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Masks for COVID or Influenza Don’t Work

re: City Journal
re: COVID

Particulate respirator in use for safe excercise

If magical self-powering physics-defying torus fields are your thing, then mask up. Except that masks work a lot better.

Back in early 2020 when COVID was a mystery, I recommended N100 masks as a precaution. It is interesting that N100 masks do not seem to be considered in tests, being 20X more effective than N95 masks. But even vented N100/P100 respirators make breathing a lot harder, making them unusable for many elderly and lung-impaired people.

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m again starting to see cyclists masked up while riding (alone) in the cleanest summer air we’ve had for many years. The “ugly people wear masks” hypothesis does not hold up for cyclists so I presume it is COVID hysteria on the rise.

Instead of a mask, wash your hands properly; hardly anyone does, including some doctors (personal observation!): How to Wash Your Hands Properly

More Mask Hysteria

2023-09-14. Emphasis added.

...Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of medical research, and Cochrane reviews are the gold standard for reviewing such trials. A recent Cochrane review found, “Wearing masks in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of influenza-like illness (ILI)/COVID-19 like illness”—or “to the outcome of laboratory-confirmed influenza/SARS-CoV-2”—“compared to not wearing masks.” Moreover, “The use of a N95/P2 respirators compared to medical/surgical masks probably makes little or no difference.” Stating things even more plainly, the review’s lead author, Oxford’s Tom Jefferson, said of masks in a subsequent interview with Australian investigative journalist Maryanne Demasi, “There is just no evidence that they make any difference. Full stop.”

As Cochrane observed, 16 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have now been conducted on surgical or cloth masks, none of which has provided compelling evidence that they work. Two of these RCTs actually found statistically significant evidence that masks are counterproductive in stopping the spread of viruses. Two RCTs were completed during the pandemic. One found no statistically significant evidence that masks work, while the other—touted by mask advocates but riddled with methodological flaws—found nearly identical outcomes in its mask and non-mask groups.

When a medical intervention goes 0-for-16 in RCTs, it’s time to accept that it doesn’t work. (If one needs further proof, check out this chart made by Ian Miller, which shows the striking similarity in case rates between mask-free and mask-mandate states.)

...How can masks potentially increase the likelihood of spreading viruses? Before public-health officials did their politically motivated about-face on masks during the panic-filled early stages of the pandemic, then-surgeon general Jerome Adams said, “Folks who don’t know how to wear [masks] properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of coronavirus.” Cochrane adds the possibility of “saturation of masks with saliva from extended use (promoting virus survival in proteinaceous material).”

...

As for how one should wear a mask “properly,” the World Health Organization produced an amusing video offering this advice regarding children: “Before putting on the mask, children should clean their hands . . . at least 40 seconds if using soap and water. . . . Children should not touch the front of the mask [or] pull it under the chin. . . . After taking off the mask, they should store it in a bag or container and clean their hands.” Then, after conducting this highly implausible regimen, the mask still probably won’t do any good—but being clean, at least it won’t make things worse.

Actually, it will. As German researchers have highlighted, mask-wearers are effectively poisoning themselves by breathing in their own carbon dioxide. They note research suggesting that mask-wearers (specifically those who wear masks for more than five minutes at a time) are breathing in 35 to 80 times normal levels—four to ten times toxic levels. (For N95 masks, the range is 60 to 80 times normal levels.)

Such CO2 levels easily exceed those allowed on a U.S. Navy submarine. Due to concerns about the risks of stillborn births or birth defects when pregnant women serve aboard submarines, the Navy has decreed that CO2 levels are not allowed to exceed 0.8 percent—about 20 times normal levels. So mask mandates have forced pregnant women to breathe in levels of CO2 that would be banned if they were serving on a Navy sub.

Breathing in too much CO2 can result in—among other things—high blood pressure, reduced thinking ability, respiratory problems, and reproductive concerns, write the German researchers. As John Tierney puts it, “No drug with all these potential side effects would be recommended, much less mandated, for the entire population.”

...

WIND: follow the science?

None of this will matter to mask religionists, or authorities who lost their minds and now cannot accept the painful cognitive dissonance...

2023-09-22 Dilbert Reborn
2023-09-23 Dilbert Reborn

I’m naturally skeptical when I see a quote that includes “full stop.” (an anti-intellectual throwaway), as it usually means the argument is poor. Though I don’t see how in this case.

Also call me VERY skeptical on the CO2 claim, though in theory this at least should be some hard science (the concentration part at least). Nor do I see how a surgical mask could trap any meaningful amount of CO2. OTOH, short shallow breathing with an N95 surely could. Due to pollen/dust, I’ve ridden with N100 masks for up to 60 miles in double centuries... but in that case the breathing is very forceful and with major volume vs the mask volume...no issue.

RCT = fakeable science

Even RCTs (randomized controlled trials) are mostly bunk, because (follow the money) most of them are designed to achieve a desired outcome. There are dozens of ways to game this system, randomized or not, and if nothing else any undesired results never see the light of day.

Until and unless we have blinded 3rd-party antagonistic trial design (trials designed to disprove) along with a requirement to publish all results with criminal repercussions, trusting medical (and climate) “science” is for children and idiots.

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