Most Authoritative Estimate Of Value of Face Masks During The Pandemic: about Zero
re: follow the money
re: ethics in medicine
re: particulate respirators and masks
Was I mistaken in recommending masks way back in Jan 2020? Nope—with what we knew then, that was a solid risk mitigation strategy vs as-yet unknown risks of the pathogen, and masks quickly becoming unavailable. And of course it was N100 or at least N95 I recommended, not the virtue signaling cloth and surgical mask face diapers that are still commonly seen here in the SF Bay area in early 2023.
It’s Long Past Time to Dump the Masks
Massive Peer-Reviewed Face Mask Study Shows 'Little To No Difference' In Preventing COVID, Flu Infection
I abandoned the idea of masks later in 2020, and I will repeat here what I stated repeatedly in my blog posts over the ensuing years: actual masks as actually worn by actual people had no discernible medical value except perhaps psychological benefits for some. And virtue signaling.
And that is exactly what the latest science shows.
City Journal: Approximately Zero
We now have the most authoritative estimate of the value provided by wearing masks during the pandemic: approximately zero. The most rigorous and extensive review of the scientific literature concludes that neither surgical masks nor N95 masks have been shown to make a difference in reducing the spread of Covid-19 and other respiratory illnesses.
It may seem intuitive that masks must do something. But even if they do trap droplets from coughs or sneezes (the reason that surgeons wear masks), they still allow tiny viruses to spread by aerosol even when worn correctly—and it’s unrealistic to expect most people to do so. While a mask may keep out some pathogens, its inner surface can also trap concentrations of pathogens that are then breathed back into the lungs. Whatever theoretical benefits there might be, in clinical trials the benefits have turned out to be either illusory or offset by negative factors. Oxford’s Tom Jefferson, the lead author of the Cochrane review, summed up the real science on masks: “There is just no evidence that they make any difference. Full stop.”
...The CDC’s director, Rochelle Walensky, remains determined to ignore the best research on masks, as she made clear in a congressional hearing earlier this month. “Our masking guidance doesn’t really change with time,” ...
WIND: obvious for several years now.
However, anyone who feels the need to add “full stop” after an assertion only undermines their credibility, so WTF.
OTOH, hot-mess Walensky clearly does not believe in following science, only politics.