MASKS

One of the biggest controversies of the coronavirus pandemic is about face masks. Should we use them, or not; do they work, or not? People’s attitudes towards masks have become an intense political question, that in some instances have even led to violence.

My own opinion regarding masks is that certain face masks, properly used, may be of benefit to medical professionals and their patients in controlled environments, such as hospital wards. However, to have the general public adopt universal mask wearing is of no benefit, and can lead to various harms. Up until April of 2020, this was also the position of the medical establishment--the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), etc. Then, starting in April, there was a sudden shift, as the medical establishment changed their tune.

In the rest of this article, I will investigate the reasons for the original opinion of doctors and scientists regarding public mask wearing, and possible reasons for the shift we have seen. Let’s start with some history:

1918-1920: “Something was plainly wrong with our hypothesis.”

During the great influenza pandemic of 1918, face masks were widely used. They were typically made of several layers of medical gauze cloth. In 1920, a report upon the uses and limitations of those masks was published in The American Journal of Public Health by W.H. Kellogg, M.D., who was the Secretary and Executive Officer of the California State Board of Health. Here is an excerpt:

If we grant that influenza is a droplet-borne infection, it would appear that the wearing of masks was a procedure based on sound reasoning and that results should be expected from their application.

Studies made in the Department of Morbidity Statistics of the California State Board of Health did not show any influence of the mask on the spread of influenza in those cities where it was compulsorily applied, and the Board was, therefore, compelled to adopt a policy of mask encouragement, but not of mask compulsion. Masks were made compulsory only under circumstances of known contact with the disease and it was left to individual communities to decide whether or not the masks should be universally worn.

The reason for this apparent failure of the mask was a subject for speculation among epidemiologists, for it had long been the belief of many of us that droplet-borne infections should be easily controlled in this manner. The failure of the mask was a source of disappointment, for the first experiment in San Francisco was watched with interest with the expectation that if it proved feasible to enforce the regulation, the desired result would be achieved. The reverse proved true. The masks, contrary to expectation, were worn cheerfully and universally, and also, contrary to expectation of what should follow under such circumstances, no effect on the epidemic curve was to be seen. Something was plainly wrong with our hypotheses.

Dr. Kellogg followed up this strikingly honest admission of failure with a detailed description of his subsequent investigations into the properties of masks, using instruments of his own invention. He made a serious attempt to find out if the cloth masks of the time could stop disease transmission. His conclusions:

1. Gauze masks exercise a certain amount of restraining influence on the number of bacteria-laden droplets possible of inhalation.

2. This influence is modified by the number of layers and fineness of mesh of the gauze.

3. When a sufficient degree of density in the mask is used to exercise a useful filtering influence, breathing is difficult and leakage takes place around the edge of the mask.

4. This leakage around the edges of the mask and the forcible aspiration of droplet laden air through the mask is sufficient to make the possible reduction in dosage of infection not more than 50 percent effective.

5. It remains for future controlled experiments in contagious disease hospitals to determine whether the wearing of masks of such texture as to be reasonably comfortable are effective in diminishing the incidence of infection.

6. Masks have not been demonstrated to have a degree of efficiency that would warrant their compulsory application for the checking of epidemics.

The original article: https://ajph.aphapublications.org/doi/pdfplus/10.2105/AJPH.10.1.34

I find it notable that Dr. Kellogg observes the results of various experiments and adjusts his recommendations accordingly. You may think it odd that I would find this remarkable. However, as we shall see later, to accept real world evidence and adjust policy in light of those facts is not so common these days.

1946 - 2018: the CDC weighs in
Dr. Kellogg was, of course, succeeded by other doctors and scientists over the years who continued to investigate the possible usefulness of face masks in combatting disease transmission. An overview of that work was published by the CDC, in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, in May, 2020. Under the typically clunky title, Non-pharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Non-healthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures, the authors examined studies published from 1946 to 2018.

Some excerpts regarding medical masks:

Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids (36). There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure....In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks (RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.51–1.20; I2 = 30%, p = 0.25) (Figure 2).

The original paper can be found here:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

I will note two significant aspects of the studies examined by the CDC: first, they were randomized controlled trials, which are considered the gold standard of this kind of study. The way such a trial works, you might have a ward full of people sick with influenza, tended by some nurses who wear medical masks, and some nurses who do not wear medical masks. You then see which nurses get sick and which do not, and you run this experiment over a long enough time with enough nurses that you can see what patterns develop. Second, your standard of “getting sick” is a lab diagnosis of influenza in those nurses who get sick. And if you compare virus cultures from the sick nurses with those of the patients they have been tending, you can see if they were in fact infected by the same strain of influenza as those particular patients.

That is how you do a proper study of whether masks prevent transmission of viruses. It is not easy to marshal the resources to do such a study, which is why they tend to be done only in response to serious disease outbreaks. And it should be obvious that an awful lot of the stuff that you see on the internet about masks does not even begin to come up to this level of rigor. But if you want to seriously answer the question, do masks prevent virus transmission, studies like these are the best answer we have.

Cloth masks versus regular medical masks (2015):

For health care workers, medical masks are usually disposable surgical masks, or N95 type respirators. The latter, to be used effectively, must be fit tested, to ensure that they are worn with no gaps that could allow pathogens to enter. Nurses are trained how to fit test a respirator--you, most likely, are not. Most of the public, when required to use masks, will either use the disposable surgical type, or cloth face coverings of various kinds, ranging from rather fancy affairs to simple improvised scarves and the like.

Are cloth masks as effective as standard surgical masks? A study conducted in 14 hospitals in Hanoi, Vietnam, was published in the BMJ Open journal in 2015. It found the cloth masks used by the nurses wanting:

This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs [Health Care Workers], particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

(My emphasis added.)

The original article: https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577.long

There are many other questions about mask use, and there are various sites on the internet that link to articles that can answer these questions. Some of the most useful that I have found:

Masks are neither effective nor safe: A summary of the science--Colleen Huber, NMD, July 6, 2020
Link: https://www.primarydoctor.org/masks-not-effect

While the title shows the bias of the author, this is still a good source for finding medical papers evaluating mask use, as she links to no less than 42 of them.

COMMENTARY: Masks-for-all for COVID-19 not based on sound data--Lisa M. Brosseau, ScD, and Margaret Sitesema, PHD - April 1, 2020

These two authors are highly qualified experts at the University of Illinois at Chicago. They give a thorough overview of mask use, the differences between types of masks, how to evaluate effectiveness, etc. Reading just this particular article will give you a good knowledge base about the issues involved. A short quote:

Following a recommendation that cloth masks be explored for use in healthcare settings during the next influenza pandemic, The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) conducted a study of the filter performance on clothing materials and articles, including commercial cloth masks marketed for air pollution and allergens, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and scarfs.

Filter efficiency was measured across a wide range of small particle sizes....All of the cloth masks and materials had near zero efficiency at 0.3 µm, a particle size that easily penetrates into the lungs.

Link: https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all...

Which brings us to the events of 2020:

The Great Flip-flop

In March of 2020, the World Health Organization, the CDC, and such luminaries as Dr. Anthony Fauci (head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984) were all in agreement; the general public did not need to walk around with masks on their faces. Dr. Fauci was very clear about this in an appearance on “60 Minutes”:

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2020/05/12/flashback_march_2020_...

Here is a transcript from the above video:

Dr. Jon LaPook: There's a lot of confusion among people and misinformation surrounding face masks, can you discuss that?

Dr. Anthony Fauci: The masks are important for someone who's infected to prevent them from infecting someone else. Now, when you see people and look at the films in China and South Korea whatever, everybody's wearing a mask. Right now in the United States people should not be walking around with masks.

LaPook: You're sure of it? Because people are listening really closely to this.

Fauci: Right now, people should not be worried. There's no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you're in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And often there are unintended consequences. People keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.

LaPook: And can you get some schmutz sort of staying inside there?

Fauci: Of course, but when you think mask you should think of health care providers needing them and people who are ill. The people who when you look at the films of foreign countries and you see 85% of the people wearing masks that's fine, that's fine. I'm not against it if you want to do it that's fine.

LaPook: But it can lead to a shortage of masks?

Fauci: Exactly. That's the point. It could lead to a shortage of masks for the people who really need it.

This was the story on March 8th, 2020. But it was not long before the story changed completely. Here is Dr. Robert Redfield, head of the CDC, testifying before Congress on September 16, 2020

https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4907075/user-clip-dr-redfield-masks

Waving a disposable surgical mask in his hand, Redfield testified:

And I will continue to appeal for all americans...to embrace these face coverings....If we did it for six, eight, ten, twelve weeks, we would bring this pandemic under control. These actually, we have clear scientific evidence they work. They are our best defense. I might even go so far as to say that this face mask is more guaranteed to protect me than the vaccine because the immunogenicity might only be 70 percent and if I don’t get an immune response, the vaccine is not going to protect me. This mask will.”

Dr. Redfield’s testimony is strikingly at odds with the position of the medical establishment mere months ago. What new information was he relying on to make such a statement? One possibility was a review paper by the WHO, published in The Lancet, on June 1, 2020:

Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Link: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S0140-6736%2820%2931142-9

According to the study’s summary of findings:

Our search identified 172 observational studies across 16 countries and six continents, with no randomised controlled trials and 44 relevant comparative studies in health-care and non-health-care settings (n=25 697 patients).... Face mask use could result in a large reduction in risk of infection (n=2647; aOR 0·15, 95% CI 0·07 to 0·34, RD −14·3%, −15·9 to −10·7; low certainty), with stronger associations with N95 or similar respirators compared with disposable surgical masks or similar (eg, reusable 12–16-layer cotton masks; pinteraction=0·090; posterior probability >95%, low certainty).

Note that after each set of figures we see two words: “low certainty”. What does that mean? Further down in the text we find this statement:

Although direct evidence is limited, the optimum use of face masks, in particular N95 or similar respirators in health-care settings and 12–16-layer cotton or surgical masks in the community, could depend on contextual factors; action is needed at all levels to address the paucity of better evidence.

Now we know what they meant; the authors don’t have enough evidence from the particular studies they examined to be certain of much of anything. Further, none of those studies is a randomized controlled trial. All of them are observational studies--that is, there are no control groups, and there may be other sources of bias. As I noted earlier, the CDC was able to find at least 10 RCT studies on face masks and their effectiveness, but this review ignores all of them.

If you really want to get down into the weeds of this rather remarkable document, published by The Lancet (one of the world’s leading medical journals), on behalf of the WHO (the top international health body), you could do worse than to check out an article from the Swiss Policy Research web site:

WHO Mask Study Seriously Flawed

Link: https://swprs.org/who-mask-study-seriously-flawed/

A couple of excerpts:

The WHO-commissioned meta-study on the effectiveness of face masks, published in the medical journal The Lancet in June 2020, has been instrumental in shifting global face mask policies during the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the meta-study, which claimed a risk reduction of 80% with face masks, is seriously flawed on several levels and should be retracted....

...The Lancet meta-study is used to guide global face mask policy for the general population. However, of the 29 studies considered by the meta-study, only three are classified as relating to a non-health-care (i.e. community) setting. Of these three studies, one is misclassified (ref. 50, relating to masks in a hospital environment), one showed no benefit of face masks (ref. 69), and one is a poorly designed retrospective study about SARS-1 in Beijing based on telephone interviews (ref. 74). None of these studies refer to SARS-CoV-2.

It is safe to say that, at the top scientific level, there is no new evidence to change the previous consensus, that medical masks are of little or no value to the general public when it comes to preventing virus transmission. That we have a top government health official claiming that face mask use will end the pandemic is a sorry state of affairs. That we have a study of dubious value about masks, making it through peer review to be published in a prestigious medical journal, is equally lamentable.

Personal observations

I find Dr. Kellogg’s conclusions back in 1920 to continue to be relevant. We cannot tolerate wearing a mask unless we can breathe through it. If so, the mask’s ability to block pathogens will be limited--Dr. Kellogg says, by about 50 percent--that is, at least half the pathogens will get through.

Further we have a pretty good idea by now of how Covid19 is transmitted. It is not so much by large droplets, such as those emitted when one sneezes or coughs, which tend to fall to the ground after traveling a short distance. You can’t inhale something like that unless it hits you right in the face. Instead, the virus is carried into the air by much smaller aerosols, which can remain airborne for some time. The stuff that you can use to fog your glasses, or that you see drifting away from your mouth in cold weather--your breath made visible--that is what can build up in a room indoors, leading to the infection of someone else present. While a surgical or cloth mask may be able to block larger droplets, they are helpless against smaller aerosols, which leak in or out the edges of any mask that is not tightly fitted, and right through the porous material of typical cloth masks.

This fact of aerosol transmission of the virus is also why Covid19 is largely transmitted indoors. Outdoors, with the vast volume of air which is constantly in motion, the virus is dispersed and diluted within seconds at any reasonable distance. You have to be in the middle of a packed crowd for some time to be infected outdoors. People walking down the street are in virtually no danger of infection by passers by. And if the sun is out, the ultra-violet light does a fine job of killing the virus. Outdoors is one of the safest places you can be, which is why it is so illogical that the authorities have taken to closing parks and beaches and trying to shut people up in their homes. Mandates for everyone to wear masks outdoors are sheer idiocy, not supported by any science. (Again, this was noted by Dr. Kellogg in 1920.)

Why are they doing this?

The chart below shows the course of recorded infections during the pandemic in France. There is the sudden large peak of infections in March, followed by a slightly less precipitous decline in April. By mid-May, the pandemic is largely over, as infections settle to a low weekly rate, right up to mid-July. And it is right at that point that the authorities decide, “everyone should wear masks when indoors!” And not long after, up spiral the infections again (though not the deaths, which remained low). Something was plainly wrong with their hypothesis.

[Note: I'm having trouble getting these charts to show up. Click on the link below the chart position to see it.]

France Covid19 cases

https://swprs.org/covid19-facts/#jp-carousel-35210

So, we need to look at this chart, and the many others like it and ask, “why are they doing this?” Why did New York City introduce a mask mandate about the same time, when cases, hospitalizations and deaths from Covid19 were all at low levels?

NYC-Florida Covid deaths

https://swprs.org/covid19-facts/#jp-carousel-33031

In the middle of July, with the pandemic on the wane, why did the authorities decide, “we must have masks NOW”? And why do they continue to push their use, even though they don’t appear to do a thing? “No effect on the epidemic curve was seen.” (W.H. Kellogg, of course.) Have we really become so much stupider than we were in 1920? No, of course not. The insistence on masks cannot have anything to do with disease prevention. This is all about social control.

What is to be done?

We all have friends and family who are not ready to hear the kind of information I have given in this article. They are, understandably, scared and probably need hand holding and reassurance more than anything.

I can’t tell anyone else what they, personally, should do. I don’t blame anyone for putting on a mask because it will be trouble, even of a minor kind, if you don’t. But the fact is, we are being lied to by authorities who should behave so as to deserve our trust. That is a very unpleasant thing to face up to.

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Comments

If a mask stops 50%, that's 50% fewer particles floating around--isn't that a good thing?!?

Reduced pathogens floating around means if you do happen to pass by and breathe them in, you're only getting half of what you would otherwise. That would lead to . . . more time the virus needs to replicate to create an overwhelming situation making you sick, and . . . give your body more time to ramp up defenses.

The BLM protests--just about everyone was masked, and very little virus transmission happened.

The Trump rallies--almost nobody wears masks, and many of these have been identified as super-spreader events in the middle USA.

Hong Kong--almost everyone wears masks, and there is so little virus transmission (compared to the United States, where masks are optional), it's not even funny.

In China--just about universal mask use. Only 18 infections yesterday, in a country with many times the number of people as in the United States.

In the Bay Area of California, mask use is actually very high. Virus levels are very low. No huge outbreaks of "infection" or other vague or implied illnesses from wearing masks.

Florida, where mask use is almost discouraged, guess what? Five-and-a-half thousand people infected just yesterday, and that state has been going crazy with covid for months now.

How can you honestly sit there and look at where covid is not thriving (where masks are being used) and where covid is thriving (where few masks are being used) and write this?

This site is starting to drive me away--too many people promoting Trump views of things. People seeing conspiracies in everything.

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Bollox Ref's picture

@apenultimate

The whole anti-mask 'thing' is a puzzle.

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19 users have voted.

Gëzuar!!
from a reasonably stable genius.

@apenultimate You need to be sure of your facts before making blanket statements. I'll cover just one thing: the media constantly talk about "cases" of Covid, with no context as to what they mean. It used to be that when you talked about a "case" of disease, that meant someone presenting with symptoms--fever, cough, bleeding, whatever--typical of that disease. So doctors would talk about their cases.

When it comes to Covid19, that definition has been abandoned. Instead, the case numbers you constantly see reported by the media refer to a PCR test given to a particular person at a particular time turning up positive. That person may have no symptoms at all--they may have been told to get tested by their employer, for example. And, the PCR test may be a false positive--no test is perfect, so there will be false results from time to time. Or the person tested may have a little bit of the virus, not enough to infect anyone else, but the sensitive PCR test may have picked up on that bit of virus, and so they test "positive". I am not making any of this up, we know all these things have happened, and keep on happening. And this mish-mash of raw test results is what is reported as "cases".

At the beginning of the pandemic, test kits were not widely available, and so testing for Covid19 was often limited to people who came to emergency rooms, people who were really sick. There was a pretty good correspondence between people who tested positive for the virus, hospital admissions, and the percentage of people who died. Over time, by late May or so, test kits became widely available and so many more people began to be tested-- for example, it now actually became feasible for employers to require that their employees be tested on a regular basis, whereas before the tests were just not available. And various states, countries, etc., began encouraging widespread testing among the healthy population, in an attempt to chase down all possible cases of the virus.

The result of all this testing with rather imperfect tests has been a widening disconnect between reported "cases" and actual hospital admissions of truly sick people, and deaths from Covid19. We now see examples of states or countries reporting cases going through the roof, while hospital admissions and numbers of deaths--the stuff that really matters--stay about the same or increase only slightly.

Below is a link to a graph that shows what I am talking about, that shows both reported cases and deaths from Covid19 in the U.S. from March through August. Click on the link and have a look at the graph. The rest of the stuff you wrote in your comment was either covered in my article or not backed up by any sort of real data. There are all sorts of things asserted in the media all the time. That doesn't mean they are true.

https://swprs.org/covid19-facts/#jp-carousel-33714

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CalvinV's picture

@out of left field @out of left field
Why should anybody believe in anything from this website ?
"The website of Swiss Policy Research, an anonymous, pseudo- scientific research group that claims to be exposing pro-NATO propaganda."
I explain some of your points:
- change of positions from CDC about masks: In February and March, people rushed out and hoarded medical masks, making them unavailable true medical professionals. Cloth masks, very common in Asian countries, were not available for people either. I remember a couple I know in Ohio showed people that they could use the eye covering given on airplanes as face masks by using it tp cover the nose and mouth!
The CDC tried to stop that by telling panicking people who were hurting medical professionals that face masks were not needed unless you had symptoms.
Later, partly because face masks are more widely available partly because the medical community learned that asymptomatic people can spread the virus too, the recommendation is for everybody to wear masks. There's nothing spurious about that, people just adapt to the latest knowledge and availability of resources.
- About the use of face masks.
Face masks are not used to PREVENT infection. That's just a straw man some people set up so they can beat it down. They are used to reduce the R0 infection rate. If the R0 goes below 1, the pandemic will simply peter out. Currently, the best R0 estimate for Sars-Cov-2 is 2.5. Therefore, anything that can reduce the transmission rate by over 60% will make the pandemic die down.
When someone has his mouth covered with a face mask, the possibility that he can transmit it to another person is reduced by over 90%. It's not even complicated to figure that out. They simply put a petri dish some reasonable distance from that person and then check for the presence of virus after that person coughs, with and without a mask. You don't need to be a medical researcher to figure that if your mouth is covered, the amount of saliva that comes out for 2, 3 feet will be significantly reduced.
Anyway, wearing masks works in many country. RT trashed Australia when it has a 6-week lockdown in Melbourne and police enforcement of stay-at-home quarantine. Six weeks later, the number of daily infections in Australia went from over 700 to around 20 while it increased from below 5000 to over 16000 in Russia. Clearly, trash anti-Western wisdom doesn't work well in practice.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/australia/
Those are the two main points. The rest are similarly FUDs.

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@CalvinV You wrote:

When someone has his mouth covered with a face mask, the possibility that he can transmit it to another person is reduced by over 90%. It's not even complicated to figure that out. They simply put a petri dish some reasonable distance from that person and then check for the presence of virus after that person coughs, with and without a mask. You don't need to be a medical researcher to figure that if your mouth is covered, the amount of saliva that comes out for 2, 3 feet will be significantly reduced.

This is the classic "spit" test. If the mask can stop droplets coming out the front, it must be good. W.H. Kellogg's colleagues thought the same thing in 1918, and they were wrong. They got everybody to use masks that did a good job of reducing droplets from coughs and sneezes, and there was NO effect on the influenza pandemic. May I remind you, that report is part of my post.

Further, there are all the randomized controlled trials with masks that, again, demonstrate that they don't stop viral transmission. Plainly, big saliva droplets have nothing to do with it. Meanwhile, practically all glasses wearers have trouble with their glasses fogging up when they wear a mask. That is their breath, leaking out the top of the mask, and of course, carrying viruses if they are infected. These small aerosols can float in the air for a considerable time. Other people can breathe them in, even if they are wearing a mask themselves. THAT is why masks don't work to stop virus transmission. And yes, I already covered that too in my post.

Anyway, wearing masks works in many country. RT trashed Australia when it has a 6-week lockdown in Melbourne and police enforcement of stay-at-home quarantine. Six weeks later, the number of daily infections in Australia went from over 700 to around 20 while it increased from below 5000 to over 16000 in Russia.

Question: was the decline in daily infections in Australia because of the stay-at-home quarantine, or because of mask wearing? Or both? What percentage of each? You don't know, because no one knows. There are several different things happening in Australia that might affect the infection rate from Covid19. It might not be mask wearing at all.

Then there is the little matter of the differences between Australia and Russia. Different population density, possibly different strains of the virus, different times of introduction of the virus, one country in the northern hemisphere, the other in the southern hemisphere, complete reversal of seasons between the two countries....You really think you are comparing the same thing there? Upper respiratory diseases are seasonal--they tend to get worse in winter and go away in summer. Even just a change of latitude in one hemisphere leads to a change in when a virus flourishes. The flu season in the southern U.S. occurs later than it does in the northern U.S.

My point? If you are going to point to something as the cause of something--do masks stop Covid19 for example--you have to be able to isolate your cause from other possible influences. Otherwise, you simply don't know what you are looking at. That is why a carefully done, randomized controlled trial is the best way to go, if you can do it.

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CalvinV's picture

@out of left field

"But despite the widespread use of masks in 1918, some experts at the time concluded that masks made from gauze “failed” to help slow infections on a citywide scale in San Francisco. The main reason for this failure, they decided, was that gauze is a terrible material for filtering respiratory droplets.
...
To combat the Spanish flu, Americans were told to make face masks with four to six layers of fine mesh gauze — which is what was used in hospitals. The finer the mesh, the better the gauze would be at filtering out respiratory droplets, or so the thinking went. Unfortunately, Kellogg observed that many civilians’ masks were only made from one or two layers of a very coarse gauze similar to cheesecloth.
This criticism was echoed by others, including the Detroit health commissioner, Dr. J. W. Inches. When he saw the skimpy masks that people were making and wearing, he called them “worthless,” with weaves so loose that “a mosquito could jump through them.”"

You should do your own research to understand the issue instead of just believing in something a spurious organization told you. More info here:

https://elemental.medium.com/why-gauze-masks-failed-in-1918-and-what-we-...

When people talk about face masks in 2020, they usually mean three-layer (sometimes 4) cloth/medical masks with an anti-viral layer in the middle, not the gauze masks in 1918. Two things are not the same just because they have the same general name.

Just a few decades ago, doctors/surgeons still wore the one-layer cloth masks. Nobody is telling people to search for those face masks to wear now.

As I said, a lot of your "research" are just FUD.

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2 users have voted.

@apenultimate Just ignore.
People who don't wear masks in my neck of the woods are Trumpsters. The ones who wear masks are both D's and R's that do not want to harm anyone, or be harmed by anyone,regardless of party affiliation. It makes it easy to know whom to avoid! Lol!
It's always best to err on the side of caution.
Stay safe.

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17 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@on the cusp
Same goes for the ones with defiant looks in their eyes, and puffed out rooster chests, who purposely wear them under the nose (my boss who thinks he's so cool and edgy, when in reality he's a 12 yr old stuck in a grown ass man body).

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8 users have voted.

@apenultimate The points aren't worth anything, fitting really, but I do enjoy visiting these essays out of nothing more than morbid curiosity. At this point I can choose either of the following two approaches.

The PSA -

maskhoax_0.jpg

Inner peace -

arguing with fools.jpg

Besides we all need the odd distraction from rationality and reason. Hang in there apen. Remember that it's only when we stop laughing that things begin to go wrong.

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17 users have voted.

"But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

@apenultimate
because of garbage like this essay. I have done lab work that required the use of significant PPE. I have professional knowledge of the use and benefits of PPE. Masks would have been a game changer last spring and still could make a big difference.

My second career was to become a teacher in Florida and I did not go back to the classroom this fall for safety reasons. This same anti-mask bunch on this site called logarithms "fake news" last spring. If they honestly cared about the economy and the problems with lockdowns they would quit deliberately spreading the virus by opposing the use of masks.

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16 users have voted.
edg's picture

I was waiting for you to deliver the coup de grâce to those mask pushers -- CO2 build-up. Everyone with admittedly half a brain knows that while masks can't stop coronavirus particles (size = ~ 80 nm), they readily stop CO2 molecules (size = ~ 0.33 nm), thus leading to brain fog and, ultimately, death by mask asphyxiation. After all, it makes perfect sense to those among us with superior intellect (in the Star Trek sense) that masks can trap minuscule CO2 molecules while simultaneously failing miserably at stopping coronavirus particles that are 242 times larger.

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18 users have voted.

@edg

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13 users have voted.

"But I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now..."

Deja's picture

@edg @edg
Edit: I know edg's comment was snark. Some people believe the claim, hence my comment. It too is snarkish.

You'd think with all the employees out there who are required to wear respirators for 8, 10, 12 hours per day, they'd quickly be suffocating to death if that ridiculous near viral (no pun intended) internet lie regarding CO2 levels were true.

We really do have a lot of fit throwing toddlers in this country. I wonder if they stomp their feet and refuse to wash their hands, brush their teeth or eat their veggies too.

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10 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

@Deja

We really do have a lot of fit throwing toddlers in this country. I wonder if they stomp their feet and refuse to wash their hands, brush their teeth or eat their veggies too.

A lot of them probably do, yes. I wish I had a dollar for every grown-ass adult I've seen at Subway or where I used to work order a plain meat and cheese sandwich on white bread. They also probably leave their shopping carts sitting wherever.

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5 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

Deja's picture

@Daenerys
Plain meat and cheese on white bread with NO condiments! My adult daughter might eat some lettuce or spinach by now, but definitely not pickles, onions, peppers, tomatoes or condiments lol.

They both wear masks though, which is a shocker to me regarding her dad. She's very liberal. He listens to AM talk radio all day.

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3 users have voted.
thanatokephaloides's picture

@Deja

You'd think with all the employees out there who are required to wear respirators for 8, 10, 12 hours per day, they'd quickly be suffocating to death if that ridiculous near viral (no pun intended) internet lie regarding CO2 levels were true.

I do believe edg's comment was to that very point; i.e., it was snark.

We really do have a lot of fit throwing toddlers in this country.

We do indeed. They're called "conservatives". Smile

I wonder if they stomp their feet and refuse to wash their hands, brush their teeth or eat their veggies too.

George W. Bush and Donald J. Trump come readily to mind.....

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

Deja's picture

@thanatokephaloides
Yes, I know it was snark. There are actually people who think it's true.

You could add Hillary Clinton and Nancy Pelosi as well as many other fit-throwing self-proclaimed liberals. I'm not a fan of blue no matter who being placed on pedestals. Don't care whether anyone else considers them Team Perfect or Team Evil, they apparently sell their souls when they take the oath -- every single one -- Team A and Team B. Using the term "conservative" as an insult doesn't work on me because I reject it all. It's a fake system designed to divide and encourage insults based on teams. They're all trash.

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6 users have voted.
mimi's picture

they warm my nose. These days the winds are too cold and too stinky to go without.

Oh, where did I leave my equanimity, again? I think, I left it on my kitchen countertop just aside from my butcher knives. That might have been an intelligent place to put it, right?

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8 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@mimi

You are a breath of fresh air. Thanks for the laughs.

Stay warm and well.

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4 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@janis b
masks from now on! Where are you? I am so darn nosy, even if my nose is covered up. Wink

I will chat with you later in the pm.

PS. I am three days before hitting my camera again and relearn everything I have forgotten about it since 201? ... Can you see me smiling?

So nice to "see" you again. Smile

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5 users have voted.
janis b's picture

@mimi

I am at home in NZ. I missed my annual visit to the states to be with family and friends this year. Hopefully I can go mid next year.

Don't hit your camera. I'd love to get a sense of place from your garden in winter.

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3 users have voted.
Jen's picture

@mimi I wish masks protected me from stinky smells. It's not the wind but people that overuse perfume or cologne that make me feel sick. I mean, if I can smell them from 6 feet away and through a mask, maybe it's a little too much. It doesn't smell as good as they seem to think it does.

I also wish it would cool down some more so the masks would keep my nose warm too instead of making me hotter than I already am.

I also need a shirt or button or something that says, "Don't talk to me". Might seem rude but I get so very many dirty looks now because someone will try to talk to me with a mask on and since I can't see their lips moving, I don't even know they've said anything until they start giving me a dirty look.

I got all kinds of reasons to hate masks, yet I still wear them. Complainers just need to put a mask on and quit acting like spoiled brats. I imagine they're the same people that complained about seat belts when they made the law that said everyone has to wear them.

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12 users have voted.

Is it great yet?

Deja's picture

@Jen
While I am not diagnosed as hard of hearing, I too find it difficult to understand people wearing masks, especially if they have an accent. I never really realized how much I depend on matching lip movement with sounds until now.

I'm sorry you have to deal with that!

Also, those who apparently bathe in cologne affect me as well. It's why I have a good supply of cough drops at work (though I haven't been there since mid March). I can smell them walk into the building or on the next isle at a store, outside even and inevitably start coughing -- which is a bad thing to do now days.

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7 users have voted.

@Jen See the link I posted in my comment above on where you can purchase this type of PPE.

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2 users have voted.
janis b's picture

Is covid mania invading our brains, even if our bodies reject or are clear of it?

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9 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@janis b

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4 users have voted.
RantingRooster's picture

quote-shortly-the-public-will-be-unable-to-reason-or-think-for-themselves-they-ll-only-be-zbigniew-brzezinski-82-48-78_1.jpg

Why question the massive amount of gross criminal negligence of this administration, let's question the efficacy of wearing mask during a lethal pandemic that has claimed over 220,000 of our fellow citizens, because ya, know you're inconvenienced by MASKS!

Makes.Perfect.Sense.To.Me Crazy

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17 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world.

mimi's picture

@RantingRooster @RantingRooster til they drown in a cask.
May be OPOL would have said, wear your mask like heaven. May be it is good, he didn't live long enough to watch all the masking mask that make us drunk.

Na dann, Prost!

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7 users have voted.

To me this looks like a good long stream written copy/pasta report on the collapse of the mental healthcare and education systems in these United States of America. Similar to something I might write/splatter in a fit of despair, but with more sauce.

Thank you for taking time out of your busy day to post this diatribe of contrary opinion Out of Left Field. I'm sad if you're not feeling well, and I'm sad if you are feeling well. Good luck.

Peace and Love

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12 users have voted.

One of the biggest controversies of the coronavirus pandemic is about face masks. Should we use them, or not; do they work, or not?

The only controversy here is in your head!
Guess what, modern materials used in masks have changed significantly from those used in the 1920's.
Reducing the amount of particles exiting your body reduces the spread of airborne virus.
The argument against widespread wearing of masks early in the pandemic had to do with limited supply.
There has been plenty of time to rectify that issue by now.
For those of us who have grown beyond Dr. Kellog's ideas from the 1920's here is a link to PPE supply available now!

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12 users have voted.

Even if wearing masks cut transmission by some percentage,it's at least doing something. The hand washing, use of sanitizer and the 6 foot rule may be part cutting transmission also. The "social control" is mostly self imposed. People want to do something, anything to protect themselves and those around them. As imperfect as the methods used in the past were, people were willing to try them, and were willing to change if needed. There was no other course except to do nothing.

Another form of social control is turning health care into just another wedge issue. It didn't used to be. Thank Reagan and the evangelicals for that. After Aids no disease is safe from politics.

I was a child at the tail end of Polio, and in many ways a virus is a virus. Most diseases are social diseases. We spread them socially. So yes, there has to be social control. What we are doing now probably would have helped slow polio. We won't know what we should have done until we understand the disease and have cured it. Until then we have to do what we can.

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14 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

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6 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

In most cases there is a complete failure to engage with what I wrote. Most commenters have their point of view and just exhibit their disdain or whatever:

This post is complete BULLSHIT

Classy.

Why question the massive amount of gross criminal negligence of this administration, let's question the efficacy of wearing mask during a lethal pandemic that has claimed over 220,000 of our fellow citizens, because ya, know you're inconvenienced by MASKS!

Well, if we are being told that wearing masks will stop the pandemic, it might be important to find out if that is true or not.

Complainers just need to put a mask on and quit acting like spoiled brats. I imagine they're the same people that complained about seat belts when they made the law that said everyone has to wear them.

OK, I'll fasten my seatbelt too.

You'd think with all the employees out there who are required to wear respirators for 8, 10, 12 hours per day, they'd quickly be suffocating to death if that ridiculous near viral (no pun intended) internet lie regarding CO2 levels were true.

You will search in vain in my post for any mention of CO2 levels in masks.

My second career was to become a teacher in Florida and I did not go back to the classroom this fall for safety reasons. This same anti-mask bunch on this site called logarithms "fake news" last spring. If they honestly cared about the economy and the problems with lockdowns they would quit deliberately spreading the virus by opposing the use of masks.

There's an "anti-mask bunch" on this site? Where? I haven't seen them, have you? As for the rest, the point of my post was that there are serious questions about masks ability to stop the spread of viral diseases. Which brings us to the money quote in my post:

In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.

This is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, telling how they investigated over 70 years of studies about masks and found no evidence that they had a significant effect on influenza virus transmission. Does ANYONE here want to address that? I'll wait....

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1 user has voted.
RantingRooster's picture

@out of left field But but but - CDC October 202 Online Report:

The general public can use cloth masks to protect against infection spread in the community. In community settings, masks may be used in 2 ways. First, they may be used by sick persons to prevent spread of infection (source control), and most health organizations (including WHO and CDC) recommend such use. In fact, a recent CDC policy change with regard to community use of cloth masks (1) is also based on high risk for transmission from asymptomatic or presymptomatic persons (32). According to some studies, ≈25%–50% of persons with COVID-19 have mild cases or are asymptomatic and potentially can transmit infection to others. So in areas of high transmission, mask use as source control may prevent spread of infection from persons with asymptomatic, presymptomatic, or mild infections. If medical masks are prioritized for healthcare workers, the general public can use cloth masks as an alternative. Second, masks may be used by healthy persons to protect them from acquiring respiratory infections; some randomized controlled trials have shown masks to be efficacious in closed community settings, with and without the practice of hand hygiene (33). Moreover, in a widespread pandemic, differentiating asymptomatic from healthy persons in the community is very difficult, so at least in high-transmission areas, universal face mask use may be beneficial. The general public should be educated about mask use because cloth masks may give users a false sense of protection because of their limited protection against acquiring infection (16). Correctly putting on and taking off cloth masks improves protection (Table). Taking a mask off is a high-risk process (34) because pathogens may be present on the outer surface of the mask and may result in self-contamination during removal (31).

(bold emphasis mine)

What this report really say, is they haven't got a fucking clue.

This line here, says it all, if you understand the linguistics of it! From the Abstract.

As a result of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, supplies of medical masks and respirators are limited globally.

(bold emphasis mine)

This is a blatant lie. It wasn't the virus that caused a supply shortage of masks, it was the administration's failure that let the national stock pile of N95 masks, expire and then didn't replenish the stock. Hospitals were give expired N95 masks. Fauci told the public not to wear a masks, not because they are not effective, but he knew the national stock pile had expired and there was a shortage for medical professionals. He "feared" front line medical professional would not have enough".

The most relevant part being

We're concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment including the N95 masks and the surgical masks were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people, namely the health care workers who were brave enough to put themselves in harm's ways to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected. We did not want them to be without the equipment that they needed.

That's how all this shit over wearing masks started. The national supply of N95 mask was allowed to expire and the stock was not replenished. Considering the National Pandemic Response Team was disbanded in May of 2018, it's no wonder the national stock pile was allowed to expire.

From the WashingtonPost: (3-26-2020)

Nearly 1.5 million N95 respirator masks are sitting in a U.S. government warehouse in Indiana and authorities have not shipped them because they are past their expiration date, despite Centers for Disease Control guidelines that have been issued for their safe use during the coronavirus outbreak, according to five people with knowledge of the stockpile.

Not to mention the administration's failure to heed any of the the recommendations of the Event 201 organizers, a collaboration of government, business and NGO's and the UN, who ran a "war game" about a novel, corona virus causing a global pandemic.

It is a mistake, imho, in this day and age, to take anything our government says as accurate or honest. Every sentence, phrase, word selection, must be parsed for correct linguistic meaning. It is a mind numbing process but a requirement in today's world for our continued survival and understanding.

I highly recommend for people to find and watch the documentary "Totally Under Control".

Here's the trailer.

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6 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world.

@RantingRooster You wrote:

But but but - CDC October 202 Online Report:

The general public can use cloth masks to protect against infection spread in the community.

Sorry, wrong report. If you just go to my post, you will see that I listed the date of the report I was referencing: "published by the CDC, in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, in May, 2020." You can click on the link I provided and read that paper if you want. As to the October report you are referring to, as I said, after a certain point the medical establishment changed their tune and did a U-turn on mask use. Your comment about the October CDC paper:

What this report really say, is they haven't got a fucking clue.

That does not surprise me. They have to write a paper backing up their boss, Robert Redfield, who goes in front of Congress and opines that masks are better than vaccines. If I were given such an assignment, I'd be kind of incoherent myself.

As for Dr. Fauci and his varying statements about masks, either he was lying in March when he said masks "don't provide the perfect protection you might think they do", or he is lying to us now when he says that he was just trying to protect the health workers while there was a mask shortage. Why couldn't he have said in March, "we have a shortage of masks for medical personnel. I ask the public, please use cloth masks, improvised masks, anything but the professional kind, until we work our way out of this shortage." But he did not say that. He told the truth, that masks are at best of limited effectiveness in stopping virus transmission, especially when used by the untrained public. And now, seeing which way the political winds are blowing, he invents stories about how he was nobly trying to protect the health care workers. This is a man in a position of responsibility. Where does he come off, lying to us this way?

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3 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@out of left field
As you should have noted, however, nowhere did I say you mentioned the online lie that CO2 levels are lowered. As a matter of fact, I was replying to someone else, not you or your essay. You took it out of context, but you knew what you were doing when you did it.

As for your being a fan of Dr Kellogg, surely you researched him, right? Among his vast collection of off the freaking wall claims and treatments for various conditions, he liked to have filthy little boys caught masturbating circumcised without anesthesia as punishment. Dude was off his rocker. He had a strong fixation on sex that he seems to have had a shortcoming with personally, and it was reflected in his treatments/punishments for others.

From Wikipedia:

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg recommended circumcision of boys caught masturbating, writing: "A remedy for masturbation which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering anaesthetic, as the pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment."

As for his claims regarding masks, you are aware that we no longer wear gauze masks, right? You should be aware of something called inoculation. If not, feel free to look it up. It's important and why I will gladly wear my cloth mask with disposable filter inserts. The lower the inoculum, the better. Masks won't prevent an infection, but can help reduce the severity. However, I find it incredibly hard to take someone seriously who made so many wild claims and suggested unmedicated surgery on little boys' genitalia as punishment for doing something as natural as masturbating. Maybe you have someone else who did a similar study back then, because this guy was a monster who made incredibly unsound claims.

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8 users have voted.
Daenerys's picture

@Deja Is that the same Dr. Kellogg who invented corn flakes, as a food so bland that it would suppress the urge to masturbate? (IIRC graham crackers were invented for the same purpose. H/t Alton Brown. Heh)
LOOOOOOOOOOL

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8 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

CS in AZ's picture

@Daenerys

Man, the things I learn from reading here! You are completely right about this wack-a-doodle dude.

The Inventor of Corn Flakes

How a man who considered flavorful foods to cause sin, invented modern breakfast cereal.

“The use of highly seasoned food, of rich sauces, spices and condiments, sweetmeats, and in fact all kinds of stimulating foods, has an undoubted influence upon the sexual nature of boys, stimulating those organs into too early activity, and occasioning temptations to sin which otherwise would not occur. The use of mustard, pepper, pepper-sauce, spices, rich gravies, and all similar kinds of food, should be carefully avoided by young persons. They are not wholesome for either old or young; but for the young they are absolutely dangerous [5].”

So says Dr. Kellogg. Yeah, this is exactly who we should be listening to, for sure.

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9 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Daenerys
I can't unsee Anthony Hopkins playing him whenever I see his name.

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5 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@Deja

Inoculation [is] important and why I will gladly wear my cloth mask with disposable filter inserts. The lower the inoculum, the better. Masks won't prevent an infection, but can help reduce the severity.

There's lt a lot of talk about this among virologists and it's changing the way Covid-19 is treated. It started with two cruise ships on which Corona-19 was unleashed. On one ship, people were told to stay in their cabins as much as possible. On the other ship, face masks were supplied to everyone and were encouraged to enjoy the ship without mingling with others. That was when the advantages of low dose viral exposure was noticed and studied.

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7 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@Pluto's Republic
My go-to guy since February has talked at length, and repeatedly, about lowering the amount of infection you are exposed to. It makes sense to me, but apparently not to others. I've never searched for it, but I wonder if Fauci has ever publicly said anything about it. Or maybe better, has msm ever reported him, or anyone else, explaining it?

I had to hear about it from a guy on YouTube who had his channel demonetized and subscribers randomly unsubscribed by YT. He includes links and always shows the url from where he's taking his info. (Ivermectin is proving to be a great treatment -- so expect the same censorship and discrediting that we saw for HCQ. Bastards.)

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4 users have voted.

@Deja

My go-to guy since February has talked at length, and repeatedly, about lowering the amount of infection you are exposed to. It makes sense to me, but apparently not to others.

It's a lovely idea, but it is not validated by any studies that I know of. If masks lowered the amount of virus exposure enough to reduce the amount and intensity of infections, then it would have showed up in one of the many RCT studies that have been done over the years. In the results they would be reporting, "use of masks reduced infections by XX percent", or "infection severity in subjects using masks was reduced significantly". But there are no properly controlled studies that say anything like this. Sorry.

By the way, maybe they will leave Ivermectin alone. One typical use is for combating flea and tick infections on dogs. I don't think the nation's pet owners would appreciate an effective medication for their loved little ones being banned....

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1 user has voted.

@Deja @Deja The one I quote is W.H.Kellogg, who was a doctor in California, not the cereal guy from Battle Creek, Michigan. So far as I can tell, W.H. was a serious scientist and good citizen.

It is quite telling that not just you, but several other commenters did not spot this mistake and went on about the other Kellogg. Reading comprehension seems to be in short supply around here.

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3 users have voted.
Deja's picture

@out of left field
The correct one thought that only intelligent people knew how to properly wear worthless gauze masks -- including nurses I guess.

And you ignored my earlier question asking if you knew that we no longer use gauze masks. You also didn't bother to mention the following in your agenda laden essay.

At first, Kellogg thought gauze masks failed because most people were idiots but that masks could still protect the “intelligent individual.” However, during the 1918 pandemic, 78% of San Francisco nurses contracted the flu even while wearing proper gauze face masks. After a series of experiments, Kellogg concluded that gauze was not a very effective barrier against respiratory droplets. And in order to make gauze a better barrier, so many layers of fabric were required that it became unbreathable.

https://elemental.medium.com/why-gauze-masks-failed-in-1918-and-what-we-...
.
Lord have mercy.

As for your flat out denial that lower inoculum can reduce the severity of infections, you just might be one of the individuals who your guy talked about -- the first group, not the later intelligent ones.

Because I'm not wasting any more of my time here by replying separately to both comments, your claim in another reply to me that ivermectin is for dog fleas is absolutely incorrect. You can attempt to talk down to me because I confused two old men with the same last name and both using initials instead of first names, and both thinking physical reactions, including viral infection, are because of some mental or moral shortcoming, but at least I know what the fuck ivermectin is. It's not for fleas.

Thankfully, I'm done with this and your shill like behavior and posts. Please stay away from people since you will be holding up your sign, rather than wearing a mask, announcing to the world that you have chosen to be an asshole instead.

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6 users have voted.

@Deja

thinking physical reactions, including viral infection, are because of some mental or moral shortcoming, but at least I know what the fuck ivermectin is. It's not for fleas.

I looked up Ivermectin some time ago, and found information that Amazon was selling it. It turns out that it is used in anti-flea and tick medication for pets. If this is the wrong "Ivermectin", please give me a source and I will stand corrected. In any case, if I had Covid and a doctor gave me Ivermectin, I would take it. I was not ridiculing your reference.

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2 users have voted.
Pluto's Republic's picture

@out of left field

...in the last part of your comment above:

As for the rest, the point of my post was that there are serious questions about masks ability to stop the spread of viral diseases. Which brings us to the money quote in my post:

In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.

This is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, telling how they investigated over 70 years of studies about masks and found no evidence that they had a significant effect on influenza virus transmission. Does ANYONE here want to address that? I'll wait...

.
I will address this.

It is not clear from your markup which study contained your 'money quote'. Was it the Lancet study? I looked at these studies, and I wonder if you are actually clear on their true purpose.

You seem to believe the purpose of the study is to find out — after a century of consistent use — whether or not face masks work to prevent the spread of infections. You assume that medical science cannot know the real answer to this because the effectiveness of masks has never been tested with enough rigor. Suggesting that, across the arc of time and experience with masks, we still don't know — and cannot predict — whether the infection rate of Covid-19 would drop significantly if masks were worn in all public places by the entire population.

Did I state your view accurately?

I can see how this sink-hole of uncertainty opened. Given the timing of pandemic events, the intensity of political narratives that deny them, the suppression of cost-free health care solutions that can prevent infection, and the failure of the public health authorities to properly bamboozle the people into obedience — suggest the real reasons why so many Americans are going Rogue on medical reality.

The CDC started lying as soon as the Coronavirus showed up. They were covering up things that no one even knew about, yet. But it was the Big-fucking-Lie about wearing face masks that thoroughly undermined the Public Trust. "The Public should not use face masks at all. Face masks can cause harm," was a lie with unexpected consequences. It gave birth to innumerable conspiracy theories, and It will likely put the vaccine program into jeopardy.

I believe the purpose behind these studies you cite is to compare the effectiveness of N-95 masks to surgical masks and cloth masks, by extension. This comparison plays down the effectiveness of both masks in order to convince the public that they don't need to demand N-95 masks for themselves. To convince the Public that the loose surgical masks worn by support Health Care Workers are good enough for everyone.

Gaslighting is the best that the US can do for its People. Don't get caught up in it.

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11 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic @Pluto's Republic You wrote:

You seem to believe the purpose of the study is to find out — after a century of consistent use — whether or not face masks work to prevent the spread of infections. You assume that medical science cannot know the real answer to this because the effectiveness of masks has never been tested with enough rigor.

No, that is not what I believe and not what I wrote. There have been many randomized controlled trials testing the efficacy of masks in preventing infection, including the 2015 trial of cloth masks versus medical masks in Vietnam that I referred to in my post. They ALL show that masks are not effective in preventing transmission of viruses. There are no RCT's that show that they are. There are no exceptions.

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1 user has voted.

@out of left field
... until you offer to compensate me $1500 for wasting my valuable time and expertise explaining what I shouldn't need to explain.

Because the thing is, I'm one of those scientists that certain people are pathologically slandering and libeling, calling us out as members of a global conspiracy to sacrifice innocent people on the altar of Big Pharma profits, or on the altar of Big Brother, or some other inanity. The same people, meanwhile, credulously promote an endless parade of hucksters and charlatans (e.g., Judy Mitkovits), or politically-motivated contrarians, without taking even 10 minutes to consider the absurdity of the arguments or pseudo-facts these people are spewing.

So if you want a healthy dose of the truth, you can fucking well prove that you want it, by paying for it. I will tell you in advance that you aren't going to like the results, but having paid for them there's a much greater likelihood that you'll accept them, because that's just how people are -- especially people whose interpretation of information is highly biased by their emotional predispositions.

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8 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd I was promoting genuine science, which is what we had when it came to masks, up until April of 2020.

The same people, meanwhile, credulously promote an endless parade of hucksters and charlatans (e.g., Judy Mitkovits), or politically-motivated contrarians, without taking even 10 minutes to consider the absurdity of the arguments or pseudo-facts these people are spewing.

You must have me confused with someone else. Look at any of my posts or comments here; I do not promote charlatans or hucksters. That said, you are free to disagree with my opinions if you like. I'm not going to pay you for that though.

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2 users have voted.

@out of left field @out of left field
you cite does not support your viewpoint. It is a straightforward fact. You think it's an opinion, because:
A. You have not fully read and fully comprehended the CDC report
B. You have not followed up and read the studies it reviewed
C. You lack the training and technical knowledge necessary to correctly interpret either the report or the studies it reviewed.
For me to demonstrate that you are completely mistaken would require an enormous amount of work: Work you should be doing, since you're the one bringing the CDC report to the table in evidence. But like all FUD-raking denialists of all stripes in all domains, your approach is to simply throw links at your audience, links whose information you've not bothered to vet or comprehend, leaving the full epistemological burden at the feet of those you oppose.

Well, Fuck That. I'm not your lackey or bird-dog, and it's not my job to chase down every FUDdy little scrap of text that catches your blinkered eye. Bottom line: Nobody should bother reading anything you post, because you can't be bothered to do the necessary investigation, which is an expression of such extreme contempt for other people's time and effort that it deserves nothing but condescending dismissal.

Which is precisely what you're going to get from me, now: I dismiss with condescension your uninformed and uncomprehending representation of the CDC report as somehow supportive of your position on masks. It is not, you've embarrassed yourself by suggesting that it is, and everybody who read your remarks should give them no further thought.

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9 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd Actually, I did read the CDC report you refer to. You don't agree with my interpretation, which is OK. But the language I quoted is pretty damn clear:

There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure....In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [Randomized Controlled Trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks

You just don't make a claim like that in a scientific paper unless you can back it up. At least, that used to be the standard. I admit that there are certain papers that have appeared lately that, you have to wonder how they passed peer review--I'm thinking of the study in the Lancet about hydroxychloroquine that turned out to be based on a massive data base that, well, did not really exist. And I found out about that because I do go and read scientific reports, as much as I can make time for.

Your constant flinging of insults at me because I am not a great scientist like you are is unbecoming. I admit there are no degrees after my name. But I do have one thing going for me: I can read.

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4 users have voted.

@out of left field
You want to know how and why you've got it all wrong, you'll have to pay me something approximating my going rate.

Otherwise you can wallow in your insufferably smug, uninformed, uncomprehending ignorance.

And I hope others will take my advice and ignore you, because You. Do. Not. Know. What. You. Are. Talking. About.

Yet you talk. And talk. And talk.

And that is my final word to you.

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6 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01 a Boeing 757 (AA77) flew into the Pentagon.
AGCC is happening.
If you cannot accept these facts, I cannot fake an interest in any of your opinions.

@UntimelyRippd I find it telling that you expend great energy and time telling me I am all wrong, but do not address a single specific point in my post. I think you could have provided ONE example about three comments ago, but I guess you want to get paid for that. The rest of us here do comments for free.

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1 user has voted.
Daenerys's picture

@UntimelyRippd these days is everyone thinks their opinions are just as valid as facts and science. They are not.

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3 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@UntimelyRippd

So if you want a healthy dose of the truth, you can fucking well prove that you want it, by paying for it. I will tell you in advance that you aren't going to like the results, but having paid for them there's a much greater likelihood that you'll accept them, because that's just how people are -- especially people whose interpretation of information is highly biased by their emotional predispositions.

out of left field "can't handle the truth". (H/t A Few Good Men)

Blum 3

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1 user has voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

@out of left field Thanks re-posting my comment subject!
THE TRUTH HURTS!
Go ahead keep digging.

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3 users have voted.
earthling1's picture

although it may seem from out of left field, is to just invest in and wear a full face respirator. The kind that filters the air you breath in, but not the air you breath out.
You know, protect yourself and screw everyone around you, including your loved ones.
Amirite, OOLF?
s/

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6 users have voted.

After six years, still getting robo-calls from Marriot Hotels.
They're like herpes.

courage to write this. Good for you for questioning the motives of our owners. It took real guts to write anything questioning the "conventional wisdom" even on this site, which used to pride itself on questioning the "conventional wisdom."

As for those who seem to think this took you 5 minutes to write and you just threw it together because you just wanna deny the efficacy of masks, I think it is just another example of your last line in this diary - people DO NOT want to hear that all that "conventional wisdom" and supposed concern for your neighbor just might be another bullshit lie. MIGHT BE. And by my saying IT MIGHT BE, I too am a science denying loon, not just a highly cynical individual who watches the corruption and LIES in this country and wonders - that is simply no longer allowed.

Until we really, honestly question how in hell will we ever know? But I guess we aren't supposed to really determine actual fact, we are to go along because if we do not, we are just selfish Americans who are pissed off that we can't go to the pizza parlor in person and Trump supporters to boot. And how DARE we worry about massive unemployment and homelessness, why just work from home and you'll be fine, never mind some people cannot work from home by the very nature of their jobs, doesn't matter. If you want to work because YOU HAVE TO you are merely a capitalist supporting moron and not someone whose actual, you know, home and meals, depend on that job. You should just DEMAND that government DO SOMETHING and if you didn't DEMAND hard enough, well then, you're on your own, science denier.
And sure, when you go to the grocery store, do not think about that trucker and those warehouse guys who HAVE TO work outside their homes, but be sure to bitch when there isn't enough toilet paper so you too can stock up....

Yes, truth hurts, and I think the truth, the REAL TRUTH and not some godamned stupid meme the "smart set" wants to believe in is damned painful. It's like admitting that hey, maybe solar and wind WILL NOT keep our lives the same as they are now with NO sacrifice in lifestyle to actually do something about climate collapse - far better to just believe you are a good science loving American and once we remove our CO2 emissions everything will be OK, never mind the pollution, the plastics now in everything we eat and drink and probably even breathe, perhaps that little minor problem with the ozone layer and some UVC, nope, even with some "heating" the earth will survive and so will humanity.... Oh, maybe not in our present form, but surely things will be OK again, things will be normal again if we all just buy a Tesla and quit worrying about the fallout since that happens in other places that we don't need to worry our empty little heads about...

To even question the experts, far too many of whom have large financial stakes in that miracle vaccine that will "save us all," not to even dare mention any pesky little "side effects" it might cause and the long term "treatment" that may require which will also provide a nice steady revenue stream, is now blatant heresy or RWNJ blather. IMHO, the polarization of "science" in this country is part and parcel of why this pandemic fear will not only work on this population, but it will continue to have people fight their neighbor over what is coming out of the MSM on either "side" of that false fucking divide.

I probably shouldn't even write this little comment as I too will be seen as a Trumpeter, as one poster commented, for even daring to say, you know what, maybe we really should think about the masks, the social distancing, the blaming and shaming of ANYONE who does not have that damned mask on even though there are real people, actual real people, who for medical reasons SHOULD NOT WEAR ONE. Someone at work told me she thinks anyone who cannot wear one should wear some type of badge so that others will know they're not just some selfish RWNJ fuck - does that sound like something out of the past? A small yellow star maybe? Oh sure, shit all over me for saying that because the mask is "SCIENCE" after all. While the "infections" continue to increase I do not see many people AT ALL without one and I now live in what is mostly a right wing area. The infections go up while the masks go on. Hmmmm. But for me to even say that just proves my RWNJ bonafides I guess. Well, so be it. If that is what we have turned into here, like something out of that Other Place but with "science" this time instead of partisanship, then maybe I'm in the wrong place. If questioning isn't even allowed here where in hell IS it allowed?

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5 users have voted.

Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

@lizzyh7 Just for the record, I gave your comment a thumbs up. I feel about the same.

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2 users have voted.
CS in AZ's picture

@lizzyh7

Uh, this post is still sitting right here on the site, available for anyone to read and comment upon.

Despite it being full of spin and falsehoods that will cause illnesses and deaths if believed, this nonsense is nonetheless allowed to be posted here. So what are you complaining about? That some people disagree and some even express the deserved disdain. Oh the huge manatee.

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2 users have voted.
RantingRooster's picture

@lizzyh7 the efficacy of wearing masks was never a "national" or otherwise issue, (in my 56 yrs on this rock) in providing some protection against the transmission of airborne virus and or diseases, until now.

Why is that? What has actually changed that would lead people to question the simple, common sense precaution of wearing mask to limit the transmission of a deadly disease?

What ever happened to the common sense idea, to err on the side of caution? Is it really a good idea to throw caution to the wind during a lethal pandemic? Does that really make much sense?

I think Out of Left Field might have proposed their question better, and not so convoluted.

Simply ask, why is my government telling me one thing one minute, then something completely opposite the next, rather than "question" the science behind the efficacy wearing of masks? (That's certainly the way it "reads" to me.)

Are masks a "silver bullet" to end the spread of the virus, absolutely not, and no one should say otherwise, imho. But, it is a good idea to wear masks in public because it does help reduce the spread, and if I'm not mistaken, that is the whole idea of wearing masks, to help reduce the spread of a deadly virus.

We have over 100 years of history and science, that PROVE, masks do help reduce the transmission of viruses. Materials composition, type, size, fitting, proper use, are all factors that play a role in their effectiveness. Then there's the droplet size, amount of active virus, the person's physical health, are additional factors.

But, this "biggest controversy" is absolutely "manufactured". (imho)

One of the biggest controversies of the coronavirus pandemic is about face masks.

Who said so? Who started this controversy and why, and what's the point? What purpose does it serve? Why is it even a controversy?

Are we trying to get better masks to stop the spread of a deadly virus, or venting moral outrage over personal inconvenience? Or some other agenda... (Who is funding this controversy? That's a question no one is asking...)

If you want to question the "science", I am totally down for that, if, you use more science. If we look through history, science has the "method" of updating it's own conclusions, which, is with more science. Right?

I freely admit, I'm an uneducated, non scientist. So ymmv...

Drinks

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5 users have voted.

C99, my refuge from an insane world.

@RantingRooster

Simply ask, why is my government telling me one thing one minute, then something completely opposite the next, rather than "question" the science behind the efficacy wearing of masks? (That's certainly the way it "reads" to me.)

Are masks a "silver bullet" to end the spread of the virus, absolutely not, and no one should say otherwise, imho. But, it is a good idea to wear masks in public because it does help reduce the spread, and if I'm not mistaken, that is the whole idea of wearing masks, to help reduce the spread of a deadly virus.

Now, if you will please just refer me to that evidence that masks help reduce the spread of a deadly virus, that would settle the whole matter. And no, Dr. Redfield testilying in front of Congress does not count.

We have over 100 years of history and science, that PROVE, masks do help reduce the transmission of viruses. Materials composition, type, size, fitting, proper use, are all factors that play a role in their effectiveness. Then there's the droplet size, amount of active virus, the person's physical health, are additional factors.

Links, please. Provide specific proof. I'd really like to see it. Just asserting something does not make it so. (And if you don't want to spend the time, that will begin to give you an idea of how much work I put into my masks article.)

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2 users have voted.
Unabashed Liberal's picture

equivalent--a slight exaggeration, but, not much--when I leave home, I am definitely not an anti-masker by any stretch of the imagination.

Having said that--so long as OPs post links to back up their opinions, personally, I have no problem with allowing opposing views to be aired (here, or anywhere).

To my recollection, the only time that I've come in and cried 'foul' regarding the substance of a comment (as a Mod) was when some poster--can't remember who it was, it was several years ago--came in and declared that Rachel Maddow, whom I've detested for years--"called for Bernie Sanders to be assassinated."

Now, THAT was truly beyond the pale. (IMO)

Have a good one! Pleasantry

Mollie

"The leaders of this new movement are replacing traditional liberal beliefs about tolerance, free inquiry, and even racial harmony with ideas so toxic and unattractive that they eschew debate, moving straight to shaming, threats, and intimidation."
~~Matt Taibbi, The American Press Is Destroying Itself, June 12, 2020

"I know, I know. All passion; no street smarts."
~~Captain West, 1992 Rob Reiner/Aaron Sorkin Movie, A Few Good Men

“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die, I want to go where they went.”
~~Will Rogers, Actor & Social Commentator (1879-1935)*

*Thank you travelerxxx for graciously correcting Rogers' dates of birth and death.

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2 users have voted.

Everyone thinks they have the best dog, and none of them are wrong.