COVID deniers claim a new study says mask mandates don't work. They should try reading ithttps://www.latimes.com/business/story/2023-02-24/covid-deniers-celebrate-a-study-that-claims-mask-mandates-dont-work-but-the-study-says-the-opposite
The mask critics are now touting what they seem to think is evidence for their claim that mask mandates dont work. Its a meta-study that is, a compilation of studies on physical interventions against the spread of respiratory viruses. That includes chiefly masks of various types and hand-washing.
The anti-maskers jumped right on the study soon after its publication on Jan. 30 by the usually trusted Cochrane Library, asserting that it proved that masking didnt work against COVID-19. Leading the triumphal parade was Bret Stephens, a New York Times columnist and certified member of the dont confuse me with the facts crowd.
Stephens surfaced the other day with a column purportedly based on the Cochrane study and headlined, The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?
He wrote, Those skeptics who were furiously mocked as cranks and occasionally censored as misinformers for opposing mandates were right. The mainstream experts and pundits who supported mandates were wrong.
A few things about this.
First, one lesson about Stephens that many people learned long ago was that he doesnt do his homework.
He brought common sense and science together and calmed a lot of feelings and mis-interpretations.
She is fully vaccinated and 4 times boosted. She has not contracted COVID or the Flu due to her wearing a mask when she is out of the house. Even at eateries, shopping, etc., her mask is on. She wears a pin that says IMMUNE COMPROMISED.
Her 2nd Kidney transplant was May of 2021. Her first, 18 years prior with 3 1/2 years of that on dialysis waiting for a kidney that was a match to happen. She is grateful for the science and masks. She turns 70 in a few weeks.
Masks are extremely effective, but not 100%. We all need to contribute to keeping the most vulnerable among us.
I'm still masking. In the last few weeks I've gotten noticeably more "ribbing" about wearing my mask. And my spouse, who can hear the turn signal clicking from the passenger seat, complains that she can't hear me when I wear my mask.
It's frustrating that so many are ignoring the science, or treating policy as science to justify their own bad behavior. One of my former students posted a picture of her shoping cart full of food with the caption, "Take that COVID!" The subsequent conversation made it clear that she was both at work and shopping with an active case of COVID. If I had to take a guess as to whether she was masking while doing these things - I'd bet on no.
The so called "study" allegedly published by Johns Hopkins (JHU) web is in fact a "working paper" that has not yet been peer-reviewed by medical professionals:
(please excuse the newsweek link, only citing for illustrative purposes)
The above article also states that the working paper mentioned has not been formally endorsed by JHU: "views expressed in each working paper are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the institutions that the authors are affiliated with."
Furthermore, the paper was not written by any medical expert/authority/professional whatsoever but was written by Steve Hanke, professor of applied economics at the Johns Hopkins University and senior fellow at the Cato Institute
Finally, the point about the author not having any medical or scientific background notwithstanding, the studies he quotes in his working paper do in fact prove that wearing masks have a very large and positive impact in reducing the spread of covid.
is in reference to lockdowns, not mask mandates.
ETA: I believe masking does work, if you can get everyone to do it. THAT IS THE ONLY REASON IT DIDN'T - too many dumbasses who refused to do something so fucking simple to help their fellow citizens.
"If you are vaccinated, boosted, and wearing a well-fitted N95 or similar indoors, your risk is extremely low, says Joseph Allen, a COVID and ventilation expert at Harvard. :
"One-Way Masking Works":
btw The original article quoted does reference masks but it's buried in the text, not the headline.
Does not refute what you said in any - they are dumbasses. There was an acute shortage of respirators at the beginning of the pandemic so if everyone took the simple step of wearing a non medical or homemade mask I believe there would be less deaths/less people crippled with long covid.
I don't care if no one else is masking, I haven't stopped wearing mine indoors in public places.
Anyone saying it's effective is just looking to get out of it, too.
The Atlantic article is in reference to a well fitted n95, not a standard medical/non medical mask.
it refers to masking in general. Can't base your assumption that it refers to a specific mask based merely on a general cartoon illustration of a basic mask.
I was going by the illustration which shows a med mask. Well fitted N95's do provide better protection than these.
We can debate efficacy till the cows come home, you are of the firm conviction that 'One way masking offers very limited protection' (regardless of mask type) - so let's go with that.
To me, very limited protection is still better than zero protection.
I'm still wearing my kn95 no matter what. And I'll give the dumbasses that don't as wide a berth as I can.
and the policies/messaging which shold arise from the science.
When masks fit well, are high quality (N95 KF94, or equivalently effective cloth masks), and are worn consistently, they minimize the transmission of disease. Period. That's the science. Especially when combined with vaccinations, testing, staying home at the first symptoms of illness, etc.
The effectiveness of mask mandates (policy) is a mixed bag - largely because, aside from limited early implementations, they were ignored: they weren't complied with, they were minimially complied with (people wore masks which weren't well-fitted, high quality; people wore them as chin diapers, people took them off when they were with people they trusted to not be sick, or deliberately defied the masks, etc.). Just like seat belts that just sit in your care - but aren't pulled around your body - they don't work well if they aren't in use. If we measured the effectiveness of seat belts in the early days without taking into account whether injured drivers or riders were actually wearing them at the time it is unlikely we would have seat belt mandates now.
And - from the beginning, our message has been based on policy rather than science: The masks aren't effective (or only protect those around the wearer) were based on policy: we needed the masks for health care professionals - and early on we believed that people would be more compliant based on altruism than on self-protection.
We know why the Trump administration played down COVID, but the Biden administration is also down-playing COVID for policy reasons: poeple are tired of COVID and want to go on about their lives without thinking about the fact that there are still hundreds of people dying from COVID every day, and 59% of a group of low risk individuals had damage to one of 7 major organs several months after the end of COVID. Not to mention that we have zero idea about the consequences of this disease (which impacts more body systems than any other disease we have yet encountered) more than 3 years out. Yet, on the eve of the State of the Union a year ago, facing a fight about masking to attend the event, the CDC relatively quietly changed how it measures risk ("community transmission" ) - which resulted in a magic transformation from nearly every state being all red or orange to nearly every state being mostly yellow, and the mask mandate in the house being dropped. The new measure (ironically "community level" ) is based not on how much COVID is present in a community - but almost exclusively on whether the hospitals in a community can handle the load. At the time of the switch, there could have been 4 times as much COVID in a community than the previous day - and the community could still be green.
We (both the CDC and more broadly) need to separate the science from policy. COVID is a deadly disease with long term consequences we already know of. Masks minimize its transmission and protect both wearer and those around them. The reality of COVID needs to be acknowledged - and the government shold be be more broadly warning people about the science, and not convlating policy with science. There are far too many people (including on DU) who cite the policy recommendations from the CDC as science.
The policy to best protect people is a different question - but we need to be clear on the scientific facts and figure out what to do to best protect people while not forcing us to hunker down in our houses with not human contact. And we need to figure out how to move people toward wanting to protect themselves and others.
Mandatory masking is a policy. As implemented in the US, aside from the early implementation, the mandatory masking policy had - at best - mixed effectiveness. Not because masking was ineffective, but because the policy was not consistently followed. The article being cited is focused largely on whether the policy of mandating mask wearing was effective - and the studies it relies on reflect the mixed results from the ineffective implementation of the policy. Most of the responses also make the same mistake (including, to some extent, the specific response cited above).
Anyone that can read between the lines knows that masks work and the government and minimizers are trying to lie about the importance of masking. Meanwhile, thousands of Americans are dying every week and some people will get long Covid. It's horrifying that these deniers would try to hide the truth and cause so much death and suffering for political and policy reasons. How do they sleep at night? They disgust me so much.
My beloved dad would still be alive if it wasn't for these liars!
Covid isn't a danger anymore due to all of these minimizers and deniers.
My dad wasn't unhealthy, he was 74 years old, not overweight, no chronic conditions, no diabetes. He got injured doing some cement work, went to the emergency room, got admitted, caught Covid in the hospital, and died from Covid about 3 weeks later. It was a horrendously bad death. The suffering from a severe Covid death is just beyond belief. The ventilator, the organ failure, the septic shock, the code after his heart stopped. I don't know if I will ever get over the PTSD I have from seeing my wonderful and kind dad suffer like that.
Everything we know makes it clear that it is a systemic and dangerous illness that we should not dismiss lightly.
I'm sorry you and your dad went through that.
The authors believe that other types of mask studies are worthless.
Did you ever read this?. It's a brilliant take
Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial
The study I linked was about how RCTs are not critically reviewed. The parachute "study" had people jumping from a stationary plane 2 ft off the ground. Guess you would call it a spoof.
It's from this thread
In 2018, "Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial" was published in the British Medical Journal.
It sought to determine if wearing a parachute when jumping from a plane had any impact on survivability.
It did not.
The study was tongue in cheek to prove a point.
What is easy to miss is that the "tested population" were descending approximately 0.6 m (2 ft) from a plane traveling at 0 m/s.
Wearing a parachute turned out not to prevent any death or injury in either group.
The point being made is that randomized control trials have limitations: equipoise, for one, where
all groups need to have equal opportunity for good outcomes.
In this study, that means jumping 0.6 m from an immobile plane.
In a "real clinical trial", that could mean only enrolling patients with very mild disease, no comorbidities or very young populations.
That's not the reality of clinical practice. It's dangerous to extrapolate from these "safe" trials to real-world outcomes.
There's an unstated lesson that we can apply to current studies on non-pharmaceutical interventions to prevent respiratory disease (masks, especially): sometimes "plausibility" take precedence over provability, especially when only limited trials are even possible.
N95 & KN95 have repeatedly been demonstrated to work in lab experiments, physical demos & the lived experience of BSL-3 workers.
That randomized clinical trials of mask *mandates* don't always detect benefit for a given population & given virus should be taken w a grain of salt.
Do masks work to interrupt the transmission of most respiratory viruses? I'm as confident in that fact as I am that parachutes reduce injury and death when skydiving, regardless of what the headlines say.
The 2018 study is here. My thanks to the authors for such a clear demonstration of an important principle of clinical research.
Parachute use to prevent death and major trauma when jumping from aircraft: randomized controlled trial
Objective To determine if using a parachute prevents death or major traumatic injury when jumping from an aircraft. Design Randomized controlled trial. Setting Private or commercial aircraft between
People are going to die because they read the headlines about that study and don't follow up with additional research.
If they were to recommend, or mandate masks due to the toxic rail spill disaster.
This county went 78-22% for Donnie Dipshit. Imagine the exploding heads if the feds said N95 masks could provide some protection.
I still don't know why they want the federal governments help? I thought they had bootstraps?
Anyway, I guess it's cruel to point out that this is what you get with "gubmint so small you can drown it in a bathtub"
Although, it appears that these folks may want to hold off on filling their bathtubs.