12 thoughts on “Masks Worked”

  1. Good title – masking up for covid certainly served it’s purpose – but that purpose was not medically related in any form.

  2. There were about three Alpha outbreaks with more people getting COVID in the latter rather than earlier outbreaks. Something prevented the later susceptibles from getting it during the earlier outbreaks. I’d chalk that up to social distancing and masks (as supported by the concomitant dramatic decrease in flu).

    The problem is that viruses are nothing if not persistent. So, even if earlier interventions work, it just leaves those who didn’t get it the first time around susceptible to getting it at some point later. Flattening the curve worked as evidenced by multiple outbreaks rather than just one huge outbreak. But unfortunately, buying time didn’t fully get us to the vaccine solution because the vaccine wasn’t that good and because the virus kept mutating. So it was a hard battle to win via conventional public health approaches. And yes, like as with medications, there are side effects to public health interventions. But with 1,000,000+ COVID deaths in the United States (as supported by the ICU buildouts & our personally knowing people who died), there’s a lot of room for standard public health interventions.

    1. One problem with invoking the dramatic drop in flu cases is that nobody was testing for it at the time. There were dramatic financial incentives to find covid, none for flu.

    1. Snicker. Rule of thumb, of you can smell cigarette smoke through your mask it isn’t doing much to protect you against an airborne virus. Coronavirus is about the biggest virus size wise and slightly smaller than a smoke particle. Zika virus is minuscule in comparison. Some viruses hitch rides on moisture particles and those are typically big enough to be blocked by surgical masks from what I’ve read. There’s a good reason why BSL4 containment requires a positive pressure suit.

      1. Another item that fails to get much mention is viral loading matters. The higher the concentration the greater the risk. You do not put the sick in confined spaces with the healthy.

      2. of you can smell cigarette smoke through your mask it isn’t doing much to protect you against an airborne virus

        As has been noted before, masks weren’t intended to protect you from covid, but protect other people from your covid. And it doesn’t have to be perfect at that task in order to work well.

        1. And I’m sure that was well understood by the general population. Most people I know who understand masks opted for the N95 but not because they are trying to block their covid germs.

          The medical establishment is still masking and probably will from now on. Pre pandemic it was common practice only at my dentist. Or in the OR.

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