Statistics

Mask Madness — Our Latest Moral Panic

We might as well have a tinfoil hat mandate to protect from aliens. It would, at this point, be just as useful. Should somebody tell him about the evidence about masks and the end of pandemics? Nah. Evidence and reason are now utterly useless.

When are leaders get into a purity spiral, there is nothing to stop them—except the next crisis.

According to one depressing poll, three-quarters of Americans agree with The Godmother.

Three out of four Americans, including a majority of Republicans, favor requiring people to wear face coverings while outside their homes, a new poll finds, reflecting fresh alarm over spiking coronavirus cases and a growing embrace of government advice intended to safeguard public health.

The only part of this that makes any sense is the “fresh alarm”, which is real. But caused entirely—and I mean entirely—by ignorance and politics.

How many times have we seen this official CDC picture of declining reported COVID deaths (updated 23 July)?

You can see July, the point at which reported deaths were much lower than, say, June, May, April, and most of March. It was only in July, though, that the mask panic began. Plus don’t forget these are reported deaths, which are almost surely larger than actual caused-by deaths; but that’s another form of error, but with massive testing it can easily account for the bulk of the small increase in attributed deaths (real deaths we won’t know for years; and this is also why we always must examine all-cause deaths, which shows no bump).

Leaders began shoving each other aside to see who could compose the strictest mandate. DC is the winner so far: it’s a criminal offense not to wear a mask, with a penalty of $1,000, the highest yet. But we have weeks to go.

Here again—and I know we’re sick of this—is the DAILY number of tests, which is driving the “surge” and “record” “new” “cases”. These “new cases” are a medically garbage indicator, which any competent doctor whose mind is not lost to politics would have told you. Before 2020, that is.

It’s testing that has run amok. Reporters are too stupid or too complicit in driving the panic to realize this. Leaders don’t care: they just want to make it sting, because they’re frightened of being blamed, and for other obvious political reasons.

This moral panic is like Prohibition. This time not against alcohol, but against breath. Three quarters of Americans falsely believe death is lurking in people’s breath.

How long did Prohibition last? We won’t even have to change the name of Speakeasys.

We know this in political. The same AP poll was broken down by political party. Just under 90% of Democrats and about 60% of Republicans want to force people to wear masks everywhere.

The AP, like our dear leaders, uses the term “cases” as if they were cases, i.e. illness requiring treatment. When what these foolish people mean is infections, symptomatic or not, past or present. It is medical malpractice to mix the two up.

But we’re doing it. Stupidly in part, but also purposely, because it fits the political goals of our dear leaders.

How about this?

What can you say about this picture—and another which shows a nauseating majority supports stay at home orders—except that propaganda works?

As said, it is probably not worth looking at the evidence of mask usefulness. People’s minds are made up. An army of screeching Karens patrols the land looking to berate those without fear faces. They are certain sure it is only a thin piece of material saving them from a gruesome end.

Here is the new paper “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures” by Xiao et al. in Emerging Infectious Diseases. This picture (of several) is of a meta analysis of studies looking at mask use combined with hand hygiene (if used by participants) in ordinary settings (like shopping, walking).

Now you know my opinion of p-values and meta analysis: they’re almost always used to “show” what could not be simply demonstrated in single studies. When even a meta analysis can’t find a signal, as this one could not, then it’s a good bet there is no signal to be found. Xiao: “Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza.”

In short: these studies found no effect at preventing disease spread.

Then there’s that NEJM study by Klompas et al., Universal masking in hospitals in the Covid-19 era. It too said generic masks don’t do squat. Yet these guys realized, after the fact, that this was a political conclusion on the wrong side of history. They were forced to clarify.

They now say “We did state in the article that ‘wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection,’ but as the rest of the paragraph makes clear, we intended this statement to apply to passing encounters in public spaces, not sustained interactions within closed environments.”

In other words, masks on those who are sick, or those who with good reason to suspect are sick, in places like nursing homes is not a bad idea. Forcing masks on people in “passing encounters in public spaces” has no medical justification. None.

It’s obvious we’re way past medical justification, though.

Having healthy asymptomatic people wear masks at what is clearly the end of a routine pandemic is asinine. Do you know we get these once every twenty years or so? but we only went full gibbering raving panic for this one? Criminalizing lack of masks is like criminalizing alcohol, and for roughly the same reasons.

Testing shows no sign of slowing. It’s being driven by media reports of more and more “new” “cases”. Which causes more people to get tests. Which causes more “new” “cases”. Which etc. I’m sick of saying it, you’re sick of hearing it.

Here is why if we don’t slow testing this madness will be with us for a very, very long time.

Black line is total reported “new” “cases”. The light grey is the best guess of true number of cases, and the darker grey the best guess of the true number of infections. Some 50 to 75 million, or whatever, have already been infected. We’re testing at almost 900 thousand per day.

It’s going to take time for testing to reveal all the infections already present. Only the Lord knows what form of punishment our dear leaders will have thought of by then to stop a bug that can’t be stopped and for which there is no cure (save our own bodies).

Update I forgot this. England is going through the same panic.

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Categories: Statistics

64 replies »

  1. “This product is not a medical device. It is not intended to be personal protective equipment and should not be used by healthcare professionals or used in a healthcare/clinical environment or setting. The product is not intended to prevent or protect from any form of illness or disease (or otherwise).” On all those $25 NFL masks they are preselling. And virtually ALL masks other than N95s. The manufacturer dare not lie as Congress has not afforded them a “we can lie and kill for free” lawsuit protection card.

    Where’s the study of MASKS ALONE and HAND WASHING ALONE???? There’s no science here. You have to do all three studies or you confound variables and no one wants to confound those confounded variables.

    In the Spanish flu epidemic, they wore GAUZE masks like obedient little subjects and dropped dead on a regular basis. Just think, 100 years ago the government HATED Americans and was already on it’s way to Communism and panic edicts. Nothing new to see here. Of course, if this really was of the caliber of the Spanish flu, there’d be people throwing themselves off businesses hourly in complete, hysterical terror. We are weak and frightened, not tough and rugged.

    Criminalizing alcohol went so well. Lets’ try something similar again to prove people repeat failed history no matter what.

    Too late. Trump and the Republicans are all for muzzling the citizens of this country. The “walks on water” Trump has gone for masks, covid talks and cancelled a convention. The dictator mayors OWN us. Learn to love it. You have not savior and you would not save yourselves. Guess you really did not care….

  2. It’s practically impossible to get a most people to understand that there is no need for widespread testing at this point. They are stuck in a tautological loop where there is a horrible deadly virus out there that is spreading that needs to be measured because it’s so bad because it’s spreading which makes it horrible and deadly and the only way we can know it’s spreading is to keep testing.

    Trump gets a lot of guff, but he also gets a lot of stuff right, and he’s right about this one, too. The ONLY reason for public testing at this point is to pump out big scary numbers. There’s no other reason for it.

    We don’t have public testing like this for the flu or for colds. If people are sick enough to go to the doctor, then the doctor will test for whatever it is causing the illness to determine the best plan of care. It is (or should be) the same thing with the covid – testing is appropriate if someone seeks medical care. Imagine the “spread” of colds and flu if we tested everyone with the sniffles… or if we tested everyone who lived with someone with the sniffles but who weren’t showing symptoms. Those numbers would be off the chart.

    But most people don’t grasp that. They still think this is some kind of existential crisis that logically must consume all of our consciousness. We have to test for it because… IT’S BAD! We have to wear masks because… IT’S BAD!

    This really is a red pill event. Those of is who see it can’t unsee it, but lots of people are still under the spell of the aliens. (To mix movies and metaphors)

  3. Masks give the illusion that one is “doing something”… And the value of wearing a mask to many cannot be underestimated. Most people in their daily lives “do nothing” that has significant or lasting value… And mask wearing fills this human need to contribute. (With low actual personal cost, like recycling.)

    The second phenomena involved is the plaything aspect of the masks. They are a new toy and people are not tired of them yet. In many if not most stores that cater to home sewers one cannot purchase the smaller widths of elastic… The racks/hooks/shelves are stripped bare.

    Mask making can also be a communal activity—sharing with family and friends or selling.

    Masks are symbolic of both what we have lost/given away as a society and are an effort to “love thy neighbor” without actually having to “love” them.

  4. As far as testing… Why so invasive? If a droplet escapes your mouth and lands on someone’s eyeball and infects them… Why must the swab enter the depths of cranium? It is very hard to be convinced that other agendas are not being pursued.

  5. Sylvain – 8,000 people die every day, and have for many years. What’s your point?

    Briggs – interesting new look to the site.

  6. Anon has a point – a lot of the unopposed compliance is simply virtue signalling on the cheap. It is quite pathetic.

  7. the current daily deaths counts are not deaths for THAT DAY … they are the reported deaths for that day … most of the reported deaths are for prior days … Florida reported over 100 deaths yesterday when actually only about 30 people died yesterday … the rest where deaths from prior weeks …

  8. Anon-

    The flipside of the mask coin is that the elite love them because they represent control, dehumanization, humiliation, and atomization of their subjects, especially deplorables.

  9. Briggs, I’d disagree with you on one point, and I do think it’s important.

    “The AP, like our dear leaders, uses the term “cases” as if they were cases, i.e. illness requiring treatment. When what these foolish people mean is infections, symptomatic or not, past or present. It is medical malpractice to mix the two up.”

    This is actually partly incorrect. There is no such thing as an asymptomatic infection. Infection means virus replication and cell death which HAS to cause pain (symptoms). If there are mild symptoms, then there could be infection, but no symptoms means no infection. Asymptomatic infection is similar to freezing hot or soaking dry.

    This has huge implications. The testing method, RT-PCR has major flaws as a diagnostic tool. There are many ways the test can be compromised and give false positives. Too long to discuss here, but the false positive rate could be as high as 50%. This skews the numbers and inflames the panic even more.

    As I saw someone comment in another article, this virus is so bad and so deadly, you have to go and get tested to find out if you even have it.

  10. Briggs,
    Your website doesn’t know what to make of the “emojis” I pasted above so it gave up and translated the five stars into ?????

    Because your post is spectacular and deserving, I’m going to try to give you a bunch of stars again:
    ?????
    × 1,000,000

    “There is nothing that is more frightening than ignorance in action.”
    -Goethe

  11. John G,

    My website knows very well how to deal with emojis. It’s doing exactly what I told it to do.

    And thanks!

    JAM,

    Thanks. By “asymptomatic” I meant symptoms you either don’t notice, or can’t be bothered to noticed. A brief scratchy throat, for instance, which many would pass off as due to whatever. Plus, infections do mean infections, but many clear them quickly and don’t have time to notice symptoms.

  12. “Purity spiral” is a good name for this sort of thing. We saw it with lockdowns. We saw it with BLM. Now we see it with masks.

    One unified citizen body spiraling out of the sky and down the drain. At least everyone feels really, really good about themselves.

  13. I was thinking that if Trump would give a national address where he went study by study and laid out the case that masks are a fool’s errand, and then issued an executive order that prohibits the fining of non-maskers, the tide could turn, but now I see that it would only make things worse. It would make the HCQ kerfuffle seem like a playful disagreement. The full force of the cloud people would come down on him.

    So what’s the answer? Given the evidence that everyone has bought this mask ruse lock, stock, and barrel, the only out may be to create a rumor that there’s a serious adverse effect to wearing masks. Something along the lines of massive infection due to mask wearing. Once a story like that gained traction, it might turn the tide. It’s a thought.

  14. Cross posted fro Hail to You: (hope that’s ok)

    Book it- very few American colleges and universities will open in person this fall. Most have announced some kind of hybrid opening- all being currently re-evaluated. I’m well-connected to a pretty well branded northeastern liberal arts college- I’ll bet my pension it will not open with students on campus, probably for the entirety of 20-21. The Panickers are in complete control- not just the administrations of the colleges, but state and local governments, too. That may be different in Redder states, but look how people like Greg Abbott are folding like Dick Contino’s accordion. NO dissenting, anti-panic voices are uttered in the high level conversations that I overhear. There may be some anti-panickers in these administrations, but, knowing they’re severely outnumbered has a dampening effect on people’s willingness to speak. And, not to mention that the innumeracy of these highly educated people is stunning.

    Here’s my prediction of what’s coming:

    The ridiculous baseball season, the hockey and basketball bubbles will be either called off or never started due to “increases in cases”.

    No pro, college, high school, or youth sports for the ENTIRE school year.

    Most school districts will operate remotely for the entire year- there may be some sensible states out there that open, but I’m positive MA will not be among them.

    Mask wearing mandates will continue, no end in sight.

    Testing will be off the charts, as will cases, deaths will continue to drop, at least until next flu season. The press will continue its “ we’re all gonna die unless…” mantra. Also, it would seem that Bad Orange Man is drifting toward the panic side.

    Food lines by next summer. Riots sporadically ongoing.

    Many small colleges will not make it through the school year. I may have the timeline on this a bit too shot, but… Scott Galloway has divided higher ed into 4 categories, with the bottom being “toast”. (I quote from memory). Sad, really, even though I don’t care much for the education that goes on there, many of these places, including the two midwestern schools my younger boys went to, have been around for more than 150 years, and have people who love them. What’s better than going to an Amherst-Williams, or Ohio Wesleyan- Denison lax game on a beautiful spring day? Williams and Amherst will survive, not so sure about Denison and OWU.
    Unfortunately Galloway’s a panicker.

    Some of this might go away If Slow Joe gets elected, but for those of us (Yeah, I know, OK boomer) who grew up in perhaps the best times ever- we need to realize those times are over.

  15. We need a few Marats and Robespierres at this point to institute systematic proscription and lustration of the majority of the political and mainstream media classes in this country. The top 2000 or so would be a good start. It’s our only hope.

  16. 24 July, AD MMXX

    Briggs,
    A stat I read yesterday caught my eye (I think it was Gallup): 1% of Democrats say they “Never wear a mask,” whereas Republicans tip in at 27%.

    As a registered Independent (just because I see so little difference between the Dems and Republicans [due to too many RINOS, perhaps]), and never having donned the mask, my guess is that Independents would weigh in slightly higher.

    Your thoughts?

    C. B.

  17. awildgoose: The elite love masks because THEY DON’T HAVE TO WEAR THEM. The mayor of DC exempted government employees at work and, of course, herself. Fauci was photographed at a baseball game with his mask under his chin. These are class designations—you wear them, you’re the uneducated lower class, Smart rich people can skip them.

    What if masks lead to more infections? Will anyone care? Nope.

    Ganderson: Those times are over because people just did not care enough to fight this. Most Americans never intended to fight for their freedom, they just took it for granted and watched it swirl down the drain. I can’t have any sympathy. The signs were there for decades. I read no action as apathy and/or approval.

  18. A $1,000 fine is for pikers. The Governor of NM is threatening people with $5,000 fines. My brother in law lives in NM and calls the governor crazy.

  19. NIdahoCatholic-

    That article was extremely disappointing to read. Just the same tiresome groupthink in action.

  20. You have to be careful with the cases and deaths numbers. There are several ways the numbers are inflated, including multiple positives tests of one person reported as all new cases, including deaths as due to C-19 even if the cause of death was clearly something else but they tested positive, and presumed C-19 presence with no tests. Add to this the 80% false positive rate of the test and you have inflated numbers. Take the number from a state and divide by 10 and you will have a number close to the real number.

    For deaths, back when the death total was about 70,000, the CDC subtracted over 30,000 which were with C-19 not from C-19. Basically half of the death total is more real. The media completely ignored this CDC adjustment, conveniently, and have been touting the inflated number consistently.

    In warmer climes the flu season is a lower peak and the flu season thus longer, and the flu viruses are around all year round. To pretend the death rate will ever go to zero is a lie to the people. It’s just lower between seasons. It is also true but little mentioned that the elderly and immunocompromised are at risk EVERY FLU SEASON, not just this year because they are claiming a single virus that has not been isolated by any lab to date.

    Looking at the whole thing, for intents and purposes C-19 need not exist, a boogeyman in the closet, and the tests support the myth that the virus is everywhere. There is good reason the US Navy will not use the test as there are too many false positives. In a sane world the high rate of positive asymptomatic tests would indicate false positives. But in the political environment, they consider the test definitive for the virus and pretend to have found the boogeyman. A scare to keep the public fearful, just as make depersonalize people, separate them for others and create a sense of fear in the wearer.

    It’s like we are all 5-year-olds and now suddenly everyone has Kooties and you have no way of convincing another person that you do not have Kooties. It’s a cosmic joke, but an evil joke on the world

  21. News in Minnesota is now reporting new cases as “spikes on the eve of the mask mandate.” The implication is heavy that we are only undergoing such horrors because masks have not been mandated. (The horrors of having more positive tests that is; deaths are still very low and almost universally restricted to the elderly).

    It makes me wonder if there will be a call to limit testing once the mask mandates are in place, so that the “spikes” in cases can be controlled and it can be said that masks were responsible. Or if they’ll just continue doing what they are doing and simply state that new cases don’t matter. Or if they’ll continue their doomsday predictions, ignore the mask push, and come up with some new mandate which must be enacted lest we all die.

  22. Hitchen’s article for the Daily Mail blows open the insanity in the UK, as well as points out the fact that the W.H.O. reversed it’s ‘masks are unnecessary’ rule to ‘masks are recommended’ due to nothing other than political lobbyists, and nothing to do with ‘science.’ This was reported by the BBC itself.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8537489/PETER-HITCHENS-Face-masks-turn-voiceless-submissives.html

    Especially egregious is how the PHE has been cooking the numbers –

    “Now, as many people find that Covid-19 is, in fact, nothing of the kind, new ways have to be found to keep up the alarm levels.

    One was exposed on Friday by the superb scientists of the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine. Puzzled by the way that Covid death figures in England continued to pour in, while they had all but ceased in Scotland, they looked at the figures from Public Health England (PHE).

    And they found, in their own devastating words ‘It seems that PHE regularly looks for people on the NHS database who have ever tested positive, and simply checks to see if they are still alive or not.

    ‘PHE does not appear to consider how long ago the Covid test result was, nor whether the person has been successfully treated in hospital and discharged to the community. Anyone who has tested Covid positive but subsequently died at a later date of any cause will be included on the PHE Covid death figures.

    ‘By this PHE definition, no one with Covid in England is allowed to ever recover from their illness. A patient who has tested positive, but been successfully treated and discharged from hospital, will still be counted as a Covid death even if they had a heart attack or were run over by a bus three months later.’

    This problem would be avoided by having a simple cut-off, where those who tested positive more than 28 days ago were no longer counted as Covid deaths. Scotland does this. That is why its figures are lower.

    Findings are now also pouring in which suggest that a horribly high number of the excess deaths during the last few months were not caused by Covid, but by people failing to seek treatment for heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

    Despite the propagandists of the BBC, which has tried as hard as it can never to mention the legions of dissenting scientists who dispute the Government’s policy, people are beginning to wonder, in increasing numbers, if they might have been taken for a ride.

    This Government has no great authority. It is a Cabinet of undistinguished, inexperienced unknowns, headed by an exhausted and empty Prime Minister whose sparkle, such as it was, is fast fading.

    In a few weeks’ time, the Government faces the onset of what may be the worst economic crisis since 1929. It needs to keep the fear levels up to maintain its authority.”

    I also highly recommend sharing Ben Swann’s videos:
    Coronavirus Cases surging but deaths are not
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHneIqBNpp0

    The idiots at Facebook ‘fact-checked’ his previous video and YT deleted it. But RT still has it
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wegZJI6NvpU

    Here is the one addressing the FB ‘fact’-fail.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jy_7a8GNN4Q

  23. Nova Scotia sets what I believe is a new record in requiring masks for all children greater than age 2:

    https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/nova-scotia-covid-19-update-july-24-1.5661693

    Now 2 would seem to be the hard limit, since there are warnings that children under 2 have a high danger of choking to death with masks (though at least they won’t die of the Wuhan flu!) I don’t see why there couldn’t be any risk of that for children older than 2 though, and there would certainly seem to be a pretty high risk of self infection from children fiddling with their masks. But nevermind that.

  24. Well, you have all spent a lot of time analysing and studying conflicting data . Truth is we are ALL scared (or we wouldn’t be talking about it if it didn’t matter) be it via media lies , change, disease. We are definitely in a new age and it’s definitely most certainly OUR fault. We make bad choices as humans , We do however need to protect our most vulnerable right now, regardless of how this thing: started, is carrying on, will be around for? If this means wearing a mask for the forseeable future then stop being selfish and wear one. There does not appear to be a scientist, geneome expert between you all so guess what, taking your ‘selective’ info from the media forum’s, you are telling everyone to despise is not healthy or helpful. Just use your own common sense and if you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t vilify people who do. Selfishness and greed in all it’s forms destroys this planet, nothing else!

  25. Briggs,

    You should read the notes under the data.

    There was at least 4000 deaths last week and 5000 deaths this week.

  26. So around 90% of Democrats support masking so everybody is hermetically sealed and safe. And 68% are also “pro choice”. Which one is it folks?

  27. Manda

    Please read the link to the Hitchen’s article 3 posts above you.

    The masks don’t do anything, and the experts KNOW IT. They are not telling us to wear a mask for the reasons you cite.

    Wearing a mask too often is actually harmful to you, and puts you at risk.

    Nobody has any problem with those who of their own choice want to wear the mask, but the mask-wearers, feeling left out, or convinced that wearing one does anything, are the ones forcing the rest of us to, and even encouraging the power of the state to crack down on us with heavy fines and imprisonment.

    It is immoral and uncharitable to not inform people of the facts and the truth, despite how ‘accommodating’ that would be.

    This exercise of masking is intended to divide the population and make people afraid of each other, so as to further consolidate political power.

    The data shows there is no pandemic. The data shows this thing isn’t any more dangerous than any other previous outbreak. The data shows that there is no reason for you to be scared of the virus. And it is NOT ‘conflicting data’, it is the same data. We are getting different interpretations on it tat are in conflict, but only one happens to be factually right and in line with the data, versus the other side which must COMPLETELY IGNORE context to spin it as something to be afraid of.

    So really what people are now largely afraid of… is government. And a government backed by a not insignificant army of scared people who believe the media industry working on behalf of interests who actually LOBBIED the W.H.O. to recommend masks, not because of science, not because of the data, but just because they WANT IT. I’ll let you imagine why, but I believe you instinctively know.

  28. Manda

    “Truth is we are ALL scared (or we wouldn’t be talking about it if it didn’t matter) be it via media lies , change, disease.”

    Let me put the parenthetical up front.

    WHY we …ARE HERE… talking about it …AND WHAT IT IS THAT… matters)

    Truth is we are ALL scared …(MAD/SCARED can be conflated)… be it via media lies , change, disease.
    (Are we scared THROUGH media lies? Are we mad ABOUT media lies? Are we scared and mad that media lies are winning the day!)
    (Are we scared of change? Are we scared or mad about UNNEEDED change?)
    Are we scared of disease?

    We are definitely in a new age and it’s definitely most certainly OUR fault.
    (Sounds very deep and philosophical but what exactly is OUR fault?)

    We make bad choices as humans (yeah deep and philosophical what bad choices are we making?)

    We do however need to protect our most vulnerable right now, regardless of how this thing: started, is carrying on, will be around for? YES protect the most vulnerable right now! Never mind the vulnerable who weren’t protected prior to right now. New York couldn’t do it, New Jersey couldn’t do it, Michigan couldn’t do it, Minnesota couldn’t do it and they all had scientists and genome experts with them.

    Just use your own common sense and if you don’t want to wear a mask then don’t vilify people who do.
    While a few are, many of us are NOT vilifying people who wear them, I wear them – I find myself wearing them when I drive – we are vilifying those who say I am the Lord Thy God, Thou Must Wear a Mask!

    I hope you see what I’m saying and feel free to respond if I’ve confused any of your points

  29. Johnny is exactly right.

    As for the claim that “we are all scared,”, are just fatuous equivocating nonsense. I don’t read Briggs’ site or comment because I am scared, but because I am angry and outraged at what is being done to this country, and indeed the world, by the mainstream media and politicians in the name of alleged public health. I am not one damn bit scared of the freaking virus, but of what’s being done in its name.

  30. Saw a news report about how “virus deaths are soaring.” If you look at the CDC death numbers they are still down, maybe a fourth of what they were at the peak in May.

    The justification used by the news report was two-fold. The first justification was that the TOTAL number of deaths was higher than it was previously. I guess they want people to come back from the dead?

    The second justification was that there were many states with an increase in daily deaths that day. Now obviously that has to do with reporting. But it’s especially disingenuous when the fluctuations are so low. For example, Minnesota was included in the “increasing daily deaths” because there were 9 deaths reported on the 23rd, compared to 4 on the 22nd and 3 on the 21st. What a trend! (an in fact deaths have went back down to 5 reported on the 24th).

    The only number for deaths mentioned in the whole report was the number of total deaths throughout the whole pandemic. The chyron of “VIRUS DEATHS SOARING” was there the whole time and the reporter repeatedly said that there were huge spikes of deaths, but at no point did they actually say how many people died within this worrying spike.

    The main reason I even look at the news anymore is to learn how to lie without technically stating an incorrect fact.

  31. Masks are just a political weapon disguised as a public health concern.

    Below are some data points to make a flyer with and distribute:

    – Randomized controlled trials of face masks have shown no detectable effect against transmission of viral infections;

    – There has never been a single randomized control trial done that proves the efficacy of masks for the prevention of viral transmission;

    – 2019 study of 2862 participants showed that both N95 respirators and surgical masks “resulted in no significant difference in the incidence of laboratory confirmed influenza”;

    – 2016 meta-analysis randomized controlled trials and observational studies of N95 respirators and surgical masks used by healthcare workers did not show benefit against transmission of respiratory infections;

    – Schlieren imaging showed that both surgical masks and cloth masks had farther brow jets (unfiltered upward airflow past eyebrows) than not wearing any mask at all, 182 mm and 203 mm respectively, vs none discernible with no mask. Backward unfiltered airflow was found to be strong with all masks compared to not masking;

    – A study of 44 mask brands found mean 35.6% penetration. Most medical masks had over 20% penetration, while “general masks and handkerchiefs had no protective function in terms of the aerosol filtration efficiency.” The study found that “Medical masks, general masks, and handkerchiefs were found to provide little protection against respiratory aerosols”;

    – N95 respirators are made with a 0.3 micron filter, Coronaviruses are approximately 0.125 microns in diameter;

    – Cloth masks were found to have low efficiency for blocking particles of 0.3 microns and smaller. Aerosol penetration through the various cloth masks are between 74 and 90%;

    – Healthcare workers wearing cloth masks were found to have 13 times the risk of influenza-like illness than those wearing medical masks;

    – Surgical mask wearers had significantly increased dyspnea after a 6-minute walk than non-mask wearers;

    – Research shows facemasks increases burden on pulmonary, circulatory and immune systems, due to oxygen reduction and air trapping reducing substantial carbon dioxide exchange;

    – Healthcare workers were found to have a loss in volume of oxygen consumption by 13.8% compared to controls when wearing N95 respirators. 17.7% less carbon dioxide was exhaled As a result there is a shift to metabolic acidosis;

    – Various respiratory pathogens are common on the outer surface of used medical masks, which could result in self-contamination;

    – Surgical masks were found to be a repository of bacterial contamination. The source of the bacteria was determined to be the body surface of the surgeons. Without the protective garb of surgeons, laypeople have even more exposed body surface to serve as a source for bacteria to collect on their masks;

    – The data show that masks serve more as instruments of obstruction of normal breathing, rather than as effective barriers to pathogens. Therefore, masks should not be used by the general public, either by adults or children.

  32. Allen

    You don’t wear a mask if you want to protect yourself, unless it is a N95.
    You wear a mask to protect others.

    The reason to wear the mask is to prevent spit when you’re talking or coughing from becoming airborne and release the virus once it dries up.

    In this way face shield are just as effective at capturing spit and preventing spreading the virus if the person is infected.

    Mask is only a political tool for Republicans. Mask are mandatory all over the world. It is controversial only in the USA.

  33. Sylvain Allard –

    That is false.

    Masks do nothing to prevent viral infections. Only bacterial infections.

    Viral matter is microscopic and will pass through even the N95 masks.

    N95 masks are used in hospitals for the primary purpose of dealing with people with open wounds and in operating rooms when they are cut open. You don’t get spit and saliva into the wound, and fluid and blood from wounds and open bodies don’t get on your face, which is why in operating rooms they also wear goggles and big big smocks and gloves etc.

    Masks being worn in Asia is not to prevent viruses, but merely to prevent the split and plegum. That’s it. Considering it’s mostly for common colds, nobody really cares if you go around wearing a mask. If you had a fever or chicken pox or something else that’s an infectious disease, you stay home. You don’t wander outside with a mask on to prevent other people from catching the pox. Otherwise people would still send their kids to school with chicken pox or measles in the classroom with a mask. But people don’t do that because it’s stupid and masks do not prevent this sort of thing.

    Did mommy and daddy treat their children with pox or measles while wearing masks in the house? No? Well there you go, now you possess the wisdom the entire medical community had before June of 2020, when the W.H.O. changed its mind not based on medical data, but from political lobbyists who wanted it to continue the scare.

    If masks are controversial in the USA, it’s because people are more clued in to the science and the BS of the establishment than those outside of it who do not possess the same freedoms and ability to protest the government that the USA does.

    I can tell you that in Canada and the UK, people are likewise protesting the BS that is the wear-a-mask policy. Not even the USA’s own CV task force commander Dr. Anthony S Fauci bothers with it when he thinks no-one’s looking. Neither did Neil Ferguson when he was breaking quarantine to commit adultery.

    Two videos for your convenience:

    Why Face Masks Don’t Work According to Science.
    https://ise.media/video/why-face-masks-don-t-work-according-to-science-15.html

    New CDC and WHO Study: Face Masks don’t prevent virus
    https://ise.media/video/new-cdc-who-study-face-masks-don-t-prevent-virus-17.html

    Read Hitchen’s article about the nonsense in the UK
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8537489/PETER-HITCHENS-Face-masks-turn-voiceless-submissives.html

    The problem you have to explain is, why the virus so-labelled deaths declined into oblivion long before the mask policies were put in place?

    The world got better without mandatory masking. So why when things are already better are the masks required?

    Answer: To keep you scared and obedient, so remain in your house while all manner of long term power-grabbing legislation is passed that you will never get back and so that we can give billions of dollars to vaccine companies injecting you with at best a placebo, which according to Bill Gates needs to be taken every 4 months… forever… all to keep you safe… and suspiciously like the same frequent doses used in sterilization shots forced on African women.

  34. Sylvain Allard –

    That is false.

    Masks do nothing to prevent viral infections. Only bacterial infections.

    Viral matter is microscopic and will pass through even the N95 masks.

    N95 masks are used in hospitals for the primary purpose of dealing with people with open wounds and in operating rooms when they are cut open. You don’t get spit and saliva into the wound, and fluid and blood from wounds and open bodies don’t get on your face, which is why in operating rooms they also wear goggles and big big smocks and gloves etc.

    Masks being worn in Asia is not to prevent viruses, but merely to prevent the split and plegum. That’s it. Considering it’s mostly for common colds, nobody really cares if you go around wearing a mask. If you had a fever or chicken pox or something else that’s an infectious disease, you stay home. You don’t wander outside with a mask on to prevent other people from catching the pox. Otherwise people would still send their kids to school with chicken pox or measles in the classroom with a mask. But people don’t do that because it’s stupid and masks do not prevent this sort of thing.

    Did mommy and daddy treat their children with pox or measles while wearing masks in the house? No? Well there you go, now you possess the wisdom the entire medical community had before June of 2020, when the W.H.O. changed its mind not based on medical data, but from political lobbyists who wanted it to continue the scare.

    If masks are controversial in the USA, it’s because people are more clued in to the science and the BS of the establishment than those outside of it who do not possess the same freedoms and ability to protest the government that the USA does.

    I can tell you that in Canada and the UK, people are likewise protesting the BS that is the wear-a-mask policy. Not even the USA’s own CV task force commander Dr. Anthony S Fauci bothers with it when he thinks no-one’s looking. Neither did Neil Ferguson when he was breaking quarantine to commit adultery.

    Two videos for your convenience:

    Why Face Masks Don’t Work According to Science.
    https://ise.media/video/why-face-masks-don-t-work-according-to-science-15.html

    New CDC and WHO Study: Face Masks don’t prevent virus
    https://ise.media/video/new-cdc-who-study-face-masks-don-t-prevent-virus-17.html

    Read Hitchen’s article about the nonsense in the UK
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-8537489/PETER-HITCHENS-Face-masks-turn-voiceless-submissives.html

    The problem you have to explain is, why the virus so-labelled deaths declined into oblivion long before the mask policies were put in place?

    The world got better without mandatory masking. So why when things are already better are the masks required?

    Answer: To keep you scared and obedient, so remain in your house while all manner of long term power-grabbing legislation is passed that you will never get back and so that we can give billions of dollars to vaccine companies injecting you with at best a placebo, which according to Bill Gates needs to be taken every 4 months… forever… all to keep you safe… and suspiciously like the same frequent doses used in sterilization shots forced on African women.

  35. ABS just finished watching Mike Wallace’s retarded son, Chris, interviewing a former CDC crank and, of course, both believe that Covid is the worst thing ever and the crank, obviously, would not make note of Sweden and how it sensibly responded to the virus with no lockdowns.

    Of course Miss Chris has a job with the Fox company, whose owner just gave Babbling Biden a million dollars, and he is not worried about men who have to work for a living and so he is blithely dispensing bilious bromides about mask this, shelter in place that, and vaccine the other thing.

    Wadda cretin

  36. My favorite hypothesis: what’s seemingly madness is in reality all about ruining the economy and thus, presumably, preventing Trump from being reelected.

  37. Sheri is close to a central, essential, issue re mask mandates. Even if there was a good reason for all of us to wear a mask that provides “specification x” protection, where are the minimum standards that our wise pols and medicos have required in their mandates? They don’t exist! As far as Newsom, Murphy, and the other twunt goobernators are concerned, we could hang the Spaniard’s gauze, or, for that matter, some coarse window screen in front of our noses and mouths, and all would be declared righteous!!! Where I am required to wear a mask, I wear my 3M 6000-series respirator with P100 cartridges that also have some organic vapor protection. That at least does protect me against particulate transmission. Since that mask has a relief vent for exhale, it doesn’t do dick to protect anyone else, but that is their look-out (and that of the idiots who claim to protect them). BTW there is an Etsy-type site named “redbubble dot com”” that I found as a result of searching for masks with political commentary printed on them. My initial search may have been for “mask” and “sheep” (redbubble does not have a noticeable political bias, there are pro-mask masks sold there as well). Much of the commentary that I found as a result of my search. as you can imagine, was anti-mask. I think my favorite (and what I would wear if I didn’t have my “real” mask) bears the phrase “Sheep come in two colors: blue and red”…

  38. Two quick things:

    1. Is the NEJM/Klompas piece (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372) really a study? …I could be missing something, but I don’t see any data. It looks like commentary (based off of other research, I’m sure), and it’s in the “Perspective” section of NEJM, which I assume is something like an opinion column.

    2. Second paragraph: “When are leaders” –> “When our leaders”, I think.

    Sorry to nitpick; I only bother because I’d like to share some of your work… and the maskateers will look for anything they can to throw out inconvenient information.

  39. Kennan Meyer,

    You know there’s a world outside the USA.

    We all went into quarantine. Unlike the USA we don’t have an idiot for president.

    So now our economy are restarting and the USA is left behind.

  40. You know there’s a world outside the USA

    Yet you are strangely obsessed with the world inside.

  41. Mask mandates help us avoid mail-in voting. Inevitably the push will come for mandatory vaccines before we can remove masks. For now, as shitty as they are, let them have their masks so we can remind them how safe it is to vote in person because of said masks. We will have to argue this too, that masks are not preventative enough for safe voting, though Karen has been shopping for groceries at her local Walmart since February without issue, and rioters have run rampant while church doors remain shut. Eventually they will realize there is no logic to their arguments for mandatory masks (though I suspect they’ve known all along). Facts don’t matter, only feelings and ideology. Masks never worked, it was always safe to vote, and everything we’ve been told about this virus is a lie. This was always about the election.

  42. Apparently our already clueless governor in KY, after consulting with Fraudci’s pal Birx over the weekend, is set to institute even more draconian measures, two weeks after an intensified mask mandate, because of an alleged “spike” in “cases” (under the new definition of “case” for this one virus). 320 new positive tests yesterday (media doesn’t say how may are actually asymptomatic). Around 300 “cases” is about what it has been every day for 3 months, despite ramped-up testing, and this is being called a”spike,” and used to justify further curtailment of liberty with arbitrary decrees. Utter madness.

    And on top of that an armed black militant group is roaming the streets with impunity making terrorist threats and demands on local businesses, but the governor, local political leaders, and cops are basically silent about that. All cornonadoom all the time. Never mind that normal citizens don’t feel safe now going downtown (which thankfully I rarely do, but am supposed to for a probate hearing in 16 days – need to find a way out. I really can’t afford to give up the case, but I am literally fearful of going anywhere near downtown right now). What a sick and disgusting country this had become; it makes me want to puke. I wish I had the means and connections to just get out.

  43. Mandated masks = mandated clean shaven.
    Have not seen any comment that a facial seal is required fir masks to work. Ie where is tge government or media headline ” facial hair ban!!”

  44. “Mandated masks = mandated clean shaven.
    Have not seen any comment that a facial seal is required fir masks to work. Ie where is tge government or media headline ” facial hair ban!!”

    Surgical masks are used to provide surgical cleanliness.
    I you’ve ever worked in or around labs you’ll know that there are various grades of ‘clean’.

    Engineers take it to a whole new level!
    “you think that’s clean?….THIS is clean.”

    So much of the argument is simply arguing from a position of ignorance.
    The media makes maximum use oft his and apparently is an entity which operates a system of selective memory.
    Like all biassed entities, ahem.

    So much of what is dredged up by media and commentators is long established and or not controversial.

    There’s much arguing about definitions and categories for convenience on both sides.
    Nobody seems to want to settle tings once and for all,
    or to take note of what actually happens and why. In practical terms and in practical non theoretical situations, people do not let the perfect bc the enemy of the good but is it very often Briggs system of a;rgument and it’s the same tactic used by left wing media. There’s probably an informal fallacy name for it.

    It seems that because the media throws out a curve ball with all sorts of loaded information and falsehood, the opposition naturally does not check the truth of the matter, just too keen for another round of word fighting.

    Creating false uncertainty is the trick of both sides in this debate. Never get right down to the nitty gritty, if you can help it, that way you can keep the ball in the air for ever.

    The mask war is going to be over and done by the time the legal eagles or the armchair intellectuals get their ducks in a row. Everything is moving too quickly for any debate or establishment of truth in the minds of the casual observers, who are the minds people are trying to win over. They might believe anything they read.

    After all, everybody else is too entrenched to notice if they trip over the truth.
    Nobody’s about to change their mind!

    It’s called playing fast and loose with the facts and both sides are at it.
    Neither will concede when they are shown to be wrong.

    So it reveals where people’s true motives are, in general.

    It’s about power and control or the lack of it, real or imagined and individual freedom, which is always of the type the complainant prefers.

    The above point is broad and general, not aimed at one person, although Briggs knows I think it anyway.

  45. …and use of the word ‘ignorant’ is in the non pejorative sense.
    As in: I, Joy, am ignorant about the American Constitution or fly fishing.

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