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Are masks a part of health theater

Ghost of the dead horse

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I'm asking this is the least accusatory way possible: are you asking this in good faith?

Mainstream news in Finland portrayed a negative, or at best mixed view of the benefit of masks from March 2020 to August or so, and there's now been signs of change in the public opionion, as well as in the news. Finding out the truth has required some effort, and I haven't went through that effort.

You seem like a fellow who's absorbed enough of news to determine your opinion. More power to you!
 

J. Starke

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The southern hemisphere had a dramatic drop in flu numbers, most probably because of masks. They don't just protect against covid.
 

ceecee

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Mainstream news in Finland portrayed a negative, or at best mixed view of the benefit of masks from March 2020 to August or so, and there's now been signs of change in the public opionion, as well as in the news. Finding out the truth has required some effort, and I haven't went through that effort.

You seem like a fellow who's absorbed enough of news to determine your opinion. More power to you!

Well, of all the people I regularly speak to in Finland, they would not agree with a mixed view of mask wearing but they are also not having anything close to what the US is experiencing either - even though it is surging now.
 

Patches

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The southern hemisphere had a dramatic drop in flu numbers, most probably because of masks. They don't just protect against covid.

A droplet expelled from your respiratory system is roughly the same size regardless of what is contained within it. Those droplets don't get some kind of ninja-like agility because it contains Covid virus instead of flu virus. Covid droplets aren't smaller - That's just silly. It's not the virus producing these droplets, they're a natural byproduct of the moisture always found in your respiratory system. Droplets come out of you all the time that contain no virus. Normal droplets are also the same size as Covid droplets and Flu droplets. The size of the droplets exiting your mouth and nose as you talk and breath is what determines the effectiveness of the mask reducing aerosolization.

A small percentage of those droplets still 'leak', regardless of what's contained within, because it's not 100% sealed. So the only plausible explanation for your baseless claims is that the 10% of flu droplets that is leak out is simply much less viral than the 10% of corona droplets leaking out.

They're the EXACT SAME droplets with the exact same sizes and the exact same physics applied to them. Infectivity is the only difference in those two droplets. Masks ABSOLUTELY do make a difference.

Your argument is actually infinitely dumber than the people who are just 100% denying the effectiveness of masks at all, which is an impressive bar.
 

J. Starke

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A droplet expelled from your respiratory system is roughly the same size regardless of what is contained within it. Those droplets don't get some kind of ninja-like agility because it contains Covid virus instead of flu virus. Covid droplets aren't smaller - That's just silly. It's not the virus producing these droplets, they're a natural byproduct of the moisture always found in your respiratory system. Droplets come out of you all the time that contain no virus. Normal droplets are also the same size as Covid droplets and Flu droplets. The size of the droplets exiting your mouth and nose as you talk and breath is what determines the effectiveness of the mask reducing aerosolization.

A small percentage of those droplets still 'leak', regardless of what's contained within, because it's not 100% sealed. So the only plausible explanation for your baseless claims is that the 10% of flu droplets that is leak out is simply much less viral than the 10% of corona droplets leaking out.

They're the EXACT SAME droplets with the exact same sizes and the exact same physics applied to them. Infectivity is the only difference in those two droplets. Masks ABSOLUTELY do make a difference.

Your argument is actually infinitely dumber than the people who are just 100% denying the effectiveness of masks at all, which is an impressive bar.

I don't think you understood me. I am saying that masks DO protect against the spread of both covid and the regular flu.
 

Patches

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I don't think you understood me. I am saying that masks DO protect against the spread of both covid and the regular flu.

Ah, you're right. I read, "They don't just protect against covid." as They JUST DON'T protect against covid. My bad.
 

dunce

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The problem with masks that I discovered by asking numerous doctors who work on the front line is that unless they are N95 thing-ah-mah-jigs they simply don't work. The virus will penetrate any mask that isn't of the N95 calibur. So for 99 percent of people wearing masks, it is theatre, if we go by the science.
 

Red Herring

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The problem with masks that I discovered by asking numerous doctors who work on the front line is that unless they are N95 thing-ah-mah-jigs they simply don't work. The virus will penetrate any mask that isn't of the N95 calibur. So for 99 percent of people wearing masks, it is theatre, if we go by the science.

That sounds like a false dichotomy. Simple cloth masks obviously don't offer the same protection as medical masks. Professional masks filter, depending on the specific type, filter out almost all particles (not sure what the nomenclature is in the US, but here in Europe FFP2 masks filter about 94% and FFP3 masks filter about 99%). Those are needed for medical personal. Cloth masks, if worn properly, can filter about 70% from the studies I've read about. That would not be enough for use in a hospital but if you have millions of people wear them every day that makes an enormous difference for the population as a whole. Even if they just filtered 50% that would still reduce the viral load, reducing the risk of contagion and leading to less severe illness in case of infection.

This is not black or white, safe or unsafe. It's about turning several screws that all reduce infection numbers for entire populations. Masks combined with physical distancing are a powerful tool.

Many people don't seem to understand how this works. Just as they have problems with understanding exponential growth or generally thinking in contigencies.
 

dunce

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That sounds like a false dichotomy. Simple cloth masks obviously don't offer the same protection as medical masks. Professional masks filter, depending on the specific type, filter out almost all particles (not sure what the nomenclature is in the US, but here in Europe FFP2 masks filter about 94% and FFP3 masks filter about 99%). Those are needed for medical personal. Cloth masks, if worn properly, can filter about 70% from the studies I've read about. That would not be enough for use in a hospital but if you have millions of people wear them every day that makes an enormous difference for the population as a whole. Even if they just filtered 50% that would still reduce the viral load, reducing the risk of contagion and leading to less severe illness in case of infection.

This is not black or white, safe or unsafe. It's about turning several screws that all reduce infection numbers for entire populations. Masks combined with physical distancing are a powerful tool.

Many people don't seem to understand how this works. Just as they have problems with understanding exponential growth or generally thinking in contigencies.

Personally, i wear a mask everywhere I go. But, based on the some of the top doctors and scientists, not all masks are the same. Without an N95, you still have a very very strong risk of contracting the virus. It reminds me of this quote from a rando website that promotes the sale of clothe masks, see advertisements:

"Myth: Other masks are more effective than cloth masks.

Fact: Different types of masks serve different purposes, but cloth masks are highly effective for the general public. The average person who is not working in a medical environment with COVID-19 patients should wear a cloth mask to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers."

It goes on to state that it's a myth that some masks are more effective than others, then in the fact section it states that some masks are not as effective as others, but in a round-about way loaded with political leaning.

To be entirely objective, if all masks were as effective as the N95's then why is the contraction rate among medical staff so much lower than the general population per exposure points? Why because of training and masks that are more effective.

This leads to a third point, masks without training is hokum.

Now here's a more official source completely counter-acting the claim that mask effectiveness is a myth:

Which type of face mask is most effective against COVID-19? | LLUH News

This is why people vote for Trump. Personally I did not vote, but it's because of the overt politicizing and shaming of people who speak in the name of objectivity, true science, not science as a business or enterprise, but according to the scientific method, which actually was around thousands of years before the advent of the science industrial complex (started by the Nazis).
 

Red Herring

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Personally, i wear a mask everywhere I go. But, based on the some of the top doctors and scientists, not all masks are the same. Without an N95, you still have a very very strong risk of contracting the virus. It reminds me of this quote from a rando website that promotes the sale of clothe masks, see advertisements:

"Myth: Other masks are more effective than cloth masks.

Fact: Different types of masks serve different purposes, but cloth masks are highly effective for the general public. The average person who is not working in a medical environment with COVID-19 patients should wear a cloth mask to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers."

It goes on to state that it's a myth that some masks are more effective than others, then in the fact section it states that some masks are not as effective as others, but in a round-about way loaded with political leaning.

To be entirely objective, if all masks were as effective as the N95's then why is the contraction rate among medical staff so much lower than the general population per exposure points? Why because of training and masks that are more effective.

This leads to a third point, masks without training is hokum.

Now here's a more official source completely counter-acting the claim that mask effectiveness is a myth:

Which type of face mask is most effective against COVID-19? | LLUH News

This is why people vote for Trump. Personally I did not vote, but it's because of the overt politicizing and shaming of people who speak in the name of objectivity, true science, not science as a business or enterprise, but according to the scientific method, which actually was around thousands of years before the advent of the science industrial complex (started by the Nazis).

The answer to what you write here is already in the post you quoted. So all I could do is repeat myself. I agree that mask wearing shouln't be a political issue.

Other than that I find your post a little confusing as it asks questions already answered and sort of jumps back and forth in such a way that I find it hard to understand what point you are trying to make.
Yes, the phrasing on that private business website might be strange if read the wrong way but 1) it's a private business, as you say, not the CDC, and 2) their phrasing is confusing because it's too short. They likely meant to say "it's a myth that there are more effective masks on the general market which you should rather wear because those are needed by medical personal and in everyday situations a cloth mask, although far from perfect, is the preferable choice" I already explained the reasons in the post you quoted.

I also have trouble understanding what that website selling masks has to do with supporting Trump or the scientific method or what the nazis have to do with the "science industrial complex" (what do you mean by that term and what is that interesting claim based on?).

It all sounds a bit incoherent, so I have a hard time following your thoughts here.
 

dunce

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The answer to what you write here is already in the post you quoted. So all I could do is repeat myself. I agree that mask wearing shouln't be a political issue.

Other than that I find your post a little confusing as it asks questions already answered and sort of jumps back and forth in such a way that I find it hard to understand what point you are trying to make.
Yes, the phrasing on that private business website might be strange if read the wrong way but 1) it's a private business, as you say, not the CDC, and 2) their phrasing is confusing because it's too short. They likely meant to say "it's a myth that there are more effective masks on the general market which you should rather wear because those are needed by medical personal and in everyday situations a cloth mask, although far from perfect, is the preferable choice" I already explained the reasons in the post you quoted.

I also have trouble understanding what that website selling masks has to do with supporting Trump or the scientific method or what the nazis have to do with the "science industrial complex" (what do you mean by that term and what is that interesting claim based on?).

It all sounds a bit incoherent, so I have a hard time following your thoughts here.

Of course it sounds incoherent. When Newton was teaching his insights to his peers, I'm sure it sounded strange and incoherent to them as well.

All jokes aside it seems like we're on the same side of the fence here, no pun intended. Get it? Chickens do that a lot.
 

Indigo Rodent

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Some jurisdictions spread throughout California require them any time you are out in public regardless of crowd density or lack thereof. I don’t live in such place thank goodness.

As far as theatrics, it isn’t so clear cut. I’ve seen videos of random people causing unnecessary commotion over having to wear a mask, that’s silly, but it also isn’t too farfetched to see how much the media has played a role in setting the stage, pointing to non mask wearers as “grandma killers”. Persist with the narrative long enough and the potential for paranoia emerges with people starting to turn against one another.

The movie, “The Mist” comes to mind where the crazed religious woman stirs everyone up within the baracaded grocery store. People’s fear of the unknown overtakes reason and the mob is born. Am I suggesting we’re at this point? No, but there’s something to take away from the threat, fear can instill.
The main problem isn't people "turning against one another" the main problem is enslavement of individuals and forced coexistence. Covidiots not wearing masks shouldn't be a problem because I shouldn't have to be anywhere near them in the first place.

"People turning against each other" isn't a problem. People being forced to coexist is. Being forced to encounter all these whothefuckarethesepeople. I already knew it's the real problem years ago, Covid just makes that problem more deadly than usual.
 

Indigo Rodent

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The problem with masks that I discovered by asking numerous doctors who work on the front line is that unless they are N95 thing-ah-mah-jigs they simply don't work. The virus will penetrate any mask that isn't of the N95 calibur. So for 99 percent of people wearing masks, it is theatre, if we go by the science.
That's for protection from contracting the virus. Surgical masks are to prevent from wearers from spreading respiratory droplets containing the virus. Widespread mask wearing drastically decreases the amount of virus in environment.
They've done tests on flights to Hongcong where arrivals have to take mandatory Covid tests and the masks drastically limited amount of people infected (can't find the paper at this point).

Another thing is that doesn't filter out enough virus to avoid infection isn't the same as doesn't work. Doctors aren't good source IMO. They aren't scientists. They are repeating what they learned when training how to protect themselves from getting infected by direct interactions with severely ill patients.

Most probably, severity of illness is related to initial virus dose received, at least that's what research on animals indicates - masks reducing chance of getting ill, and if one gets ill reducing chances of getting seriously ill:
Does Virus Dose or Load Predict How Sick You Get With COVID-19? | MedPage Today
So, even reducing the intake 50% may be a difference between mild and asymptomatic and severe and mild.

So, you have multi-layer protection - mask worn by spreader reduces drastically reduces amount of virus released into environment, mask worn by wearer limits reduces amount of virus taken in by protected person, distancing further decreases also the amount of virus taken in. So, even if one gets infected, there's much greater chance for being asymptomatic.

I follow this reddit centred on scientific papers about Covid:
COVID-19
 

Lateralus

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They base that argument on personal freedom, reasoning that people have the right to put themselves in danger. But they never really consider the costs and effects on others, like potential for increased healthcare costs because of larger number of severe injuries and deaths that could have been avoided.
If increased healthcare costs, alone, are enough to justify government mandating or prohibiting a behavior then nothing we do is off the table.
 

Lark

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If increased healthcare costs, alone, are enough to justify government mandating or prohibiting a behavior then nothing we do is off the table.

And if concerns about government mandating or prohibiting a behaviour are such a thing why do we bother trying to prosecute criminals or stop murderers?
 

Obfuscate

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i am against mandatory masks and for wearing them... they are clearly effective, though not fool proof... yes, the masks rating matters, but even a less effective mask is better than no mask... i like the idea of trying to keep people apprised of the most recent information, but this illness isn't a good reason to stop living... honestly, i half wish i would catch it to develop an immunity (even if it may not be a permanent immunity)... i'ld hate to spread it about until i was diagnosed however, and i am around disease vulnerable people often enough it is a terrible idea...

anyhow, life is about informed risk, and i don't judge anyone making an Educated judgement call about the best course for their own life... refusing to examine clear evidence on the other hand is just stupid...

post script:

one of my early thoughts about the masks was that we might see a rise in armed robbery, theft, and/or violent crime, given that seeing masked people in businesses/banks/public is the "new normal"...
 

Lateralus

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And if concerns about government mandating or prohibiting a behaviour are such a thing why do we bother trying to prosecute criminals or stop murderers?
I'm not sure where you're trying to go with this, but it's seems kind of silly to compare not wearing a motorcycle helmet to murder. I was thinking of something a bit less violent, like banning unhealthy foods because they contribute to increased healthcare costs. Let's ban sedentary lifestyles while we're at it.
 

Burning Paradigm

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If increased healthcare costs, alone, are enough to justify government mandating or prohibiting a behavior then nothing we do is off the table.

That seems like a bit of a slippery slope. There's a difference between increasing healthcare costs because of behaviors whose effects are limited to the individual committing them, and behaviors which have an extremely high risk of imposing costs on others not responsible for initiating said behavior. We ban or regulate the latter for a reason (e.g. drunk driving, industrial pollution, etc.). Not wearing a mask during a generational pandemic or keeping it a matter of individual choice falls under the latter.
 

Lateralus

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That seems like a bit of a slippery slope. There's a difference between increasing healthcare costs because of behaviors whose effects are limited to the individual committing them, and behaviors which have an extremely high risk of imposing costs on others not responsible for initiating said behavior. We ban or regulate the latter for a reason (e.g. drunk driving, industrial pollution, etc.). Not wearing a mask during a generational pandemic or keeping it a matter of individual choice falls under the latter.
I agree. Others compared masks to helmets and I think it was Tactical Turtleneck who made the argument that increased healthcare costs are justification for those mandates. I would put helmets into your first category.
 
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