Are masks really effective against COVID-19?

May 8, 2020
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We were told from the CDC earlier this year that only N95 masks will protect us from COVID-19, and now they are recommending we wear any type of mask or face covering to protect us. I understand that things develop and that scientists are always learning more, but I haven't heard anything that disputes their original findings (which was that the particles were too small to be protected by normal masks).



Is that evidence out there? Have I missed it? I feel that this is an unnecessary recommendation, and in some cases requirement, and it's bad for people with breathing problems, claustrophobia, etc.
 
Jul 2, 2020
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Yes masks help the wearer from catching covid-19

A US Navy and CDC study of the USS Roosevelt crew that was infected with covid-19 showed that only 55% of those wearing masks caught covid-19 while 80% not wearing masks caught covid-19. Why is this self protection info about masks not being promoted as a reason to wear masks ?

There is other useful info in the study


 
Jun 25, 2020
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Yes masks help the wearer from catching covid-19

A US Navy and CDC study of the USS Roosevelt crew that was infected with covid-19 showed that only 55% of those wearing masks caught covid-19 while 80% not wearing masks caught covid-19. Why is this self protection info about masks not being promoted as a reason to wear masks ?

There is other useful info in the study


The problem with this report is that it did not establish a causation but only a correlation. When agencies spread this type of information knowing full well (or at least they should and if they don't they should not be writing an article) that most people will not delve into the background. Bottom line, the virus is so small the face mask may slow down the virus but particles will travel through the mask, in both directions. What people do not mention is that the particles stay on the mask and the next time you adjust your mask... you now have the virus on your hand. Wearing a face mask is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
 
Jul 2, 2020
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Its good to look for the flaws in any study and see what needs to be done to have a better picture so meaningful conclusions can be drawn or any misinformation can be addressed and so protection measures can be targeted and refined.

That does not exclude using the correlated information currently observed to draw interim protection conclusions

I agree it may be that there were some other factors that came into play - for example mask wearers could be more socially distanced by infected people or that the masks filtered enough of any inbound virus in 55% of cases to stop infection or there was a combination of effects that provide the observed increase in protection.

However the US Navy covid-19 study sets out that 80% of non mask wearers caught covid-19 while only 55% of mask wearers caught covid-19.

That does imply that regardless of any other factors the mask wearer does get for an unknown reason a correlated and very significantly better level of protection than a non mask wearer.


Other Comments

We are facing a serious situation.

The US Navy study is useful because it looks at spread in a stable and issolated population and what steps are correlated with providing a lesser level of infection from covid-19.

Whatever other factors need to be considered, for now we can say that mask wearers have a signicantly lower infection rate. If the aim is to lower infection rates while taking only limited measures then it seems justified to use masks in public places where contact with others happens.

The question of requiring mask use is difficult and tends to get brought into the discussion about whether to not wear or wear a mask

I think most people accept there are issues of cost, freedom of choice etc however for now it seems better to be cautious and take all limited steps possible to avoid spreading infection while still allowing people to circulate.

The government providing free masks could be one way forward. Testing, tracking, tracing, quarantine, mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands etc and other limited protections while still allowing human cirulation are all correlated with a lower infection rate. Taiwan is a good example of this working.

It is unclear what the long term consequences of covid-19 are. Will immunity develop or a vaccine be found to address the problem of how to stop the health system being swamped etc.

It also seems very important to find out what the source of covid-19 is. That topic has died, despite it being an important factor in speeding vaccine develoment and understanding.

When a disease breaks out finding patient zero and the source or as close as possible is certainly helpful in getting a better understanding
 
Jun 25, 2020
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Its good to look for the flaws in any study and see what needs to be done to have a better picture so meaningful conclusions can be drawn or any misinformation can be addressed and so protection measures can be targeted and refined.

That does not exclude using the correlated information currently observed to draw interim protection conclusions

I agree it may be that there were some other factors that came into play - for example mask wearers could be more socially distanced by infected people or that the masks filtered enough of any inbound virus in 55% of cases to stop infection or there was a combination of effects that provide the observed increase in protection.

However the US Navy covid-19 study sets out that 80% of non mask wearers caught covid-19 while only 55% of mask wearers caught covid-19.

That does imply that regardless of any other factors the mask wearer does get for an unknown reason a correlated and very significantly better level of protection than a non mask wearer.


Other Comments

We are facing a serious situation.

The US Navy study is useful because it looks at spread in a stable and issolated population and what steps are correlated with providing a lesser level of infection from covid-19.

Whatever other factors need to be considered, for now we can say that mask wearers have a signicantly lower infection rate. If the aim is to lower infection rates while taking only limited measures then it seems justified to use masks in public places where contact with others happens.

The question of requiring mask use is difficult and tends to get brought into the discussion about whether to not wear or wear a mask

I think most people accept there are issues of cost, freedom of choice etc however for now it seems better to be cautious and take all limited steps possible to avoid spreading infection while still allowing people to circulate.

The government providing free masks could be one way forward. Testing, tracking, tracing, quarantine, mask wearing, social distancing, washing hands etc and other limited protections while still allowing human cirulation are all correlated with a lower infection rate. Taiwan is a good example of this working.

It is unclear what the long term consequences of covid-19 are. Will immunity develop or a vaccine be found to address the problem of how to stop the health system being swamped etc.

It also seems very important to find out what the source of covid-19 is. That topic has died, despite it being an important factor in speeding vaccine develoment and understanding.

When a disease breaks out finding patient zero and the source or as close as possible is certainly helpful in getting a better understanding
To say that people wearing mask are better protected than people who do not wear a mask is not an arguable but to use it as a reasoning for wearing a mask is disingenuous. It is like saying those who wear Bermuda shorts at the Arctic Circle are warmer than Nudist at the Arctic Circle... therefore all of us are required to wear Bermuda shorts in order to stay warm. This is formulating an argument to support a preconceived conclusion.

I understand your points and I too wish for this entire Covid-19 to go away but the proposals provided by our "Experts" are not solutions to eliminating the disease. There are other anecdotal stories that are polar opposite of your scenario; I am not saying anybody should develop a conclusion off of those experiences, either. So far, our "Experts" have lied to us and changed the entire method of how a death gets recorded. See the below links.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGHp1GdOD4k


If these videos do not make one uneasy about this entire Covid-19 situation... nothing will. I mean, our Agencies have changed the definition of "cause of death". It is difficult to follow guidelines by these "Experts" when they continually move the goal posts every time a detailed explanation is provided.

I am adding another link. please compare this link to the last one I posted. The second article states something completely opposite of what the City of Chicago said they were conducting. This is one of the great problems with Covid-19... there are falsehoods all over the place even when city officials say the polar opposite of what was reported.

 
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Jul 2, 2020
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I agree a covid-19 strategy should not be based on ancedotal evidence and there should be something meaningful to work on. Also experts and politicians have been very flawed in responding.

The value of the US Navy study is that it is not anecdotal evidence, it is just a report of actual data results from a real outbreak.

The US Navy study shows wearing masks very significantly reduced the covid-19 infection rate - 80% infection in non mask wearers and only 55% infection for those using masks.

The environment was not predesigned to fit an outcome, the situation just came about including 2 deaths in the crew.

I agree that the experts and politicians around the world have not done a good job providing meaningful info or leadership on how to deal with covid-19.

They have flip flopped and in many cases politicians on all sides and many experts appear to have likely conflicts of interests in what they promote and say.

The use of masks seems to have got caught up as some sort of political indentification symbol which I do not think it should be.

Different countries or parts of countries have adopted different strategies.

There needs to be a plan to tackle future outbreaks of other viruses.

All countries need to have that in place as a long term response which can be used again to stop the damage happening the same way again from another virus.

We need to look to see which strategies have tackled covid-19 best so far and at the data that backs up those findings

One of the few places that to date and from the start has effectively tackled covid-19 has been Taiwan.

Taiwan had experience of SARS previously and learned from that.

Based on their example the strategy that has been effective for SARS and covid-19 is test, track, trace, quarantine, social distancing as far as is possible and the use of masks.

Taiwan has kepts its economy and schools open and has not been caught up in mask politics.

Until something better can be shown to work it would make sense to put the same measures in place and get the economy working and people circulating.
 
Jun 25, 2020
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I agree a covid-19 strategy should not be based on ancedotal evidence and there should be something meaningful to work on. Also experts and politicians have been very flawed in responding.

The value of the US Navy study is that it is not anecdotal evidence, it is just a report of actual data results from a real outbreak.

The US Navy study shows wearing masks very significantly reduced the covid-19 infection rate - 80% infection in non mask wearers and only 55% infection for those using masks.

The environment was not predesigned to fit an outcome, the situation just came about including 2 deaths in the crew.

I agree that the experts and politicians around the world have not done a good job providing meaningful info or leadership on how to deal with covid-19.

They have flip flopped and in many cases politicians on all sides and many experts appear to have likely conflicts of interests in what they promote and say.

The use of masks seems to have got caught up as some sort of political indentification symbol which I do not think it should be.

Different countries or parts of countries have adopted different strategies.

There needs to be a plan to tackle future outbreaks of other viruses.

All countries need to have that in place as a long term response which can be used again to stop the damage happening the same way again from another virus.

We need to look to see which strategies have tackled covid-19 best so far and at the data that backs up those findings

One of the few places that to date and from the start has effectively tackled covid-19 has been Taiwan.

Taiwan had experience of SARS previously and learned from that.

Based on their example the strategy that has been effective for SARS and covid-19 is test, track, trace, quarantine, social distancing as far as is possible and the use of masks.

Taiwan has kepts its economy and schools open and has not been caught up in mask politics.

Until something better can be shown to work it would make sense to put the same measures in place and get the economy working and people circulating.
Lying is not flip flopping.

Since you did not comment on the outright lying; do you agree with their lying?

By the way, the Navy scenario is anecdotal, reliving a situation without the context of facts is PRIME anecdotal. The facts stated: some wore masks, some did not wear masks, those who wore masks had fewer cases of Covid-19. There is absolutely nothing else that surrounds those facts which makes your claims a derivative of the described events. There is no mention of: what type of masks, when they were donned, the activity of those who donned and did not put on a mask, what personnel caught Covid, who did not catch Covid, any of the Sailors sick prior to catching Covid-19, was there a restriction on movement when Covid was discovered, did the people who wore a mask and those who did not wear a mask experience the same conditions, and so on.

The USA could have kept their economies open but the Politicians felt differently. Closing schools and the economy had nothing to do with wearing or not wearing a face mask, the government can make all of us wear a mask if it deemed it necessary.
 
Jul 2, 2020
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Lying is not flip flopping.

Since you did not comment on the outright lying; do you agree with their lying?

By the way, the Navy scenario is anecdotal, reliving a situation without the context of facts is PRIME anecdotal. The facts stated: some wore masks, some did not wear masks, those who wore masks had fewer cases of Covid-19. There is absolutely nothing else that surrounds those facts which makes your claims a derivative of the described events. There is no mention of: what type of masks, when they were donned, the activity of those who donned and did not put on a mask, what personnel caught Covid, who did not catch Covid, any of the Sailors sick prior to catching Covid-19, was there a restriction on movement when Covid was discovered, did the people who wore a mask and those who did not wear a mask experience the same conditions, and so on.

The USA could have kept their economies open but the Politicians felt differently. Closing schools and the economy had nothing to do with wearing or not wearing a face mask, the government can make all of us wear a mask if it deemed it necessary.

I have major reservations about the conduct of all politicians and many experts. Somethings they got right but most was very badly handled.

I do not know if they lied - ie knew they were telling an untruth.

I do believe many people made comments that were unsound but many believed that was the best they could do at the time.

I think some experts were irresponsible and even show boating - Dr Ferguson in the UK had a very flawed model and a bad track record on predicting previous virus spreads. Dr Fauci seemed to enjoy the attention he got and made lots of different comments ranging from early 2020 comments of there being no need for a travel ban to the early China travel ban was an important step in stopping the virus. The WHO clearly had major conflicts which have been commented on

I think the Swedish governments experts' approach was very clear and consistent as was Taiwans. Both followed different paths.

Some of the experts seem to have been very compromised and have huge conflicts of interest being too close to the pharma business and various lobby and charity groups especially in the USA.

That is a structural problem in most countries. Pharma is not properly regulated as it is too powerful and too close to the regulators, researchers and politicians

The points you make about the study limitations make sense however the fact that it was a closed environment in which people with the virus circulated over a period of time makes it useful to look at when compared to taking random members of the public whose exposures to covid-19 would have far harder to determine

Certainly this was not a clinical trial it was a summary determined after the event to see what conclusions could be drawn

Participants were tested for covid-19 and provided standardized info

There is quite alot of detail in the study. For example it did seek to identify some other medical conditions people had and also if they shared accommodation with an infected crew member, what additional prevention measures were taken etc etc and the set out the results. It is up to the reader to draw some conclusions.

ie the data shows there were higher cases of covid-19 when accommodation was shared with an infected sailor who had tested positive prior to the study.

It also makes reference to 4 main flaws in the study

You can read the study comments in the link below

 
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Jun 25, 2020
16
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I have major reservations about the conduct of all politicians and many experts. Somethings they got right but most was very badly handled.

I do not know if they lied - ie knew they were telling an untruth.

I do believe many people made comments that were unsound but many believed that was the best they could do at the time.

I think some experts were irresponsible and even show boating - Dr Ferguson in the UK had a very flawed model and a bad track record on predicting previous virus spreads. Dr Fauci seemed to enjoy the attention he got and made lots of different comments ranging from early 2020 comments of there being no need for a travel ban to the early China travel ban was an important step in stopping the virus. The WHO clearly had major conflicts which have been commented on

I think the Swedish governments experts' approach was very clear and consistent as was Taiwans. Both followed different paths.

Some of the experts seem to have been very compromised and have huge conflicts of interest being too close to the pharma business and various lobby and charity groups especially in the USA.

That is a structural problem in most countries. Pharma is not properly regulated as it is too powerful and too close to the regulators, researchers and politicians

The points you make about the study limitations make sense however the fact that it was a closed environment in which people with the virus circulated over a period of time makes it useful to look at when compared to taking random members of the public whose exposures to covid-19 would have far harder to determine

Certainly this was not a clinical trial it was a summary determined after the event to see what conclusions could be drawn

Participants were tested for covid-19 and provided standardized info

There is quite alot of detail in the study. For example it did seek to identify some other medical conditions people had and also if they shared accommodation with an infected crew member, what additional prevention measures were taken etc etc and the set out the results. It is up to the reader to draw some conclusions.

ie the data shows there were higher cases of covid-19 when accommodation was shared with an infected sailor who had tested positive prior to the study.

It also makes reference to 4 main flaws in the study

You can read the study comments in the link below

Thanks for the link... I look forward to reading it, objectively.
 

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