Coronavirus

Masks Not Very Effective at Protecting Wearers, Says New Danish Study

But masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus.

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The urgency of trying to control the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred public health researchers to search for evidence-based measures that might work to protect the public from becoming infected. Non-pharmaceutical interventions have ranged from hard lockdowns to recommendations on social distancing and consistent hand hygiene. Along with those interventions, researchers have sought to evaluate the usefulness of wearing face masks as a way to possibly slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that masks don't appear to protect the people wearing them, but are still likely to prevent sick people who wear them from spreading their illness.

This research may receive a hostile reception from some quarters, but it's important to learn everything we can about when and how masks work. Masks may mitigate the pandemic by preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus from infected people to others (source control), by protecting wearers (protective effect), or both. Among other evidence considered by researchers and public health officials are the equivocal results of older face mask studies done well before the current public health emergency (and far less urgently), along with observational studies that try to tease out their efficacy or lack thereof on the fly.

Randomized controlled trials (RCT), in which one group of participants is randomly assigned the treatment while the control group receives standard care, are the gold standard for determining the efficacy of medical treatments. For example, recent COVID-19 vaccine RCTs report that those inoculations are 95 percent effective in preventing viral infections. However, earlier facial covering RCTs have been generally too small to securely rule in or rule out treatment effects. In many studies, adherence to the study protocols was somewhat inconsistent.

Earlier this year, as the pandemic was taking hold, a team of Danish researchers launched an RCT to assess whether recommending the use of a surgical mask outside the home reduces wearers' risk for COVID-19 infection. In the study, a total of 3,030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2,994 were assigned to the control group. Both groups were urged to maintain recommended social distancing and hygiene practices. The participants were tested after a month to see if they had developed antibodies to the virus. The study was designed to find out if wearing masks would reduce the coronavirus infection rate among wearers compared to non-wearers by more than 50 percent in a community setting with modest infection rates.

In their article, published by the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, the researchers report that: "In this community-based, randomized controlled trial conducted in a setting where mask-wearing was uncommon and was not among other recommended public health measures related to COVID-19, a recommendation to wear a surgical mask when outside the home among others did not reduce, at conventional levels of statistical significance, incident [COVID-19] infection compared with no mask recommendation."

In other words, in this study, wearing a mask did not significantly reduce a person's risk of COVID-19 infection compared to the risks facing those who did not wear masks. The authors noted that their "findings are inconclusive, with CIs [confidence intervals] compatible with a 46% decrease to a 23% increase in infection." A confidence interval is a range of values in which the researchers are fairly sure the true value lies. As an accompanying editorial in the journal explained, "The evidence excludes a large personal protective effect, weakly supports lesser degrees of protection, and cannot statistically exclude no effect."

Despite finding that masks don't do much to personally protect wearers from becoming infected, the researchers cautioned that their findings "should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing [COVID-19] infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of [COVID-19] infection." The accompanying editorial in the journal emphasized that "the trial does not address the [question] about transmission in communities where most people wear masks and does not disprove the effectiveness of widespread mask-wearing."

The Danish researchers apparently experienced difficulty in finding a journal to publish their results. Their study had reportedly been rejected by The Lancet, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Although I have no insight on the motivations of the editors of those journals, it is never OK to suppress research findings on the grounds that they might be twisted and abused by unscrupulous ideologues.

The accompanying Annals of Internal Medicine editorial pushed back against the suggestion that, given the politicization of mask-wearing as a public health measure, the journal was being "irresponsible" by publishing results that "could easily be misused by those opposed to mask recommendations." The editorial properly countered that it would be more irresponsible "to not publish the results of carefully designed research because the findings were not as favorable or definitive as some may have hoped. We need to gather many pieces of evidence to solve the puzzle of how to control the [COVID-19] pandemic."

The editorial concludes that the Danish study's "findings reinforce the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures and suggest that masks likely need to be worn by most if not all people to reduce community infection rates, which in turn will protect individuals." In other words, the preponderance of the evidence still indicates that if most people wear masks in public indoor spaces and when among crowds outdoors, those of us who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic will be less likely to infect other people. As free and responsible individuals, we should want to avoid causing harm to other non-consenting people.

 

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  1. My favorite part is how the morally bankrupt left wanted to scuttle this research. Because they are so into Science!

    1. My subscription to Nature recently expired, and I am not sorry. They have, over the last few years, become more and more political; I am tired of seeing abstracts include idiotic rationalizations as to why they are more important than they seem (“This is vital to understanding how island lizards adapt to global warming”). They had that hit piece earlier this year, claiming to be peer-reviewed, I believe, and nothing but a screen against climate change deniers and a blacklist of scientists to shun. They have had several editorials in favor of gun control, which has nothing to do with science and everything to do with virtue signalling, but they really hit rock bottom when they endorsed Biden as being better for science, which is about as pointless a campaign platform policy as there can be; I don’t remember the last time any candidate for any office came out against science, except for Senator Proxmire and his Golden Fleece awards for studying Peruvian prostitution.

      Don’t know what is going on at that magazine, but they are no longer of interest to me. The number of articles of interest enough to actually read had dropped so much over the last few years that I could usually finish in an afternoon.

      1. I wonder why scientists are seeming to become more political….hmmmm….what could it be. They are rational actors, after all, so what could be motivating them?

        Could it be, just spitballing here, that one party has decided that scientists, experts, fact checkers, journalists, and those who generally subscribe to factual telling of events rather than faith based belief are the enemy? And so scientists are merely responding to the uncomfortable position they have been forced into by a faith based cult that is disdainful of facts and smart people?

        1. Or could it be that one party is declaring a monopoly on the “correct” way of thinking and attacking those who disagree?

          1. Exactly when scientist decided to be the arbiters of morals outside of science they made a wrong turn.

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              1. Way to read the audience, sweetie!

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        2. I wonder why scientists are seeming to become more political….hmmmm….what could it be. They are rational actors, after all, so what could be motivating them?

          They want to keep their jobs and have their research funded in the future. It’s pretty simple.

        3. No it is more likely that as a government acquires more and more power, there is a struggle to determine who will run it. Scientists are one of those groups.

        4. If Silicon Valley had been around in the 50s, the Big Bang Theory would have been flagged as “controversial/disputed” and anyone talking about it would have been de-ranked or their twitter accounts blocked because it was associated with religious nuts.

          “It was not only a scientific controversy, it also included some broader aspects, ideological and religious aspects. And that was one reason why it was so publicly controversial,” says Helge Kragh, a science historian and professor emeritus at the Niels Bohr Institute. “The steady state theory was, especially in England, often associated with atheism, and the Big Bang theory with Christian theism.” If the universe had a creation point, then it probably had a creator, the thinking went.

          1. Wow you reached way back to scratch that whiny bitch itch.

            1. Tony butthurt that the Big Band Theory is widely accepted science and based upon Christian ideology and was first proposed by the Catholic Church. It destroys his world view that Christians hate science.

                1. I quit working at shoprite and now I make $65-85 per/h. How? I’m working online! My work didn’t exactly make me happy so I decided to take a chance on something new…AMs after 4 years it was so hard to quit my day job but now I couldn’t be happier…

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              1. Christians latched onto the BB because it kinda sorta looked like a creation event, though not the one described in the Bible, to my reading.

                Physics does not talk about deities, what with there being no evidence for them or any logical proposal for their existence.

                I’m not sure what your point is but I’d genuinely like to get into a discussion of cosmology.

            2. Speaking of whiny bitch…

        5. You’ve turned into Tony you lefty piece of shit.

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        6. Federal subsidies, the usual problem. When you subsidize something, you get more of it. Just like everything else, when you encourage more than the “natural” amount of something, the excess is diluted and weak.

          Pay your kids enough to do the household laundry, and they will change clothes more than necessary, use cloth towels instead of paper towels, and make less efficient use of each towel. Remember the stories of the Indian snakes and French Indochina rats.

          So science funding becomes set at the political level, there are more scientists than really “needed”, and the weaker ones have to scramble harder to justify their work. You get weak science and more of it.

          1. No no it’s because right wingers don’t worship The Science like DOL and the lefties who know how to think correctly.

        7. experts, fact checkers, journalists, and those who generally subscribe to factual telling of events

          ROFMLAO!!!!!!!!!!!

          Oh, wait…were you being serious?

        8. No stolen Valor, because they are seeking positions and funding from government you stupid fuck. These are some of the highest funded political entities on the planet.

        9. 1. They want to fit in better with the dominant tribe at the academy.
          2. Much funding comes from politically controlled or influenced sources.

        10. This ‘Party of Science!’ mantra is hilarious. I believe that you believe it, too.

          But the ‘right wing’ does not have a monopoly on science deniers.

          People who are generally opposed to genetically modified foods – or in some cases, genetic engineering as a field – do you think that they tend to vote Republican or Democrat?

          What about people who think that biological sex is a social construct? That’s sciency.

          Anti-vaxxers – I don’t recall seeing Jenny McCarthy at any Republican fundraisers. And they are just a subset of the people who want to reject western medicine (aka ‘Science’) in favor of more holistic approaches, eastern folk remedies, shamanistic rituals, etc. It killed Steve Jobs.

          Then you have the people who are willfully ignorant of history, like the mostly peaceful protesters who defaced the Civil War monument in Massachusetts (which side were they on again?) that ended up being one that honored an all-black regiment. Or the ladies that showed up at the Santa Monica Pier to sign Jimmy Kimmel and Adam Carolla’s petition to ‘End Women’s Suffrage’. How many of these brilliant people do you believe were republican voters? I don’t think the percentage was very high.

          Say what you want about science denial in one party, but don’t ignore it in the other. Sure, they may have their share of young-Earth creationists, but at least they didn’t have to invent a whole department of ridiculous ‘_____ Studies’ degrees in the social science schools of liberal arts colleges to graduate university.

          1. Or nuclear power!

        11. What percentage of scientists are government funded? 1/3? Of course it was going to become political.

        12. Your projection is tangible. And, no one is forcing scientists to compromise their professional integrity or ignore the scientific method in favor of advocacy or consensus with left-leaning in-group pressures.

          1. Hank, they don’t have to be forced. Like epidemiologists who focus more on guns than germs, they decide to do it themselves.

        13. Addressed to everyone in this comment section… Please stfu. This is clearly not the place to argue your perspective. It could be if any of you decided to articulate comments like you would your spoken words if you were face to face with those who disagree with you. Instead, you decide to hide behind your anonymity, allowing yourself to judge and be judged based on the emotional bullshit being spouted, while not even attempting to understand and acknowledge the perspective of those who disagree. This is not productive and only furthering the divide. In the eyes of those in disagreement, you are allowing the worst of yourself to represent all of those who you are proud to share a label with. Left… Right… you are two sides of the same doublesided coin and your’e just too caught up to realize it. Shut the fuck up and use reason (the name of the site you are all on goddammit), to realize you are both right about things and you are both wrong about things and the key to identify what those things are, is mutual respect and a willingness to engage in civil discourse.

        14. Maybe when one party anointed ‘science’ as the decider of ‘ought’ rather than ‘is’ is where the problem started?

      2. It was over when they formed the “Union of Concerned Scientists”. Take a look at the history of that organization. Turtles all the way down.

        1. Is that the group with the Doomsday Clock? Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, I think. They dropped the fig leaf when they moved the clock closer to midnight when Reagan became President, with some lame excuse which was more transparent than the emperor’s clothes.

          If a different group, same thing. All political, no science.

    2. It’s not science if the results aren’t politically expedient.

    3. No, it’s because the study is deeply flawed.
      From the abstract.
      They studied 6000 people from one company.
      The people did not wear masks at work nor at home.
      Half claimed they wore masks in public, Half claimed they did not.
      “Claimed”
      The infection rate was 1.6% for the mask wearers and 2.1% for the non-wearers which the study claims is statistically not important.
      First, the study was only for 1 month.
      Second, they didn’t wear masks at work.
      Third, the infection rate at its peak, in NYC was about .06% (6000 per day, population around 10,000,000 = .0006 or .06%) Taken to 30 days, that’s 30 x .06% or 1.8%.
      So the Danish study is doing worse that NYC did at its peak. Even the mask wearers are doing on average worse.
      Fourth, they didn’t account for random touching of one’s face. One study said that people, during waking hours, touch their face on average 42 times per hr.
      Fifth, AND MOST IMPORTANT, masks wearing is supposed to keep you, the infected person, from spreading your germs all over the place. ITS NOT TO KEEP YOU FROM GETTING SICK (unless we are talking about a sick person wearing a mask around you.

      But its like highway studies. One year, you get a car crash that is fatal. The next year, you get a car crash that is fatal but there was a passenger- so 100% increase in death rate? or 0% increase in accident rate? Of if there is more traffic, is it a reduction in accidents per miles driven?

      So, lets wait for the peer review – but there seems to be so much wrong with the study that it may never make it to a serious publication.

      If you want to know if masks can work, just look at the COVID ICU rooms. Are they wearing masks or not? And are 100% of the doctors and nurses etc. sick? Yes, they also wash hands and probably add face shields and probably don’t touch their faces with their hands, but still, masks are part of it.

      1. A rate is not determined with multiplication by the duration.

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  2. But masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus.

    This is a hypothesis.

    1. Used to be, they’d preface that with cautions about touching the mask while putting it on and taking it off or adjusting it, or trying to stifle sneezes or coughs while wearing it. But that’s been relegated to the same trash heap as flattening the curve. Facebook and Twitter probably label such remarks as fake news now.

      1. Again, the fact that not 100% of the doctors and nurses in an COVID ICU are infected suggest there is a way to prevent transmission.

        1. Yes, but it’s not cloth face coverings .

    2. They certainly keep Karen from yelling at you. We live with busybodies who want to use their moral superiority to control everyone around. Think of the masks as tools of anonymity.

      1. I think many protesters are already doing that.

      2. I just tell Karen her yelling is spreading the virus far and wide, and point out to everyone around that she is killing grandpa.
        Or yell back she needs to get six feet away from me; she is violating the county dictators edicts, while I have a medical exemption.
        If that ever fails, I will defend myself from a deadly attack.
        (So far, only two have tried it; both were shocked I replied forcefully, and fled the field of combat. Bullies only understand force.)

      3. Which Karen? The one that wants to talk to the manager because its her constitution right to walk in the store without a mask, or the one that calls the police because you’re walking in a park without one?

    3. It’s a perfectly reasonable proposition, but probably come with a lot of caveats.

      Surgeons wear masks to protect the patient, not themselves. But those masks are worn for short times, the staff are careful not to touch them, and the whole environment is generally more sterile than the buffet at Trader Joes.

      1. Surgeons wear masks to protect the patient from bacteria, not from viruses. Bacteria are typically an order of magnitude larger.

        1. I can’t speak to this without researching. I presume the masks are worn are a general ‘catch all’ for ‘pathogens’ that might be introduced in moisture droplets ejected from the mouth/nose of the surgeon. I do know that Virus are an order of magnitude smaller than than common bacteria, but I also presume that even the standard (non-n95) mask worn in surgery has some overall protective effect.

          But it’s still a point worth noting.

          1. To be clear:

            My understanding is a virus does not usually get ejected from the mouth or nose by itself. It is usually carried in a moisture droplet. Said droplet will be orders of magnitude larger than the virus, and possibly even larger than bacteria. If the moisture droplet is successfully trapped in the mask, the virus will also (presumably) become trapped in the mask.

            But this is where the science part of this requires more detailed knowledge that I have, and since I don’t run around, flapping my arms screeching “Party of Science! Party of Science! The Science is Settled!” I’ll defer to other more knowledgeable people on this subject.

            1. What do you suppose happens to said virus when the moisture droplet evaporates upon the next exhale?

              1. The more porous the surface, the less chance for the virus to escape from the surface.

              2. Ding ding ding!

              3. You suck it back in and try again.

                1. Bae, you have a way with words.

              4. See, now that would be an interesting study. I know many masks claim to have a moisture barrier, I’m willing to bet that’s a marketing term.

            2. That hypothesis of protection has never been proven outside of modeling. Most studies show no statistical protections against viruses. Only bacteria.

              1. Keep in mind that COVID spread is not linear. Its like a chain reaction, you infect 2 then they each infect 2 etc. If you didn’t infect at least one other person, then you have killed the virus…
                So, there is this NIH study:
                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177146/
                The conclusion was that mask wearing was effective in Hong Kong.

                Finally, China has pretty much beaten the virus (and probably beaten the non-mask wearers) and their economy is rebounding strong. Mean while, the USA, we are divided about masks and we are going into a tough increase in incidents. Our trade deficit has never been worse. Bottom line, don’t wear a mask and you are helping China. China thanks you for your support.

                1. How much does it help China when people in the US don’t buy as much of the stuff they make?

            3. Those droplets are generally only ejected by sneezing, coughing, or to some extent essentially spitting on people. Walking around, talking at a normal volume, these activities will not eject a statistically significant amount of droplets.

              No one has disputed that masks protect and protect against people who are sneezing and coughing, but if you aren’t coughing and the people around you aren’t coughing then you can all stop acting like enormous babies and take off your face diapers. Now, if you are going to stand shoulder to shoulder with a crowd of shouting people that might be a different story but if you are 79+ years old with 3+ morbidities maybe you should have been avoiding those situations anyway.

              1. China thanks you for your support.
                Here’s one for mask wearing even when you think you don’t need to:
                https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=china+covid

          2. Mask effectiveness against respiratory infection has been tested pre-covid, and that literature rejects any effect of mask wearing for respiratory viruses.

            Surgical masks are specifically to protect against bacterial infections. If you’re doing open heart surgery, you’re worried about bacteria getting in where the patient is opened up. You’re not worried about a respiratory virus getting into their chest cavity – it can’t *do anything* from there.

            If you absolutely need to protect a patient from respiratory viruses, a mask is not sufficient. You wear an enclosed suit with pumped in air that shares more in common with a hazmat suit than an N-95 mask. Kinda impractical for the general public.

      2. They do it for bacterial protection, not virus.

        1. It’s ineffective for bacteria, studies show.

          In the modern age, surgical masks are worn during surgery both because patients expect it (for professional appearance) and to be a barrier against accidental splashed body fluids.

          But surgical masks really don’t keep in/out pathogens of any sort or size.

    4. They needed to hedge and throw that out there to get the Censors (Twitter, Google and Facebook) to allow us to see the rest.

  3. About time Danes started voting for Trump. Do their votes count? Should offset all those illegal Biden votes that nobody can find.

    1. My understanding is that if the Danes were able to acquire and send in mail-in ballots, they’d be counted regardless of signature validity, postmark timing or eligibility to vote.

      1. Pretty sure the Danish voters were successfully observed by the Philly GOP.

    2. Only if they mail in the ballots. 😉

  4. So the article promotes the exact opposite of the study?
    Well, why not? After all, the media usurped the electoral college in declaring the election winner, why not refute “science”?

    1. Denial denier!

  5. In other words, the preponderance of the evidence still indicates that if most people wear masks in public indoor spaces and when among crowds outdoors, those of us who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic will be less likely to infect other people.

    The preponderance of the evidence shows that mask mandates and widespread public mask wearing do nothing to stop the spread of the virus. Take a look at places that had mask mandates with high compliance and compare their infection rates to places that did not. There’s no way to tell which is which. Also, take a look at a graph of infection rates over time and try to pick the moment when a mask mandate went into effect. You can’t, but it’ll usually be right before a big rise in cases.

    1. Damn juice. You should try reading a few things before you make all these statements. What is this, the 3rd time today you’ve been contradicted by the facts?

      The study below is not the only one to compare mask compliance and outcome by country. They all come to the same conclusion: masks are effective.

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7177146/

      1. That was July, before the “second waves” debunked this BS.

        1. Dude, “second waves” do not debunk this study. Many of these high compliance mask wearing countries never had a first wave, let a lone a second. Please be smarter than this.

          1. If the masks didn’t stop this one, they wouldn’t have stopped the first one, either.

            1. Under the science, after a mask is used, shouldn’t it be considered a biohazard to be disposed of in proper receptacles instead of being littered around like a veggie-burger wrapper and floating down the sewer to the ocean where it gets entangled with sea life?

              Save the seals, ban masks.

      2. Bruh, this study is shit.

        The incidence of COVID-19 per million population in HKSAR with community-wide masking was compared to that of non-mask-wearing countries which are comparable with HKSAR in terms of population density, healthcare system, BCG vaccination and social distancing measures but not community-wide masking. Compliance of face mask usage in the HKSAR community was monitored.

        Do this now. You’ll get much different results.

        1. Bruh, this study is shit.

          Mostly because they fail to account for the countries where not following government edicts can get you dragged off and shot in the head. Where the population will say anything so as not to get arrested. “Nobody sick here, comrade! We wear our mask while eating, shitting and fucking.” Believing anything most governments report is delusional.

          Next they will tell us that Lysenko had a point because why else would so many scientists have followed his protocols.

          1. Next they will tell us that Lysenko had a point because why else would so many scientists have followed his protocols.

            There was a consensus, and the science was settled.

            1. Real lockdowns have never been tried!

            2. When all the studies keep determining the same fucking thing.

          2. Assumptions without evidence in order to preserve your wrong headed logic and never have to admit that you were wrong? I can’t believe it!

            1. Your magical mask talisman failed and you had to resort to blaming barhoppers and rural residents to explain a nationwide spike in cases.

  6. “Masks Not Very Effective at Protecting Wearers”
    Duh!
    If you ever had a job that you had to wear masks, you already knew that, even the CDC admitted that, at first. The problem is politicians feel they have to do something, even if it is worthless or wrong.

  7. But I heard it on good authority that masks were like talismans that protected the wearer from coronavirus death almost as effectively as burning down buildings and looting stores.

    1. They’re part of a balanced breakfast.

    2. Yes I heard the same. I also heard that questioning the efficacy of masks is racist.

  8. Who was that masked man?

    Just some dick on a horse that believes everything the government tells him.

    1. Putin?

  9. Bailey’s second paragraph says:

    “New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that masks don’t appear to protect the people wearing them, but are still likely to prevent sick people who wear them from spreading their illness.”

    However, further along in his article he (accurately) quotes the study as saying “the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of [COVID-19] infection.”

    What’s the point of lying in the beginning only to tell the truth later on? Does he expect that people will only read the first few paragraphs and then stop?

  10. This research may receive a hostile reception from some quarters

    What research?

  11. But masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus.

    So we’re back to where we started.

  12. That is some weak applesauce. In fact, a study I dreamed up showed a blue cloth mask and a bowl of applesauce have about the same degree of protection against the covid. It’s science. Don’t argue with science.

    1. If you eat applesauce like my grandson, you are gonna spread it to everyone in a restaurant for sure.

  13. The point of masks is not to protect yourself. The point of masks is so you don’t spit your germs on everyone else!

    How are people still getting this wrong 250 days into the pandemic?

    Libertarianism isn’t about I/Me/Mine, libertarianism is about respecting the boundaries of other people. Keeping your viruses out of their airspace is part of that.

    Wear your fucking mask!

    1. 1. What if I don’t have the virus? What if I have a different virus? Must I protect all other people from all the viruses I might be carrying, or is it just COVID? I don’t actually own any viruses, so none of them are technically mine, but I’m sure I’m carrying a few of them around with me. I was unaware that libertarianism extends to keeping “my” viruses out of other people’s airspace. (Which is impossible anyway.)

      2. I don’t need a mask to avoid spitting on people. It’s impolite to spit on other people, and not something I do as a rule.

      3. 250 days in with high mask compliance in most places and cases still spike.

      4. If you don’t want my viruses, stay the fuck home! Get a spacesuit and wear it everywhere – or one of those cool Hazmat suits. I hate to break it to you, buddy, but there isn’t any way to sanitize the world for you.

    2. The point of masks is not to protect yourself. The point of masks is so you don’t spit your germs on everyone else!

      1) Unsealed masks don’t do much of anything to prevent transmission as particles project around the mask and masks with valves may be worse than nothing as they concentrate the spray.
      2) Even surgical masks (really, anything but N-95) are made to protect against bacteria which are 10 to 100 times the size of viruses.
      3) Masks do absolutely nothing to prevent infection, because the nacrismal ducts in your eyes drain directly into your sinuses which is believed to be the primary method for COVID to enter the body.4) COVID is just as present in flatulence as it is in breath.

      Just because someone can’t blow snot on you doesn’t mean you are not receiving a full dose of COVID particulate. If you don’t want to get infected, ISOLATE YOURSELF! Protecting yourself has nothing to do with Libertarianism.

      How are people still getting this wrong 250 days into the pandemic?

      1. Oh my God… we’re going to have to start wearing masks on our butts, aren’t we?

        1. N-95 underpants.

          1. BUT HOW WILL WE MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS WEARING THEIR N-95 UNDIES? I guess next we’ll have mandatory assless chaps.

            1. You will have to wear your N-95 undies on the outside, so it is easy to check.

              1. I cannot WAIT for fashion week this year.

              2. i see a shout out to woody allen here…
                didnt anyone else catch that?

      2. Chucky in a nutshell:

        1. Masks aren’t 100% effective therefore they are 100% useless.
        2. Chucky can do whatever the fuck he wants and he has no obligation to you at all, moral or otherwise. Libertarianism means Chucky gets to be a gigantic asshole in public with no repercussions!

        1. jeffy in a nutshell:

          1) I am a science denier who refuses to accept that there was adequate research on this topic before this year and all of it showed that cloth masks and even surgical masks were unsuitable PPE for a viral epidemic. I can’t even fathom that I have never seen a doctor wearing a mask during cold and flu season or been asked to wear one when visiting my doctor, in fact the most that was ever asked was to cover my coughs and sneezes.
          2) Libertarianism means it is better for healthy people to sacrifice freedom of movement and association than to ask unhealthy people to allocate their own resources to protect them from their personal risk. It is also acceptable to force people to participate in behaviors even spuriously linked to public health. I will label anyone who disagrees with me Unlibertarian or Brutalist and refuse to engage with their arguments other than fallaciously.

          1. I don’t coerce people, but you are a giant asshole.

            Also it’s cute when you try to ape me. You’re not very good at it.

            1. https://www.fox10phoenix.com/news/maskless-woman-seen-on-video-coughing-on-customer-inside-ny-bagel-store-after-argument

              Maskless woman seen on video coughing on customer inside NY bagel store after argument

              This woman is some sort of heroine to up-Chuck the Conscienceless Wonder! RESIST the OPPRESSORS by spreading disease! It is the Loving, Christian-Mormon thing to do! My MAGA-magic undergarments TOLD me so!

              1. Flag. Refresh. Enjoy a sip of my Coke.

            2. Ah, thank you for proving my point:

              I will label anyone who disagrees with me Unlibertarian or Brutalist or a giant asshole and refuse to engage with their arguments other than fallaciously.

            3. You don’t coerce people you outsource that to the government. Fuck you you authoritarian POS.

        2. chemtard in a nutshell:

          1. If there’s a spike in cases, it’s not that the masks don’t work, it’s because people didn’t have enough faith in their sacred powers.

        3. Your morbid obesity is more deadly than covid ever will be.

        4. Control infections = experimental infections means mask are 0% effective. You should avoid trying to science.

    3. Keeping your viruses out of their airspace is part of that.

      Which viruses, all viruses? The libertarian thing to do is wear masks until there are no viruses at all? Who decide what viruses need a mask and what ones don’t? Rhinoviruses are more deadly than the flu, do we wear them forever? Why weren’t you doing the libertarian thing a year ago with your nasty viruses? Did you not care then? Were you an asshole this whole time until 2020?

      1. Were you an asshole this whole time until 2020?

        Why would he stop now?

      2. Why stop at masks? Mandate hazmat suits and power respirators and gloves, even for infants. Can’t be too careful!

    4. Also, libertarianism is ALL ABOUT I/Me/Mine. I can do whatever I want so long as it doesn’t harm others directly. It is definitely all about not letting the government control the minutiae of my life.

      It’s quite a stretch to extend it to viruses. I mean, I have to breathe. I have to interact with the world. When I go out I assume all kinds of risks – tons of them, including the possibility of getting sick. I cannot be responsible for anyone else’s health.

      1. Also, libertarianism is ALL ABOUT I/Me/Mine. I can do whatever I want so long as it doesn’t harm others directly. It is definitely all about not letting the government control the minutiae of my life.

        Well, there are some, such as Chucky above, who think that libertarianism means license to be a gigantic asshole in public. Everyone here agrees that you ought to have the RIGHT to be an asshole if you want, but some of us here think that isn’t something that ought to be celebrated or encouraged. We still ought to be respectful and courteous to each other. No one here anyway is asking you to be formally responsible in any legal sense for anyone else’s health. But we can be respectful of the dignity of others and treat them like we would like to be treated.

        1. Well I don’t care if people talking to me wear a mask or not, so there goes the “treating them as I wish to be treated.” I’m not afraid of the virus personally. I’ll either recover like nearly 100% of other people my age do, or I will become a moving anecdote on the local news.

          I’m more interested in what I’m doing while I’m alive. Avoiding other people, covering 2/3 of your face when so much communication is non-verbal, standing on dots, being completely unable to understand anyone who is talking to me, and staying in my apartment 90% of the time is not what I call living a full life.

          1. There is also the fact that jeffy doesn’t know that I act like an asshole in public. Which I don’t. I save my invective for ignoramuses on the internetz.

          2. Whats ironic is Jeffrey is completely fine with China killing Muslims or stealing IP so he can get his for a few cents cheaper. But God forbid he put down a fork to lessen his own health risks, you have to wear a mask to help him instead.

    5. Libertarianism isn’t about I/Me/Mine, libertarianism is about respecting the boundaries of other people.

      DU JOUR MEANS FRIENDSHIP!!!!!!

    6. Do you know how many airborne infectious diseases there are many more deadly? Why is this one special? Life is risky.

  14. If your mask doesn’t help you to prevent virus transmission, it also doesn’t make any difference whether the virus carrier is wearing a mask, either. It’s like the laws of optics, if you can see me from far away, I can see you, too.

  15. Who can I sue for whiplash? Because every day someone tells me something different about masks.

    All jokes aside, I think it is dangerous for politicians and publications to decide what we are allowed to know because they fear our behavior might change. We should have the right to see all the evidence and decide. This “Don’t tell them masks might not work because then they’ll stop wearing them!” approach is morally suspect. It’s also exactly what you get from state-run media. We already have ample evidence of this “do as I say not as I do” mentality from those in the media and government. Now states issue fines for not wearing masks, making mask non-compliance a revenue raiser. Like shorter yellow lights or absurdly low BAC limits for a DUI.

    Look, I admit that I am skeptical about masks and their effectiveness. I walk around all day breathing in the dank, damp, bacteria-laden inside of my mask. (No matter how clean it is when you put it on, it doesn’t take long to exhale stuff your body doesn’t want, which then accumulates on the mask, right?) It doesn’t feel particularly healthy. And despite near universal mask compliance where I live, cases are spiking. If masks worked, why would that be happening?

    Essentially we are told to wear masks because shut up. It allows more control of the populace and has become a revenue stream to boot. Does it prevent the spread of COVID? I doubt it. You can get those droplets on your hands and then touch things in the store. Viruses can break through most cloth barriers while bacteria might not.

    1. This post is flagged as “disputed”. Please visit our Election Integrity Site for unbiased fact-checking from trusted sources such as Snopes and Politifact.

  16. >>masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus

    so 8 months and a million words later you get to “CDC says masks ineffective unless you’re sick” lol

  17. god dammit…. you just gave all the fucktards a headline to cling to, because you know they won’t read and fully understand the rest of it….

    they won’t read that they did measure a reduction in the mask wearing group, it was just less than 50%. (hence the “not very” in the headline…… they will delete those words in their heads.)

    they won’t read that there was zero information on if it impacted transmission. (which has always been the point of mask wearing….. it isn’t to keep you from catching it as much as spreading it.)

    they won’t read that even the researchers made a point to highlight that a corollary could not be made to widespread mask wearing.

    they won’t read that the quality of the study is so poor that they had to go through 4 publishers before one was willing to print it.

    they won’t even read that while one group was told not to wear masks, they were told to take other measures such as social distancing…….

    no, you just gave all the fucktards an excuse to throw their hands in the air and yell, “see….. i don’t have to do fucking anything!!!! it is cool to be completely irresponsible!!!”

    1. This fucktard read the whole article. She especially noted the fact that it was turned down by publishers several times, but she does not share your assumption that this is because the study was bad. It’s probably more like what you said: we can’t tell the fucktards that masks aren’t “very” effective because… well, you made the rest of that argument.

      If you need me, I’ll be at the fucktard party where we all throw our hands in the air and declare (oddly) that we don’t have to do fucking anything!!! it is cool to be completely irresponsible!!!”

        1. of course you do…. because you are a fucktard…..

      1. so, everything i said was true, but you still want to be a fucktard…. got it.

        1. No, my point is that I did read the article and I remain skeptical. Your entire little rant is based on fucktards not reading the actual article.

          Do I want to be a fucktard? Dude, does Cartman want some Cheesy Poofs? It’s SUPER FUN!

          1. you deliberately ignored every other point made, focused on one sentence that was the least significant thing said, and then obsessed about an alternative motivation for the study not being printed……. that was still irrelevant to the underlying points.

            that is not being skeptical….. that is looking for excuses to dismiss reality.

    2. they won’t read that there was zero information on if it impacted transmission. (which has always been the point of mask wearing….. it isn’t to keep you from catching it as much as spreading it.)

      I guess someone ignored what was right under the headline.

      1. i guess someone is determined to make my point…. by not even reading my whole comment….. fuck off…..

    3. they won’t read that the quality of the study is so poor that they had to go through 4 publishers before one was willing to print it.

      Sort of like the piss dossier.

      1. which was also BS…. why are you fucktards so determined to repeat that exercise? (you idiots really have no concept of the fact that calling you retarded, does not mean i liked the other tribe’s being retarded….. do you?)

        1. Maybe if you sacrifice 10 young virgins to Maskthulu, he’ll restore their protective powers.

          1. maybe if you fucktards hold more MAGA rallies, everything will magically be OK…. all praise to the orange one, and we shall be saved…

            1. Don’t blame me for your magical mask talismans and gathering restrictions failing to stop the inevitable annual spike in respiratory illnesses.

              1. i know you are stupid, but how many times does it need to be explained to you that nobody has ever said any of it would completely stop spread? isn’t that straw man becoming a bit of a dead horse?

    4. THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED! MUH MASKS!!!

    5. I read the article, I also read the study.

      The study design was such that it would be able to determine if masks would be able to reduce infections in the wearer by 50% compared to the control group. It didn’t, and in fact in didn’t come close to showing that.
      The reason why the design is important, is it gives insight into how large of a study you have to have to be able to make any sort of confident determination in your results. In statistics, this is known as the “p-value”, or put another, what are the chances that your results are due to what you are studying vs random chance?
      The typical standard is that a p value of .05 is needed, which means that there is a 95% chance that your results are not due to random chance. the p value of this study was .38, which means there is a large chance that the results were the result of random chance (in other words, the measured parameter had no effect at all)
      This is why they state that the likely effect of masks is between a 46% reduction or a 23% INCREASE in infection rate.
      The typical way to gain confidence or detect smaller differences is to have a larger study – which goes back to study design and what you are trying to show. Obviously a larger study brings new challenges.

      As to your other points, the study was intended to measure the effect of masks on infections in the wearing, so trying to say it didn’t show source control, or complaining that both arms of the study were given the same instructions is like complaining that the bull isn’t giving you the milk you want. it’s just not appropriate.

      1. so what you are saying, is that you want to acknowledge that the study did show masks made a difference… just not the 50% criteria…… even a 23%-46% should be seen as significant to a rational mind….. but words, words words…. i hate you for not feeding my confirmation bias……

        1. What he’s saying was obvious to all of us who read the study. Try it before insulting people, though it’s not obvious that you have the aptitude to grasp what it says through your bias.

    6. ‘They won’t read that the quality of the study is so poor that they had to go through 4 publishers before one was willing to print it.’

      Not conforming to your cultish beliefs does not poor quality make. Try to break out of your in-group bias.

      1. reputable journals refused to print it…. it must be true!!!! that is not actually an argument, you twit. way to confirm my point though, by ignoring everything else said.

    7. 1. “they won’t read that they did measure a reduction in the mask wearing group, it was just less than 50%. (hence the “not very” in the headline…… they will delete those words in their heads.)”

      The 95% confidence interval includes ‘no effect’. There was *no significant difference* between the two groups. Ergo, they did not measure a reduction due to mask wearing. (And if you actually understood anything about science, you wouldn’t need to be told that).

      2. “they won’t read that there was zero information on if it impacted transmission. (which has always been the point of mask wearing….. it isn’t to keep you from catching it as much as spreading it.)

      they won’t read that even the researchers made a point to highlight that a corollary could not be made to widespread mask wearing.”

      Neither of which means there’s any evidence to support those things either. I await your 6000 sample RCT study which investigates if either of those are true.

      Also, the point of (surgical) masks is to prevent spreading *bacterial infections*, not viral respiratory infections. That’s a pretty important difference.

      3. “they won’t read that the quality of the study is so poor that they had to go through 4 publishers before one was willing to print it.”

      It’s not because the quality of the study was poor. This is literally the highest quality study of mask efficacy done all year, if not in the last decade or more. (Which is obvious from their methods and sample size).

      4. “they won’t even read that while one group was told not to wear masks, they were told to take other measures such as social distancing…….”

      I don’t think you understand how science works. You need to hold as much constant as possible while changing one variable of interest – if they had been given different instructions regarding social distancing or hand washing, it would have made it impossible to distinguish between causes if a difference was measured.

      1. 1. significant is a term that is subjectively defined. the study used 50%. personally, i would call 46% significant…… especially considering that the measure was catching the virus, while the point of masks is spreading it.

        2. first, if the best you got is “you can’t prove they work,” then you got nothing…… because you are fundamentally admitting that you don’t know that they don’t work, either. second, the method of transmission of respiratory viruses and bacteria is similar enough to make your BS attempt at “distinction” meaningless.

        3. thanks for being the only one to read points other than this one….. as you pretend that your opinion is somehow superior to 3 medical journals.

        4. you are missing the point. the point is that if those not wearing masks take other measures there will be a reduction that will obscure the impact. there is a more than good chance that those told not to wear masks were made more nervous by that fact and more actively avoided risky situations. the reality of the world we live in makes a true apples to apples comparison completely impossible. that is the fundamental flaw in the study that caused 3 journals to reject it. there are too many known variables that were utterly failed to be accounted for. mask wearers being more confident to interact with others, non-mask wearers being forced to wear masks in most risky situations due to business requirements, etc., etc……. going back to point 1, that any measurable difference was seen despite all the known variables to screw with the outcome…. should be seen as significant evidence that wearing masks is a good idea.

        1. 1. Your scientific illiteracy is astounding. Significant is not subjective – it’s a statistical term about likelihood the results were produced at random. It’s a strictly objective measure, and they weren’t even close. (Standard acceptable significance level is p<0.05).

          Also, you don't get to choose one end of 95% confidence limits and pretend that's true. The CI went from -23% to 46%, a range that not only includes zero (with higher probability than 46% – CI are typically normally distributed about the measured value), but also includes the possibility that masks actually increase transmission.

          2. If you can't prove they work, you can't pretend they work. That's not how science works.

          Also, *this* study didn't test that. Pre-covid-19 there were a number of studies of the effectiveness of masks at preventing the spread of respiratory viruses (colds and flus), and that literature pretty conclusively shows no effect – either protecting the wearer or people around them. That creates a strong presumption against mask effectiveness against Covid-19.

          (Masks are proven effective against bacterial transmission on the other hand. Which means there's a pretty notable difference between how bacteria and viruses transmit. Among possible relevant differences, bacteria don't get aerosolized, because they're too large. You don't get to ignore the actual scientific literature on this question and pretend bacterial and viral transmission are identical.)

          3. Editors of scientific journals are not making a judgment on the science. The editors are only sometimes scientists themselves, and reject papers for any number of reasons. (I've actually been published in a scientific journal, and have direct experience with the process).

          The science doesn't get reviewed at all until the paper is sent out for peer review, after the editor has decided its something the journal is potentially interested in, and even that is a pretty limited-scope review on merits. (Mostly peer reviewers are checking to make sure the methods are sound and the conclusions follow the results). Once you enter peer review, you've a high chance of being accepted, possibly with revisions.

          To have been rejected by 3 journals already means none of those peer reviewed the paper (not enough time). It's not the quality of the science that led to the paper being rejected. (And I refuse to speculate as to why – journal editors are entitled to make whatever editorial decisions they want).

          4. So you just magically know why journals rejected it.

          Given they were living in a situation where few people were wearing masks, i find it unlikely there was a strong 'confidence' effect. No one had any reason to be nervous, because government hadn't yet decided that mask wearing was essential.

          And RCT means mask-wearing was randomly assigned, so that means it was random with respect to the individuals risk-averseness and other personal characteristics. There's a reason RCT is the gold-standard of experimental research, because it makes it exceptionally unlikely there's any significant behavioral difference between groups. (And I'd need to pore over their methods more carefully to say for sure, but there's no reason to tell the no mask control group that the test group is wearing masks – so why would they be more anxious?). In short, RCT precludes participant behaviors from being systematically biased by group.

          RCT means it is an apples to apples comparison, which makes it better than all the other (observational) studies this year by *miles*. (Which have demonstrable methodological flaws that would predictably and massively skew their results).

          1. 1. your grasp of reality is astounding. how can you possible look at the numbers and say something as absurd as masks might increase transmission? it is one thing to suspend common sense and pretend a barrier between source of infectious particles and point of entry into the body has no impact, but WTF kind of twisted logic leads you to think they might increase it? the data shows clear statistical difference with and without masks. how do you jump from “slight improvement” to “makes it worse?”

            2. and if you can’t prove they don’t work, you can’t pretend they don’t work…….
            and no…. i never said bacteria and viruses are identical. but they do get transmitted in largely the same way. even if masks are less effective with viruses than bacteria, (and unsubstantiated claim that there is just too much other BS to address right now) some of it will be filtered with the use of a mask. some of the infectious particles will not leave the contagious person, and some of them might not enter the healthy person…… you have to remember that nobody has ever claimed 100% prevention by wearing a mask, so harping on a potential reduction in efficiency is splitting hairs to defeat a strawman.

            3…… whatever….. the point is that you think you know more than 3 medical journals….. if that delusion makes you feel good, go ahead and hold on to it…… this was absolutely the least significant thing said about the whole thing.

            4. people were wearing masks before any government recommended it. dug into the history, and found another fatal flaw in this study……. the people told not to wear a mask could not have gone out and done much if they wanted to for half the study….. denmark was under lock down and just started to slowly open during the time period this study was performed. are you going to tell me a study can tell you anything when just about everyone is stuck at home? are you really going to tell me we are getting a real world evaluation of the impact of masks, and that nervousness and awareness played absolutely no part in people’s behavior, when the country was shut down for half the period of the study? how hard do you have to be dedicated to the lie to think that?

            the reality is that a random study is completely impossible with this situation, and you can never get an apples to apples comparison. no matter how random your sampling is, roughly half of the people told not to use a mask will be more conscious of other precautions and less likely to take risks, and roughly half of those who wear masks will feel more protected and engage in more risky behavior. knowing they launched the study in the middle of a shutdown is just the last nail in the coffin on this one.

            1. 1. You have absolutely no clue how data analysis and science work.

              -The data leave open the possibility masks increase risk. The authors are explicit about this. That’s all the logic that’s necessary to accept it as a possibility.

              -If there was a study that proved masks increased transmission, complaining that doesn’t make sense is just reality-denying. (We’re not in that situation yet, but just because you can’t imagine a mechanism doesn’t mean it’s impossible.) First you figure out what’s true, then you figure out why. Not knowing why is not a rebuttal to what.

              -In point of fact, there are two possible mechanisms i can think of for how masks could improve transmission. (A. Masks could aerosolize larger droplets, thus increasing viral spread. B. Masks could become a repository of virus, which the wearer transmits to himself by touch afterwards, and that effect dwarfs a miniscule protective benefit). And that’s probably not even exhaustive.

              -The data do not show a clear statistical difference between with and without masks, in fact, they don’t show *any* statistical difference (hence the non-significant p-value). And if you knew a damn thing about statistics, this would be blindingly obvious.

              2. This study just proved they don’t work (to protect the wearer).

              But beyond that, the presumption is one of no effect (no effect is the null hypothesis). I suggest learning how the scientific method works.

              Bacterial and viral transmission are *materially different*. If you want anyone to take you seriously that reality is otherwise, cite evidence that demonstrates they behave the same despite *orders of magnitude* size differences. (Size is pretty important biologically – it really is a difference in kind).

              That masks capture or filter a relevant quantity of virus is an unproven assertion, and this study demonstrates they do not. (As has the previous experimental literature on mask effectiveness vs. respiratory viruses).

              3. That you think editorial decisions in scientific journals are solely or even primarily based on the scientific merits of the work is laughable. Worse, it’s anti-science. Science is not decided by ‘authority’ (as if anyone had such a thing) – it’s decided by the quality of the methods and the answers reality gives in the form of data in response to those methods. I can evaluate the quality of the science from the published paper itself.

              4. Both the study group and the control group were subject to the same lockdowns, so it’s not a difference between the two groups. Both groups had statistically indistinguishable infection rates when confronted with the same circumstances, ergo, the masks had no effect on the study group. And since those infection rates weren’t *zero*, clearly the lockdowns didn’t prevent all spread, so if masks had an effect, a statistically significant difference should have been observed.

              The reality is that all this exogenous situational stuff affected both groups equally, and thus had no effect on the comparison. (And virtually no one believed masks had any effect back when the study was done – public health officials were telling people not to wear masks at the time – so no, there was very little mask wearing at the time outside of the study group. Lack of significant mask wearing by the population is something the authors take pains to highlight, i might add).

              In order to demonstrate any of that situational stuff matters, you’d have to show it affected one of the study group or the control group and not the other. Since people were assigned to these groups randomly (that’s what RCT means), there’s no reason to believe that.

              Some relevant literature:
              1. Xiao et al. May 2020. Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures. Emerging Infectious Diseases: 26(5).

              ” Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

              Translation: masks and hand hygiene should help in theory, but RCT trials can’t find any evidence they actually do. (ie, the theory is wrong). And note: the studies they do a meta-analysis of tested both source control (masks worn by infected persons) and community use (masks worn by healthy people in the presence of infected persons).

              2. L Radonovich M Simberkoff, et al. N95 respirators vs medical masks for preventing influenza among health care personnel: a randomized clinic trial. JAMA. 2019 Sep 3. 322(9): 824-833.

              Compared surgical masks to N95 masks, despite the theoretical advantages of N95 masks, authors concluded they were indistinguishable in effect:
              “Among outpatient health care personnel, N95 respirators vs medical masks as worn by participants in this trial resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

              3. J Jacobs, S Ohde, et al. Use of surgical face masks to reduce the incidence of the common cold among health care workers in Japan: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Infect Control. 2009 Jun; 37(5): 417-419.

              Tested mask use vs. no mask use to prevent infection by common colds:
              “Face mask use in health care workers has not been demonstrated to provide benefit in terms of cold symptoms or getting colds.”

              4. T Tunevall. Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: A controlled study. World J Surg. 1991 May; 15: 383-387.

              Examines mask use in operating conditions. Rejects an effect of masks on preventing even bacterial infections:
              “It has never been shown that wearing surgical face masks decreases postoperative wound infections.”
              “After 1,537 operations performed with face masks, 73 (4.7%) wound infections were recorded and, after 1,551 operations performed without face masks, 55 (3.5%) infections occurred. This difference was not statistically significant (p> 0.05)”

              5. M Klompas, C Morris, et al. Universal masking in hospitals in the Covid-19 era. N Eng J Med. 2020; 382 e63.

              An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine:
              “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 20 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”
              Translation: It’s security theatre

            2. It’s also worth pointing out that the study group did wear masks at work (wore masks outside the home when in the presence of other people). The line about not wearing masks at work was about participant behavior *before* the study, to qualify for the study. (ie, they didn’t want anyone who wore a mask for work reasons, as that might confound the analysis).

              So you’re wrong about the study group not wearing masks at work. Your close reading skills are lacking.

              1. wow…. you really poured out the word salad to try and talk your way around reality this time…..

                listen….. the study is BS. they did the study during a lock down. let us consider where transmission would happen under that condition. in hospitals where even the people you told not to wear masks are wearing them. among close friends and family where even the people you told to wear masks are not. in the few “essential” businesses where being exposed to someone for an entire shift would reduce the benefit of any precaution taken. it would be more accurate to say they studied the impact of only wearing a mask at the grocery store at a time when people were avoiding going to the grocery store. bars, restaurants, churches, movie theaters, gyms, large gatherings, sports, concerts…….. virtually every situation where masks provide the most benefit….. were all shut down. how the fuck can you honestly pretend this study shows anything when everything was shut down when they did it? how dedicated to endorsing stupidity do you have to be?

                i am not going to waste my time with the rest of your BS. explain how conducting a study when situations where masks even COULD make a difference were rare can be considered an honest evaluation of whether they do or not….. or STFU. this is a fundamental flaw, and there is zero effort to correct for it. you can talk circles around it and throw out BS about both groups being locked down, but if you have any rationality and integrity…. you know i am right. you know that could never, under any circumstances, be an even remotely accurate measure of the effectiveness of masks. you might as well be comparing solar panels at night…… to have a study that accurately tests the impact you need people to be in the situations where it could have an impact, and you need some way to quantifiably ensure both groups are engaging in the same behaviors. the study is garbage (in part) because it does not have the second, and it is fundamentally a lie because it does not have the first.

                1. “The study didn’t reach my prefered conclusion, so it can’t be right, and i’m going to make up ad hoc reasons why it can’t be right for which I have no evidence.”
                  -Foo_dd

                  Ignore all the other literature on mask ineffectiveness. Ignore that it’s the only RCT study on mask use during Covid-19. If you think this study can’t prove anything, you must necessarily believe there is no evidence masks or even lockdowns do a damn thing, since any evidence they do is *significantly worse* than this. Please find me a study that adheres to your magical and imaginary standards of perfection.

                  You’re not pointing out a single valid problem with the study. What are situations in which masks could have an effect? How can we know if, according to you, no study could ever possibly be meaningful?

                  To correct some of your obvious nonsense:
                  -They do correct for cases of household transmission. They explicitly state how many households got cases for both groups (its not many), and do the analysis against excluding them (still no effect).
                  -You’re lying about the extent of the lockdown. Study participants spent at least *3 hours a day* out of the home and in the presence of other people. Restaurants and cafes were closed, but that’s it. Stores (of all sorts) were still open, as was public transportation(!). Seems like situations masks should be useful. And you’d know this if you’d actually read the paper.
                  -There was Covid-19 transmission (to both groups), even controlling for household infections, so clearly solar panels at night is a terrible analogy (because a solar panel at night would generate zero electricity, whereas they did not observer zero covid-19 transmission. Indeed, they observed the same rate of covid-19 infection as Denmark as a whole!).
                  -RCT controls for difference in behavior, because who was in each group was randomized. That means, statistically, the populations are indistinguishable. And that’s especially true with a large sample size (and 6000 people is a large sample size) – the law of large numbers kicks in.

                  If you had any rationality and integrity, you would concede you don’t understand anything about: how science is done, theoretically or in practice, or how to do a statistical analysis, or why RCT is used and the ‘gold standard’.

                  Alternately, I await you getting funded for your mask study. I hope you’ll take the time to detail your methods, so we can bask in your obvious perfection.

                  1. i didn’t say it was garbage because i didn’t like the result, i said it was garbage because it is garbage.

                    they did not even go back and identify who was impacted by the lock down, so you can’t even actually claim that they all went out at the same rate. we know they did when the study started, and then the lock down happened….. they did not reset the groups when that happened…. we don’t know who the lock down made stay home, and we don’t know who went back out when they started to lift it. we don’t know who were hairdressers, and who was behind a plexiglass shield at a register. we don’t know who was shifted to working at home, as many were during this time frame. we don’t know who, if any, used public transportation. (glad you brought that up……. that is exactly the kind of factor that should have been seen as important….. that they failed to consider. not everyone uses it.) it was seriously the worst possible moment in time to try and run a study like this, because the situation introduced multiple new variables, and the researchers did nothing to try and account for them.

                    for someone who talks out their ass so much about “how science works,” you would think you would understand that you have to control for other variables……. especially if you are trying to extrapolate from a small subset of the data. (only about 120 total people in the study got covid.) it isn’t just sloppy science, it is irresponsible because it claims to reach a conclusion it cannot accurately claim to reach. we don’t know what impact the lock down had……. and if you don’t account for that, you don’t know shit. end of story.

                    1. The lockdown was *already in progress* when the study started, and was *relaxed* halfway through. There was no difference between the start group and the halfway group. (They tested that – so they did look to see if it had an effect). Did you even read the study?

                      You haven’t named a single thing that wouldn’t (1) be solved by RCT, or (2) wasn’t explicitly tested by the study to make sure it didn’t have an effect.

                    2. no, jackass…. it was not already in progress. it was a 60 day study done in the months of march and april….. the lockdown was ordered march 13th…… which means the study started before the lock down. they don’t know who things changed for due to the lock down, they don’t know who was shifted to working from home, (in the time frame most of that was happening) they did not try to account for anything that changed when the most things were changing…. they have no fucking idea if the people who were “out among people for 3 hrs” maintained that trend throughout the study….. none….. because they didn’t even try to know that information. that is not explicitly testing, that is deliberately ignoring very big variables.

                      i know this is all about confirmation bias for you, but JFC….. how can you honestly ignore such a glaring fault?

                2. It’s probably worth pointing out that ‘situations where masks are useful’ will always be rare, because they’re only theoretically useful *when in the presence of an infected person who is currently infectious*. (Assuming the mask wearer is healthy – which is what the study tested). Since the overall infection rate is low, your odds of being in close proximity to such an individual is also low.

                  So you’re demanding the impossible. Or at least the unethical.

                  (I suppose you could put uninfected people in a room with an infected person, and test distance and time spent with masks and no masks, and see how many got infected in each group, but nobody is ever going to do that study because it would be highly unethical).

  18. Dispatch from coof central (Iowa)
    General attitude from those I interact with: Indifference

    Despite not having house arrest imposed or closing any businesses, ‘cases’ appear to be declining (need 3 or 4 more days to be sure because of reporting lag)

    Hospitals have 1527 (283 ICU) “covid patients” however 27% of them (410) are actually in hospital for some other reason, most likely birthing or scheduled surgery
    Ain’t running out of places to put them either – 2600 beds available(353 ICU)

    My school district has 2% of students absent for all causes today…right about normal for this time of year (peaked at 3.2% on 9/10/20)
    The teachers are the filthy ones, 4.2% absent today.

  19. https://twitter.com/RichardGrenell/status/1329160984368345088?s=19

    But CNN’s @brianstelter said the Germans were doing everything right.
    “Police in Berlin used water cannons Wednesday to disperse protesters who refused to wear masks and follow public health measures.
    The tightly packed crowd gathered to object to government restrictions aimed at fighting the spread of the coronavirus.”

    1. >>Police in Berlin used water cannons

      jetzt sind sie sauber

    2. They should have done that in Portland, it would have been the first bath those crusty-ass tards had in months (that’s not an exaggeration, some of those dirtbags literally don’t bathe for weeks at a time).

      1. Literally LOLed.

        It’s so true.

  20. https://twitter.com/RepThomasMassie/status/1329182038088429573?s=19

    Our governor just announced he’s indefinitely banning all dine-in restaurant service. But establishments can apply for $10,000 to compensate for their losses. Does he realize that won’t cover one night’s receipts for some of these establishments? He will bankrupt many of them.

    1. Surprise! When government tries to simulate the economy, they have no idea what they are doing.

      1. The bureaucrats got a boner. Proof that someone was stimulated.

    2. Soon all businesses will be on government welfare. Why not?

  21. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1329175792732041220?s=19

    Fun fact: the Danish mask study probably OVERESTIMATES the real-world efficacy of masks because people were given 50 free and pretty high-quality masks to use – and instructed in their use.

    Also fun fact: the Danish mask study is really well-designed and executed. It is LEAGUES better than the observational trash pro-mask sciencyists have offered.

    Look at how evenly the trial arms are balanced, for example

  22. “Masking isn’t about protection. It’s about dehumanization.”

  23. https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1329150974989053953?s=19

    Teachers unions are trying to force the United States to abandon in-person public education (and private too, if they can).

    WRAP YOUR HEADS AROUND THAT. IF YOU CAN.

    1. I’ve been waiting for the Hunger Games jokes to start. Whatever – just put me in the fishing district with Finnick O’Dair.

      1. Sorry, replied to the wrong comment.

        1. Seemed to fit anyway. No education = dystopian future where everyone has menial jobs.

  24. I like wearing the mask. I’m sure it works. It protects me from fart smell at the very least.

    1. Clean your upper lip and you won’t have to worry about that smell.

    2. How could masks block fart smell when underwear and pants can’t do it?

      1. When all you have is imaginary friends, the farts smell however you want.

  25. https://twitter.com/TheBabylonBee/status/1329182606584377348?s=19

    Pink-Haired Gavin Newsom Attends Lavish Dinner Ahead Of California’s 1st Annual Hunger Games

  26. https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/1329192766325198848?s=19

    Democrats in Democrat states are getting fucked over. As a Californian, I am too. But it’s more than worth it to watch them all suffer as schools remain closed and Gavin dines in style. It’s what they voted for. Fuck ‘em.

    1. Yup. The one good thing I can say about Biden is that he will get the SALT deduction re-instated and will bail out my state. Of course that is also the problem with Biden. But at least I’ll have another $30k next year to console me.

      1. Do you think he’ll try to do that by Executive Order?

      2. Not a positive thing. SALT deductions stop people who live in high tax states from experiencing the taxation they’re demanding. Experiencing all those taxes might convince them to scale back their states taxation and spending – or at least they have to live with the consequences of their choices.

        SALT is just federal subsidizing of state taxes, which is a terrible idea. There should be zero SALT deductions.

  27. F yeah

    https://twitter.com/dbongino/status/1329095990108958727?s=19

    Doesn’t matter what Joe Biden says, Florida isn’t locking down.

  28. https://twitter.com/TheBrandonMorse/status/1329193077257490436?s=19

    I feel like our society has separated into two groups.

    The one group that says “leave me and alone and I’ll leave you alone,” and the group that says “obey me or else.”

    Thing is, these two groups are wholly incompatible and I worry about how nasty things are going to get before it’s resolved.

    1. Same as it ever was. The left/right divide was always fake, the important fight has always been libertarian/authoritarian.

  29. https://twitter.com/45F0RLIFE/status/1329198224322801664?s=19

    This is outside Gov Cuomo’s house in NY… New Yorkers are upset and do not want another lockdown!

  30. https://twitter.com/Cernovich/status/1329191868731539457?s=19

    What science shows that it’s safe to shop at big box stores? This is a power grab. Corporate hegemony and Democrat fascism.

    1. “You can’t catch the coof at Wal-Mart, and Science! has determined that your local barber is still a vector. No cases have been traced to that evil, disease-bearing chair, but they could! That makes him non-essential, citizen!”

  31. This:

    “New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that masks don’t appear to protect the people wearing them, but are still likely to prevent sick people who wear them from spreading their illness.”

    Is definitely NOT what the study said. They said that their study did not show any statistically significant benefit to the wearer by wearing a mask, though they couldn’t rule out that it might have reduced infections between 24% and 46%.

    When it comes to mask-wearing protecting others, they did NOT say it worked, they said it was beyond the scope of their study, which looked only at the wearer’s risk. They could not draw any conclusions on the protection of non wearers, because they didn’t study it.

    1. the study said the effect of masks was likely between a 46% decrease and a 23% increase in the rate of infections of the mask wearers.

      1. Yes, I think I mis-typed. It was 23-46% (not 24%) but there was a lot of hemming and hawing about those percentages. They said that the difference in the number of people infected in the masked group vs control group was not statistically significant, but that the statistical uncertainty in the results means that there could have been a 23-46% benefit. Which seems quite high to me, and, personally, more than enough to convince me to wear one.

        This didn’t read like the slam dunk anti-mask article that it was suggested to be prior to release.

        1. … and a 23% increase in the rate of infections of the mask wearers.
          You skipped over this part.

          1. yeah, that’s not 23%, that’s -23% (ie, negative 23% effective, or 23% more likely)

    2. Can masks tell the difference between virus going in and virus going out? Because if it can get in, it is common sense it can still get out.

      1. Actually, it’s more likely to get out because it’s under higher pressure when you exhale than it is when you inhale. That’s why filters are usually on the suction side of a system.

  32. Thank you for this article, Mr. Bailey.
    One need only go to the morning thread to see the usual suspects hailing this study as “proof” that “masks don’t work”.
    Instead, all it really demonstrates is that masks aren’t terribly good at protecting the wearer from getting infected. But that’s been what has been said for quite some time now.

    Masks have *some* benefit in protecting others from the aerosol droplets of the wearer.

    They aren’t 100% effective, they aren’t some magic totem, they shouldn’t be the only line of defense, they don’t stop naked viruses (devoid of aerosol droplets), some mask materials are better than others, but they do *some* good.

    Don’t want to wear a mask? Fine, I don’t think you should be forced by the state to wear a mask, and nor should anyone who calls themselves a libertarian, IMO. But individuals ought to choose to wear a mask IMO by being persuaded that it is the right thing to do, much as most people are persuaded to brush their teeth and hold open doors for strangers as the right things to do in the absence of government coercion forcing them to do so.

    “But vulnerable people should just stay home! It’s their responsibility to keep themselves safe! I shouldn’t have to rearrange my life to accommodate them!” Ideally, sure – but not everyone has the luxury of staying home for months and months during a pandemic. What about so-called “essential workers”? What about people who cannot afford to have all of their necessities delivered to them, and do not have the option to work from home for their job? Imagine if you were in that situation. Wouldn’t you appreciate the courtesy and respect that others might show towards you in helping to keep you from getting sick? Why not be the person that demonstrates that courtesy to others?

    In short libertarianism shouldn’t be just “I get to do what I want and screw the rest of you”.

    1. “most people are persuaded to brush their teeth and hold open doors for strangers as the right things to do in the absence of government coercion forcing them to do so.”

      Should people be persuaded to give the contents of their wallet to the homeless guy on the corner too? If not, why not? Why should one act of charity (Holding open a door) be subject to some “persuasion campaign” while giving all your money to a beggar on the street not be a persuasion campaign?

      And by the way, when I mean “persuasion” I mean it the same way that you are trying to “persuade” people on masks. If you don’t hold open that door for 30 seconds until I catch up to the door, you are a “selfish asshole”. If you Jeff, don’t get up out of your chair right now, go find a homeless person and give them your credit cards, then you are a “selfish asshole”.

      Because you aren’t trying to persuade. You are trying to shame people into an act of charity- which is all wearing a mask is: an act of charity. Yesterday you put out there an article of Libertarian Brutalism. And strangely, one of the key aspects of Brutalism was the desire to pass judgement on people rather than cooperate with them. Strangely, they did not consider it some form of “persuasion”.

      1. Sure, if you want to persuade people to donate their money to homeless guys, go right ahead. Nothing’s stopping you. That would be better than the state coercively taking your money and giving it to the homeless guy as welfare, wouldn’t it? Wouldn’t it? How exactly do you think charity would work in Libertopia? Do you think it would be ONLY saints asking you nicely for money to give to the less fortunate? No, it would run the entire gamut of persuasive techniques including asking nicely, but also including shaming, emotional manipulation, mockery, peer pressure, judgment, whatever works. But it would all be non-coercive. That’s the only libertarian limitation here. Not that it doesn’t make you feel bad. Only that you weren’t forced into it.

        So yes I have absolutely no qualms in shaming you into wearing a mask. I’ll ask nicely, but if that doesn’t work, I’ll try other non-coercive things. I’ll shame you, I’ll mock you, I’ll ostracize you if you don’t, I’ll apply peer pressure, I’ll make you feel bad if you don’t wear a mask. Not all of those techniques will make you feel good, but they are all non-coercive. You are free to refuse at any time.

        Because you aren’t trying to persuade. You are trying to shame people into an act of charity

        That *is* an act of persuasion, where “persuasion” is properly understood as the alternative to “coercion”. Where did you get the idea that the libertarian idea of “persuasion” meant “always feeling good about one’s choices”?

        1. If you have to resort to emotional manipulation, you don’t actually have an argument.

        2. “That’s the only libertarian limitation here. ”

          No, this is where you are wrong. I have articulated for you multiple times why a person interested in natural rights, property rights, personal responsibility and the encumbrances on our fellow man- generally libertarian principles- should not expect someone to wear a mask. Expecting a person to limit YOUR risk of a completely natural pathogen is expecting a person to engage in charity. Charity to you. You are shaming people because they don’t give you charity.

          I don’t disagree that shaming (as opposed to coercion) is or is not libertarian. I am pointing out that the object of your shame is NOT LIBERTARIAN.

          So fine. From now on, I will disregard every single point you make until you can attest that you have sold all belongings and donated them to me. After all, it is completely libertarian for me to call you a SELFISH ASSHOLE for declining to give all your worldly belongings to me. Is that more extreme than wearing a mask? Sure! But unless you can give me a principle by which expecting me to provide you the charity of wearing a mask is fundamentally different than the charity of you giving me your wealth, we are just haggling over price, baby.

          1. it is completely libertarian for me to call you a SELFISH ASSHOLE for declining to give all your worldly belongings to me

            “Napoleon, gimme some of your tots.”

        3. well said. too bad the people who need this explained to them refuse to understand it. believing in freedom does not mean celebrating every stupid decision people might make with it.

    2. The article where he dismisses the study because models disagree and his original biases matter more? Yeah, you’re a fucking idiot.

    3. “Instead, all it really demonstrates is that masks aren’t terribly good at protecting the wearer from getting infected. But that’s been what has been said for quite some time now.”

      No, Jeff is incorrect (once again).

      The WHO, CDC, Fauci, Birx, all state/local health departments, all left wing media outlets (i.e. 90% of media outlets) and nearly all Democrat Governors, County Execs and Mayors have been insisting that masks are not only very effective, but essential, for reducing covid transmissions.

  33. “For months, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization have maintained that the novel coronavirus is primarily spread by droplets from someone who is coughing, sneezing or even talking within a few feet away.

    But anecdotal reports hint that it could be transmissible through particles suspended in the air (so-called “aerosol transmission”). And the WHO recently reversed its guidance to say that such transmission, particularly in “indoor locations where there are crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces where infected persons spend long periods of time with others, cannot be ruled out.” 

    To address the prospect of airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, it is first necessary to understand what scientists mean by “airborne.” The term refers to transmission of a pathogen via aerosols—tiny respiratory droplets that can remain suspended in the air (known as droplet nuclei)—as opposed to larger droplets that fall to the ground within a few feet. In reality, though, the distinction between droplets and aerosols is not a clear one. “The separation between what is referred to as ‘airborne spread’ and ‘droplet spread’ is really a spectrum,” 

    1. This is based on a panicky letter that was not rigorously researched -no scientific method. And anecdotal evidence is, in a word, shit.

    1. Is there a follow up to this 7-month old article? Has nothing been discovered since then?

    2. It takes a gutless wonder like you Lard of Skidmark to post old information to prove a point you cannot prove otherwise.

      The left hates science.

  34. Masks work. If you hold love and kindness in your heart while putting it on. Also, you have stay alone in a basement.

  35. Also proven by basically all the real-world evidence of spread.

  36. In September, a CDC study found that 71% of Americans who tested positive for covid reported ALWAYS wearing a mask in public places for the preceding two weeks, and another 14% who tested positive reported OFTEN wearing masks.
    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6936a5.htm?s_cid=mm6936a5_w

    But CDC’s study (link above) intentionally buried that key finding (in just one sentence and at the bottom of the data sets), instead highlighted a far less significant finding about restaurants (to justify Democrat restaurant shutdowns), and CDC never issued a press release to notify the news media of this study’s key finding
    (almost certainly because its finding contradicted CDC’s guidance urging everyone to wear masks, and CDC’s ongoing assertions that masks are very effective and essential for preventing covid transmissions).

    Rather, a reporter at the Federalist discovered and exposed the CDC study’s key finding in October, and Tucker Carlson reported it that same day on his show on Fox News. I’m not aware that any other news media have reported CDC’s study findings.

    In sum, the CDC tried to bury this study’s key finding about masks.

    1. Dr uses vape to show how masks don’t work
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkdTyZ9xd_g

      1. Bailey wrote:
        “the preponderance of the evidence still indicates that if most people wear masks in public indoor spaces and when among crowds outdoors, those of us who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic will be less likely to infect other people.”

        But the study authors stated

        “The findings, however, should not be used to conclude that a recommendation for everyone to wear masks in the community would not be effective in reducing SARS-CoV-2 infections, because the trial did not test the role of masks in source control of SARS-CoV-2 infection.”

        In sum, while the authors never evaluated if mask wearing might prevent covid carriers from spreading the virus to others, Bailey concluded (without providing evidence) that wearing a mask reduces the chance of spreading the virus to others.

        1. The reason Bailey didn’t cite any evidence (when claiming that masks reduce the spread of covid when worn by infected people) is because no studies have been conducted.

          The reason why no studies have been conducted (comparing the impact of covid infected people who wear masks versus those who don’t wear masks on noninfected people they come in contact with) is because no ethical review board would approve conducting that type of study.

          So while there is no scientific evidence that mask wearing by those infected with covid reduces the risk of transmission to non infected persons, Bailey falsely insinuated otherwise.

    2. 80% of people always wear masks…… 93% wear them often

      if 71% of those who catch covid always wear masks, it means that the representation of mask wearers in those who test positive is lower than the general population…… a greater percentage of those who catch covid don’t wear masks than those who don’t wear masks exist in the population…… your attempt to pretend masks don’t work provides evidence that they do.

      quit trying to pretend that being stupid is actually smart.

      1. Really are you sure the non mask wearers don’t just interact normally then mask wearers? There’s many other variables to consider too before you make the assured claim.

        1. the point i am making is that the point he is trying to make does not actually follow from the data the way he wants to pretend it does. you are just underlining more faults. at a naked evaluation of the numbers without accounting for other factors, the data suggests the exact opposite of what he asserts.

      2. Did you read the data this time? 86% of the people in total, combining those who wear masks always and often. The infection rate for mask wearing is not insignificant, yet you choose to cast it aside and make it mean something else by introducing figures from elsewhere. You don’t disprove the CDC data, and the ad hominem certainly reinforces your bias.

        1. i read it and understood it….. i understand that if you look at the “always wear mask” numbers, there should be more people who got sick in that category if masks made no difference. the same remains true if you include the “often” people. and all of this is if you refuse to acknowledge that even the fucktards are forced to wear them when they go out to many businesses where transmission is most likely. almost nobody is truly never wearing a mask, and those who wear them the least make up twice the number of infected as they should if there was no difference. if 7% of people wear them never, and 14% of those who catch it never wear one, that should tell you something….. and that something is the opposite of what you want to believe.

          there are of course other factors that half-witted attempts at garbage science like this do not even pretend to take into account….. but the fundamental conclusion trying to be forced out of this data is fundamentally the opposite of what you could.

          the dishonest attempt here is to pretend that masks don’t work because many people who get sick wear masks……. because most people are wearing masks and nothing is 100% effective….. but when there are twice as many people who get sick that are not wearing masks than there are in the general population, that should be seen as more significant. (especially if you understand how less likely people are to admit they were stupid and more likely to exaggerate their habits when they are sitting there in the doctor’s office because they caught covid.)

      3. Don’t know the source of Foo_dd’s claim that “80% of people always wear masks…… 93a% wear them often”, but it wasn’t the CDC study, and thus, is irrelevant.

    3. I think you linked the wrong CDC study, but it’s actually quite useful.

      The study you did link has 154 symptomatic covid cases (‘cases’) and 160 non-covid patients who were symptomatic for other respiratory illnesses (‘control’). It’s not an experimental RCT study, but it’s probably the best observational study i’ve seen. It has a mask wearing section (2 responses missing, 1 for each group):

      Mask Response | case | control
      ‘Never’ | 6 | 5
      ‘Rarely’ | 6 | 6
      ‘Sometimes’ | 11 | 7
      ‘Often’ | 22 | 23
      ‘Always’ | 108 | 118

      None of those differences were significant. ie, Mask wearers were infected just as frequently as non-mask wearers. Despite that, the paper claims its results support mask-wearing…

      The only thing the paper really proves is that going to restaurants is a higher risk activity (it was the only unambiguously significant result with a behavioral parameter.) That supports some targeted policies, but that’s about it.

      (Note: no effort was made to correct for multiple comparisons – the study performs 20 separate tests, so some of the supposedly significant results are likely due to chance).

  37. Most masks, in general, do far more to protect others than to protect the wearer. Anything that, when a person coughs or sneezes that reduces the amount of droplets getting out, breaking them up or even just reducing their momentum, whether that’s a surgical mask, a gaiter, or even your hand or elbow is going to reduce the risk to others.

    When it comes to protecting the wearer, then there’s a lot of difference. If there’s *any* gaps, most commonly the nose area, chin, or at the sides, the air with whatever is in it is going to take that easy, unfiltered way in. If you have a beard or large mustache, nothing is going to work. That hair keeps even the best mask from being able to seal against your skin.

    If it’s just a single layer of say, your average loose weave cotton bandana or gaiter, it’s not going to stop much of anything. It may even make things worse if people believe that the mask is some sort of total protection and quits worrying about other things like proximity and basic hygiene.

    Multiple layers are best. Close woven fabrics are best. Non-woven blown materials, such as the polypropylene that medical N95 masks are made of are better than any woven fabric. If you can get hold of it (and many hospitals may still be throwing it out), Halyard H600 or other surgical wrapping “fabric” for autoclaving and storing surgical tools is made of is the same kind of polypropylene can be used to make masks from (although not FDA approved). There are at least a couple of patterns available on line that have even passed the N95 fit test (although you may have to play with the patterns a bit to modify them for your particular face size and shape).

    1. Covid virus are microscopic and far smaller than respirable particles, as they are only about 2 microns. Please watch video below.

      Doctor uses vape to show how masks don’t work
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkdTyZ9xd_g

    2. You are dead wrong. Only the N95 respirator is effective against viruses and then only if used with sterile technique.

    3. ‘Anything that, when a person coughs or sneezes that reduces the amount of droplets getting out, breaking them up or even just reducing their momentum’

      Except that a asymptomatic person is not likely coughing very much, thin masks can aerolyse viral particles and therefore coughing into your sleeve like we’ve been taught seems at least as good if not better than wearing a mask.

    4. No simple mask was designed to prevent infection by respiratory viruses, either for the person wearing the mask or for the people around them. (When preventing viral infections is important, surgeons wear a full-body protective suit that shares more in common with hazmat suits than an N95 mask).

      Surgical masks are designed to prevent *bacterial infections* in patients *in the area the surgeon is working* (which is generally not the airways). That’s pretty important – but bacteria are much larger than viruses and much less prone to being aerosolized.

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  39. Covid virus are microscopic and far smaller than respirable particles, as they are only about 2 microns.
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  41. Cloth face-coverings and paper masks DO NOT prevent the transmission of ANY virus. Only the N95 respirator is effective against viruses. The CDC and WHO know this is true but masks serve as a placebo …. a pacifier for the easily frightened mob of sheeple.

    1. I agree per my comment below.

      Most people are quite clueless as to what does and doesn’t work.

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  44. Surgical masks are designed to prevent physicians, nurses, techs et al from contaminating a patient. They don’t do much to protect the wearer.

    N 95 respirator masks are a different story. I wear one in the ED and have interacted with a number of COVID+ patients. To date I have not gotten sick and the tests I’ve had have been negative.

    So when I have to be out and about, guess what I wear?

    1. They aren’t designed to stop respiratory viruses at all (and which pre-pandemic mask studies demonstrated there was no effect of mask wearing against). There are other diseases out there against which they’re probably effective – respiratory viruses are hardly the only diseases.

      (ime, nurses pre-pandemic didn’t wear any sort of masks in normal interactions. Surgical masks are for performing surgeries, where the danger is not respiratory infection, because surgeries don’t generally open up the airway. They’re to prevent other sorts of infections, generally bacterial, from infecting the area that the surgeon is working in).

  45. “New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine finds that masks don’t appear to protect the people wearing them, but are still likely to prevent sick people who wear them from spreading their illness.”

    I thought this was always the assertion. I don’t recall anyone ever claiming masks protect the wearer of the mask. It was about reducing the spread of the virus by from someone who was already infected to others who were not.

    1. And we don’t have evidence it does that.

      Everyone knows officials peddling this LIE don’t even wear it.

      Ron should answer this: IF his last paragraph is accurate, then why haven’t we been forced in masks over the last several decades?

      Because everyone knows THEY DON’T WORK.

      1. Masks have protective benefit.

        But certainly agree that for the 99% of people wearing them, they are just theater and/or psychological balm.
        A good, properly worn, clean, non-woven mask, will almost certainly minimize the number of virus inhaled if exposed in a transient situation. Minimizing the viral load is expected to significantly improve outcomes.
        Masks do little to no good in a situation of sustained exposure.

    2. “I don’t recall anyone ever claiming masks protect the wearer of the mask.”
      yes, they do. N95 masks are ideal. non-woven surgical masks have some benefit, if worn properly. Cloth, woven masks are of almost no benefit

      But the masks need to be changed frequently (far far more then most people do), worn properly, and even then don’t override long-periods of close contact (i.e. masks do nothing sitting next to an infected person in a car for an extended time)

  46. Nice looking Viking maiden by the way.

  47. ‘In other words, the preponderance of the evidence still indicates that if most people wear masks in public indoor spaces and when among crowds outdoors, those of us who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic will be less likely to infect other people.’

    I have seen no evidence for this. Evidence doesn’t just come into being magically by saying it exists. Do you or they have any evidence or even logic for this statement?

    If a mask can’t protect someone from an infectious person, how pray tell could they stop an asymptomatic individual from passing it on? (symptomatic individual is another story).

  48. Ron,

    FFS.

    Why the mask fetish? That’s not what they said.

    Did you read the part it has no marginal benefit? I have a feeling they even had to ‘edit’ the parts that were more damning.

    This study confirms more the body of evidence going back 100 years than not and you should be ashamed of that last paragraph you wrote. I know there’s no money in attacking masks but this is ridiculous. A sham and a scam.

    Masks DO FUCK ALL.

  49. Anti-maskers are all candidates for this year’s Darwin Award.

  50. “The editorial concludes that the Danish study’s “findings reinforce the importance of social distancing and hygiene measures and suggest that masks likely need to be worn by most if not all people to reduce community infection rates, which in turn will protect individuals.” In other words, the preponderance of the evidence still indicates that if most people wear masks in public indoor spaces and when among crowds outdoors, those of us who are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic will be less likely to infect other people. As free and responsible individuals, we should want to avoid causing harm to other non-consenting people.”

    The editorial is welcome to believe that, but there’s no actual evidence for it (much less a preponderance of evidence).

    The study disproves a personal protective effect. It doesn’t address whether protects other people from the (infected) mask wearer – but that doesn’t mean you can say masks *do* have that effect, only that it hasn’t been tested.

    There are no other experimental RCT studies on mask effectiveness in reducing transmission for Covid-19. Pre-pandemic research suggests that masks have little protective effect for respiratory viruses, so there should be a high bar to clear to prove a benefit. Instead, Bailey would have us just assume one.

    (The non-experimental studies are all junk. Mask mandates came after the first wave was receding. The rate of new cases was going down. So the studies observed a world where infection rates were already going down, and they can show that the infection rate post-mask mandate was lower than pre-mask mandate. The implied null hypothesis is that the infection rate would be the same after masks as before masks – which is flatly contradicted by the existing downward trend before mask mandates were even issued. Ergo, in a world without mask mandates, if you had compared before and after ‘imaginary mask mandate day’, you still would have seen decreased infection rates. A bad null hypothesis makes the whole analysis useless – you’ve rejected something that was never going to be true.)

    In fact, I’m not aware of any area of the world where you can point to the progression of the pandemic and say that human interventions caused any deviations from expectation. It may well be the case that social distancing and hygiene have helped, but it’s not clear we have any evidence for it.

    The problem with observational studies is we never get to observe a world in which different choices were made. Only experimental RCT studies let you look at the actual consequences of all (tested) possible choices.

  51. I will go with the advice of the world renowned epidemiologists over that of a bunch of politically motivated hacks when it come to mask wearing. Put on a mask and show that you actually have a brain and that you give a crap about those around you.

    1. Why do any thinking when you can let others do it for you..

  52. The irrefutable facts are that this vile scam of corrupt commie dictators like Newsome and his vile French Laundry (where he happily took his gullible state to the cleaners and vainly, laughably, incompetently pretended to be sorry while his constituents suffer, about which he cares not a whit) is not a genuine pandemic at all but a minor flu not dangerous to anyone without comorbidities, i.e. corrupt, lazy Americans who have let themselves become unhealthy by poor life choices. Healthy Americans have nothing to fear but fear itself, and the evil depraved, deranged Dem/RINO/media cabal that have been planning/seeking to destroy America and fraudulently throw Trump’s successful reelection for five years, since he’s almost alone in standing in their way of making us Red China’s slaves like they are, this sick site sadly in their number, tongue fixed to Biden’s backside.

  53. “But masks are still likely to prevent infected people from transmitting the virus.”

    And that, you are just pulling out of your arse.

    1) assymptomatic contagiousness has yet to be shown with any scientific rigor
    2) Best way to prevent transmittance of any respiratory virus is to stay away from people if you are ill.
    3) Best way to avoid getting the virus is to stay away from people and minimize unnecessary close contact.
    3) We know that the virus has significant longevity in the environment. We know the virus is present in exhaled breath. So, Mr. Science writer, what do you think happens to all that exhaled breath? Why, gee, it collects in the mask. And does it linger? Why yes, yes it does. And what happens when it accumulates over hours of mask wearing? Why gee, it becomes more and more concentrated. Is it likely that the backpressure of exhalation on a saturated mask projects virus rich droplets into the surrounding air? and that those droplets are likely far more concentrated in virus particles then the original exhalation? Gee, ya think?
    And this says nothing about the potential physical transfer of a virus-laden, saturated mask being adjusted by the wearer, transferring virus-rich moisture to every surface the person touches.

    Masks are a sick joke, and political theater.

  54. No mass deaths followed the Sturgis biker rally.
    No mass deaths followed Florida spring break.
    No mass deaths followed bLM/Antifa mass riot-, loot-, and rape-fests.
    No mass deaths followed Biden and Trump rallies.
    No mass deaths followed the flagrant protocol violations by Newsom and Lightfoot.

    Where the cause of mass deaths can identified is in the states where governors mandated infected patients to be taken in at high-risk senior-care facilities.

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