The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
 TeasersRussian Reaction Blog
Efficacy of Masks, Confirmed
🔊 Listen RSS
Email This Page to Someone

 Remember My Information


Bookmark Toggle AllToCAdd to LibraryRemove from Library • BShow CommentNext New CommentNext New ReplyRead More
ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
These buttons register your public Agreement, Disagreement, Thanks, LOL, or Troll with the selected comment. They are ONLY available to recent, frequent commenters who have saved their Name+Email using the 'Remember My Information' checkbox, and may also ONLY be used three times during any eight hour period.
Ignore Commenter Follow Commenter
Search Text Case Sensitive  Exact Words  Include Comments
List of Bookmarks

Huge meta-study (n=172) concludes chance of transmission falls from 17.4% to 3.1% when wearing face masks:

Physical distancing was also very important. Eye protection, less so.

Chu, Derek K., Elie A. Akl, Stephanie Duda, Karla Solo, Sally Yaacoub, Holger J. Schünemann, and COVID-19 Systematic Urgent Review Group Effort (SURGE) study authors. 2020. “Physical Distancing, Face Masks, and Eye Protection to Prevent Person-to-Person Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.The Lancet, June.


Some other interesting results from a study on the Plague Marines aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt:

Looks like washing hands more than normal made no difference.

As Lyman Stone notes, what is especially striking is that this refers to individual protection, not community based protection (mask compliance was ~75% but entirely after the infection had become widespread).

Payne, Daniel C. 2020. “SARS-CoV-2 Infections and Serologic Responses from a Sample of U.S. Navy Service Members — USS Theodore Roosevelt, April 2020.MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 69.


I know I am beating a dead horse, having already written a couple of effortposts on this topic. Nonetheless, always nice to have priors confirmed, even if most people have already made up their minds.

• Category: Science • Tags: Corona, Epidemiology 
Hide 15 CommentsLeave a Comment
Commenters to FollowEndorsed Only
Trim Comments?
  1. Znzn says:

    What is the cost to benefit ratio in buying hospital grade ppe, or a bsl3 suit?

  2. Delta G says:

    Another Lancet Article. How long till the Retraction?

    When I wrote Scientific/Medical articles of my research The Lancet was viewed as one of the poorest quality Journals in which to publish your work. Glad to see it has continued in that vein.

    • Replies: @AnonFromTN
  3. Please keep off topic posts to the current Open Thread.

    If you are new to my work, start here.

  4. Efficacy of Masks, Confirmed

    Amazing sensation: 2×2=4. Who could have thought?

  5. @Delta G

    I don’t know about the Lancet (never did purely medical research), but both Science and Nature can merge into one Journal of Irreproducible Results.

    Impact is the worst enemy of quality: when 40 papers next year cite you and say that the results are groundbreaking, you get an impact of 40. When 40 papers next year cite you and say that your paper is complete BS, you get an impact of 40. Case closed.

  6. count me in when it comes for rooting for masks. However it is interesting that one of the most important Corona experts in Germany – Prof. Streeck – says in an interview published today that he is rather critical of masks.

    • Replies: @Astuteobservor II
  7. Some stickler points:

    1. The effect of extra hand-washing turns on the baseline level, which is high already for hygienic people and should be extra-high among sailors.

    2. Unless they have corrected for it, we should expect serious confounding between mask wearing, physical distancing, and hermitism. That is to say, someone who wears a mask is also more likely to practice physical distancing than someone who isn’t, making it hard to tell cause from effect.

    • Replies: @Not Only Wrathful
  8. @Swedish Family

    2. Unless they have corrected for it, we should expect serious confounding between mask wearing, physical distancing, and hermitism. That is to say, someone who wears a mask is also more likely to practice physical distancing than someone who isn’t, making it hard to tell cause from effect.

    Yes, the relationship may have been found because masks appeal to more cautious people, even while they may actually discourage caution.

    Some handgun manufacturers have noticed this effect as regards the safety catch. Cautious people use it better, but its existence can make everyone less cautious. They therefore don’t implement one.

  9. Patricus says:

    I visited a large hospital in Virginia where my 90 year old mother met her heart doctor for a routine appointment. We wore our symbolic masks. Most employees in the hospital had masks that were clearly ineffective. One could see the mask expand, and release expelled breath at the sides and top and bottom, as they exhaled. About 20% had no masks. The heart doctor had a mask that appeared plastered to his face. I suppose this was the real thing in his case. He was the only one. Can’t help being a little skeptical about these masks, or that they provide any meaningful protection.

  10. @Erik Sieven

    Did he say why? US govt’s deadly aversion to masks stems from the fear that the public usage will take away the masks from doctors.

    What is this prof’s excuse?

    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
  11. @Astuteobservor II

    his point is that people don’t use them properly, the get dirty and potentially infectious and people wear them to long without cleaning.

  12. @Erik Sieven

    So essentially he thinks the public is too stupid for masks. Why not broadcast the proper usage through all media outlets? Instead of taking away such an easy tool to fight the virus?

    • Replies: @Erik Sieven
  13. Passer by says:
    @Erik Sieven

    In Taiwan they gave instructions on TV for the population how to disinfect surgical masks. In China instructions were given too.

  14. @Astuteobservor II

    I don´t understand this, too…

Current Commenter

Leave a Reply - Anon comments are not allowed. If you are new to my work, *start here*. If you liked this post, and want me to produce more such content, consider *donating*.

 Remember My InformationWhy?
 Email Replies to my Comment
Submitted comments have been licensed to The Unz Review and may be republished elsewhere at the sole discretion of the latter
Subscribe to This Comment Thread via RSS Subscribe to All Anatoly Karlin Comments via RSS