[ExI] the science might be wrong

Stathis Papaioannou stathisp at gmail.com
Sat Jan 23 08:38:57 UTC 2021

On Sat, 23 Jan 2021 at 18:19, Henry Rivera via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Sorry about those image sizes. They fit my screen when composing the
> email, and I was expecting to get prompted by my client about what size to
> make them before sending, but it didn't happen for some reason.
> Are people really following the mask mandates where you live in the US?
> We're pretty good about such things in Massachusetts, same for vaccination
> willingness, highest in the country I think. But even here I see many
> younger adults acting fearless or oppositional about the whole thing.
> Americans are so independent and self-oriented relatively speaking. We look
> for and relish in opportunities to assert ourselves and our agency.
> Lockdowns are similarly ignored. Haven't you had underground events broken
> up in your area, surveillance camera footage shown on the news of tons of
> people fleeing a warehouse or bar? I see such things happening in England
> too. I'm guessing Singapore didn't have those problems of citizens ignoring
> the mandates. If they did, it must have been to a lesser degree. Remember,
> this is the place where the fine for littering is
> First offense: Fine up to $2,000
> *On second conviction: *Fine up to $4,000
> *Third or subsequent conviction: *Fine up to $10,000
> Breaking some laws in Singapore can come with mandatory cane beatings.
> So maybe it's a matter of compliance with mandates. In the US, enforcing
> businesses to be closed is happening/has happened. But efforts to stop
> close contact and gatherings are failing in many places. Thus in those
> places at least, I'm afraid counting the number of cases following these
> mask mandates that get ignored won't be indicative of the impact of wearing
> a mask on the spread of covid. And as others have noted, even some
> compliant people won't wear them right or use ones made from adequate
> material.
> Why do doctors and dentists wear masks if they are useless? A barrier can
> do something to some degree, no? I mean maybe not with covid-19 in
> particular within a certain proximity for example. I did read about a case
> in a prison where there was rapid spread among a group despite appropriate
> PPE on the people infected. But how close were they to each other, how long
> were they exposed to each other, how big was the room, what was the air
> exchange rate in that location? Those things could all play a role in
> determining the probability estimate for getting infected. If all those
> variables were doubled, like they were twice as far apart in twice as big a
> room etc., would their risk drop in half? We don't have data on that.
> Another thing, I am skeptical of the claims that lockdowns cost x number
> of lives. Those estimates make assumptions and have flaws. All the time I
> hear counts of death by covid are flawed and overestimates. I suspect that
> is true to some degree, but it also seems to me that counts of death by
> lockdown can't have validity or are probabilistic or hypothetical. Here's
> something I found on this:
> *"The Washington Examiner* also claims that lockdowns are partly
> responsible for excess deaths observed in 2020 not directly attributed to
> COVID-19. However, this claim is unsupported by scientific evidence.
> Instead, both the *JAMA* and CDC studies list several possible
> explanations for these excess deaths, notably “unrecognized or undocumented
> infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.” The
> *JAMA*study also highlights “disruptions in health care access or
> utilization” as another possible explanation for these excess deaths,
> however it does not attribute disruption in healthcare access to lockdowns,
> as the *Washington Examiner* article does." (
> https://www.newswise.com/factcheck/are-a-third-of-the-excess-deaths-this-year-not-linked-to-covid-19-yes-are-they-directly-linked-to-the-lockdown-it-s-complicated/?article_id=740863&fc=politics_channel
> )
> Have a good weekend,
> -Henry
As Spike has admitted, the true objection is ideological: even if masks
could be shown to save lives, the benefits of forcing people to wear them
would not outweigh the cost to personal liberty for those who subscribe to
that particular way of thinking.

> --
Stathis Papaioannou
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