side heard someone on the other side say people should wear masks...... and that is what this is all about...... people are willing to take unnecessary risk, and put others at unnecessary risk, because masks were included in the list of things said by those who think seeing people will end the world. they do not care what makes sense, they do not care what is reality, they do not care what is right or wrong...... they just want to yell how wrong literally everything the other side ever says is. those of us with brains get stuck in the middle.

      1. Lots of excuses and cope now from the I Fucking Love Science! cultists.

        1. Scientism is a hell of a drug. And so is expertism.

        2. fucktard, read what i actually wrote......

          1. I did read it, fuckface, and you can't cope with the fact that your blessed "expert" prophets were wrong, so you lamely tried to blame the "7 percent" who didn't wear masks.

            Your mask totems failed. The experts failed. The virus doesn't give a shit about your stupid face diaper. Now bow down to Corona-chan like the simple simon bitch that you are.

            1. ii never blamed the 7% for anything, because neither i or the experts ever said wearing masks would stop 100% of the spread...... pull your head out of your ass and learn some basic reading comprehension skills....... calling you a fuckard is not blaming you for anything, it is just stating a fact.

    5. Just curious...does this attitude only apply to COVID or does it apply to all deadly diseases you might unknowingly be infected with at some time and spread to other people, who might then get very sick or even die?

      What have you done in your life to prevent spreading the flu? You know, when you might have infected someone with a disease that may leave them dead or debilitated? Will you be wearing a mask and social distancing forever, in case you accidentally kill someone by spreading the flu? Or is COVID the only disease for which we should be willing to wear masks, social distance, etc.?

      "The flu is different!" Of course it is, but it still kills thousands of people every year, and some years it kills a lot more than that. It spreads pretty much exactly the same way COVID is spread. Like COVID, the flu may have long-term side-effects ("A number of studies have linked influenza to an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, and scientists have theorized that the inflammatory response triggered by the flu can fuel the development of atherosclerosis, a contributor to heart and artery disease.") The flu is not COVID, but neither is COVID airborne Ebola. It seems to me that someone dying of the flu is no more or less tragic and undesirable than someone dying of COVID.

      And all the things we're supposed to be doing to "protect our neighbors" from COVID are the exact same things we could do to protect other from the flu. But we never have, despite the fact that the flu kills tens of thousands of people in this country every year. After COVID, I wonder if people will still care enough about their neighbors to keep wearing masks to prevent the spread of flu and other airborne viruses? Or is COVID the only disease special enough to warrant that?

      Just a few years ago, we had a flu pandemic from H3N2 influenza, with thousands of people dying on a daily basis from it. Did you mask up then? Did you social distance? Did you shut down schools and the economy? We had a somewhat less severe flu pandemic only about 10 years prior to this, so will we be shutting down the world for flu pandemics now every ten years or so? Will we be wearing masks and social distancing EVERY flu season EVERY year forever because EVERY year could be a deadly flu pandemic?

      Despite vaccines and flu-specific treatments? One thing to consider: we have a vaccine for the flu. We have flu-specific medications (e.g., Tamiflu). We have some herd immunity to the flu. We do not usually see flu victims overwhelm the medical system. And flu still manages to kill 30k or people most every year. We have no vaccine for the COVID. We have no COVID-specific medications. We have no herd immunity for COVID. COVID was close to overwhelming some parts of the healthcare system.

      And with all that, COVID is only killing 4-5x more than flu? Punk-ass virus. With our woeful defenses against it, COVID ought to be running up the score like Georgia Tech vs Cumberland.

      Note that these flu deaths are occurring DESPITE all the advantages we supposedly have over it relative to COVID. But no one has ever cared enough to demand that we wear masks and practice social distancing to save them. And when COVID is "gone" it seems likely that we'll go back to ignoring their deaths. We never did any of this before we had flu shots and tamiflu, by the way.

    6. So wear a fucking mask

      ah, and you were doing so well; just can't keep the inner dictator bottled up for long though, obviously...

  9. Masks cannot work unless worn properly. People with beards, and most kinds of facial hair, cannot wear hem properly. When is it going to be mandated that people must shave their faces?

    1. Source?

      1. Anyone who has to wear a mask properly for exposures to hazardous environments knows that. It's not controversial or difficult to find information.

        1. Ok, that chart was pretty funny.

        2. What about the "PornStache"?

        3. Hitler is safe, Salvador Dali is not. Got it.

      2. It's been common knowledge since WW I that gas masks don't work with facial hair. Asking for proof that facial hair degrades the usefulness of masks is just some kind of perverse weird virtue signalling.

        1. Or an admission of abysmal stupidity; always assume stupidity over cupidity.

        2. Complete ignorance is the safest bet in this case, combined with stupidity and dogmatic in-group bias.

    2. According to the CDC Hitler is safe.

      1. Ha. Seriously though, have you ever seen anyone in real life with a “toothbrush”?

        1. Yes. Schoolmate saved off the sides of his mustache when the school told him to get rid of the stache completely. Definitely had the Hardy/Chaplin look going on.

    3. they might be less effective, but they still do something. if you bothered to read the article, you would know that nobody has said they are 100% effective, so slightly less effective is a pretty lame straw man.

    4. Give them time.

  10. Democrats like masks. Democrats don't vote for Trump. That means masks are bullshit.

    1. Or, all these rules they put in place ended up not working anyway.

  11. Just for reference, this is how all other viruses were treated:

    For those who don't click;
    (in this CDC recommendation, facemasks refer to real actual MEDICAL masks, not "cloth face coverings")
    "In community and home settings, the use of facemasks and respirators generally are not recommended. However, for certain circumstances as described in Table 1, a facemask or respirator may be considered, specifically for persons at increased risk of severe illness from influenza.
    Use of N95 respirators or facemasks generally is not recommended for workers in non-healthcare occupational settings for general work activities. For specific work activities that involve contact with people who have ILI, such as escorting a person with ILI, interviewing a person with ILI, providing assistance to an individual with ILI, the following are recommended:"

    1. Those hamsters were part of the deep state coup!

      1. The hamsters were not wearing anything. A barrier was placed between the groups. So, nothing like human interactions whatsoever.

        Next trial, hamsters all in separate hamster balls 6 feet apart.


          1. Oh, shit, sorry dude. You triggered my spamfilter before I realized this was an actual post. My bad.

        1. Actually, it shoots a hole in one of the arguments against masks, that being the size of particles. There has never been a great argument for that anyway, but these studies should show how filter efficacy drops off as particle size decreases and velocity varies. I am actually surprised that the transmission rate was so low with that type of material. I don't know if they accounted for transmission from infected hamsters in the target group before they were tested and found (unless it was a one to one enclosure). And it is a decent construct for running the experiment. They might have further refined it to include a screen separating the filter material from the rodents such to rule out contact transmission.

    2. Content on this page was developed during the 2009-2010 H1N1 pandemic and has not been updated.
      "We've evolved."


    Alex Berenson
    Oct 18
    A lead investigator on the Danish mask study - the ONLY (as far as I know) randomized trial to see if masks protect from #COVID - was asked when it would be published.

    His answer: “as soon as a journal is brave enough.”

    If you think that means the study shows masks work...

  13. Next questions -
    Were the hamsters allowed to wear the screen around their neck?
    Were the hamsters allowed to wear the screen over just the mouth, but not the nose?
    Were the hamsters allowed to touch the screen?
    Were the hamsters allowed to take away the screen to activate cell phone facial recognition?
    Were the hamsters allowed to take away the screen to talk to each other?

    1. did anyone say the idiots who do that are doing what they should?

    2. Ah you are running into the difference between a theorist and an engineer. One deals in theory, the other in application, and the engineer knows that the two many times do not coincide.

  14. If masks worked, we wouldn't be having the third wave right now.

    1. Technically it is still the first wave since we never go past it. And we are in it because so many do not use masks.

      1. We are in it because some places didn't have their first wave until fairly recently. Talking about the US as if it is one place you can look at as a whole for this sort of thing makes no sense.
        Sweden has very little happening and they never wore masks.
        The kinds of studies cited in this article don't address reality. You need to look at actual effects in the real world, with the ways people actually use masks. It doesn't matter how many droplets materials catch if people are constantly fiddling with them, taking their noses out so they can breathe, taking them on and off and using the same mask all day (or for multiple days). What happens to the virus in droplets that are caught by masks?

      2. It's always the fault of the wreckers, isn't it? If everyone just got in line and did exactly what I say things would be perfect. Success in all endeavors come from the king, but failure only comes from the saboteurs and the traitors.

        1. Actually kings were blamed for bad stuff. It is the politburo that is never blamed, or those that do blame the politburo quietly disappear.

        2. When people have the freedom to choose, they choose wrong, every single time.

          That's what the elders teach us, right? It would be so much better if they just did what they were told to do and they would OBEY.

        3. As a friend's father used to say, "When I am dictator of the world, things will be better........for a few of my friends"

      3. Like I said in the Morning Links thread, whenever the prophets of Scientism see their prophecies fail, it's because the people weren't faithful enough to receive Science's blessings.

        Funny how whenever this "many do not wear masks" excuse comes up, they can't actually quantify how many cases are associated with mask-wearers versus those that don't wear masks, nor can quantify how many are ignoring these mask mandates in public places where they are actually required.

        1. Have seen few actual studies that would provide such data. Most of what I see is reference to cases going down after mandates were put in place. However those who laud those results confuse correlation with causality. Another valid explanation for the results would be that people's awareness is raised because of the mandate and take precautions to protect themselves

  15. There is no study, or multitude of studies, or any fact, or any plea to personal responsibility, or respect for others that will cause the covidiots to do anything to assist in slowing the spread of this. They simply do not care in the slightest.

    1. Based on that, you must be classifying all the lockdown politicians in the "covidiot" catgeory.

    2. I question the wisdom of always trying to slow the spread. Yeah, when it's really bad it's probably good for people to take some precautions. But we should have stopped all of that in the summer, when people normally pass all kinds of viruses around in relative safety, creating wider immunity for the coming flu season. "Slow the spread" was only ever justified for rare situations where not doing so would contribute to disastrous situations at hospitals.

      1. right now, we have states with hospitals at or near 100%..... and that is with all the ask requirements and restrictions we have had in place this whole time..... we never got out of the "rare situation." people not taking their personal responsibility to help slow the spread are very close to causing other people to die when care needs to be rationed.

        1. right now, we have states with hospitals at or near 100%

          Yet, despite this MASSIVE spike in numbers compared to earlier this year, they still haven't packed people into makeshift field hospitals to cover the number of beds needed.

          And news flash, most ICUs are typically classed as "near capacity" because keeping ICU beds unoccupied takes up space to treat other patients.

          1. you can't make an argument, so you just spew nonsense....

            1. More cope to deflect from the fact that your mask totems are an utter fucking failure.

        2. Pretty sure you try to always run hospitals near capacity or you'd just be wasting money.

          1. that is the way it works for socialized medicine..... are you advocating for socialized medicine? because that is what killed people in Italy....... really does nothing to counter the point that we should avoid pushing hospitals beyond capacity to guarantee that people die who would not have otherwise died....

        3. Where's that?

          The stats I'm looking at show nothing like that at all. Sure there are individual hospitals that are full but nearly all states have 20%+ capacity just sitting there.

          1. north Dakota, south Dakota..... STFU, and educate yourself before opening your mouth..... the big problem we have is all the MF's pretending they know what is going on, who can not be bothered with 2 minutes and a google search...... GFY.

            1. ND 23.5% availability
              SD 33.5% availability


              So where at again?

            2. Oh look, another fuckhead who read the USA Today article that ignored ALL THE OTHER FUCKING STATES WHERE CASES SPIKED.

              Your mask totem FAILED, fuckwad. Utterly, completely, totally failed.

              1. masks did not completely solve the problem...... we should do absolutely nothing!!!!!!

                STFU, fucktard.

        4. Bullshit. The rare situations are the handful of time periods in a handful of places where things got overwhelmed. Those are emergencies. The rest, not so much. At least not more than in bad flu seasons.

          1. there is a difference between an unexpected emergency..... and a deliberately set up emergency..... if you know action A will result in outcome B....... that is not an unexpected emergency, and you can GFY pretending they are the same.

            1. Damn, foo, you are getting destroyed.

              Death via coronavirus would be mercy at this point.

              1. what i am getting is bored..... the abundance of people deserving to be ridiculed is only destroying my faith in humanity.

            2. LMAO--you sound like lc1789 talking about the election.

      2. Yep. It NEVER made any sense to slow the spread into flu season. Now we have a backlog of medical procedures, the at-risk NEED to be at the hospital, along with the virus.

        Really super smart stuff.

    3. "...the covidiots..."

      Why do lefty shits spend their lives making up nicknames which embarrass 1st-grade kids?
      Well, the kids are smarter than lefty shit, for starters.

    4. It must absolutely burn you that your magical mask totem failed to prevent a massive nationwide spike in cases, despite mask mandates and public gathering restrictions being in place for months.

      1. That's because *real* mask mandates and public gathering restrictions have never been tried.

        My friend Caitlyn said Bernie Sanders told her so.

        1. I wonder how many of those people demanding longer lockdowns would feel if things were *really* locked down. Being able to run to the grocery store or Wal-Mart or picking up your favorite take-out…those are all ways and places where you can infect other or be infected, even if you're wearing a mask.

          So I mean *really locked down*: no grocery stores, no Wal-Mart, no fast-food drive-throughs, no pizza delivery, no Uber-Eats or Door-Dash or whatever. No Amazon or Target online. No home delivery. No jogging, visiting a park, etc.

          You’ll stay in your house or else–-maybe we’ll allow you to wander around in your own backyard (backyard only), if you have one.

          For food, what you’ll get is a government truck will deliver a box of food for one person to eat for a week, and drop off the boxes at your front doorstep based on the number of people in your household. Each week, you will be told to line your household up at the door, one at a time, so they can be counted; this will inform the number of food boxes dropped of at your house. An armed escort will accompany the delivery person to ensure that no one opens their doors while the delivery person is within 20 feet of the door. Don't do that, because you could get shot. The delivery personnel and their guards will be in full MOPP gear.

          If someone in your house needs medical care, call 911 and an ambulance will be dispatched. People in full MOPP gear will pick up your sick loved one and take them away for treatment. If they live, maybe you'll see them again.

          The ONLY “essential” personnel will be those involved with treating COVID and for producing and delivering the food. These people will be issued uniforms and ID lanyards. Since there’s no reason for anyone one else to ever venture outside of their house and anyone on the streets who is not in uniform obviously has no business being there, and will be subject to immediate detention in physical quarantine facilities. Anyone trying to evade the quarantine crews will be shot (the hoof-and-mouth solution?).

          Let them imagine a real lockdown for a few minutes then ask the question again.

      2. masks were not quite enough to stop it...... WE SHOULD DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, INSTEAD!!!!


        1. Maybe if you sacrifice a pigeon and a young goat to Corona-chan, she'll bless your community with more powerful masks.


          1. Nah, anything less than calf is just going to insult the gods, who will then give us more coronavirus

      3. It may be out there, but I was just wondering the other day how the rates in all these states with extreme mask orders were doing. I heard yesterday on the way in to work that here in TN, the ICUs have a large percentage of people.......from out of state. And I can tell you that the mask mandates fare pretty much ignored in some counties, except by those at risk. But we are seeing the same as in other states, nursing homes are the hardest hit, and that is much of what is pushing our numbers up.

    5. My respect for others means that I think they are adults who can make their own decisions.

    6. My guess is that you are not interested in personal responsibility or respect for others, you simply want others to follow rules because you think the sky is falling. As for facts, studies, there are enough conflicting results that your argument fails. If we also take into account advocacy 'science' and studies in which selection and confirmation bias drove the outcome, your argument falls to pieces.

  16. I wear a mask when in public areas, not because I have the virus and want to protect others, but because I hate being yelled at by Karen. The county sheriff will not enforce any mask rules since he believes the sheriff office has enough to do with crime, so there is no real legal risk to going about naked-faced.
    What with being lectured on proper public morals - a selective set - by Hollywood every evening on TV and by the major news media I don't need every busybody doing it as well.
    If I have to hit someone, the sheriff probably will feel he has to step up and get involved.

    1. Round here we've got cops wandering through stores and accosting anyone without a mask.

      1. Land of the free and the home of the brave.

        1. Free to ask permission and obey commands.

        2. Land of the fee and home of the slave.

      2. I guess that defund the police isn't working out as expected.

        1. Round here there's no black people for the cops to kill, so there weren't any calls to defund the police.

          1. Yeah, but Portland and Seattle are some of the whitest metro areas in the country.

            1. They're also hippie strongholds. Not so much around here.

          2. You've got dogs, though right? That should keep some of the cops busy, shooting those dogs.

  17. Wearing them helps to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but it will not by itself stop or reverse the pandemic.

    So all we do is prolong the pandemic? How is that a good thing? At no point in time has the healthcare "system" been unable to handle the caseload.

    By the time the COVID-19 event is over an honest assessment will show that the CFR was no more than normal seasonal respiratory diseases, especially when weighted for age. The vulnerable are perfectly capable of addressing the risk with their own actions. What you are advocating is a mask mandates in perpetuity. That is NOT a libertarian position.

    1. Yeah. If masks make sense now, then it makes sense all the time. That's what really bugs me the most, I think (well one of the things). When does this end? The goal needs to be to get back to normal as soon as possible. We have shifted to a completely ridiculous way of looking at risks, and a bizarre and sick obsession with one particular risk.

      1. When does this end?

        Who said it will end? This is the new normal.

        1. Well, yeah, that's the worry.

          1. I find it upsetting how nonchalantly most of the people I know are taking this. They unquestioningly believe whatever some "expert" says because experts are infallible and don't have agendas. Dan said that when we go shooting this weekend that JD might wear a mask. I hope he was joking.

            1. I can't imagine that JD would voluntarily wear a mask.

    2. It's funny how they were talking about "emergency rooms being overwhelmed!" WAAAAAAY back in the spring when the case numbers were about 1/3 of what they are now. With this huge spike in case numbers, are the alternate treatment sites they set up in the spring to handle these increased numbers now being overwhelmed, too?

    3. nobody wants to prolong anything, the point has always been to not cause needless deaths while we wait for a vaccine. what makes this different from seasonal viruses is that there is no existing distributed immunity. sure, we could throw caution to the wind and all rush out and catch it...... that would give us the distributed immunity..... it would also kill millions of people we wouldn't have ICU beds for. there are hospitals now at full capacity..... there are states pushed beyond capacity...... that crash you note hasn't happened in healthcare is getting close. (and, that is with what we have been doing.)

      1. nobody wants to prolong anything, the point has always been to not cause needless deaths while we wait for a vaccine.

        Welp, that did fuck-all, didn't it?

        1. do you morons really not understand how bad this would be if nobody was doing anything? if your garden hose is not enough to put out the fire in your house, does that mean the logical answer is to pour gasoline on it? because that is essentially what you fucktards are suggesting when you say stupid shit like this.

          1. No, it isn't. Panicky horseshit and ad hominem attacks don't prove anything except a lack of rationality.

      2. Nobody is a pretty broad term. There are certainly some who would (and have )seen this as another crisis to exploit to promote one policy or another. Vaccines were, (still are until we see if the claims being put forth are correct) hit or miss on their effectiveness, as seen with the flu. A more viable strategy would have been to refine therapies to increase the survival rate in lieu of a vaccine, as these would be needed for those which a vaccine did not help. And in fact, those therapies have been being developed and refined. The initial reports out of china back in January had this with upwards of a 10% fatality rate. And we were seeing fatality rates in the first few months in the single digits. But changes in treatment, increases in testing and early treatment lowered these rates to now less than one percent.
        One must also consider the unintended consequences of lockdowns ans social isolation this pandemic has brought about. Mental health issues and suicides have risen in number. People dying from treatable conditions because they have been afraid to go to the ER or Dr office for fear of catching covid. The people who were gainfully employed who are now at best scraping by, at worst homeless has a health impact also.
        Bottom line is that there needs to be a plan to live alongside this, some level of acceptable risk. That may deem innovative ways to expand ICU capacity or normal hospital capacity with mobile units that can be set up in hot spots. A more coordinated effort to refine therapies to weed out the ones that do not work, and to minimize the bureaucratic overhead that has slowed things at critical times (looking at you FDA).

    4. In our population there exists a subset of people for whom infection by COVID is a death sentence. I'll call them Group A. Once exposed, there is no amount of medical assistance that is going to save them (e.g., 80% of people who get put on ventilators and in ICU care for this still die). Short of magically knowing who those people are and placing them in sterile bubbles for the rest of their lives, there is likely nothing that we can do to prevent their deaths.

      There exists another subset of people for whom infection with COVID is going to cause severe illness, but with the miracles of modern medicine, ICU care and ventilators, they can eventually recover. Call this Group B.

      There are other groups: those for whom COVID infection results in virtually no detectable symptoms (may be upward of 50% of infections) [Group E]; those for whom COVID infection causes mild flu-like symptoms that they recover from without medical intervention (may be upward of 40% of infections) [Group D]; those for whom COVID infection results in severe illness, perhaps requiring hospitalization but not extraordinary care (no ICU, no ventilators) [Group C]. Let's ignore these, because except for the small last group, they resolve on their own.

      Because we really cannot separate Group A from Group B until after extraordinary care fails to save them (must have been Group A) or they recover (must have been Group B), we tried to slow down the rate of infection so that we did not overwhelm the hospitals all at once with all the Group A and B people at the same time. Because if we ran out of ventilators, the next person that needed one might be from Group B and might die as a result of not having the ventilator.

      In other words, "flattening the curve" was, by definition, trying NOT to save every life--we know those in Group A are dead anyway--but to hopefully ensure there were enough resources available to save as many Group B people as possible. Maybe a little bit of trying to keep from flooding the hospitals with Group C folks, again to save the Group B people by not overwhelming resources.

      Sadly, the folks in Group A will die from COVID sooner or later, because the virus is in the wild and half-assed lockdowns that let people go the the grocery store, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot will not protect the people in Group A. The virus is in the wild and those folks in Group A will eventually be exposed and they will die from it. Period. The only way we reduce the size of Group A is when they die from something else before they are exposed to COVID.

    5. Will not say that wearing them does not slow the spread, but I believe their efficacy has been overstated. In the early months of this, we had little to gage how it would affect the healthcare system, except what was coming out of China and then Italy and Spain. That drove our response here. However, from what we saw in NY and elsewhere, though healthcare facilities were stressed, few of the overflow facilities ever saw great use. We then found that a large percentage of the deaths occurred in nursing homes, and gained better knowledge as to who was at risk. At the moment we are using a shotgun to apply precautions when we should be using a scoped rifle. Agencies that should be giving us accurate information upon which to base our personal decisions instead eitherr do not tell us anything, or tell us information which is in short time contradicted, so people do not have faith in them. Media, as they usually do, goes with the sensational rather than reporting facts to again, allow us to gage for ourselves if we are screwed or not

  18. >>They help keep the disease from spreading

    obviously the fuck not second wave third wave thanksgiving lockdowns christmas lockdowns

    1. We wouldn't have to do this if you would just STOP RESISTING!

  19. Massachusetts has the highest mask compliance in the US behind the DC Area. And their covid numbers are going up. Which means mask wearing might slow things but it will not stop it at all. Which also means dragging our economy through the mud and creating more illiterate sociopath assholes who will march and violently protest is not a good thing and worse than some covid deaths.

    Meanwhile, this site has stopped discussing TFR which of course shows that your actual risk is very low, unless you are already ill or elderly.

    I am sure the leftie assholes and their socks will be here to attempt to refute facts, but they will be roundly laughed at as usual.

    1. Molly is already up thread saying if you don’t comply with her fever dream wishes you’re a monster that cares about no one and wants the world to die.

      1. Fuck those people. I'm outraged at all of this because I care about people and the future of humanity. If this is acceptable, then there is no chance for human liberty in the future.

      2. I have to admit, this lockdown bullshit is starting to make me hate everyone and want the world to die.

      3. Well said.

    2. USA Today had a hilariously bitchy article the other day talking about how the Dakotas were supposedly Ground Zero for coof spikes. One of my idiot acquaintances from my military days decided to post it on Facederp in order to dunk on those states; after I pointed out that deep blue Colorado and New Mexico had to go into lockdown due to massive case spikes there, he deleted the post like a coward. He's gone all-in on the new Scientism cult and can't handle anyone pointing out that these people might in fact not know everything.

      Ironically, his home state of Minnesota is seeing large case increases than the Dakotas, too.

  20. A CDC study found 71% of Americans who tested positive for covid
    reported ALWAYS wearing a mask in public during the preceding two weeks, and another 14% reported OFTEN wearing masks.

    1. Doctor uses Vape Aerosols to show just how much masks don't work

      1. While masks likely reduce risks of transmitting covid where there are multiple people in small enclosed indoor areas, masks cannot reduce transmission risks in locations where the risk is already zero or close to zero (including 99.9% of outdoor areas, and when alone in a room, car or outdoors).

        But control freak mask mandators want to force everyone to wear a mask whenever they step outside of their home (just like some Muslim countries mandated for women).

        1. A government that can force you to wear a mask can force women to wear a burqua. Or force Jews to wear a yellow star. I note with some sense of irony that most states have anti-mask laws for practical reasons (bank robbers wear masks) and historic reasons (many anti-mask laws started as an anti-KKK effort), but now people are being forced to wear masks.

          People will argue that this police state is temporary and justified because of the allegedly unique threat to life posed by COVID. But let us at least agree that we are closer to a police state than ever in American history. The federal, state, county and city governments are now restricting almost every freedom, including those protected explicitly in the Constitution.

          Police departments throughout America have agreed to enforce these laws and edicts with what can only be described as frightening alacrity. Police are gleefully responding to their new powers and giving summonses to, or even arresting, people for playing baseball with their children on a beach, jogging alone without a mask, or worshipping on Easter while sitting isolated in their cars in a church parking lot.

          And people are snitching like peasants in East Germany running to STASI to turn in their neighbors. And the media is little more than Pravda, carrying out their mission of indoctrination that these efforts are for everyone's own good, and that anyone who dares to question them must be dealt with.

    2. One idiot I was dunking on about the efficacy of masks actually tried using the candle analogy in support of mask-wearing--as if blowing out a candle with your mask on is the same as blocking microscopic viruses.

  21. In an October 27 report, a group of Vanderbilt researchers compared the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Tennessee jurisdictions with mask mandates to those without.

    Holy Shit! This study was put forth by White Knight or similar sock in these comments previously. It's utter garbage:

    TL,DR; Lying with statistics is a feature, not a bug!

    To facilitate comparisons of growth rates over time and across groups, we indexed COVID-19 hospitalizations for
    each group based on the total observed on July 1, 2020. Thus,
    if the <25% category had 100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients on July 1 and 200 on August 10, that group would receive an indexed value of 1.0 on July 1 (100 / 100) and 2.0 (200/100) on August 10 corresponding to a 100% increase in hospitalizations
    over a one- month time period. This presentation approach allows us to compare rates of growth across categories with varying levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations at the indexing date.

    So, indexing normalizing the data so that relative rates appear the same while absolute rates are nowhere near related, they conclude that masks work because relative rates are lower (with no absolute numbers, margins of error, or any of the even casual rigor that goes along with such studies).

    This study isn't an indication of the fact that masks work. It's an indication that the people citing it are either careless or desperate to collect data printed articles in support of their conclusions.

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  23. I think of mask mandates a bit like seat belt or helmet laws. The overwhelming majorit6 of people have common sense but the minority who are stupid make them necessary. We all pay for people who don't wear helmets or seatbelts by the way, through higher taxes and increased insurance premiums.

    1. We all pay for people who don’t wear helmets or seatbelts by the way, through higher taxes and increased insurance premiums.

      Incorrect. Many states have laws that limit the liability for people injured (or their insurers) not wearing a seatbelt even if they weren't at fault. Moreover, people who die on impact don't go on to consume medicare/medicaid/soc. sec./etc.

    2. I think of mask mandates a bit like seat belt or helmet laws.

      Except automobile deaths didn't see a massive spike after seatbelt and helmet laws were implemented due to a small minority of people not using them.

      These regulations have been in place for months, and we STILL got a skyrocketing number of cases. The regulations failed, you're just too prideful to admit your prophets got their prophecies wrong.

    3. But not wearing a mask risks giving others the virus. Our views of seat belts and helmets would be quite different if me not having a helmet gives you a head injury.

      1. Your posts are giving us all brain injuries from banging our heads against the wall of your stupidity, so you must stop posting by your own logic.

  24. In September, the CDC warned people that masks (other than an N95) won't protect wearers from smoke from wildfires because the smoke particles are so small that they will penetrate the masks. Yet the CDC still claims that masks will stop the spread of coronavirus particles, which are much smaller than smoke particles. The CDC has been wrong about so many things that it's surprising whenever it tells the truth.

  25. The problem is that mask wearing has been pushed to almost religious levels at this point. Every Karen, every self-righteous prick, every busy body person is out there screaming that you need to wear a mask so you don't kill everyone. Yet, no one is explaining that masks are minimally beneficial and really are the last line of defense behind proper air circulation/filtration, avoiding gatherings, social distancing, and personal hygiene.

    With the religious adherence and religious demands to "wear a mask" the populace has been convinced that masks are 100% prevention against COVID. Because any article or person that remotely questions the level of efficacy of masks is immediately cast as a heretic, a science denier, an idiot, a troll, etc.

    So when nuance is effectively removed from the conversation, extremism is all that is left. Therefore, wear a mask and it's fine, don't wear a mask and everyone dies.

    Thus, you get people thinking the mask solves everything and they don't take any other precautions. They think masks allow you to go back to normal. This is the only way to explain why cases are going up even at the time that the most mask wearing is occurring. Moreover, it supports the study that found a vast majority of those getting infected do wear masks.

    1. Good comment for a curious rodent ....

      1. Why thank you.

    2. Well said. And the best term I have heard for the 'Karens' is 'Maskholes'

  26. Cloth face-coverings and paper masks DO NOT prevent the transmission of ANY virus. The CDC & WHO know this is true but masks provide a placebo effect for the perpetually fear-ridden sheeple of the world. Only the N95 respirator when used with sterile technique works to curb the spread of the virus. Otherwise, it's simply medical theater for the gullible.

  27. Covid fatigue...seriously you are going there? In New York where I live everyone has been wearing masks inside public places since June...and social distancing as well. Now the rates are going up again...why? you can't just say people are now going to parties or whatnot. Most people are still working remote and wearing sorry something else it going on here. It might be false positives in the test (we just had a nasty upper respiratory cold hit my family and the area..its not covid but I'm betting the test says it is..). It really comes down to trusting 200K years of human evolution in our immune system. At risk people should isolate themselves..the rest of us...get out of Corn Pop Joe's basement.

    1. False positives? Is that like saying Biden winning the election is a false positive? Then lots of false positives in this country all of a sudden. It must be Dominion. Perhaps they skewed the results of the election and covid. I heard they used some parts from China, so there's proof positive.

  28. What a great article. This is how I feel about masks. If you wear a mask you are thinking of helping others. If you don't wear a mask, you don't give a shit about anyone but yourself. And don't forget, staying away from people is the best way to stop the spread of covid.

    Some people here will continue to not wear a mask, but it is what it is. But if some of you lose a loved one to covid and it traces back to you, please don't post it on this site. I'll feel bad for the loved one that you lost, but I'll point and laugh at you.

    1. I’ll feel bad for the loved one that you lost, but I’ll point and laugh at you.

      I can assure you that if I lost a loved one to anything, the last thing in the world I'd be worrying about is how you feel about it...

      1. Then if you cause the death of a loved one, don't worry about how I feel. You have a right to your feelings.

        1. Then if you cause the death of a loved one...

          if you're suggesting that by not wearing a mask in my own goddam house I'm surely going to cause someone to die, or, conversely, that if I do wear one a loved one surely will not die, then you're a bigger idiot than your posts indicate...

          1. I guess that's a good Trump like reaction. But of course you don't need to wear a mask at home. But you should wear one when you leave the house and distance yourself from people whole you are out in public. It's just that simple. I don't understand why everyone makes it seem so complex, difficult and an extremely intrusive on your rights.

            The only point I was making in my original post is to do the best you can to keep yourself and others from getting covid. If you don't want to mask up in public, then don't. But if you bring it home to your family in any way shape or form, you have no one to blame but yourself.

    2. 'If you wear a mask you are thinking of helping others. If you don’t wear a mask, you don’t give a shit about anyone but yourself.'

      Quite the contrary. I wear the mask because I am selfish. I care about my own health and the possibility of carrying it home to my family. At the end of the day, I don't give a rat's behind about other people around me. That is theirs to worry about, as it should be. Now do I say it would not weigh on my conscious if I was the source that infected another? Of course it would. But again, I do not take precautions around you for your sake, but for my own selfish reason to have a clear conscious.
      Just as background, I was declared an essential worker at the onset, and have worked in the office daily. Before our company passed down their directives (usually 3-6 months behind the curve) myself and others in our group were taking precautions such as raising the need for a plan in February, making our own hand sanitizer, masks and purchasing gloves on our own dime, having department procedures for isolation and social distancing beyond those suggested by any government office. As we gained more information, some procedures were loosened, some were added. But WE took the initiative for our OWN well being, because we realize that it is our responsibility and if we waited for the company or government to do it, we would likely be attending more funerals than we cared for. But it was not for any moral virtue. It was out of selfishness pure and simple

  29. At least the article provides some background as to the method on the studies. However there are a couple of items I would like to see these studies include.
    I would like these studies to include would be how filtering efficiency decreases as particle size decreases, and how that varies with differing velocities. One of the questionable arguments you hear is the fact that N95 masks only filter down to 0.3 micron. That on it's face is false. The masks are stated to filter 95% of particles of 0.3 microns in size. Filtering does not stop if the particles fall below that size, but rather the percentage stopped decreases. There will be some impingement (filtering) of smaller particles, the question is, how much does efficiency fall as particle size decreases? In addition, Even if the efficiency stayed at 95%, that still leaves a lot of virus floating in the air, where even if your mask filters out 95% of that reduced number, your eyes are still exposed, and that is an entry point for the virus as well.
    Such information would allow one to better estimate their risk, and perhaps better mitigate it

  30. Just published in Annals of Internal Medicine: 6,000 patient randomized controlled trial of social distancing vs. social distancing + masks. Done in Denmark by well-respected researchers.
    Outcome: "Weak protection if any" by masks.
    The difference in infection rate between the two groups was a miniscule 0.3%. Probably less than caused by random sampling error.

  31. Masks are a tool of the Communists used to create forced adherence to their agenda. We didn't have masks for other types of flu or sickness that has been deadly. Even the experts are in total conflict about their usage and purpose. As an older person, I need all the oxy I can get as it's plain that older people have a harder time maintaining lung capacity. No masking for me...I am not and never will be a Commie or a Democrat or a liberal which is all the same thing nowadays. The best tool is a strong immune system, 10-20K iu's of vitamin D per day, some sun without sunscreen and a few other vitamins and minerals and never, ever any pharma vaccines or drugs. Case closed.

  32. Before using an anti-dust mask or a covid 19 mask, we need a recommendation for what mask brand is the best and meets good health standards.

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