JoNova

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Good news: masks, means more asymptomatic infections and less severe ones

It appears people who wear masks are much less likely to get severe infections

This will make some heads spin.

Child Wearing a a Mask. Author vperemen.com

Child Wearing a a Mask. Author vperemen.com

Not only do masks reduce the odds of getting infected, but if people do get infected while wearing a mask — the severity of Covid is so much milder. With masks on, the odds of getting an asymptomatic infection improve. Masks don’t stop all viral particles but they stop the large droplet clusters, and thus reduce the viral load. If asymptomatic people get some protection (and we still don’t know for sure) it could solve so much.

Consider the two cruise ships where the asymptomatic rate varied from 18 to 81%:

One used masks and one didn’t:

In February, one of the first outbreaks of COVID-19 outside of China occurred on the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Yokohama, Japan. Of the 634 people on board who tested positive, about 18 percent of infections were asymptomatic. In March, an Argentinian cruise ship found itself in a similar predicament, but of the 128 people on board who eventually tested positive, 81 percent were asymptomatic–   Ghandi et al.

Nations that use masks have lower death rates:

In countries where mask wearing was already commonplace, such as Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and Singapore, and in countries where mask wearing was quickly embraced, such as the Czech Republic, rates of severe illness and death have remained comparatively low. — Nina Bai, UCSF

In food plants up to 95% got an asymptomatic infection:

In two recent outbreaks in U.S. food-processing plants, where all workers were issued masks each day and were required to wear them, the proportion of asymptomatic infections among the more than 500 people who became infected was 95%, with only 5% in each outbreak experiencing mild-to-moderate symptoms.3

Ghandi et al.

coronavirus, SARS Cov-2

Image: by Felipe Esquivel Reed

The initial dose of virus appears to be likely to be a key driver of severity. Those who get a small dose to start with, get extra hours to get their immune system activated. Those who breathe in a large dose, perhaps don’t have time to react before they are overwhelmed.

The idea of viral load being important has been around for a long time. Before vaccines, people would sometimes try to protect themselves from smallpox by inoculating themselves with tiny doses of the real deal. It was called Variolation, and must have been a dangerous game to play. (And we think we are hard done by).

There is at least a new study on Covid  (Pujadas et al ) which shows that viral load at diagnosis is an independent predictor of mortality. Though this doesn’t tell us necessarily about viral loads at the time of infection.

Mask wearing explains some of the paradoxes of Covid-19. All around the world, there are big variations of both the death rates and the estimates of how many people are asymptomatic.  Case Fatality rates range from 2% to 14%, and countries which wear masks or mandated masks tend to have a lower death rate. There are hints that the first wave iun some places was much more deadly than the second, but little evidence that this was due to mutations. Could it be due to mask wearing (as well as Vitamin D in summer, and a younger demographic)?

There are not many studies in humans, because of ethical questions but there are animal studies:

study published in May by scientists at Public Health England’s National Infection Service at Porton Down, Salisbury, gave ferrets varying doses of Sars-Cov-2 and found a clear difference in outcomes.

Animals given high and medium doses contracted the virus and suffered many of the same ailments as humans. But a low dose “appeared to result in infection of only one ferret”. It also escaped the worst effects of the disease, with no scarring of its lungs or fatigue reported. — Paul Nuki, The Telegraph.

And we know it matters for the Flu:

 A major 2010 study of influenza A concluded that there was a clear relationship between the infectious dose of that virus and patient outcomes. ….  one retrospective study of the 1918 Spanish Flu finds the much higher fatalities seen in its second and third waves can be explained entirely by people being exposed to a larger infectious dose rather than a mutation in the virus, as has previously been assumed.

– Paul Nuki, The Telegraph.

In 2015, researchers tested this concept in human volunteers using a nonlethal flu virus and found the same result. The higher the flu virus dose given to the volunteers, the sicker they became.

Monica Ghandi, Inverse.com

At this point we need to know whether low dose exposure and an asymptomatic infection also helps us avoid the silent heart damage and other potentially longer term problems. Then we need to know whether an asymptomatic infection gives long term protection, or even a reduction in symptoms the next time around.

Masks are so cheap compared to all the other options. It seems crazy not to use them while we wait to get past the Medical Swamp and get cheaper treatments approved. The more masks we use, the less excuse there is for all the other pandemic control measures.

h/t to useful tips and discussion over the months from Slithers,  Rudi K, Meglort, Bulldust, Heber Rizzo, TdeF, cedarhill, A C Osborn, Sunni Bakchat, Orson, DOC, Konrad, Annie, ren, PTR, bobl, Stephen Wilde, David A, Rud Istvan.

Other posts on masks:

REFERENCES

MedCram Video

Ghandi et al (2020) Masks Do More Than Protect Others During COVID-19: Reducing the Inoculum of SARS-CoV-2 to Protect the Wearer, Journal of General Internal Medicine.  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-06067-8

Pujadas E, Chaudhry F, McBride R, et al. SARS-CoV-2 viral load predicts COVID-19 mortality. Lancet Respir Med 2020; published online Aug 6. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2213-2600(20)30354-4

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Rating: 8.0/10 (60 votes cast)
Good news: masks, means more asymptomatic infections and less severe ones, 8.0 out of 10 based on 60 ratings

260 comments to Good news: masks, means more asymptomatic infections and less severe ones

  • #
    Just Thinkin'

    Anymore news like this about masks
    and they’ll be BANNED in Victoriastan,
    Queensland and Western Australia..

    130

    • #
      GD

      This doctor shows how ineffective masks are.

      151

      • #
        Geoffrey Williams

        GD, you believe what you want . .
        GeoffW

        217

      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Well, it is a good demonstration of how ineffective they are.

        131

        • #
          Peter C

          Well, it is a good demonstration of how ineffective they are.

          There is so much conflicting information about Covid19 and masks. If they do work, how do they work?

          Clearly the masks did not stop the vaping smoke from escaping from the wearer. The particle size of the virus (and smoke) is said to be tiny compared to the mesh size of masks. So we would expect aerosolized virus particles to get through a mask, both out-going from an infected person and in-going to another person.

          However maybe the virus does not travel like that. In the case of droplet spread by coughs, sneezes, singing and talking etc the droplets are likely large and will be absorbed into the outer layer of the mask, dampening the fabric slightly in the process. The mask is removed and either discarded of placed aside and the virus deteriorates due to desiccation, UV etc.

          Since there is information pointing effectiveness of masks I assume that something such as I have described is likely happening.

          A video showing smoke passing through a mask is unhelpful if it persuades people to not to use a cheap simple and likely effective prevention measure.

          55

          • #

            Good masks use electrostatic charges to catch viral particles too. The largest doses of virus are spread via large droplets which masks significantly reduce. Masks can stop some but not all of the small aerosol particles which appear to happen under the right conditions of temperature and humidity. For different reasons masks work for large and small particles but are less effective at the 0.3micron size.

            And then there are the countries and cruise ship data which don’t appear to be conflicting. (as I mentioned in the post).

            http://joannenova.com.au/2020/07/cheap-ways-to-starve-a-virus-masks-reduce-spread-by-70-distance-by-80/

            I think anyone who spends time reading the medical papers on masks will find there is very detailed evidence, which is corroborated by observational country level evidence too.

            ” there is a need to evaluate filtration efficiencies as a function of aerosol particulate sizes in the 10 nm to 10 μm range, which is particularly relevant for respiratory virus transmission. We have carried out these studies for several common fabrics including cotton, silk, chiffon, flannel, various synthetics, and their combinations. Although the filtration efficiencies for various fabrics when a single layer was used ranged from 5 to 80% and 5 to 95% for particle sizes of <300 nm and >300 nm, respectively, the efficiencies improved when multiple layers were used and when using a specific combination of different fabrics. Filtration efficiencies of the hybrids (such as cotton–silk, cotton–chiffon, cotton–flannel) was >80% (for particles <300 nm) and >90% (for particles >300 nm). We speculate that the enhanced performance of the hybrids is likely due to the combined effect of mechanical and electrostatic-based filtration. “
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7185834/

            A badly fit mask will muck up the results too:

            ” Our studies also imply that gaps (as caused by an improper fit of the mask) can result in over a 60% decrease in the filtration efficiency,”

            See also: https://theconversation.com/making-masks-at-home-what-you-need-to-know-about-how-to-reduce-the-transmission-of-coronavirus-136122

            714

            • #
              • #

                Staal. Any article with the headline “No lockdown” on Sweden isn’t worth the click and I’m too busy anyhow.

                Lockdown is not a binary thing. It’s a spectrum of activity with many different rules. Sweden did half the lockdown that London did. See all the activity graphs here:
                http://joannenova.com.au/2020/06/sweden-is-trapped-in-an-interminable-deadly-half-lockdown/

                And 50% of Swedes live by themselves in a form of solitary confinement. They live in semi isolation every day of the year. An involuntary lockdown would have been tougher on them too. Any hopeful fantasy that their solution applies to the rest of the world ain’t going to cut it unless you move half the population into their own apartments/houses.

                Mind you they are hardly the beacon of liberty. PEople were forced to send their kids to schools every day regardless of whether they wanted to homeschool.

                35

            • #
              StephenP

              Would masks treated with silver nanoparticles imcrease the effectiveness of masks?
              This paper says that some viruses are affected by silver nanoparticles.
              “Virus infections pose significant global health challenges, especially in view of the fact that the emergence of resistant viral strains and the adverse side effects associated with prolonged use continue to slow down the application of effective antiviral therapies. This makes imperative the need for the development of safe and potent alternatives to conventional antiviral drugs. In the present scenario, nanoscale materials have emerged as novel antiviral agents for the possibilities offered by their unique chemical and physical properties. Silver nanoparticles have mainly been studied for their antimicrobial potential against bacteria, but have also proven to be active against several types of viruses including human imunodeficiency virus, hepatitis B virus, herpes simplex virus, respiratory syncytial virus, and monkey pox virus. The use of metal nanoparticles provides an interesting opportunity for novel antiviral therapies. Since metals may attack a broad range of targets in the virus there is a lower possibility to develop resistance as compared to conventional antivirals. The present review focuses on the development of methods for the production of silver nanoparticles and on their use as antiviral therapeutics against pathogenic viruses.”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6264685/

              33

            • #
              Bright Red

              Jo “ Good masks use electrostatic charges to catch viral particles too” electrostatic charges in a moist environment? Really?

              62

            • #
              Hans van Dalen

              Joanne, a big difference needs to be made for mask use indoors and outdoors. Indoors they are useful and effective; outdoors the risk of infection is minimal and the use of masks should be discouraged, since they imply a serious health risk when you wear them too long (so the image with the article sends the wrong message). Here in Spain people are obliged for over 2 months now to wear a mask anywhere they go, inside and outside, and this is a horrible decision (infection rates in Spain are still higher than elsewhere, so this mask policy is useless). PS: the risk of getting infected by large droplets is insignificant; it is the aerosols in badly ventilated rooms that will infect you.

              101

        • #
          David A

          Actually it demonstrates their effectiveness. If you were talking directly to the person exhaling the vape aerosols, and they had no mask, clearly much more aerosol would go into your face.

          Also it shows nothing about larger droplets.

          32

      • #
        Mark D.

        Sure. Tell me about the 6 foot 3 meter projectile distance? A virus that fell to the floor cause of a cheap mask has got to be safer for someone breathing nearby don’t you think?

        72

      • #

        you can find what you want on the web but it does not give you the data or the right to make blanket claims like “masks are ineffective”. Bad english and a bad conclusion.

        910

      • #
        peter

        GD,
        Apart from the fact that your link is crap because once in the site, you cannot get back to the Jonova site without crashing out completely, everything that stupid doctor said about mask filtering was bulls–t.

        What he demonstrated from very poorly fitted masks was 90% of the vapour being exhaled around the very bad facial fit of each mask. Even the nose clips were not pressed in against the nose (essential). The theatre mask and the one-strap handyman mask (not recommended for anything except nuisance dust)are meant to exhale around the facial-fit edges to a great extent. The rest of the exhale-air filters out through the filter fabric. That’s what it is designed to do. This is not a problem with aqua-aerosols which are polarised or charged to some extent because of water in them and tend to stick to the filter fabric. The vape aerosol he was inhaling was not so charged and could pass through the filter fabric more easily. The workplace twin-cartridge respirator (mask) had an exhale valve – yes, it did. Aerosols coming out of that valve would still impact on the rubber membrane valve structure and drop out of the air-stream to some extent. But valved respirators (masks) are meant to protect the wearer NOT other people and should not be worn by infected people.

        63

        • #
          GD

          What he demonstrated from very poorly fitted masks was 90% of the vapour being exhaled around the very bad facial fit of each mask

          Which is how many if not most people wear masks.

          70

          • #

            A point many of us make. It is a bit like lab tests done by car manufacturers who wildly overstate their vehicle fuel economy.

            The data for effectiveness of Masks is thin anyway, it becomes non existent when we actually look at how people wear them in real life, which is very badly and i have made something of a study of it when i began to realise they were causing hysteria and disquiet as people were forced to wear them

            How something often little better than a grubby dish cloth is supposed to protect people needs to be better explained

            91

            • #
              GD

              Here in Victoria, we ‘flattened the curve’ the first time around without the need for masks, so why do we now need the added imposition of mandatory masks the second time around?

              The lack of masks wasn’t the reason for the failure of the first wave, it was the failure of quarantine and contact tracing.

              20

              • #

                Masks are part of the panoply of state control together with curfews, enforced quarantine, travel restrictions, restrictions on meeting family.

                60

            • #

              Deep state is after you tony. It is all a plot. Fake virus.

              11

            • #
              peter

              Tony, David’s youtube video is quite good on evidence.
              For workplace masks, quite good thorough laboratory quantitative testing is conducted in this country. How to wear and fit-check masks is part of the training we give to employees. Even if not worn properly some useful protection is still provided. A grubby dish cloth would probably work quite well as a mask. The sticky dirty fabric could trap more aerosol particles.

              00

      • #
        David-of-Cooyal-in-Oz

        G’day GD,
        Dr John Campbell has come out in favour of the use masks and gives his reasons at this link:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DANEqOPcDwc
        His experiment with a candle is instructive.
        Dated September 1. Runs for 27 minutes.
        Cheers
        Dave B

        40

      • #
        David A

        GD, please note the misinformation in that video; as he says ” notice, it has NO affect on the spread of aerosols”.
        Clearly, common sense tells you this is not so. Picture your self directly in front of him. Now picture him exhaling directly at you sans a mask. Instead of most of the aerosols slowing down or spreading out through the open gaps, they would impact you much more directly.

        It is OBVIOUS. Jo’s post explains how mask use is about reducing the viral load, resulting in milder symptoms. She also mentions larger non aerosol droplets. Your video actually supports her article.

        BTW, I hate masks, never where them outdoor where a bit if distance is easy to achieve. I do wear them in stores.

        50

        • #

          David A: I see this argument often: Picture your self directly in front of him. Now picture him exhaling directly at you sans a mask.

          ie imagine you are standing in front of a mouth breather.

          Thing is, most people I interact with – probably all of them – breathe through their noses.
          The people I talk to are people I live with, or the very quick discussions at the local Coles.

          Wave 1: nobody at the local Coles was infected, despite talking to many people all day without masks.
          If someone I live with is infected I am going to get infected too, most likely.

          00

      • #
        David A

        GD, please note the misinformation in that video; as he says ” notice, it has NO affect on the spread of aerosols”.
        Clearly, common sense tells you this is not so. Picture your self directly in front of him. Now picture him exhaling directly at you sans a mask. Instead of most of the aerosols slowing down or spreading out through the open gaps, they would impact you much more directly.

        It is OBVIOUS. Jo’s post explains how mask use is about reducing the viral load, resulting in milder symptoms. She also mentions larger non aerosol droplets. Your video actually supports her article.

        BTW, I hate masks, never where them outdoor where a bit of distance is easy to achieve. I do wear them in stores.

        21

    • #
      Annie

      Shh! Don’t tell Dan. ;)

      40

  • #

    Here is where the report seems to have emanated from. From the daily mail link there is a link direct to the editorial in a Californian journal.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8713625/Could-face-masks-build-IMMUNITY-Covid-19-Scientists-theorise.html

    As it says in the article there is no evidence this is correct and two large unproven assumptions have been made to arrive at the unverified conclusions

    Another likely explanation is that herd immunity has been reached or that those who were going to be the most badly infected by the virus have sadly already been and are no longer with us.

    the population now likely to catch the virus aren’t the average 85 year old with co morbidities but a younger age group who are healthier and more resistant

    Looking at how people wear masks, which is very badly, it seems unlikely they would stop infections as they are constantly pulled up and down whilst the owner touches surfaces, then their face then the product. It’s a mask hokey Cokey of bad practice and disposable masks aren’t disposed of but reused and washable masks are shoved in pockets and constantly reused before washing.

    273

    • #
      Orson

      Tonyb “ Looking at how people wear masks, which is very badly, it seems unlikely they would stop infections as they are constantly pulled up and down whilst the owner touches surfaces, then their face then the product. It’s a mask hokey Cokey of bad practice and disposable masks aren’t disposed of but reused….”

      User error is all around us with PPE. However, I find that mask wearing reduces my facial touching, effectively making almost unconscious self touching more aware and in public much more sel-controlled.

      Thus, ones habits become more self-reflected and controllable.
      Is this experience universal? Unlikely. But when hand washing and self touching are the primary vector, any bit of control can help.

      In other matters, herd immunity is often cited or claimed. And cross immunity from viral family exposure seems plausible. But often the result is an incantation or an inference based on dodgy detection of viral fragments. Eh? That’s not the physical evidence we’re looking for and misleading, bad science.

      Clinical vulnerability can be quite different. But on the other hand, aggregate infection, CFRs, and such result in similar curves. This similarity of results is unlikely because of chance. Similar mechanisms at work is a more compelling explanation.

      Yet the mystery of Covid-19 in Africa remains.

      80

      • #

        TonyB. Herd immunity does not look like a rapid rise in infections in the second wave.

        715

      • #
        Hans van Dalen

        Orson, you will not get infected by touching objects or your face. Already there is overwhelming scientific evidence that touching objects or body parts will not infect you.
        So all this nonsense about cleaning shopping carts, wearing gloves etc. can be abandoned.
        The only serious infection route is inhalation of virus containing aerosols in badly ventilated rooms over a longer period of time (longer than 30 minutes)

        10

      • #
        Roger Knights

        “Yet the mystery of Covid-19 in Africa remains.”

        The spread in Africa just hasn’t been documented. An 8/30 Wall St. Journal article (paywalled) is headlined thus:

        “In the World’s Coronavirus Blind Spot, Fears of a Silent Epidemic
        In Africa, limited testing and spikes in respiratory illnesses raise concerns that Covid-19 could be spreading unnoticed”

        00

    • #
      ImranCan

      Indeed. And quite apart from ignoring the maxim “Correlation is not causation”, there is a very nasty odour of propaganda about this piece. Shameful.

      161

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Dear Tony, you can lead a horse to water . .
      GeoffW

      51

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Build immunity by rebreathing youre own exhaled refuse….i guess its possible…like wallowing in dirty dam water that animals have deficated in…

      Look..if people want to wear a mask, go for it.

      Just dont force healthy people againt thier will to wear one.

      223

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      Tonyb, I find your comments above regarding elderly people to be outright callous. You should be ashamed to make such statements!! There are still millions of elderly people around the world who would secumbe to the virus if exposed right now. And if it were not for the dedication and diligence of thousands of heath workers many more would die an awfull and unnecessary death. As for your comments regarding herd immunity they are wishful thinking and foolish in the extreme.
      GeoffW

      510

      • #

        Geoffrey

        Which callous comments are those? The factual ones that it is the over 85′s with co morbities who are most at risk of the disease or the earlier ones that unfortunately it is this group that has been most affected? You need to clarify as they are both factual and neither are callous.

        Those with the virus need to be quarantined. Those at most risk need to be sheltered. The general healthier population are in a different category. Do you find this controversial?

        113

        • #

          Those with the virus need to be quarantined

          And luckily, thanks to Tony’s magic wand of viral detection we will be able to find out who is infected during the incubation period when no test known to microbiology works.

          Otherwise, current policy stands — we quarantine those who may be infected.

          00

    • #
      David A

      Tony, your link did not say there is no evidence this is so. Or I missed it. At any rate Jo’s post gave evidence, so you need to refute it; as in demonstrate that the locations brought up were due to ” all the vulnerable already infected” or heard immunity. Those could be factors, but it is not demonstrated.

      20

  • #

    Here is a new report by three highly respected people in their field regarding the
    Iikelihood that the pandemic has effectively burnt itself out

    https://lockdownsceptics.org/addressing-the-cv19-second-wave/

    It is very detailed and appears to be a reasonable argument

    212

    • #
      Environment Skeptic

      From my own unqualified research, the impression i get is that the recent corona virus is now ancient in terms of mutation and it will just have to go back to the drawing board like it always does to see if it can come up with something a little different, maybe in a couple of years to keep our immune system on guard duty and to make sure doesn’t get lazy or complacent like a couch potatoe.

      20

    • #
      Graeme#4

      Thanks for the report Tony. There was a lot of good information in it, particularly with regards to a “Second wave”.

      40

    • #
      David A

      Tony, that link was excellent and saved, thanks! However it was mostly orthogonal to Jo’s post. ( At least until one shows that the disparate death rates Jo linked to were primarily due to the factors in that report and not mask use and viral load. ( So far this has not been done)

      That being said it supports ending lockdowns, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

      11

  • #
    Kalm Keith

    A very useful concept that should have wide public appeal because it’s a practical solution we can all adopt and have some confidence in. Good logic.

    61

  • #
    Travis T. Jones

    I dunno.

    Maybe the mask might stop/slow the spread.

    It hasn’t so far, even in countries like Japan, where mask wearing has been part of the culture for decades, and has now become a political flag of what ‘side’ you are on.

    The virus cares not for the mask and has moved on.

    151

    • #
      OriginalSteve

      Yep and recently there was a panic in a hospital here in Oz where medical staff where were wearing all but full P4 suits still got the virus.

      The biggest problem was it burst the “mask=OK” bubble.

      Its gone quiet since….memory holed….

      120

      • #
        Sceptical Sam

        And how many were asymptomatic?

        How many were symptomatic?

        How many died?

        Half a story is nothing more than disinformation.

        10

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          You mean like this “disinformation”?

          https://www.theaustralian.com.au/breaking-news/four-new-cases-of-covid-in-nsw/news-story/7f67125c11bd11b6d438c5aaf9e8a34e

          “Health authorities in NSW are desperately trying to find out how coronavirus was able to spread through hospital workers in two Sydney emergency departments while they were wearing masks and PPE.

          “Three of Monday’s four new cases were emergency department workers at Concord Repatriation General Hospital’s Emergency Department and Liverpool Hospital’s Emergency Department.

          10

          • #
            Konrad

            The answer will be very simple: the medical staff used staff toilets while not wearing PPE.

            30

            • #
              Sceptical Sam

              Exactly.

              Or something similar.

              Original Steve still leaves unstated the answers to my three questions.

              The point being that the masks that were worn may well have reduce the initial infective load and thus reduced the severity of the infection.

              How many died? Probably none.

              How many were symptomatic? Probably fewer than would have been the case if they were not wearing masks. Ditto, asymptomatic.

              Here’s a forth one for you Original Steve:

              How many did not catch the infection at all? Probably more than would have been the case had they not been wearing masks.

              00

              • #
                Sceptical Sam

                Fourth (of mirth). :-)

                00

              • #

                OriginalSteve, no one ever said masks were 100% effective. Even full P4 Hazmat suits have a small failure rate.

                Binary thinkers here seem to see mask use as a 1:0 equation but the real world where everyone wants to stop the lockdowns as fast as possible, a 50% reduction of spread for a $1 bit of equipment is a bargain.

                Plus there’s the upside of an asymptomatic infection instead of a hospitalized one.

                Fergoodnesssake…

                00

  • #

    On a serious note, if masks do work should we not be forced to wear them during a flu epidemic which kills tens of thousands of people most years, certainlY in the UK?

    Covid 19 has uniquely been allowed to destroy our democracy and freedoms, social life, education and the economy. And has prevented treatment that will cause many tens of thousands of deaths from such things as cancer and heart disease.

    Logically if flu will kill so many should we repeat the experiences of this year, wear masks, social distance and generally shut down our world again! What’s the difference?

    283

    • #
      Geoffrey Williams

      The horse still won’t drink !!
      GeoffW

      511

    • #
      el gordo

      ‘What’s the difference?’

      Australia will be the gold standard in the new world order, a tourist destination where people don’t wear masks because its a flu and Covid free zone.

      16

      • #

        Australia will be the gold standard in the new world order, a tourist destination where people don’t wear masks because its a flu and Covid free zone.

        Well, until the first plane lands anyway.

        Tony.

        250

      • #
        RickWill

        The challenge of keeping any location on Earth pristine from the perspective of virus would require a massive change in the way tourists are treated. Every arrival would require quarantine for the well established 40 days to determine that they are truly infection free.

        If tourists are required to pay for their quarantine then that will add significantly to the cost of the journey. Also not many people can afford an extra 40 days from their employment.

        On the other hand it may make Australins think twice before leaving and having to endure the 40 day quarantine on their arrival. It would reduce Australian international tourism, both ways, to those with a good deal of idle time and quite deep pockets. There would be no riff-raff visiting.

        The quarantine stations could be set up on island dotting the coastline. Some are very nice places for a 40 day stay. Some have already been used for that purpose. Would create a whole new industry. We could start lobbying now and be leaders in the tourist quarantine business.

        51

        • #
          el gordo

          International travel isn’t feasible for the lower middle class, only the wealthy idle rich can afford the luxury.

          33

          • #
            Graeme#4

            That’s strange, because it doesn’t explain why large numbers of backpackers frequently travel overseas.

            100

            • #
              el gordo

              A lot of backpackers came to Australia to get work and see the country, agricultural workers will be missed, but we’ll bring in more guest workers from the islands.

              14

        • #
          OriginalSteve

          That sound in the background you just heard was the economy dying of that dangerous creature “Politicus DeathByCovidHype”….

          30

    • #
      David A

      Tony, the lockdowns were and are ( IMV) way to long and we have learned a great deal about Cov19 since.

      However wearing masks, as an isolated policy, is not remotely as damaging as the lockdowns.

      As to applying masks to the flu, well IMV no, but it is and should be a personal choice. Masks can be harmful as well.

      The flu death rates are mostly modeled. I suspect some will wear masks during the flu season.
      ( Not me)

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    TdeF

    That’s exciting news. So it looks like viral load is critical when all it buys is time, but maybe it buys much more time than mathematics would suggest. Maybe body defences against endless viral attack are good enough to slow low level infections and delay reproduction of the virus before they are overwhelmed? That makes sense, even if we do not know how this works yet. Anyway it is great news and all the mask wearers have reason to believe masks are very effective in a way no one expected so far.

    And it fits with the Spanish flu where all they had was masks. It is the one element missing from the failed Swedish approach to try to get herd immunity by exposing everyone.

    This time though, we really expect at least one vaccine. Now all we need is an effective transparent mask for widespread acceptance through the usual flu season, if we cannot see fit to stop infections we can at least reduce the severity from lethal. And I can see their common use on public transport and aircraft in particular.

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      TdeF

      Or perhaps it is not the viral load but the location? With the masks, reduced input velocity may mean the virus does not reach the lower lung as usual but starts its nasty work in an area where the tissue is unsuitable for the virus, say nearer the mouth. The infection is there but reproduction or transmission in these tissues is far slower until it reaches the lungs which may buy time while simultaneously triggering a anti viral response.

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        Kalm Keith

        Good assessment.

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          What we don’t know is whether it buys time or whether reducing the viral load to almost nothing is what we need. Obviously we just don’t have the data on how many viruses it took to get an individual sick.

          If people breathe in a tiny tiny number of viruses, perhaps the virions are faulty, or perhaps they land somewhere without ACE2 receptors and sit around to be blown apart by enzymatic degradation, and then the immune system spots a few fragments and makes an immune response.

          If the number is too low, the immune response doesn’t happen. So it could be a sweet spot, and the sweet spot might be different for different people. This is horribly complicated to unpack, and unethical to do experiments which might cause death and major disease.

          The burst rate of virions (number of viruses release per cell infected) ranges from 1k to 30k I think from my brief scan of the Lit.

          With that kind of super exponential growth I can believe one virus in the right spot on the right day is enough to get a deadly infection. But I can also believe that many virions carry faulty copies, don’t land in the right location, or there are innate defenses that could take out quite a few copies of the virus. Some luck is involved, and if there is too much virus it just overwhelms all the “luck” — the mRNA, innate, and Vitamin D related defences.

          Therefore even young healthy healthworkers can be killed by a very high viral load.

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        peter

        TdeF,
        There is no reduced input velocity with the masks. The mask filter material results in a pressure drop across the filter as you breath in. This draws air through the filter and into your mouth at a normal rate. Perhaps even a greater input velocity.

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          TdeF

          Not my experience. I really cannot get enough air for reasonable exercise and for fast bike riding, impossible despite the incoming velocity. Of course there is the CO2 rebreathing and CO2 is a poisonous world killing global warming polluting gas, but it also is a problem when you need oxygen.

          So there is a severe restriction which you may not notice if shallow breathing. I have not idea what the pressure drop means in all this, but it is plain enough and probably implies lower velocity. After all a solid mask would mean no velocity at all. Masks seriously restrict breathing.

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            peter

            Wrong TdeF.
            Airflow (velocity) is the same but the pressure drop means less O2 molecules per volume breathed in. Workplace masks are worn by people doing industrial work. They are designed to be worn by people doing heavy laborious work. Some brands are better than others. One brand tested an athlete wearing one of their masks competing in a marathon. Theatre or otherwise cheap masks would not be suitable for strenuous physical activity. You do NOT need to wear a mask while “fast bike riding”. If you live in Victoria where mask wearing is mandated everywhere, cut holes in a cheap mask to wear so as to avoid police harassment. Be thankful that you are not a pregnant woman in pyjamas in your lounge-room in Victoria otherwise you would be done for.

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      David A

      Failed Swedish experiment?

      Not so fast. The more time goes by the less failed it looks, and they admit they should have done a better job of protecting the vulnerable.

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    MrGrimNasty

    I don’t know why it would make heads spin, drop heads into hands maybe, it’s more unproven conjecture offering circumstantial cherry-picked ‘evidence’ that ignores much larger proven factors in the outcomes it offers in support. One ferret didn’t report feeling tired. Oh well case proven!

    The latest ONS death data for England and Wales showed Covid deaths declining and diverging further from flu which was steady/rising since wider mask wearing became compulsory. That rather weakens the theory for starters.

    The number of positive covid tests is rising though, and the reason that asymptomatic/non-severe covid cases are currently the ‘norm’ in the UK is because the surge in infections is centered on young adults.

    AND the mutated strain D614G is now dominating, which it seems is more infectious, but suspected to be far less deadly than the original.

    It’s interesting that some doctors/scientists are reporting that it is very difficult to get any non-alarmist or contrarian covid papers published, in much the same way that censorship afflicts the climate arena. As a result one should be very skeptical of the current crop of published covid papers and mainstream articles/opinion pieces as it’s likely that they are not well balanced.

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      Kalm Keith

      Point taken.

      I’m decidedly against lockdowns but looked on this idea as something I could tolerate for a short while.

      Logic in presentation of the idea was attractive and worth a look.

      What I would be totally against would be having police enforce it.
      The concept is that by wearing a mask I am, maybe, preventing spread to others but primarily reducing the severity of any infection coming my way.

      Self interest wins.

      Then again it is 2020 and it may just be another puff piece.

      KK

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    Peter Fitzroy

    Currently the world is running over a hundred different experiments in controlling this pandemic. Since these experiments are state and/or country based, it is easy to compare the efficacy of each approach both in comparison with other countries and with the flu.

    Masks, sanitiser, and distancing all play their part

    Some countries (and/or states) Have been very successful in both measures – low incidence of COVID and virtually no flu.

    Should those countries with less than optimal performance be shunned by the rest of the world? For example Brazil?

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      robert rosicka

      Brazil or Victoriastan.

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      el gordo

      ‘ … shunned by the rest of the world?’

      Yes, until the US eliminates the virus we should restrict our association with the Alliance. Australia could then embrace the new world order without any pangs of guilt.

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        Peter Fitzroy

        I agree that it is dangerous to tie our fate to a failing colonial power. However I would favour the construction of a Pacific union, common currency and all – The pacific states have been very good at controlling the virus after all.

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          el gordo

          ‘a Pacific union, common currency and all –’

          The yuan will eventually become the currency of choice, but until then we should stick to what we have got. A South Pacific virus free zone is essential, including NZ and all the smaller islands. This is based on the scenario that there is no silver bullet and the old world order has gone for herd immunity.

          The difficulty for us is when Beijing says to Canberra, we have both been Covid free for a couple of months, what about our tourists and students get back to normal?

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            Peter Fitzroy

            Maybe I should have said “south Pacific”. On the other Hand, Im sure Donald would sell us Hawaii if asked

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              el gordo

              Highly unlikely to sell Hawaii, but Puerto Rico maybe on the market soon.

              The common union will be the ANZACS and the only islands allowed into the bubble would be those which play footy, its a cultural thing.

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    PeterS

    It appears people who wear masks are much less likely to get severe infections

    I thought we all understood that correlation is not necessarily causation from the CAGW hoax. Sure masks might help in some cases but there is no doubt it’s more dangerous in other cases, especially when the wrong types are used, as is often the case. So on balance it’s anyone’s guess as to whether masks in general are better, worse, or make no difference. It would require an exhaustive study to find out.

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      PeterS, you could volunteer to test viral loads, though I hope you dont.

      Failing the unethical ideal randomized blinded studies on humans , we have to settle for hundreds of experiments in laboratories, and on animals and then check to see if that is corroborated that with what we see happening in the real world — which is a mess of variables (as I mention in nearly every post). But the picture is building that finally explains many paradoxes like the huge variation in asymptomatic cases and death rates around the world.

      If you have a third method of finding the truth of the current situation we’d like to hear it.

      Correlation is not necessarily causation but neither does a correlation prove there is no causation.

      See the use of the word “appears” in the quote above?

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        PeterS

        We need a through study to know the truth of the matter. Meanwhile, we (including you) are just guessing. The available evidence so far is scant, debatable and conflicting.

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          PeterS, we have to make decisions based on what information we have. no matter how inadequate it is. With an exponential wave we don’t have the luxury of waiting.

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            Lucky

            This statement is correct, obviously.

            When making decisions on data, some evaluation should be done on the reliability of that data and thought given to the outcomes of decisions using chunks of data that could be misleading.
            The term exponential wave is probably a good description of events following the arrival of a new infection. After a while, things are different. How long is a while? Maybe a few weeks, or days.

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        Peter C

        PeterS, you could volunteer to test viral loads, though I hope you dont.

        Experimenting apon oneself has quite a history in Medicine, especially if the treatment would not pass ethics tests.
        A recent famous example is Dr Barry Marshal who proved that the time honoured medical dogma that stomach ulcers are caused by stress and spicy food was wrong. The discovery of the stomach infection Helicobacter Pylori has transformed the understanding and treatment of gastric ulcer disease.

        “In 1983 they submitted their findings so far to the Gastroenterological Society of Australia, but the reviewers turned their paper down, rating it in the bottom 10% of those they received in 1983.[12]

        After failed attempts to infect piglets in 1984, Marshall, after having a baseline endoscopy done, drank a broth containing cultured H. pylori, expecting to develop, perhaps years later, an ulcer.[13] He was surprised when, only three days later, he developed vague nausea and halitosis “

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Marshall

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      shortie of greenbank

      https://www.bmj.com/content/369/bmj.m1435/rr-40

      This opinion (it isn’t much more than that) does put some quite logical issues there such as social distancing reduction due to masks making it harder to speak normally for another person to hear.

      I had followed some of the presentations put out by Ivor Cummins (Fat Emporer) on this topic and over time he has moved away from face masks being an advised method I do still have a few issues with what he says but he does provide data and studies for most of his points. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

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    AZ1971

    Jo,

    In previous articles you’ve written about the high percentage of mild to asymptomatic Covid-19 cases who suffer “long-term” lung and heart damage and basically argue that it’s no better than a serious case of the virus. Now you’re touting how masks reduce severity of mortality but by extension increase the percentage of lung and heart damage among survivors. What exactly is the silver lining in all of this?

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      Read what I write closely.

      I’ve never said that an asymptomatic case is “no better” than a serious case.

      Almost certainly an asymptomatic case is better than a serious one. If I haven’t said that, it’s because its too obvious to mention.

      Masks don’t instantly solve the whole pandemic, but its got to be better to reduce severe infections, deaths, and hospitalization the cheapest way possible.

      My preferred method is not to let it spread at all. Eliminate to zero, keep up a hard wall until we know the long term costs and treatments (all the cheap ones HCQ, steroids, ivermectin, zinc, nano decoys, and when and how to use them etc etc). But I recognise that some governments have made such terrible stupid choices that they may have lost this option now due to the economic cost of it. It’s always medically possible to get to zero if the border can be shut, but it isn’t always feasible.

      I’m not wearing a mask now, and don’t want too. But if I didn’t live in the best place on Earth and there was virus running I would absolutely wear a mask, and it would be a N95. (Which I bought on January 28th).

      I remain concerned (as I said in the post) that some people might think masks do solve this all, but we don’t know yet if there is still a significant price to letting this disease run even if we can get to 80% asymptomatic infections.

      As always, the best way to deal with Chinese bioweapons is to leave them in China.

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        Roger Knights

        “I would absolutely wear a mask, and it would be a N95. (Which I bought on January 28th).”

        FYI: Putting an N95 mask [or several] in an Instant Pot [without water, for an hour, insulated by a towel] decontaminates it: study:
        Last year’s hot kitchen appliance is trendy again — this time, for being a virus killer. Read in New York Post: https://apple.news/AvEzGav9KQp-xvtzRaROGQQ

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          I hear that washing masks may destroy the electrostatic protection.

          I’m not sure what an “Instant Pot” is.

          I used 2 days in the sun outside, or half a day on the dashboard of a car in summer in Perth as a disinfection technique.

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          • #

            were you preparing even before the pandemic?

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              Gee Aye, I started watching twitter threads in China around Jan 24th thanks to a tip off from Chiefios site, and ordered masks and hand santizer on ebay in Jan. I did a run around local shops on Jan 28th, which is why I knew someone had already bought out 95% of all masks in Perth at that stage.

              The CCP may be awful, but Chinese people are not stupid, and I could see from their reports and their actions (like wearing hazmats and goggles in hospitals) that it was likely aerosol spread and clearly something they were very afraid of and willing to do almost anything to stop.

              I’d also read about HCQ and the fact that it was a likely bioweapon. All this was already being discussed in Jan.

              It was inexcusable that Brendan Murphy and the WHO were keeping flights open on Feb 1.

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    Travis T. Jones

    We have done the experiment.
    The results are in …

    BLM protests do not spread the virus:

    “… while headlines have also declared that the “upsurge in COVID cases [is] linked to Melbourne Black Lives Matter protests”.
    But these assertions contradict the guidance of officials of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, who continue to report that the current burst of cases does not stem from the rally.
    They have said that while one protester “may have been infectious at the rally”, two others who have since tested positive for COVID-19 were not infectious at the rally, nor is there evidence they contracted the virus at the rally.”
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-06-26/coronacheck-victoria-black-lives-matter-protests-family-spike/12391628

    Cringeworthy Study Debunked: There Was No ‘Sturgis Superspreader’ COVID-19 Event
    https://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2020/09/09/cringeworthy-study-debunked-there-was-no-sturgis-superspreader-covid-19-event-n910325

    Yet people who protest against masks are arrested /fined.

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    • #
      Travis T. Jones

      More:

      The Sturgis “super spreader” kerfuffle and what it says about contact tracing

      http://blueberrytown.com/index.php/2020/09/09/the-sturgis-super-spreader-kerfuffle-and-what-it-says-about-contact-tracing/

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      RickWill

      Eid al-Fitr was the super spreader event. Think holding the AFL finals at the MCG this month – Eid al-Fitr had the same impact in late May. The impact of Eid al-Fitr was very clear by the common faith of early hospital admissions in the second wave in Melbourne.

      There are a few visible hints of this but it is unwoke to investigate and make the information freely available.

      BLM was not a consideration when diversity was driving the selection of security guards to supervise hotel quarantine. It was low paid work and there was aero training on infection control and personnel safety. It was putting vulnerable people in harms way.

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      • #

        Wasn’t the BLM rally held when Vic cases were at their lowest and thus the spread during a similar rally when virus counts are higher is much higher risk?

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          RickWill

          In late May there was no awareness that the virus was being spread through the m-community from the infected security guards specifically selected from low socio-economic groups, some housed in high rise, cramped public housing.

          Late May is when the restrictions after the first wave were being lifted in Victoria. There was quiet confidence that the virus had been crushed and widely shared misplaced sense of relief. The virus had been crushed based on the known cases but there was no awareness of the unfolding disaster the highly woke Victorian administration had already baked in to supercharge the spread of infection. The sequence-
          Recruiting security guards from low socio-economic groups; preferentially from diverse groups, including non-english speaking recent immigrants with one day training to get a security certificate willing to accepting the low pay rates $21/hr and essentially no PPE (guards were advised to reuse masks but to avoid the cameras when they put them into their pocket at the end of shift).
          Some of those security guards were of the m-faith who resided in high rise public housing.
          Eid al-Fitr family gatherings were held with some restraint but still large family gatherings in the latter half of May.

          The BLM marches were dominated by middle class woke who, at that stage, had avoided the infection. Eid al-Fitr gatherings are much more intimate. Al-Taqwa college remains the largest single location of a Covid outbreak apart from the 3 large Covid infested high rise buildings. Cases at the school were detected in early July. The name gives a clue to the faith of students and teachers.

          The hotel quarantine mess in Victoria is the result of woke administrators. The DHHS released its Environmental Sustainability report in December last year just as the WuFlu was taking hold:
          https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/publications/environmental-sustainability-strategy-department-health-and-human-services

          The department recognises that disadvantaged and vulnerable groups are more likely to be affected by the negative effects of climate change, and is committed to minimising the environmental impacts of its operations.

          The have largely achieved that objective for the whole of Victoria although faxes probably use more power than computers. One of the wokest in DHHS has been taken out of the limelight after derogatory comments on Captain Cook:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Ex6H-S5JIw
          This gives an idea of how well this group focused on the key issues of pandemic control.

          Victoria is the Circus State and Dan is the presiding clown.

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            Analitik

            Driving the point home about the role of Eid and other practices of the religion of peace, Westbourne Grammar School is across the road from Al-Taqwa and of similar student population size yet there have been no confirmed cases of CoViD-19.

            But try finding any press releases from the government or news articles pointing out this glaring disparity

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    David Maddison

    A contributing factor could be that people who are strict mask wearers, whether they live in a place where it’s compulsory or not, are more careful about their health anyway and are also naturally risk averse so could spend much of their time locked up in self-isolation at home or avoid contact with humans in other ways.

    Even where mask wearing is compulsory, many people don’t wear them properly but those people who are strictly compliant will.

    I’m not saying masks do nothing, but I don’t think they’re as effective as claimed either.

    And what about those masks with exhaust valves? They release unfiltered exhaled breath and infection of others could occur. The wearer is protected from inhaling virus from others but those around them are not protected from exhalant if the mask wearer is infected.

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    John F. Hultquist

    Our betters screwed up the words “social” and “distance”, proving they flunked both physics and sociology classes. Panic2020.

    Masks – - – they are an accommodation to social aspects that keep everyone aware of being nice to one another;

    Distance or distancing: this is a physical concept whether measured with feet, meters, shopping carts, or floor markings.

    In the context of this post by Jo, masks and distance both help to keep big gobs of virus from getting from you to me.

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      John F. Hultquist

      Look at this image and tell me Pythagoras isn’t rolling over in his grave.
      https://i.imgur.com/o2aBLZAb.jpg

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        Kalm Keith

        :-)
        Was that 4ft or 6ft.

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          PeterS

          The distances shown are diagonal between two people. So, the horizontal and vertical separation is the square root of 6^2/2 (18) which is about 4.2.

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            Kalm Keith

            Peter :-) , I think all of those angles were 60° so all the lengths were equal.

            Problem is that the paper has been tilted to distort the angles.

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            Environment Skeptic

            The way i see it, Newtons inverse square law is at work .. :)

            In science, an inverse-square law is any scientific law stating that a specified physical quantity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source of that physical quantity. The fundamental cause for this can be understood as geometric dilution corresponding to point-source radiation into three-dimensional space.

            From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Inverse-square_law

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              Environment Skeptic

              As i say often, it is scientifically naive in my non expert opinion to think a virus can be stopped/eradicated once it is radiating outwardly from the point source or many point sources, hence the saying “the cat is out of the bag”. I am sure Newton would agree lol..

              It perhaps is more realistic and accurate to ask, do we let it rip at 1 meter, a kilometer, or thousands of kilometers?.. like the distance between say New Zealand and China,….newtons inverse square law tells us the virus will even be present on mars (although considerably diluted) once it is out of the bag.

              My comment should not be taken as medical advice. Talk to a doctor or medical officer if help is needed.

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                All the world had to do was stop the flights from China. Would have been easy in January.

                Would have saved a million people (and the rest) and billions and billions of dollars.

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                PeterS

                Yes but for how long? The virus would still have spread eventually once the borders were opened. We can’t be sure but the virus might have spread via other means, such as birds, animals, food exports, etc. Perhaps if we closed the borders to everything (people and products) for say a few years the outbreak would have been contained but of course that would be totally unrealistic.

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                Environment Skeptic

                The virus was an international traveler back in November 2019.

                The cat was well and truly out of the bag before virus intelligentsia even had their morning coffee aeons ago in 2019.

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                PEters, or faced with exile and international opprobrium, China would have extinguished the virus and never dared to be so stupidly careless with potential bioweapons.

                The WHO Could have solved this. It was their onw main job and they failed.

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                Environment Skeptic

                The original concept of the lock-down was to reduce the load on hospitals, broaden the curve, not complete eradication. The idea of complete eradication reminds me of the words ‘extreme’, ‘extremism’ and ‘extremists’. Why is it i have that impression?

                It is called ‘gain of function’ research and it is a global phenomenon that i agree needs to be curbed. I have mention this in early posts.

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                Lucky

                Jo says- “All the world had to do was stop the flights from China..”
                Delete the word ‘All’ to get- should have stopped the flights, it would have saved many lives, much money.
                Other measures can then be taken, we all have our lists.

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                PeterS “for how long”.

                We stopped the flights anyway. If we’d done it a few weeks earlier we might have opened up a travel bubble with the south pacific, micronesia (no cases) and possibly other nations if they acted fast too.

                Ideally in the next pandemic, we will all just shut the door to china before it gets out. Then we keep doing what we do minus the 0.3% of our economy that involves flights to China.

                The CCP wanted us to get infected as well, as we were so stupid and arrogant, we let them.

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              Environment Skeptic

              Hope we get this ordeal sorted soon.

              Thanks Jo for all your work.

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        Mark D.

        It’s the sum of the square of the Hippocratic oath right?

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        Reed Coray

        John, I did look at the figure. My first impression was that there was a person in the center of the square and the distance from that person to each corner was six feet. If that is the case, the distance between two corners of the square that are connected by a side of the square would be about 8.5 feet. Looking at the figure more closely, there is no indication that a person at the center of the square exists–so my first impression was probably wrong; and your concern for people on the corners of the square connected by a side of the square is valid.

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    Another Ian

    Around this area.

    Check the photo that disappeared from this beat-up!

    http://www.smalldeadanimals.com/index.php/2020/09/09/your-moral-and-intellectual-superiors-220/

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    robert rosicka

    I have no issue with wearing masks or social distancing , neither is 100% effective but it’s not a huge ask on the individual.

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      John F. Hultquist

      Correction: Call things what they are.
      Social masking
      Physical distancing

      Just because the editors of the New York Times and the Washington Post flunked Sociology 101 and Intro to Physics, it’s fine for the rest of us to get it right.

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    TIP

    [Apologies for cross commenting - i put this very late in Tuesday open thread but this post seems very appropriate for the sharing of the information]

    This would suggest the arguments over masks, lock downs etc are all……well, irrelevant.

    I just wanted to share this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UvFhIFzaac

    The best i have seen just brilliant – absolutely worth the 30+ mins

    I left a comment requesting he look at AUSTRALIA – if more of us ask….it might happen :)

    Thanks

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      PTR

      Hey Tip, how tall is the box you are standing on? Or then, perhaps you haven’t got your hands cupped around your mouth correctly as you call out and try and spread the message. Notice that you have had a couple of attempts to elicit a response here but failed. Yet then, there are those who won’t bother to spend the time and consider opinions that might challenge their own, … or even definitely never look at a YouTube post because that alone is evil.
      I am spreading the message; think that it has implications in other regards also; just gotta convince my other half and take the plunge.
      The data presented need be challenged to be shown to be incorrect; it remains informative and correct as it stands.
      This particular thread is based on no more than scant, circumstantial evidence. Asymptomatic assessment in general does not necessarily define a carrier, so can hardly be used as a yardstick here.

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      Roger Knights

      Here’s a rough summary:
      by Ivor Cummins;
      Looks at graphs of key statistics.
      The Gompowitz (sp?) curve of fatalities seen in other epidemics is being followed, meaning there was little reason to panic at its height, and that herd immunity would occur regardless of lockdowns.
      Sweden’s death toll from flu in 2019 was much lower than in its Nordic neighbors, providing more “dry tinder” (frail, vulnerable people who’d otherwise have died in the prior year) for Covid-19. Supporting this, countries that had had MORE severe 2019 flu seasons had lower impacts from Covid-19.
      The second wave in the U.S. is in the South, which reflects the geographic difference between temperate and tropical zones, which peak at different times. (A weak argument IMO.)
      Also contributing to the illusion of a second wave is a “casedemic” due to over-sensitive testing that detects fragments, not true cases (hospitalizations).
      This fake second wave was seen before in Swine Flu—just alarmism and media frenzy.
      Also, a likely seasonal effect.
      And it might be due to Autumn flu, in part, being mis-counted as Covid-19.
      And the second wave is minor in size.
      Lockdowns are causing deaths from deferred elective testing and surgeries. Plus other social negatives.
      Lockdowns slow herd immunity, making infections in the fall more deadly.

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    Geoffrey Williams

    Great post Jo, it’s like you’ve connected all the dots. Wearing a mask has to be a must.
    GeoffW

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    Javier

    You are a courageous person Jo. I completely agree with your stance on COVID-19 and on climate skepticism. I suppose you have taken quite some fire for the fist as many climate skeptics don’t share our view of the disease. Keep the good work.

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      el gordo

      I agree that Jo has been a leading light on AGW and Covid, but obviously where ever sceptics gather there is bound to be disagreement.

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        Thanks Geoffrey, Javier and El Gordo.

        Like everyone here, I want small government and more freedom. I think the best way to get that is to understand what gets in the way. Science first, then politics.

        I do fear if we don’t understand the scientific situation we will pick choices that help the Corrupt and power-hungry.

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      Javier- there are a good number of people who, when presented with a new issue or incident turn not to the facts and data but ask themselves, what does someone like me think about this.

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    Jo
    There is plenty of actual evidence masks don’t do much at all. The Dutch govt actually bothered to do a full review and found no need to mandate them. And look at the curves of cases in the US in states where they have been madly mandated. No change in slope, indicating absolutely no effect… I suspect those pushing them are just looking for a visible way to proclaim they are doing something

    What we do need to ask is what the long term psychological effects of masks are, and I believe they will be serious. I hate them and know many others who do. They completely stifle communication and remove all those nuances that make life positive, removing facial communication. No more smiling , far less chance of conversation, removal of identity etc.

    Then there is the angle of inability to identify people. I am not about big brother, but if somebody assaults you or steals then with mask sunglasses and hoodie then who knows who they are.

    Masks are ok for clinical settings but it is totally wrong to push them as needing to be worn. Its another excessive overreach from Leftist govts keen on public control and mindless restrictions.

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      TdeF

      This is a new angle, increasing the proportion of asymptomatic responses, not reducing overall infection rates. So it is consistent with them being useless at reducing numbers but dramatically improving survival rates. So very effective in saving lives after all. And I have noticed on cold mornings that walking is more pleasant with preheated air. And on hot dry summer days they would not be as critical. So there is a long term value in masks, as recognized in countries far more crowded than Australia. Say in Japan with 120 million people on rocky land the size of Victoria and only 10% arable. Masks have clearly been effective for years.

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        TdeF

        Victoria has 227million sq.km., the same as the island of Honshu which has 104 million people, 80% of Japan’s 126.5million who have shown a liking for masks for cold, hayfever, allergies for some years now. It’s far more crowded than Victoria’s 6.4 million, despite the fact that 83% live in Melbourne. If you can call it living at the moment. More like Deadly Dan’s Dungeon. 51 new cases today.

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          ivan

          TdeF, when you say ‘cases’ do you mean actual cases with proven symptoms or do you mean the results of tests – there is a very large difference you know, see:

          https://drmalcolmkendrick.org/2020/09/04/covid-why-terminology-really-matters/

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            TdeF

            I mean what is reported by the Victorian government health department as cases. That means people who have tested positive to the virus. In turn as reported to them by testing companies. I would expect that there are some people caught up in tracing who are sent for testing and would 80% prove to be asymptomatic. No symptoms at all.

            There are others who fall ill and go to a GP with symptoms and then to testing. And others who do not feel well who get tested at a public testing station.

            This is a notifiable disease and it is all added up each day. Cases in the sense of serious infection requiring hospitalization is something different, about 20%. About half of those end up in ICU. And about 20% of those end up on ventilators. And half of those do not make it.

            What doctors call a ‘case’ varies. In this case I mean government recorded infections.

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        Sorry TdeF
        I am suspicious of cherry picked data on masks and claims of their effects in other countries. Where are the actual studies, I see many showing in clinical settings that masks are of little effect against influenza. ?

        Lets all be normal people instead of masked automatons . This is getting totally ridiculous and is analogous to putting all speed limits at 25km/hr. It will save lives, but there will be no life as we know it as nothing will be able to be done.

        No more masking and Leftist overreach – I want to deal with real people not a mask

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          TdeF

          Sure, but there is no cost, it is not oppressive and in some countries in winter, very popular anyway. So a why not?
          And it does not make you a ‘masked automaton’ surely?

          However a curfew in Melbourne from 8pm to 5am is an appalling limit on freedom. The Chief Health officer said it was not his idea or recommendation. Now the Police Chief says he knew nothing about it and only learned of it hours before he had to enforce it?
          So is it Devious Dan again?

          He denied he made the decision to use contractors, that it was made by a committee. He lied. He announced it before the committee even met.

          He says many people refused tests. He lied.

          Now who on earth would come up with the decision to force an 8 hour curfew on all people in a 5 million population city? One guess.

          As for the masks, it’s the least of the evils and it may be effective, far more effective that we had thought. And for the 16 hours a day you are legally allowed out of the house in Melbourne for a maximum of 1 hour, wear a mask. It’s the least onerous demand of Dictator Dan anyway.

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            OriginalSteve

            One hour too long….

            If you stand back a look….its visually like people have been dehumanized into expressionless manaquins.

            The n*zis used the dehumanizing trick to degrade peoples morale.

            The new n*zism is here…except it carries a hammer and sickle flag now…

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              TdeF

              Masks are the very least important restriction in the ridiculous and unnecessary lockdown in Victoria.

              I do not understand the emotion directed at masks which are nothing more than a reasonable health precaution against spreading a killer virus.

              Take the total curfew from 8pm to 5am! Why? The health authorities did not advise it. The police did not ask for it. And the 1 hour limit on going out of the house? Who dreamed up this insanity enforced by the police with massive fines?

              If you are going to rail against the power of a communist state, pick on a real restriction on freedom which makes no sense at all, not something which has reasonable justification.

              Who cares what people look like outside if they are under house arrest for 23 hours a day and not even allowed to go next door?

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                OriginalSteve

                The principle is that this is not the super nasty killer virus any more than a bad flu is.

                Please do not excuse the masks thing – they are a key point in driving fear that has no scientific grounds to exist.

                The lack of lethality is is the key point the powers that be are ignoring to ensure the hype continues.

                As the CDC has said just very recently :

                https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nvss/vsrr/covid_weekly/index.htm?fbclid=IwAR3-wrg3tTKK5-9tOHPGAHWFVO3DfslkJ0KsDEPQpWmPbKtp6EsoVV2Qs1Q

                94% of “covid deaths” deaths involve a pre-existing co-morbidity/pre-existing health condition.

                As such, that means if you take “covid deaths” in Victoriastan on 30th August as 524, 524*(6/100) = 31.44 or rounded up to 32.
                (6/100 being 6%)

                In 2019 the deaths from Flu in victoria was 334.

                32 corona vs 334 Flu.

                However, most of the public are now so traumatized/shell shocked they cant think straight ( this IMHO is by design, I might add….so they take any ol’ nasty vaccine when it comes ) so its hard to get through to them.

                So I’m calling BS on the whole thing.

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                ivan

                Just consider how the film V for Vendetta compares with what is happening in Victoria and the UK – it appears to be another prophetic film like Idiocracy.

                https://underdogsbiteupwards.wordpress.com/2020/09/10/all-except-one-part/

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      TedM

      So many other variables.

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    Environment Skeptic

    (Warning: do not try this at home :) )I guess it perhaps proves the theory of herd immunity somewhat indirectly…hhhmmmm,,,,thinking out alloud…”viral load”…..still thinking…..hmmm….If it is true that a mask reduces viral load giving enough time for the body to have a normal, mild immune response, then the obvious thing to do is make sure everyone gets a very, very small dose, similar, but much smaller than the dose of corona one would get through a mask and problem solved??

    From: https://www.history.com/news/smallpox-george-washington-revolutionary-war

    “An inoculation doctor would cut an incision in the flesh of the person being inoculated and implant a thread laced with live pustular matter into the wound,” explains Fenn. “The hope and intent was for the person to come down with smallpox. When smallpox was conveyed in that fashion, it was usually a milder case than it was when it was contracted in the natural way.”

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    TedM

    ” ….masks, means more asymptomatic infections and less severe ones”

    Yeay!!!!! Totally logical conclusion. Just what you would logically expect. Conclusion supported by epidemiologist/virologist Steven Hatfill and Dr John Campbell and comments posted by myself with links on previous threads.

    Also explains why so many apparently healthy and young Dr.s and nurses have died from this disease. Exposed to a heavy viral load by regular and close exposure to infected patients. Surely at first exposure a race begins between the virus and the immune system. (HCQ or Ivermectin could have prevented this.)

    Heavy viral load could be expected to equate to handicapping the immune system, giving the virus an advantage.

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      TedM, sorry to have missed you in the list of useful comments on this topic. Will fix. I searched by keyword though 50,000 comments.

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      shortie of greenbank

      Logically if you are already infected you would release virus back into the air, a mask would restrict its external expelling and would allow for more to be inhaled back in again thus increasing viral load. A person has to inhale deeper into the lungs through masks with the more protective the more effort needed (it doesn’t really affect oxygen levels too much if really at all) thus pushing the virus you have exhaled to be inhaled and potentially further into the lungs. The idea of wearing a mask once infected leading to a weaker asymptomatic response is counter that.

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        Shortie, if a single cell can release 1000 -30,000 virions, then after you are so infected you are actively shedding virus, I doubt masks make much difference. The numbers being generated within are so much higher.

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    TedM

    No idea why my comment has gone into moderation.

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    R.B.

    People working in social care in England and Wales have been twice as likely to die with coronavirus as the general working-age population, Office for National Statistics figures show.

    But healthcare workers have been no more likely to die than other workers.

    Nearly two-thirds of the 2,494 20- to 64-year-olds whose deaths were linked to Covid-19 were men.

    And 63 were male security guards, making them almost twice as likely to die as even men working in social care.

    A small number of deaths so maybe meaningless but it suggests that those wearing masks from very early on didn’t get the sort of of immunity you talk of. Sweden has almost 60 000 active cases and 13 in serious condition. 200-300 new cases a day for a couple of months and 2 deaths a day for the past month (mostly those seriously ill a month ago). This is more likely due a greater spread of asymptomatic strains.

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    Matt

    “Mask” blah blah blah “mask” blah blah blah…are we talking about proper fit-tested N95 respirators or cloth face nappies? My engineering brain cannot equate the two when I read COVID virus is sub-micron in size…there is too much about this whole situation that doesn’t pass the sniff test (just like CAGW).

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      Mark D.

      Matt, imagine the sub-micron (not all expectorated material will be that small) particle is open air or filtered by something-or anything. It is about reducing not eliminating the virus. N95 are not 100% either. Can your engineering brain get to percentage reduction?

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      Lance

      I agree with you.
      Corona virus diameter ranges from 0.06 to 0.20 microns. Mean is 0.125 microns.
      N95 masks filter at 95% efficiency for particles of 0.30 microns and larger.
      Single use masks, which most people use, filter to 3.0 microns.

      Masks seem fairly useless in filtering out 0.125 micron particles.

      Anyone is at liberty to educate me on this using facts, not beliefs.

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      Bright Red

      it’s one thing for a mask to initially capture the virus but another entirely for it to retain it given a bidirectional pulsating airflow, vibration, flexing,
      A good mask should have a fixed non flexible inlet filter that can not be touched and a seperate fixed non flexible outlet filter. Do they even exist?

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      R.B.

      Right from the beginning, masks for the public was a good thing to stop people contaminating others. Crappy cloth ones as long as you wash them frequently and still keep your distance will help a lot. Still a good chance that you can infect a surface that someone else will touch. Its why the arguments about whether they work or not. Much more nuanced than just protection.

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    Greg Cavanagh

    Slightly off topic, but related:

    One good cure for sea sickness is to wash your face in the salt water. And I’m sure many here will attest to using the beach for relief with flue symptoms.

    Well, here’s two studies that say salt water reduces virus symptoms. Read and enjoy.

    https://www.biospace.com/article/salt-water-vs-covid-19-scottish-researchers-launch-study-to-lessen-symptoms-and-duration-of-illness/

    https://www.sciencefocus.com/news/coronavirus-simple-salt-water-solution-could-help-reduce-symptoms/

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    Lance

    US death rate from corona virus is < 1 per million and falling.

    Interesting article: https://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2020/09/the_pandemic_is_history.html

    Sweden might have been correct after all.

    When testing is unreliable, some 70% error rate, with false positives abounding, reliance on "cases" is nonsense.

    Focus on actual deaths. Strictly separate deaths FROM Covid from deaths "with" Covid, and list all co morbidities and conditions. Otherwise, even the "deaths" statistic is meaningless.

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      PeterS

      I have always considered the number of cases as pretty much useless as the count is dependent on how those who are infected are tested, which varies from place to place. Even the methods used can vary a lot. The count of deaths is more relevant but even then it is subject to distortion, sometimes deliberately as we have seen.

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        Lance, we can’t just focus on deaths. There is the hospitalization burden, the burden on healthworkers (0.5% death rate from infections in the US) and there is the long term disability and risk cost as well.

        This virus ruins the hospital system. And we don’t know if survivors have a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, dementia, kidney failure, mental health problems, and diabetes (for starters) ten or twenty years from now.

        We don’t know if second infections are worse than first ones in some people. Reinfection data is just too thin.

        Death stats may be an underestimate too — take away the mistaken cases but add in a percentage of undiagnosed Covid and the number is more likely to rise than fall. See Excess Deaths.

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          PeterS

          In other words the official deaths stats are inaccurate. That’s what many here have been saying for a long time. Some doctors say they are inflated while others say they are not. Take your pick.

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          • #

            In other words, welcome to the world of medicine where experiments can’t be reduced to one variable easily like they can in physics. Ethically, we just can’t do the experiments we want — “Goebels”.

            The death stats are no more inaccurate than anything else in medicine.

            Death is complex.

            All systems have more variables than we can measure or model accurately.

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    Gabriel Pentelie

    “Nations that use masks have lower death rates:

    In countries where mask wearing was already commonplace, such as Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, South Korea, and Singapore, and in countries where mask wearing was quickly embraced, such as the Czech Republic, rates of severe illness and death have remained comparatively low. — Nina Bai, UCSF”

    Utter nonsense.

    There is NO correlation to be found between mask-wearing prevalence and COVID mortality rates, be it at the international level (unless one cherry-picks a handful of Asian countries and, for “good” measure, throws in a non-Asian one like the Czech Republic) or the intra-national level (e.g. comparing COVID mortality rates vs mask wearing prevalence among the 50 states in the U.S.).

    Heck, one can’t even find such a correlation on an intra-STATE level, as the following article (link at the bottom) about the situation in Florida’s 67 counties points out (make sure to check out the chart titled “Deaths per 100K Population & Average Mask Use (Always + Frequently) – FL” that immediately follows the paragraph that reads: “If you select the deaths tab, you can see that there is no relationship at all between mask use and deaths per 100k population in Florida.”

    PS:
    If the “More Mask-Wearers = Fewer COVID deaths” case were as clear-cut as its proponents insist it is, there would be no need for them to accompany it with the manipulative “Masks are so cheap compared to all the other options. It seems crazy not to use them …” type rhetorical device. A rhetorical device that’s quite reminiscent of the one that, with increasing frequency as their case was increasingly crumbling, the global warming/climate change ALARMISTS needed to deploy. “Giving up your single-use plastic bags is such a small ask in exchange for saving the PLANET, you’d be crazy to keep using them”, etc., etc., etc., etc.

    Aforepromised link: https://alachuachronicle.com/is-the-rise-and-fall-of-covid-in-florida-inexplicable/

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    Annie

    I have continued to wear masks throughout, ever since I managed to get some. It is only for relatively short periods while shopping and doing other chores in town. I have always ensured that my mask is clean, handled with clean hands and fitting well. It is amusing (almost) to see people wearing ill-fitting dirty masks that they keep hitching into place. They could certainly do with basic lessons in hygiene! Yesterday one rather large female walked straight into the local supermarket, totally ignoring the hand sanitiser. She is the type from which I am trying to protect myself.
    Masks might not be the complete answer, life is risky anyway at the best of times, but I will continue to use a mask.
    I am mystified by the claim that you can’t smile and talk with one on. Speaking clearly and smiling while acknowedging fellow shoppers hasn’t been too difficult. The majority seem to be able to tell if one is smiling…the ‘eyes’ have it! and a brief ‘Hello’.
    So, for me, clean mask, distancing as far as possible (some people are hopeless at that too :( ), and hand sanitiser while in town, and regular VitC, VitD, Zn, Quercetin at home.
    Now I need to go and get some of the lovely sunshine outside; a little bit of gardening beckons. Maybe one day it will be warm enough not to need the stove and dusting might be a more worthwhile pastime! Oh, don’t forget the dust and spiders of summer, when our squelchy muddy paddocks turn to one solid mudbrick with dust on top! Natural VitD time.

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    Dipole

    For one half of my professional working life I worked close to my patients without a mask, then from 1984 The requirement was to wear a mask, so I did.

    My wife and I noticed a vast improvement in my health. Less colds and sniffles, not completely eliminated but greatly reduced.

    The leaky mask was designed to stop gross droplet spread to the patient, not the reverse, but, it worked in my case study.

    So, I agree that reduced transmissible viral/bacterial load seems to be important, it certainly was in my case,

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  • #

    They aren’t wearing masks in Sweden and a few other countries. They’re doing just fine.

    To those who say that surgeons and doctors wear them all day: yeah, and they change them over regularly, throwing out the used ones.

    If you want to wear one, fine by me, though.

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    Ross

    Anyone advocating mask use who is NOT in Victoria, Australia or another country where masks are mandated should remain silent. If you’re not being forced to wear them, keep quiet. All the recent so called “science” that I have seen purporting to show effectiveness of masks have generally all been observational studies. Usually with no control groups ( to compare to), are not supervised, get results either by phone or web survey. What’s worse, they are conducted just recently in the middle of the COVID panic, where any results from these studies have serious bias. One of the gold standard trials (RCT) testing mask effectiveness is by Macintyre CR (2014:2015). Over a thousand participants in high infection situations (Vietnam hospitals), influenza like illnesses (ILI’s) properly diagnosed, control groups for comparison with robust supervision and analysis. Cloth masks (those cheap blue ones most people wear) failed dismally and provide worse results than a control group. N95′s better but still showed significant leakage and infection. Its one of the main studies quoted by WHO.

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    RossP

    This look at the stats in the UK raises the interesting question —Why are the lock downs and restrictions not affecting flu deaths?

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/09/flu-is-killing-more-people-than-covid19-and-has-been-for-months/

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      OriginalSteve

      Funny you should say that.

      I find the hype that goes with all this is similar to the frenzy of the climate alarmists when the effectiveness of the con was starting to wear off

      The idea it seems is to hype peoples emotions so people have no time to think.

      I suspect the Brits, who are Master Propagandists have realized the CDC report plus thd obvious success of Sweden is causing the meme to start yo unravel.

      There is also an unrelenting demonization of “anti – vxxers” now in the news, attempting to smear anyone who expresses *any* doubt of the covid con , whether they be against vaccines, or demanding fredoms ir refusung to wear masks – as a “dirty, scary, scares-small-children” awful “anti-vxxer”…..its a very slick and rather panicked response from the Elite to portray people who havent drunk the covid kool aid as unhinged.

      Pro choice is powerful, which is why the Elite are working so hard to crush people who dare to buck the whole sick setup.

      I know who is unhinged…they sit in the seats of power currently…..

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    7887

    Kerry Mullins the doctor who invented the PCR test was adamant it shouldn’t be used for diagnosis.

    So I would suggest so called asymptotic cases are in fact false positives and actual cases are probably about 80% less proclaimed.

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    • #

      here we go again. You could at least get his name right.

      It is not used for diagnosis of the person being actively infectious. It is used for detecting the presence of the virus’s genetic material which it does fantastically well.

      The interpretation of this information is that as it is highly likely that the person is infectious as shown by transmission of the disease by people who test positive, the best thing to do from a public health point of view, is to assume that all positives for the PCR test are infectious.

      Also on Mullis – he did nothing to develop PCR in the thousands of ways that occurred in the 40 or so years after he conceptualised it and he was not a lab worker nor had clinical training.

      Could you please spread this around with the same vigour as you were spreading the half true version?

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      Fred Streeter

      The Real Time PCR phase provides a “bulked up” (up to 35 billion copies per viral RNA string) Transcribed Viral DNA sample from an Upper Respiratory Swab or a Lower Respiratory Sample.

      Then the Diagnostic Test phase compares the sample of Transcribed Viral DNA against that of SARS-CoV-2.

      If there is a match Bob’s your Uncle – Healthcare Professionals can perform further tests to determine appropriate procedures.

      As it is possible to have your Lungs infected with SARS-CoV-2 and yet have your Upper Respiratory Tract show no infection, or infection by a different virus e.g. Influenza, my preferred testing procedure would be on the lines of:

      Test 1: Upper Respiratory Tract Swab.
      Negative? – Test 3 (preferably) else Test 2.
      Test 2: Upper Respiratory Tract Swab.
      Negative? – Test 3.
      Test 3: Lower Respiratory Tract Sample.
      Negative? – Go home.

      Else Commend your body to your Health Care Professionals, and your soul to your God(s).

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        what is your point Fred?

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          Fred Streeter

          I expanded a bit on your very valid point:

          It is not used for diagnosis of the person being actively infectious. It is used for detecting the presence of the virus’s genetic material which it does fantastically well.

          as I was impressed by the transcription and “bulking” technique. Thought others might be.

          Accepting that:

          the best thing to do from a public health point of view, is to assume that all positives for the PCR test are infectious.

          a Lower Respiratory Tract Sample provides a better test for positives. More intrusive, but from a public health point of view, essential. That is, I think, a valid point.

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    Dwayne

    As always, nothing is set in stone.

    https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/

    Example – A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article

    Experts, we chose to listen to the ones we agree with, eh?

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    Salome

    Crowded public transport, shops and shopping centres/strips–o.k., perhaps. But walking the dog on low-density suburban streets?

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      RickWill

      Masks are not required in Victoria if you jog. I believe the jogger must carry one though.

      I consider jogging is more likely to shed the virus from an infected person than another walking without exertion. But then Victoria is the Circus State and sense is a rare commodity.

      Also the curfew does not apply if you are an essential worker going to and from work or a junkie going to and from the only legal injecting room. The woke world is a strange place indeed.

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    UK-Weather Lass

    How do you determine viral load if it isn’t by length of exposure and the likely severity of the virus in the infected person? How does a mask alone stop this load if the mask itself is beyond its serviceable life? We seem to be naturally mentally geared up to avoid people who look ill or not well and maintain a distance if we can do so. An exception would be mothers (and fathers to a degree) and their own children but in some cases that care applies to any child. How much of a load would a asymptomatic person carry and how would we measure it when our testing throws up far too many misreadings?

    Just serious questions to which I cannot find reasonable answers other than from David Price, the frontline doctor in a NY Hsopital back in March who explicitly stated what he thought kept him safe (and therefore his family) and knew that masks had to be regularly changed.

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      tonyb

      Weather Girl

      Here is the official UK advice on masks;

      “You must regularly change it

      You should aim to wash or change your mask every time you wear it. You should also change it if you’ve sneezed or coughed into it.

      Change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it, the guidance adds.”

      Weather girl, unless the habits of the public in your part of the UK are utterly different to those in mine-Torbay,so we have visitors from all over the country-this advice is not remotely adhered to

      We do the mask hokey cokey with constant touching, pulling down, pulling up, removing, touching face, surfaces, products, then they are worn just under the chin, taken off at a café where they are placed on surfaces and then picked up and worn again, leaving any virus on the surface or whatever was on the surface is now transferred directly to the face

      Then they are stuffed in pockets ready to be used again in the next shop and the mask hokey cokey will begin all over again.

      The idea that these unsanitary pieces of cloth-unless worm absolutely correctly-is protecting us from anything defies logic.

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        UK-Weather Lass

        I am aware of that but what David Price was referring to was changing the mask every fifteen to twenty minutes which is the safe period for the best masks money can buy. Just an observation.

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          Weather lass

          I am agreeing with you. What fraction of the population are following the rules, let alone the very stringent ones you cite?

          in effect we are covering our faces with the equivalent of a dirty dish cloth and the idea they are providing significant protection needs to be seriously questioned.

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    David Maddison

    This is an excellent video. Full of data and analysis. Plus predictions. Please watch. 37 mins

    https://youtu.be/8UvFhIFzaac

    “Viral Issue Crucial Update Sept 8th: the Science, Logic and Data Explained!” By Ivor Cummins

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      PeterS

      Amazingly rich with real data and analyses, ie real science. How refreshing. Confirms models have been way wrong. Also interesting to see how lockdowns and masks don’t have much impact in the real world. Many other factors are discussed.

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    el gordo

    Some US states are faltering.

    ‘As the United States celebrated Labor Day on the last three-day holiday weekend of the summer, coronavirus cases are reported to be rising in 22 of the 50 states, and one reason is the reopening of schools and colleges.

    ‘Colleges are dealing with the arrival of students from some places with high infection rates into dormitories and off-campus housing-and some schools are seeing widespread partying on and off campus.’ China Daily

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      Peter C

      China Daily? Are they a good source for happenings in the USA? Maybe they are, given the state of the MSM in America.

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        el gordo

        ‘As more U.S. universities and colleges try to reopen with in-person instruction, outbreaks, student parties and pushback from instructors and students are threatening their plans.

        ‘More than 51,000 cases have been reported at more than 1,000 campuses. Some students have faced serious consequences for breaking the rules.’ New York Times

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          OriginalSteve

          Yeah but the CDC “94% report” has basically blown the lid off the covid con.

          Infections are up…but for a bad flu, its not a big deal.

          I promise you…if the hype stopped in the MSM, no one would even notice covid…which is why boofhead boris thd performing monkey in the UK had been trotted out to keep the curcus pumped up on thin air.

          I tire of the nonsense….

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          David A

          So how many US college hospitalized and his many dead since reopening.

          Last I heard at 29 k cases was zero hospitalized, zero dead.

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    Geoff Sherrington

    This is what concerns me about Victoria’s tactics including compulsory masks for folk like me.
    There are pockets of people where the number of positive test cases has been persistently higher than elsewhere. This has gone on for months. Clearly (perhaps) the residents there are doing something different to prolong the incidence. That is what I would be researching, to see if the rest of the country can be advised what NOT to do.
    Yet, I have seen little practical outcome of this type, apart from advice to keep 1.5 metres apart and to wear a mask. It would surprise me if no more advice than this is known. It would not surprise me to learn in due course that there are some other activities like communal prayer groups that disobey these guidelines but whose findings are repressed because the government does not want to be accused of religious discrimination. There has been a persistent record of infections for one ethnic religious school, for example, but I have seen no lessons flowing from its study. Geoff S

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      OriginalSteve

      The whole aim of the sick of “social distancing” rubbish is not much more than establishing a significant control grid on all aspects of life like some truly sick prank.

      I have studied these people for a long time and know how they tick.

      The reason pregnant women get arrested is to send a harsh message which is

      “Obey…or youre next!!”

      These people appear to have no morals, appear to be sociopaths of the worst kind.

      Do you honestly thjnk this has all just happened by chance? Its been planned years in advance.

      We need to keep demanding freedoms be returned and never let up.

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      Geoff

      Yes, the same thought occurs to me. If people are being sensible, social distancing, hand washing and not going to large gatherings whether o social, religious or sporting, just how are they
      PIcking up infections serious enough to be hospitalised and perhaps die?

      We never seem to be told so we can avoid the same fate.

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      Geoff: that there are some other activities like communal prayer groups that disobey these guidelines

      I have been thinking similarly: that perhaps diversity has not been our strength so much as our reason for lockdown…

      We’ll never find out though – Andrews does not even tell epidemiologists what’s going on, so the proletariat are never going to find out. Plus it’d be “racist” to notice anything of the sort, so again, no way are our commie dictators going to let anything like that out of the bag if such a thing is in the bag to be released…

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    ianl

    https://lighthouse.mq.edu.au/article/june-2020/81-of-COVID-positive-passengers-on-Antarctic-cruise-ship-had-no-symptoms-new-study

    That will make Nova’s head spin. And none had “masks”, even though they were confined to 2-people cabins for a long period.

    As will this:

    N-95 masks are tested to 300nm (says so, right on the box – cannot be used for viral protection).

    C-19 particles are between 15-100nm, so at best the highest grade surgical mask available for the general public has 300 times too large a mesh.

    So now we have arm-waving “large droplet clusters” with no empirical evidence as to the distribution of viral particles in relation to air flow and the droplet sizes down to molecular.

    And now we have Taiwan and other SE Asian countries mentioned but only to bolster “masks”. Nothing to do with the immediacy of closing their international borders, nor their rigid, practised contact tracing and quarantine. I was observing on a Zoom meeting with the Deputy Director Health, Taiwan a few months ago, where he was asked this exact “mask” question – he gently implied they were placebos, to help control panic because people felt safer. It should be known that Taiwan has less than 1/20th of Aus deaths attributed to C-19 and yet they closed only karaoke bars for about two weeks (source is the same Taiwanese official). Taiwan has about 23 million people as against 25 million for Aus, yet Taiwan’s land mass is roughly an elongated oval about 300km long axis by 150km short axis – about Newcastle-Wollongong-Lithgow – so their crammed city populations should have decimated them.

    And that’s where we are here. I have no doubt that hysterics will win the day. They wave arms so well.

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      That is interesting you use the word placebo. Two uk govt ministers said masks weren’t going to be introduced as there was scant evidence they worked and the very next day boris introduced masks saying they would encourage confidence amongst the meek who were not going out shopping and going to cafes and boosting the economy. So i Guess that is also a placebo

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      Konrad

      They only closed karaoke bars for two weeks?! Now that’s letting a good crisis go to waste …

      Soju, K-Pop and open microphones? The horror! The horror!(Especially for the designated driver).

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    richard

    Flu VS Covid,

    Masks and lock down made no difference.

    “A report from the UK’s Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that since at least June 19th, more people in the UK have been dying of influenza than Covid19.”

    https://off-guardian.org/2020/09/09/flu-is-killing-more-people-than-covid19-and-has-been-for-months/

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    richard

    “The effectiveness of individual infection control measures (e.g., cough etiquette, hand hygiene) and the role of surgical masks or respirators in preventing the transmission of influenza are currently unknown’

    https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pandemic-resources/pdf/community_mitigation-sm.pdf?fbclid=IwAR1sMmehOSZ8hHRKEPJEP2hUbkXbNMlS4sGRqQ7s5iLWOpyfQDErd4Wg_SE

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    richard

    https://swprs.org/face-masks-evidence/

    [I keeps tellin people that a link by itself is a spam filter magnet. Please type a brief explanation of what your link is about] ED

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    richard

    1. Studies on the effectiveness of face masks
    So far, most studies found little to no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control.

    A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the US CDC found that face masks had no effect, neither as personal protective equipment nor as a source control. (Source)
    A July 2020 review by the Oxford Centre for Evidence-Based Medince found that there is no evidence for the effectiveness of cloth masks against virus infection or transmission. (Source)
    A Covid-19 cross-country study by the University of East Anglia found that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection. (Source)
    An April 2020 review by two US professors in respiratory and infectious disease from the University of Illinois concluded that face masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). (Source)
    An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 came to the conclusion that cloth face masks offer little to no protection in everyday life. (Source)
    An April 2020 Cochrane review (preprint) found that face masks in the general population or health care workers didn’t reduce influenza-like illness (ILI) cases. (Source)
    An April 2020 review by the Norwich School of Medicine (preprint) found that “the evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of facemasks”, but supports the use of masks by “particularly vulnerable individuals when in transient higher risk situations.” (Source)
    A July 2020 study by Japanese researchers found that cloth masks “offer zero protection against coronavirus” due to their large pore size and generally poor fit. (Source)
    A 2015 study in the British Medical Journal BMJ Open found that cloth masks were penetrated by 97% of particles and may increase infection risk by retaining moisture or repeated use. (Source)
    Additional aspects

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      Peter C

      Thanks Richard,

      That is a fairly comprehensive list of studies. Unfortunately your links to the sources did not work. Perhaps you could repost.

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        richard

        https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article
        https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/masking-lack-of-evidence-with-politics/
        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.01.20088260v1.full.pdf
        https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2020/04/commentary-masks-all-covid-19-not-based-sound-data
        https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372
        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.03.30.20047217v2
        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.01.20049528v1
        http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13523664
        https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/5/4/e006577

        An overview:

        A German study claimed that the introduction of compulsory masks in German cities had led to a decrease in infections. But the data does not support this: in some cities there was no change, in others a decrease, in others an increase in infections (see graph below). The city of Jena was an ‘exception’ only because it simultaneously introduced the strictest quarantine rules in Germany, but the study did not mention this.
        A study in the journal PNAS claimed that masks had led to a decrease in infections in three global hotspots (including New York City). But the study did not take into account the natural decrease in infections and other simultaneous measures. The study was so flawed that over 40 scientists recommended that the study be withdrawn.
        A much-cited meta-study in the journal Lancet, commissioned by the WHO, claimed that masks “could” lead to a reduction in the risk of infection, but the studies considered mainly respirators in a hospital setting, not cloth masks in a community setting, the strength of the evidence was reported as “low”, and experts found numerous flaws in the study. Professor Peter Jueni, epidemiologist at the University of Toronto, called the WHO study “essentially useless”.
        A US study claimed that mandatory masks had led to a decrease in infections in 15 states. The study did not take into account that the incidence of infection was already declining in most states at that time. A comparison with other states was not made.
        A Canadian study claimed that countries with mandatory masks had fewer deaths than countries without mandatory masks. But the study compared African, Latin American, Asian and Eastern European countries with very different infection rates and population structures.
        Additional aspects
        There is increasing evidence that the SARS-2 coronavirus is transmitted, at least in indoor settings, not only by droplets but also by smaller aerosols. However, due to their large pore size and poor fit, cloth masks cannot filter out aerosols (see video analysis below): over 90% of aerosols penetrate or bypass the mask and fill a medium-sized room within minutes.
        The WHO admitted to the BBC that its June 2020 mask policy update was due not to new evidence but “political lobbying”: “We had been told by various sources WHO committee reviewing the evidence had not backed masks but they recommended them due to political lobbying. This point was put to WHO who did not deny.” (D. Cohen, BBC Medical Corresponent)
        Japan, despite its widespread use of face masks, experienced its most recent influenza epidemic with more than 5 million people falling ill just one year ago, in January and February 2019. However, unlike SARS-2, the influenza virus is transmitted by children, too.
        Many states that introduced mandatory face masks on public transport and in shops in spring or early summer, such as Hawaii, California, Argentina, Spain, France and Japan, still saw a strong increase in infections from July onwards, indicating a low effectiveness of mask policies.
        Austrian scientists found that the introduction, retraction and re-introduction of mandatory face masks in Austria had no influence at all on the infection rate.
        In the US state of Kansas, the 90 counties without mask mandates had lower coronavirus infection rates than the 15 counties with mask mandates. To hide this fact, the Kansas health department tried to manipulate the official statistics and data presentation.
        Contrary to common belief, studies in hospitals found that the wearing of a medical mask by surgeons during operations didn’t reduce post-operative bacterial wound infections in patients.
        In children, the risk of Covid-19 disease and transmission is very low – much lower than for influenza – and face masks for children are therefore, in general, not indicated.
        During the notorious 1918 influenza pandemic, the use of cloth face masks among the general population was widespread and in some places mandatory, but they made no difference.

        3. Risks associated with face masks
        Wearing masks for a prolonged period of time is not harmless, as the following evidence shows:

        The WHO warns of various “side effects” such as difficulty breathing and skin rashes.
        Tests conducted by the University Hospital of Leipzig in Germany have shown that face masks significantly reduce the resilience and performance of healthy persons.
        A German psychological study with about 1000 participants found “severe psychosocial consequences” due to the introduction of mandatory face masks in Germany.
        The Hamburg Environmental Institute warned of the inhalation of chlorine compounds in polyester masks as well as problems in connection with face mask disposal.
        The European rapid alert system RAPEX has already recalled 70 mask models because they did not meet EU quality standards and could lead to “serious risks”.
        In China, two boys who had to wear a mask during sports classes fainted and died.
        In the US, a car driver wearing an N95 (FFP2) mask fainted and crashed into a pole.
        Conclusion
        Cloth face masks in the general population might be effective, at least in some circumstances, but there is currently little to no evidence supporting this proposition. If the SARS-2 virus is indeed transmitted via indoor aerosols, cloth masks are unlikely to be protective. Health authorities should therefore not assume or suggest that cloth face masks will reduce the rate or risk of infection.

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        richard

        I have posted the sources but is in moderation.

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    el gordo

    If you find yourself in a cluster, then masks are a must.

    ‘It works in the cramped confines of a warship – during the outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt, 81 per cent of crew not wearing masks were infected versus 56 per cent of those wearing masks. It works in a healthcare setting – in February, 41 healthcare workers in a Singapore hospital were exposed, for at least 10 minutes at less than two metres’ distance, to an intubated patient having procedures known to be at very high risk of causing the spread of COVID-19 droplets (before the patient was diagnosed with COVID-19). They all wore masks, mostly standard surgical masks, and none were infected.’ SMH

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      Kalm Keith

      And the Shydney Morgen Herald has never displayed bias in its reporting.

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      el gordo / SMH: ‘It works in the cramped confines of a warship

      “It works in the cramped confines of a warship” + “56 per cent of those wearing masks” (were infected) is not my definition of “wearing a mask works”.

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    Gabriel Pentelie

    1.
    The Dutch and Swedish health authorities recently announced that they were not going to mandate mask wearing on the basis of lack of proven effectiveness.

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/dutch-government-wont-require-face-masks-over-lack-of-proven-effectiveness

    2.
    Denmark began a study involving 6,000 people (randomly separated into 3,000 mask-wearers and 3,000 non mask-wearers) on April 2. The study was completed on time, on June 2. Results were supposed to be announced by the end of August. Nothing yet, however, and no explanation for the delay has been provided.

    Here are the study details:
    https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT04337541

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      Gabriel: no explanation for the delay has been provided.

      I have a hypothesis.

      Check out this link: Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review

      You can find the original article via web.archive.org, where it starts with a quote:

      Yesterday’s Scientific Dogma is Today’s Discarded Fable

      The article was replaced with the following statement:

      If you are looking for “Why Face Masks Don’t Work: A Revealing Review” by John Hardie, BDS, MSc, PhD, FRCDC, it has been removed. The content was published in 2016 and is no longer relevant in our current climate.

      My hypothesis is that the Denmark “mask effectiveness” study did not find what the allies of Denmark wanted it to find, so due to the “current climate”, the study results are “no longer relevant”.

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    Governments the world over are mandating mask usage to “stop the virus”.

    Thank you Jo, for providing further evidence that masks do not stop the spread of infection, something I have been arguing for some time now…

    I disagree with your conclusion (we should wear masks) as
    1. in my estimation, the viral dose of walking past someone outside sans masks will be lower than the viral dose on a cruise ship with a bunch of infected people wearing masks
    2. all the animated gifs “proving” masks work require everybody to be a mouth breather or marathon runners in training
    3. masks mandates are the thin edge of the wedge that includes Victorian police harassing grandmothers and pregnant women in parks for sitting on benches
    4. psychologically, visual virtue signalling devices like masks that are pure security theatre induce conformism and outgroup (non mask wearing) hate equivalent to racism of old
    5. there’s a much simpler solution:

    if you’re scared, or vulnerable, you wear a mask, stay home, work from home, etc.

    I’ll repeat again: we (society at large) are not stuck on a ship (cruise or war) nor stuck in a work environment for 8 hours with guaranteed (very sick / in hopsital) infectees. Masks are not necessary for society at large. Proportionate responses should be implemented.

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    OriginalSteve

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/286997

    “‘Coronavirus does not pose a threat to society’

    “Laniado Hospital Emergency Medicine Department Director Dr. Amir Shachar, one of the founders of the emergency medicine profession in Israel, explained his doctrine regarding Israel’s response to the coronavirus, saying countries that imposed closure did not manage to stop the outbreak any more than countries that did not use this measure.

    “Shahar spoke with Sivan Cohen and explained why he felt the Swedish method of fighting the virus should be adopted, expressing his opinion on the expected closure: “It’s an epidemic but it harms the weak, the sick, and the elderly. The virus does not pose a threat to society.”

    “He went on to comment on the high coronavirus data and corrected: “We only have about 50 new patients in Israel a day, and not 3,000. The health system should be given the means to cope long-term.”

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    John Robertson

    Masks may be a red herring.
    The virus has already killed the most vulnerable in many places,hence any future infections will be milder,less lethal..with no change in the virus and regardless of the methods adopted to ward off the plague.

    Masks ..may work,but which masks?
    What is a “good mask”?.
    If “safety instructions” so vague,were issued on an industrial work site,as in an airborne hazard threatens all..
    But we have no idea which filters will block it,no clue how to decontaminate your Personal Protective Equipment..But you just have to tie your handkerchief over your nose and all will be well..The site worker would revolt.
    And rightly so.
    Having worn various respirators for various toxins over the years,this vapid “Face coverings” nonsense is absurd.

    For the public safety instructions,even where masks are mandated,are face covering..no medical rating,no industrial standard,no definition of an effective mask.

    Which leads me to see them as effective as Hex’s..
    99% of all who pray to the Great Googly Woogly and place Hex’s at all points of entry,are plague free..
    Is as scientifically valid as the claims made for wearing trendy little cloth things over your nose.

    So how is Brazil doing?
    Last I heard they were stabilizing,levelling off at less than 150 000 dead,which will compare very favourably with Sweden,with 7000 dead out of a 10 million population.

    What if all we are accomplishing with our lock downs,is dragging the die off out over some years?
    Instead of 3 months?
    What if the Wuhan Flu is lethal for 7/10 000 no matter what “public Health” does?

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    7887

    Masks lockdowns do nothing.
    You can not argue with data.
    https://youtu.be/8UvFhIFzaac

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    DonS

    Hi Jo

    You make a persuasive argument about the viral load being important when it comes to the severity of the illness. This got me to thinking that we may be looking at the effectiveness of masks from the wrong angle. I mean that it might not be the airborne prevention that’s important but the prevention of hand to face contact that is the key.

    One would expect that the larger droplets with their large viral load would settle on surfaces close to the source in large numbers. Touching that surface with your hand and then touching your face would deliver a much larger load of virus. Small droplets carrying less virus would float away in the air, separate, and if inhaled give a lower dose with or without a mask. Something to consider?

    In you post you mentioned Portland Down, the UKs major bio and chemical weapons research lab. A few weeks ago I saw a SKY UK news item on the research they were doing on the Wuhan19 virus and what surprised me was that no technicians working in the lab had masks on. They were wearing lab coats, gloves and safety glasses but not a mask to be seen. Don’t know if it means anything but I would have thought that people who deal with seriously deadly bacteria and viruses might know a thing or two about the usefulness of masks.

    Sorry about all the might’s and maybe’s in my comments on this topic but so much about this virus remains unknown, and unlike others, I’m not willing to bang a stake in the ground and defend it to the death. Not yet anyway :)

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    Konrad

    This post is going to be a small novel, but it is going somewhere …

    Although not mandated in NSW, I wear a mask in crowded places and on public transport. This is because my masks are super cool. They are P95 and decorated with chemical resistant paint to look like my gravitar. The standard elastic is replaced with a hydrocarbon resistant elastomer, and I sterilize after use with Isopropanol 60. It amuses the kids and makes the fearful “Kens” and “Karens” scowl from behind their useless blue face diapers. I have a better mask than they do, yet I am clearly not taking things seriously. My next remake will add little wolfie ears on the top elastic. (Those cute Japanese students who can’t stop sneaking photos on their phones are going to totally lose it ;)

    But besides drawing the admiring attention of anime obsessed students, my scientific opinion is that in regards to the China Virus, masks outside of a hospital setting are worse than useless.

    Not useless. Worse than useless. This has nothing to do with the low risk of bacterial respiratory infection, but rather their very low efficacy being far outweighed by three critical negatives:
    1. They give wearers a false sense of security. People forget surface to hand contamination. Wearing the mask is a physical action that causes people to switch their brain off.
    2. The recommendation or mandating of masks allows politicians to seem to be “doing something” and “following the science” when they actually have no clue as to how to escape the “lockdown until vaccine” trap they have charged into, let alone start working on solutions instead of CYA excuses.
    3. And the worst: recommending or mandating masks is a political trap. Politicians have a pathological aversion to admitting fault. Politicians will not now act to address the actual primary method of China Virus transmission, because masks have locked in the wrong answer: “Aerosol droplets from the respiratory tract”.

    I called this one very early based on engineering/design highest probability analysis of four early data blocks as opposed to the common medical approach of dither and delay, call for more pathology, claim insufficient data, then clamp your head in the “analysis paralysis” vice.

    1. Frustration with the politically compromised WHO in December 2019 caused Taiwan to release the critical information: Novel Coronavirus. Human to human transmission occurring. Persons infectious before fever or respiratory symptoms occurring. SARS-1 screening won’t stop it.
    2. Diamond Princess. Gastro spread pattern. Many patients that developed respiratory symptoms later recalled mild gastro they quickly got over many days before. Even when passengers were confined to cabins and all passenger/crew interactions were limited with both parties masked, the infection continued to spread amongst both passengers and crew. Crew who shared bathrooms. Crew who were hand delivering and collecting food service from passengers.
    3. Virus spreading incident in Hong Mei House in Hong Kong. Poor plumbing was allowing air exchange between sewerage pipes and apartment air.
    4. RNA sequence for China Virus released late January indicates ACE2 cell receptor pathway. Same as SARS-1. The highest expression of the ACE2 receptor in the body is the gastrointestinal tract. Evidence from 2003 showed SARS-1 was able to be spread via faecal matter (although this was not the primary transmission pathway).

    Only one primary transmission method fit all these initial four data blocks: feacal fomites from the gastro intestinal tract. This had been a secondary transmission method for SARS-1, but had to be the highest probability for primary transmission of the new China Virus.

    Since the end of January, the data has continued to mount (not in chronological order):
    - Swab testing of surfaces in Wuhan hospital corridors and rooms indicated highest viral loads on floors. (Squat toilets and high foot traffic outpacing routine cleaning?).
    - Chinese scientists report positive tests on stool samples for patients that tested negative on respiratory swabs.
    - Several repeats of the Hong Mai House incident in locked down towers in Wuhan.
    - Virus makes it into Beijing on nightsoil fertilised village vegetable produce.
    - Limited person to person transmission occurring on short haul airline flights but more on long haul.
    - Very limited transmission occurring on buses, trains and trams.
    - Recent Sydney bus transmission must have been hands-surface-hands as security video shows persons were masked.
    - Limited transmission at large outdoor gatherings.
    - Almost all clusters in Australia limited to venues where staff, patrons or both used toilet facilities on site, or homes where residents shared facilities.
    - Hospital staff continue to get infected despite the best masks and highest training. (Guess where they are not wearing their PPE?).
    - Most recent sewerage testing study from University of Arizona reveals that infected persons can be detected days before respiratory swab tests return a positive result.
    - Regional R0 factors and infection patterns revealed by higher testing rates indicate that persons are infectious for an average of 5.6 days before respiratory swabs will return a positive result.

    Now think about that last point. Just how could people be spreading the virus via respiratory aerosol, when their respiratory viral load is too low to return a positive swab test?

    Now if my analysis of the available data is correct and feacal fomites are the primary transmission mechanism for the new China Virus, then with the simplest of technological measures we could stamp this virus out of existence practically overnight. We wouldn’t need a vaccine. We would just need to abandon the flawed “respiratory droplet” narrative that masks are propping up.

    Masks are the mind killer. Masks are the little-lie that brings total obscuration.

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      Roger Knights

      Andrew McRae commented on another site: “There is evidence of the virus being present in urine and so some nurses have assumed the virus can become aerosolised during urination. This implies the air circulating around men’s urinals present a higher than usual risk of infection. … If an outbreak happens here, perhaps guys should temporarily join the sit-down club for the duration of the epidemic?? Better to swallow your pride than cough up a lung, I imagine.”
      http://joannenova.com.au/2020/02/coronavirus-now-they-get-it/#comment-2283131

      Could this partly explain why males are more susceptible to the infection than females?

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        Konrad

        Fair questions.

        Yes, it is true that antigen tests have come up positive for urine, but unlike feacal fomites, there appears to be little transmissible virus. (My guess: unlike the gastrointestinal tract, the kidneys (which are also targeted by the China Virus) don’t shed damaged cells into the waste stream in the same way. Bowel cancer can be detected in stool samples. Bladder cancer in urine samples. But Kidney cancer does not seem easily detectable in urine, beyond blood as a possible indicator). Sperm however is very likely a transmission vector, as the testis have a high expression of the ACE2 cell receptor. However the infection of the testis would require wide spread viral load in the body as per SARS-1. Such a case would be shedding the virus from gastrointestinal tract and later respiratory tract far before sperm ever became an issue.

        On the male / female bias issue, this appears to be directly related to the higher expression of the ACE2 cell receptor in males, rather than bathroom habits. There are additional susceptibilities due to age and race. Some of these are quite strange: south east Asians have lower than average ACE2 receptor expression below 20 years and higher than average thereafter. While not widely publicized (to minimize woke squealing) the NHS in the UK is quietly conducting racial and gender profiling of health workers, in an attempt to move those at higher risk away from China virus front lines.

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    richard

    CDC have admitted masks don’t work . They have advised that masks used for Covid do not work for the smoke from forest fires – the particulates in fires are much larger than the virus.

    A quick Google search will tell us that the Wuhan Virus is .12 microns in size.

    A quick Google search will tell us that smoke particles and debris are usually .4 to .7 microns in size. According to the CDC, cloth masks are not effective in stopping materials that size.

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      DonS

      richard, it’s not the size of virus itself but the size of the moisture droplets it travels in. The raw RNA of a virus will not survive long outside its protective environment. Droplets emmitted from people have a considerable variety of sizes from large visible to microscopically small.

      The point Jo was making, without putting wording in her mouth, was that large droplets, stopped by a mask, carry a larger virus load that in effect overwhelms the immune system and produces a more dangerous illness. Smaller droplets still get through a mask but as they carry less virus the immune system has time to respond and thus the resulting illness is less of a problem, even asymptomatic.

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    Gabriel Pentelie

    Jo, you wrote (in reply to “Staal”; link at the bottom):

    “Lockdown is not a binary thing. It’s a spectrum of activity with many different rules. Sweden did half the lockdown that London did. See all the activity graphs here:
    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/06/sweden-is-trapped-in-an-interminable-deadly-half-lockdown/ “.

    Not quite, to put it understadedly.

    Sweden’s “Driving” mobility went down 20%, but then fully recovered in May. Its “Walking” mobility went down 40%, but then fully recovered in June. Its “Transit” mobility went down 50%, but then fully recovered in July.

    Meanwhile, …

    UK’s “Driving” mobility went down 75%, and didn’t fully recover until July. Its “Walking” mobility also went down 75%, and didn’t fully recover until July. And its “Transit” mobility went down … 90%, and still hasn’t fully recovered (still down 20%).

    IOW, …

    It seems to me that Sweden’s “lockdown” was considerably less than half as severe as the UK’s, because, …

    At its most severe point, …

    Sweden’s drivers still enjoyed twice as much freedom as the UK’s (60% vs. 30%), …

    Sweden’s walkers still enjoyed more than thrice as much freedom as the UK’s (80% vs 25%), and …

    Sweden’s transit users enjoyed 5 times as much freedom as the UK’s (50% vs 10%).

    Furthermore, as mentioned above, its drivers, walkers, and transit users regained their freedom noticeably faster than the UK’s.

    And yet, …

    Sweden’s COVID deaths/million is lower than the UK’s: 578 vs. 612. But let me be reasonable and just say that they’re about the same.

    As such, …

    I suggest that, rather than SUPPORTIVE of your et al’s “Lockdowns work!” argument, comparing Sweden and the UK is actually NOT helpful thereof in the least.

    You also wrote, …

    “And 50% of Swedes live by themselves in a form of solitary confinement. They live in semi isolation every day of the year.”

    What an extremely hyperbolic thing to say. As if people in single-person households bear any resemblance whatsoever to solitary-confinement prisoners who are, say, limited to 1 hour/day outside their cells and/or somesuch, and don’t leave their homes to work, shop, meet others, etc..

    Good grief.

    PS:
    BTW, …

    The title of your June 3 post to which you linked above, “Sweden is trapped in an interminable deadly half lock-down”, isn’t aging very well. Nor is its subtitle,“The Swedish soft lockdown will cost more in the long run”, for that matter.

    Links:

    http://joannenova.com.au/2020/09/good-news-more-masks-means-more-asymptomatic-infections-and-less-severe-ones/#comment-2364141

    https://covid19.apple.com/mobility

    https://ourworldindata.org/living-alone

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      Peter C

      Thanks Gabrielle,

      I have had enough of lock downs now. I want to live my remaining years, however short they may be, in a culture of FREEDOM.

      So Yes, I think Sweden did a magnificent job and should be an object lesson to all countries that believe in individual freedom (sadly there might not be many of those).

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        Gabriel Pentelie

        Along the lines you are expressing, …

        Over the past few months, I have been helping my petite mom (80 years old) take care of my step-dad (92 years old; diabetic with 2 heart attacks on his medical history CV; pacemaker; wheelchair bound). I’ve never worn a mask around them, at their insistence. Three months ago or so, he told me he was sick and tired of the “elbow bump crap” and such and said he wanted to shake hands whenever I come over. My respect and admiration for him was always high, but it’s gone even higher since. A mensch. The kind whom, it has been quite distressing and worrisome for me to discover in the past 6 months or so, the West seems to have found itself in quite a dire shortage of.

        PS:
        “Mensch”, btw, is about an ATTITUDE toward life: realistic, clear-eyed, “there are no solutions, only trade-offs”, etc.. NOT about whether one is a man or woman. I’ve been fortunate enough to know women who are “mensch”. I’ve also been unfortunate enough to come across men who aren’t.

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          And if used a hyperbolic term does that negate the national isolation effect of 50% living in solitary quarters?

          And if Sweden did a full lockdown would those solitary quarters become like “solitary confinement”?

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            Kalm Keith

            Not sure that a hyperbaric environment would.be of any use, in fact the reverse may be a better shot.

            http://joannenova.com.au/2020/09/good-news-more-masks-means-more-asymptomatic-infections-and-less-severe-ones/#comment-2364538

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            Gabriel Pentelie

            “And if used a hyperbolic term does that negate the national isolation effect of 50% living in solitary quarters?”

            What “national isolation effect”? Just because there’s only one person listed on a lease/deed doesn’t mean that the person in question doesn’t go out to work, shop, meet relatives/friends at restaurants, bars, museums, parks, have relatives/friends over for dinner, lovers over for the night, etc., etc., etc..

            All of which the Swedes have been free to do throughout all this. All while overwhelmingly mask-less, btw, since only about 6% of Swedes have been wearing masks “Frequently/Always”.

            “And if Sweden did a full lockdown would those solitary quarters become like “solitary confinement”?”

            Yes. By definition. A full lockdown whereby people can’t leave their homes would necessarily mean that people who live alone would be confined in their homes by their lonesome selves. But Sweden didn’t do anything even remotely resembling that. So what’s the point of your hypothetical?

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      Kalm Keith

      Gabriel

      It doesn’t matter now, the devastation is nigh on complete.

      Forget the CV19, which has certainly caused some Australian medical personnel grief, forget the CV19 which compared with the flu, suicides, the CAGW induce fires, and road accidents is a small incident in our history.

      We are about to confront the biggest mental health crisis in the last five decades.

      Broken businesses, broken savings, broken dreams, broken people.

      As soon as this stupid lockdown ends the real crisis will show and it won’t be pretty.

      Who would ever, ever trust a politician again.

      KK

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        Gabriel Pentelie

        “Broken businesses, broken savings, broken dreams, broken people.

        As soon as this stupid lockdown ends the real crisis will show and it won’t be pretty.”

        I think so, too.

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    Joe974

    No worries, Jo, for moderating my question. I was actually, scientifically asking about personally known sicknesses amongst the punters on your website, just trying to sort out all the conflicting numbers being blasted from all directions, including here. I expected to get confirmation telling me to ace it up, from plenty of people who know lots of people, personally, who got sick from it, because,scientifically, you question everything, looking for the truth. I’ve lived in Reunion for 40 years and this is the 4th epidemic I’ve been in, and have gone through. A rad epidemic of dengue fevers as been upon this island for years,and it clearly is an epidemic because we all know so many people who fell sick to it. 10 years ago we had the chikangunya epidemic where just about every person on the island got it, 800,000 people, only the most near death cases allowed to queue up in front of the hospitals. My next door neighbor gave up and died from its after effects and my best mate’s 30 year old wife nearly died in hospital during it. I got a mild case of it that had the ladies in the pharmacy trying to call an ambulance for me while I was in there buying aspirin. The Black Plague epidemic I was in when I was in Madagascar for it, was more a government plea for aid money because it breaks out there all the time because they pull out their deceased rellos bodies periodically and rewrap them, catching the plague from the dust of those who died from plague years earlier. I somehow got back to Reunion, crook as a dog and spent 6 weeks in bed with pneumonia, suspected to be bubonic pneumonia by my doctor, though no one caught it from me in Reunion or during my 3 day transit through Mauritius, which I can hardly remember, I was so KOed. I may or may not have had bubonic plague, but I won’t go into the details here. The two worst periods were when I ran out of Amoxicillin, which my doctor gave me as soon as I got to Reunion and I had self prescribed in Madagascar when I came down with a sudden violent cough with no symptoms of flu and thought it might be a bacterial infection of the throat. I was 980km from where the outbreak was, but may have caught it, weakened with the sickness I had when I went through Tananarive on my epic voyage home. Anyway, you expect to know a lot of the people who get sick in an epidemic. I just wondered because no one I know, coming back in here from all over the world don’t know of any one, personally, who got sick from this one. You were the last person I expected to censor scientific inquiry by calling it a conspiracy theory. I spent 5 years writing a book about the climate, influenced by Bob Carter, ages ago, so I ‘m right behind you on climate. You seem a bit scared about this virus, and behind the government crack down. Good on ya. Hope we can sort the truth, through observation.

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      Joe794:
      1. I have not used the term “conspiracy theory”. I need to talk to the mod (who assumes I read comments held in moderation but I didn’t til now). That said, I’m grateful the mods help to keep the conversation on track. You can see why the Mod was thinking it would have to be a pretty big conspiracy for all those people (Boris too) to be roped in. Are all the people who say they got sick on youtube all fakes, like the guy who worked with Ebola? Are all the doctors who work with patients lying?
      2. If you are waiting til “a friend” falls sick you are guaranteed to be waiting until it’s too late to act. It’s not a smart way to manage a disease with a 2 week incubation.
      3. No one on Reunion has had it yes? A good thing. Yes? And you are asking a predominantly Australian blog where known infections are just 1 in 1000 people or less. What are the odds that you will find a friend of a friend? Tiny. But I’ll release the question. It’s irrelevant scientifically, but might be interesting anyhow.
      4. I know many people with medical degrees. I can name two (but I won’t for their privacy) who work in ICU wards in Australia with known cases in two states. I have talked to both. This disease exists. The patients are real. The effects on a few are horrible.
      5. I also read medical papers. There are long term effects we don’t know. “It’s a bioweapon”. You don’t want to catch it.
      6. I realize that probably won’t do it for you. You could look on youtube for the ICU docs talking about what its like, but unless you seek out experts who work with the disease (not desktop academics who bravely declare it’s fake from an armchair) you won’t find out what’s happening to real people.
      7. If you only want to find people who say this chinese bioweapon is the flu or fake, you will find them. But not necessarily the truth.
      8. Healthworkers in the US have a case fatality of 1 in 200. These are working age people doing their jobs. Do you think it is ethical or fair to expect them to keep working?

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        Gabriel Pentelie

        “2. If you are waiting til “a friend” falls sick you are guaranteed to be waiting until it’s too late to act. It’s not a smart way to manage a disease with a 2 week incubation.”

        No, no, no. The “disease with a 2 week incubation” claim, no matter how many times it is repeated, remains GROSSLY incorrect. The 2 standard deviation range thereof is about 3 to 9 days, with a median of about 6. A 14-day incubation period occurs in many fewer than 5% of cases. IOW, said claim is roughly about as GROSSLY incorrect, to use an analogy, as saying that fully grown adult humans are 2 meters tall.

        I’ve pointed this out to you before, btw. Link thereof at the bottom.

        “8. Healthworkers in the US have a case fatality of 1 in 200.”

        I challenge you to cite the source(s) you are using to back up/support this claim of yours.

        Reason for my doing so is, …

        The closest stab at this that I’ve come across is from Amnesty International (link at the bottom), which claims that, as of Aug 26, there were 1,077 U.S. healthcare workers who died of COVID. A 1/200 death rate thereof would translate to … 215,400 health care workers. That’s fewer than the 265 thousand people who, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of 2019 (link at the bottom), were employed just in the VERY NARROW field categorized as “Emergency medical technicians and paramedics”. You can, of course, imagine how swiftly the DENOMINATOR in your above “1 in 200” ratio would grow once the WHOLE panoply of “health care workers” who have been likely to have encountered COVID-shedding patients (e.g. hospital doctors and nurses working in ICUs, as well as hospital doctors and nurses working in non-ICUs, as well as registered nurses working in retirement/nursing/hospice/etc. institutions, etc., etc., etc.), no?

        And let’s not forget about the factor (the degree of which is currently, and likely forevermore, UNKNOWABLE) involving the number of people who, while definitely qualified as being categorized as being employed in the healthcare field, didn’t catch it and die from it in the course of the performance of their professional duties, but, say, from touching their nose after touching a handrail in the subway car they were riding home from their sister’s daughter’s well-attended 10th birthday party during which they may have fiddled with their face-mask (assuming they had been wearing it, of course) numerous times, etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., etc., … etc..

        Lots of error bars involved in this “1 in 200” stat that you’ve cited, IOW. And they’re quite large. Large enough, as far as I can tell, to render said claim highly questionable AT BEST.

        Hence, my above challenge to you. Looking forward to your response.

        Aforepromised links:

        http://joannenova.com.au/2020/08/australians-wiped-out-the-flu-and-avoided-50000-other-cases-of-sickness-and-disease/#comment-2356329

        https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/09/amnesty-analysis-7000-health-workers-have-died-from-covid19/

        https://www.bls.gov/emp/tables/emp-by-detailed-occupation.htm

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