November 27, 2020 | By Barry Shaw | The View from Israel |
“Around the world there is a manic mask mandate on steroids. But do masks stop the spread of Covid?
The answer depends on who you ask. That’s science for you. Its precociously contrarian at a time you want definitive answers.
If you had followed the American experts, from CDC to Fauci, you would have seen a 180-degree swing on statements about masks. And yet, despite the bold certainty of both that masks prevent the spread of Covid, there are the results of studies that cast doubt even on that certainty.
A Danish mask study, a 4,800-person randomized trial that took place in the spring and early summer, showed there was little statistical difference in infection rates between a group that wore masks and another group that didn’t.
42 of 2,393 people (1.8%) in the mask group and 53 of 2,470 (2.1%) in the no-mask group. The difference was not statistically significant.
Dr. Christine Laine, editor in chief of the Annals of Internal Medicine, said, Masks “are not a magic bullet,” she said. “There are people who say, ‘I’m fine, I’m wearing a mask.’ They need to realize they are not invulnerable to infection.”
A study by the Institute of Medical Science at Tokyo University published on 21 October, 2020, found that medical masks (surgical and even N95 masks) could not completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols, even when sealed.
N95 respirators and surgical masks prevent pathogens from infecting others, but the jury is out on the effectiveness of the flimsy cotton masks worn by most of the public.
There is an assumption that cloth masks offer at least some protection but evidence of the benefit from cloth masks is scarce.”