COVID Masks … Yes or No

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Let me say this upfront — I am most definitely an advocate of mask wearing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Having said that, I want to share an article I recently came across that questions the efficacy of masks. In the article discussion, there was a reference to a study done by a medical student and two medical school professors at the Cato Institute.* In this study, the authors asked … 

So, are masking requirements just “public health theater,” providing baseless assurance to a fearful public? Or has new evidence emerged to confirm the belief that masks—or, at least, the cloth masks that are commonly used—reduce respiratory virus transmission?

I think it might be worth your time to read both the article (The Ambiguous Science on Masks), as well as the referenced study: How Effective Are Cloth Face Masks? (The latter includes “a summary of the scientific literature on the effectiveness of masking, both against respiratory infection generally and against COVID-19.“) 

PLEASE NOTE: This post is not a vote for or against wearing masks by the general public to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The information is simply being shared as something to think about … and debate, if you so desire.

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*Via MediaBiasFactCheck.com — The Cato Institute is an American libertarian think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C. It was founded as the Charles Koch Foundation in 1974 by Ed Crane, Murray Rothbard, and Charles Koch. In July 1976, the name was changed to the Cato Institute. 

How Safe Are You?

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Unfortunately, I had to make a second trip to the hospital this past week — a reoccurrence (sort of) of the problem I dealt with back in June. This time there were signs of infection so the recoup time has been a bit longer. Nevertheless, the old body is slowly bouncing back and I should be back to full-tilt very soon.

Of course then I will –once AGAIN!– have to deal with the financial pains. 😖

Anyway, the message of this post is not about me, but rather something I wonder how many others have thought about.

As has been covered ad nauseum in the news, as well as on the internet, many refuse to wear masks or get vaccinated against COVID-19. OK. I’m not going to rehash the pros and cons … or offer my input on the degree of stupidity involved.

Rather, I’d like to comment on something that I don’t think many have considered. I know I didn’t.

It’s been pointed out that many healthcare providers –including hospital workers– have been on the “Anti” bandwagon. Yes, they’re required to wear masks during their working hours, but as a hospital inpatient, how does one know if the people who are tending to your needs have taken that extra precautionary step and been vaccinated? In other words, are you truly safe as they push needles, take readings, help you down the hallway to the “loo,” etc? 

I’m fully vaccinated and I do have trust in the viability of this action. However, in a hospital situation with “Anti” folks looking after you — and where one’s overall health is/may be compromised — do the chances of a breakthrough infection increase? Certainly, the hospital environment is believed to be comparatively “risk free,” but considering it is the people who are tending to your needs, how safe are you … really?

Reblog: An Open Letter to Anti-Vaxxers

Yes, it’s been said before, but apparently it needs to be said again. And again. And again!

Uncommon Sense

As background, there has been for over a year now a global pandemic causing a considerable number of “extra deaths” and even more hospitalizations, discomfort, and pain. The number of total COVID-19 deaths is about 3 million or about 7 million depending on whose numbers you are using. Almost a million of those are in the US. (The flu typically kills 60,000 people or so in the US each flu seasons, so this disease has the flu beat all to hell and gone.)

In any case, no matter where this disease came from, it has caused many deaths and apparently also has inflicted long term symptoms upon a large number of people (my brother-in-law being one of them).

Under political pressure and by providing governmental funding, vaccines were developed in record time that have been proved somewhat effective. They significantly reduce the number of people getting the disease at all…

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The Spread of COVID-19

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Unless you’ve really hard-headed, it’s pretty difficult to argue with these statistics and visual examples.

How Coronavirus Spreads Through a Population

The illustrations pinpoint the R0 factor (basic reproduction number), and indicate how many new cases one infected person generates. There are also examples on how the virus compares with other diseases (you may be surprised).