Why has the public health establishment discouraged people from wearing masks? - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#15080553
From what I've read the public health establishment claims masks are so ineffective that we don't need to bother with them but is that really true? Masks might not be 100% effective but they would have to provide some significant degree of protection if everybody was wearing them. Even if masks would reduces transmission by 5 or 10 points it would make sense to use them. I don't get why masks were downplayed by the establishment?

Now the CDC is considering recommending masks but why in the fuck didn't they do that from the very beginning? It could have slowed the spread and spared us these bullshit lockdown measures.

It's Time to Face Facts, America: Masks Work
Official advice has been confusing, but the science isn't hard to grok. Everyone should cover up.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has almost never advised healthy people to wear masks in public to prevent influenza or other respiratory diseases. In the past few months, with medical supplies dangerously diminished, the CDC, US surgeon general Jerome Adams, and the World Health Organization have urged people not to buy masks, paradoxically claiming that masks are both essential for the safety of health care workers and incapable of protecting the public from Covid-19.


Recently, some experts have disputed this contradictory advice. They propose that widespread use of masks is one of the many reasons why China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan have controlled outbreaks of coronavirus much more effectively than the US and Europe. “Of course masks work,” sociologist Zeynep Tufekci wrote in a New York Times editorial. “Their use has always been advised as part of the standard response to being around infected people.” Public health expert Shan Soe-Lin and epidemiologist Robert Hecht made a similar argument in the Boston Globe: “We need to change our perception that masks are only for sick people and that it’s weird or shameful to wear one … If more people donned masks it would become a social norm as well as a public health good.” Last week, George Gao, director-general of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that America and Europe are making a "big mistake" by not telling the public to wear masks during the ongoing pandemic.

It is unequivocally true that masks must be prioritized for health care workers in any country suffering from a shortage of personal protective equipment. But the conflicting claims and guidelines regarding their use raise three questions of the utmost urgency: Do masks work? Should everyone wear them? And if there aren’t enough medical-grade masks for the general public, is it possible to make a viable substitute at home? Decades of scientific research, lessons from past pandemics, and common sense suggest the answer to all of these questions is yes.

[...]

Masks reduce the spread of infectious disease by catching microbes expelled by the wearer and protecting the wearer from microbes in their environment. When we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe we emit a plume of air and droplets, which are largely composed of saliva, mucus, salts, and—if we are infected—potentially dangerous microbes. The smallest of these droplets, sometimes called aerosols, may hover or drift through the air for hours, potentially exposing anyone who enters that airspace. Larger droplets may travel only a few feet—or up to 26 feet if propelled by a sneeze—before falling to the ground or onto another surface, such as someone’s skin or clothes.

[...]

Although surgical masks are not tightly sealed like N95s, the filters they contain are still a major impediment to microbes. The CDC and other health agencies often say that surgical masks catch only spurts of bodily fluids and very large respiratory droplets, and that they cannot filter tiny infectious particles. But this is simply not true.

For a 2009 study of influenza transmission, nine infected volunteers coughed five times onto a Petri dish while wearing a surgical mask, an N95 respirator, or no covering. Nearly every time someone coughed without a mask, influenza virus showed up on the dish, but no virus was found when the volunteers wore either type of mask. Similarly, in a study still under review, 246 participants with symptoms of respiratory infection breathed into a droplet-collecting device called the Gesundheit-II for 30 minutes. When volunteers were bare-mouthed, coronavirus was detected in 30 to 40 percent of their sampled droplets; when they wore a surgical mask, no coronavirus was detected. Another study using a realistic manikin that simulated human breathing concluded that, when accounting for leakage, a surgical mask can filter at least 60 percent of 0.3 micron particles. A similar manikin study demonstrated that surgical masks reduce exposure to aerosolized influenza virus by sixfold, on average.

Scientists have also tested whether masks reduce infection in randomized controlled trials. Results from these studies are inconsistent: Many fail to find definitive support for mask wearing, but a few are somewhat encouraging. Neither hand sanitizer nor face masks alone produced a statistically significant effect on rates of influenza-like illness among 1,437 college students in Michigan; together, however, they reduced the rate by 35 to 51 percent. Similarly, surgical masks appeared to reduce the spread of flu within 84 households in Berlin when they were used within 36 hours of symptoms.

Because so many trials find only a marginal benefit or none at all, some health agencies have decided against recommending masks to the general public. But the inconsistency of randomized trials does not negate the robust physical evidence that masks block respiratory droplets and microbes. Rather, these trials underscore that the efficacy of a mask depends on how it is used. In a study of 143 households in Sydney, people who diligently wore surgical masks as instructed reduced their daily risk of respiratory infection by an estimated 60 to 80 percent, but fewer than half the participants kept up the demanding routine.

In fact, this very issue has been cited (and even exaggerated) by health authorities in order to dissuade the public from using masks. "Folks who don't know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus," Jerome Adams told Fox & Friends at the beginning of March. Yet in the same interview, Adams described how many seconds it takes to correctly wash one’s hands. The CDC and WHO have poured considerable resources into numerous websites, tweets, and videos that encourage frequent handwashing and meticulously demonstrate proper technique. If it’s possible to educate the public about better hand hygiene, why not teach them how to wear masks, too?

Meanwhile, several studies have tested the performance of masks improvised from household materials. A 2008 paper found that masks made from kitchen towels were about half as protective as surgical masks. For a study published in 2013, scientists compared the filtration efficiency of surgical masks to linen, silk, a scarf, a kitchen towel, a pillowcase, a vacuum cleaner bag, and masks that volunteers made from 100 percent-cotton T-shirts. The surgical mask performed best, followed by the vacuum cleaner bag and kitchen towel, but the latter were too thick and stiff to be worn for long periods of time. The T-shirt masks were comfortable, though, and one-third as effective as the surgical masks. “Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort,” the authors wrote, “but it would be better than no protection.” A 2010 study reached a nearly identical conclusion.

The collective evidence makes a strong case for universal mask wearing during a pandemic. [...] Masks could help reduce the spread of disease in all these scenarios. “Masks work in both directions,” virologist Julian Tang explained. “If everybody wears a mask, it’s double protection. Even if a mask is not 100 percent sealed, it is still a significant reduction in risk of transmission.”

[...]

Had the US federal government listened to expert warnings about an inevitable pandemic and taken the necessary precautions years ago—by investing in domestic mask production, for instance—we would not be faced with such a dire shortage of basic medical equipment today.

https://www.wired.com/story/its-time-to ... asks-work/



Well I guess if the public health babbitts didn't advise against using masks they wouldn't have such an awesome opportunity to take control of society and be the revered authority figures for a terror stricken public. Masks would have given people too much of a sense of control and the babbitts weren't about to let that rob them of their big moment.
#15080560
Sivad wrote:From what I've read the public health establishment claims masks are so ineffective that we don't need to bother with them but is that really true? Masks might not be 100% effective but they would have to provide some significant degree of protection if everybody was wearing them. Even if masks would reduces transmission by 5 or 10 points it would make sense to use them. I don't get why masks were downplayed by the establishment?

Now the CDC is considering recommending masks but why in the fuck didn't they do that from the very beginning? It could have slowed the spread and spared us these bullshit lockdown measures.

Well I guess if the public health babbitts didn't advise against using masks they wouldn't have such an awesome opportunity to take control of society and be the revered authority figures for a terror stricken public. Masks would have given people too much of a sense of control and the babbitts weren't about to let that rob them of their big moment.



Agree in principle but I have my opinion for a few points.

First, a mask-wearing order would not spare anyone from lockdown measures, because it is nearly impossible to ensure everybody comply with that order -- to be fair, not even China could have achieved that. In other words, lockdown is still necessary.

Second, I suspect the actual reason that some officials still discouraging people from wearing mask is that they have no stockpile themselves. If they go along and are found that they have none to offer they will be blamed of unpreparedness or hypocrisy.
#15080568
Rugoz wrote:There are not enough masks to supply the entire population. They should be reserved for medical workers, the sick and those at risk, in that order. But Sivad has to turn every trivial shit into a grand conspiracy theory by THE ESTABLISHMENT >:.

:roll:


:knife: I just posted an article discussing how even homemade masks significantly reduce transmission. But Rugoz has to turn every instance of fucked off babbittry into another fine example of very serious expert officialdom's outstanding public management in a crisis.

And just so everybody really gets what happened here I'll spell it out: the CDC, the World Health Organization, and the Surgeon General, fucking lied to the entire country about the effectiveness of masks. If Wired magazine knows that masks are an effective means of reducing transmission then all those lying babbitt fucks in very serious expert officialdom knew it too. And they didn't lie to keep people from hoarding masks, they could have just commandeered the whole supply and rationed them out while teaching people how to construct cheap and effective homemade masks. There's no question that they lied, the only question is why they lied and I'll leave that for you people to ponder.
#15080722
In the eastern EU wearing cloth face masks everywhere outside home is commonplace now. This measure was adopted about half month ago. In the past cloth masks were the only protection medical personnel had. There are not enough high quality FFP2/FFP3, so they are reserved for medical personnel, police, firefighters etc. But it is still not enough, the R factor is about 1.1-1.2 so the disease is very slowly accelerating. It can be easily enforced if everyone has to wear them. They can be made at home. If nothing else it buys us extra time to prepare hospitals.

For western countries which are more affected at the moment there are only 2 options:
a.) completely shut down the economy for about 2 months - it would have to be negotiated to ensure every country does it at the same time
b.) ride it out - countries which aren't heavily affected still have time to prepare their healthcare systems
#15080923
Rugoz wrote:So what.

Here's a more thorough article saying the opposite:
http://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspect ... sound-data


Did you even read the article you posted? :lol: They say right up front that cloth masks are between 2% - 38% effective(depending on the mask).

For the entire range of particles tested, t-shirts had 10% efficiency, scarves 10% to 20%, cloth masks 10% to 30%, sweatshirts 20% to 40%, and towels 40%.

Another study evaluated 44 masks, respirators, and other materials with similar methods and small aerosols (0.08 and 0.22 µm).5 N95 FFR filter efficiency was greater than 95%. Medical masks exhibited 55% efficiency, general masks 38% and handkerchiefs 2% (one layer) to 13% (four layers).


So maybe cloth masks aren't all that effective on an individual level if you're a healthcare worker who is in regular close proximity to sick people every day but on a population level they would drastically reduce transmission rates(especially given that masks work in two directions). If the CDC had their eggheads working on designing a cheap and effective mask that could be constructed from common, widely available household materials, it would have made an enormous difference.

your motivation is plain obvious.


Not wanting to be dominated by lying control freaks? I guess you got me there. :lol:
#15080951
and the kicker is that while the public health establishment was actively discouraging people from using masks they were ardently encouraging people to congregate in large crowds for ethnic pride parades in Chinatowns across the country and repeatedly assuring the public that there was absolutely no reason to be cocerned about coronavirus:

#15080969
I wouldn't think Pelosi's visit to Chinatown was part of a conspiracy to help the virus spread, she simply must get lots of funding and votes from there. It was just a manifestation of Chinatown's political influence.
#15080987
Sivad wrote:So maybe cloth masks aren't all that effective on an individual level if you're a healthcare worker who is in regular close proximity to sick people every day but on a population level they would drastically reduce transmission rates(especially given that masks work in two directions).


No, that's just your idiotic interpretation of the article.

But this is pointless. You've gone off the deep end long ago.
#15080990
Sivad wrote:Now the CDC is considering recommending masks but why in the fuck didn't they do that from the very beginning? It could have slowed the spread and spared us these bullshit lockdown measures.


They didn't review the data on this, so that's why they advised against it. Also, they wanted to safe the supply for healthcare workers.
#15080997
Rugoz wrote:No, that's just your idiotic interpretation of the article.


It's easy enough to type those words into a combox but you have to actually show why it's idiotic and we both know why you haven't even attempted to do that.


But this is pointless.


because you don't have a point to make.


You've gone off the deep end long ago.


I'm sure it seems like that to anyone who has been fully assimilated into the system. You wanna talk about motives, you have every reason to reject what I'm saying here. The system has been very good to you, it gives you your identity and status, your material comforts, a sense of physical and psychological security, it orients your entire existence. You need me to be a crank because if I'm not then your whole world along with your place in it is just a bad joke.
#15081003
Rancid wrote:They didn't review the data on this, so that's why they advised against it. Also, they wanted to safe the supply for healthcare workers.


seems like you're trying to convince yourself that's what it is... well good luck on squaring that circle but I don't see how the facts here can be reconciled without concluding malfeasance on the part of expert officialdom.
#15081191
From what I've read the public health establishment claims masks are so ineffective that we don't need to bother with them but is that really true?


That recommendation was originally made by the former Ethiopian health minister who is known to incorrect statements about the coronavirus because he is politically motivated to underestimate the extent of damage done by the coronavirus from China. Many US experts are now saying that wearing a mask when you go out is mandatory but the WHO still recommends people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19. The outbreaks in Europe and America are getting out of control because people are not wearing masks in public.

(CNN)World Health Organization officials Monday said they still recommend people not wear face masks unless they are sick with Covid-19 or caring for someone who is sick.

"There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the mass population has any potential benefit. In fact, there's some evidence to suggest the opposite in the misuse of wearing a mask properly or fitting it properly," Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO health emergencies program, said at a media briefing in Geneva, Switzerland, on Monday.

"There also is the issue that we have a massive global shortage," Ryan said about masks and other medical supplies. "Right now the people most at risk from this virus are frontline health workers who are exposed to the virus every second of every day. The thought of them not having masks is horrific."

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/worl ... index.html
#15081253
Sivad wrote:It's easy enough to type those words into a combox but you have to actually show why it's idiotic and we both know why you haven't even attempted to do that.


Because the article literally comes to the opposite conclusion.

So you have your cloth mask with limited efficiency, probably at the low end for people who make it at home, that doesn't protect from small particles and doesn't protect your eyes. It's easy to see that the added protection can be negated by a mishandling of the mask (especially cloth masks that are not single use) or by a false sense of security and less social distancing. Whether wearing cloth masks will reduce transmission rates in a practical setting is completely uncertain.

Personally I'm not even opposed to wearing masks, in fact I think it should be obligatory in places where people cannot keep distance, such as public transit, as soon as there's sufficient supply. But I don't expect any wonders from it, not least because most infections happen in private or at work, where people won't wear masks.
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