8 August 2022

Masks make sense, but that's not a reason to mandate wearing them

| Ross Solly
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Discarded mask

Face masks offer protection against Covid-19. Photo: File.

Six hours into a 14-hour flight and I finally managed to fall asleep. Twenty minutes later I was awake again, tapped forcefully on the shoulder by a flight attendant asking me to put my mask on.

Such is the way of the world now. Some airlines proudly announce that wearing masks is now optional. Others won’t let you board without one, and crew prowl up and down the aisles looking to pounce on anyone who might dare let their mask slip.

I recently took a train from Italy to Switzerland. On the Italian side of the border we were told masks were mandatory, and stern-faced conductors made sure passengers didn’t forget. Italy is one of the few European countries that is still trying to enforce mask wearing.

But as soon as the train crossed the border, and Swiss guards took over, it was a very different matter.

“You are in Switzerland, you do not need to wear a mask,” one Swiss guard proudly told me. About half the passengers kept their masks on, but everyone else happily removed their Covid protection.

Covid numbers are rising sharply all around the world as Omicron subvariants wreak havoc on health systems. Almost three million new Covid-19 cases were reported last week in Europe, which made up nearly half of all new cases globally. Hospitalisations doubled during the same week, and nearly 3000 people are dying each week of Covid.

The World Health Organisation is warning European countries they must look at introducing mask mandates, or run the risk of overwhelming their health system once the Northern Hemisphere summer is over.

READ ALSO ACT records 97th COVID-19 death; $60 million committed to ongoing pandemic response

But like Australia, there is little appetite for enforcing mask wearing in most of Europe and North America. Unlike Australia, Covid has practically slipped out of the news cycle north of the equator. When Covid fatigue sets in in this part of the world, it really sets in.

In Europe large percentages of the population have had Covid. Some have had it twice. A friend of mine caught it for the third time two weeks ago. There really is a feeling that, yes, it might make you feel pretty crook for a few days, but you will recover and things will be back to normal reasonably quickly.

The problem with having long lockdowns is people really started to appreciate the freedoms they once enjoyed. And the minute the floodgates were flung wide open, people bolted through the door, determined never to go back.

Wearing a mask indoors seems to be a no-brainer. But the Barr Government is right not to mandate it. People need to take responsibility for their own actions, and you would hope most in the ACT appreciate you are not just protecting yourself by wearing a mask.

Most readers of this column will have loved ones in their lives that fall into the “vulnerable” category, the people you really do not want to catch Covid. So while we would love to be leading the carefree maskless pre-Covid life, do we really want to be the person who takes the risks that could lead to your loved one getting very sick, or even worse?

All available evidence suggests the riskiest place to be when Covid is running rampant is indoors. Even though mask wearing is not mandatory, shop owners are well within their rights to demand customers wear masks. They can also demand staff wear masks.

And in the end, customers will vote with their feet. If they feel their favourite shoe shop is not safe, they’ll go elsewhere. On the flipside, customers who feel agitated about having to wear a mask may well choose to take their hard-earned coin around the corner.

But I’m betting for the sake of maybe wearing a mask for five minutes, most will swallow their pride and lump it. After all, it’s not really that difficult is it?

Ross Solly is a broadcaster, journalist and political observer.

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On the basis that your immune system has a memory, and once it defeats chicken pox, measles etc, you have lifetime immunity.

Perhaps you’re confusing vaccine induced ADE with a different bug? ADE appears to make vaccinated people more susceptible to infections of normally low risk bugs like shingles, due to their immune systems being too busy dealing with reinfection by covid?

Also , did the “vaccine related deaths” mean death from COVID, dying while having covid, or death due to underlying medical conditions but COVID just finished them off , like a bad flu would?

This looks like your third lot of nonsense on the same pure absence of evidence regarding your claim that you cannot be reinfected with SARS-CoV-2.
There is also no evidence of ADE/VAED/VAERD with Covid vaccines used here. Its presence would be cause for withdrawal for redesign of the vaccine. VAIDS is a myth.
You seem hot on sources that publish fiction. I see little prospect you would be convinced of or by rational sense. You could demonstrate otherwise by offering reliable evidence for any of your claims on masks, vaccines, climate change or whatever other established thing you wish to deny.

Hmmmm….ok, here’s a starting paper for you on the emergence of VAIDS from the covid vaccines.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC9012513/

“These disturbances potentially have a causal link to neurodegenerative disease, myocarditis, immune thrombocytopenia, Bell’s palsy, liver disease, impaired adaptive immunity, impaired DNA damage response and tumorigenesis.

“We show evidence from the VAERS database supporting our hypothesis. We believe a comprehensive risk/benefit assessment of the mRNA vaccines questions them as positive contributors to public health.”

Tip of the iceberg….and people are starting to work it out.
Want me to start analysing SADS figures as well? I have all day…..

From University of Qatar

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.07.06.22277306v1.full

“Effectiveness of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3% (95% CI: 94.998.6%), irrespective of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence for waning. Similar results were found in sub-group analyses for those ?50 years of age. “

So yes, getting it ( if unvaccinated ) means effectively lifetime protection.

However does it mean if vaccinated people are being reinfected, what then?

Alea Iacta Est

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.07.06.22277306v1

“Effectiveness of primary infection against severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection was 97.3% (95% CI: 94.998.6%), irrespective of the variant of primary infection or reinfection, and with no evidence for waning. Similar results were found in sub-group analyses for those ?50 years of age.

Stevew77, AIDS normally refers to consequences of the HIV virus, the context in which I wrote “VAIDS is a myth”, which it is. However, you advance a paper which talks about other potential side-effects from mRNA vaccines. I quote from the paper you cite:
“In mining VAERS for ‘signals’ that might indicate adverse reactions (AEs) to mRNA vaccinations, we acknowledge that no report to VAERS establishes a causal link with the vaccination”
VAERS being the vaccine adverse events reporting database.

The authors have notions which alerts others to be aware of potential issues. That is normal medicine or science. Being alert for a potential problem does not instantiate a problem. The authors themselves use the words “might” and variations on “hypothetical” as they should..

Now, what had this diversion to do with a some supposed inability to be reinfected? I shall come to your failed attempt to demonstrate that after a more important coffee.

Stevew77, your twice-posted Qatari paper does not bear up your claim that infection confers lifetime immunity.
To quote from the paper’s Conclusion:
“Protection of natural infection against reinfection wanes and may diminish within a few years. Viral immune evasion accelerates this waning.”
That’s lifetime immunity?

You quote selectively from the Results, avoiding the data less attractive to you about reinfection while quoting the part about whether you suffer “severe, critical, or fatal COVID-19 reinfection”. That is, not just reinfection but life-threatening or fatal events. Even so, nearly 3 in 100 people will suffer severe, critical or fatal events and about 30/100 will be reinfected in about 1.3 years.
That’s lifetime immunity?

Note that I have not queried whether the Qatari study (a preprint, not peer-reviewed) has been replicated or validated in any way, because it suffices for now that your own reference disproves your claim. You might want to talk to TheSilver about the replication problem, a reason aggregation reviews or meta-studies have become more important.

This thread was about efficacy of masks, now abandoned by you for want of evidentiary support (or even rational validity) for your denial. What randomised denialism will pop up next? Soon I will need only point to the repeated failures of your positions without needing to debunk them individually.

“Personal responsibility” is a crock.
I can be “responsible” and wear a mask in a high-risk setting, but if the person with Covid doesn’t, my risk is still increased.

Ross Solly blithely lets slip that “People need to take responsibility for their own actions,” without thinking how that can occur if by not wearing a mask they inadvertently cause the death from COVID of the person sitting next to them. They won’t even know it happens, and even if they did, how are they meant to “take responsibility” for it?

Perhaps the worst aspect of the last two and a half years is how poor the science was. Prior to 2020, the scientific consensus was that masking had little to no benefit. Indeed, a literature review of any masking studies from prior to 2020 is very mixed, and most are poorly designed, low scale studies. Rather than taking the opportunity to actually answer the question properly, most studies since 2020 are politically driven and some of the worst science we’ve come to expect since realising there is a replication crisis.

Only two large scale studies have been done since. The 2020 Danish study, which found masking was not at least 50% effective, and the 2021 Bangladesh study, which found cloths masks were completely ineffective, and surgical masks had, at most, around 10% effectiveness. There are a number of problems with the Bangladesh study, however. Due to the way the study was done, each village knew which branch of the study they were in due to some getting free masks, and some getting nothing. It is also unclear how portable a result found in rural in Bangladesh is to an urban environment. Additionally, the difference in raw infection rates is so low, that the colour of masks also seemed to have a statistically significant effect.

There’s evidence that a well fitted N95 is effective, but by that point you are basically talking about respirators, not masks. Fitting is time consuming and requires proper training, and certainly not something any reasonable person could expect the general public to do on a large scale. Additionally, such masks cannot be used for long periods of time and need to be replaced with new ones every few hours. (As they, like surgical masks, contain plastic, this only contributes to plastic pollution).

Masking seems like the tiger joke from the Simpsons, where Lisa sells a tiger repelling rock to Homer. Masks seem like they should accomplish something, and there is nothing that politicians like more than seeming to do something. The evidence they actually do, remains poor.

Surgical masks are great at their intended purpose: Keeping the surgeon from accidentally spitting in the patient, or getting blood splatter in their mouth from the patient.

Posting nonsense again, TheSilver?
Some time ago I debunked your claims about the Danish and Bangladeshi studies, and your ignorance of later studies, but why should that stop you from repeating rubbish?

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8499874/
https://theconversation.com/masks-are-strongly-suggested-by-health-authorities-as-the-winter-covid-wave-hits-heres-how-effective-they-are-187006
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8830622/
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0264389

The fourth reference there specifically deals with your misrepresentation of the Danish and Bangladeshi studies. Look for the paragraph starting with “Two studies have been improperly characterized by some sources …” In any event what is your provenance for a “50%” standard? Even small improvements mean fewer die, as the Bangladeshi study (and other better ones) have illustrated.

Please cite your source for your claim that an N95 mask needs to be changed every few hours (COVID context). On the contrary, they can be used repeatedly if you cycle through a group (storing spares to dry and virus die in paper bags or a ventilated area are suggested).

A P2/N95 mask does not need to be fitted to work at all, it is just that fitting improves it. See the table in my second reference.

What is your basis for belief, given it is not evidence?

https://vinayprasadmdmph.substack.com/p/id-epidemiologist-sets-the-record

50% isn’t a threshold, it means that that study can’t tell us any more than masks are not at least 50% effective. It could be the case that masks are 0% effective, or 49% effective. Which goes to my point; it was sad that so few large scale randomised control trials were not done. It wasn’t like there wouldn’t be volunteers. At best you could say that we don’t know if masking is effective, but that, of course, is very telling, as if they are, they obviously aren’t very effective. They certainly aren’t the parachutes they are being marketed as. (Again, as you keep reading things into what I say which I hadn’t said, I have no problems with people choosing to wear a mask, and there are circumstances where I would wear one. Compulsion is the problem.)

Observational studies are inherently flawed. It is next to impossible to isolate the variable you’re trying to test. People inclined to wear masks are generally affluent and already in better health. (A major reason that lockdowns were evil – it was a class war. The people lockdowns “helped” were generally not at serious risk, given their affluence, and “essential” workers, who were unable to work from home, were generally on the lower end of the affluence scale, which is generally associated with poor health).

Examples of problems with the Bangladesh study: They didn’t measure the naivety of the population to the virus before hand, but rather inferred it based on the known Dhaka province results. Their own paper notes that prior to their work, in Dhaka, 45% of the population had antibodies, which implies only 0.55% of cases had been detected previously. (Not surprising given that the population has few obese or aged people, meaning cases wouldn’t generally be serious, and most prior infections would have been dismissed as a cold). The paper itself also admits that physical distancing increased in the intervention villages. So, how do we know it was the masks, and not the increased physical distancing that caused the effect? It’s also unclear whether the intervention itself affected symptom reporting. They provided incentives to village leaders. If your village is getting paid, are you more likely to encourage people to report symptoms or be less likely? Maybe some each way? That’s just a few. Someone as clever as you can likely think up way more ways they polluted their results.

It comes down to most interventions don’t accomplish anything. It’s rare to find something that does. Sanitation being one of the great counter examples, if you want one.

Yeah and we believe the CDC….sure…..not. What cred do they have again?

Masks, unless they are N95 ( and I would be pretty sure 99% of them out there are not ) will not stop you from contracting the virus, as the virus will go thru the gaps in the face nappies most people are forced to wear.
My mums doctor changes his mask every 30 mins, as he doesnt like breathing in the bacterial soup that builds up in breathing your waste into a bit of fabric. During the 1918 flu , most people died from bacterial pnumonia caused by wearing masks for a long time. Go look it up.

I think we have a small bunch of self appointed hall monitors in this country, who wouldnt understand science if it bit them in the backside, and rabbit on aimlessly in public forums and use the old leftist tactic of “defer to authority” rather than follow the actual science, in the hope they cound convincing.

FYI – in Canada, more than 90% of people in hospital with covid are 2/3/4 shot vaxxed, but that doesnt stop them promoting the vaccines. very weird stuff. Only about 10% of people in hospital are non-vaccinated.

PS – the “vaccine” isnt a vaccine – its actually a gene therapy drug. It gets your own cells to produce spike proteins forever, but supercharges the immune system into a narrow band of operation, which is why the current new “covid wave” is just peoples immune system not handling pre-existing bugs because their immune system is too busy standing in a blind alley. People should also look up ADE.

TheSilver, I note that you comment on the original trials by referring to an early 2021 opinion piece from one person, while airily dismissing later data and critique which is directly contrary to your position. Wordiness does not compensate for failure against evidence.

Like you, I said nothing about compulsion yet once again you like to have a go at straw men. Similarly, you raised the notion of a “50%” standard, not me. There is no such criterion for mask utility rather than for vaccines. Interventions work, and masks improve defences. A combination of defences is most effective.

An RCT such as you describe would fail a medical or experimental ethics test. There is a known effective treatment so “volunteers” or not, the treatment cannot be denied, people killed to satisfy your curiosity. Ethics. A bit of a problem area for you, by the history.

Stevew77, engineer, is not keen on evidence from the CDC and would prefer not to discuss it from any independent studies either.

Merely “deferring to authority” is an extremist position, whether right or left on the political spectrum. From my view, rational inference from evidence is a sound basis for action. you have had problems with what is science elsewhere, Steve.

I will take only one more of Stevew77’s comments because the rest is similarly not to any useful point:
“Masks, unless they are N95 ( and I would be pretty sure 99% of them out there are not ) will not stop you from contracting the virus”.
No Steve, an N95/P2 mask will NOT “stop” you from contracting COVID-19 from the SARS-COV-2 virus. It will, however, usefully reduce your chances of doing so. Isn’t that the point?
A medical mask is less effective than that but better than cloth which is slightly better than nothing.

While I am here, another blatant blunder from TheSilver should not pass without mention.
“Observational studies are inherently flawed. It is next to impossible to isolate the variable you’re trying to test. People inclined to wear masks are generally affluent and already in better health”

Whether the stratum of society was selective or not (and TheSilver has only speculated so), the studies were comparative within the populations, so support efficacy of mask wearing vs not. Equitable distribution is a separate question, one I am sure TheSilver will take up from a social welfare standpoint; won’t he?

Your mind reading skills continue to do you credit.

You assume masks are zero cost, which is obviously not true. Well over a billion disposable masks have already ended up in the oceans and are killing birds and fish. There’s also the dehumanisation aspect; we are social apes who need to see each others faces. What costs that is imposing on society is unknown for a benefit that is unknown. Your myopia continues to be your problem.

Wonderful. At 10:16 09 Aug TheSilver wrote at length to the effect that masks were ineffective and that there were no recent studies showing otherwise.
TheSilver has been shown to be wrong in both respects.

So, TheSilver now accuses me of mind-reading (implicitly, reading things he did not say) then says “You assume masks are zero cost”, something I have neither said nor implied nor has anything whatsoever to do with TheSilver’s false initial claims on effectiveness anyway.

So, TheSilver has quickly changed the subject from ‘masks don’t work’ to “dehumanisation”, yet the benefit is well known and demonstrated. That is what this article and discussion have been about. Do they reduce infection risk for self and for others? They do.
If you know a bit about how filters work, can see the concept of protection curves, understand some basic probability (and are not delusional) then it is not even a question.

TheSilver, you do not like masks nor related social responsibility, so stop dredging up rationalisations as if to support your errant assumptions. Feel comforted by the fact you are, alas, not the only person like that in existence.

Been flat out at work for a month trying to recover from the problems that government caused. My job is mostly about trying to make mathematical models of reality comply with the real world. I understand you can’t take a reductionist approach to reality, because you simply cannot account for everything in your model.

I’m sorry, in every encounter we’ve had, you’ve been ungracious, read things into what I wrote that I didn’t say, or (deliberately?) read into it the worst possible interpretation. I assumed that was how you liked to discuss things, so I responded in kind.

Any pre-2020 literature study of community masking showed no appreciable benefit of community masking, e.g.:
https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/masking-lack-of-evidence-with-politics/
https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD006207.pub5/full
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372

The WHO is where I got the mask replacement recommendation:
https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/352339/WHO-2019-nCoV-ipc-guideline-2022.1-eng.pdf
“Replace the mask as soon as it becomes damp with a new, clean and dry mask. ”
“Do not reuse single-use masks.”
This is inline with current health environment recommendations. However, I can understand not wanting to take advice from an organisation run by someone credibly accused of genocide.

When it comes to N95/P2 masks they are required to be properly fit tested to be effective. Given the SARS-CoV-2 virus is about a 1000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, if you can fit a human hair through the side of your mask, you aren’t accomplishing anything, and reduce the effectiveness of your respirator to near zero. This is not something that even trained health professionals can regularly accomplish:
https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2749214

While it is true that a well fitting respirator used in conjunction with eye protection, face shields, gloves, etc, is effective, that isn’t something that can be expected of the general public, and a poorly fitting N95/P2 accomplishes nothing:
https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/226/2/199/6582941

There’s some evidence that masks can make you *more* likely to be infected:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4420971/
Probably because you overestimate your protection, and constantly bring your hands to your face to adjust the mask.

Repeated mask reuse is also likely to be a problem, because the virus can live on surfaces for several days and the quality of the mask decreases with sterilisation:
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanmic/article/PIIS2666-5247(20)30003-3/fulltext
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0736467920303693
https://magazine.medlineplus.gov/article/early-research-tests-n95-mask-reuse-for-covid-19

Widespread use of disposable masks has been an environmental disaster, with billions already ending up in the oceans (and contain plastics), and, from above, accomplished little.

So what changed in 2020 to make mask recommendations widespread? I think there are three things going on:
Firstly, it’s a great way for governments to deflect responsibility. Infections going up? That’s your fault for not masking, not the fault of 20 years of neglect of the health care system.
Secondly, tech entrepreneur Jeremy Howard made it his personal mission to make everyone mask, which gave a profit motive to it.
Third, it intuitively seems like masks should work. Put a barrier up, and you should prevent infection. This fails because humans are bad at grasping how incredibly small the virus is, and thus, that any gaps make the mask pointless.

The signal that community masking is effective is incredibly weak. Without good quality studies behind it, substantial changes to the way society operates is not a good idea. This is what I’ve come to expect from “evidence” based policies.

Summary of TheSilver’s reply:
General appeal to authority. Ad hominem. Interspersed reading failure.

Not to fisk every paper, I will cover three main points.

For the most part I take care to avoid making any claim to authority, my domains, expertise, experience, in these discussions. The key reason is that doing so would require far more disclosure to withstand these:
1. Is it true?
2. Is the person any good at it?
and, most importantly,
3. What is the relevance?

Accidental post happened. I will continue below.

(continuing)
In this instance, there is no evidence of rigour in TS’s presentation of papers (for which effort I thank them though). Take the first reference, WTO; what is their recommendation?
“Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people.”

What of using that paper to claim masks must be changed every time? Aside from defined single-use masks, the only recommendation is to change them when they are damp. It comes straight after the paragraph about dealing with dead bodies.

Where TS says masks might increase infection, TS cites a 2015 comparison of medical and cloth masks which concludes there is no difference.

Why does anyone in industry wear a mask? Why do P1, P2 and P3 masks exist? To say masks do not work at all if not fully fit-tested, a black-or-white position, is to show a fundamental incomprehension both of filtration and of probability. Discussion becomes pointless.

I will stand the sources I have cited and which are not countered, the near-universal view of epidemiologists whose job it is to understand the literature, and this summary (with references) dated August 2022: https://www.latrobe.edu.au/news/articles/2022/release/face-masks-and-covid-19

The basis of TS’s arguments is found in their presumptions made clear in the final paragraphs. As I wrote in response on 11 August, above,
“TheSilver, you do not like masks nor related social responsibility, so stop dredging up rationalisations as if to support your errant assumptions.”

> General appeal to authority. Ad hominem. Interspersed reading failure.
Ironic. My whole point is that authority can’t be trusted in this situation. Any pre-2020 literature review will leave you with no doubt that there is no recommendation for community masking. That is, in the non-political period since the 1918 influenza pandemic, the general consensus was that there is no point in community masking. Any pop-science done in the last 2 and a half years will be heavily influenced by politics. In 20 years, we’ll be back to not recommending community masking once all that cruft is cleared out. Science is also in the shadow of a replication crisis where we know p-hacking occurs, and the incentives are to publish anything instead of true things.

> Why does anyone in industry wear a mask?
Dust particles are significantly larger than viruses.

“Any pre-2020 literature review will [show] … there is no recommendation for community masking … since the 1918 influenza pandemic”
TS, do you read back your own arguments?

I have taken care to select post-2020 data wherever possible, for relevance given masking is far from “pop science” but a critical cost and safety issue of immediate interest to everyone. See the La Trobe link in my last, for example, from last month. However, prior data does support masking. Several of your references did not even discuss P2 masks except to explain how to cycle (re-use) a group of 3-4 safely. Ask the lead author of your 2015 (“more likely … infected”) study Professor Raina McIntyre, about P2 masks (which she recommends over medical and cloth, in case that was not obvious).

“Dust particles are significantly larger than viruses.”
Are you sure? Smoke particles under 400 nm? Particulate fumes down to 100 nm?
It does not really matter because you are simply avoiding the point I made, about gradation of filtering and how it works in practice. Look at the definitional differences between P1, P2 and P3 types.

If you will not rely on research, on what will you? Your answer appears to be whatever suits your prior beliefs (we have seen this before), dismissing research which does not agree with your assumptions, citing that which appears to agree however tenuously or tangentially.

Your reality is not.

I neglected to mention an important point: aerosols, respiratory droplets and other particles carry the virus in air. These are ten and more times the size of the virus itself, well inside a P2 mask’s filtration zone rather than near its edge. Fit becomes the more important issue, but that has a probabilistic outcome rather than the binary outcome TS misleadingly suggests.

🙂

Can I get them for copyright on the name??

> Are you sure? Smoke particles under 400 nm? Particulate fumes down to 100 nm?

Yes. The virus is another order of magnitude smaller. Additionally, this is an area where we the infection mechanism is not really well understood (in general, not just for this virus). Are eyes a vector? Is exposed skin a vector? There are definitely pathogens that can cross the skin barrier.

Moving the goal posts from masks to respirators? Even with respirators, a high quality fit is required, which cannot be expected of the general public. Any facial hair? You aren’t accomplishing anything. Adjust it after half an hour because it is uncomfortable. You aren’t accomplishing anything. Don’t know how to take care of it or how to tell if it has failed? You aren’t accomplishing anything. Indeed, giving people a false sense of how “protected” they is will lead to people making bad decisions.

> If you will not rely on research, on what will you?

Haha. This is funny coming from you. Given how bad we know that most research is, it is foolish to trust anything recent that makes bold claims over past experience. (i.e. Pre-2020 recommendation was that community masking was pointless).
https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.0020124
Particularly when there are obvious political motives to drive the research (this discussion is evidence enough of that), monetary interests, and a culture of fear. Indeed, during the last two years most recent Alzheimer research was shown to be largely based on fraud. Over time, as the politics drift away, there will eventually be knowledge derived from all the noise, but it is very easy to fool oneself about how much we know. (However, that there is such a weak signal shows that if masks are effective, they aren’t very effective. Masks are certainly not a parachute where it the signal is overwhelmingly obvious.)

Why is it foolish? It is far, far easier to break a working complex system than it is to take a working complex system and make it better. In the words of Donald Rumsfeld, you can’t know the unknown unknowns, and they are hugely influential in complex systems.

I know how much you like your religious talisman, so how about this: I’ll send you thoughts and prayers.

Simple. You avoid the question about how you know what you know, entirely. Consistent with that, when you quoted my opening paragraph of a previous post you omitted the final two words, “petitio principii”; you continue to assume your conclusion, evidence-free.

This is wholly consistent with the recent occasion when you could not, did not, answer for the provenance of your so-called ‘natural rights’. Much hand-waving occurs to try to distract people from your apparent inability to deal with real questions.

Your continuing attempt to mislead or misinform on P2 and other masks merely displays ignorance of the relevant topics. You cannot even define your terms (e.g. order of magnitude: astronomical? logn? log10?) but are wrong by any of those definitions and wrong as a matter of fact about filtration. This may help you with one part of it the question. It even dates from way back in 2020:
“N95 masks are designed to remove more than 95% of all particles that are at least 0.3 microns (µm) in diameter. In fact, measurements of the particle filtration efficiency of N95 masks show that they are capable of filtering ?99.8% of particles with a diameter of ?0.1 ?m (Rengasamy et al., 2017). SARS-CoV-2 is an enveloped virus ?0.1 ?m in diameter, so N95 masks are capable of filtering most free virions, but they do more than that. How so? Viruses are often transmitted through respiratory droplets…”

This is always the way with you. Ungraciousness and bad faith accusations of what you yourself are guilty of.

> You avoid the question about how you know what you know, entirely.

No I didn’t. Trust older data that has been verified over and over again over time. Be very sceptical of new data.

It is ungracious of me to point out that you are wrong or incoherent. Could be it is. Should I kindly pretend you manage to deal with issues or understand things which on the evidence you do not?

You say newer data is not allowed to supersede older data so you agree you do not rely on the threads of evidence for what you know but cherry-pick the tenuously related to match your preferred beliefs. Good thinking.

You did no such thing. You did what you always do. Read something completely different and fight straw men, and then claim victory. I assumed it was ungraciousness because the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

What’s this, a devastating take down of the Bangladesh study?
https://trialsjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13063-022-06704-z

Who could have predicted this?

What opinions like yours miss is that cloth masks in particular only work well if everyone wears them. They are not highly effective, but do work reasonably when they are both hindering the wearer from breathing germs and viruses on others, AND the wearer breathing others’ germs and viruses in. Unless everyone wears a mask only the latter is happening, which compromises the effectiveness.

So saying it should simply be a matter of personal choice and someone that wants to “protect” themselves with a mask can, as if your personal choice doesn’t effect them at all, is at best self deception.

By your reasoning, everyone should wear a mask forever. That’s not practical and sure as eggs I won’t be doing it.
For protection from viruses, only the n95 and P2 masks are useful.
Wearing a mask to stop spreading a virus makes sense if *******you’re sick***** . Otherwise, most people’s immune systems can handle defeating viruses all day long.
Also, just because you’re exposed to a virus, doesn’t mean you will get sick from it.

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