Looking For Warriors: Face Masks, Giving In, & Proceeding Boldly Against Evil
When the suggestion first started to wear a mask to help stop the spread of Covid, I was skeptical and not a believer. And did not wear one. Then it became a requirement. I was very reluctant . However, I did then do a lot of research regarding mask wearing for Covid. There are many articles and videos on this subject. And after reading on this matter, I became convinced masks could help, at least on some level, in helping stop the spread of Covid.
It is apparent you think masks are useless. I would like to believe this. But how do I combat videos such as this one at Men’s Health and It’s Okay To Be Smart that supposedly show masks stopping the droplets containing the virus from someone with the virus?
Thank you for this note.
This Is A Poor Source
Men’s Health is a poor source for this type of information, but it depicts the popular sentiment that is now circulating, so I am grateful for the reference point.
The information at those links is spread with a lack of understanding by those writing on the topic, or is alternately spread with some dishonesty. It’s not clear which is more common. Certainly it is both dishonest and irresponsible to write for an audience about a topic which the writer is unable to comprehend the magnitude of. Articles like the one linked are reverberators of unhelpful information taken out of context and obedient to a status quo.
Confirmation Bias: Beware Of Information Obedient To The Status quo
When information is obedient to a status quo, it deserves a special level of skepticism to avoid the bias known as confirmation bias, an easy bias to fall into.
Mechanistic Studies Are Accurate “In Theory”
The link you sent points to mechanistic studies. Mechanistic studies are not useful in prescribing behavior on this matter because they use theory to attempt to depict reality instead of actually measuring reality to the best of our ability. Sometimes we cannot measure the results of an experiment very well. With face masks we can. Mechanistic studies are commonly cited because they fit the narrative that everyone must be masked. They are not commonly cited because they are the best depictions of reality, which should be the meritocratic basis for citing a study.
Better Sources: Look For Randomized Controlled Trials With Laboratory Confirmed Results
If you desire to avoid the confirmation bias that has accompanied face masks in this heavily politicized electoral year, I recommend you look for randomized controlled trials with laboratory confirmed results. These are attempts at measuring reality to the best of our ability. Studies like these have often been ignored and even censored in 2020 because the results so clearly counter the politicized narrative that all must be masked.
Mechanistic studies consistently tell us what can be summarized as “Face masks should in theory work to prevent Covid-19 transmission,” while randomized controlled trials with laboratory confirmed results consistently tell us what can be summarized as “In reality however, masks do not in fact work to prevent Covid transmission and may increase transmission, making face masks not neutral but harmful.”
There Is No Need For A Narrative Of Divisiveness, Yet This Is What We Have
There is no need for divisiveness on this topic. The two types of studies are very helpful when read alongside each other and the results integrate quite nicely.
It should be no surprise that theory and reality in this field are divergent, since theory and reality are divergent in many fields. Scientific journalists covering the topic out of a sense of honesty for the subject matter would have no problem integrating these two types of studies, by saying: “In theory face masks should work to prevent the spread of Covid, in reality they don’t work to prevent the spread of Covid.” There’s nothing complicated about constructing such a sentence. There’s nothing complicated about presenting the idea in a way that anyone over the age of eight could easily read it.
Beware Of Those Telling You How A Theory Is So Complicated There Is No Way You Would Possibly Understand
I have long found that theories that cannot be described to an eight-year-old are either fallacious or poorly understood by the speaker. Simplicity of communication is obtainable to he who understands his subject matter and possesses a sincere desire to communicate.
Instead, this topic of face masks and Covid is covered with great divisiveness. Anyone who suggests that an unmasked person is putting others in harm’s way or does not care about another is doing their audience a great disservice. Either they don’t respect their audience enough to understand their subject matter or they don’t respect their audience enough to cover the subject matter honestly.
For A Person Trying To Make Sense Of Efficacy, Xiao Presents The Most Useful Face Mask Research Of 2020
Xiao in the May 2020 issue of Emerging Infectious Disease is the best study of the year on the topic. For those interested in delving deeper, I address that topic further in a recent article entitled “Reminder: The CDC Says Face Masks Don’t Stop Covid.” I cover the same topic in greater detail in my recent book Face Masks in One Lesson. I strongly recommend Xiao’s journal article.
Emerging Infectious Disease is a CDC journal of epidemiology. Attempting to avoid lip service or the lure of political correctness, Xiao and her co-authors looked at Covid as a serious concern and sought to distinguish superstition from efficacious approaches.
In Xiao’s Emerging Infectious Disease review of 14 randomized controlled trials with laboratory confirmed results, we see quite conclusively that
- 1.) Face masks do not reduce the spread of Covid-19 or other respiratory viruses,
- 2.) Hand washing does not reduce the spread of Covid-19 or other respiratory viruses, and
- 3.) Disinfecting surfaces does not reduce the spread of Covid-19 or other respiratory viruses.
This information is so vitally important, and Xiao deserves reading by anyone with an interest in the topic. Again Xiao does not need to be seen as a contradiction of mechanistic face mask studies, but an elaboration that we can turn to in order to see that theory diverges from reality on this topic and that practice should be modified accordingly.
Xiao’s Conclusion: Face Masks Are Superstition At Best
The face mask is superstition at best. There is no question about that. This has been known for a long time and is even more obvious now after billions have been masked.
Xiao, takes this a step further. Xiao points out that the face mask is harmful and may increase the spread of Covid, especially when it is worn in disregard for the following protocol:
- 1.) Face masks are single use only,
- 2.) They are to be sterile when put on,
- 3.) They are to be put on with sterile hands,
- 4.) The nose and mouth should not be touched while wearing a face mask, and
- 5.) If the face mask becomes moist it should be changed immediately.
Xiao cites a 2009 World Health Organization circular on this topic. I’ve never seen a single person in 2020 follow this protocol and no one should not be expected to as they are not trained in the protocol. Notably, as much as this protocol is followed, face masks do not work to reduce the spread of Covid-19 or other respiratory viruses. That is the bottom line.
Face masks are superstition at best.
“At Best,” Is Not A Realistic Standard, There Is Much Downside To Masking
There is also much worse to be said about face masks. Xiao does not cover the vastly more harmful aspects of face mask wearing:
- 1.) Restriction of breathing,
- 2.) Restriction of waste removal,
- 3.) Medical impact,
- 4.) Individualized impact necessitating an individual approach,
- 5.) Deceased oxygen increased carbon dioxide in the micro environment of the face mask,
- 6.) Social impact,
- 7.) Developmental impact,
- 8.) Communicational impact.
This was outside of her scope. The entire picture is something that must be responsibly synthesized by doctor and patient for an individual approach.
Central Planning Makes Its Way To Medicine Under The Guise Of “Public Health”
As with all central planning, a one-size-fits-all approach from central planners in the public health field brings with it all the same downfalls of other blunt force central planning. This approach which we call by the public relations developed term “public health,” in our era, is a polar opposite of medicine, which at its best has an individualized approach going back more than 2500 years and pits doctor and patient as a team against the world.
“Public health” is a theory that came about in the second half of the 1800s on the English and later th
Article from LewRockwell