[ExI] the science might be wrong

Henry Rivera hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu
Sat Jan 23 00:57:48 UTC 2021

I’m with Dave Sill on this one. Burden is minuscule, potential benefits huge. I don’t think it’s all or nothing with mask effectiveness. It’s a matter of degree. A mask that has some gap may not be as effective as a sealed, fitted N95, but it’s better than nothing—depending on other factors like proximity, ventilation/air exchange. 

Here’s a new study 


And a Commentary from The Lancet  
Face masks help control transmission of COVID-19


Six studies are referenced. 

More support: 

Has anyone seen these and their variants?

I think they have some face validity (no pun intended), dare I say show common sense? Again, I’m thinking probabilities here. Would you take your chances in a small room for 15 mins with someone who was covid + if you and them were unmasked if you had the option of one or both of you in a mask? Masks may not be that great, but I’d take the option of one or both of us in a mask because I know a physical barrier intercepting droplets has to stop some of the potential contaminants even if some get around it. But that could still equate to reduced risk of infection relative to if there was no barrier. That plus good physical distance could make the difference between getting infected and not. Maybe using covid in that example is inadequate. Too many people are not really scared of covid. What if it was smallpox which has a 30% fatality rate? Would you go unmasked saying your odds of were the same as if you were both masked since masks are useless?

I read that Singapore as a society learned from SARS and H1N1 to mask early in the covid-19 spread and was spared significantly. They also has adequate supplies on hand: On January 20, Taiwan’s equivalent of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that it had “44 million surgical masks, 1.9 million N95 masks, and 1,100 negative pressure isolation rooms” ready to go, according to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association. Masks became National mandate there on April 14 “when stepping out of the house with some exceptions.” They delivered masks to all their citizens prior to the announcement. Singapore doesn’t mess around when it comes to enforcement of laws:
“Individuals who are caught refusing to wear a mask will be fined S$300 on their first offence, while those who flout the rule a second time will be fined S$1,000. Egregious cases will be prosecuted in court... Foreign residents caught breaching these rules might have their work passes or permanent resident status revoked.”

They also locked down much of society and promoted distancing, with enforcement: “According to the Ministry of Health, nearly 3,000 enforcement officers and ambassadors from more than 30 agencies have been deployed daily to public spaces in HDB estates across the island, to ensure that safe distancing measures are kept to.

They contained it pretty well going by this 

Not perfect but enviable compared to the US. How much of that can be attributed to masks? I don’t know of course. But the cost of not masking is high if masks can make a difference, so why chance it.


> On Jan 22, 2021, at 3:21 PM, spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> …> On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat
> Subject: Re: [ExI] the science might be wrong
> >>…  I am a machine life form- spike   
> >…- and a rare one too - Made In America  bill w
> Ah yes, a kindhearted comment by a fellow driver of American made cars.  We both think highly of our American-made products.
> But there is more.  I still think I might have caught an early case of covid.  I have not been tested for antibodies and refuse to go to the hospital to find out: too dangerous.  So I will assign it about a 30% possibility, but whatever was that condition which kept me sick for nearly two months was unlike anything I have ever had before.
> There were long term effects such as change of personality.  I used to be such a turd bird.  It is the opposite of what happened to Alice Cooper: now it’s more Mister Nice Guy. 
> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KN6ngThqMEs
> I open doors for little old ladies, unlike Cooper who started out doing that and stopped when he suffered abuse which caused him cynicism, as described in the song.  With me, it’s more Mister Clean, my dog stopped biting me, the cat stopped clawing my eyes, the works.  I fear it is a lasting impact of that virus: a personality change caused all this.
> I will grant that the little old ladies I help don’t look nearly as old to me as they once did.  But I digress.
> spike
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