Every discussion with the COVID obsessed follows the same pattern.

“Yeah? And where are your studies demonstrating that masks don’t work / children aren’t significant transmitters, etc?”

I provide links to 16 studies.

The opponent triumphantly whips out a headline from Washington Post in response.

Alternatively, the opponent pouts and declares that she doesn’t want to die and I’m trying to make her die.

Discussion ends.

23 thoughts on “Pattern”

    1. I’m guessing you didn’t even look at the list, let alone click on these studies. If you had, you’d notice how many of them have to do with protecting the medical personnel, treating MERSA, and even with abdominal obesity among kids, among all sorts of things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I did not. Covering your mouth and nose to prevent spreading an airborne infectious disease just seems very basic to me. I need no convincing for that; besides, worst case scenario and it doesn’t do anything, what’s there to lose by wearing a mask?


        1. Have you tried wearing it in the workplace? For how many hours straight did your do it? What were you impressions?

          I’m genuinely interested.

          I’m relatively young and healthy. I’ve worn a mask in the workplace for 3 days. I’m developing respiratory issues already. I suffer from oxygen deprivation, dizzy spells, sluggish thinking. My vocal cords are sore because I have to keep yelling to be heard. And it’s only 3 days. Are you not noticing any effects at work?


          1. I guess my body reacts differently to it, I tend to just forget I have it. I also find it more of a hassle to take it off, so I just keep it on even when driving.

            But I am not a teacher and don’t have to talk to a lot of people, so I can’t say I’m in the same situation as you. What approach do you think would work best for schools and universities to safely re-open?


            1. What approach did we use to open schools safely last year when there was a very bad flu season that actually saw kids and young people getting sick? I suggest we use the same approach because it clearly worked.


              1. COVID19 has killed nearly 4x more people so far this year than the flu 2018-2019 flu season. I think that merits a new and stronger approach.


              2. People in what age group? We are talking about schools here, aren’t we?

                I am, however, absolutely in favor of taking extreme measures of protection in nursing homes.


          2. // I’m relatively young and healthy. I’ve worn a mask in the workplace for 3 days.

            Why don’t you buy a shield for yourself and wear it instead? That’s what I’ve been doing at work and it worked just fine. I also wear glasses and, if a shield is large enough and tilted up, the glasses don’t cloud.


            1. I don’t need to buy it. The civil engineering lab is making them for me. But they fog up instantly. Now the biology lab is trying to come up with anti-fogging solution for me.

              I’m trying to adopt them for language courses.


        2. “What’s there to lose by wearing a mask?”

          -I work in a hospital. I’ve been wearing a surgical mask for about 8 hours every day since March or April — I forget which.

          Some of the problems associated with wearing masks:
          -Chronic headaches, even with ear-savers — and the ear-savers are a necessity, because there are nerves that run along the back of your ears, making prolonged mask use extremely painful if it goes over your ears
          -The inability to draw a full, satisfying breath (this is referred to in the literature as “respiratory obstruction”)
          -Having to breathe more often and more deeply than normal, while still not being able to draw a full, satisfying breath
          -Severe breathing difficulties in people who have reduced lung function
          -Severe breathing difficulties in high temperature or high humidity environments — two kids in China recently died, actually, and there has been a lot of research going on recently about the safety of masks while exercising
          -Poor quality surgical masks causing breathing difficulties and allergy attacks when they fall apart on your face
          -Bruising and permanent scarring from prolonged N95 use
          -Worsening malar rash — a permanent sunburned look and feeling on your face
          -The return or worsening of acne
          -Overheating and increased sweating
          -Contact dermatitis, especially if you have no say over the kind of mask you wear
          -Severe allergic reactions to the materials in the masks or those involved in their processing (think second-degree chemical burns)
          -The new development of sensitivity reactions to the materials in the masks or those involved in their processing
          -Having to speak louder than normal to be heard — and hearing issues, on the other end
          -Weird smells getting into your mask and just sticking there
          -Possible contamination of clothes and hands if you have to repeatedly reuse the mask — and this is something hospital workers are forced to do
          -The fact that masks do not protect you, but protect those around you — it doesn’t matter if you’re wearing a mask if the people around you are not also wearing masks
          -The inability to sterilize surgical masks
          -The longer you use a mask, the more likely you will have to reach up to adjust it at some point — this defeats the purpose and can increase possible contamination with the outside of the mask
          -Storing masks in the exact same way the exact same time is a logistical issue — paper bags are really not the answer, because contaminants on the outside of the mask can make their way to the inside of the mask
          -The inability to speak on the phone if you’re wearing an N95 — this is a problem in critical care areas, when the lab is trying to contact someone who we can’t hear at all because they’re wearing an N95
          -Facial hair-related difficulties — I have bearded coworkers who have to essentially destroy their masks so they will fit over their face
          -Difficulty in sourcing pediatric masks — and some adults also require pediatric masks or else deal with a mask that keeps falling off their face
          -Having to use masks that are different sizes — what works for one person does not work for every person; a mask that is perfect for one person might be too short for another person and threatens to fall off every time they talk or yawn, and if you don’t have a choice in which masks you use this becomes a real issue and defeats the purpose of wearing the masks in the first place
          -Glasses fogging up every time you breathe
          -The feeling that your mask is constantly falling off your face, even if it’s not — alternatively, the feeling that your nose has no space and is being mashed down (this can cause sinus headaches and migraines in some people)
          -Keeping small children and the elderly from playing with or taking off their masks
          -The respiratory safety of very small children and individuals who require supplemental oxygen or who have tracheotomies
          -The respiratory safety of people working outside or in places with a lot of dust or debris — in the case of dust and debris, they really need a better kind of face covering, one that won’t obstruct their breathing while still keeping them protected

          Liked by 1 person

          1. “-I work in a hospital. I’ve been wearing a surgical mask for about 8 hours every day since March or April — I forget which.”

            How are you holding up?


            1. There are good days and there are bad days. My department has no patient contact, so it hasn’t been too bad. But everyone’s tired of the constant low-level anxiety. My county is faring particularly well, though, now, and that helps immensely.

              The good news is, the hospital coffee stand has opened again. Which is a relief, since their coffee and tea and such is not only excellent, but essential. That can make or break a day right there.


          2. Thank you, Pen, for this important contribution.

            The glasses, God. I stopped wearing my glasses because they are fogging up. And I fuss with the mask constantly. Many people are, shifting them about all the time.


            1. The glasses are the worst! There are days I just can’t get their placement right over the nose band.

              When I shift my mask, I usually make sure I have no gloves on and then fiddle with the nose or the very edge of the chin until it’s more comfortable. It helps if the nose band is tight against your skin and your glasses right on top of it. Then air comes out the sides instead of the top. If your glasses start falling off, I recommend fitting the nosepiece under the nose band of the mask.


    2. Yep. Read the abstracts of the first few studies and – not so much. It’s a case of the ‘I f*#$ing Love Science! ” versus the “I understand how science works” people. Ex:

      “The use of face masks in public settings has been widely recommended by public health officials during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The masks help mitigate the risk of cross-infection via respiratory droplets; however, there are no specific guidelines on mask materials and designs that are most effective in minimizing droplet dispersal. While there have been prior studies on the performance of medical-grade masks, there are insufficient data on cloth-based coverings, which are being used by a vast majority of the general public. We use qualitative visualizations of emulated coughs and sneezes to examine how material- and design-choices impact the extent to which droplet-laden respiratory jets are blocked.” and so on.

      The question is notL what kind of masks stop particles best? It’s: does wearing a mask contribute significantly to reducing COVID illnesses and deaths? What if I’m not sick or sneezing? What if I just cover my mouth? What kind of a difference are we talking here? What if the threat of COVID 19 has been wildly exaggerated from the get-go?

      Several of the other abstracts talk of ‘natural experiments’ and compare case rates in different areas where mask-wearing rules were put in place or not, what the rules were, and when they were put in place. So, for example, compare New York to Florida or Alabama. And they found differences of spread from 0.9 to 2.0%, which they then use to predict a couple hundred thousand fewer cases if everyone had just implemented the harshest rules immediately. Um – just no. This fails the sniff test. Comparing states with 10% of the US population and 40% of the deaths with states with 2% and 2% respectively – no, not valid. Compliance – rules don’t always get obeyed – weather, lifestyle, population age, medical practices, elevators and subways versus interstates and cars – just no. It’s embarrassing.

      The person who compiled this list either does not understand how science works (Note: having ‘scientist’ in your title is no guarantee you understand it at all – quite the contrary) or is a political tool.


      1. You’re really nitpicking. You’re not going to find a paper with all the answers to all your questions. Fact of the matter is people with far more knowledge and experience than us are saying masks work. Coupled with the fact that basically every country that had a surge in cases and got it under control mandates masks, is enough for me.

        Cases are surging and the death rate is starting to tick up in the US. Even Florida (most cities) and Texas are mandating masks now. I don’t know what more there is to say or need to prove.


        1. We’ve had 20 deaths in all of Illinois today. It’s dropped off a cliff! This is really amazing news. And that’s in spite of crowds of people protesting for weeks.

          We have more people shot dead in Chicago on a random weekend than this.


          1. Didn’t Illinois shutdown and require masks way earlier in the year? I would say that low death county might have something to do with that.

            Bottom line is this is a very very complex issue with many variables. I don’t think anybody knows the absolute truth, but we just have to go with what we know has a high probability of working.


          2. “We’ve had 20 deaths in all of Illinois today. It’s dropped off a cliff! ”

            11 in Poland (average age 81) which has over three times the population of Illinois (and no one observing any kind of lock down and no practical social distancing since…. early May and very spotty mask usage) But then the highest single day of fatalities was 40 (back in April). So it hasn’t dropped off a cliff, it never got much above the curb.
            It’s been average 10-15 fatalities a day since May, average age in the mid to upper 70s and the hospitalization rate is slowly declining (from a high of around 2700-2800 in April to about 1600 or 1700 for the last few days.) The curve wasn’t flattened as much as steamrolled from the beginning…
            Early on all cases were channeled into specially prepared units in 20 or so hospitals so the hospitalization rate is easy to follow and fell in a slow but steady pace even as a lot of new infections were being discovered in the mines of Silesia…
            This hasn’t stopped the Polish media from trying to keep the fear alive with headlines like “Record number of new cases!” (linked to a story about Brazil).


  1. Short-time-span mask wearing is cleàrly efficient because there is no harm.(except for under 2 year olds and other medical limitations, or bad tissue like jeans)

    Long-time-span mask wearing is up to debate especially is the workplace.

    We have a resurgence of cases in Québec right now, and this is not because of primary schools openings.


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