Tuesday, September 07, 2021

Surgical Masks Do Reduce Spread of Covid-19

How about that? Though the protection offered is far from 100%, surgical masks do reduce the spread of Covid-19. That's according to a large-scale study led by researchers at Stanford Medicine and Yale University. 

This study enrolled 350,000 people in 600 Bangladesh villages. People in control villages were offered free masks, were encouraged to use them properly (covering nose and mouth), were reminded (not forced) to wear them when seen unmasked and community leaders also wore surgical masks. The result was an 11% drop in the overall infection rate and a 35% decrease in people over 60.

Interestingly, in these control villages, less than 50% of the population wore masks despite the encouragement. In the control villages, there was also a slight increase in social distancing. The study also found that surgical masks are more effective than cloth masks. 

You can find the data from this study here

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Of course masks are going to help stem the spread of many things, thus the reason they have been widely used in the medical field for decades. I think the issue is the mandate — the government saying one MUST do something. Offer guidance and make suggestions and allow people to decide for themselves. As I have posted before, I wear a mask despite my disdain for them. I don’t like the anti-mask brigade any more than I appreciate the pro-maskers. There comes a time, though, that masks need to be removed and allow people to make their own decisions.

I recall not too long ago Bethlehem mandating a no cell phone while driving policy. I don’t believe that lasted very long. Government can’t — and shouldn’t — regulate everything.

Anonymous said...

Stanford and Yale?!? FOXNews tells me they're part of the rAdiCaL sOciAliSt LefT wInG liBerAl eLiTe and they're out to destroy America! The results of that study don't agree with my opinion so it doesn't count.

My new Trump 2024 Snuggie Blanket came in the mail today! It was only $50!

Anonymous said...

Those of us who believe in such precautions as masking have every right to expect--yes, to require--others to reciprocate. There is no "right" to increase others' risk of infection.

And as the rednecks like to say, if you don't like it, then move to another country.

Anonymous said...

Bingo

Anonymous said...

10:50 am: You can’t be serious. It is an attitude such as yours that is so off-putting to others. I have no right to require others to live according to my standards and neither do you. As you state, masks are a precaution, not a cure all. By and large, people have complied with masks, yet the curve hasn’t flattened in 18 months. You are more than welcome to take the precautions you feel necessary, but requiring others to live according to your rules is nothing short of arrogance.

Anonymous said...

Even Biden is doing the mask around the chin thing lately. Everyone is over masks. They didn't seen to protect us against the November-December surge last year, when we were still in full mask compliance. That study is a little closer to home. But Thode can review the case explosion from that surge. Luckily, the surge subsided as quickly as it blew up.

Anonymous said...

So if disaggregated by age, what does this say specifically about the efficacy of masking school children? And what does it say versus any studies that may have found injurious effects when masking children? In other words, what is the rough Risk / Reward ratio?

Or are those forbidden questions?

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:59, You already have concluded masks are ineffective and therefore will look for an excuse to reject the largest and most accurate study to date on the relative effectiveness of surgical masks. They work. Moreover, when they are worn, people tend to do other things to reduce the risk of spread, like social distancing. Read the report instead of spewing your fake news.

Anonymous said...

Why is it the same people who are "So over COVID!" are also the same people who hate masks and won't get vaccinated? Probably skipped science classes where they covered Cause and Effect lessons.

You wear a seat belt, you don't smoke inside public buildings, get over yourself and put the mask on you delicate little panty waste.

Anonymous said...

@11:56. Where do you get by and large mask are being warn. My wife went to a target on Saturday. While she went in I sat in the coffee shop area an waited out side. These numbers are not fully accurate but they are what I counted.

About 80 people came 1nto Target 29 wore masks. The remaining showed no sign of wearing masks.

Anonymous said...

12:11

Fake news? Pertinent questions are fake news?

What is fake is claiming the accuracy of the study while discounting any questions. Masks' efficacy in each of the standard demographic bands is a perfectly reasonable question, but one not addressed by the study.

It is a question of great importance given that, at least in PA, children are the only demographic group longitudinally *forced* to wear a mask and yet, according to the CDC, are in the least danger from COVID.

These are not unreasonable questions. Risk / Reward is one of the very most fundamental considerations in any coercive government action. It is interesting that simply asking that would raise the ire of COVID fetishists.

Anonymous said...

I have been dismayed by the lack of information surrounding masks and what type actually are protective. It would seem anything made of fabric such as cotton would allow the moist particles to be wicked thru and not really a barrier. So much unknown. However, I also know, when you are up to your behind in alligators, it is hard to look out for the swamp. So I fault no one. Scientific knowledge is only as good as the latest research that has always been seen thru the glasses of politics and religion. Alas, that is how it is.

Anonymous said...

This study couldn't possibly disagree more with the one you cite. It's on some fringe site called national institutes of health or whatnot ....

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8395971/

We all saw what happened around here last Nov/Dec while everyone was wearing masks. I'm old enough to remember Fauci saying in early 2020 that masks weren't helpful and we should expect several variant outbreaks over several years. He was right, of course. And here we are.

Anonymous said...

Masks are like fake news--and boy do we have a lot of that.

Anonymous said...

"10:50 am: You can’t be serious. It is an attitude such as yours that is so off-putting to others. I have no right to require others to live according to my standards and neither do you. As you state, masks are a precaution, not a cure all. By and large, people have complied with masks, yet the curve hasn’t flattened in 18 months. You are more than welcome to take the precautions you feel necessary, but requiring others to live according to your rules is nothing short of arrogance."
September 7, 2021 at 11:56 AM\

10:50 here. Are you of the impression that those of us who prefer to err--if it's an error--on the side of safety give two you-know-whats for YOUR attitude? Of course masks are not a cure-all, which can't even be said of vaccine. The curve hasn't stayed flat because of (1) delta and (2) people like you. And "rules" are what we call the "rule of law".

Anonymous said...

@1:44 - Did you even read the link you sent? Or just quickly search for something that might agree with your opinion? "Laboratory based studies demonstrate that masks may offer benefit in reducing the spread of droplet based illnesses,..."

In this particular study of one county in Texas, measured and compared the month prior and month after the county mandated masks. This study has nothing to do with mask effectiveness, but the effect (or lack thereof) of a Government Mask Mandate. Of course one county and 2 months of public data is going to be inconclusive...

"Our analysis, like the previously discussed studies, is a natural difference-in-differences experiment, which may be considered a lower level of evidence within evidence-based medicine."

"Lastly, given that we used only publicly available data and did not have patient-level data including transfer status or comorbidities, it is not possible to perform substratified analysis regarding any demographic or medical specifics to determine whether the mask order had meaningful effects on one or more subgroups."

Most of us agree here that government should not have to require citizens to wear masks, but sadly too many people think they know more than medical professionals and refuse to wear them for the common good.

Anonymous said...

If you are someone who chose to get the Moderna or Pfizer shots, AND you wear a mask, why are you so concerned about those who are making a different choice than you did? I can’t understand your fear. You are fully protected. Or, is it, you are not so sure? Don’t bring-up the kids. They are most likely to get through an infection, and really, the PARENTS want to make their own decisions about their health.

Anonymous said...

The best the FDA can say about paper masks is that they *may* help: https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/face-masks-including-surgical-masks-and-respirators-covid-19#:~:text=A%3A%20Masks%20may%20help,from%20spreading%20the%20virus.

This is an M40 Field Protective Mask: https://gasmaskandrespirator.fandom.com/wiki/M40. They can be bought surplus for well under $100. They provide the best protection against viruses such as COVID that can be had outside of an operating room. If you're immunodeficient and thus at risk, buy and wear one. If you're a COVID fetishist, buy and wear one, shut up, and stop pestering everyone else.

Given the tiny COVID risk faced by most of the population, this is really very simple.

Anonymous said...

I think Fauci was saying that masks are a perfect solution, and they're not. But it's pretty clear that he supports them. The mask opponents will seize on whatever they can to deny the obvious, which is that masks help. They're also cheap and easy. They sure beat death and disease!

Anonymous said...

Today the nine hundred pages of facci gain of function was released, and guess what facci lied to congress. America's unchecked grant process crated the China virus via facci!

Anonymous said...

Who is this "facci" of whom you reference multiple times? Is English your second, or perhaps third, language?

Anonymous said...

Hey 5:09 - change the channel and get to an AA meeting as soon as you can.

Anonymous said...

1.44
from the study
"They reported a significantly lower incidence of COVID-19 in Hong Kong than 8 other countries, including the United States (P < 0.001).24 They attributed this finding to public mask wear within Hong Kong, which they reported to be 95.7% to 97.2%
And in Texas
"We have several limitations to our study that we must acknowledge. First, we are only assessing the effect of the mask order itself. In other words, we are not able to assess the actual mask use because we do not have data on adherence to the mask order."
Gee Texas folks not following a mask mandate?
Yup pretty much a good bet.
So the study confirms that mask wearing works when people wear them.

Anonymous said...

In response to 10:50 am, I know your type. You are right and everyone else is wrong. A differing opinion is a threat. I don’t cower to people like your, rather I have great pity, especially when you choose to negate any point you are trying to make by calling people who disagree “rednecks.”

Anonymous said...

4.06
try
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fmore%2Fmasking-science-sars-cov2.html
"A study of an outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an environment notable for congregate living quarters and close working environments, found that use of face coverings on-board was associated with a 70% reduced risk."
but forget the morality of infecting people by not wearing a mask look at cost
"An economic analysis using U.S. data found that, given these effects, increasing universal masking by 15% could prevent the need for lockdowns and reduce associated losses of up to $1 trillion or about 5% of gross domestic product."

Bernie O'Hare said...

"If you are someone who chose to get the Moderna or Pfizer shots, AND you wear a mask, why are you so concerned about those who are making a different choice than you did? "

Because that different choice affects the health of those who've been vaccinated and children who are ineligible for the emergency vaccine. Basically, you're being selfish and are placing your own convenience above the health of children.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I recall not too long ago Bethlehem mandating a no cell phone while driving policy. I don’t believe that lasted very long. Government can’t — and shouldn’t — regulate everything."

That did notr last long bc the state, not Bethlehem, regulates the Vehicle Code. And incidentally, the state is currently considering a law that will ban texting while driving.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"In response to 10:50 am, I know your type. You are right and everyone else is wrong. A differing opinion is a threat. I don’t cower to people like your,"

Actually, you are the same.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"The best the FDA can say about paper masks is that they *may* help: "

That was prior to newer studies showing they do help.

Anonymous said...

Since when is it optional to break a law? When we pass laws, we're saying "This is what we want." There's nothing inherently arrogant about it. There are lots of laws that I like, and I expect them to be followed.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this "facci" of whom you reference multiple times? Is English your second, or perhaps third, language?

September 7, 2021 at 5:51 PM

Love the racists posts. Good reading.

Anonymous said...

That’s just plain ole hogwash. The government absolutely should have the power to mandate for the simple reason that people are too stupid and can’t separate a public health crisis from politics. Trumpers are now being influenced by what ever the popular opinion is on FOX, even if it goes against settled science like mask wearing and social distancing. Because you know what happens when the government doesn’t interfere? They get sued for not doing enough. Grow up and get over yourself, stop being so selfish and don’t let FOX manipulate you into thinking everything it’s a “freedom” issue because it’s not.

craker said...

Hey Bernie! What happened to my comment about underwear stopping a fart?

Doc Rock said...

The cited paper has not been peer-reviewed. It is only a "working paper" that has not been reviewed, much less published by any reputable journal.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes, it is unpublished at this point, but will be. It has been released early so that communities can encourage residents to wear masks. The goal here is to stop the pandemic based on the best information available.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Hey Bernie! What happened to my comment about underwear stopping a fart?"

Your comment was made on another thread and is still there.

Anonymous said...

@7:07

Well, if masks work so great, why does anyone but the at-risk need to wear them?

One could ask the same question of the VAX.

If everyone at any significant risk wore an N-95 or better, protecting themselves regardless of the choices of others, and COVID fetishists left everyone else alone, things would be working much better.

There's very little sense in COVID fetishists saying everyone must wear a mask that barely works rather than suggesting that the immunodeficient wear one that actually does.

Anonymous said...

What is all the worry about Bernie??? When the COs went in front of council you called them cry babies and that the threat is over!!! Now its OMG put a mask on or we all die. But when someone else was put in a situation where they were FORCED to be around someone who could have it you said they were crying... But now everyone mask up, musikfest is a super spreader ... you bragged because Lamont and chuck said the jail was covid free for a couple days.... check it lately????

Bernie O'Hare said...

Hey CO, I never called you a crybaby. You are putting words in my mouth. What I said is that it is ridiculous to clamor for hazard pay when there are no cases at the jail and when you refuse to be vaccinated despite being offered $500. I added that the public, your real boss, would take a dim view of your demands.

Also, thanks to Delta and the refusal of people like you to get a vaccine, we have a surge. Congratulations.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I do not post disinformation