Folks, the science is settled on masks.
As I have repeatedly pointed out they do nothing for viruses. There are a number of reasons for this -- and physics tells us that they shouldn't work. If you want to read the whole screed it's here, complete with a link to another source from before when these became politicized that includes links to multiple random controlled trials, which are the gold standard in medicine. They found no evidence that masks even when worn by medical personnel who are trained, did anything to inhibit viral transmission.
There are plenty of observational studies that claim effectiveness. Observational studies are worthless; by definition they cannot prove causal links. Further, as I've repeatedly pointed out the person who wants to make an extraordinarily claim (or impose an extraordinarily order, such as a lockdown or a mask requirement) has the burden of proof, not suggestion.
There are people who say "well, but one viral particle isn't enough to get infected, so if you block some of them that's benefit." That's only half-true. All viruses have what is called a "MID", or "minimum infective dose." The problem is that one <2.5um aerosol particle, which is not filtered effectively by even an N95, and not filtered at all by anything less, has enough virons in and on it to infect you. In other words, just one of those particles that gets through has more than a MID on it and thus the claim is false.
In fact masks may actually make the situation worse in that they radically concentrate larger droplets, such as are expelled in a cough or sneeze and leave them on the mask surface where they can then be transferred to your hands and infect someone. If not on the mask they drop rapidly onto the ground because they're too large and gravity gets them. It is what are known as the "fine particulates" that can remain part of the fluid motion of the air for an extended period of time -- in fact, almost-permanently.
Larger particles can be forcefully expelled by yelling, singing, playing wind instruments (although most of them collect in said instrument; thus the spit drain in a trombone, trumpet, etc) and, of course, coughing and sneezing. But those large particles drop to the ground quickly; they are much heavier than air. You want those to drop to the ground because they can't infect anyone who isn't running their hands on the ground immediately thereafter! Concentrating them where you can touch them is bad, not good. (Incidentally while we all now say "cough or sneeze into your sleeve" there's no science supporting that either -- in fact what studies we have say doing it doesn't decrease transmission.)
But a particle that is small enough passes through in both directions with a mask. That is, what you exhale passes through and so does what you inhale. That's the physics, and it's also the result of RCTs of which there have been many over the decades. Remember, we've tried to figure out how to stop flu transmission for decades as the flu kills upwards of 60,000 a year in the United States alone -- and have never succeeded.
That's not because we didn't study it.
We did study it.
Here are four controlled trials in the general population. I also have multiple ones over the last 20 years in health care settings with the same results. This isn't my data, it isn't conjecture, these are published medical studies.
And these are surgical masks and N95s -- not bandanas or your girlfriend's panties.
What do these studies repeatedly show?
HAND HYGIENE, that is WASHING YOUR FUCKING HANDS, works.
It produces statistically significant reductions in virus transmission, repeatedly, in controlled trials.
MASKS NEVER HAVE.
Never mind that the CDC itself published a retrospective look at various RCTs and found that masks on people in the general population are useless. When did they say this? In May of this year.
Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.
This is from the alleged experts that everyone in the media, along with all the Screaming Karens, claim we must listen to.
I've pointed this out repeatedly but, even worse, I identified manual transmission of this virus as the predominant vector in March.
Here's proof -- read it. This was not the first article on that, but it's the most-concise. Masks do zippo if transmission is occurring via your hands and in fact are likely to make the situation worse because any "adjustment" of said mask with your hands puts your hands right where they need to be in order to infect you -- on your mouth, nose or eyes.
Note that many people claim SE Asia's penchant for masks attenuates such viruses. Wrong. The data says otherwise:
The highest mortality rates were estimated in sub-Saharan Africa (2·8–16·5 per 100 000 individuals), southeast Asia (3·5–9·2 per 100 000 individuals),
In sub-Saharan Africa you can probably safely presume that the mask prevalence is an effective zero compared with SE Asia, yet SE Asia does not outperform sub-Saharan Africa in mortality from viral infuenza and it underperforms Europe and America, where mask usage is an effective zero.
In other words the observational data correlates exactly with both the expected physical outcome based on physics and the results of Random Controlled Trials (RCT), the gold standard for medical investigation.
THE SCIENCE IS CLEAR AND UNEQUIVOCAL; MASKS DO NOT WORK TO ATTENUATE AEROSOL VIRAL TRANSMISSION.
Never mind that now we have (finally!) admission of what I talked about a hell of a long time ago and had to be the case simply analyzing the mathematics and viral sequencing out of Italy and elsewhere -- this virus was here in the US long before claimed, penetration of it into the population is wildly more common than claimed, there is cross-immunity, which we knew in February and March since Diamond Princess, and all of this combined means we're now arguing over closing the barn door after the horses have all left!
But we have a further problem with this virus in that as with goddamn near everything today politics is once again focused on how to screw you with 5% of an issue while leaving the other 95% alone which is where all the damage is happening.
We saw this with HIV/AIDS, where we told everyone that any sort of unprotected sex was extremely dangerous where 95% of the transmission was occurring in those who engaged in unprotected anal sex or IV drug use with the sharing of needles. We shoved over 450,000 American in the hole by engaging in politicized bullshit, most of whom should not have died. We also told Americans that one third of all American people were going to get HIV/AIDS and die, which was an outrageously false statement but did scare the living Hell out of everyone alive, most-particularly heterosexual couples which, I remind you, are sort of important for the continuation of the human race. I was a young adult at the time and remember VERY VIVIDLY the death counts on the nightly news, in the local papers and the scaremongering that claimed we were all at very high risk and that any sexual contact was likely to lead directly to you becoming a corpse.
This does NOT mean you can't get HIV via heterosexual, vaginal sex. You can and just as now where they trot out the few 20 year old healthy victims of Covid-19 they did the same thing for the no-special-risk heterosexual man or woman who got AIDS and died. It does, however, mean that most cases are not contracted that way because while it's possible to transmit it in this fashion it's quite difficult, especially in the absence of other STDs that leave open lesions on and around the genitals.
We knew this by 1985 and intentionally lied to the American public for over a decade. 450,000 Americans alone are dead, many of them because we did not tell people the truth about the risk profile of various behaviors all of which were under their personal control.
Now we're doing it again and we're killing people again through the same goddamned cult behavior that is in fact no different than the voodoo practitioner who gets all your money to lay "spells" -- whether for your good or an enemy's demise.
The virulence of all aerosol transmission of respiratory viruses, without exception, follow very closely the absolute humidity in the region in question. This is absolute fact and is why if you look at the CDC data for ILI -- diagnosed as a specific flu or not -- you will see exactly this pattern. We did not know that this was tied directly to absolute humidity for a long time, but about 10 years ago the link was discovered and curve fit -- and it's a near-exact fit when controlled for all other factors such as time spent outdoors, HVAC prevalence and similar. Unlike most of the other theories put forward over the years this also fits exactly with expected behavior based on physics while the other "explanations" that people have attempted to conjure up were in fact mere speculations. In fact all respiratory aerosol-transmitted viruses have been observed to have a 400% or more range in virulence based on this factor -- that is, an effective "R" or "Rt" from under 1.0 to over 4.
It is why every single year we have a "flu season." It is why you are much more likely to catch a cold in the winter than the summer. Some people do get a cold or flu in the summer, but not many. This is science, not conjecture or politics.
Covid-19 is not following this pattern; we knew this in March. We knew this because places that were already very hot, where absolute humidity was already way higher than the winter and early spring months, were seeing massive outbreaks. We confirmed this when the virus got into Dade county in Florida by persons returning to the US from Italy and spread like wildfire -- it was not being attenuated even though total humidity was much higher than that of New York City at the same point in time. We continue to see confirmation in that now we have outbreaks in places like Dallas and San Antonio TX well into the summer, along with Miami, Los Angeles, South Carolina and Phoenix.
Note that the prevalence of A/C does not change any of this. Not only is the virus spreading like Hell in places like rural India (where there are no A/C units) but A/C units condense a huge amount of material out of the air and get rid of both the aerosols and anything in them in the condensate which is drained to the ground outside. If the presence of A/C units didn't attenuate transmission about equally well as being outdoors then we'd see massive outbreaks of flu in office buildings and cattle-car packed call centers in the summer but we don't.
All of these facts are hard, scientific evidence that the primary mechanism of spread of Covid-19 is not aerosol.
IT IS IN FACT HARD EVIDENCE STANDING WITHOUT A SCINTILLA OF REBUTTAL THAT THE MAJOR MEANS OF TRANSMISSION IS MANUAL. ANYONE WHO CLAIMS OTHERWISE MUST BE FORCED TO PROVE, THROUGH SCIENCE INCLUDING CONCURRENCE WITH THE LAWS OF PHYSICS, WHY THE SAME TOTAL HUMIDITY PATTERN THAT ATTENUATES ALL KNOWN RESPIRATORY AEROSOL VIRAL TRANSMISSION DOES NOT ATTENUATE COVID-19. IN OTHER WORDS YOU MUST PROVE THAT YOU'RE NOT A BELIEVER IN MAGIC OTHERWISE YOU ARE NOTHING MORE THAN A VOODOO PRACTITIONER -- OR CLIENT OF SAME! I'VE BEEN DILIGENTLY LOOKING FOR SAID EVIDENCE SINCE MARCH AND HAVE YET TO FIND IT; INDEED, ALL THE "MASS INCIDENTS" POINT THE OTHER WAY!
EVERY ONE OF THOSE PEOPLE IS KNOWINGLY FULL OF CRAP OR CLINICALLY INSANE AND THEIR LIES ARE KILLING PEOPLE.
Incidentally you will find the same is true of norovirus. This is why Norovirus spreads rapidly on cruise ships even in the Caribbean where absolute humidity is sky-high. Norovirus is contact spread, including through feces -- which we refuse to acknowledge as a means of spread of Covid-19 even though the overwhelming scientific evidence is that it spreads in exactly the same way norovirus does and we KNOW, scientifically, it is in feces.
When a cruise ship gets an outbreak of norovirus do they mandate masks? I've been on a cruise where it happened and the answer is NO. They spray the hell out of every single surface with a bleach solution on a nearly-continuous basis. The entire damn ship smells like bleach. Guess why they don't mandate masks? Because the virus is not attenuated in spread through total humidity which is proof that the primary means of spread is not aerosol and even if it did masks don't work against viruses and they know it.
Covid-19 is not attenuated in spread through total humidity either.
IT IS NOT, IN THE MAIN, SPREAD VIA AEROSOL.
Which means even if masks could work against respiratory viruses, which they can't, they won't work in this instance because that's not how the virus is spread. Never mind that indoor A/C units condense out a huge amount of aerosol and in addition have filters in front of said condensers which have no risk of manual transmission as they're away from people in a box where you can't touch them (a "mask" for the A/C unit, if you will) and thus indoor transmission in the summer months should be an effective zero.
I've been pointing this out since FEBRUARY, raising Hell about it since March, and there has not been one scintilla of evidence that provides any hint otherwise.
THAT IS THE SCIENCE AND THIS BULLSHIT WITH POLITICIZING THIS BUG NEEDS TO LEAD TO LIFE PRISON SENTENCES OR WORSE IF IT IS NOT STOPPED IMMEDIATELY, WITH APOLOGIES AND ADMISSION OF THE INTENTIONAL LIES THAT HAVE BEEN PUT FORWARD BECAUSE JUST AS WITH HIV IT HAS AND IS KILLING PEOPLE BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS.
THOSE INTENTIONALLY MISDIRECTING THE PUBLIC FOR POLITICAL PURPOSE AT THE COST OF TENS OF THOUSANDS OF LIVES MUST BE HELD TO ACCOUNT. WHAT THESE PEOPLE, ALL OF THEM, HAVE DONE IS COMMITTED MURDER BY THE TENS OF THOUSANDS, IT IS INTENTIONAL DEPRIVATION OF YOUR CIVIL RIGHT TO LIFE UNDER COLOR OF LAW AND AUTHORITY AND WE MUST DEMAND JUSTICE.