Does Universal Mask Wearing Decrease or Increase the Spread of COVID-19?

Preface. The use and requirements of masks have become incredibly political and partisan. Unfortunately, far too much of science, knowledge, journalism, and even epistemology are becoming political.

The following is presented as is, for information only. — charles rotter

Guest post by Leo Goldstein.


A survey of peer-reviewed studies shows that universal mask wearing (as opposed to wearing masks in specific settings) does not decrease the transmission of respiratory viruses from people wearing masks to people who are not wearing masks.

Further, indirect evidence and common sense suggest that universal mask wearing is likely to increase the spread of COVID-19.

This paper agrees that wearing masks in specific settings (such as healthcare facilities) achieves protective effects, although the masks should not be home-made, must be worn correctly, replaced frequently, and not overestimated.



Recently, the CDC has recommended universal mask wearing (UMW) in public settings. Some state governments have even issued orders mandating near-universal mask wearing. The recommendations apply to cloth mask, including disposable masks from non-woven materials, not surgical masks.

The UMW recommendation is expressed in (Brooks et al., “Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now,” 2020) co-authored by CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, and on the CDC website (CDC, “Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19),” 2020). The CDC website states:

“CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings and when around people who don’t live in your household… Cloth face coverings may help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings.

Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control.”

Notice the expression “may help prevent.” This kind of expression is used in the marketing of echinacea and similar products, and it is effectively a non-statement alongside “may not help” or “may harm.” Unfortunately, “may help” is widely used as an affirmative recommendation for universal mask wearing.

When Masks are Useful

In many situations, wearing a face mask is certainly an effective source control measure. Mask wearing for infection source control is firmly established in some medical procedures. For example, surgeons wear surgical masks during procedures to protect patients’ open body cavities from infection via germs from the surgeon’s mouth and nose. Surgeons have to change their masks at least hourly and between patients[LG1]  (Kelsch, Changing Masks, 2010). Other professional examples include hairstylists, massage therapists, and nail technicians working with clients. Such uses are collectively referred to here as “Situation A.”

The next level of mask wearing includes patients waiting in clinics or undergoing certain procedures as well as people visiting nursing homes et cetera. The common feature of these situations is that people wear masks for short periods of time, with a clear purpose and sometimes under medical personnel’s supervision. This might be called “Situation A— “.

Some people might voluntarily wear masks in public settings to protect themselves and others. Such uses are referred to here as “Situation B.” On such uses, professional opinions differ. Some institutions (including the CDC and the US Surgeon General) say the benefits of Situation B mask wearing are uncertain and that harm may result from these uses because members of the general public might be unable to properly wear and handle masks.

Notice the differences between Situations A and B. When professionals (like surgeons) wear masks during a professional activity (like surgery), they:

  • Are trained and used to wearing masks.
  • Handle masks properly (including masks’ replacement, disposal, and disinfection).
  • Wear masks for a specific task and a short amount of time.
  • Use masks to protect against the forward spread of the germs. Surgical and cloth masks do not protect against germs spreading in other directions.

Members of the public, however, are likely not trained in proper mask wearing and handling—despite good intentions. A mask’s usefulness and potential dangers depend highly on the wearer’s actions.

When people are forced or even subtly encouraged to wear masks for long periods, they wear masks differently. Some people position their mask to cover only their mouth but not their nostrils, though nostrils have higher viral concentration, see Leung et al. below. Some people frequently remove and replace their masks. When removing their masks, some people fold or roll masks so that the interior and exterior sides come into contact. Some people drop their masks into a purse, pocket, or glove box only to use them again at their next stop. After a few cycles, the masks’ interior and exterior become interchangeable. Even if a wearer has no infection, their mask can pick up coronavirus and other germs from the air and from dust particles. These masks can then spread the virus because every time the wearer exhales, the coronavirus and any other germs that have accumulated in the mask spread into the air. This kind of masking wearing is referred to here as “Situation C.”

When people are told to wear masks in specific situations to protect vulnerable individuals—for example, in pharmacies, nursing homes, and medical buildings—most people are careful to follow rules and recommendations. However, when people are ordered to wear masks everywhere and all the time, proper mask use and handling become significantly less probable. It is possible to enforce mask wearing, but it is impossible to enforce proper mask handling.

Mask Effects

The coronavirus spreads via droplets and aerosols that are exhaled by contagious persons with or without symptoms. Technically, it is also transmitted by fomites, but fomites originate in exhaled droplets and aerosols. In the best-case scenario, a cloth mask catches large droplets and some of the forward-moving aerosol. Neither surgical nor cloth mask restrains aerosols from escaping at the sides, top, and bottom of the mask.

Masks redirect aerosol flow to all sides. Though we take protective measures, none of these measures protect against viral-loaded aerosols—especially when they can settle downward from above. For example, we know not to sneeze or cough in other people’s direction. And recently, we have also become accustomed to keeping six feet of distance away from others in a frontal arc. Moreover, clerks, cashiers, and other service providers are usually protected by plexiglass barriers. But because these measures fail to protect against viral-loaded aerosols, even ideally worn and cared-for masks might cause more harm than benefits.

Additional Downsides of Wearing a Mask during the COVID-19 Outbreak

All masks make breathing more difficult, requiring more effort to inhale and exhale and potentially causing more viral load to be expelled into the air. Moreover, when a non-contagious person wears a cloth mask, his or her mask accumulates the coronavirus and other germs from the environment. If a contagious person wears a cloth mask, the mask also accumulates some viral load with each breath, and soon, it might discharge more viral load with each exhalation than the contagious person would otherwise exhale—and in more directions.

Masks cause heavier, deeper, and more forceful breathing as well as straining—all of the attributes believed to have caused exceptionally bad outcomes in the case of a church choir in Seattle (Read, “A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead,” 2020). Deeper breathing allows the coronavirus to go deeper into the lungs, causing infection to take hold faster. The article explains:

“Jamie Lloyd-Smith, a UCLA infectious disease researcher, said it’s possible that the forceful breathing action of singing dispersed viral particles in the church room that were widely inhaled.”

As of now, hundreds of thousands of people are breathing similarly forcefully through masks in public spaces, and other people are inhaling what mask wearers expel. Read’s article contains another illustrative passage:

“Linsey Marr, an environmental engineer at Virginia Tech and an expert on airborne transmission of viruses, said some people happen to be especially good at exhaling fine material, producing 1,000 times more than others.”

This finding had been described in an unrelated study (Edwards et al., Inhaling to mitigate exhaled bioaerosols, 2004).

The Math of Viruses and Cases

The idea that cloth masks can significantly decrease transmission of the coronavirus faces a mathematical challenge. Viral load, or titer, is usually expressed as log10 of the number of viruses per unit of volume, and it is the best unit for estimating a virus’s ability to infect people. On the log10 scale, an emission decrease like 40% hardly registers. The same is true of a 60% increase. Unfortunately, masks can cause much higher emissions. A virus-contaminated mask worn by a healthy person, shedding viruses during breathing, would increase the viral load in a room from 0 to a non-zero level that may be sufficient to infect another person.

Literature Review

Unsurprisingly, academic literature shows an absence of benefits for universal mask wearing as source control and does not address the possible harms.

(Xiao et al., Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare SettingsPersonal Protective and Environmental Measures,May 2020) is the only systematic revie[LG2] w focusing on whether face masks decrease the transmission of viral respiratory disease in a nonhealthcare setting. With a focus on source control, the authors find that masks cannot decrease transmission in this context—or, at least, cannot have a significant effect—and that masks might even increase transmission. There is no reason to believe the results for COVID-19 differ from the results for influenza.

(Martin,” Response to Greenhalgh et al.,”2020) deserves to be quoted here:

“First, the evidence for the effectiveness of face masks in reducing viral transmission is very weak. Few studies examine the use of face masks in community settings; those that do find no evidence of reduced transmission compared with no face masks. Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence: both recent systematic reviews cautiously suggest that in some circumstances, wearing of face masks may be warranted. They also note, however, the absence of systematic study of harms.”

 (MacIntyre et al., “A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers,” 2015) is not directly relevant here because they investigate mask wearing for wearers’ protection. Nevertheless, they find that for healthcare workers, wearing cloth masks is worse than not wearing any masks. Wearing surgical masks was beneficial in the study.

References on the CDC website and in Brooks et al.

This subsection covers all the references in the CDC recommendations and Brooks et al. (the CDC team). Many sources address asymptomatic and aerosol transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, which are not in doubt anymore, so they are left out here. The rest of the sources include some anecdotal cases, examples of lab-tested masks or mask fabrics, and studies showing masks’ effectiveness in hospital settings, followed by attempts to extrapolate these results for universal mask wearing. Many studies, or their interpretations, combine multiple fallacies.

Healthcare workers and patients wearing masks in hospital undoubtedly decreases virus transmission. However, this effect cannot be generalized to make a case for universal mask wearing. But (Wang et al., “Association Between Universal Masking in a Health Care System and SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Among Health Care Workers,” 2020) miss an elephant in the room. The drop in new infections started before their implementation of masks, probably because healthcare workers started taking hydroxychloroquine for prophylaxis See(Goldstein, “JAMA Rejected my Comment on Masks and HCQ,”2020). The effectiveness of COVID-19 prevention among healthcare workers via hydroxychloroquine prophylaxis is also shown in (Chatterjee et al., “Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India,” 2020). It is unfortunate that Brooks et al. (the CDC team including CDC Director Dr. Redfield) selected this irrelevant and erroneous study as a cornerstone for their article.

(Schwartz et al., “Lack of COVID-19 transmission on an international flight,” 2020)

provides anecdotal evidence. Worse still, its evidence is probably incorrect. It describes a COVID-19 patient wearing a mask on a January 22 flight. After the flight, six passengers became sick[LG3]  with COVID-19 symptoms. They tested negatively, probably because of high ratio of false positives in the tests at that time.

(Hendrix, “Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri,” May 2020)

provides similarly anecdotal evidence on the absence of coronavirus transmission from the two stylists described in the study, at least one of whom was capable of transmission, to their clients. The stylists wore masks, so this case constitutes Situation A. The stylists’ clients wore masks, too.

(National Academies of Sciences, “Rapid Expert Consultation on the Possibility of Bioaerosol Spread of SARS-CoV-2 for the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 1, 2020),” 2020)

confirms that the coronavirus can spread via aerosols [LG4] generated by a person’s exhalation. They also state, “These findings suggest that surgical face masks [not cloth masks —LG] could reduce the transmission of human coronavirus and influenza infections if worn by infected individuals capable of transmitting the infection.” Even this limited suggestion, pertaining only to surgical masks, is based solely on Leung et al., discussed below.

(Leung et al., “Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks,” 2020)

examines the exhalation of patients with any of three types of virus (flu, coronavirus, and rhinovirus) collected over 30-minute intervals with no forced cough. The researches attempted to collect some, but not all, sideways flow. This semi-realistic testing demonstrated a lower effectiveness for even surgical masks. Detection of the virus was:

  • In droplets, masks versus no masks: 11% versus 21%.
  • In aerosols, masks versus no masks: 26% versus 46%.

The surprising aspect of Leung et al.’s study is surgical masks’ apparent low effectiveness in blocking virus-laden droplets. Droplets are supposed to hit masks, even as aerosols escape along the mask’s four sides, and remain inside the mask. Surgical masks retain over 99% of the exhaled droplets that hit them. Only 17 persons were infected by coronaviruses, none of which were the COVID-19 pathogen. Leung et al. also finds: “On average, viral shedding was higher in nasal swabs than in throat swabs”

(Johnson et al., “A Quantitative Assessment of the Efficacy of Surgical and N95 Masks to Filter Influenza Virus in Patients with Acute Influenza Infection,” 2009)

confirms that surgical masks significantly reduced the forward flow of the virus when flu patients coughed into a testing device. The authors stressed that participants wore masks for only for three to five minutes and that side flow was not collected.

(Konda et al., “Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks,”2020)

found that surgical mask material [LG5] intercepts about 99% of droplets and large (>300 nm) aerosol particles. But in tests were holes were made that had an area of only 1%, the effectiveness dropped by 60%! Cotton and other common materials have lower filtration effectiveness, although cotton quilt and high-TPI cotton are quite effective, and using multiple layers further increases effectiveness to nearly 99%. But the gaps in masks are much larger than 10%, so only large droplets expelled forward are captured. The CDC does not claim otherwise. Also, that finding suggests that an individual who needs to wear a mask should neither try to use a homemade mask nor use a surgical mask for COVID-19.

(Ma et al., “Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2,” 2020)

has an inaccurate title. The study tests mask fabrics’ filtering ability, not actual masks worn by real persons.

(Aydin et al., “Performance of Fabrics for Home-Made Masks Against the Spread of Respiratory Infections Through Droplets,”2020)

is another study of fabrics. They also explain why a mask may stop large droplets but allow small droplets and aerosols to escape: “when an infected individual coughs, sneezes, or talks into a mask, the droplets that would hit the inside of the mask are relatively large, and have high momentum.”

(Davies et al., “Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks,2013)

is a study of an unusual type of mask:tightly fit (like a respirator) homemade masks. As expected, these masks decreased the number of exhaled germs, but nobody recommends or uses tightly fit masks for COVID-19.

(Anfinrud et al., “Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering,” 2020)

visualizes droplets motion, consistently with the belief that large forward moving droplets are intercepted by a mask.

(Hatzius, “Goldman Sachs | Insights – Face Masks and GDP,”2020)

is not a scientific paper, one passage merits attention here:

By our estimates, the increase in distancing our Effective Lockdown Index (ELI)—a combination of official restrictions and actual social data—subtracted 17% from US GDP between January and April, and other countries with even more aggressive restrictions saw even larger economic effects.”

(Greenhalgh, “Face coverings for the public,” 2020)

 study’s declared methodis narrative rebuttal. Accordingly, it reports no scientific findings.

(Fisher, “Factors Associated with Cloth Face Covering Use Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States,” April and May 2020)

, published on the CDC website on July 14, reports statistics on how many people wore masks. These statistics are irrelevant to the question of whether masks were useful or harmful.


  1. Anfinrud, Philip; Stadnytskyi, Valentyn; Bax, Christina E.; Bax, Adriaan: Visualizing Speech-Generated Oral Fluid Droplets with Laser Light Scattering, in: New England Journal of Medicine, 2020, vol. 382, no. 21, pp. 2061–2063, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  2. Aydin, Onur; Emon, Md Abul Bashar; Cheng, Shyuan; Hong, Liu; Chamorro, Leonardo P.; Saif, M. Taher A.: Performance of Fabrics for Home-Made Masks Against the Spread of Respiratory Infections Through Droplets: A Quantitative Mechanistic Study, in: medRxiv, 2020.04.19.20071779, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  3. Brooks, John T.; Butler, Jay C.; Redfield, Robert R.: Universal Masking to Prevent SARS-CoV-2 Transmission—The Time Is Now, in: JAMA, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  4. CDC: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), in: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  5. Chatterjee, Pranab; Anand, Tanu; Singh, Kh Jitenkumar; Rasaily, Reeta; Singh, Ravinder; Das, Santasabuj; Singh, Harpreet; Praharaj, Ira; Gangakhedkar, Raman R.; Bhargava, Balram; Panda, Samiran: Healthcare workers & SARS-CoV-2 infection in India: A case-control investigation in the time of COVID-19, in: Indian Journal of Medical Research, 2020, vol. 151, no. 5, p. 459, available at:;year=2020;volume=151;issue=5;spage=459;epage=467;aulast=Chatterjee;type=0, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  6. Davies, Anna; Thompson, Katy-Anne; Giri, Karthika; Kafatos, George; Walker, Jimmy; Bennett, Allan: Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic?, in: Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 2013, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 413–418, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  7. Edwards, David A.; Man, Jonathan C.; Brand, Peter; Katstra, Jeffrey P.; Sommerer, K.; Stone, Howard A.; Nardell, Edward; Scheuch: Inhaling to mitigate exhaled bioaerosols, in: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,2004,  vol. 101, no. 50, p. 17383, available at:
  8. Fisher, Kiva A.: Factors Associated with Cloth Face Covering Use Among Adults During the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, April and May 2020, in: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 69, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  9. Goldstein, Leo: JAMA Rejected my Comment on Masks and HCQ, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  10. Greenhalgh, Trisha: Face coverings for the public: Laying straw men to rest, in: Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  11. Hatzius, Jan: Goldman Sachs | Insights – Face Masks and GDP, in: Goldman Sachs, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  12. Hendrix, M. Joshua: Absence of Apparent Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from Two Stylists After Exposure at a Hair Salon with a Universal Face Covering Policy — Springfield, Missouri, May 2020, in: MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, vol. 69, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  13. Johnson, D.F.; Druce, J.D.; Birch, C.; Grayson, M.L.: A Quantitative Assessment of the Efficacy of Surgical and N95 Masks to Filter Influenza Virus in Patients with Acute Influenza Infection, in: Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2009, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 275–277, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  14. Kelsch, Noel: Changing masks, in: Registered Dental Hygienist (RDH) Magazine, 2010, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  15. Konda, Abhiteja; Prakash, Abhinav; Moss, Gregory A.; Schmoldt, Michael; Grant, Gregory D.; Guha, Supratik: Aerosol Filtration Efficiency of Common Fabrics Used in Respiratory Cloth Masks, in: ACS nano, 2020, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 6339–6347,
  16. Leung, Nancy H.L.; Chu, Daniel K.W.; Shiu, Eunice Y.C.; Chan, Kwok-Hung; McDevitt, James J.; Hau, Benien J.P.; Yen, Hui-Ling; Li, Yuguo; Ip, Dennis K.M.; Peiris, J.S. Malik; Seto, Wing-Hong; Leung, Gabriel M.; Milton, Donald K.; Cowling, Benjamin J.: Respiratory virus shedding in exhaled breath and efficacy of face masks, in: Nature Medicine, 2020, vol. 26, no. 5, pp. 676–680,
  17. Ma, Qing-Xia; Shan, Hu; Zhang, Hong-Liang; Li, Gui-Mei; Yang, Rui-Mei; Chen, Ji-Ming: Potential utilities of mask-wearing and instant hand hygiene for fighting SARS-CoV-2, in: Journal of Medical Virology, 2020 available at:, accessed: 07/23/2020.
  18. MacIntyre, C. Raina; Seale, Holly; Dung, Tham Chi; Hien, Nguyen Tran; Nga, Phan Thi; Chughtai, Abrar Ahmad; Rahman, Bayzidur; Dwyer, Dominic E.; Wang, Quanyi: A cluster randomised trial of cloth masks compared with medical masks in healthcare workers, in: BMJ Open, 2015, vol. 5, no. 4, p. e006577, available at:
  19. Martin, Graham: Response to Greenhalgh et al.: Face masks, the precautionary principle, and evidence-informed policy, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  20. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine: Rapid Expert Consultation on the Possibility of Bioaerosol Spread of SARS-CoV-2 for the COVID-19 Pandemic (April 1, 2020), Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, available at:
  21. Richard Read: A choir decided to go ahead with rehearsal. Now dozens of members have COVID-19 and two are dead, in: Los Angeles Times, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.
  22. Schwartz, Kevin L.; Murti, Michelle; Finkelstein, Michael; Leis, Jerome A.; Fitzgerald-Husek, Alanna; Bourns, Laura; Meghani, Hamidah; Saunders, Andrea; Allen, Vanessa; Yaffe, Barbara: Lack of COVID-19 transmission on an international flight, in: Canadian Medical Association Journal, 2020, vol. 192, no. 15, p. E410, available at:
  23. Wang, Xiaowen; Ferro, Enrico G.; Zhou, Guohai; Hashimoto, Dean; Bhatt, Deepak L.: Association Between Universal Masking in a Health Care System and SARS-CoV-2 Positivity Among Health Care Workers, in: JAMA, 2020, available at:, accessed: 07/25/2020.
  24. Xiao, Jingyi; Shiu, Eunice Y.C.; Gao, Huizhi; Wong, Jessica Y.; Fong, Min W.; Ryu, Sukhyun; Cowling, Benjamin J.: Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures – Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020 – Emerging Infectious Diseases journal – CDC, available at:, accessed: 07/22/2020.

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July 25, 2020 6:13 pm

A cloth mask is a virus amplifier? From the article:

“If a contagious person wears a cloth mask, the mask also accumulates some viral load with each breath, and soon, it might discharge more viral load with each exhalation than the contagious person would otherwise exhale—and in more directions.”

So somehow, you end up with more virus per breath than without the mask.
This is like saying that a hose pipe delivers 5 gal/minute, but fit it with a mask and it will deliver 7 gal/min.

Now if they had said something like “upon a cough or sneeze” rather than “with each exhalation” I just *might* have believed it.

Just this causes me to classify the entire thing as garbage.

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 6:40 pm

The thesis is that breathing becomes deeper and more frequent and would increase shedding, i.e. increases flow using your analogy. You could be right or they could be right.

Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 7:38 pm

Good point.
Also the deeper breathing accumulates larger aerosols on the outside of the mask as well as expelling them more frequently even around the edges.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 8:34 pm

“You could be right or they could be right.”

Yeah, that’s the problem. There is no definitive finding either way.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 27, 2020 8:23 am

I’m a 77 year old Registered Professional Engineer. This does not qualify me to speak about epidemiological issues but it certainly positions me for valid opinions on Problem Solving methodology PSm). The Government’s (published) PSm stinks.
I do have strong positive opinions on HCQ/Zpak/Zinc, and increasing makeup air for HVAC systems spreading virus aerosols. Just opinions, not facts.
Where ARE the facts? A great deal of effort and money has gone into contact tracing, but I find no organized databases. Any college junior should be able to ferret out cause and effect using regression analysis.
What % of infections were (likely) direct contact?
How many think they got infected by coughs or sneezes?
Were you in a damp, cold restaurant with recycled air blowing in your face?
Confined in a home with A/C?
Confined in a home w/o A/C?
Do you regularly leave windows open?
Do you like (and participate) in camping, boating, hiking?
More questions than this would likely exhaust the average contact tracer…but so what? This is war! Doesn’t the Government get it?
Please post references to this data if you have it…)

Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 7:19 am

The thesis is that breathing becomes deeper and more frequent and would increase shedding,

No, that was NOT the “thesis” [hypothesis] proposed. The argument was accumulation would lead to more viral load, so Scissor’s criticism of that is value.

Another aspect which does not seem to appear in the article is that the obstruction of normal breathing caused by the mask leads to heavier breathing, oxygen depletion and likely more mouth breathing.

Oxygen stress lowers immunity. Mouth breathing bypasses the protection provided by normal air passage of nasal breathing.

Mouth breathing also leads to voting Democrat ( but that’s a side issue ).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Greg
July 26, 2020 9:07 am

“Mouth breathing also leads to voting Democrat ( but that’s a side issue ).”

Oh no you di-ent!

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  Greg
July 26, 2020 10:04 am

“Mouth breathing also leads to voting Democrat ( but that’s a side issue ).” – ROTFLMAO

You win the groaner award for the funniest comment today (so far).

Reply to  Greg
July 28, 2020 3:08 am

I have thought about this as well. People with sinus problems and small nostrils tend to mouth breathe and would do so even more in a mask. A good reason not to use one.

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 6:53 pm

Philip – yes it seems odd, doesn’t it?

I look at it this way.
– without a mask, I exhale a certain amount of water vapour
– if I put on a mask and go into a sauna, soon my mask will be saturated with water
– if I then go into a normal room (still wearing my mask) and exhale, then as well as the water vapour in my breath the exhalation will blow some of the water vapour from the (sodden) mask into the room.

Obviously, this cannot go on indefinitely. At some point the mask will no longer be sodden, and will contain no more water vapour than the room’s ambient air. At that time, the phenomenon of dispersing more water than is actually exhaled will stop, but for some time I will be blowing out more water than I actually exhale.

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 7:02 pm

Does this happen in legions disease with a household water hose on some occasions? You may be right, I may be wrong.

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 7:05 pm

Think of it as a buffer, not a hose.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 7:08 pm

It still does reduce viral output and should be washed regularly, which is not discussed much.

I remain a skeptic but have worn a mask in confined areas since mid-March; seems logical to me. I of course wash it regularly.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
July 25, 2020 8:16 pm


of course a years supply of n95 is less than 400 bucks, N94 even less, N80 even less

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 10:59 pm

Is that US$? I bet a years supply of N95 rated masks in Australia would be well up on that so much so most people would not be able to afford them, even if they were available to buy. I mean, a few months ago we could not buy paper towels to wipe our asses let alone cover our faces.

I don’t often say this in comments, but you are a moron!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 25, 2020 11:15 pm

Paper towels will clog a toilet, and are way to rough anyway.
And paper towels as a mask?
And you are calling other people names?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 12:52 am

“Nicholas McGinley July 25, 2020 at 11:15 pm”

Paper towels to wipe our asses = toilet paper, D’oh! What else are they made of? What are N95 rates masks made of? Paper! D’oh!

Jon-Anders Grannes
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 1:53 am

I see frustration here? If it’s the general situation in Australia I think it’s wrong to blame it on Steven? Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff said in November, “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. It provides the opportunity to do things that were not possible to do before.”

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 9:10 am

“I mean, a few months ago we could not buy paper towels to wipe our asses let alone cover our faces.”

I knew being down under generated some odd behavior, but do you really wipe your a$$ with paper towels, then cover your face with it? I suppose you get used to the smell, eventually.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 2:29 pm

I am gonna let Pat slide on this one.
Hell, who wouldn’t be sore iffen they had a permanently chafed bunghole after running out of paper towels back in March?

Having to use newspaper would make anyone grumpy as all get out.
Might as well use steel wool pads.
I wonder who else was not paying attention during potty training and missed the part about using bathroom TISSUE and not paper TOWELS?

And I am pretty sure if the entire country had been under the mistaken impression that masks were made of paper, someone had to have figured out by now that masks and other PPE is never made from paper at all.

Here in civilization we use polyester spunlace for survival masks, gowns, show covers, etc. Same material baby wipes and “Premoistened Adult Wipes” are made of.
These days anyhow.
N-95 masks are made from nonwoven polypropylene made from a melt blowing process.

Even the early predecessors of the N95 and surgical masks were never made of paper.
In 1910 a guy in China invented a cloth mask, used during the Manchurian Plague outbreak that year.
By the time of the Spanish flu, masks developed for WW I and made with fiberglass filters were available.
In the 1960s, synthetic fiber versions replaced cloth masks in medical settings in all developed countries.
In the 1990s, a guy named Peter Tsai invented the N95 mask, originally for I industrial use, although by 1995 he had developed anti virus technology, and patented a version used to protect against resistant tuberculosis bacillus.
There are many grades of masks, both the N95 type and what are commonly called surgical mask type.
The surgical masks are actually made in grades designated surgical, isolation, dental, or medical procedure masks. In China they are designated either medical or surgical.

As for not having enough…little Taiwan is s nation of 24 million people.
They currently make some 13 million N95 masks EVERY SINGLE DAY!
I do not have the number being made in the US, but I know there are no longer any shortages.
Way back in March 3M had already doubled production.
And many huge manufacturers were quick to step in with humongous production increases and whole new factories.o
There is over 100 years of data and proof that masks work.
Anyone denying it is delusional.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 3:22 pm

Dang autocorrect!
“Here in civilization we use polyester spunlace for survival masks, gowns, show covers…”
Tablets are the worst.
Should be “Here in civilization we use polyester spunlace for surgical masks, gowns, shoe covers…”

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 27, 2020 10:11 am

“Paper towels will clog a toilet, and are way to rough anyway.
And paper towels as a mask?
And you are calling other people names?”

When this all started (in the US) there was a run on toilet paper. Shelves were bare, people were hoarding so alternatives were looked for and there sat paper towels. People are going to wipe with something, well most people anyway. Soon paper towels disappeared off the shelves too along with all types of paper masks.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 27, 2020 12:26 pm

N95 masks (effective at 0.3 micron) are not generally cellulose, but rather, melt-blown polyester sandwiched between non-woven fabric.
VERY technical!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 26, 2020 10:39 am

If everybody bought a years supply of N95 masks, I wonder what would happen to the supply (and price)? Hospitals and health professions that NEED them would not be able to get them and prices would skyrocket. And since the vast majority of people don’t know how to fit and use them properly, it would be a tremendous waste of a limited resource. Another stupid Mosher posting.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Paul Penrose
July 26, 2020 3:29 pm

One thing that was done early on was detailed research into decontamination of masks and respirators (we should really be making this distinction, between masks and respirators, in these discussions).

Here are some links to relevant and interesting reading on the topics we have been discussing here:

Decontamination and reuse, including the limitations thereof:

Plenty of good info here.
Turns out alcohol is not recommended for decon.
The solvent can apparently degrade the filter performance.

The website of a working group investigating issues pertaining to mask resuse:

Wayne Smith
Reply to  Paul Penrose
July 26, 2020 7:00 pm

At Home Depot 3M n95 masks cost about $3.50 each when available, currently out of stock. Worn correctly they should be replaced after 1 hour use, so if you used 5 per day that totals 1825 n95 masks per individual per year, at $3.50 each that is only $6,387.50 not including sales tax per person per year. Should not be a burden on the average household.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Paul Penrose
July 26, 2020 8:09 pm

Using them when working in a dusty environment or when dangerous chemical vapors are present, is different than wearing for reducing spread of a contagion in a clean air space.
For normal room air, they are said to be good for at least 8 hours with no increased difficulty in breathing.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 27, 2020 5:18 am

N95’s are “wearer protective”.

N95’s only filter incoming air. A valve allows exhaled air to escape unfiltered and with little resistance. Exhaled are through the small valve orifices have far higher velocities than normal exhalations. Exhaled air is “shot out” across the room.

N95’s are not great at trapping all the cough or sneeze droplets. A cough or sneeze “air volume” is expelled from the valve at many times the velocity of a normal cough or sneeze through the small valve orifice.

N95’s increase breathing air resistance considerably, requiring 300 – 600 kCal of extra energy expenditure in an 8 hour day depending on physical activity. (Weight loss masks!)…which requires thousands more breaths per day…with deeper breathing which produces higher viral loads in more numerous exhalations.

So…Don’t use N95’s in social settings…unless you are the only one in the room that’s not infected!

Nothing’s simple about masks.

Basically, multilayer cloth masks are decent cough and sneeze catchers. That’s helpful, but don’t wear them longer than a couple hours…get a new one after 2 hours, and wash them all daily (unless worn only once a week) with mild soap and rinse really well with HOT water to minimize skin and lung reactions to detergent residues.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  DocSiders
July 27, 2020 12:02 pm

This comment is beyond belief!
The truth is very close to the exact opposite of every word of this comment from “docsider”.

Nearly every word… uninformed BS, spoken with an air of authority.
N95 masks come in several grades, some of which have an optional valve.
It is simply false to assert they have valves and not mention that only some kinds have can an OPTIONAL valve.
Knowing this, it is hard to.imagine that everything else you said is not likewise just some crap you made up in your own head.
Not a word of it comes from any knowledgeable source, or any manufacturer, or any regulatory body.
It does not even make sense to assert that the the valves offer little resistance to exhaled air, but also somehow accelerated it in a jet that will shoot across a room.

Surgical N95 respirators are specifically designed and engineered to protect the patient and the health care workers from the transfer of microorganisms, bodily fluids, and particulates.

They are made to be used one time, but there are emergency use authorizations and established procedures for decontaminating and reusing them when needed.

The ones with valves are banned in many states, countries, and in health care settings, unless there is a no other choice, and in which case they are worn with a surgical mask over the valve.
The ones with valves are never used in hospitals without a surgical mask over the vakve.
The ones with a valve are industrial use devices, not made for medical applications at all.

And perhaps ever worse, is the suggestion that surgical masks can be washed and reused!
These should never be reused.
By anyone.
It is illegal to do so in any medical application.
These are not intended to protect the wearer, and are not designed to form a seal around the edges of the mask.
The emergency use authorizations granted for respirators are not applicable to masks.

Ignore what is said about not using them.
It is fslse.
Instead look at the labelling that comes with the unit.
Respirators with a valve are not intended to, and cannot, protect anyone but the wearer.
By definition.
It is unlikely anyone will be coming across this type anyway, unless they are old, for the duration of this “emergency”.
Manufacturers are focusing production on the ones that are medically useful.
They are now adding coatings made and labelled for killing certain microorganisms on some of them.
Do not ever wash any medical LOW with soap and water if it is in contact with your mouth and nose or close to the eyes.
Soap is a very poor choice for decontamination.
Zero competent authorities or manufacturers recommend soap for reusing face masks or respirators.
The guidelines were to never touch the front off the mask.
If you do you must wash hands immediately.
Throw away any mask that gets dirty, torn, or damaged.
Treat a mask as hazardous waste of you know you were in direct contact with an infected person.
If you reuse a facemask, touch it only by the straps, carefully and deliberately, then fold it with the outside doubled into itself and place it in a plastic bag.
If it is set or moist bacteria will likely multiply on it.
But in general those should only be reused if there is no better choice.
Amazon has many choices for survival style masks, but the ones that are FDA approved are not available for sale to the public.
Typical price is a box of 50 for around $30.
KN95 type are readily available as well.
But not the ones equivalent to surgical grade N95 masks.
KN means it is made in China to Chinese standards.I
They may or not be medical grade. Problems were found when some Chinese masks were tested. They did not confirm with standards.

If you want to clean a cloth facemask, do nothing wash mothballs and water. That is just dumb.
Put it in the washing machine.
If it is a surgical mask type, read the label.
Ignore people who have no idea what they are talking abkut, like consider here.
This is no time to be making crap up about safety equipment or PPE.
I have posted links to the professional working groups on reuse and decon of face coverings.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
July 25, 2020 9:32 pm

The mask has to be part of an overall and comprehensive strategy to avoid getting infected and the avoid infected people from spreading it to others.

As for the masks themselves, a good quality N95 mask can be disinfected very easily by any number of methods.
Virions die when they are in the environment, quickly in some conditions, more slowly in other conditions.
Placing a mask in a sealed clear plastic container in the dashboard of a vehicle sitting in the Sun with the windows closed will do the job very effectively.
Strong UV will do it even faster.
Another way would be to saturate the mask in isopropyl alcohol. It evaporates quickly and will leave the mask sterile.

We can also develop better masks, such as one with a layer impregnated with iodine or some such antimicrobial substance.

In the meantime, far fewer people are dying as doctors get better at treating patients, and many of the vaccines are showing much reason to be optimistic.
And in any case, the vast majority of deaths are of people who are at an advanced age and/or not in good health.
And even most of those people live through the infection.

IMO, mostly what we need are a large increase in the supplies of common sense and rationality.
If masks intercept virions, less of what is in the air will wind up in the body of a mask wearer, and less of the virus in an infected mask wearer will end up in the air.

Anyone who can manage to ignore those to things can convince themselves of anything.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 1:06 am

“Nicholas McGinley July 25, 2020 at 9:32 pm

Strong UV will do it even faster.”

Strong UV? What is that? UV-A, ineffective at killing viruses. UV-B, slightly effective. UV-C very effective at killing viruses. What is “strong” UV?

Reply to  Patrick MJD
July 26, 2020 9:24 am

Increased intensity. Brighter. Less dim. More photons. Need any other synonyms?


Richard M
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 6:16 am

Exactly, masks will not completely stop everything but they will reduce what is called viral load. It is well accepted that the severity of an infection is related to viral load. Hence, masks are almost certainly able to reduce severity of infection.

I use the analogy of seat belts. Seat belts do not stop accidents nor do they guarantee a person will not die. What they do is reduce severity of injuries.

The bottom line is masks will save lives and help reduce the number of hospitalizations. I have no idea why people continue to fight against them.

Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 7:46 am

Should speed limits be reduced to 10mph? That would save lives.

Should smoking marijuana and cigarettes be banned? That would save lives.

I could go on and on and so could you. It’s your life, protect it how you see fit. If you are afraid of catching something, then avoid it for 100% effectiveness.

Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 8:20 am

But wouldn’t the asymptomatic carrier actually be increasing his own viral load by wearing a mask? If the mask is stopping some of the virus from getting into the environment, and does not deactivate the virus that it has captured, then each time the wearer inhales, he is breathing in some of that virus back in. Possibly quite a bit because masks also cause people to breathe much more deeply.

So after a day of wearing a mask vs. not wearing a mask he has increased his viral load quite a bit, and brought it deeper into his respiratory system. If greater viral load = increased severity of disease and worse health outcomes, as you say, then mask wearing may slow population-wide transmission but also perversely make those infected much, much sicker.

I don’t know this to be true but it seems worth figuring out before we start forcing people to wear masks everywhere, even outside, as many politicians are now doing.

Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 9:30 am

Derg wrote: “If you are afraid of catching something, then avoid it”.

, are you stupid, illiterate, or just obstinate? This is not about you, it’s about the people around you. When I drive down the freeway at the speed limit, or a few miles above, and some character comes flying past at 20 or 30 mph above the speed limit, that’s a hazard to him (I suspect it’s always a “him”, not a “her”), but it’s also a hazard to me in case he clips me or has his accident right in front of me. Likewise, someone in the store I go to once every couple weeks who is not wearing a mask is a problem for me (assuming masks do protect others).

(BTW, it may appear I’m replying to Richard M, but that’s because there was no “Reply” link on Derg’s post. I guess that’s to prevent the posting hierarchy from getting too deep.)

Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 9:34 am


Stupid like you?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 3:34 pm

“But wouldn’t the asymptomatic carrier actually be increasing his own viral load by wearing a mask? ”
Do you really think exhaling is a significant process by which our body reduces the amount of an infectious organism a person is infected with?

Joe - dallas
Reply to  Richard M
July 26, 2020 5:18 pm

Lower viral load Means that if you are infected , the body has a better chance if fighting off the infection before you get sick.

It is also why asymptotic people are less likely to spread covid (or any other flu) since the viral load they are infecting people with is lower

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Richard M
July 27, 2020 6:24 am

But the speed limit should be lowered to 10 MPH to save lives! If you disagree you just want people to die.

See how this works yet? No, didn’t think so.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 7:30 pm

> “If masks intercept virions …”

The active viral particles for C-19 range between 15 – 20 nm.

In all this yelly-screamy about masks, I have seen no one actually quote the “mesh” size N95 masks allow air to flow in and out through. A guaranteed photo of a cross-section of the mask material with a scale would be the best …

Reply to  ianl
July 27, 2020 12:32 pm

N95 masks (effective at 0.3 micron) are not generally cellulose, but rather, melt-blown polyester sandwiched between non-woven fabric.
VERY technical!
“ianl July 26, 2020 at 7:30 pm
> “If masks intercept virions …”
The active viral particles for C-19 range between 15 – 20 nm.”

Actually, I and many others think that the virus is often spread via Brownian-motion sized aerosols, and a n95 mask will do just fine!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  ianl
July 29, 2020 6:47 am

No type of surgical mask or respirator has ever used any sort of paper or any other form of cellulose as a filter medium.
Not generally.
They are not ever made of paper.
Stuff like that reveals ignorance, as does referring to SARS Co-V-2 as a flu.

Shelli Godfrey
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 7:37 pm

“Placing a mask in a sealed clear plastic container in the dashboard of a vehicle sitting in the Sun with the windows closed will do the job very effectively.” How, not from UV killing the virus because windshields block 98-99% of UVA, B, and C.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Shelli Godfrey
July 27, 2020 12:23 am

It gets up to about 140° in a closed up car in the Sun.
Not as hot in the shaded part, but as hot as 157° on the dash.
Not hot enough to melt it, but hot enough to inactivate virus.
Probably not a sure thing it will kill all virus in a few hours, but over a period of a few days?
I think so.
Virus die at warm room air temp over a few days.
And virions do not last very long at all on some surfaces, compared to others.

Roger Welsh
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
July 26, 2020 9:35 am

Try living a normal,life! Masks are a waste of time and just plain wrong.

I am so sorry for all who have become frightened little mice!

Reply to  Roger Welsh
July 26, 2020 3:28 pm

Thank you! You’ve hit the nail on the head! This virus isn’t going anywhere…just look at the influenza virus that scientists try so desperately every year to eradicate only to have it mutate, thereby necessitating yet ANOTHER “vaccine “! We all just need to get on with our lives! There should never have been a shutdown of life as we know it because of this virus! If you’re a person with underlying comorbities, then THEY NEED TO TAKE EVERY PRECAUTION NECESSARY FOR THEM! There is a 99% survival rate among the rest of us!! People need to wake up and think for themselves!!!

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Lynn
July 26, 2020 9:39 pm

There is more too it than that.
For every death, there are some people who get viral pneumonia, and many of these people will have lung scarring that may reduce their quality and quantity of life to come.
And there may well be a vaccine.
Vaccine have not been a big priority for biotech and pharma companies, due to many factors.
But this disease has changed that calculus tremendously.
And we are in an age of rapidly advancing knowledge of such matters as virology and immunology, as well as entirely new ways to make vaccines, and to make antibodies directly.
Besides, this is a new virus, and no one knows how likely it is a vaccine will be found for any particular virus, in advance of the effort to try to make one.
Some are readily found, some are found but only after some great effort or serendipitous finding, and some have resisted all efforts to find a vaccine…so far.
But many vaccines are in the pipeline of clinical trials, and trying to guess which ones will work is just that…a guess.
The data so far looks promising, so there is reason to be hopeful, for one thing because there are not one or a few but a bunch of separate efforts along different lines of reasoning and research.
So it is reasonable to be guardedly optimistic.
And in the meantime, doctors are learning more and more about how to keep people alive long enough to overcome the infection, even as some unexpected complications seem to be occurring in some subsets of patients.
When major efforts to cure a disease have been made in the past, medical science has leaped ahead in huge strides, and there is every reason to expect that this time will be no different, and given the amount of attention and effort, perhaps unprecedented in the advances that might be forthcoming.
There are already some drugs that have helped a great deal with large [percentages of patients at every stage of the illness, and these are not even made for purpose drugs, but old ones, ones that were sitting on the shelf waiting for something to try them on, ones that have had success with related complications pertaining to immune system overreactions, etc.
Including at least one direct acting anti-viral.
And all this in a tiny fraction of the amount of time that is typical for new illnesses and new drug usages and new vaccines.
Nothing like this has happened before.
The cutting edge of new drug and new treatment development is far beyond what was even imagined just a decade ago.

Reply to  Lynn
July 29, 2020 6:15 pm

Well said, Lynn.

Finally someone with good old common sense.

A mask provides about the same protection against a virus as underwear provides against a fart.

Reply to  Lynn
July 31, 2020 11:41 am

Lynn…correct and your view as well as candid explanation are sane, rational and to the point; TRUTH! People still fail to see they’ve been had by the most nefarious people on the planet to get us all in a hoopla and allow them more advantage than they already have to prod us all like sheep into whatever configuration they require in order to gain complete control over the human race, and people like Fauci or Bill Gates are damned evil liars possessed by filthy lucre and evil spirits. On March 14th I spoke my mind as to what I knew and could easily surmise was going on, especially after nearly 4 freaking years of watching the Dem party headed by the totally evil and insane Pelosi with her point man lying scummy Schiff fabricating weaponized lies to destroy a presidency, a soft coup d’ etat; which all helped me to understand this was a global fiasco like no other in history especially with the atheist evil CCP headed by the diabolical Xi Jinping. You hit the nail on the head; the sooner people stop worrying about catching colds and flu and just move on with living their lives sensibly the better they and the world will be. Here is what I had to say back in March and again more recently by following these links. And I hope the weakest links among us the one’s I see driving down the interstate highways with masks on somehow wake up and get a dose of reality! Take the damn masks off and I refuse to wear them anywhere I go. There are also legal protections in our favor to resist this madness so people need to get truthful information on that and tell the retail stores they have no right to tell us to have a mask on; period!

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 8:17 pm

The masks act as collectors. The argument depends on proper use, circumstance, and exposure. Also, there is only anecdotal evidence of asymptomatic aerosol transmission. The primary mode for asymptomatic transmission is likely to be contact and subsequent transfer through mucosae.

Reply to  n.n
July 26, 2020 6:47 am

Masks mostly stop infected people from sneeze spattering me or the various keypads I will soon touch. Good idea in crowded public indoors situations. A courtesy to others. For sports that require running, well……

Paul Penrose
Reply to  DMacKenzie
July 26, 2020 10:35 am

Nobody sneezes into a mask, at least not more than once. Yuck! I’ve seen a few mask wearers sneeze recently, and they all pulled up their mask and sneezed into the crook of their arm. They did that because they did not want to make their mask unusable. The whole sneezing and coughing argument is a canard.

Reply to  Paul Penrose
July 28, 2020 3:20 am

Totally agree. And coughing and sneezing into one’s elbow (clothed) is probably a lot more effective. When they did the test in the video on Facebook, they used bacteria rather than virus, and put the petri dish in front of the mask. They should have put one to the side as well, because that’s where the over-spray comes out.

Reply to  Philip
July 25, 2020 8:37 pm

Think of it as more like a wash rag, once it becomes loaded with dirt it just spreads it around rather than cleaning.

Reply to  StandupPhilosopher
July 25, 2020 8:42 pm

That is why I NEVER use any form of cloths, just the sponge with one side scrubber on it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  StandupPhilosopher
July 25, 2020 11:06 pm

It is a simple matter of cross contamination.
There is no mystery.
If you own one dishtowel in your kitchen that you wash once a week…yes, you are spreading germs around, not wiping them up.
If you have a three foot high stack of clean dishtowels on top of your refrigerator that you launder properly, as use a fresh one whenever you want to make sure it is not a germ rag, then you are not simply spreading germs around.
Sponges…some people put them in the dishwasher.
I like to buy the large packs of them, and toss them in with a load of white towels getting bleached.
Plus run and HE washing machine on the sanitize cycle, and dry on high heat.
I only use sponges to wash the sink, and then spray it with kind of kitchen spray with bleach.
I have always done this, and have never gotten sick from food I prepared…ever.

Example: You take meat out of the freezer and put it on a plate in the fridge to thaw.
When you take it off the plate to cook it, you place that plate in the dishwasher immediately…never reuse it, ever.
The you wash your hands well, and if it was chicken or something known to have a high chance of bacterial contamination, like ground beef, wash them twice, and dry hands with a clean cloth, then put that cloth in the hamper.

There are a limited number of places where germs are likely to exist that might make a person violently ill, and food is one of them.
Never reuse any utensil or dish, or even a glass or a cup, without sanitizing in the dishwasher.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 1:02 am

paranoid much?? As a teacher of young children I come into contact with any bug going around.. I take a broad spectrum vitamin and mineral one a day supplement.. rarely become so ill to need time off but often have a sniffle… I think my immune system is quite robust. If I were taking your kind of precautions I think I would be ill every other week..(hmm that logic doesn’t quite work)
I think what I meant to say is should I become ill I would be VERY ill.. that’s better.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 3:09 pm

Food poisoning is quite different from a sniffle.
Do you wash hands after handling meat?
Do you use a dish with raw meat juice on it for cooked food?
You think hygiene is paranoia?
Good for you Pig Pen.
I do not get sick.
Hardly ever at all.
You get sick all the time.
Tell me again who has a better immune system?
I have spent decades at jobs that would make Mike Rowe vomit and run away.
I rarely have been ill.
Never srriously, except for a blood borne infection acquired via a blood transfusion.

Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 12:53 am

This is typical Leo.
Never mind.
He also fights for HCQ

Reply to  Alex
July 26, 2020 1:46 am

He also fights for HCQ

I’ll take “Sloppy Thinking” for minus $200 Alex.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Alex
July 26, 2020 4:14 am

Ad hominem much?

old white guy
Reply to  Alex
July 26, 2020 5:23 am

The HCQ cocktail works as has been proven tens of thousands of times.

Henry Pool
Reply to  old white guy
July 26, 2020 7:44 am

It does not work. Proof is > 140K dead people.

Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 7:47 am


Henry Pool
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 9:41 am

If it worked, it would be in widespread use, and infection/death rates would be dropping. Doctors do like to keep their patients alive.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 10:01 am

Wrong, as usual.

Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 11:14 am

They all took HCQ?

Henry Pool
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 3:06 pm

Bruce Cobb: “Wrong, as usual.”

LOL, you seem to be hand waving, as usual.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 3:51 pm

The evidence from clinical trials is overwhelming.
HCQ does not help at any stage of infection, or as a prophylactic drug.

At this point there is a long and growing list of clinical trial data showing complete lack of efficacy.
Many results show it is harmful.

There are trials which used the z pak antibiotic and HCQ.

No efficacy.
There are ones using zinc and HCQ. Also vitamin C and HCQ…and zinc.
In patients with mild disease, who were not in a hospital setting:

No efficacy

For post exposure prophylaxis:
No efficacy.

There are many many studies with results published now…more every day for the past few weeks

If being hard headed would cure viral illnesses, we would have this one licked.

Henry Pool
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 4:03 pm

Bruce Cobb, please post a link to the double blind randomized study that shows HCQ effective against COVID19

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Henry Pool
July 26, 2020 5:06 pm

it is gonna be nearly impossible for any of the people who have for all practical purposes staked their entire stock of credibility on HCQ being effective, to ever muster the strength of character necessary to admit they were wrong.
Utterly and completely wrong.

Even if doing so did not entail conceding that the people they have been insulting, haranguing, harassing, and name calling for all these weeks and months, were correct all along.

All the way back at the beginning, I warned those starting down the road of unevidenced certitude what would become of their mental state if they were not careful.
I warned up…yuppers, I did!
And now look…they will never EVER admit what is plain as day!

William Astley
Reply to  old white guy
July 27, 2020 10:32 am

Evidence based research shows…..

The problem with lying to hide an very effective Covid prophylactic and early treatment during the time of a pandemic…

For political reasons….. is the Left wing has got caught and this is going to show that the people that….

The Left wing is 100% political and corrupt.

The HCQ cocktails works…..

Here is an all day seminar, live presentation of front line doctors who used the HCQ cocktail to treat patients.

Big surprise… The Double Blind studies were Blind/Lies. The HCQ cocktail reduces deaths by 80% when used early.

This is the agenda for the all day presentation.

The HCQ cocktail information and media deliberate effort to hide effectiveness of the HCQ cocktail starts at 1 hour 58 minutes.


This is the agenda for the front line doctors who are talking about the Left wing medias efforts to hide the effectiveness of the HCQ cocktail.
9:00 am: Panel #1 Schools

10:00 am: Topic #2 The Virus/Disease Facts

10:20 am: Topic #2 Hoaxes Identified

10:40 am: Panel #2 Hoaxes Demonstrated

11:10 am: Panel #2 Medical Cancel Culture

11:30 am: Topic #3 Fear

11:45 am: Topic #4 Public Policy

12:00 pm: Lunch

1:00 pm: Capitol Hill Photo Op

2:00 pm: Capitol Hill Press Conference

4:00 pm: Panel 2: HCQ

5:00 pm: Topic #4: Follow the Money

5:30 pm: Panel #3: Lockdowns

4:00-8:00 pm: Individual Physician Interviews

Reply to  old white guy
July 30, 2020 12:53 pm

The Key to Defeating COVID-19 Already Exists. We Need to Start Using It

I am referring, of course, to the medication hydroxychloroquine. When this inexpensive oral medication is given very early in the course of illness, before the virus has had time to multiply beyond control, it has shown to be highly effective, especially when given in combination with the antibiotics azithromycin or doxycycline and the nutritional supplement zinc.

New insights on the antiviral effects of chloroquine against coronavirus: what to expect for COVID-19?

The multiple molecular mechanisms by which chloroquine can achieve such results remain to be further explored. … preliminary data indicate that chloroquine interferes with SARS-CoV-2 attempts to acidify the lysosomes and presumably inhibits cathepsins, which require a low pH for optimal cleavage of SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

Zn2+ Inhibits Coronavirus and Arterivirus RNA Polymerase Activity In Vitro and Zinc Ionophores Block the Replication of These Viruses in Cell Culture

Bloke back down the pub
Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 3:33 am

Philip, using your analogy, it is more like saying that an hose pipe delivering 5/gals /minute pours some of its water into a bucket. If you cough and knock over the bucket, the flow into the environment momentarily goes up way above what it would’ve been without the bucket.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 4:10 am

Your entire “argument” is painfully illogical, suggesting that you are simply a “Believer” in mask-wearing. You chose what you think is a flaw (it isn’t) in the argument, allowing you (you think) to throw out the entire thesis.

Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 4:23 am

During the bouts of The Plague that swept through Medieval Europe, people took to wearing masks to avoid getting the Plague. They still got it, and the Plagues just kept coming.

The current crop of masks, cloth or paper or whatever, aren’t very helpful when the Sneezin’ Season for Seasonal Allergies arrives, as it has for me. If those disposables do the job at all (better than nothing) , they stop pollen from driving me nuts as well as put a short-term barrier of some kind between me and the other person 6 feet away from me.

Maybe the real issue is that we need a vaccine (under development) and meanwhile, this bug will just do whatever it wants to. The planet is overcrowded anyway, isn’t it? Isn’t that what the ecohippies are saying?

Chris Thompson
Reply to  Sara
July 27, 2020 12:23 am

Pollen is around the size of virus particles; 50-200nm for pollen, 120nM for COVID-19.
A well fitted (fit-tested) N95 should minimise transmission of pollen.
I’m a doctor in a hospital. Only one of the 4 N95 masks available to me provided an adequate seal. Testing was done using particle generators and sampling from inside the mask vs outside.
The main purpose for wearing masks is not to stop the virus being breathed in when it floats around all by itself. It’s to catch the massive number of droplets containing thousands of virus particles when people talk, shout, cough or sneeze.

Paul Stevens
Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 4:38 am

“it MIGHT (my emphasis) discharge more viral load.” the article is interesting but it and the references are shot through with “might,” “could,” “may” and other qualifiers. this is not data, it constitutes speculation.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 5:25 am

Essay identifies the ney tyranny of SAFETY-ISM. We gotta do SOMETHING, shoot up here, we need relief.

Brett Doyle
Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 6:34 am

Your analogy of a hose pipe is not appropriate. The virus multiplies rapidly in the warm, wet environment of the mask, so you get out more than you put in.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Brett Doyle
July 26, 2020 8:12 am

The essential aspect of all viruses (virii) is they cannot reproduce, ‘multiply’, outside of a host cell. To that extent they are not life, and B. Doyle is impeached ignorant.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Brett Doyle
July 26, 2020 3:52 pm

Brett wins Uninformed Comment of the Decade prize, hands down.

Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 7:26 am

This “mask is dangerous” argument sounds very much like the “outside secondhand smoke is as deadly as smoking cigarettes” hoax. Anything that impedes direct virus transmission and allows nature to diffuse the concentration should be beneficial.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  hiskorr
July 26, 2020 10:46 am

Actually, since the mask is designed as a barrier, it will concentrate the virus, not diffuse it. Then when you take it off and touch it, you will contaminate your hands with that concentrated sample and cross contaminate anything else you touch. Contact transmission is a much more likely cause of infection, so mask wearing may actually be making things worse. Or not. But that’s just as plausible as the notion that they reduce transmission. It really depends on your biases what you believe.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Paul Penrose
July 26, 2020 5:26 pm

Actually Paul, there is more and more evidence emerging regarding routes of transmission, and as of recently (past few weeks) there is no confirmation that fomites are a source of transmission for this contagion.
There is simply no evidence that anyone has ever gotten sick that way from this disease.
It may be that it does happen, but it would probably take deliberate exposure of a large number of people under varying conditions to even have any evidence one way or the other.
Now, that is not to say anyone should assume it can not happen, and hand washing remains part of every recommendation on reducing the spread of this and other common diseases.
And the procedure for donning and doffing a mask is part of what is collectively called “compliance”.
Lack of compliance refers to just such factors as you mention here.

Having said that, there were studies as long ago as April (IIRC) showing that the virus does is not found on respirators that have been worn in a medical setting, unless the respirator was exposed to bodily fluids.
This is one reason why reuse for up to five cycles on donning and doffing are approved in a medical setting.
With decontamination, it may be only limited by the total number of hours the respirator is worn.
They become more effective at filtering the longer they are worn, as dust and anything else in the air fills in the spaces between the overlapping fibers.
They filter more effectively over time when worn, but it gets takes more effort to breathe through them.
Some work is focused on cleaning the trapped particulates from the respirator.

When used in industrial settings, an earlier version of fiber respirators were washed after every shift and reused the following day.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2020 10:14 am

The fact of the matter is, there is very little real data on how this particular virus is transmitted, one way or the other. Whatever you believe is a consequence of your own biases rather than any actual facts.

As far as masks are concerned, they are being promoted as ways to prevent contaminating surfaces via expelled saliva either from coughing/sneezing or even just talking. Any droplets small enough to stay suspended in the air long enough to be inhaled by others will be small enough to go through most masks or around them since most are not worn properly. And it will be almost impossible to train the general population on proper mask usage, so this will not change. At this time there just is no rational argument for forced mask usage by the general public.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2020 10:51 pm

I never mentioned forcing usage.
I am discussing reasons for believing they might be useful.

As for transmission, did you read what I said?
I was pointing out that researchers have no hard evidence either way that fomites have made anyone sick.
But it is known that this virus is airborne.
It is breathed in and a person gets infected.
There are many instances where this is known to be the only way a person could have spread it to another person.

As for masks being impossible for anyone to have a reasonable chance of using them properly, that is nonsense, with all due respect.
N95 respirators are not difficult to use properly.
And it is simply not true what you are asserting about mask permeability.

Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 10:07 am

You are right.
Leo Goldstein does not know what he is talking about.
I hate masks and used them for only 3 hours in the past 4 months – so I have bias against wearing them.

But I also respect science.

The science supporting masks is over 50 years old.

It’s simple
The spray when you cough sneeze or holler at the police can go very far.

Any type of mask reduces that distance.

That could be good news especially if the mask wearer is infected and does not know it.

With ordinary flu you know you are infected and stay home.

There is no reason to debate masks.

Everyone should wear one so I, an old timer, do not have to. Heh heh

The six foot social distancing RULE, however, is not backed up by any science. Spray could reach six feet from a violent cough. Even WITH a mask on.

Doctors use better masks for a different reason – if they screw up your operation, you won’t know who to sue. A real doctor told me that at a cocktail party after many martinis.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Richard Greene
July 26, 2020 3:56 pm

Thank you Richard.
I would add, NO ONE likes to wear one.
If that was the issue being debated, there would be none.

Reply to  Philip
July 26, 2020 10:42 am

This is like saying that a hose pipe delivers 5 gal/minute, but fit it with a mask and it will deliver 7 gal/min.

Really? That’s a horrible analogy and, in no way, captures the point the author was making.

Air is NOT water. Yes, they are both fluids, but there are different dynamics going on because of the great difference in density between air and water. The pressure on a mask delivered by water at 5 gal/minute, in no way, compares to the pressure on a mask delivered by even a cough of air.

My fluid dynamics kung fu is not good enough to explain the exact physical differences between what you speak of and what the author speaks of, but using a bad analogy to try countering a good point is not very productive. Water is not air. Masking a water hose is not like masking a breathing face. There are significant differences between fluids of different densities and compositions. All fluids are not equal in how they perform in similar circumstances.

Don’t let a faulty analogy force you to reject the whole article.

How do you envision breathed out particles interacting with a mask? They don’t just stop, do they? What happens after particles hit the mask, and breath continues to flow?

Let’s say we have a some small spit particles hitting the mask after you sing a rousing tune. You’re wearing a woven fiber, cloth mask that has pores between the intertwining threads. The pores might stop a whole spit particle from going through right away — its viscosity allows it to hang in the pore, say, but you continue to breathe, and this puts further pressure across that drop. What is that breath pressure doing to that drop now? — slowly driving it on through, evaporating some of it, and driving the rest through? And where does it end up? — mushed around to the other side of the mask maybe? — with its nucleus now on a thread on the outside of the mask? … And then what? [I don’t know]

And that’s the point, we don’t know, as fare as I can tell. What sort of fluid dynamic complexities are really going on at the level of small spit drops and aerosols? They are light and fluid, NOT heavy and fluid, like hose water.

Robert W. Turner
Reply to  Philip
July 27, 2020 6:33 am

Your ability to think might just be garbage.

If someone is actively shedding a virus and wearing a cotton mask, about 95% of the viral load is stopped from coughs and 25% is stopped from normal breath. The mask eventually becomes saturated to a point where that viral load from coughing (large droplets) is instead incorporated into the breath as small aerosol droplets which are more likely to bypass a bodies first line of defense (mucus) and is directly inhaled into the LRT and a non infected person becomes infected.

The literature on the spread of respiratory viruses clearly shows that fomite and large droplets cause a small percent of infections, it is the small aerosol droplets which are inhaled directly into the LRT which lead to most infections and the most severe cases.

Reply to  Philip
July 28, 2020 3:04 am

“This is like saying that a hose pipe delivers 5 gal/minute, but fit it with a mask and it will deliver 7 gal/min.”
Your analogy fails in that water coming out of the hose is only going one way. The flow mechanics are different for breathing and viral aerosols.

Reply to  Philip
July 28, 2020 4:27 am

i’m a Canadian. Our Covid death toll yesterday was 4. I wear a mask in enclosed public places as required. Our population is about the same as that of California. What was their death toll yesterday? How is it going with the general acceptance of mask wearing there?

Reply to  Philip
July 28, 2020 11:23 am

Not a good analogy. More “virus per breath” is just a higher concentration of virus in the hose pipe that delivers 5 gal/min. Not more flow.

Reply to  Philip
July 28, 2020 11:28 am

Bad analogy. Just a higher concentration viral particles per breath, not an increase in flow.

July 25, 2020 6:25 pm

There are those that say the masses are being conditioned so that they obediently accept a vaccine.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 8:27 pm

“Other professional examples include hairstylists, massage therapists, and nail technicians working with clients.”

First, masks on people in these activiies are ONLY effective if one of the two people are sick. Otherwise, masks are useless. The assumption that the hairstylist is sick is not useful. If the person is not feeling well, sure they should wear a mask. But to assume he or she is sick all the time is simply unhealthy for the stylist. Wow.

And, yes, this is all about training the public to be complacent and flexible and do whatever the government orders you to do—its all about control and power. However, when the government orders us to do something that is counter to our health, it should be resisted strongly. Telling people to be Sheeple is the goal of socialism—then, they can do whatever they want to us, regardless of it being against our good interests.

Reply to  Charles Higley
July 26, 2020 2:00 am

The assumption that the hairstylist is sick is not useful. If the person is not feeling well, sure they should wear a mask.

“An important finding of this report is that more than half the residents of this skilled nursing facility (27 of 48) who had positive tests were asymptomatic at testing. Moreover, live coronavirus clearly sheds at high concentrations from the nasal cavity even before symptom development. Although the investigators were not able to retrospectively elucidate specific person-to-person transmission events and although symptom ascertainment may be unreliable in a group in which more than half the residents had cognitive impairment, these results indicate that asymptomatic persons are playing a major role in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.”

But to assume he or she is sick all the time is simply unhealthy for the stylist.


Doug Huffman
Reply to  Charles Higley
July 26, 2020 5:27 am

The denigration(!) of professional was the first hint, says this career nuke.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 11:47 pm

Scissor. Then they are nutjobs

Tom Foley
Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 5:34 am

I’m very happy with vaccines. During my life I got very, very sick with every influenza strain. I can still remember just how bad I had the 1968 Asian flu – I was 26. The last time I had the flu (3 weeks in bed) was 1997. Since then I have had an annual flu jab, and no influenza at all! Given that a couple of relatives died of influenza, the vaccinations may well have kept me alive. You will understand why I am a bit nervous of Covid19, and hope a vaccine is developed. By the way I’m an individual, not a mass.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Foley
July 26, 2020 4:49 pm

I take every vaccine I can get my hands on.
Never had a bad reaction or gotten any disease for which I have been vaccinated, after getting the vaccination.

In fact, I am the Mr. T of vaccinations.
And these days I am pitying a lot of fools.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 4:47 pm

I love it when the antivaxxers self identify.

Simplifies the task, that of deciding who is worth trying to reason with, tremendously.

Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 6:27 pm

Really? People are still insisting that wearing masks does not reduce the spread of Covid-19?

It should be obvious to anyone by now that wearing suitable masks does reduce Covid-19 infection spread given even a small amount of common sense in wearing it. It certainly is obvious at my Wife’s hospital wear all staff wear masks before entering the building until leaving, only taking them off to eat (but with social distancing in place).

The purpose of the mask is not to stop the virus from entering your nose or mouth, it is to prevent the dispersal of mucus droplets that contain the virus. Face shields may very well work better then a simple N95 mask as the eyes are believed to be an entry point for infection – at least that is what the hospital staff seem to think.

If the mucus dries up on the mask, the chance of infection go way down. If the mask is helping to prevent people from touching their nose or mouth, the chance of infection go way down. People need to be washing their hands and sanitizing masks using some common sense. If just some people use common sense, the rate of infection goes down.

I hate wearing a mask. They are uncomfortable and hot. But just because I don’t like them isn’t going to bias my opinion on if they work. They are not anywhere near 100% effective no matter how careful and trained you are, but given a population they will reduce the infection rate. Anything that slows down the infection rate is good (except perhaps locking up everyone in the homes and allowing the economy to crash – that is not good)

Next people will start saying that the lock down did not slow down the infection rate (again). It did – I am not a fan of it or recommending it because of the financial harm it does, but it DOES slow down the infection rate. It’s a simple fact – people that do not believe it can’t read a chart (nor do they understand delayed response).

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 6:47 pm

Ok, but how about this situation:

Mask wearer leaves a covid hotspot and keeps his mask on. Enters a place that is not a hotspot. He now collected the virus on his mask and is fidling with it potentially spreading it. Better would be only to put a mask on when you really can’t keep distance. It is NOT a replacement for keeping distance.

In Europe there are countries with high mask wearing and low mask wearing. There is absolutely no difference in number of cases between the countries. Most increase in cases over here is due to more testing.

Best case scenario everone is trained in wearing a mask and disposes it after one usage. Sorry, but that will not happen. I keep extra distance to mask wearers, because they are probally distance replacers. Replacing distance with wearing a mask.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jeroen
July 25, 2020 9:44 pm

Do you have any evidence to cite for your assertion re countries in Europe?

Why look only at one geographic region?
Japan and South Korea have a high rate of mask use, and have since the outset.
Both places have notably small rates of infection and death.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 2:21 am

You need to look at hospitalization numbers. The Netherlands, only mask in public transport, has been flat for a while now( around 100 and 15 of them ICU) the cases are up and the media is in full panic mode. In stead of pointing out that it is just people getting tested, they point out that other countries have stricter mask rules. Totally ignoring the fact they are in the exact same stage as the virus. I used Europe, because I am from there and know about my surrounding countries. Let it sink in for you: 100 people out of 17million are in the hospital due to covid. Everybody needs to calm down and go for reason over popular trend.

Who would be a healthier person? Person A) going uitdoors breathing fresh air or person B) travelling in public transport with a mask, go to the office with a mask and then later on visit the supermarket with a mask. All with that same mask of course, because you know people right. Same rules on a well ventilated house applies to you being able to breath well.

So yeah if you have no other choice and can’t distance, put that mask on and try to breath slow. Then after you get rid of it. Sadly no one does that over here so yes I do hold my breath and look away when a masker walks by.

Our Dutch CDC leader even stated that masks on public transport was a political rule not a science based rule. Very bold thing to say to be honest, but had enough credit build up and replacing people left and right is more of an American thing.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 2:30 am

Nicholas, just check worldometer for say, Croatia and Belgium. Belgium has heavy mask rules, from the beginning they had a real lock down, Croatia, where I live nobody wears a mask Properly, even when they are told to do so (I live there). Belgium has in excess of 800 deaths per million, where Croatia only has 31 deaths per million.
Wearing a mask gives a gut feeling that they should, work. However the hard numbers in real life do not support this. Even Sweden, that had no lock down, hardly any social distancing, no masks, is still way below the amount of deaths per million than Italy, Belgium, Spain and many other countries, where the lock down was severe.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Enrico
July 26, 2020 8:47 am

Enrico, Actually Sweden is not ‘way below’ Italy. As of 26 July, here are the top five countries, in deaths per million, from Worldometer.

Belgium 847
UK 674
Spain 608
Italy 581
Sweden 564

Clearly Belgium is an extreme outlier, but Italy and Sweden are very close to each other. Leaving aside the tiny countries of Andorra and San Marino which have few deaths but a high rate per million, there is only one other moderate size country with more than 500 per million: Peru at 546. There are only four countries with more than 400 deaths per million: USA, Brazil, Chile and France. The deaths per million for the three countries most similar to Sweden in climate and culture are: Denmark 106, Finland 59 and Norway 47.

However you look at it, Sweden is in the top 12 countries (out of 213 listed) in terms of deaths per million.

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  Enrico
July 26, 2020 10:28 am

14% of Sweden’s population has developed antibodies, which suggests previous exposure to the virus. This is an absolute minimum as we don’t know how long the antibodies last in humans. If it is similar to other corona viruses then the antibodies might be shorter lived.

This means a MINIMUM of 1,432,200 Swedes have had COVID-19. 4,939 have died. This is a MAXIMUM case fatality rate of 0.35% which is the equivalent of a bad influenza season.

Those numbers will both have increased since that report. For example the deaths are about 500-600 higher. I haven’t found current positive antibody results so if you do please post.


Jim Veenbaas
Reply to  Enrico
July 26, 2020 12:15 pm

There could literally be a thousand different reasons why Croatia has different infection rates. This is nonsense.

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 2:51 am

Jeroen makes more sense than Nicholas McGinley in that you have more similar eating habits, culture and infrastructure between European countries, than you have between Europe and Japan-South Korea.

Ian W
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
July 26, 2020 5:59 am

Korea kimchi with every meal which is high in many vitamins and minerals in particular selenium which inhibits SARS-CoV-2 infection. So the equivalence is not valid.

In Europe and the USA you can get the same selenium benefits from eating one or two Brazil nuts a day.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
July 26, 2020 4:40 pm

If by “more sense” you mean “selective attention”, I agree with you.

Reply to  Carl Friis-Hansen
July 27, 2020 1:14 am

Vitamin D shot 200000 IU, every 3 months
Kimchi every day
Brazil nut, every day.
hand washing, 20 seconds, back and front with soap,
mask wearing

Avoid touching your NOSE, eyes, mouth

it is not that hard, so I just wear one (N94) when I leave the house, and If I know I will
be in a confined space I opted for the N95.

small inconvenience to maintain my freedom

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 10:10 am

As to places in Asia that wear masks they also do other things we don’t do here like take people’s temperature at public places (sick people know this so they stay home like they should).

Japan never shut down so what is their “herd immunity” at?

They also count the positive/negative, hospitalisations and deaths differently than the USA so comparisons are not valid.
1) Does Japan count people who die WITH covid-19 as a death FROM it like the USA does?
2) Does Japan count active infections with recovered infections (anti-body) like the USA does?
3) Does Japan count multiple positive tests from an individual as separate cases like the USA does?

Since April Mexico has had mandatory mask wearing and has a higher compliance than Japan yet their cases are going up dramatically. The Nordic countries in Europe don’t have mandatory masks and are doing the best so maybe we should look at what they are doing?

Sorry but you are comparing “apples to frisbees”. Both fly when thrown but that’s it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 4:38 pm

No, it is not a simple matter of looking at hospitalization rates.
That information is meaningless in this context without detailed and ACCURATE knowledge of mask use over the total period of the pandemic.
No such detailed knowledge exists.
But there are a few countries notable for high rates of mask use and compliance.
One of them is the first country to have the virus, that somehow got it under control.
I left out that example since it is impossible to say much with certainty re China.
But other countries in that part of the world have no such issue with opacity.
Which is why I named the two I did, plus the one you mentioned.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Jeroen
July 26, 2020 6:33 am

Chzechia, early mask adoption.
1420 cases/million and 34 deaths/million.
Compare them to Netherlands and Sweden.
Chzechia relaxed their stance and now have a second wave.
When the Head of the South Korean SARS, MERS & COVID-19 medical pandemic team says Masks, Gloves & Glasses are essential for COVID-19 I believe him.
All the countries with previous Epidemics knew how to deal with COVID-19.

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  A C Osborn
July 26, 2020 11:03 am

So is everyone in the country to wear “Masks, Gloves & Glasses” in all public settings all the time or was that a recommendation for health care workers? For those at risk? What exactly is the context of that comment?


Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 6:51 pm

Flu cases in Australia are way down, presumably due to widespread mask usage and social distancing. So, facts.

I’ve got a mask with a small pocket for a HEPA filter. I’m guessing this works better than cloth.

I’m not going near anyone without a mask because, well, because I’m not a total moron.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Adam
July 25, 2020 9:35 pm

See now, here in just three sentences, I can identify Adam as a rational person who has common sense.

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia
Reply to  Adam
July 25, 2020 11:19 pm

What a Supercilious Git. If you were anything but a total moron, you would realise that this virus is not going away, face it, they don’t and sooner or later we are all going to get it. There will be no effective vaccine, never has been for colds and ‘flus. This is all just to “flatten the curve” – remember?

Good luck with your prophylactic mask. Don’t let me see you without it, ever, ever, ever, for the rest of your life. Write that down and memorise it. Oh, and wear it in bed every night.

Jon-Anders Grannes
Reply to  Adam
July 26, 2020 2:14 am

I have worked as Copilot on intercontinental. Going to Thailand and India they wanted us to eat malaria pills. When asked by the company doctor if I did take these pills I just said no because of the side effects. Then he said that I then probably would be less careless and take precautions so it was okay.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Adam
July 26, 2020 4:26 am

Mask use really isn’t common in Australia, and has only very recently been recommended, not required, in Victoria where the infection rate is climbing. I live in a regional area with only 3 positive cases, three months ago. No-one here has been or is masking up (except presumably in hospitals). But the flu rate has fallen as much as anywhere else. This is presumably because we are staying at home more and washing our hands more often, but most likely particularly because of a much higher vaccination rate than in past years. In April, all the chemists had vaccination clinics and medical practices were running production line clinics, booking up to twenty people an hour. Here, masks can be totally ruled out as a factor in reducing flu.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Adam
July 26, 2020 10:06 am

So you admit that you are a moron.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 6:52 pm

The whole thing is full of holes. I’m of the opinion that there is some evidence of benefit from wearing masks but it’s not very compelling. There are plenty of places where spread increased after mask orders were put into place. If evidence were so compelling, it would not have taken 6 months for WHO and CDC to reverse their positions on this.

Unfortunately, politics or worse is dictating decisions.

There is no way for typical masks to filter out aerosols, which is supposedly the chief route of transmission. N95 masks typically have an outlet vent that doesn’t do any filtering whatsoever on exhalation, and homemade cloth masks don’t do a good job in sealing in any case.

Jon-Anders Grannes
Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 2:28 am

Masks when used properly will only protect all the others from ourself?

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 7:12 pm

The lockdown maybe did slow down the rate of infection, but didn`t halt it. It`s a question of integrating under the graph – that integral has to be achieved to stop the virus spreading – AKA herd immunity. The lockdown was to save panicked political arses

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
July 25, 2020 7:18 pm

The damaged caused from lockdowns is probably worse. The following study indicates much worse.

Steve Keppel-Jones
Reply to  Scissor
July 29, 2020 4:40 pm

The excess-mortality graph in the US from the CDC shows that there were no excess deaths at all prior to the lockdown, but quite a few (i.e. all of the excess deaths for this year) afterward. That doesn’t sound like a Covid problem, it sounds like a lockdown problem.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 7:43 pm

Thank you Robert. Common sense–we talk about politicizing science and then put articles here that attempt to rubber stamp a politicized position about masks. Geeze.

As far as I can tell, “Notice the expression “may help prevent” (from CDC) and “even ideally worn and cared-for masks might cause more harm than benefits” (from this opinion piece)

“may” and “might” fall into the same category, so this “theory” to debunk the efficacy of wearing masks uses the same argument basis as the CDC. If you want to spark a conversation good–but this is an opinion and little else.

Repeat after me “viral load, viral load”. Mask don’t stop Covid, it slows the spread, reduces the spread and lessons the disease once someone gets it.

Stop trying to “prove” that masks don’t work–they do! We have real science, not theories about mosquitoes passing through a chain link. What one can say is, “Masks don’t stop the spread but they slow it and they make the infection easier for a body to fight– It helps the infected person from giving me a huge viral load if they wear a mask and it helps that smaller viral load become even smaller if I wear a mask when infected by them–this is significant.

“Viral load,” repeat after me, “viral load.”

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Shelly
July 25, 2020 9:56 pm

Well said Shelly!

I am not going to be joining in any chants, about viral load or anything else…but I will agree with everything you said.

Reply to  Shelly
July 26, 2020 7:02 am

Article: “Why did the CDC change its guidance on wearing masks?

“The original CDC guidance partly was based on what was thought to be low disease prevalence earlier in the pandemic, said Chin-Hong.”

That’s a lie. We were originally told there would be 2.2 million deaths from this thing in the US. It was like ebola and the black plague combined. “Unprecedented!” was the cry. “Low disease prevalence?” Good God, some of us are old enough to remember all the way back to early 2020!

On to another ‘expert’ quoted in the article:
“Rutherford was more blunt. The legitimate concern that the limited supply of surgical masks and N95 respirators should be saved for health care workers should not have prevented more nuanced messaging about the benefits of masking. “We should have told people to wear cloth masks right off the bat,” he said.”

So here is an admission of a lie. We have two known liars whose views are presented with a straight face as the basis for “science.” Is it any wonder that the general population – and particularly we older folk who have taken a few trips around the Sun – aren’t certain of anything except that someone is lying to us?

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 8:24 pm

“Really? People are still insisting that wearing masks does not reduce the spread of Covid-19?”

yep it is one of the shortcomings in “evidence based” medicine as opposed to science based medicine.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 26, 2020 8:35 am

Patient: Dr my ulcer is not getting better.
Dr Mosh: shut up! The science says antacids will cure your ulcer. Be patient patient.
Patient: well shouldn’t scientists look at this again?
Dr Mosh: do you want me to show you the peer reviewed journals simpleton?
Patient: you are so wise. I have no idea why anyone wouldn’t trust you.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 9:03 pm

here’s a compromise from someone who hates to wear masks… If masks work to prevent the spread, then require a mask for everyone but open everything up… all bars, restaurants, amusement parks, schools, sports, etc without any occupancy restrictions or social distancing. if this is not satisfactory for those who are pro-mask, then u dont really believe they work like u say they do. why are most mask “studies” since march2020 pro-mask but most before 2020 indicated masks were nearly useless for the general public in stopping the spread? it’s so politicized now that trying to get some unbiased truth is next to impossible – from whether masks work to actual covid deaths (death count includes people who died from covid as well as people who died from something else but had covid as well as people who presented covid symptoms but were never confirmed as having covid). the whole thing is a mess.

Reply to  goracle
July 25, 2020 10:05 pm

As goracle mentioned I’d say the mask issues were extensively investigated for almost 20 years now & the published literature revealed they were not doing what people assumed their barrier position inferred. Which, I surmise, is why WHO & CDC initially took the position with the general public of stating masks were not indicated.

My recollection of a pre-WuhanFlu Cochrane meta-analysis is that the only case where non-medical personnel demonstrated a benefit from wearing a “surgical” style mask was when that person was attending to another individual in a home situation. And, if memory correct, reduced the risk of contamination from the attendant to their charge by 3 or 6%. Pardon lack of citation – I just don’t keep computer files on anything.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  gringojay
July 25, 2020 10:50 pm

Masks work when compliance is high.
They do not work when compliance is poor or absent.

One thing that almost surely renders them useless is believing they are useless.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 12:55 am

Is that home-made, reusable and washable masks? If so, as the Australia Victorian premier advocates, you are talking shyte!

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 4:38 am

simply believing they’re useless now makes them useless? could it instead be controlled studies that showed they were ineffective at preventing the spread? has mask alarmist reached par with climate alarmist?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 5:16 am

I’m on a tangent here, but it makes for one of those little logic riddles. If I am the only one not wearing a mask in a room with 99 other people who are masked, who is at risk? 😉

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 12:23 pm

Nicholas – 2 thoughts:

1; The virus doesn’t give a darn what you believe, but,

2. The person who believes masks work will likely take more care to use and take care of the mask properly.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 4:08 pm

The point may be a subtle one, but I thought anyone could figure it out upon reflection.
I was wrong, apparently.
If a person thinks a mask is useless, how likely is it that this person will make sure to use it properly and follow all the proper procedures recommended?

There were a low of people that did not believe seatbelts helped protect people during an automobile wreck.
So hardly anyone used them, even though eventually all cars had shoulder belts that were known to be highly effective at reducing injuries and saving lives.
Those who did wear them were not especially likely to be sure to always use one.
Some people did not use them on short trips…even though most accidents occur when a driver is close to their home.

But when they were mandated, and tickets started to be handed out, everyone started to use them, and cars became far safer.
Similar evolution with child seats.
People would neglect to strap them on to the seat, or not buckle the kid into the seat all the time, or put them on the front seat where the airbag could kill the child, and where it is less safe to begin with.
Numerous studies show the problems seen with lack of efficacy of mask and respirator use is a matter of poor compliance.
My guess is that everyone who does not understand this might as well not bother with one.

Reply to  gringojay
July 25, 2020 11:29 pm

A nice synopsis with citations of some pre-social media pandemic mask reports for anyone who likes to consider all input & hasn’t yet phased into a know-it-all. It is not exhaustive on the subject & lacks the woke 2020 epiphany.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 9:39 pm

Robert of Texas,
Incredible, isn’t it?

Reading through comments here (and everywhere else for that matter), it is obvious that some people have retained their rationality and common sense, while others…iffen they ever had any, they have abandoned it.

David Guy-Johnson
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 25, 2020 11:49 pm

Texas. Try reading the article before commenting

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 26, 2020 12:26 am

1) The fact that anyone wears a mask is not an evidence of their effectiveness :

I would even say (no pun intended) that the “Monkey sees, monkey does” attitude is not a sensible behavior and may be even dangerous unless what “Monkey does” is fortunately based on actual evidences.

But where are the evidences ? Where are the randomized controlled trials which proove face masks’ effectiveness ?
This brings us to the second point.

2) Back from “common sense” to actual science, which indeed, may be counterintuitive :

2019 WHO’s survey with respect to, among other infectious desease mitigation options, face masks (p. 25, 26 & 100) :

p. 100 (conclusion) :

“Ten RCTs were included in meta-analysis,
and there was no evidence that face masks
are effective in reducing transmission of
laboratory-confirmed influenza. ”

RCT: Randomized Controlled Trial

Reply to  Petit_Barde
July 26, 2020 8:59 am

Thanks for the link.

Once again, we see the ravenous controllers are pushing their agenda to force people to act according to their personal dictates.. Odd that the same people don’t attempt to force people to wear a helmet while driving a car, after all, head injury is the most prominent cause of death in car accidents. NTSB I chose not to wear a mask, it is nothing more than a personal petri dish. Maybe some energy could be better spent on the benefits of zinc and scorbutic acid and B vitamins and ….

Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 26, 2020 8:36 am

The key word in your response is “droplets”
200 scientists forced WHO to admit aerosol spread.
Physical studies in 2005 and 2009 show surgical type masks create aerosol jets all around the edges of the mask. Said aerosaols travel 30 ft (not 6 like a droplet) and maybe more due to air conditioning.
Combining the studies results with the aerosol admission by WHO and you have a situation that masks could very well be spreading the virus.
Whats going on in the southern states sure has to make one wonder.

Another Doug
Reply to  Robert of Texas
July 26, 2020 9:27 am

given even a small amount of common sense in wearing it

I’ve seen no evidence of this.

July 25, 2020 6:39 pm

“Mask wearing for infection source control is firmly established in some medical procedures”

Established by … customs?

Reply to  niceguy
July 25, 2020 7:08 pm

Yes, it was established by editorial decree. Apparently, two hair stylists were wearing masks and they didn’t infect any of their clients (about 140). Embarrassing really. How many billions do taxpayers fund for this?

As it turns out, one hair stylist was infected by the other. Apparently, the masks didn’t prevent that infection from occurring. Perhaps it’s the time of exposure (viral load) that is the most important factor.

Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 8:21 pm

There really isn’t clinical evidence of their (a diverse assortment) effectiveness in the general population. In the best case it offers a placebo effect. In the worst case it creates a false confidence and acts as a collector.

Reply to  n.n
July 28, 2020 3:18 pm

Many people wear masks under the nose.

I saw it myself.

And it was in a medical center, in Paris. Nearly all secretaries had their masks on the mouth only.

Bob Weber
July 25, 2020 6:48 pm

Masks weren’t mandated in Michigan until last week, before the Governor’s COVID-19 Report came out, which shows on page 161 that masks weren’t needed in half of Michigan if they work at all.

At least two in Michigan have been killed recently in mask arguments – bad policy kills.

The same CDC who tells Governors to make us wear masks knew this summer was going to be hot:

comment image

comment image

Heat stress symptoms are similar to many reported COVID-19 symptoms. How about that!

Tom Foley
July 25, 2020 6:51 pm

I wonder if in those countries, mostly Asian, where use of masks has a long tradition, the masks reinforce a cultural tendency to physical distancing? Look, I’m wearing a mask – keep clear. Presumably it becomes automatic.

In western countries, people aren’t used to wearing masks. As a result, masks are misused, as described, but may also give a false sense of security so distancing can be ignored. I’ve noticed, in Australia, how difficult it is to keep 1.5m away anyway. People here just have a tendency to bunch up or drift closer. You have to work on it to stay apart eg in supermarkets. Masks seem to let people relax about this.

So to balance this story, it would be interesting to understand how behavioural details of mask use differ between countries and cultures. The articles cited above seem mainly about the technical attributes of the materials.

Reply to  Tom Foley
July 25, 2020 7:22 pm

Physical distancing is not possible in Asian cities like it is in the West, but it is true that they have a cultural acceptance to mask wearing.

However, it’s becoming clearer that Asians have benefited from cross-immunity from previous coronavirus infections.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Scissor
July 25, 2020 11:46 pm

Scissor, that would be the point of such a comparison. Given that the population density is greater in Asian cities, and so it’s harder to keep your distance, the question is do masks encourage and increase the distance people keep apart?

I’d also like to see a comparison of distancing in different venues. I’ve noted that people keep further apart in the local IGA supermarket, but tend to bunch up in Aldi! Differences in the people who shop at these outlets or in the width of aisles? Bars versus coffee shops? Age difference? If you want to influence people’s behaviour, you have to understand how they behave and why. That’s separate from the question of how much immunity there is in Asian populations from past infections.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  Tom Foley
July 26, 2020 6:48 am

I agree Tom Foley.

Here in Wales masks are advised in shops but are not compulsory (yet). However, I have noticed that people who do wear masks are far less circumspect about social distancing in the supermarket than those who do not, coming to stand alongside you even if you yourself are not wearing a mask.

July 25, 2020 6:52 pm

Clearly they work or otherwise health care workers would all become infected. I also imagine that masks will reduce your viral exposure if you happen to encounter an infected person. I’m 59, so I buy surgical masks by the box, use hand sanitizer and avoid prolonged contact with any crowd. I don’t know for sure how much it helps but it seems to be a minor inconvenience that I’ve already become used to.

Reply to  Grant
July 25, 2020 7:31 pm

Probably, avoiding prolonged contact with crowds is most wise.

Healthcare workers were 12 times more likely to be infected than the general population, and those not having adequate access to PPE were 23% more likely to be infected. PPE has some benefit but not a lot really. It is frequent exposure, as one would expect, that increases transmission.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
July 26, 2020 8:58 pm

Masks are worn to prevent the wearer from spreading germs to a patient.
Respirators are worn to prevent a wearer from breathing in whatever is in the air.
Different grades of masks and of N95 respirators exist.
At the outset, many health care workers were likely not apprised of these distinctions, just like the general public and even supposedly informed people looking at the issues closely.
The type of respirator with the vent is not meant to prevent a wearer from spreading any germs they might be carrying. The valve allows free flow of exhaled air, and are there to make the mask more comfortable, trapping less heat, and allowing free expiration of breathe.
Most places have banned the ones with the valves for health care workers and even for medical use at all.
The masks come in surgical, isolation, dental, and medical procedure grades, all distinct in the amount of protection they provide.
They are different sizes and are made and worn differently.

Hospital workers that care for COVID patients have learned they need to wear a surgical or isolation type mask and a N05 respirator that is meant for medical use, not the same as the ones used for industrial work.
Right from the get go, there are large teams of scientists improving these masks that work for the manufacturers, including working groups formed to study the issue of reuse and decontamination.
The guy who invented the ones used for preventing spread of virus and bacterial diseases, who got the patent in 1995 to include a layer that is electrostatically charged, came out of retirement and has been working on improvements.
These are not simple pieces of cloth. They are high tech synthetic fibers composed of numerous layers, and the amount of time they can be worn, etc, has long been recognized as a critical issue, and studied.

There is a reason that in courts of law, people who have formed opinions on an issue are excluded from juries.
Such people are known to often be impervious to new information at odds with what they had decided based on limited or one sided information from biased or poorly informed sources.

Steve Case
July 25, 2020 7:01 pm

I wear a mask while out an about because I’m a good citizen. But I doubt that they do anything with respect to preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Reply to  Steve Case
July 25, 2020 8:05 pm

When in Rome…

Reply to  Steve Case
July 25, 2020 9:18 pm

???? u wear a mask to be a good citizen even though u think they’re not good at preventing the spread? the logic fails me. but I do it too I guess when I vote (to be a good citizen) even though I doubt the candidate will keep promises.

July 25, 2020 7:19 pm

“The following is presented as is, for information only”
How about a little more information?
Who wrote it?
It it published? Where?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 25, 2020 8:24 pm

Read the references. It doesn’t matter who wrote it. Read the cited references — that’s where the information comes from. Read it. Study it. Comprehend it.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 25, 2020 9:43 pm

It sounds a lot like Leo Goldstein again. It would save time if we were told.

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 25, 2020 9:47 pm

Ah, I see now that it says it is indeed by Leo G.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 25, 2020 10:24 pm

Nick, before I even opened the article, I had correctly surmised the probable author.
It was good of him to start with his conclusion…saved a lot of time, eh?

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 26, 2020 2:23 am

It sounds a lot like Leo Goldstein again. It would save time if we were told.

I’ll take “REALLY Sloppy Thinking Because It’s From Smart Guys” for minus $2000 Alex:

Reply to  Nick Stokes
July 25, 2020 8:25 pm

Somebody wants to avoid being proven wrong.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 26, 2020 1:43 am

Something you are familiar with?

July 25, 2020 7:24 pm

Depends on the mask. A military style gas mask that is n95 would likely work well.

July 25, 2020 7:39 pm

Pretty simple really.
If masks work,the crisis is over.
We can all mask up and get back to work.

Any other choices are illogical.
So our “experts” say we must wear masks,ergo they must declare the crisis over.

If not,then decreeing all must go masked,well except government employees and a few other “special” classes of person,is a lie.
An open declaration of Power over principle.

A question from a nurse;”When will we flatten the stupidity curve”?

We can’t cure stupid,however once it willingly self identifies,we are no longer obliged to continue employing it.

The miserable failure and politicalization of Public Health that this Plandemic has exposed,clears the way for Firing them all.
For these “helpers” are truly too dangerous to be entrusted with power,for even another hour.

The most useless group of people in our society have forbidden the productive from working,while preening in their new found power.
Unfortunately,their ability to foresee the future is demonstrated to be as great as their other skills.
The great pandemic ,with the help of every accounting trick and false association available,has still failed to top a bad flu year…
But the exercise in mass control has been very successful.

July 25, 2020 8:03 pm

weirdly here in Korea they actually track down every cluster.

without exception every clust shares a few characteristics

1. Indoors
2. close proximity of people
3. Prolonged exposure
4. talking, chanting, or singing.
5. no masks

ya’ll keep muddling around till you figure it out

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 9:25 pm

yes… it would have been good if we closed down everything and required masks in November of 2019 at the start of flu/pneumonia season in USA. It must be because they spread differently than covid.

Richard Thornton
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 9:44 pm

Korea is very, very different culturally from the USA. There is a very intense personal disciple and responsibility. Recall when the Korean piloted planes kept crashing. Boeing found out that it was due to the co-pilot not wanting to inform the pilot of a grave danger due to the pilot would lose face. Once the co-pilots were trained to remove this cultural imperative they stopped crashing. This example is not instructive as to covid but is illustrative of the huge Here in the USA we have -now- at least a dozen different cultures and sub-cultures. Many of these cultures within the USA never sheltered in place nor did any of the protocols most of us did and they never will. We need to accept this with honesty and adapt on that basis. Good luck with your mask as eventually you will come in contact with someone who came in contact with someone and either your immune system will rise to the challenge or not. Twas ever so.

Reply to  Richard Thornton
July 26, 2020 6:58 am

Korea is very, very different culturally from the USA.

Yeah, but the the virus gives a shit. It IS that easy.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 10:04 pm

None of that seems weird to me.

Something else that is not seeming weird to me…the set of anti mask zealots seem to be a close match with the set of people who have all along decided what was true and molded to “evidence” to suit their beliefs.
The people in a muddle will never figure anything out…that is not how they operate.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 5:01 am

nick mcginely, replace “anti mask zealots” with “climate alarmists” and your comment still makes sense. The problem is that while mask zealots use science that was published prior to this scamdemic (similar to what you would call a climate denialist) but pro-maskers only want to look at a very small subset of the science has been published since late march2020 (similar to climate alarmists only looking at science done since 1980). Additionally,mask science done since march2020 is highly tainted due to the politization of covid (similar to climate science since 1980 regarding we’re the earth burning up).

So, it’s my opinion that “anti mask zealots” are using science to back their stand who pro-maskers are the ones muddling. We can both be wrong or one of us is wrong and the other is right. However, we cannot both be right at the same time. Therefor, you”re wrong 😉

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  goracle
July 26, 2020 4:11 pm

I am no mask zealot.
So you are just making crap up in your mind.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 10:38 pm


Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 10:40 pm

Planned Parent accounts for 1/4 to 1/3 of all excess deaths. Still a minor effort compared to other “Planned” protocols.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
July 25, 2020 11:01 pm

weirdly here in Korea they actually track down every cluster.

without exception every clust shares a few characteristics

1. Indoors
2. close proximity of people
3. Prolonged exposure
4. talking, chanting, or singing.
5. no masks

This is very interesting.

Do you have a link to these findings?


July 25, 2020 8:19 pm

The article fascinates, but where is the article? I don’t see a link to it.
Seeking the original, I lifted two word-sequences from the article (one of 9 words, the other 12 words)
and searched for them via Google. Nothing came up.

Please post a link to the article you are quoting. Thanks in advance.

July 25, 2020 8:20 pm

I got a mask. Cut a couple of eye holes in it and now I look like the “Lone Ranger” or maybe “Robin Hood”. Some keep their distance and others smile!

July 25, 2020 8:21 pm

In my own reading of the literature, I have gone through most of the references listed at the end of the article multiple times, and my conclusion is the same — the level of evidence required to invade an individual’s intimate personal space with a forced muzzle just is not there. The proof that the threat of COVID-19 is at a level to require such intimate invasive mandating of masks just is NOT there.

The latest counterargument being put forth to address this objection is that lack of evidence is NOT justification to give up hope that a significant effect still might be there, and that we should use the precautionary principle to wear a mask anyway. Where is the caution in allowing such a principle to destroy entire economies and ruin countless lives? Absurd !

I always come across weak justifications like “it’s better than nothing”, “it reinforces consciousness of the threat”, “it enlists everyone into the same mindset”, “it is something that we usually would not do with this level of evidence, but we’re desperate, so we must try anything”. In short, the studies that promote universal masking are ultimately based on a superstition that shelves evidence, in favor of hope. It’s sickening to see the verbal gymnastics and statistical mathemagic that some of these … “researchers” … go through to justify this irrational approach.

Masking has turned into a religion. Governors of the United States have become idiotic servants to this new religion, as they manically dole out executive orders requiring masks statewide. Marketeers are going wild, structuring whole new businesses based on the selling of masks to supply this new religion. People are calling 911 to report mask violators. It’s crazy sh!t going on out there.

And what are a great number of people doing who wear masks. They are hoisting them below their chin, under their nose, hanging them off an ear, touching them more than they would ever touch their face without them, storing them in unsanitary places, not being careful handling them. In short, there is NO mandate to enforce proper technique in using the masks, and this is probably an even greater argument against their mass use than the science arguments.

People are not doing it right. People are giving the appearance of doing it right, just to comply. The human behavioral reality is being totally pushed under the table in most discussions, and this is probably the biggest reason of all to say that masks do not work. Masks cannot work. People are not willing to do what even they claim to realize is the right way to do it. It’s all talk. Superficiality. Blind following. ……… Religion based on faith.

We are talking about the real world, with real people, working real jobs, eight hours a day, five or more days a week. We are not talking about pristine labs with perfectly controlled set ups and focused observations limited to a simple set of mechanical principles, with limited accounting for a limited class of fluid-dynamic phenomena.

The spike in death is a DONE DEAL. All-cause death rates are back within the norm. There is NO DEATH CRISIS that exceeds any other time. There is an awareness crisis, a detection crisis, a consciousness crises, amplified by an information circulation crisis.

It’s time for more people to stand up and refuse to go along with the sham any further. We need to open up the windows, stick your head out the window, like in that movie, and scream out, “I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.”

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 25, 2020 8:47 pm

“Masking has turned into a religion.”

As has UnMasking.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 9:30 pm

unmasking is the agnostic. masking is the religion.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 26, 2020 10:50 am

I was never masked, and so it was never a religion for me — it was normal living.

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 26, 2020 2:50 am

The latest counterargument being put forth to address this objection is that lack of evidence is NOT justification to give up hope that a significant effect still might be there, and that we should use the precautionary principle to wear a mask anyway.

I’m with ya . . . got it.

Where is the caution in allowing such a principle to destroy entire economies and ruin countless lives? Absurd !

So you would argue that implementing the precautionary principle by wearing a mask destroys “entire economies” and ruins “countless lives”?

Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 26, 2020 11:24 am

“I have gone through most of the references listed at the end of the article multiple times,”

If only some of those commenting here would do the same.

Mark Silbert
Reply to  Robert Kernodle
July 26, 2020 1:32 pm


I read as many of the underlying research documents that I can get me hands on and I agree with your analysis completely but if I must wear a mask to get into the grocery store or pharmacy I put it on and mutter under my breath “I’m mad as hell and wish I didn’t have to take this anymore”.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Mark Silbert
July 26, 2020 4:51 pm

It is not gonna be forever.

July 25, 2020 8:30 pm

If masks really were important, then lawmakers and government employees in DC would not have exempted themselves from their own mandate:
“Washington, D.C., mandates face masks for the public, but exempts all lawmakers and government employees” – July 23, 2020 by: Ethan Huff
“Bowser’s mandate, which was not legally passed as a law, orders everyone over the age of two in D.C. to wear a face mask both indoors and outdoors, or else face fines of up to $1,000. All non-politicians two-years-and-one-day-old and above will be aggressively policed for compliance”

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  marlene
July 26, 2020 11:23 am

Ah yes, the old “Do as I say, not as I do” position taken by politicians and bureaucrats.

What else is new?

Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 8:30 pm

Next week there will be a big review claiming masks *do* help with preventing the spread of the Wuhan virus.

The “science” has been so politicized it is almost worthless.

How many doctors and nurses will stop wearing their masks after seeing this survey? I’m betting very few doctors and nurses will stop wearing their masks because of this survey.

I won’t stop wearing my mask because of this survey.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 9:33 pm

that’s the point… u can wear a mask… i don’t mind or care… but don’t make me wear one.

anna v
July 25, 2020 8:37 pm

I look at the data :

Look at Japan: deaths per million : 8 cases permillon: 228

Close, alphabetically, Ireland: 357 5235

I have also seen the video with the Japanese crowding in the metro WEARING MASKS .

It is all about reducing the virus load , and the mask stops the infected person putting too much out ,and the healthy one from inhaling it if passing through a patch of sneeze. All a matter of probabilities, and it has worked in Japan. ( unless the Japanese gods are protecting them 😉 )

All this insistence of making a population of billions into the sterilized environment needed for an operating room is useless imo, and harmful if the population obeyed them; we would soon be succumbing to simple bacteria and viruses if our immune system is not kept on its toes with continual attacks to defend.

Just take the Japanese example of mask use to reduce the bulk probabilities in crowded conditions, again imo.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  anna v
July 25, 2020 10:37 pm

No need to be so modest.
Those stats you cite are not merely an opinion.

Reply to  anna v
July 26, 2020 12:55 am

Well said

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  anna v
July 26, 2020 11:34 am

I have made other comments about the differences between Japan and USA so this comment will focus on time to wear a mask:


Do check out “Figure 1” on page 18.

Masks by day 15 make a huge difference. Masks by day 16-30 have some effect. No masks or masks after day 60 (where we are) forget about it.

This assumes the mortality numbers are arrived at and accounted for the consistently from country to country which we know is not the case. Even if (big if) you accept that they are comparable that ship has sailed for the USA as it passed the 60 day point a quite a while ago.

Tim McMurphy
Reply to  Tim McMurphy
July 26, 2020 2:35 pm

And then I post a link to the wrong paper. Ugggg. Problems with reading too many papers at once.

Okay this one for sure. No more beer or no more posting today … Hmmm. Tough call. See you all tomorrow. Page 18 graph 🙂

Gordon A. Dressler
Reply to  Tim McMurphy
July 27, 2020 7:27 am

Tim, your linked paper (the second, “correct” one), in its abstract only discusses the effect of wearing face masks on mortality rates.

The question posed in the above article concerned the impact of wearing face masks on the SPREAD (transmission) of the COVID-19 virus . . . a different issue.

Reply to  anna v
July 26, 2020 10:17 pm

So look at Japan closer. Japan daily case count is higher in July that it ever was in April. Are the Japanese still wearing masks in July?

Keith Scott
July 25, 2020 9:18 pm

If masks are effective, why has the infection rate increased markedly in CA, WA, Ill, and TX, after masks were mandated? I have yet to see anyone not touch the mask, not stuff a used mask in a pocket and then reuse it, clean it after each use. The US surgeon general took a used mask out of his dirty pocket and was prepared to use it during a press conference. Is it any wonder that masks don’t work in a public setting?

Dr Fauci and Redfield should be fired for incompetence. They both insist against all real life data that masks are super effective.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Keith Scott
July 26, 2020 12:36 am

So it’s not a question of the effectiveness of the masks in themselves, but of the way people are using them that undermines their effectiveness.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Tom Foley
July 26, 2020 8:32 am


Tim McMurphy
Reply to  Tom Foley
July 26, 2020 11:45 am

It’s a combination of a lot of things. What type of mask? Is it worn correctly? Is it disposed of correctly? Is it changed every hour of wear?

Masks do limit the distance large droplets go. This can help but so does carrying a napkin and covering your mouth/nose when you cough/sneeze. What percentage of the time are you coughing or sneezing? Why wear a mask the rest of the time?

Droplets are one mode of transmission but so are aerosols (here is a link to a easy to read explanation of the differences):

In normal breathing droplets go less than 1 meter. Talking about 1 meter. Coughing 2 meters. Sneezing 6 meters. Those are all approximations.

John F. Hultquist
July 25, 2020 9:30 pm

So the question is: Had the “mask & 6.1 feet” commandment been rigorously followed from early on, would it have been necessary to flatten society and the economy?
When governors and mayors convert the last 20 years of their wealth accumulation into hundred dollar bills and burn them in public my anger at this will stop expanding. These people have not suffered from their regulations, as have friends and neighbors. Livelihoods and saving have been destroyed. Sad.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
July 25, 2020 10:33 pm

The Seattle mayor turned against the democratic assembly at the capitol when they threatened her and her family. She’s not such an ass when her interests are at risk.

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
July 25, 2020 11:49 pm

About that social distancing: Americans may be wondering why some European countries specify observing a 1 meter distance & England has recently given the social distance range as 1.5 meters. Apparently part of how we perceive doing everything better extends to our expulsive force – we need 2 meters between adults to “flatten the curve.”

July 25, 2020 9:34 pm

???? u wear a mask to be a good citizen even though u think they’re not good at preventing the spread? the logic fails me. but I do it too I guess when I vote (to be a good citizen) even though I doubt the candidate will keep promises.

Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 9:47 pm

I heard a doctor say on tv a couple of days ago that the length of treatment for people hospitalized with the Wuhan virus had been cut by one-third or two-thirds (his wording was a little confusing) as compared to back when the virus first appeared.

Does anyone know anything about this? Perhaps, the treatments now being used on Wuhan patients is making a difference. Length of hospitalization is what needs to be reduced for the Wuhan virus. The longer it is in the body, the more damage the body suffers, so if people are currently casting off the illness weeks sooner than they were before, then that has to be a good sign.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 25, 2020 10:46 pm

I know a whole lot about it.
The problem for many people here is that they decided what they wanted to believe long before there was sufficient evidence, and have ever since been filtering out anything they do not want to hear.

IL-6 blockers
High flow oxygen
A few other things.
Plus the standard comprehensive supportive care as needed.
The people and hospitals caring for patients have been eliminating useless treatments and adopting those shown to be efficacious.
It is showing in the numbers, for quite some time now.

There is no mystery.
You just need to pay attention.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 5:39 am

i did not see hydrocloroquin treatment on yout list which, when administered early, has shown great promise in treating covid. lets ignore all those dr’s and studies that show this, remove them from youtube, and essestially threaten their careers for speaking out.

cloth and surgical masks (not n95) may or may not be effective. prior to march2020, studies generally indicated they were not. since march, they are. the politization has made me look at it with a squinted eye (like climate science) and ask many questions. if they work, then require them but no lockdowns and open everything back to normal (bars, restaurants, amusement parks, gyms) with no social distancing or occupanvy requirements – because masks work at preventing the spread accirding to you and the post-march2020 science. you cannot have “mask up everywhere indoors and outdoors” but keep lockdowns, social distancing, and occupancy restictions in place at the same time – because post-march2020 science says so.

You have teachers union stating they’re not going back to work in september because they’re afraid of getting sick from covid being spread by students? I thought the post-march2020 science said masks work so what are they afraid of? speaking out of both sides of their mouth? Oh, and there’s also their request that they won’t go back to work until illegals get welfare benefits and defunding the police.

Finding the truth on masks is becoming harder and harder because this is no longer about covid… its morphed into a grab for power and control and special interests. Never let a good crisis go to waste.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  goracle
July 26, 2020 5:34 pm

HCQ may have had a lot of vocal backers at the outset, and it was given to more people than the evidence ever warranted.
But at this point the issue is beyond doubt…it does not work.
Not at any stage, or in combination with anything, or at any dose.
It is one of the most studied medicines in history to have shown no efficacy in large controlled trials.

Insist otherwise all you want.
If you cannot abide by overwhelming evidence, that is your issue.

Do a search engine look see for yourself.
I have not even been able to take the time to read through or compile the number of clinical trials that have now been published.

But it seems it should be done, so as to have a long list of the evidence.
I will include in the list all of the studies, including the follow research on the earliest assertions of efficacy.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 8:34 pm

Nicholas, it appears we have more in common than not… except I wasn’t a trump fan but felt I had no choice between him or Clinton (I posted somewhere here about voting to be good citizen even though chances were low the politician will keep their promise.

pneumonia/flu/corona all spread very similarly and infected people have very similar symptoms and the % of infected with asymtomatic/symptomatic/hospiralized/dead are in the same ballpark. you want to throw everything we know about the 2nd most common respiratory virus, how they likely transmit, who’s most at risk of dying from them, among other reasons, out the window because it’s new?

unfortunately, there’s too much misinformation to weed through to get to the grains of truth due to the politization of this virus. I’ll go where the science leads but those waters have been muddied by hacks in power pushing their agenda (just like climate science).

I’ll repeat, I’ll wear the mask but open the economy back up (no restrictions, no lockdowns, no 50% occupancy limits, and no social distancing – because you’re saying masks work). wither that or co tincure the status quo (lockdowns, restrictions, occupancy limits, social distancing) with no mask because they don’t work on a massive scale like this. The politicians and society in general need to choose one or the other because because maske either are or not effective at preventing the spread.

But if you’re going to tell me to use masks because it’s not about preventing the spread but to reduce the spread, then why did you hate grandma and your 1 yr old grandson during the height of pneumonia season by not wearing a mask? Or maybe you only care about deaths from virus/bacteria that transmit via droplets from speaking/coughing/sneezing and cause lungs to fill with fluid it’s spelled “covid” ?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2020 12:38 am

Making stuff up again.
I know you cannot help it.
But go back and find where I told you to do anything at all?

You will not find me saying any such thing.
I do not need to look to see if you told me to not wear one.
I did not see anyone telling anyone not to wear one, just that they were sure they were worthless and maybe even harmful.
And you might want to see a therapist about these Grandma delusions you imagine other people have going on.
Or not, I really do not care what the hell you do.
I do not think we are the same at all.
I read what people say, and assume they say what they meant.
I do not try to imagine what they might have meant if I was to make up stories in my head about crap that never happened.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2020 7:19 am

” Do a search engine look see for yourself.
I have not even been able to take the time to read through or compile the number of clinical trials that have now been published.

But it seems it should be done, so as to have a long list of the evidence.”

That definitely would be good, given that I’ve been following this for months and so far I’ve seen several studies showing positive impact, a handful showing no impact, and only two showing negative outcomes, one of which was retracted and the other of which was questionable for several reasons. I must have somehow missed this mass of evidence you’re referring to saying it’s not effective.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 26, 2020 4:42 am

Where was the doctor located? Treatment protocols vary per country and hospital. We know that mortality is being reduced in hospitals that don’t rush to intubate

Reply to  Tom Abbott
July 26, 2020 5:35 am

One hypothesis is virus is mutating to different strains and the less deadly strains are spreading more. The reason for this is that if a strain is deadly it is less likely to spread because the person gets sicker and then stays home or goes to hospital. The less deadly strain spreads because person is not that sick ( or asymptotic ) so goes out and spreads the less deadly strain. The less deadly strain then acts as type of vaccine for more deadly strains. There are already harmless coronaviruses that have been in human population for thousands of years. It is very possible when these viruses first entered human population they were far more deadly but have mutated to be harmless.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Stevek
July 26, 2020 8:06 pm

The history may not be that long for at least some of the common cold human corona viruses.
“Unlike other betacoronaviruses, bovine coronavirus of the species Betacoronavirus 1 and subgenus Embecovirus is thought to have originated in rodents and not in bats. In the 1790s, equine coronavirus diverged from the bovine coronavirus after a cross-species jump. Later in the 1890s, human coronavirus OC43 diverged from bovine coronavirus after another cross-species spillover event. It is speculated that the flu pandemic of 1890 may have been caused by this spillover event, and not by the influenza virus, because of the related timing, neurological symptoms, and unknown causative agent of the pandemic. Besides causing respiratory infections, human coronavirus OC43 is also suspected of playing a role in neurological diseases. In the 1950s, the human coronavirus OC43 began to diverge into its present genotypes.””
This is from Wikipedia article, which can be dubious in some instances…but I have read through the extensive references for this line of reasoning, and they are all from solid sources in published literature.
Like this one:
“Complete genomic sequence of human coronavirus OC43: molecular clock analysis suggests a relatively recent zoonotic coronavirus transmission event”

Other studies look at the most probable time of the most recent common ancestor of the other human corona viruses.
It should be noted, that the whole field of comparative genetics is a subject of sharp disagreement between different researchers.
For example, one study found the most recent common ancestor of all corona viruses to be only around 8000BCE, but others believe they have existed for at least 55 million years.
That fact that OC43 is known to have diverged since the 1950s into several distinct strains gives weight to the view that some viruses we might have assumed have been around for eons are in fact the result of recent zoonosis.
There is a whole publication that looks at emerging infectious diseases, (called The Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases) and every year there are many new ones found, most the result of zoonotic events.
Many per year.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 27, 2020 7:33 am

“There is a whole publication that looks at emerging infectious diseases, (called The Journal of Emerging Infectious Diseases)”

That very journal was cited in the article. Any comment on what “Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza…” had to say about mask effectiveness?

July 25, 2020 10:14 pm

“The coronavirus spreads via droplets and aerosols that are exhaled by contagious persons with or without symptoms.”

You cannot make this blanket statement. Aerosols from the human body without high-pressure medical treatments, not proven, and highly unlikely. Aerosols can stay in the air for protracted periods, but, CDC and WHO both said aerosols are not produced by our bodies, but by high-pressure medical procedures.

And there is NO evidence that people without symptoms, not coughing, not sneezing, no fever, no sore throat, who are also not singing or shouting, can transmit the virus. WHO’s chief virologist said this, and was forced to walk it back the next day.

This virus spreads in close quarters with poor ventilation, from sick people to those who should not have been visiting them.

I am expert in respiratory protection/gas masks, been following this story very carefully. Media is not, and politics are involved, media wants to destroy the economy to defeat Trump, else why is WHO’s Chief of Virology not allowed to ruin the reason for the lockdowns in the first place? She spoke the science that she had carefully analyzed from Korea and Taiwan where they can do contact tracing, and she said, repeated, and expounded upon, the fact that after careful checking asymptomatic people apparently do not spread the virus.

Wearing a mask that leaks, such as all paper/fabric masks including N-95, does not protect the wearer. For legitimate protection from exposure to an infected person an elastomeric(rubber/vinyl) facepiece that makes an air-tight seal to the face is required, along with a HEPA(High-Efficiency-Particulate-Air) filter, essentially an absolute filter prevents any particles from penetrating. Well, the industry was not ready for this, these masks are produced by the tens of thousands, but not by hundreds of thousands, and we do not ramp up production in a week or two. Plus, they muffle speech, which medical professionals who must be able to communicate with their patients cannot tolerate.

The N-95 masks leak 5%, hence the name.

I could go on. You cannot make that blanket statement.

The masks help prevent the virus from being transmitted forward, this much is true.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
July 25, 2020 10:32 pm

It is difficult to believe someone who is an “expert” and who has followed this story closely, could think it is not the case that asymptomatic carriers can and do spread this and very many other illnesses.
The virus spread all across the country and indeed around the world with very few individuals having any idea how they got it.
Even at the outset, there were well described instances of people who had clearly spread the virus to others despite not being symptomatic.
And this is not rare among viral illnesses, or among infectious diseases in general.
It is common.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 7:30 am

Nicholas, are we going to throw away the science and everything we known about respiratory virus’ and illnesses because covid19 is new? Don’t flu/pneumonia spread in a similar fashion to covid and, although many get infected, most don’t get sick enough to show symptoms worthy of going to hospital (or any symptoms at all)? If so and, like you said, the majority of people didn’t even know they had covid, then what is all the fuss about? Are we trying to prevent covid infections or covid deaths (by this I mean actual covid deaths and not the overstated covid deathcount that includes those who died from covid/ died with covid/died presenting covid-like symtoms but never tested for covid)? If it’s infections, why don’t we lockdown, close the economy, and mask up every winter during the height of flu/pneumonia season (or are those deaths trivial)? if it’s deaths, why are we discussing lockdowns and wearing masks at all if the science says the most vulnerable population lives in nursing homes? Why not put safeguards there? When someone is going through chemotherapy, which degrades their immune system, do we shut down the entire city block where they live and force everyone there to wear masks or tell the patient (and family members around the patient) to take precautions?

Carl Friis-Hansen
Reply to  goracle
July 26, 2020 11:01 am

, I like your last sentence:

When someone is going through chemotherapy, which degrades their immune system, do we shut down the entire city block where they live and force everyone there to wear masks or tell the patient (and family members around the patient) to take precautions?

A friend of mine, living 30miles away, got leukemia two months ago. Virtually no one here in Sweden are wearing masks and neither does my friend. Instead he stays in his house, enjoy sunshine in the garden and relies on his wife to go to town for grocery and other needs. – I have not visited him since he got leukemia, not only due to Wuhan, but really any virus and bacteria as his immune system extremely weak due the the treatment he receives.

For the rest of us here in Sweden, the Wuhan death are down to very near zero, and last I checked at the Swedish National Statistic (3 weeks ago) the total excess deaths are zero.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  goracle
July 26, 2020 6:05 pm

I am willing to have a discussion about it, but not with someone who puts words in other peoples’ mouths, or argues disingenuously.

The first thing you say is to bring up another type of virus and assert an equivalence, when the evidence shows that this virus does not even behave anything like the most closely related types of coronaviruses that have long been in circulation.

This point I was making was regarding a single aspect: Does the virus spread via asymptomatic transmission or does it not, or is it unknown?
This question cannot be answered by analogies, or comparisons with other things.

I am not even going to try to sort through what you said and all the questions you asked.
You may think you know how someone feels about other aspects based on what they say about something else, but that is an assumption on your part that is specifically not valid in my case.
I am not looking at this politically, or looking at questions as a set of issues that are all tied into one political lump.
I think the lockdowns are unconstitutional and I have never said different.
I was one of the very first and strongest Trump supporters on this site, back when few gave him a chance at the nomination…I knew he would be elected.
I do not have to agree on any thing in particular with anyone in particular though, to look at questions of medicine and virology and anything else, quite apart from my support for a Trump or my strong and unwavering conservative bona fides.

I think masks likely reduces the chance of spreading the disease, but if the law does not allow them to be mandated, then the laws need to be changed or someone has to demonstrate leadership by persuasion, or else too bad.
But I also think that like No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service…anyone who owns a store or business can make rules that the owner decides.
I hate cigarettes, and think everyone should quit, and I hate to breathe others peoples second hand smoke…but I hate the laws the make it impossible for a bar to allow smoking if they want to.

Issues are separate, and I am not afraid to go where evidence leads.
If that is unfortunate politically…too bad.
That is what legislatures are for.
But I am never gonna pretend something is true because I wish it was because I hate Nancy Pelosi’s guts and would love it if she had to eat every word she ever spoke.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 8:32 am

Nicholas Nickleby,

You are very impressed with yourself, but I am not impressed with you.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
July 26, 2020 5:02 pm

I believe it because the WHO expert said it. She was forced to walk it back the next day because it would embarrass all the Captain Lockdowns in government. You need to pump the brakes….

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Michael Moon
July 26, 2020 6:45 pm

I have never believed anything because someone who was an “expert” said something was true.
Because I am a trained scientist and I know what evidence is and what it is not.
And I know how to evaluate things myself, even when I do not have extensive knowledge of the underlying subject matter.
In this case I do have detailed and extensive knowledge…or virology, immunology, epidemiology, COVID19, and also of the political nature of such entities as WHO, and thus also of the fact that people who work for such organizations are very often driven to make statements based on political concerns, or any number of extraneous issues.
I di not ever once claim I knew about the efficacy of masks due to some peripherally related work or field of study.
But since you brought it up…there it is.
There are countless article over many years…articles and Lord only knows how many reasoned arguments, besides for the specifics of the issue, against appealing to authority as a point of evidence for any proposition…and that is on this site alone.

But this issue is very clear…asymptomatic transmission has been demonstrated to occur for this illness, and in fact it is known to be a significant means of transmission.
The only reason to think otherwise at the outset was due to the observation that for some viral respiratory illnesses, a person is most contagious when they are sickest.
But even for those specific viruses, there is very often a period of time when a person is contagious just prior to having overt symptoms.
Some virus have only a small window of contagiousness within the total period of a patients illness, while for other viruses, that is not true.
Some viral illnesses have the patients become more contagious for the duration of the illness.
Many diseases cause chronic infections, or latent infections, and in some of these, a person who was never symptomatic can infect people for the rest of their life!
This disease has been seen to take months to resolve in some patients, and as long as months during which live virus can be swabbed from the nasal passages.
This virus is not analogous to any other known corona virus disease.
And it is also not unheard of for a virus within a virus family to have huge variations in how it behaves in a host.
Vaccinia is similar enough to small pox that being inoculated with it is virtually 100% effective at preventing the disease of small pox.
Vaccinia is as close to harmless as a virus that infects people can be, and cannot be spread from person to person. But small pox was one of the most lethal (30%) and contagious (R0 = 3.5-6.0) viruses known.

How one asymptomatic lady infected 70 others she never had direct contact with:

There are new research papers being published left and right detailing proof of asymptomatic and presymptomatic transmission, too many to list, but here is one look. The article has links to the original research.

But even in the opening weeks of the worldwide spread of the disease, it was only ego and obstinacy that prevented widespread dissemination of proof of asymptomatic transmission.
It came down to how one person interpreted imprecise questioning of some early patients.

Reply to  Michael Moon
July 25, 2020 10:40 pm

“weirdly here in Korea they actually track down every cluster.

without exception every clust shares a few characteristics

1. Indoors
2. close proximity of people
3. Prolonged exposure
4. talking, chanting, or singing.
5. no masks

ya’ll keep muddling around till you figure it out”

Isn’t that what I just said?


Patrick MJD
Reply to  Michael Moon
July 25, 2020 11:01 pm

“Michael Moon July 25, 2020 at 10:14 pm

This virus spreads in close quarters with poor ventilation, from sick people to those who should not have been visiting them.”

The evidence today supports this view.

Reply to  Michael Moon
July 25, 2020 11:14 pm

Hi M.M., – A nurse shared a picture of her face after a work shift wearing an N-95 mask. It showed the skin discoloration that occurred from properly sealing the N-95 margins.

Earlier today I read an English fellow’s account of going to Sweden wearing his mask all the way through to the airport exit doors. He got outside, couldn’t quite orientate to what seemed strange & realized nobody was wearing a mask.