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Effectiveness of Face Masks

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On 10/14/2020 at 12:32 PM, STENDEC said:

As you can see, this thread has largely been me, talking to myself. ūüėČ


I'll continue my mental masturbation here....


France began requiring face mask use in May 2020. 



They increased the scope of their mask mandate in August



And again in September



And yet, the number of COVID cases in France is currently shattering records



The number of new COVID cases/million persons in France is now roughly twice what it is here in the US and 10x the number in Norway where the government health agency has pointedly rejected mask wearing by the general public...in the face of data like these, even using the precautionary principle to justify universal masking starts to look a little weak as it flips statements like this:


...observational data for COVID-19 in an analysis of 194 countries that found a negative association between duration of a face mask or respirator policy and per-capita coronavirus-related mortality; in countries that did not recommend face masks and respirators, the per-capita coronavirus-related mortality increased each week by 54.3% after the index case, compared with 8.0% in those countries with masking policies (CT Leffler, Virginia Commonwealth University, unpublished data, 2020)


taken from this summary of a seminal study of n=2 midwestern hairdressers, on its head.



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On 10/14/2020 at 12:32 PM, STENDEC said:

My interest in this subject at this point is more socio-psychological than anything else.


Seeing how science is being manipulated to fit a message by the CDC and others is rather interesting, if a little distressing.


Back in the summer, the CDC released a case report of two hairdressers in Missouri who were COVID positive but wore masks while they served customers in close contact and none of the customers became infected. In their discussion of this case report, the CDC said the following:


The results of this study can be used to inform public health policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. A policy mandating the use of face coverings was likely a contributing factor in preventing transmission of SARS-CoV-2 during the close-contact interactions between stylists and clients in salon A.




At the time it was released, I noted that this "study" was pretty shoddy science because there was no maskless hairdresser to serve as a control and the outcome was negative....there may have been a dozen other factors that prevented infection but in order to advance the messaging on masks, the CDC held this up as proof that masks work.


Yesterday, using another case study from a prison in Vermont, the CDC changed it's "close contact" definition to include repeated short contacts as a possible transmission vector in addition to the 15 minute contact time they had been using.


What got no mention by the CDC is that the prison guard who got infected, apparently through repeated short contacts with infected prisoners, was wearing a mask, goggles and a gown the entire time and the prisoners were wearing masks almost all the time. The other thing to note is that we don't have to take anyone's word for it, all of these interactions are on video.


[Infected prisoners] wore microfiber cloth masks during most interactions with the correctional officer that occurred outside a cell; however, during several encounters in a cell doorway or in the recreation room, [infected prisoners] did not wear masks. During all interactions, the correctional officer wore a microfiber cloth mask, gown, and eye protection (goggles). The correctional officer wore gloves during most interactions.




While this case report completely contradicts the argument the CDC made about masks just a few months earlier, I don't actually think either of these "studies" prove anything because the n is so small and they are so uncontrolled.


But, I do find it rather fascinating that they are being produced the way they are by the CDC for obvious consumption by the media and in the interest of furthering a specific message.

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On 10/16/2020 at 2:13 PM, STENDEC said:

I'll continue my mental masturbation here....


France began requiring face mask use in May 2020. 


A little more graphical presentation of similar information...France and Italy both have had compulsory mask laws since early summer. Norway has notably eschewed a general masking requirement.


Data is normalized for population.



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