This Controversy Over Masks Is Manufactured - IMHO

Why all of a sudden is there is this supposed “controversy” over masks? Who are the people “questioning” the science behind the efficacy of wearing a mask, to “help prevent” the spread of a deadly virus?

I have ZERO problem with anyone who wants to question "the science" (of anything), if they follow the Scientific Method. Maybe I'm just an uneducated, raving lunatic, who doesn't understand what the "fuss" is all about?

Why has there not been a “controversy” over masks in the past?

Has anyone, anywhere in the world, or the universe for that matter, declared that wearing a mask will 100%, beyond a shadow of a doubt, completely and utterly protect anyone against COVID19????

Why, is there any type of controversy in the first place?

Anyone who believes mask are 100% effective or 100% not effective, are, well, ah, ill informed and imho, they lack basic common sense, at a bare minimum.

What, IS, the controversy about wearing masks? In other words, what is the "root" of the controversy?

If "the science" informs us a mask is only 20% effective, would you rather have that additional 20% protection or not?

Who cares what it is made out of, if it provides protection, 20% is better than none, why would anyone not want to wear one, assuming of course your health and public health are not "competing" ideas for you. It certainly is possible to protect your health and those of others, by wearing a mask in those situation where they are highly recommended.

Do we just forget the last hundred or so years of pandemic responses, lessons learned, by health organizations all over the world, that used masks as a precautionary measure to slow or stop the spread of deadly, highly contagious virus and disease?

Are we "shocked, I tell you shocked" that our government has lied at worst or made a mistake at best, with mixed messaging to us?

One day Fauci tells us don't wear a mask, only in certain circumstances, but later tells us something completely different.

The "science" is clear as day to me, wearing a mask is better than not wearing one, but again, I'm an uneducated moron right?

What does common sense tell you?

Common sense informs me, that if the controversy about the "science" of anything, is being lead by non-scientists, then the issue is not one of science. Scientists have a specific method and well established processes for questioning each other's work.

Are we to throw out the scientific method, proven process because, well, we're inconvenienced?

My CT Theory

Here's some nuggets of info, that fit, well let's call it my "CT theory", because I have no proof, and I'm "speculating", that this so called "controversy", isn't about "science", but something else...(what I don't know... yet...)

Over at TheConversation, in April, they ran this story.
‘Reopen’ protest movement created, boosted by fake grassroots tactics

In recent days, there have there been public protests against continuing the lockdown. The people who are doing the demonstrating may really be frustrated and upset, but new research, and journalistic investigation, is revealing that there are powerful forces behind them, egging them on, who want their influence to remain secret.

Snip

In the space of several days, there were protests in a dozen states, ranging from a crowd of more than 2,000 who gathered in Olympia, Washington, to several dozen in Annapolis, Maryland.

The available evidence suggests that the demonstrations were organized by paid political operatives using Facebook and new websites to encourage conservatives to protest in specific places against specific governors who had imposed strong public health restrictions on economic activity. This context indicates that one real intention of the protests was to create the illusion of an organic movement that had arisen to object to the restrictions.

Evidence is to the contrary: Polling shows that just 12% of Americans think their local restrictions have gone too far – and 26% think they don’t go far enough.
Sparked by citizen inquiries first posted on Reddit, independent investigative reporter Brian Krebs has confirmed that most of the web domains that had been registered around the idea of “reopening” the economy belonged to a very small number of people. He used a cybersecurity search tool to search for “any and all domains registered in the past month that begin with "reopen” and end in “.com.” He found that many of them were created on the same day.

Then there's this from the NationalCompass.net - Dark Money And Extremists Behind National COVID-19 Anti-Government Protests

“Operation Gridlock” was also replicated in Colorado, Texas, Idaho, Arizona, Minnesota, Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina and Kentucky.

By now, you have seen many of the reports. What we’re going to look into in more detail here, is the network of right wing groups that are organizing and funding this activity, as well as their connections to (impeached) president Donald Trump and his administration.
The local group that put together Operation Gridlock, was the Michigan Conservative Coalition, also known under its DBA as “Michigan Trump Republicans”.

Assisting in the funding of the event and providing promotional support, was the Michigan Freedom Fund, founded by Greg McNeilly, who advises Trump cabinet member Betsy DeVos and her family on political matters.

Of course there's this from the WaPo - The anti-quarantine protests seem spontaneous. But behind the scenes, a powerful network is helping.

The ads on Facebook sounded populist and passionate: “The people are rising up against these insane shutdowns,” they said. “We’re fighting back to demand that our elected officials reopen America.”

But the posts, funded by an initiative called Convention of States, were not the product of a grass-roots uprising alone. Instead, they represented one salvo in a wide-ranging and well-
financed conservative campaign to undermine restrictions that medical experts say are necessary to contain the coronavirus — but that protesters call overkill and whose economic fallout could damage President Trump’s political prospects.

A network of right-leaning individuals and groups, aided by nimble online outfits, has helped incubate the fervor erupting in state capitals across the country. The activism is often organic and the frustration deeply felt, but it is also being amplified, and in some cases coordinated, by longtime conservative activists, whose robust operations were initially set up with help from Republican megadonors.

And for a more detailed analysis from the Intercept - Masks Off: How the Brothers Who Fueled the Reopen Protests Built a Volatile Far-Right Network

For right-wing fringe activist Ben Dorr, who sent the emails, outrage about Black Lives Matter was an easy pivot from another cause he’d been promoting. With his brothers Aaron, Chris, and Matthew, Ben Dorr helped launch protests to reopen states across the country shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic this spring. Alone or together, the four Dorr brothers started a slew of Facebook groups, joined by hundreds of thousands of members, that have helped to fuel skepticism about health precautions and pushed for states to open prematurely. In a country where the simple act of wearing a mask has become a political statement, the people who organize against masks are worth watching.

Snip

The Dorr brothers, who range in age from 29 to 40, have ties to tea party figures like Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul and have been dismissed by people on both the right and the left as astroturfing hucksters who are more interested in profit than policy. Even the National Rifle Association has denounced them as scammers. Before they began railing against public health measures, the brothers started gun rights and anti-abortion groups in multiple states, registering them as nonprofits and then paying out some of the money that they raise from donations to a for-profit direct mail company that they themselves control, according to IRS tax forms required to be filed by nonprofits.
Penn-Firearms-Assoc

The Dorrs administer or are affiliated with roughly two dozen nonprofits and Facebook groups across 11 states, including the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance, Iowa Pro Life Action, and the Trump Club of Ohio. Often, their tactics are crude. Many of their organizations lack offices. The New York State Firearms Association and Pennsylvania Firearms Association are registered to UPS Stores. Iowa Pro Life Action and Iowa Gun Owners are listed at P.O. boxes. Many of the groups have nearly identical logos and web design. The Dorrs film similar videos for the different groups, often wearing the same outfit. In addition to asking for money, their emails typically link to ostensible petitions that collect names and physical addresses to feed back into the mailing lists.

To me, this "controversy" is "manufactured", because those leading the controversy like the Dorrs Brothers, funding the anti-lockdown, anti-mask protests, are not using science to disprove well established science.

When Trump abdicated his responsibility to the state governors, he let lose 50 mini-dictators who have enormous powers under emergency orders, who can willy, nilly violate CDC "guidelines" because the state's economy needs to saved, so fuck your god damn grand parents.

And created even more chaos because the governors where thinking they were going to follow the "national plan", which the Trump admin through out the window long before (years) this pandemic ever began.

Imho, if there is any "controversy, it should be about our government's utter failure, and gross criminal negligence that has contributed to 230,000 of our fellow Americans to needlessly die, because, ya know, we have it "Totally Under Control". "it'll go away, like a miracle, you'll see..."

I simply suggest, if you got a mask, wear it.

Drinks

(If you read any links, I highly suggest the link to the Intercept article.)

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it would seem so...
Gotta watch Redacted tonight!
later, man...

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Pricknick's picture

I have but one tiny issue.
There is no such thing as common sense. If there were, most would think the same. Very few do.

What does common sense tell you?

Again. There is no such thing as common sense.
Peace RR.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

RantingRooster's picture

@Pricknick I have found independent evidence to support your position.

10391870_1179909792020578_816084084978012421_n.png

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

polkageist's picture

And we consume ideas as well as groceries, clothes, and automobiles. Our political manipulators are using marketing techniques to sell their products of ignorance, bigotry, and hatred and using it very effectively. Trump is the epitome of their program to dumb down the public and to make it uncomfortable with its ability to figure things out. A friend sent me a very good article on this very subject:

www.counterpunch.org/2020/10/23/advertising-vs-democracy-an-interview-wi...

It will elucidate what is happening. All of the inadequate, unsure, and ignorant flock to the banner of what's easy and what's popular with their peers. Trump has been extremely effective at selling this particular brand of snake oil.

We have seen the people who have attempted to sell this kind of fluff here get their comeuppance. Of course, we should wear masks, keep our distance from one another, and wash our hands. Just look at what doctors and nurses do around sick people and then think about the fact that you're in a pandemic. As is said, "It ain't rocket science."

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-Greed is not a virtue.
-Socialism: the radical idea of sharing.
-Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
John F. Kennedy, In a speech at the White House, 1962

snoopydawg's picture

@polkageist

The caption of this homage to consumerism suggests a link between the slick hucksterism of the ad business and the fanatical nationalism of the MAGA cult. Is the connection real?

This was written in 1999, but the first thing I thought of was Kissinger's 2014 article saying someone like Trump should be president with the MAGA theme. I recently read about how Hillary deliberately threw the election to Trump because that’s what the PTB wanted so Trump could do what he’s doing. Her Dean scream-Romney’s 47% government grifters-Deplorables comment and not going to the states she needed to win and her other 'mistakes' that may have cost her the election.

Relating to the mask debate:

HI: Does advertising as a whole tend to push things in a conservative direction, and to make people less engaged and more antisocial?

JK: I think it does. Look at the question of public health, especially right now, during a pandemic. Advertising is all about the individual consumer, and will always take the implicit position that everything is up to the individual, and it’s the individual’s fault if things go wrong. Especially if the advertiser is peddling harmful or addictive products, it’s in its interest to attack the “nanny state” and to foster the belief that any effort to improve public health is the enemy of freedom. The fight may start with cigarettes or beer, but eventually it becomes about masks, which are now a big political issue. It’s incredible!

This....

foster the belief that any effort to improve public health is the enemy of freedom.

is why so many righties are against single payer health care. The government is so corrupt and broken there is no way they can do health care right. Or it’s 'socialism' that they have been conditioned to be afraid of. Decades of Propaganda/ Advertising thrown at us and no wonder people are how they are.

Great article. Thanks!

I wonder why so many republicans in government don’t wear masks even though many of them are in the high risk group? Surely they have seen the evidence of whether masks work or not? Pence, Barr and others high up in government didn’t wear them during the Barrett debacle and at other gatherings. Trump could have just as well died from getting infected. Or did he and his doctors know something that we don’t? Why did Feinstein hug Lindsay while he could have still been COVID positive after he got infected at the WH gathering? I think people questioning things is smart. Wearing a mask is smart, but if you’re gonna wear one do it properly. I had to talk to a store employee today and her mask was below her nose. Every place I go into says that masks are required, but inside there’s always a few who will not do it. I don’t say anything because it’s none of my business. I’m sure many of them are just waiting for people to do it. I’m not into games.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

Daenerys's picture

@snoopydawg Herman Cain is the only one of them that's died, so far. Weird, isn't it?

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This shit is bananas.

snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

He got sick right after the event right? Then he must have been contagious at it and I wonder if anyone else in his family got infected? Anyone heard?

Just remembered.

Chris Christy got sick and he’s been humbled by it unlike Trump. Trump is telling his supporters to get exposed to it so they can move on with their lives. That is so reprehensible and irresponsible. It’s not just you either get sick, do the hospital and then go on with your life or don’t get sick and maybe be immune for a few months. More people who don’t go in hospital are still struggling with whatever COVID did to them.

Bill Barr disappeared for awhile too. Mike Lee and a few others got infected/exposed and they were supposed to quarantine. One guy didn’t because his doctor told us he didn’t need to. So there. Lindsay Graham also was supposed to quarantine, but he has to be there for Feinstein’s hug.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

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gulfgal98's picture

@snoopydawg Being exposed to or having COVID-19 does not automatically give you immunity against the virus. I had read about some people in China who came down with it a second time, but was not sure until I read about Fernando Gaviria.

Fernando Gaviria is a world class professional cyclist. As a follower of cycling, I am very familiar with who he is. Gaviria had COVID-19 last February and was hospitalized as a result. He appeared to have completely recovered from it. Much of the cycling season in Europe was postponed until Sept because of the lockdowns. It then proceeded to pick back up with strict testing and quarantining of the riders before and during the races. During the three grand tours, riders and staff were kept in a quarantine bubble with no outside contact and were tested at least once a week. Earlier this week, Gaviria tested positive for COVID once again. It was not a false positive but was confirmed by a second confirmative test.

Swart reiterated concerns raised by other scientists about what the reinfection cases show about immunity.

“The antibody response to the virus has been shown to be transient and these antibodies start to wane after 3 to 4 months,” he said, adding that at 6 months they are “mostly undetectable” in many people who were infected early on in the epidemic,”

He said that in his view, it was now “clear... that the risk of re-infection is real.”

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

@gulfgal98 I would want to know if Gaviria had any symptoms. He's out there riding, so it is unlikely that he feels sick. Yet he shows up positive on 2 PCR tests. Can this happen to someone who is not sick? Yes it can. The PCR test is looking for specific parts of the virus. It can pick up old fragments of the virus in someone who had Covid but is recovered. This has been documented--it is one of the shortcomings of the PCR test method. So I would be curious to know more about Gaviria's case.

In general, the number of documented reinfections with Covid19 is very small. I think world wide the number is less than 10 at this point. Millions have had the disease and recovered. So the reinfections can either be a testing artifact, and/or you can have rare individuals whose immune system is compromised.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Daenerys

It doesn’t make sense that they are not wearing masks.

Krystal asked Bernie about Biden’s putting republicans in his administration, but he dodged the question. I’d love to see him answer it.

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

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snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

I really like this woman.

HI: What do you think life would be like without advertising?

JD: It would be so radically different, it’s hard to imagine. What if women weren’t encouraged to be so concerned about these manufactured ideals of beauty, and didn’t feel this pressure to spend money on unnecessary products? What if men and women had authentic routes to power and self-esteem?

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RantingRooster's picture

@polkageist "programming" for nothing. I wonder, would Edward Bernays be proud, or horrified. Crazy

I stop watching "TV" about a decade ago, I use different sites to down load "programs" (TV shows), but they don't have the advertising that goes with them. An hour show is actually about 42 minutes which means there's 18 minutes of "commercial programming" for every hour of TV.

Is it any wonder we have a epidemic of ADHD? Every 5 minutes your "thought process" is interrupted. Many people don't seem to be able to discuss "deep" topics because their attention span can only handle about 5 minutes of discussion.

I think Ziggy was right...

quote-shortly-the-public-will-be-unable-to-reason-or-think-for-themselves-they-ll-only-be-zbigniew-brzezinski-82-48-78_2.jpg

Drinks

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Centaurea's picture

@RantingRooster

Ziggy was right. Exhibit No.1, his daughter, Mika.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

so, Americans engaged in toilet paper panic buying. (Shades of post-9/11 panic buying of plastic sheeting and duct tape.)

Americans are scientifically illiterate consumers steeped in irrationality.

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magiamma's picture

@Marie

On Friday, top infectious-disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci suggested it might be time for face coverings to be made mandatory to stop the spread of the virus.

“Well, if people are not wearing masks, then maybe we should be mandating it,”

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@magiamma Ten months after the pandemic began he still soft pedals the value of masks.

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edg's picture

@Marie

In a March 2020 60 Minutes interview, Fauci said: “Right now in the United States people should not be walking around with masks … You should think of healthcare providers who are needing them and the people who are ill.” Reference: Did Anthony Fauci Say People No Longer Need to Wear Masks?

The problem was never that masks aren't effective. The problem was nobody in government wanted to admit that when we outsourced a lot of our manufacturing to China, it put us in serious danger of not having enough and not being able to make enough PPE to keep our nation safe.

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@edg comment on masks? A crap -- uninformative and incomplete answer.

Informational advisories should have began by the end of January. With its first case, the Korea CDC began making public announcement. That was on Jan 22. "If sick, wear a mask and isolate from others." About the best that could be expected as of that date as all that was known is that its infectious, some people get very ill, and some people die. The advisory should also have included the possibility that the virus may be aerosolized. We will know more about that later, but using the precautionary principle, avoiding large indoor public spaces with poor ventilation would be advisable. Before locking down Wuhan, China designated a single hospital in Wuhan for the treated of COVID-19 patients. When that hospital ran out of space, they requisitioned other spaces for emergency field hospitals, and then built a new emergency hospital. They didn't lose a single health care worker after the putting these measures into place.

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edg's picture

@Marie

Source: Is Trump Right That Fauci Discouraged Wearing Masks? Yes. The Coronavirus Task Force was announced January 29.

  • March 8 - During an interview with 60 Minutes—an interview Trump and his allies cite as an example of when the doctor was wrong—Fauci says "there's no reason to be walking around with a mask,” though adds he’s not “against masks,” but worried about health care providers and sick people “needing them,” and says masks can lead to “unintended consequences” such as people touching their face when they fiddle with their mask.
  • March 31 - Fauci says he is in “very active discussion” with health officials about reversing guidance on mask use when the U.S. gets in a “situation” where it has a sufficient mask supply, and explains that experts were beginning to believe that Covid-19 spreads in the air among asymptomatic people who do not cough or sneeze.
  • April 3 - The CDC updates its guidance on facial coverings recommending Americans wear facial coverings "in public settings when around people outside their household, especially when social distancing measures are difficult to maintain."
  • April 3 - Fauci and the rest of the White House coronavirus task force embrace the new guidelines, and the doctor tells Fox & Friends viewers that morning to “wear some sort of facial covering” when you’re in public and can’t socially distance because of new information the “virus can actually be spread even when people just speak as opposed to coughing and sneezing.”
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To me wearing mask and closing a business are two different things.
Wearing a mask is difficult if you have asthma/COPD. Yet, I have become so used to it that I recoil from people not wearing them.

Yet some stupid Dems are now saying we should be wearing them inside our houses! My wife and I should wear masks when we are alone togher? I sleep with the woman for God's sake!

With Dems pushing nonsense like that is there any wonder that there is pushback?

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We are so screwed.

Daenerys's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness I believe you, I just haven't ran across anything with them saying that yet. They really don't want to win, do they?

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This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys He didn't repudiate it.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness but in-home masking is a recognition of the high and increasing rates of infections within homes. This was obvious to me early on from the county infection demographic reports. Poorer people live in smaller residences and with a larger number of family members. If only one family member must regularly leave the home and interact with others when not fully protected or in a fully protected environment, she/he will bring the virus home with them.

Lockdowns are a blunt instrument and don't do more than slow down the rate of transmissions if they aren't combined with a number of other measures. In the US the lockdowns were not only partial but they also didn't include all the other measures. So, now as of Saturday, we have 8,747,283 cases and 229,284 deaths compared with China's 85,747 infections and 4,634 deaths. Maybe China fudged a bit on both or some number of early cases and deaths were unrecognized, but they have and continue to work hard at stomping on the virus. Americans have their 'freedom' and collapsing economy and don't cry until there's no empty hospital bed for themselves.

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RantingRooster's picture

@Marie with your thesis.

Lockdowns are a blunt instrument and don't do more than slow down the rate of transmissions if they aren't combined with a number of other measures.

(bold emphasis mine)

I think South Korea's results adds anecdotal evidence to support your thesis as well.

From MedicalNewsToday

These factors include having a well-prepared plan to respond to infectious diseases, enlisting the private sector in facilitating responses to the virus, putting a thorough contact tracing system in place, and having an adaptable healthcare system. In addition, the communication from the government was clear.

(bold emphasis mine)

The Atlantic gives us some context on how South Korea went from zero cases to the 2nd worst outbreak in the world, and then quickly got it under control.

On February 16, a Sunday, a 61-year-old woman with a fever entered the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, South Korea. She touched her finger to a digital scanner. She passed through a pair of glass doors and proceeded downstairs, to the prayer hall, where she sat with approximately 1,000 other worshippers in a large windowless room. Hours later, she exited the building and left behind a trail of pathogens that would lead to thousands of infections, triggering one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the world.

By the end of February, South Korea had the most COVID-19 patients of any country outside China. New confirmed cases were doubling every few days, and pharmacies were running out of face masks. More than a dozen countries imposed travel restrictions to protect their citizens from the Korean outbreak, including the U.S., which had, at the time, recorded an official COVID-19 death toll low enough to count on one hand.

But just as South Korea appeared to be descending into catastrophe, the country stopped the virus in its tracks. The government demanded that the Shincheonji Church turn over its full membership list, through which the Ministry of Health identified thousands of worshippers. All were ordered to self-isolate. Within days, thousands of people in Daegu were tested for the virus. Individuals with the most serious cases were sent to hospitals, while those with milder cases checked into isolation units at converted corporate training facilities. The government used a combination of interviews and cellphone surveillance to track down the recent contacts of new patients and ordered those contacts to self-isolate as well.

Within a month, the Korean outbreak was effectively contained. In the first two weeks of March, new daily cases fell from 800 to fewer than 100. (This morning, the nation of 51 million reported zero new domestic infections for the third straight day.) On April 15, the country successfully held a national parliamentary election with the highest turnout in three decades, without triggering another wave. South Korea is not unique in its ability to bend the curve of daily cases; New Zealand, Australia, and Norway have done so, as well. But it is perhaps the largest democracy to reduce new daily cases by more than 90 percent from peak, and its density and proximity to China make the achievement particularly noteworthy.

Oh, gee, go figure, THEY HAD A PLAN. THEY FOLLOWED IT. Wow, what a concept, Right?

Trump tossed out the plan, handed the response over to governor's, who had to not only compete for supplies against other countries, but the federal government it self was buying up supplies.

From CNBC:

As manufacturers struggle to keep up with the surging demand for masks, gloves and gowns for medical professionals, states are bidding against each other — and the federal government — for supplies.

The situation has slowed down states’ ability to purchase personal protective equipment (PPE) during a time of intense need, while also driving up costs.

In other words, the US government's response to the pandemic was to create an eBay casino market, where the fed was driving up prices of PPE gear, passing contracts and big dollars savings to big business, bypassing antitrust legislation, but the saving aren't shared with the customers, as MotherJones Report? (Who benefits?)

Drinks

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@RantingRooster The Korea CDC daily on-line updates are informative. First one was on 22 January. By 19 January they were doing temperature checks on airline passengers arriving from Wuhan (that's how the first known case was detected and prevented that person from spreading it). Within a week or so, they expanded that to all arriving passengers because a case arrived from Singapore and spread. The temp checks identified about half of those infected arriving passengers.

S. Korea did have key assets in place before the pandemic: 1) universal health insurance; so few wouldn't avoid accessing health care if they experienced illness 2) public health system to track a virus (an outgrowth of the SARS outbreak) 3) high level of public trust for the KCDC and hospitals/clinics. Other than a short-term closure for schools, they didn't lockdown. Their advisories were clear - test, masks, isolation/quarantine if infected, and ventilation, ventilation, ventilation. They did lose some health care workers, but as you point out their hotspots were churches (all that singing and hugging), nightclubs, and a few offices.

S. Korea didn't stomp on the virus as China did. Just contained it well enough that its health care system can handle some level of a chronic epidemic. That's a choice they made at the beginning; not optimal but far better than the choices made in many countries. Vietnam went one better -- those who are ill but not ill enough for hospitalization (their medical resources are more limited than S. Koreas) are housed and monitored in "fever shelters" instead of being advised to shelter at home. Vietnam's results speak for themselves.

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@Marie
I don't believe it.

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We are so screwed.

RantingRooster's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness whether it is COPD or Emphysema, but I've been experiencing shortness of breath, for years. Carrying my groceries up the stairs requires taking my mask off to catch my breath.

Drinks

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@RantingRooster
Do you have pain in your lungs? See a lung specialist for comprehensive testing. Lung health is vital. Your heart can't pump oxygenated blood around if the blood can't get oxygen from your lungs.

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We are so screwed.

RantingRooster's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness the 40 years of smoking is catching up to me. That and all the cat hair lol.

gigi.jpg

Drinks

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@RantingRooster
25 years of pack a day damaged my lungs. Forty tears? yeah, a good bet you have COPD. You need an inhaler. at least a rescue inhaler. Albuterol is off patent and cheap. So cheap it almost disappeared until Big pharma hit on patenting the spray nozzles.

Sorry. your sacs are full of soot. You will need the rescue inhaler if you get COVID too.

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We are so screwed.

@The Voice In the Wilderness

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@Marie
Unless they have other medical problems. From the TV news, it looks like the leading causes of death are gunshots and parental abuse.

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We are so screwed.

gulfgal98's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness My sister has mild COPD as a result of her lifelong asthma. She never goes anywhere without wearing a mask. People who have a medical problem should be wearing a mask as they are more vulnerable that those of us who do not have a medical issue. And yes, I know that my mask only gives me about 15-20% protection, but if I am around others who are also wearing a mask, my protection rate goes up to about 90%.

People who seem to have problems with masks seem to have one of two issues based upon my own anecdotal evidence. They either have an aversion to being told what to do or their masks do not properly fit. The first category is what I call the anti-maskers and I abhor them and avoid them when I am at the store. I wear glasses and my first mask made my glasses fog. Finally I found several masks that fit my face well and the fogging problem went away. I have noticed that small children seem to have adapted to mask wearing very easily. It is too bad that the adults are not more adaptable.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Unabashed Liberal's picture


What, IS, the controversy about wearing masks? In other words, what is the "root" of the controversy?

in the other essay, but, had to fix dinner. After we eat, and I finish chores, will tell you what I think the two main issues are for many peeps.

(mind you, Mr M and I perceive all this garbage through the lens of decades-long Federal bureaucrats, ourselves--so, I truly don't expect that my views will line up perfectly with many folks)

BTW, the other day (on CNN) I heard in a bright and chirpy voice declaring that health care providers will demand that we allow ourselves to be tracked with a phone app, if we want to get a COVID vaccination.

Frankly, we're speeding up our efforts to leave the country, so that we won't be demanded to do this (in order to travel overseas). IOW, we're absolutely aghast at the thought that we'll have to be 'tracked' in order to get a vaccination. Yet, I suppose, some people will be relieved.

(I've located the transcript--plan to post it, when I get a chance.)

Hey, gotta run, now, but, will catch up with ya later.

Mollie

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

snoopydawg's picture

@Unabashed Liberal

health care providers will demand that we allow ourselves to be tracked with a phone app, if we want to get a COVID vaccination.

Google and other government contractors are going to track people who get the vaccine for 2 years after. How hasn’t been declared yet, but I can imagine what they will do. Can’t remember where I read it, but I think it was written by Robert Kennedy Jr. He's not so much anti vax as he is he wants to make sure they are safe. Those with kids: how many vaccines did your kids get and have you seen how many they get now?

Anyone who wants to fly anywhere will need to get a pass saying that you recently got tested. A pass for now...? And does anyone trust Bill Gates? He has no medical degree and yet he’s working on the vaccine? Comma-La, Pelosi and Biden are telling people that they shouldn’t trust Trump’s vaccine if it comes out before he leaves office. Why?

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“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

RantingRooster's picture

@snoopydawg Bill Gates because he's such an expert in, well, not medical science. Makes perfect sense right? OMG.

Fortunately, I haven't flown since 9/11. I refuse to allow anyone to touch my ,well.. ya know... It's actually a crime in Texas to touch anyone's, ya know.

Meet Bill Gates.

Have a good one SnoopyDawg!
Drinks

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

@RantingRooster
Can't even make a decent clone of CPM-86. Yeah, I'll trust that megalomaniac,

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We are so screwed.

Daenerys's picture

Is what it boils down to for a lot of anti-maskers, though they won't admit it.

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This shit is bananas.

edg's picture

@Daenerys

"Gubmint can't tell me to wear a mask! But I can tell people on welfare to get a job and I can tell woman who want an abortion they can't have one and I can tell kids they must pray in school and I can tell Black people they can't live in my neighborhood and I can tell the gays they can't get married and I can tell ..."

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Situational Lefty's picture

@edg a thousand times this!

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15 users have voted.

"The enemy is anybody who is going to get you killed, no matter which side he's on." Yossarian

ggersh's picture

@edg

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5 users have voted.

Buy a Bible don't read it and you'll be a Catholic
Buy a Bible read only what suits you and you'll be an Evangelical
Buy a Bible read it fully, analyze it, reason it and you will be
an Atheist

Shahryar's picture

Who stands to profit?

The idea of not wearing a mask is directly tied to businesses being open. Businesses being open, aka business as usual, helps the stock market.

The stock market, also known as the casino, separates crooks from suckers.

So convincing rubes that masks are unnecessary is the rich saying "keep giving us our cut"

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snoopydawg's picture

@Shahryar

Yep. It’s big business that wants us to get back to work. That was why they insisted kids go back to school even though it’s not safe. Parents need a place to stash their kids while they go back to work. But those company CEOs don’t want to spend money on keeping their employees safe. Common Dreams has an article on the epidemic in meat processing plants and how workers are not getting PPE or being told to work while sick or not telling people that their tests were positive. This is happening in auto plants and other businesses.

Rooster posted this here, but in case you missed it. It details who is behind the return to work and their funding the anti lockdown protests.

https://www.nationalcompass.net/2020/04/19/dark-money-and-extremists-beh...

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14 users have voted.

“Restoring the soul of this nation” is just MAGA with more words

Twitter is like a game of telephone

magiamma's picture

That polkageist linked

How did we reach this point? For viewers conditioned by the manipulative narratives purveyed by advertisers, which are geared to our most selfish and primitive impulses, it’s no great leap into the dumbed-down, hyper-emotionalized world of reactionary pseudo-populist politics, as ground out 24/7 by Rupert Murdoch’s right-wing media machine. Murdoch’s truth-free Fox network is the ideal platform for the conscience- and character-free Donald Trump. Trump himself, whose insatiable appetites and pathological narcissism and aggression mask deep feelings of inadequacy and shame, is the perfect consumer and product of mass media and advertising. He understands and relates to his gullible and deluded base because he is, in terms of psychology if not lifestyle, very much one of them. They have all drunk of the same Kool-Aid, with the same damaging results.

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Stop Climate Change Silence - Start the Conversation

Hot Air Website, Twitter, Facebook

Dawn's Meta's picture

A couple of things strike me: not only is the main objective of the astroturfing of no masks, no lockdown profit (probably the real bottom line of everything) but notice a lot of the targets are Democratic state level officials like the Michigan Governor and others in that state hierarchy. Why? They were more effective at getting a set of simple measures out there to their citizens regarding stopping the spread of the virus.

The article linked to by polkageist is indeed very good. I would like to see her documentary and other films.

This brings up a corollary: there is a documentary on Netflix called "The Social Dilemma". It talks about the means used by the social networking techs to achieve the ultimate advertising in our hearts and souls referred to by Jean Kilborne.

Edit to add link to Harper's evaluation of The Social Dilemma Social Technology

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14 users have voted.

A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

Consider helping by donating using the button in the upper left hand corner. Thank you.

Lookout's picture

Seems some want COVID to spread rapidly to speed up herd immunity.

We've become a divided nation them vs us. Mask wearers and those who don't.

How's that working out?
Let's see 4% of the world's people and 20% of COVID deaths.

Just wear your damn mask, socially distance, and stay outside with others (if possible)..if not ventilate indoor areas. Best yet, stay home if you can.

Thanks RR for digging into the cause of the controversy. Something no one mentioned that I find pertinent...

U.S. exports of surgical masks, ventilators and other personal protective gear to China skyrocketed in January and February, when the coronavirus was wreaking havoc in the country where it began and as U.S. intelligence agencies warned it would soon spread.
American companies sold more than $17.5 million worth of face masks, more than $13.6 million in surgical garments and more than $27.2 million in ventilators to China during the first two months of the year, far exceeding that of any other similar period in the past decade, according to the most recent foreign trade data available from the U.S. Census Bureau.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/investigations/2020/04/02/us-exports...

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14 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

RantingRooster's picture

@Lookout many failures on so many levels and so much death. Trump created a casino market to make business deals, not protect out country or our citizens.

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C99, my refuge from an insane world.

gulfgal98's picture

@Lookout Professional cyclist Fernando Gaviria tests positive for COVID after having it in February 2020. The positive was confirmed by a second test. Quote from the linked article.

Swart reiterated concerns raised by other scientists about what the reinfection cases show about immunity.

“The antibody response to the virus has been shown to be transient and these antibodies start to wane after 3 to 4 months,” he said, adding that at 6 months they are “mostly undetectable” in many people who were infected early on in the epidemic,”

He said that in his view, it was now “clear... that the risk of re-infection is real.”

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Lookout's picture

@gulfgal98

https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20201012/first-confirmed-us-case-of-covi...

“So far, we’ve only seen a handful of reinfection cases, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more, especially as many cases of COVID-19 are asymptomatic,” he said. “Right now, we can only speculate about the cause of reinfection.”

Researchers stress that everyone should protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, even if they’re sure they’ve had it before, by wearing a face mask in public, staying at least 6 feet away from others, and washing and sanitizing hands often.

Trump claims he is immune.

However, that is 3 cases out of 8,881,548 cases Pretty rare, at least so far.

(appears to be a different virus genotype.)

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7 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Despite packed flights, data shows that flying poses a low risk for contracting the Covid-19 virus

There's a lot not said here with regards to other precautions airlines are taking. Many airlines around the world were blocking center seats so passengers are somewhat separated. Currently, the only US airline still blocking center seats is Delta. They've committed to continuing the practice until "well into 2021", whatever that means. Delta is also actively questioning travelers, especially frequent flyers, about their preferences for continuing the policy. They've said their customers will have a say in when the policy is changed. The cleaning protocols for Delta flights are thorough and leaves out nothing that I can see. They have no problem deplaning and/or banning passengers who refuse to wear a mask. Crew has testing available on request but I don't know if they are tested on a random or continuing basis prior to duty. I would have no problem flying DAL and would like to see this study extended.

I wasn't at all happy flying for them my last three years following the merger. I retired early because I disliked their culture, their antiquated operation, and was sick of being told how to fly the A330 like their old, far different 767s. We were being told that there was massive change coming that blended the best from NWA and Delta. What we saw was us changing to do things like we'd done 20+ years before that were less efficient and, in many cases, stupid. An old friend and former naval aviator put it best when he told the VP of Flight Ops, now FAA Administrator and 3 knot windsock/empty suit, at a big pilot meeting at Narita, Japan, "We were tired of being pissed on and told it's raining." Good on ya Boris! I'd had enough. But I have to give it to the senior management. They followed through and they have built a solid operation and passenger experience. I'm particularly pleased with their Covid response and how they've handled downsizing the operation.

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7 users have voted.

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

@vtcc73 was spreading throughout the world mostly by passengers of airlines. What seemed odd to me was the absence of reports about people contracting the virus while flying. Would have been nice if one of those who know more about airliners would have pointed out the extremely high level of ventilation on airliners. That would have added data to the question of the virus being aerosolized. Airlines could then have employed the simple measures of 1) temperature checks and 2) cloth or surgical masks. The airports were more dangerous than the planes and we saw huge crowds in airports during those early weeks.

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@Marie @Marie all the time, not just during health emergencies. Japanese international arrival halls have a health station just prior to immigration. Most have an IR scanner set up although it isn’t always manned or operating. Japan isn’t the only Asian country to use this precaution. I even seem to remember Sydney having something similar.

All of the things you mentioned are known and have been known for a long time. Some countries were prepared to screen. Some of those did but most didn’t. There is a strong temptation to wait for more information on health threats for a variety of reasons. I think that’s what happened and this time the threat was far more capable than expected.

As far as the aircraft ventilation and air conditioning are concerned it’s more complex than this article suggests. Some cabin air is recirculated, 25-50%, depending on the phase of flight. All of it is well filtered and mixed with hot air bled from the engines for temperature control. A rough guess is that being in a passenger cabin with center seats blocked is no more threatening than being in an outdoor setting of people practicing distancing and maybe less so. Using masks for the duration of the flight and keeping the area around you and your hands clean are an effective last line of defense.

As usual it comes down to not what we know and can do but what those charged with protecting the public health are prepared and willing to require in response to a threat. It’s pretty easy when there is a known highly dangerous threat but not so much to a previously unknown one. I hope the current mess increases the willingness of all of us to be more cautious. I’m not going to hold my breath though.

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5 users have voted.

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

Lookout's picture

@vtcc73

I was surprised to learn only -
40% of all age groups reported having a fever in the first seven days
https://covid.joinzoe.com/post/early-covid-signs

So checking temps isn't very effective in eliminating the spread of the pandemic. But I sure like the idea of removing all fevered passengers.

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11 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout who are not doing daily temperature checks aren't worth that much. When Wuhan was in lockdown, armies of volunteers did temp checks on the residents there. In Liberia during the Ebola outbreak in 2014, community workers (not highly trained medicos) did temp checks on the residents because that is the first symptom of Ebola and precedes the period of infectiousness and those with a temp were placed in field hospitals for supportive care (lots of liquids). Liberia, the poorest of the countries hit with the outbreak, was the first to be declared Ebola free.

It's not yet known if all those infected with SARS-CoV2 express a temperature, if it precedes infectiousness, or even if it precedes a positive test result. But it's a tool that can be used that may be effective and is otherwise harmless. So, I see no reason to poo-poo it like those that poo-poo using masks.

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Lookout's picture

@Marie

Just suggesting if only 40% of COVID spreaders express a temperature, temperature alone will not effectively reduce spread.

from the study...

We used data from app users who tested positive for COVID-19 from a PCR (swab) test. All statistics correspond to the symptoms reported by these individuals in the first seven days after onset.

These are daily reports.

Just like masks we need to use all the tools we have...especially the simple ones like those.

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5 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout that only 40% of COVID spreaders expressed a temperature. We only know that 40% retrospectively reported a temperature and doubt many of those were even doing daily temperature checks before they became ill. We don't even know if there are actual asymptomatic spreaders because, again, it's based on retrospective self-reports with no real time data. Not everybody is sensitive to recognizing a slight increase in temperature and for some that may be the only symptom and it resolves quickly enough.

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Lookout's picture

@Marie

this is the app which John Campbell uses and compares data with the national office of statistics. No biggie here just sayin' I think it is reliable data. Why would someone make up their daily temp?

Edit to add:

You might like to hear his take on the data?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqpIpHezTnY (15 min)

And I would suggest the value would be much larger for no temperature if asymptomatic folks were included. These were people WITH symptoms.

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4 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@Lookout Not having the best or the proper tool when we have nothing else is not a reason to not use it. That goes for most things about this pandemic from masks to distancing to shutdowns to quarantines. Someday we may have a treatment or a vaccine, or not. Or whatever is developed may be of limited efficacy and duration. As long as it is significantly safer then nothing or using whatever is developed then there is valid cause to try it. I know there are others who think differently. That's fine with me as long as their actions aren't a threat to others.

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7 users have voted.

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

Lookout's picture

@vtcc73

is an iodine mouthwash or nasal spray. That would be my go to if I thought I was possibly infected.
https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/27355/20200918/iodine-solution-kil...
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/odi.13526
http://www.kaarid.ca/uploads/1/2/6/7/12670943/oral_vitamin_a_c_d.pdf

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1 user has voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

gulfgal98's picture

@Lookout People infected with COVID-19 are most infectious to others before symptoms appear according to recent studies.

For Covid-19, there is emerging evidence to suggest the infectious period may start 1 to 3 days before you develop symptoms.

The most infectious period is thought to be 1 to 3 days before symptoms start, and in the first 7 days after symptoms begin.

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4 users have voted.

"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." ~ President John F. Kennedy

Lookout's picture

@gulfgal98

That's why I suggest taking temperature (while not a bad idea) will not stop the spread and shouldn't be relied upon as a screening tool.

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3 users have voted.

“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

@gulfgal98

It is a novel virus, but that would make it very different. Generally there's: 1) day 1 infection 2) incubation - two to x days 3) symptoms - three to twenty-one days 4) infectious sometime within #2 or #3. With SARS infectious - and highly so - was after strong symptoms presented. With Ebola - and again highly so - after first symptoms and increased during the illness phase.

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4 users have voted.
Lily O Lady's picture

@vtcc73

Delta two years ago. He was seated next to a guy with a terrible cough and other upper respiratory symptoms. Of course at that time neither was masked (although in Japan it is considered good manners to wear a mask on public transportation). And on international flights food and beverages are served (two meals and snacks). So lots of opportunities for exposure even with masks.

Anyway, my poor husband caught what the guy had. I suppose now they wouldn’t allow someone so obviously symptomatic to board a plane. Still there was a report of a passenger dying of Covid on a Spirit Airlines flight recently. So we may stay earthbound for the near future. Ultimately our own behavior can only go so far to protect us from the behavior of others.

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6 users have voted.

"The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

@Lily O Lady obviously ill passengers. I also think the landing documents in Japan include a question about being ill. Of course, most won't self report. There were procedures to deal with this but nobody is very concerned until times like this.

I caught things on the road all the time. My internist friend kept me well supplied with meds for common ailments in travelers. I was always well supplied for intestinal bugs, most common for me, and antibiotics for more serious stuff. I can't count the number of times I holed up in the hotel room doing everything I could to be fit to leave. Only twice did I have to ask to be replaced although there were a couple times I felt good to go only to get a couple hours into the flight wishing I hadn't. Some places were notorious. Delhi "belly", or commonly Gandhi's revenge, dropped pilots and flight attendants all the time. Levaquin saved my bacon, and a couple of my crew, more than once. (I had on first officer go down hard about an hour out of Mumbai. He was almost normal though badly dehydrated by the time we got to Amsterdam. Results like that made me a believer. I offered Levaquin to him asking if he knew of any allergies to meds. He said no but that he hoped it killed him.) It usually solved Delhi belly's worst symptoms in 6-12 hours. Getting sick on international travel happens. Funny, in three years in Ecuador I've not had a cold or sinus infection. These were frequent visitors while flying and after retiring. A healthy diet, exercise, and a low pollution environment make a huge difference.

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5 users have voted.

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

@vtcc73 and, they tend to occur in winter in temperate climates. This has been found to be due to the lower humidity of the air in winter, which allows virus aerosols to transmit much more freely. In summer, the warmer, more humid air makes virus aerosols much less likely to infect people. So, in Ecuador, last I checked, you are in a tropical clime, with warm and humid air. That may be a contributing factor to your lack of colds and sinus infections.

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Daenerys's picture

@Marie COVID? "The Doctors are profiting from it!"
Climate change? "The scientists are profiting from it!"

WTF!!! Diablo

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7 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys hold most dear. They fervently believe everyone is exactly like them and project themselves on the rest of the world. Every time they open their mouths or write something it tells us everything we need to know about them and zero about the supposed subject they claim to address. They are some seriously sick fucks. But we all knew this didn’t we?

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7 users have voted.

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

Daenerys's picture

@vtcc73 Of course you are right.

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5 users have voted.

This shit is bananas.

@Daenerys Trump is playing a version of the old GOP welfare fraud mothers because that gets the goats of anti-socialism Americans (not limited to Republicans). Except he had to dig down to accuse hard hit front line health care workers of engaging in fraud. The truth is that it's bankers and many small so-called business people that have been fraudulent accessing Covid federal funds because Trump's Mnuchin and SBA aren't incompetent. Then we have the larger fraudsters (ie PHarma) working feverishly to cash in big time.

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5 users have voted.
Creosote.'s picture

@Daenerys

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1 user has voted.

UD student, 18 years old, dies from coronavirus.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

...but what is the motive. The controversy is presented by mimicking the language of science, using passages from reviews of studies about facial masks efficacy. These snippets assert that the protective capacity of masks are largely observational and not clinical with control groups — so the results that show that masks offered protection from infection must be seen as "low or no confidence." Recent ethical studies where animals were used to test mask protection from SARS-CoV-2 are dismissed as "animal studies."

It's a propaganda-based forced fail.

What, IS, the controversy about wearing masks? In other words, what is the "root" of the controversy?

If "the science" informs us a mask is only 20% effective, would you rather have that additional 20% protection or not?

Do we just forget the last hundred or so years of pandemic responses, lessons learned, by health organizations all over the world, that used masks as a precautionary measure to slow or stop the spread of deadly, highly contagious virus and disease?

What does common sense tell you?

Common sense informs me, that if the controversy about the "science" of anything, is being lead by non-scientists, then the issue is not one of science.

.

I agree. The charge that masks are not 100 percent effective is a ludicrous strawman argument. No scientist or thinking person has ever assumed such a thing about a piece of cloth.

Why all of a sudden is there is this supposed “controversy” over masks?

Why has there not been a “controversy” over masks in the past?

.

I've actually been collecting articles about masks for a project I'm working on. Last week, I marveled at the number of articles about face masks that appeared. You were right to notice it. It was unusual. There are a lot of angry, unemployed, food-insecure people out there being starved by Congress, while they see themselves as "forced" to wear facial masks and judged for their social distancing. They are an ideal group — clearly from the self-centered-right wing — to use as astroturf for some cause or another.

The article in The Intercept you reference, sounds like a plausible match for this latest Tea Bagger transformation of the god, guns and gullible crowd. The Dorr Brothers have knack for organizing these people and giving them a narrative for their outrage. If it weren't for the actual science behind the masks, I might empathize with their squealing that their Freedom has been stolen.

At the same time, this movement has a manufactured and pre-packaged feel to it — their message is stiff with outrage and redolent with ignorance — which makes it utterly irresistible to the American gestalt. There's something bigger, wealthier, and strategic that is pushing these events. It takes a great deal of money to coordinate and stage a nationwide pop-up movement, seemingly overnight. They have our attention, but it is not clear what their message is. But here's a theory for you:

 

What if the Department of Homeland Security decides that wearing face masks are a threat to National Security because the masks interfere with their facial recognition technology? What if the DHS is using a psyop to turn the American people against wearing facial masks during the pandemic?

 

I can see the DHS going rogue, can't you?

Leaked documents reveal that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been particularly concerned about how masks block the facial recognition used to surveil Americans, The Intercept reports.

Apparently, federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies have been circulating these concerns since late May, when the mass Black Lives Matter protests began to sweep the country.

Dangerous Conjecture

The DHS memo is specifically concerned that “violent adversaries” might exploit current mask-wearing guidelines to hide in plain sight while waging war against the state, The Intercept reports.

The evidence? One member of an online white supremacist forum who suggested attacking infrastructure in a mask and other pre-pandemic online chatter.

“…while we have no specific information that violent extremists or other criminals in the United States are using protective face coverings to conduct attacks,” the memo reads, “some of these entities have previously expressed interest in avoiding face recognition and promulgated simple instructions to conceal one’s identity, both prior to and during the current Covid-19 pandemic.”

Troubling Disconnect

Without getting too heavy-handed, the memo is an unfortunate insight into how law enforcement’s priorities conflict with public health. During an unprecedented global crisis, the DHS is scared that mask-wearing will become too commonplace.

The challenge for law enforcement will be finding a way around it: Police banned masks during previous social movements, The Intercept reports, but it will be hard to do so during the pandemic.

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6 users have voted.

@Pluto's Republic they had just banned face masks due to the western backed protestors. Not sure how it was resolved -- perhaps the protests died down and regular people began wearing masks. Appears that they contained the virus as well as is being done in the rest of China.

DHS is always on the prowl for subversives; so, not surprising that they were exploring the mask issue. Noted that the FBI (iirc) just arrested a rightwinger who traveled to Minneapolis and engaged in heavy vandalism, attempted to incite others to join in.

However, the anti-mask thing began earlier and was facilitated by Trump who had no intention of wearing a mask -- (isn't about to cover "his most perfect, beautiful face;" more likely masks play havoc with his heavy pancake make-up) -- and need company on that. His family strutted into the first debate mask free with an air of defiance. And we should all know by now that when Trump takes a strong position on anything, he doesn't back down even when it is an obviously very bad position.

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2 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@Pluto's Republic
strange that they haven't demanded to wear them. May be the real intent for wearing masks is hiding behind a mask. Or the transparent masks definitely won't work to prevent the virus from spreading.

Reminds me more of a masquerade ball show.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@mimi

...to people in the community who are deaf or have hearing loss issues. We all read lips to some extent. We're just not aware of how important that can be.

In the US, we are not very worldly. People have no real experience with accommodating and deferring to foreign neighbors, the way one does in Europe. Americans don't really respect the customs of foreigners and have almost no curiosity about them. They do not like to hear foreign languages being spoken in their country. They regard Canadians as inferior and politically weak and they wish that Mexico would just disappear.

So every time I put on a mask, I delight in knowing that Americans have spent the past twenty years in their isolated hermit nation, denigrating and despising muslim women who wear veils. They think the custom should be outlawed globally and believe that veil wearers should be punished and humiliated. I know it galls them to see other Americans wearing masks — and being forced to wear a mask, themselves, to get service anywhere. That's a big part of the mask craziness that is going on in the US. Meanwhile, I love wearing a mask. I find it very liberating and convenient.

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