Masks?

 

In the midst of renewed calls for universal masking in the name of Covid-19, can we have a reasoned, data-oriented discussion of how well universal masking prevents Covid deaths? Universal masking harms people and harms society. To justify such harms, I expect strong evidentiary support for the theory that universal masking prevents a significant number of Covid deaths.

Universal masking harms people. Many mask wearers experience anxiety, increased blood pressure, difficulties breathing. Universal masking cuts off much if not most interpersonal communication for many people, and interferes with the ability of children to learn and to develop social skills.

Universal masking harms society (American perspective; may be different in other cultures). Mask wearing fosters suspicion, distrust, and individual isolation. Masking discourages communication and cooperation. I believe that, along with stay-at-home orders, universal masking contributed to the widespread violence we saw in 2020.

I hear assertions that the intent of universal masking is to reduce Covid deaths. I seem to have missed the data (not just the theories and intentions) that universal masking reduces Covid deaths.

I am not looking here for philosophical arguments about liberty. Nor for arguments involving vaccinations.  Many of the calls for universal masking do not distinguish on the basis of vaccination. None of the Covid vaccines has been fully tested, so it is entirely rational for individuals to decide that the risks (known and unknown) of receiving a vaccine outweigh the risks (mostly known) of contracting Covid itself. Finally, the discussion should focus on Covid deaths (or serious illness or hospitalization). “Spread of Covid” and “Covid cases” confuses the discussion by including the vast majority of people who get Covid and have no or mild symptoms.

Studies that show Covid deaths in 2020 were not materially different between places with mask requirements and places without mask requirements (or between times before and after mask requirements) are of little to no help. In 2020 the rates of mask-wearing were high regardless of requirements, so the differences in actual mask-wearing were not all that large. Are there studies that use actual mask-wearing rates, as opposed to mandates?

I’m skeptical of extrapolating evidence from mask-wearing by medical personnel in medical facilities to mask-wearing by the general public in general environments. Medical personnel are trained in protocols for wearing and handling masks, and wear them in facilities designed and equipped with systems for limiting the spread of disease. We have seen that the general public does not follow medical mask protocols. The places frequented by the general public do not have the disease-limiting facilities and systems that medical facilities have.

Laboratory experiments showing that mask material captures viruses when virus-laden air is blown at the mask material are also of limited value. There are major differences between the laboratory conditions and how people use masks in general environments, so the correlation between the laboratory experiment and the “real world” is unclear.

“Intuitively obvious” seems to carry a lot of weight in the masking debate. We heard that a lot in the arguments about wearing two or more masks. The proponents said “of course” if one mask was good, two were better. But I never saw them present much evidence for that proposition. Even with respect to single masks, many of the arguments for masking just assume that putting cloth or paper over a person’s face will reduce the spread of the virus, and thus deaths. There must be data somewhere supporting that theory.

As you can tell, I am not convinced that universal masking prevents enough Covid deaths to justify the individual and societal harms universal masking imposes. But, I like to think that I could be persuaded.

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  1. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    At this link are links to ten different studies showing that mask-wearing (as we have seen it done worldwide) is ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID.

    Mask mandates, therefore, are useless.


    1. A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
    2. A Danish randomized controlled trial with 6000 participants, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020, found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting. (Source)
    3. A large randomized controlled trial with close to 8000 participants, published in October 2020 in PLOS One, found that face masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” (Source)
    4. A February 2021 review by the European CDC found no high-quality evidence supporting the effectiveness of non-medical and medical face masks in the community. Furthermore, the European CDC advised against the use of FFP2/N95 masks by the general public. (Source)
    5. A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)
    6. A November 2020 Cochrane review found that face masks did not reduce influenza-like illness (ILI) cases, neither in the general population nor in health care workers. (Source)
    7. An April 2020 review by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). (Source)
    8. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 came to the conclusion that face masks offer little to no protection in everyday life. (Source)
    9. A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or repeated use. (Source)
    10. An August 2020 review by a German professor in virology, epidemiology and hygiene found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks and that the improper daily use of masks by the public may in fact lead to an increase in infections. (Source)
    • #1
  2. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Full Size Tabby: In the midst of renewed calls for universal masking in the name of Covid 19, can we have a reasoned, data-oriented discussion of how well universal masking prevents Covid deaths?

    I tried.

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    At this link are links to ten different studies showing that mask-wearing (as we have seen it done worldwide) is ineffective in stopping the spread of COVID.

    Mask mandates, therefore, are useless.


    1. A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
    2. A Danish randomized controlled trial with 6000 participants, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in November 2020, found no statistically significant effect of high-quality medical face masks against SARS-CoV-2 infection in a community setting. (Source)
    3. A large randomized controlled trial with close to 8000 participants, published in October 2020 in PLOS One, found that face masks “did not seem to be effective against laboratory-confirmed viral respiratory infections nor against clinical respiratory infection.” (Source)
    4. A February 2021 review by the European CDC found no high-quality evidence supporting the effectiveness of non-medical and medical face masks in the community. Furthermore, the European CDC advised against the use of FFP2/N95 masks by the general public. (Source)
    5. A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)
    6. A November 2020 Cochrane review found that face masks did not reduce influenza-like illness (ILI) cases, neither in the general population nor in health care workers. (Source)
    7. An April 2020 review by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). (Source)
    8. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 came to the conclusion that face masks offer little to no protection in everyday life. (Source)
    9. A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or repeated use. (Source)
    10. An August 2020 review by a German professor in virology, epidemiology and hygiene found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of face masks and that the improper daily use of masks by the public may in fact lead to an increase in infections. (Source)

    Thanks for this!  I’m working on a post for my personal blog about the fact that the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks, and demand that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, go back to wearing masks everywhere.  I will copy this information, if it’s OK with you.  

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Thanks for this! I’m working on a post for my personal blog about the fact that the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks, and demand that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, go back to wearing masks everywhere. I will copy this information, if it’s OK with you.

    It’s public information! Go for it.

    • #4
  5. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks,

    My science-worshiping friends are praying to the CDC to support universal mask mandates.

    Which is anti-science, but whatevs.

    • #5
  6. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks,

    My science-worshiping friends are praying to the CDC to support universal mask mandates.

    Which is anti-science, but whatevs.

    I’m trying to avoid thinking ill of people, so I assume that the people at CDC and others demanding universal mask mandates have some basis for their arguments. There must be some studies that counter the studies in the list you copied.  

    • #6
  7. Captain French Moderator
    Captain French
    @AlFrench

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):

    Full Size Tabby: In the midst of renewed calls for universal masking in the name of Covid 19, can we have a reasoned, data-oriented discussion of how well universal masking prevents Covid deaths?

    I tried.

    Worth rereading.

    • #7
  8. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I’ve seen a whole range of studies on the impact of mask-wearing.  One of them involved two groups of Marines, one group being required to wear masks and the other not wearing them–each group living in close proximity with other members of that group.  There were no significant differences in Covid outcomes.

    On the other hand, here’s one study (focused on the actual *wearing* of masks rather than on mandates) which estimates a 25% reduction in the R number (a measure of how many other people an infected person will on the average infect) when masks are worn.

    https://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2021/06/the-best-mask-wearing-study-so-far.html

    If only we had a group of professional writers, with the patience to gather data and report it in a form accessible to the intelligent general public, with access to major print and on-line platforms.  We could call such people ‘journalists.’

     

    • #8
  9. David Foster Member
    David Foster
    @DavidFoster

    I find it extremely irritating that Fauci rarely presents data, numbers, or coherent cause-and-effect logic…to me, he comes across as less a scientist or a marketer (his real function, I think) than as a respeck-mah-authoriteh type of assistant principal.

    • #9
  10. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks,

    My science-worshiping friends are praying to the CDC to support universal mask mandates.

    Which is anti-science, but whatevs.

    I’m trying to avoid thinking ill of people, so I assume that the people at CDC and others demanding universal mask mandates have some basis for their arguments. There must be some studies that counter the studies in the list you copied.

    I think you’re being too generous to their motives FST.

    • #10
  11. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):
    the CDC is about to “update its guidance” on masks,

    My science-worshiping friends are praying to the CDC to support universal mask mandates.

    Which is anti-science, but whatevs.

    Your facts are interfering with their feelings, therefore your facts must be dispensed with.

    I became convinced that masks were a scam when Dr. Crypt-Keeper went from don’t bother wearing one, to wearing one is mandatory, to wearing two is better than one, to whatever nonsense he is currently spouting.

    • #11
  12. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    I really don’t care if masks are effective.   I will use a mask if the place I want to go into requires it.   Otherwise I won’t.   My family is fully vaccinated,  and at this point vitamin D, magnesium,  getting generally healthier, and losing weight would all be more effective than masking.   Plus masking fogs my glasses and gives me acne.  Whatever marginal improvement in safety that masking may or may not provide is not worth it.    However, I will mask if a church or business requires it.   May just choose another church or business instead, however.

    • #12
  13. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Masks make sense as part of a comprehensively controlled environment. As a generalized suppression and control strategy of indefinite duration, masks are useless. There is no jurisdiction on the planet that saw a measurable reduction in spread by means of a mask mandate. We are urged to rely on small scale (mostly medical facility) studies but never to look at aggregate actual results nor look at the fact that prolonged mask-wearing has adverse health effects. 

    Mask mandates are about authorities appearing to Do Something About It and maintain a starring role as saviors.  And they give people with the cognitive and character defects that make them susceptible to progressive narratives an external symbol of compliance and virtue.

    Making kids mask up is not only contrary to an abundance of science about kids and COVID but a perverse willingness to promote fear and disrupt normal life for kids. I want show trials for those who prostituted credentials and positions to serve a politicized BS narrative contrary to everything that constitutes actual science.

    • #13
  14. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Making kids mask up is not only contrary to an abundance of science about kids and COVID but a perverse willingness to promote fear and disrupt normal life for kids. I want show trials for those who prostituted credentials and positions to serve a politicized BS narrative contrary to everything that constitutes actual science.

    Hear, hear!  I’ll bring the popcorn.

    • #14
  15. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Masks don’t work and are stupid.

    • #15
  16. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    It’s the Zero-Covid mentality. It isn’t being imposed; it’s arising from the loam of the perpetually anxious. Cheap psychoanalysis might say that the perpetually anxious were annoyed that the relaxation of rules meant they were no longer the A+ apple-polishing hall monitors, and really annoyed that virtue now attached to the maskless, since it meant they’d been vaccinated, and believed in Science! 

    But then the heaven-sent combo of mulish red-state anti-vaxxers and the Delta variant meant that masks were a sign of Science! again, and since belief in science confers virtue, well, hail the next wave of mandates. 

    • #16
  17. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    If you are not into masks, you might already be listening to Dr Lee Merritt. But just in case you haven’t heard of her, here is a decent presentation that is brought  to us by “Fact Seekers” – https://www.bitchute.com/video/fcz7NNBJ1gqE/

    During her talk, the host mentions how back in 1999, several members of the People’s Liberation Army published a 100 page treatise on how to achieve communism in the USA: among the suggestions were an undeclared war whereby citizens had to surrender their bodies to “drugs” to keep themselves safe.

     

     

     

     

    • #17
  18. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s the Zero-Covid mentality. It isn’t being imposed; it’s arising from the loam of the perpetually anxious. Cheap psychoanalysis might say that the perpetually anxious were annoyed that the relaxation of rules meant they were no longer the A+ apple-polishing hall monitors, and really annoyed that virtue now attached to the maskless, since it meant they’d been vaccinated, and believed in Science!

    But then the heaven-sent combo of mulish red-state anti-vaxxers and the Delta variant meant that masks were a sign of Science! again, and since belief in science confers virtue, well, hail the next wave of mandates.

    And what is the science that indicates that Delta even exists? The original statistics that focused on Delta that were done by indie researchers showed the vaxxed were infected with Delta  60%  to 85% more often than the unvaxxed. So is Delta actually a side effect of the vaccine, with those who are unvaxxed ending up with having Delta through shedding that occurs from the vaxxed to the unvaxxed?

    Plus once again, it looks like the people driving the COVID scamdemic are willing to encourage clinic personnel and hospital personnel to clssify hayfever or a mild cold with this scary, newly emerging “Delta sub pandemic.”

    • #18
  19. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    In the face of all this evidence that masks are not effective one has to as oneself why medical authorities universally recommend their use.  At hospitals where I work their continuous use on the job has been mandated without interruption since the beginning of the pandemic.  Nobody I know of where I work is questioning this. (Strange that we haven’t seen anyone dying of mask use.  No depression, anxiety, social alienation, etc., either.)

    My impression is that studies purportedly showing that masks don’t work have no credibility in they eyes of most medical people.  They’ve seen many studies over the years on various topics that turn out to be unreproducible.  Those especially likely to be unreproducible are those dealing with political hot-button issues.

    Why were these studies on masks, calling into question verities established for over a 100 years, even done?  Would they have been published if the results were different?  Are these groups making good faith efforts to find the truth, or do these groups have an ax to grind?  The spate of studies on masks in recent months tells you it’s most likely to be the latter.

    It’s a shame that simple public health issues have been politicized

    • #19
  20. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Roderic (View Comment):

    In the face of all this evidence that masks are not effective one has to as oneself why medical authorities universally recommend their use. At hospitals where I work their continuous use on the job has been mandated without interruption since the beginning of the pandemic. Nobody I know of where I work is questioning this. (Strange that we haven’t seen anyone dying of mask use. No depression, anxiety, social alienation, etc., either.)

    My impression is that studies purportedly showing that masks don’t work have no credibility in they eyes of most medical people. They’ve seen many studies over the years on various topics that turn out to be unreproducible. Those especially likely to be unreproducible are those dealing with political hot-button issues.

    Why were these studies on masks, calling into question verities established for over a 100 years, even done? Would they have been published if the results were different? Are these groups making good faith efforts to find the truth, or do these groups have an ax to grind? The spate of studies on masks in recent months tells you it’s most likely to be the latter.

    It’s a shame that simple public health issues have been politicized

    I’m asking for evidence that the experience of trained medical personnel gathered for particular purposes in use-specific medical facilities with systems and protocols translates to the general public in places whose primary purpose is not medical care. The cited studies suggest the experience of medical professionals does not translate to the general public. 

    • #20
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Roderic (View Comment):
    My impression is that studies purportedly showing that masks don’t work have no credibility in they eyes of most medical people.

    One of the weird things going on is that health care workers are one of the larger demographics among the COVID-vax refuseniks. Here are their reasons given.

    • #21
  22. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Old Bathos (View Comment):
    Masks make sense as part of a comprehensively controlled environment.

    Exactly.

     

    • #22
  23. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    The problem in talking about scientific studies that disprove the efficacy of masks in preventing the spread of upper-respiratory viruses is that the pro-mask side sees mask wearing as only one part of a larger effort to keep disease from spreading. They know they don’t work very well. They are hoping only for working a little bit maybe. That’s why they don’t address the studies proving they don’t work well.

    The mask wearing idea came from healthcare settings where face masks have been a way of life for a long time. They are not sympathetic to our complaints nor do they expect the masks to work by themselves to prevent infections from spreading.

    It’s kind of like mosquito-control efforts. As the mosquito population grows, the mitigation efforts grow in number and strength too. No one single thing is going to work. We do it all: personal repellents, staying indoors at dusk and dawn, fixing screens, draining containers of standing water, applying chemicals to ponds to kill mosquito larvae, and so on. As more mosquitos appear, the mitigation efforts are increased until finally the situation becomes unbearable, someone gets EEE, the mosquitoes are the size of B52s, and someone–finally!–calls out the malathion-areal sprayers. :-)

    No one who supports mask wearing to prevent disease believes they work by themselves to do so. They see the masks as part of a broad strategy that contains many other parts.

    We have to reframe the argument on mask wearing. Of the fifty things we can do to mitigate the spread of upper-respiratory diseases, we don’t like this particular one. We find it impossible to live with. We understand the thinking behind the strategy, but to a majority of people, mask wearing is a step too far. There are a lot of things that might partially prevent the spread of upper-respiratory diseases that we don’t do because we don’t want to live that way and we don’t want to ask anyone else to.

    “Frankly,” our argument should go, “we know you looked a lot of these strategies at the start of the pandemic and rejected many of them for the same reasons. We just want to move the mask wearing into the rejected column as something we don’t want to live with.”

    • #23
  24. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Healthcare is messy and germ ridden. It’s an unsafe environment for everyone working in the field. When we the general public talk to people who have been battling all kinds of infectious diseases in hospital settings long before the pandemic hit and winning those battles, we had better know what we are talking about because they are experts in this area.

    They are not going to listen to the ill informed.

    At this point, I think the best we can hope for is to get mask wearing on local ballots.

    • #24
  25. Brandon Member
    Brandon
    @Brandon

    James Lileks (View Comment):

    It’s the Zero-Covid mentality. It isn’t being imposed; it’s arising from the loam of the perpetually anxious. Cheap psychoanalysis might say that the perpetually anxious were annoyed that the relaxation of rules meant they were no longer the A+ apple-polishing hall monitors, and really annoyed that virtue now attached to the maskless, since it meant they’d been vaccinated, and believed in Science!

    But then the heaven-sent combo of mulish red-state anti-vaxxers and the Delta variant meant that masks were a sign of Science! again, and since belief in science confers virtue, well, hail the next wave of mandates.

    This whole situation is an excellent example of trying to solve a problem instead of mitigate negative outcomes.  From the get go, the state approached the issue with a one tract mind: lock everyone down until the vaccine comes to save the day.  The truth is that there was never going to be a fairytale ending to this.  At the beginning of the outbreak, we should have looked at any and all mitigation strategies to lessen the damage (cheap antivirals, focusing on at risk groups, promoting weight loss and a non-sedentary lifestyle).  Instead, we put all of our chips on “vaccine”, and this is what its got us.  Did it never occur to the state that, in an era of eroding public confidence in institutions, that many people would reject the vaccine?  Did it never occur to the state that young people would figure out that their chances of being bit by Covid were next to nothing and that they would act accordingly?      

    • #25
  26. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    MarciN (View Comment):
    At this point, I think the best we can hope for is to get mask wearing on local ballots. 

    I don’t want to be ruled by the Karens.

    • #26
  27. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    There is far more evidence that rise and fall of Covid is a seasonal process, and mask rules have little to no effect. Here’s a grab I saved from a Twitter post some weeks ago. It’s five states with similar climates and very different masking rules. The poster who did this graph has made similar ones for other parts of the US with similar results.

    • #27
  28. Old Bathos Moderator
    Old Bathos
    @OldBathos

    Roderic (View Comment):

    In the face of all this evidence that masks are not effective one has to as oneself why medical authorities universally recommend their use. At hospitals where I work their continuous use on the job has been mandated without interruption since the beginning of the pandemic. Nobody I know of where I work is questioning this. (Strange that we haven’t seen anyone dying of mask use. No depression, anxiety, social alienation, etc., either.)

    My impression is that studies purportedly showing that masks don’t work have no credibility in they eyes of most medical people. They’ve seen many studies over the years on various topics that turn out to be unreproducible. Those especially likely to be unreproducible are those dealing with political hot-button issues.

    Why were these studies on masks, calling into question verities established for over a 100 years, even done? Would they have been published if the results were different? Are these groups making good faith efforts to find the truth, or do these groups have an ax to grind? The spate of studies on masks in recent months tells you it’s most likely to be the latter.

    It’s a shame that simple public health issues have been politicized

    I still need an explanation as to why comparing jurisdictions and broad group studies (e.g., the Danish study) have shown zero reduction from mask mandates.  Surely there should be at least some marginal difference even if people are using bandanas and drug store surgical masks instead of viral lab-quality respirators.  That lack of any difference in infection outcomes is not “unreproducible.”  It is uniformly true.  

    Do you follow the current CDC guidelines (May ’21) when seeing a flu/COVID patient:

    “HCP should don a facemask when entering the room of a patient with suspected or confirmed influenza. Remove the facemask when leaving the patient’s room, dispose of the facemask in a waste container, and perform hand hygiene.”

    Should we change masks and use hand sanitizer after leaving the Safeway or CVS on the chance that some fellow shopper was infected and left a big aerosol cloud?  Is it dangerous to keep that mask on over time and thus guaranteed to bring the bug home?  What is the entire mask-wearing world doing wrong such that mask mandates have been utterly useless?

    The inference that if doctors wear masks it must work is clearly missing some requisite details to make masks a viable anti-COVID policy.  Some humility in that regard and an acknowledgement of the reality of actual outcomes rather than a breezy dismissal of anti-mask rubes would be appreciated.  Why didn’t it work?

    • #28
  29. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    At this point, I think the best we can hope for is to get mask wearing on local ballots.

    I don’t want to be ruled by the Karens.

    In other words, do you think the proponents for wearing masks would win a local vote? 

    I think it would be very close even in Massachusetts, so close that I couldn’t guess how it would turn out. 

    • #29
  30. Headedwest Coolidge
    Headedwest
    @Headedwest

    The other interesting fact is that the CDC is telling everybody to retire the PCR test.

    After December 31, 2021, CDC will withdraw the request to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of the CDC 2019-Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel, the assay first introduced in February 2020 for detection of SARS-CoV-2 only. CDC is providing this advance notice for clinical laboratories to have adequate time to select and implement one of the many FDA-authorized alternatives.

    Not until the end of the year, but why?

    CDC recommends clinical laboratories and testing sites that have been using the CDC 2019-nCoV RT-PCR assay select and begin their transition to another FDA-authorized COVID-19 test. CDC encourages laboratories to consider adoption of a multiplexed method that can facilitate detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses. 

    Emphasis mine. Are they telling me that the PCR can’t tell the difference between Covid and seasonal flu? Is that why the flu season last year was a big zero?

    I’d appreciate hearing from anybody who is an expert on this stuff.

     

    • #30