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The Official MacNN COVID-19 Thread (Page 4)
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OreoCookie
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Mar 17, 2020, 07:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
The National Review is still a thing?
They are still around. They definitely got Trumpier over time, some people left and I find few of their analysis insightful or thought-provoking. I listened to their podcast regularly for a few years, but stopped recently. Just horserace analysis. Out of curiosity, I downloaded their latest episode to have a listen to what they had to say about the Corona pandemic. Not a single attempt to ground themselves in facts, e. g. discuss the efficacy of various measures. One host lamented the fact that social distancing was a 19th century solutions, and we needed 21st century solutions like testing and vaccines. How clueless. No selfawareness that they should either educate themselves or shut up.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 17, 2020, 07:35 PM
 
My cousin’s partner works at the Neiman-Marcus in downtown SF. She was told today that Neiman’s is closing all their stores nationwide immediately.

And, apparently the cannabis clubs there were determined to be non-essential and have to close during the shelter-in-place order. Non-essential, my ass.
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subego
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Mar 17, 2020, 08:51 PM
 
That’s essentially closing a pharmacy.
     
reader50
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Mar 17, 2020, 09:22 PM
 
I suppose business will pick up again for the unofficial farmers and sellers.
     
Brien
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Mar 17, 2020, 11:20 PM
 
I wonder just how many are going to lose their jobs. These actions to give us all money and waive late fees/payments/interest/etcetera makes me feel they expect it to be a LOT.
     
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Mar 18, 2020, 01:10 PM
 
Wearing an ill fitting N95 mask makes you both vulnerable and complacent. If it doesn’t fit properly, it’s worthless, but you get that warm feeling that you’re “doing something,” when you really aren’t.

CDC guidance on fit testing
OSHA standards for N95 fit testing with a video, too

Per a week-old Washington Post article, the CDC says standard surgical masks will have to do in a lot of healthcare settings because of the shortage of N95 masks.

On the flip side, it looks like the primary mechanism of disease transmission is by droplet.. (Side note: Al Jazeera has some of the best and least hyped reporting out there...). Which means that as long as you wash your hands, don’t touch stuff, and (if you simply must) wear a cheap, basic surgical mask, you should be fine. And can leave the N95 masks for healthcare professionals who have to be in very close quarters with very sick patients whose virus could become aerosolized by ventilator procedures, etc.

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Doc HM
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Mar 18, 2020, 02:27 PM
 
UK schools closed from Friday the college I teach at included. Switching to remote learning for next week so I get to spend the weekend leaning how to teach remote classes to whichever (none most likely) students decide to log in online.
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Doc HM
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Mar 18, 2020, 02:30 PM
 
It seems the Uk govt is currently stuck between a rock and a hard place. The bar my daughter works at is remaining open as their insurance won't cover voluntary closure and the government seems minded to stick with its guidance that only recommends not going out etc.
Hospitality experts are suggesting that a prolonged closure would mean close to 100% of the UKs independent coffee shops, bars and restaurants folding. On the other hand making the stay away official would result in the immediate bankruptcy of the entire UK insurance industry.

Starting to feel this could shape up to a seismic reshuffle of our entire current economic system.
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Mar 18, 2020, 05:25 PM
 
Yesterday Boris said that insurance companies would pay out without him enforcing business closures. I've also heard others say that most business insurance won't cover virus outbreaks after the SARS scare a few years back, which makes sense since they've done exactly that with flood damage more recently.
Previously I heard it suggested that Boris was refusing to order businesses to close precisely because he didn't want the insurance companies to pay out (I assumed that had more to do with his chums owning them though, given I believe they are among the biggest drivers of his Brexit plans with their eyes on the NHS). I don't really know what to think now. I just wish the one left leaning newspaper we have would be considerably more savage in holding this government to account. No-one else will do it.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 18, 2020, 10:34 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
It seems the Uk govt is currently stuck between a rock and a hard place. The bar my daughter works at is remaining open as their insurance won't cover voluntary closure and the government seems minded to stick with its guidance that only recommends not going out etc.
It's a tug-of-war between macro and micro economics. Every business wants to remain open and basically not die. People don't want to lose their jobs, especially when it is through no fault of their own. That's why IMHO governments have to be a safety net for people and especially smaller companies. Otherwise, things spiral out of control: people won't be able to make rent or pay for food, etc.

Nevertheless, IMHO it is the right thing to do.

Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
On the other hand making the stay away official would result in the immediate bankruptcy of the entire UK insurance industry.
I'd rather have insurance companies close than basically most small businesses. The insurance industry can also be bailed out if need be.
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Starting to feel this could shape up to a seismic reshuffle of our entire current economic system.
Absolutely.
Now things that have been strained for a long time will fail catastrophically. We will see the downside of the gig economy, the fact that young people haven't been able to save money. The shrinking of the middle class will become apparent, too.

While this is bad in the short term, it is the shock that may give us improvements for the better in the long term. The bailouts and stimulus packages will have to be paid for, which hopefully means tax increases for companies and equal taxation for earnings from ordinary income and investments. Etc.
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OreoCookie
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Mar 18, 2020, 10:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Yesterday Boris said that insurance companies would pay out without him enforcing business closures. I've also heard others say that most business insurance won't cover virus outbreaks after the SARS scare a few years back, which makes sense since they've done exactly that with flood damage more recently.
WTH is the UK government doing? They want to reach heard immunity by increasing the spread?!?
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 19, 2020, 08:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
WTH is the UK government doing? They want to reach heard immunity by increasing the spread?!?
The Jenny McCarthy Gambit.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 19, 2020, 10:29 AM
 
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Waragainstsleep
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Mar 19, 2020, 11:24 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
WTH is the UK government doing? They want to reach heard immunity by increasing the spread?!?
That was the plan until some boffins from Imperial College told Boris he'd kill a quarter million people that way. He promptly shit himself and changed the plan. We are still under equipped and not taking all available measures but its better than last week.

Meanwhile the EU scored a deal with China ti get a load of gear they don't need any more, so Brexit looking a good move as expected.
Like Trump we have screwed the pooch on testing too. We are sending ours out but apparently we are making tests here but the NHS hasn't tried to buy those for some reason. Cluster****.
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turtle777
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Mar 19, 2020, 01:24 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
WTH is the UK government doing? They want to reach heard immunity by increasing the spread?!?
It's so @#$%ing stupid.

It's not even clear how much immunity people build up. In order to get to herd immunity that act as proper firewalls, 70-80% of the population have to get it and gain some level of immunity.

If you try that on the first wave, you're going to have hundreds of thousands if not millions die.
Not because the CFR is that high, but because your medical system breaks.

-t
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 19, 2020, 01:57 PM
 
Was listening to an interview yesterday with a person who studies pandemics and the like, and she said her biggest concern was that (discounting Australia) coronavirus is only now beginning to tiptoe into the southern hemisphere. Once it starts to spread through there, multiple waves coming back to the northern hemisphere are all but a certainly. And, until there's a effective vaccination available worldwide, this cycle is just going to keep rolling on, which could mean years.
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Doc HM
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Mar 19, 2020, 02:27 PM
 
People have become used to being safe and governments pretty much fixing things. This is going to be a harsh reminder that we are only human and nature can be a tough bugger. Sometimes the absolute best that can be done is just to make things not as bad as they could be.
This might be the message that governments need to pivot to at some point.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 19, 2020, 05:34 PM
 
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Waragainstsleep
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Mar 20, 2020, 06:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
People have become used to being safe and governments pretty much fixing things. This is going to be a harsh reminder that we are only human and nature can be a tough bugger. Sometimes the absolute best that can be done is just to make things not as bad as they could be.
This might be the message that governments need to pivot to at some point.
Need to condense that into a catchy soundbite before Boris can think about pivoting to it.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 20, 2020, 12:48 PM
 
I was channel-surfing last night and landed on a live broadcast of the US Figure Skating Championships, from North Carolina. I was actually kind of shocked to see a live sporting event, complete with a quite large audience in the seats. I had to double-check several times to make sure it wasn't a repeat from last year.
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Mar 20, 2020, 03:03 PM
 
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Doc HM
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Mar 20, 2020, 03:09 PM
 
UK Govt announces all bars, gyms and restaurants to close at midnight tonight. Also announces paying 80% of PAYE workers wages up to a £2500 max.
Not so much news for the gig economy workers or the self employed as of yet.
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Waragainstsleep
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Mar 20, 2020, 05:57 PM
 
Yeah, I can always guarantee that whenever anything is handed out, I won't qualify for it.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 20, 2020, 07:16 PM
 
The current assistance plan being considered in the US penalizes people who are so poor they don't file income taxes. They'll get less assistance than someone making 50k/year.
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turtle777
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Mar 20, 2020, 08:17 PM
 
Originally Posted by Thorzdad View Post
The current assistance plan being considered in the US penalizes people who are so poor they don't file income taxes. They'll get less assistance than someone making 50k/year.
I don’t know if this is a nefarious plan, or just trying to be practical.

How do you hand out free money, but still ensuring people are not taking advantage or double dipping ?
Tying it to tax filings is a way to vet and control payouts.

-t
     
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Mar 21, 2020, 04:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I don’t know if this is a nefarious plan, or just trying to be practical.

How do you hand out free money, but still ensuring people are not taking advantage or double dipping ?
Tying it to tax filings is a way to vet and control payouts.

-t
And easy to do and announce, but proves you're not really paying attention to needs.
Like the UK Govts first instinct was to support corporate landlords to protect their income, completely missing the point that if they supported the tenants then the landlords would get supported automatically while their plan leaves the tenants still screwed.
These issue "may" get fixed over time but they betray where the administrations attention and priorities are.
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Mar 21, 2020, 08:15 AM
 
Theres a lot of people telling those of us who dislike Boris and co to give them credit because they're doing something so amazing and generous but I prefer to wait and see if they do what they say and do it well.
Until yesterday, they had announced £320B in loans and grants for businesses but you couldn't apply for them unless you'd been closed down and they hadn't closed anyone down. Its exactly what I'd expect from this government. Announce there's is money for everyone, then not let anyone take it. Except maybe their old school chums who don't need it.
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Mar 21, 2020, 07:02 PM
 
When our lockdown went into effect, someone on my block put the teaser for The Purge on full blast.
     
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Mar 21, 2020, 09:07 PM
 
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OreoCookie
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Mar 21, 2020, 10:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I don’t know if this is a nefarious plan, or just trying to be practical.

How do you hand out free money, but still ensuring people are not taking advantage or double dipping ?
Tying it to tax filings is a way to vet and control payouts.
Given the numbers, I think we should err on being uncomplicated and on what serves the majority. Not giving money to those who need it the most is borderline stupid and forces people to do things they normally wouldn't do.

Plus, it isn't free money. Currently, Europe and the US do not have functioning market economies. So you can't get a job no matter what. If you own a business, state and local governments may forbid you from operating as usual.
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turtle777
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Mar 21, 2020, 10:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
Given the numbers, I think we should err on being uncomplicated and on what serves the majority. Not giving money to those who need it the most is borderline stupid and forces people to do things they normally wouldn't do.

Plus, it isn't free money. Currently, Europe and the US do not have functioning market economies. So you can't get a job no matter what. If you own a business, state and local governments may forbid you from operating as usual.
I'm not sure you guys have thought this thru.

HOW exactly would you actually GIVE the money ?

The Federal Government can't just send checks - there is not centralized register with everyone's name and address. The IRS data is actually the closest.
You can't do direct deposit, because many don't have an account, and their information is not known.
In order to get halfway decent data (names, addresses), you would have to go to the States, and perhaps ask for voter registrations. I can hear the cries already - the Orange Man is coming to manipulate the upcoming election. And the States will probably drag their feet.

Please tell me a quick, unbureaucratic and practical way to get $1,200 to every American.

-t
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 22, 2020, 03:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
I'm not sure you guys have thought this thru.

HOW exactly would you actually GIVE the money ?
Currently, the plan is to give people who did not pay any taxes less money, so I’d use whatever way the US government is using now.
You could also think of handing out e. g. pre-paid credit cards if you bring some proof of residence (driver’s license, utility bills, etc.). It doesn’t seem like rocket science.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
The Federal Government can't just send checks - there is not centralized register with everyone's name and address. The IRS data is actually the closest.
The federal government can do this in collaboration with local governments.
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
In order to get halfway decent data (names, addresses), you would have to go to the States, and perhaps ask for voter registrations. I can hear the cries already - the Orange Man is coming to manipulate the upcoming election. And the States will probably drag their feet.
So your solution is to not bother trying?
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reader50
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Mar 22, 2020, 04:21 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
And the States will probably drag their feet.
I don't have insight on how to reach everyone. But local government revenue depends on local economic activity. As payments are intended to keep the economy alive through the lockdowns, I'd expect local / state governments to break records. Expediting every eligible person they can. They scramble for every other subsidy program offered.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 22, 2020, 04:56 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I don't have insight on how to reach everyone. But local government revenue depends on local economic activity. As payments are intended to keep the economy alive through the lockdowns, I'd expect local / state governments to break records. Expediting every eligible person they can. They scramble for every other subsidy program offered.
Also, many states’s finances are in a vert precarious state. So losing all business — even for a while — might snap the necks of many communities. And IMHO you can’t blame people. If you and everyone around you loses their jobs out of the blue, many people can’t make it very long. They won’t (because they can’t) pay rent. They probably won’t make car payments. The last thought on their minds is going to cafes and somesuch even when the situation normalizes. Landlords, in turn, won’t have any income, so perhaps they can’t make their mortgage payments. And so forth.

You are right, and I should have mentioned that, too. I don’t know how to best distribute the money. But I am sure by collaborating across layers of government, you can find a way. It’ll be a massive effort, but anything that involves means testing will make that task much more difficult. We should err on the side of generosity and speed, the vast majority of people will be honest.
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turtle777
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Mar 22, 2020, 09:54 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
So your solution is to not bother trying?
As always, you are accusing me of things that I’m not saying
Where did I say this ? Quote me !
Why can’t you just read and stick to the facts.

-t
     
reader50
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Mar 23, 2020, 02:46 PM
 
The Italy death toll is now approx double that of China. It should pass that mark today.

Italy: 6,077 deaths, with ~4K new cases per day.
China: 3,153 deaths, with ~0 new cases per day.

The difference - China locked down quickly after realizing it was serious. Italy took a casual approach, and waited until the hospitals were getting mobbed.

Here in California, we're under an emergency stay-home order. Nonessential businesses to close. As I write this, the nearest property-rental office is open. People inside not wearing masks. I can hear a tree-trimming crew working nearby, the neighbor is having new vinyl installed in their home. The flooring workers aren't wearing masks either. Over the weekend, the governor was pleading with spring break students to stop mobbing the beaches, and observe the stay-home order. Today they're closing beach parking lots to try and solve the problem. I expect police to start enforcing the lockdown before the week is out. Right now it's on the honor system, except for egregious examples.

All too many people think it's far away on the TV. And they needn't inconvenience their own lives or work, because they feel fine and it'll all blow over.

I fear for the hospitals by the end of this week. And the death rate starting next week. Too many people blew off math in school, and don't understand exponential growth curves. Or have trouble adjusting to the fact we're living in a different world than most of us were a month ago.
     
Doc HM
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Mar 23, 2020, 03:12 PM
 
Looks like we'll have some interesting control groups to look at data from after this is all over. Severe lock down vs more laid back vs apparently the Brazilian president is still describing the whole thing as a massive media hoax.
We are hearing that Trump is being whispered to to relax all US controls after 15 days on the grounds that the cure may be harsher than the disease so maybe you'll end up being an interesting (ie horrific) control groups as well.
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turtle777
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Mar 23, 2020, 03:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
The Italy death toll is now approx double that of China. It should pass that mark today.

Italy: 6,077 deaths, with ~4K new cases per day.
China: 3,153 deaths, with ~0 new cases per day.
Well, it's pretty clear that China is lying. 0 new cases is completely unbelievable.
Further, nobody knows how many deaths have been reported as "pneumonia-related", rather than COVID-19.
The only way to know for sure would be to compare deaths per capita this year to same period last year.
It would indicate the true extent.

Compare China to Hong Kong and Singapore, which implemented equally strict and swift measures.
They still have new cases, albeit, under control.

-t
     
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Mar 24, 2020, 08:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doc HM View Post
Looks like we'll have some interesting control groups to look at data from after this is all over. Severe lock down vs more laid back vs apparently the Brazilian president is still describing the whole thing as a massive media hoax.
We are hearing that Trump is being whispered to to relax all US controls after 15 days on the grounds that the cure may be harsher than the disease so maybe you'll end up being an interesting (ie horrific) control groups as well.
I gather Trump is pushing a dangerous/potentially deadly combo of drugs to treat the disease. I also saw the Lt Governor of Texas claim that people won't mind dying to protect the US economy. Then there's a load of churches refusing to follow isolation orders and continuing to host large gatherings and even handing out the bread and wine without gloves or other precautions.
This virus is going to expose a lot more problems in the US. I say expose, we know about them already but I get the sense that they don't.
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Thorzdad  (op)
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Mar 24, 2020, 11:09 AM
 
Japan and the IOC have announced the 2020 Olympics will be put off by at least a year.
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Waragainstsleep
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Mar 24, 2020, 12:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
Please tell me a quick, unbureaucratic and practical way to get $1,200 to every American.

-t
Just pay the whole $360T into my account and I'll do the rest. Honest.
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subego
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Mar 24, 2020, 06:31 PM
 
Talked to a doctor at Rush, which is one of the big hospital networks here.

What he said is their gribble specialists believe goggles and a regular surgical mask are enough protection. Said specialists have set network-wide policy to reflect this belief.

He also said it’s not airborne, and has a maximum lifespan outside a host (i.e., on a surface) of 4 days. I imagine this info comes from the same source, but he didn’t explicitly cite the hospital like he did about the masks.

I invite everyone to take or leave this as they see fit. Just passing along the data.
     
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Mar 24, 2020, 07:55 PM
 
Many are glomming onto this article (letter to the editor actually) relating the relative time the virus lasts on materials. It's by no means extensive, but somewhat reassuring to know that the cardboard box from costco can be left in the car overnight and be "safe."

https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.105...=featured_home
     
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Mar 24, 2020, 08:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I gather Trump is pushing a dangerous/potentially deadly combo of drugs to treat the disease. I also saw the Lt Governor of Texas claim that people won't mind dying to protect the US economy. Then there's a load of churches refusing to follow isolation orders and continuing to host large gatherings and even handing out the bread and wine without gloves or other precautions.
This virus is going to expose a lot more problems in the US. I say expose, we know about them already but I get the sense that they don't.
Actually, the Chloroquine angle appears to work. It's been used to treat SARS, and Novel Corona is a SARS family virus. The guy who died took chloroquine phosphate, an aquarium additive, NOT an approved pharmaceutical. Big difference. Moral: self-medication is dangerous.

Our Beloved Governor is an issue. He failed to lead in a useful way, leaving the various cities and counties to step up and order closures, "shelter in place" and so on. THEN he issued his executive orders to close schools and so on. Not a useful pol...

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 24, 2020, 08:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Actually, the Chloroquine angle appears to work. It's been used to treat SARS, and Novel Corona is a SARS family virus.
Laypersons should not push particular treatment. Pertinent medical information should only be distributed via a few trusted channels like the CDC. There is so much bs floating around, which the panicked or desperate may grapple onto.

AFAIK there are numerous ongoing studies at the moment, but none that are officially recognized as treatment. (Please correct me if I am wrong here.)
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reader50
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Mar 24, 2020, 08:58 PM
 
Guardian story on why the US is having trouble dealing with COVID-19. It includes the first confirmation I've seen that we rejected the WHO test kits for political reasons. Hence the 1-month delay in rolling out testing.
But the US response has been hobbled by the administration’s rejection of standard WHO testing kits, instead opting to develop its own, which turned out to be faulty. The Trump administration previously dismantled a federal team working on pandemics and cut back a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) group based in China tasked with tracking new threats such as Covid-19.
We're on course to pass Italy in case count, and probably China as well. It's so reassuring that we have the Great Leader to steer us through this crisis. Only a month ago, he assured everyone COVID-19 was all under control.
     
turtle777
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Mar 24, 2020, 10:22 PM
 
Ok, I want to revisit the "face masks don't work" debate.

Here's a study from the US National Institute of Health (NIH):

"Modeling the Effectiveness of Respiratory Protective Devices in Reducing Influenza Outbreak"

Abstract

Outbreaks of influenza represent an important health concern worldwide. In many cases, vaccines are only partially successful in reducing the infection rate, and respiratory protective devices (RPDs) are used as a complementary countermeasure. In devising a protection strategy against influenza for a given population, estimates of the level of protection afforded by different RPDs is valuable.

In this article, a risk assessment model previously developed in general form was used to estimate the effectiveness of different types of protective equipment in reducing the rate of infection in an influenza outbreak.

It was found that a 50% compliance in donning the device resulted in a significant (at least 50% prevalence and 20% cumulative incidence) reduction in risk for fitted and unfitted N95 respirators, high-filtration surgical masks, and both low-filtration and high-filtration pediatric masks.

An 80% compliance rate essentially eliminated the influenza outbreak. The results of the present study, as well as the application of the model to related influenza scenarios, are potentially useful to public health officials in decisions involving resource allocation or education strategies.
Obviously, we don't have a study yet how exactly this would work for SARS-COV-2, but in terms of transmissivity, SARS-COV-2 has a higher R0 than influenza, and therefore, wearing PPE should have an even better effect.

So, can we please shut up with "face masks don't work", and be honest: the US f#[email protected] up on preparedness. We should have had much bigger stockpiles, and the ability to manufacture ourselves. If most of the public would be wearing face masks, the spread would be significantly slowed down. At that point, available testing and tracing could lead to effectively combating the outbreak w/o the need of drastic social distancing measures.


Here's another data point: FT report (paywall, unfortunately) showed that measures in Hong Kong slowed down the spread of regular influenza this season to an early complete halt, something that hadn't happened in the last couple of years of influenza.
What was different ? SARS-COV-2 outbreak in China lead Hong Kong to dust off the original SARS playbook: people wearing face masks in public everywhere.
Has it worked for SARS-COV-2 ? You bet. To date, only 386 infections reported. THAT's how you beat the corona virus.

-t
     
turtle777
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Mar 24, 2020, 10:40 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Talked to a doctor at Rush, which is one of the big hospital networks here.

What he said is their gribble specialists believe goggles and a regular surgical mask are enough protection. Said specialists have set network-wide policy to reflect this belief.

He also said it’s not airborne, [...].
I think this should be taken with a grain of salt. Two reasons:

a) airborne vs. particle-spread is not a binary condition. It's a continuum.
The transmissivity of SARS-COV-2 in relation to particle size has not been studied enough to come to the conclusion that N95 respirators offer no additional benefits to surgical masks.

There have been plenty of anecdotal evidence of people catching COVID-19 w/o direct contact.
E.g. the Hong Kong case of people catching COVID-19 when it spread through pipes.
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/12/asia/...hnk/index.html
Airborne spread is the only possible explanation (see bottom of article.)

b) The establishment in the US is still out to shame people into not wearing masks. This has risen to tragic-comical levels:
KAISER PERMANENTE THREATENED TO FIRE NURSES TREATING COVID-19 PATIENTS FOR WEARING THEIR OWN MASKS
https://theintercept.com/2020/03/24/...s-coronavirus/

That's clear WTF territory.

Occam's razor - with all the data we have, what's more likely to be true:

a) face masks don't work for the general public, but magically work in health care settings
b) The US is woefully underprepared, doesn't have enough face masks, but doesn't want to admit it, so it downplays the effectiveness of masks.

Pick.

-t
     
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Mar 24, 2020, 10:45 PM
 
@turtle777
I find your singular focus on face masks quite weird. Nobody is arguing that in the right circumstances, face masks are an important tool to curb pandemics. Let's translate this to my backyard: what do you think will have a stronger net positive effect in Tokyo, forcing all commuters to wear masks or forcing companies to let people work from home?

The study you link to is just a simple mathematical model (given by equations~(1) in the article), and draws its conclusions based on just this model. I don't want to poo poo the study, but laypersons have to be very careful when interpreting outcomes of scientific studies. Especially those, that zoom in on only one aspect. It is akin to people talking about the health effects of (not) eating red meat, who completely forget that exercise will have a much, much, much larger (positive) effect on your health than whether or not you eat salami or beef jerky.

You are addressing things that we haven't argued and you are omitting things, which are of crucial importance. Wearing masks is not the only measure, China has implemented rigorous restrictions on the movement of persons, South Korea has an unparalleled testing regimen for a country its size, etc. Unless you are a healthcare worker, taking care of someone from a risk group or such, social distancing and frequent, careful hand washing are much, much more effective. Covid-19 is not an airborne pathogen, so staying at a distance is much more important. Furthermore, there is a shortage of protective equipment in hospitals, so any personal benefit has to be weighed against the detrimental effects due to the shortage.
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