Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 11, 2020

Coronavirus - How A German City Proved That Wearing Masks Works

A new study shows that mandatory mask wearing is the most effective measure during the Covid-19 epidemic.

On March 23 we started to urge everyone to wear masks during the Covid-19 pandemic:

Wearing a mask helps with protecting oneself but even more importantly helps to protect others. One might be carrying and spreading the disease without knowing it. We all release fine droplets when we speak, sneeze or cough. Masks prevent one's droplets from spreading out.

There was and still is a lot of cultural resistance in 'western' societies to wearing masks even as it seem obvious that masks help to prevent infections. But while there was evidence that masks work in certain situation there was no scientific research that showed the effects general mask wearing would have on the growth of the epidemic. We did not know how much general mask wearing would 'flatten the curve'.

We now have a sound answer. There is now a study that compares a city which ordered everyone to wear masks with a similar city that had no 'mask-up' order during the same period of the epidemic.

On April 6 the German city of Jena with a population of 110,000 people ordered everyone to wear a mask in all public settings. The announcement of the order was made a week earlier and was followed by a local awareness campaign - "Jena wears mask!"

No other city in Germany did this at the time. The states of Germany only ordered mandatory mask wearing between April 22 and 26.

For 20 days Jena was different than the rest of the country but experienced the same epidemic. That made it possible to test the effect the mask order had on the number of new cases in Jena.

To be able to make a one to one comparison with Jena researchers from the University of Mainz constructed a 'synthetic city' of the same size and demographic characteristics as Jena from the weighted data of six other German cities (selected from a bigger pool). They then compared the Covid-19 case data from Jena with the case data from the synthetic city.

At the beginning of the pandemic in Germany the synthetic city and Jena had similar developments. But ten days after the announcement of the order and four days after its mandatory implementation the case numbers in Jena dropped away from those of the comparison city.


bigger

The people in Jena started to wear masks before other German cities did so. It nearly immediately paid off.

At the time of the announcement of the mask campaign Jena and the synthetic control city each had 93 cases. On April 6 Jena had 142 registered cases compared to 143 cases in the synthetic control city. On April 26 Jena counted 158 cases and the synthetic control city had 205 cases. It shows a significant reduction in the growth of the epidemic.

The authors conclude:

We believe that the reduction in the growth rates of infections by 40% to 60% is our best estimate of the effects of face masks.
...
We should also stress that 40 to 60% might still be a lower bound. The daily growth rates in the number of infections when face masks were introduced was around 2 to 3%. These are very low growth rates compared to the early days of the epidemic in Germany, where daily growth rates also lay above 50%. One might therefore conjecture that the effects might have been even greater if masks had been introduced earlier.

Japan and South Korea both brought the epidemic under control without ordering harsh lockdowns. The people there all wore masks from very early on even without being ordered to do so. The two countries also did extensive testing and contact tracing for each new case. Together these measures were enough to stop the outbreak.

Why didn't we copy them?

It was 'western' arrogance that prevented our societies from learning from China and other Asian societies. We should have used the time China had given us. The economic and human price for not having done so is very high.

Posted by b on June 11, 2020 at 18:40 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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No doubt the masks help in preventing the spread when used properly, as well as gloves and distancing, but I wouldn't put too much faith in any studies.

The lockdown approaches themselves may have done more, but even those vary in method from one state to the next. Additionally, closing of borders to potential carriers from other countries seems important, as well as the virulence of the particular strain. Then there seems to be a massive divergence in counting and testing for the virus and recording virus deaths.

There are a lot of variables to control for an reliable study. And I seriously doubt any study has done so, particularly given the politicization of the crisis and the venal opportunism of Big Pharma and its bought and paid for medical journals.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 11 2020 19:09 utc | 1

Western arrogance, sure, but is that the most important factor?

Since US peons live in a democracy, let's review the meeting minutes and memos and emails of our dear leaders to see what their thinking was. Oh wait. There are no meeting minutes. Everything is secret and opaque so as to not worry the pretty little heads of peons.

Guess we are once again reduced to speculation and gossip. Let the rumors begin.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Jun 11 2020 19:16 utc | 2

I don't think the mask problem has anything to do with Western arrogance. Not at all.

The mask problem has a much simpler origin: the Western nations simply don't have the means to give masks for everyone anymore. It is heavily deindustrialized.

Had they had mask manufacturing sectors at home, you bet your soul the Western governments would be buying them at inflated prices (to enrich the local capitalist) and enforce their use with an enthusiasm never seen before. A cultural shift towards daily mask use would sprout overnight and no westerner would complain.

I know this because we have countless examples in History. The substitution of alcoholic beverages for tea in industrial England. The creation of the leisure and entertainment industries during the rise of Fordism. The invention of the concepts of infancy and adolescence. Etc. etc. etc.

We observed the lack of masks crisis in the West immediately. The USA begun to intercept ships loaded with masks (and ventilators) from China in Malaysia. Spain and France begun to resort to Aliexpress test kits to have the quantity necessary and lost the money with subpar masks and kits. Healthcare workers are without adequate PPE in the UK, USA and probably many other Western countries (at least, I've never seen any Western doctor or nurse with nearly the equipment of their Chinese counterparts).

The West's problem is called deindustrialization. Culture is always fixable - survival generally being the best teacher. But lack of resources cannot be solved just with sheer will.

Posted by: vk | Jun 11 2020 19:34 utc | 3

Why didn't we copy them?

Because everything is politics all the time.

Ergo amongst other things, your royal "we" also believed they could pin the deaths and economic pain on Trump alone and then ride that all the way to an election victory on November 3.

And now it has backfired/not gone as planned.

If journalists are worried about Covid-19 all over again, why don't they ask their beloved Fauci why he didn't tell the rioters and looters to wear a face mask or "social distance" during last week when they were all outside running amok and spreading Covid-19?

But he suddenly pops up this week and the fear mongering starts again... and the feeble fall in line again lol

Anyway. Maybe Dr Fauci will give a press conference next week dressed in Kente clothing....

I swear 2020 is like we are living in a simulation lol

Posted by: Skeletor | Jun 11 2020 19:45 utc | 4

The CDC actually advised against wearing masks until April 6, even though there were studies showing that some types of home-made masks were 70% effective against molecules the size of Corona. N95 were found to be 95% effective.

What stupidity!!! Who in his right mind would counsel against using a 75% effective mask, when it was the only readily available option?!?

It’s like counseling against wearing condoms because they’re not 100% effective.

The sheer incompetence boggles the mind.

Posted by: JohnH | Jun 11 2020 19:59 utc | 5

Check this: https://youtu.be/yWsyNB95ljY

Posted by: Lubo | Jun 11 2020 20:17 utc | 6

The virus has peaked in Germany a long time ago and in fact before the lockdown. By now, herd immunity is reached, achieved by about half, or more, of the population not being susceptible to this type of coronavirus. A fair amount, perhaps 60%, never were due to background immunity from prior conoravirus infections, others have built it since, most of those without realising as symptoms or rare and if occurring, mostly mild. The authorities can find as many "cases" as they want, at any day they want, by adjusting testing activity. It's the most easily manipulated number. Seeing our host trust precisely that number (and base a story on it) from a government that has been persistently lying about this winter's flu, and has broken the constitution multiple times to ram through the measures, is surprising.

Deaths from delayed surgeries and medical treatments are estimated up to 125,000 - in Germany alone, suicides are already spiking. Abuse of children and women at home is at alarming levels, doctors report injuries so severe as usually seen in car crashs.

The measures are nothing short of carefully planned (Event 201), premeditated mass murder.

What about masks? Here a snapshot of the science on it:

On the effectiveness of masks
Regardless of the comparatively low lethality of Covid19 in the general population (see above), there is still no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of masks in healthy and asymptomatic people in everyday life.

A cross-country study by the University of East Anglia came to the conclusion that a mask requirement was of no benefit and could even increase the risk of infection.

Two US professors and experts in respiratory and infection protection from the University of Illinois explain in an essay that respiratory masks have no effect in everyday life, neither as self-protection nor to protect third parties (so-called source control). The widespread use of masks didn’t prevent the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan, either.

A study from April 2020 in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine came to the conclusion that neither fabric masks nor surgical masks can prevent the spread of the Covid19 virus by coughing.

An article in the New England Journal of Medicine from May 2020 also comes to the conclusion that respiratory masks offer little or no protection in everyday life. The call for a mask requirement is described as an “irrational fear reflex”.

A May 2020 meta-study on pandemic influenza published by the U.S. CDC also found that respirators had no effect.

The WHO moreover declared in June that truly “asymptomatic transmission” is in fact “very rare”, as data from numerous countries showed. Some of the few confirmed cases were due to direct body contact, i.e. shaking hands or kissing.

In Austria, the mask requirement in retail and catering will be lifted again from mid-June. A mask requirement was never introduced in Sweden because it “does not offer additional protection for the population”, as the health authority explained.

Posted by: Leser | Jun 11 2020 20:26 utc | 7

And we must remember what Nassim Taleb pointed out...even if your mask is only 30% effective, if the person you're interacting with also has a mask which is only 30% effective, the multiplicative properties of probability means the actual probability of neither of you getting infected is much greater than 30%.

I ordered my first batch of ten masks from Aliexpress on April 4, followed by an order of five more (expensive ones at $7 each) from LA Police Gear on April 6 and five more from LAPG on April 14. So I have enough masks to rotate them daily for two weeks. So I don't have to worry about washing them or whatever, per the advice of the guy who invented the filter who said leaving a mask unused for at least 4-5 days should be sufficient to to enable any collected virus particles to die.

As for the study, I'm not sure it is reliable, given the possible factors surrounding entire cities. A "simulated city" just might not be accurate enough, especially when referring to relatively low numbers of cases per city. It would be more persuasive if there was a country that wore masks and one that didn't. But then we've already seen that: the US versus any Asian country.

In my observations, most people are wearing masks, but they seem to be doing so rather haphazardly. A lot of people wear them for a bit, then let them hang around their necks when they get tired of the heat buildup inside the mask. I had to stop yesterday during a supply run when my nose started running and I had to shift the mask off partly in order to deal with that. That made me concerned coming close to my nose with a tissue, not knowing whether there might be any virus particles on the plastic gloves covering my hands. Normally I don't touch my face when out of my room, and once back in the room I immediately wash my hands, remove the mask, then apply hand sanitizer. Interrupting that process did not make me happy.

A lot of people, especially blacks and the homeless, aren't wearing masks at all. The homeless obviously have little ability to acquire them (at least manufactured ones), and a certain number of lower-class blacks are seemingly oblivious to the risk, despite blacks being hit harder than whites by the virus.

Some Really Depressing Covid-19 Death Data
If they had died at the same rate as White Americans, at least 14,000 Black Americans would still be alive

And it's not likely to get much better in the summer:

Get Ready for a Long, Hot, Coronavirus Summer
Cases surge in several states as the coronavirus digs in for the long haul


In fact, the nationwide decline in “the curve” of daily new cases, from a peak of 35,000 in early April to around 20,000 in recent weeks, has been obfuscated by the fact that four states with 40% of the nationwide case total — New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Illinois — experienced significant declines.

“That is hiding the fact that the majority of other states are either increasing their numbers or fluctuating in fits and starts around a peak,” says Mark Cameron, PhD, an immunologist and medical researcher in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University in Ohio. “Our victory lap has started too quickly.”

The nationwide curve was flattened thanks to stay-at-home orders and other preventive measures, Cameron says. But rather than continuing to bend the curve down, as many other countries have done, ours is on a “disappointing plateau,” he says, a “slow burn” that’s putting seeds of the virus in every nook and cranny of the country.

That means the current wave of infections could be far from over, Cameron says. It might simply persist at current daily case levels, or even possibly swell this summer and then, if it recedes at all, roar back as a larger wave this fall.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:30 utc | 8

Posted by: Leser | Jun 11 2020 20:26 utc | 7 The WHO moreover declared in June that truly “asymptomatic transmission” is in fact “very rare”

And a couple days later, they walked that back, after scientists everywhere were stunned by the stupid statement.

Anyone who thinks masks don't help is an idiot or has an agenda.

It's amazing how some people cherry pick their information.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:33 utc | 9

This is appropriate given Leser at 7

Confessions of a Reformed Coronavirus Skeptic
Humans like easy answers — even if those answers contradict the facts


A few days ago, I was talking to someone for work, and they started ranting about how the “whole coronavirus thing” is a conspiracy. How it’s blown out of proportion and isn’t any worse than the seasonal flu. I inwardly rolled my eyes. Later that day, I mocked him while talking to my wife.

But not so long ago, I was that guy. Sure, he’s got to have his fact-resistance turned up to a nine or ten to still be in denial at this point. But it would be hypocritical of me to get too self-congratulatory.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:39 utc | 10

The WHO did not recommend the wearing of masks. Which was why for ex. Switz. did not at the start.

March 31. CNN.

WHO stands by recommendation to not wear masks if you are not sick or not caring for someone who is sick.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/30/world/coronavirus-who-masks-recommendation-trnd/index.html

April 7. Business Insider.

WHO says there is no need for healthy people to wear face masks, days after the CDC told all Americans to cover their faces.

https://www.businessinsider.com/who-no-need-for-healthy-people-to-wear-face-masks-2020-4?r=US&IR=T

May 28. Fox news.

WHO guidance: Healthy people should wear masks only when 'taking care of' coronavirus patients.

https://www.foxnews.com/world/who-guidance-healthy-people-wear-masks-around-coronavirus-patients

(MSM actually reflects advice not too badly; plus, it is what the public saw.)

April 6. WHO publishes ‘interim guidance.’ PDF.

excerpt.

“Studies of … human coronaviruses provide evidence that the use of a medical mask can prevent the spread of infectious droplets from an infected person to someone else and potential contamination of the environment by these droplets. There is limited evidence that wearing a medical mask by healthy individuals in the households or among contacts of a sick patient, or among attendees of mass gatherings may be beneficial as a preventive measure. However, there is currently no evidence that wearing a mask (whether medical or other types) by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including COVID-19. ….. Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers. …….The use of medical masks in the community may create a false sense of security …”

https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/331693/WHO-2019-nCov-IPC_Masks-2020.3-eng.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

for June I could not find any extra proper doc from WHO. see for ex.

https://bit.ly/37jK2cr -- WHO doc 5 june that only refers to previous doc.


Posted by: Noirette | Jun 11 2020 20:43 utc | 11

the above is for info about WHO, I am not expressing a personal opinion.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 11 2020 20:47 utc | 12

"synthetic control city": total bullshit. So many arbitrary parameters you can get any result you like. Why not do a real comparison?

And: Japan had no "extensive testing and contact tracing" at all. In fact Japan had the LEAST testing of all industrial countries. No testing, no panic, no problems.

Wuhan is using way more masks than Japan (also due to air pollution). How did that stop the outbreak?? Not at all.

MoA has been consistently wrong with every aspect of this pandemic. Even worse, it totally failed to recognize the huge political dimension.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 20:47 utc | 13

Don’t Ask What Caused the Spike in Cases — Ask What the U.S. Will Do About Them
We likely won’t know for certain where new cases are coming from. How the U.S. responds to those cases is what really matters.


Many states do not have the contact tracing capacity needed to reopen safely. At the beginning of May, NPR created a map of states whose contact tracing forces met the need estimated by public health officials, and the vast majority did not meet them. Some states are working to increase their contact tracing capacity, but some experts interviewed by STAT news cautioned that it’s not enough.

Bottom line: The US botched the initial response by being too slow, and it is not botching the re-opening. We can assume it will botch the second wave. Trump has already said there will be no lockdown even for a second wave (not that it matters what he says now.)

It's like the old line: "Cheer up, things could be worse. So I cheered up, and sure enough, things got worse." Well, I didn't bother "cheering up" in the first place. My procedures to deal with this remain in place and will remain in place until there is 1) a vaccine, or 2) an effective treatment that prevents death and severe long-term effects of infection.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:48 utc | 14

Thanks b! The study proves the obvious, IMO. The behavior exhibited by those inhabiting Western nations proves the degree with which they care for themselves, their families, and their neighbors in the most damning manner. Clearly collectivist societies will perform better than individualist societies, all other things being equal.

Trailer Trash @2--

I beg to differ as there're two very good timelines documenting TrumpCo actions in the run up to the outbreak that proves beyond reasonable doubt that the policy employed was a Treasonous Do Nothing Policy that runs totally against the rationale for the Constitution and the government it established--the very instrument Trump swore to obey and uphold. I've incorporated both into the essay I'm currently writing. This one compiled by Raw Story is the more detailed of the two as this example shows:

"On February 1, 2018, the Washington Post reported that 'CDC to cut by 80 percent efforts to prevent global disease outbreak' (6): 'The global health section of the CDC was so drastically cut in 2018 that much of its staff was laid off (7) and the number of countries it was working in was reduced from 49 to merely 10. (8) Meanwhile, throughout 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development and its director, Mark Green, came repeatedly under fire from both the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (9) And though Congress has so far managed to block Trump administration plans to cut the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by 40 percent (10), the disease-fighting cadres have steadily eroded as retiring officers go unreplaced.'"

And as you see from the date, that was just the beginning of the dismantling of what was erected to "provide for the common defence."

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11 2020 20:48 utc | 15

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 20:47 utc | 14 Wuhan is using way more masks than Japan (also due to air pollution). How did that stop the outbreak?? Not at all.

When the outbreak started, Wuhan hospitals were not using KN95 - they were using surgical masks. Thousands of medical personnel were infected.

When the Chinese government brought in scores of thousands of additional medical personnel, they wore KN95 masks. None were infected.

Take your troll shit elsewhere.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:52 utc | 16

Actually, the "study" you cite (it's not published anyway) refutes itself right away. They say all German cities introduced masks between April 20 and 29. Then why did cases not drop to zero as they claim for Jena? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Germany

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 20:55 utc | 17

Arizona Could Be In Trouble. Here’s What We Can Learn
Reopening without contact tracing is irresponsible


Cases in Arizona are up 240% in last two weeks and hospitalizations are up 77% this past month, 31% this week alone. The positive rate for Covid-19 testing is increasing. That’s not a great combination.

The largest hospital system in the state has been ringing the alarm. That they are running short of ICU capacity. Loudly.

Meanwhile, other states and Puerto Rico have had their largest number of daily cases since this started, according to the Washington Post.

Yet we still have idiots proclaiming their bullshit here. b is going to have to do a lot of "cleansing" today.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:59 utc | 18

And repeating the facts about the latest WHO message disaster...before more trolls show up to spread bullshit.

What the WHO Really Meant Regarding Asymptomatic Spread
Clearing up major coronavirus confusion


Maria Van Kerkhove, PhD, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for the coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, clarified that when she said asymptomatic spread was “very rare” on Monday, that she was answering a question asked in a presser, and not sharing an official WHO policy or statement.

She added that some modeling groups have estimated that 40% of transmission may be due to asymptomatic spread, but that is a mathematical modeling estimate and a definitive answer is still unknown, in part because data from contact tracing studies remains limited.

It’s important to note that asymptomatic people who never exhibit signs of Covid-19 are different from pre-symptomatic people who initially don’t have symptoms but develop them later. It’s difficult, from a research standpoint, to tease these two groups apart.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 21:04 utc | 19

It looks like they don't even control for the number of tests. Total junk.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:06 utc | 20

Masks are fine. They build confidence when people are threatened with an awful death and where 'experts' give conficting advice. They are personaly empowering. Wear one now.

The WHO is not looking good.
The Lancet and NEJM are trashed.
The China response was a brilliant example to the world.
The mask is a mighty useful response.
Sunlight is wonderful.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 11 2020 21:10 utc | 21

Alright, on page 28 in annex C they compare the effect of masks in other German cities, and found no effect. In some cities infections got even worse after introducing masks. It is clear Jena is a special case, perhaps they stopped testing or people stopped interacting or whatever.

The study is another fraud, and Moa once again fell for it. What a shame. I'm sure he didn't even read until page 28.

I hope you won't delete my comments, everybody should decide for themselves if this study has any merit.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:13 utc | 22

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:52 utc | 17

Total bullshit. We're talking about standard face masks for the community here.

Read my other comments, the study is junk. You have been bamboozled.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:18 utc | 23

The WHO stated the obvious: the vast majority of people remain asymptomatic, and asymptomatic people don't spread the virus (which is why children don't spread the virus). Pre-symptomatic is possible if you get really close, but this is true for common cold as well.

So what paranoid folks like you really need to show is if mandatory mask is any better than masks only for sick people or sick people simply staying home. Hint: it isn't.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:27 utc | 24

Quote from the "study": "In addition to Jena, we test for treatment effects in Nordhausen, Rottweil, Main-Kinzig-Kreis, and Wolfsburg (compare Figure 1). --- As the figure shows, the result is 2:1:1. Rottweil and Wolfsburg display a positive effect of mandatory mask wearing, just as Jena. The results in Nordhausen are very small or unclear. In the region of Main-Kinzig, it even seems to be the case that masks increased the number of cases relative to the synthetic control group. " (page 28)

So obviously, masks aren't important at all. Other factors are at play.

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:32 utc | 25

I blame it on the communists - Jena is in what was formerly East Germany and the inhabitants of Jena are still oppressed by their communist upbringing. Communism in Jena must be rooted out and the German citizens of Jena must be free to die from COVID-19 just like the freedom-loving morons in the good old U S of A, y'all. Yee haw. USA! USA! USA! Would you go all the way for the U.S.A?

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 11 2020 21:35 utc | 26

Masks don't work at all.

Stick to Syria.

Posted by: a | Jun 11 2020 21:48 utc | 27

The study in your article is a very interesting. However, it disagrees with this review published by scientists at the Oral Health Group, which conclude:

The primary reason for mandating the wearing of face masks is to protect dental personnel from airborne pathogens. This review has established that face masks are incapable of providing such a level of protection.

This review is based on multiple published scientific and medical studies that looked at measured empirical data. In contrast, the paper in your article is based entirely on statiscal modelling - which we know can be wildly innacurate in the area if epidemiology (just ask Prof. Neil Fergusson); and it's authors discipline is economics, not medical.

Posted by: SayLess | Jun 11 2020 21:53 utc | 28

"poor moa" is right, Jena wasn't about masks. Jena simultaneously introduced super-strict quarantine rules for everybody. That's why cases stalled: https://www.mdr.de/thueringen/ost-thueringen/jena/corona-jena-seit-einer-woche-keine-neuinfektion-100.html

It's bizarre that the paper quoted by b. doesn't seem to mention this. But it explains why other cities that only introduce masks see no (clear) effect. But they buried this information on the second last page in the third annex.

Posted by: Avid | Jun 11 2020 21:55 utc | 29

There is a real city for comparing, not a synthetic city with very dubios parameters - Rostock. Traditional procedure addressing the really sick only, nothing else, but very effektively implemented. No infectious Covid19 cases left before the lockdown became imposed by the national level. Now they have to wear masks starting from a Covid19 free situation..

Posted by: Kassandra | Jun 11 2020 22:04 utc | 30

b you seem to have a higher regard for China's behavior both domestically and internationally than others including Gordon Chang who believes that China acted in ways that he describes as at best criminally negligent and at worst evil & malevolent.

How do you respond to those who ascribe to that view?

Posted by: Nick | Jun 11 2020 22:09 utc | 31

Nick @ 32

....Gordon Chang....

FFS!

Posted by: Ghost Ship | Jun 11 2020 22:32 utc | 32

Amazing the amount of FUD being attempted in response to this article. Apparently the FUDsters didn't think MoA regulars would bother to read the actual study which is short, non-technical and in English. IMO, they represent a determined attempt to refute evidence that TrumpCo committed Treason through its Do Nothing Policy that's now caused 116,000+ deaths, with several hundred being added daily.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11 2020 22:34 utc | 33

I wear a mask and I'm not ashamed to say I do. An N-95 mask, in fact. I had some prior to the pandemic. Also, my Chinese acquaintance advised me to wear a mask and stay away from people. I/We took her advice, or at least I think it was a her.


Me To Janet

Janet To Me

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 11 2020 22:36 utc | 34

Posted by: Leser | Jun 11 2020 20:26 utc | 7

What kind of retardation is that? It is pretty obvious to everyone that masks help prevent the spread of respiratory infections, as medical personnel wears them. Why don't you tell medical personnel all over the world not to wear masks? Go and tell them.

Huge meta-study (n=172) just now from June 1 concludes chance of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 falls from 17.4% to 3.1% when wearing face masks:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31142-9/fulltext

The vast majority of other studies i have seen also show positive effect of masks on respiratory infections spread.

You sound like ignorant propagandist. Why did you add only studies that show no effect from masks since there are also hundreds of other studies that show positive effect from masks?

You do not even try to sound objective, as you did not add any contrarian studies, even though there are hundreds of them.

There are always some contrarian or outlier studies and this is why meta analyses are used.

The big majority of studies out there show a positive effect from masks, very sorry to disappoint you.

Posted by: Passer by | Jun 11 2020 22:36 utc | 35

Not convinced. Jena is a university town with 21,000 students and university staff among its 110,000 population. Schools closed as part of the general lockdown 2 weeks before mask wearing became mandatory.

The reduced infection rate could be attributed to fewer persons in Jena as a result of school closure (fewer people to infect ) that might not be seen in cities without a large university population relative to overall population. Even if some lived in Jena and not outside a higher percentage of people that would be locked down would be observed than in other non-university populations

The take home from the study is that no other study has been done on the effectiveness of mask wearing. There is no scientific evidence for it. With so many studies being retracted like Lancets on HCQ lets see if this one survives. Even if it does I consider inconclusive for the above reason.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jun 11 2020 22:39 utc | 36

@34 karlof1

What ever happened to the Trump Death Clock? Last I checked several weeks prior it was at ~ 54,000 but now I can't find it. The majority of these deaths are on him. He is a murderer as far as I'm concerned and frankly, I would welcome a UN intervention that arrests and detains and tries and convicts him for crimes against humanity and crimes against his own people. I mean, that's why America has tried to topple Assad and it's why they claim they toppled Gaddafi. By the same principle, Trump should be arrested and placed in The Hague until he stands trial at the ICC. I support this 100% What was good for Milosovich is good for Donald Trump.

Trump Death Clock

Posted by: 450.org | Jun 11 2020 22:50 utc | 37

Despite basically all local businesses having "you must wear a mask" signs on their door, people in my city have already stopped wearing them. It's not enforceable, so if a maskless person walks into the grocery store, all the employees will do is inform them of the policy and ask them to leave. Seen several instances of that happening and the shopper ignoring it with no consequences. Oh well, at least everyone else has a mask on, eh?

We went to a state park yesterday thinking Wednesday in a remote location would mean fewer people there. They also limit the number of "parties" (meaning groups of more than one) as standard operating procedure, yet they were packed to capacity (their website will tell you how many reservations are left) with everyone next to each other in the water. Reminded me of the Lake of the Ozarks thing from a few weeks ago. People in my part of the United States are far too arrogant and entitled to heed good advice and too simple minded to ignore bogus information. Needless to say nobody was wearing a mask. Not a one.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jun 11 2020 22:52 utc | 38

Posted by: Avid | Jun 11 2020 21:55 utc | 30

But it explains why other cities that only introduce masks see no (clear) effect.

No, it doesn't. Masks of the right kind of course work. That's why medical professionals wear them; to prevent the spread of airborne infections. That said, what data points for these "other cities" were considered in the studies that you allude to? What % of people in those places actually wore effective masks and adhered to the "wash your hands often and don't touch your face" guidelines?

The idea that masks don't work, full stop, is just plain willful ignorance.

Posted by: _K_C_ | Jun 11 2020 22:59 utc | 39

poor moa | Jun 11 2020 20:47 utc | 14

"Wuhan is using way more masks than Japan (also due to air pollution). How did that stop the outbreak?? Not at all."

You are confusing masks with respirators. Two very different pieces of PPE.

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:11 utc | 40

Nick @32

Gordan Chang is an extreme right wing anticommunist who thoroughly hates the CCP -- he would spread any crap if he believed it would undermine current government. He is obviously willing to distort the truth to promote his agenda.

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 11 2020 23:13 utc | 41

poor moa | Jun 11 2020 20:55 utc | 18

"Actually, the "study" you cite (it's not published anyway) refutes itself right away. They say all German cities introduced masks between April 20 and 29. Then why did cases not drop to zero as they claim for Jena? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_in_Germany"


When you quote Wikipedia as a source you lose the argument immediately.

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:14 utc | 42

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:06 utc | 21

"It looks like they don't even control for the number of tests. Total junk."


What kind of experience do you have interpreting scientific studies? Have you edited or written a scientific study? Have you taken a statistics class at university?

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:16 utc | 43

This study proves nothing, within 2 weeks there will be another study drawing the exact opposite conclusion. Sorry, but the mainstream health industries, media, law enforcement and political leaders have flipped flopped on all of their decisions, recommendations and advice multiple times now. lets not forget their hypocritical posturing against the anti-lockdown protesters followed almost immediately by their craven kow-towing to social justice rioters mobs.

What was it, 1000 scientists signed a letter stating that systemic racism was a bigger health threat than the virus and that anti-racism protests should not just be allowed but encouraged (I'm sorry but didn't we just commit economic hari-kari due to just how threatening this virus supposedly was?!?). At the same time barbers, beach goers and restaurateurs were being arrested, fined and imprisoned for breaking the anti-lockdown laws, 100,000s of rioters pillaged through more than 100 cities in the US over two weeks and were praised by the very same people who demanded the harshest punishments for people who simply want to enjoy their freedoms. Note that I am not saying that the lockdown should not have been implemented, but the utter incompetence and total hypocrisy of how the political elites managed it, the economic crisis and the resultant mob violence afterwards shows that it has been a complete failure which has done massive damage to the creditability of the political leaders and the supposed "experts".

Posted by: Kadath | Jun 11 2020 23:20 utc | 44

poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:18 utc | 24

"We're talking about standard face masks for the community here."

That's not readily apparent. There seems to be a tendency to treat respirators and masks as the same thing when they are used for two completely different purposes.

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:23 utc | 45

Posted by: Nick | Jun 11 2020 22:09 utc | 32

Only sick people read Gordon Guthrie Chang, Gatestone Institute and The Epoch Times®.

Hey boy buried your head in the sand, here are more your favorites websites

J. Kyle Bass Hayman Capital Management
Jennifer Zeng, The Epoch Times®
Guo Wen Gui, Guo Haoyun, Miles Kwok, Guo Wengui
Chris Chappell China Uncensored
Falun Gong offshoot of qigong
Sky News Australia

Posted by: JC | Jun 11 2020 23:25 utc | 46

poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:27 utc | 25

"The WHO stated the obvious: the vast majority of people remain asymptomatic, and asymptomatic people don't spread the virus..."

Nope. That's not what the WHO said at all.

The WHO shared that right now it is known that people who do not have symptoms can transmit the virus, but it is unknown how great of a role they play. The WHO clarified that estimates of how many people get Covid-19 and don’t ever develop symptoms range from 6% to 41%, and it is not yet known the relative contribution they make to the overall spread of Covid-19.

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:28 utc | 47

Posted by: poor moa | Jun 11 2020 21:32 utc | 26

"It looks like they don't even control for the number of tests. Total junk."

"So obviously, masks aren't important at all. Other factors are at play."

How does one claim a study to be false, then use the study in question to make arguments that rely on the veracity of said study?

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:33 utc | 48

I think one issue here is that the authors of the IZA study are assuming a 14-day incubation period between being infected with COVID-19 and the manifestation of symptoms. The figures for new cases in Jena in the study do drop a great deal about 14 days after 6 April 2020 when mandatory mask-wearing was introduced there.

But these figures should be used only to demonstrate that mask-wearing is effective to stop COVID-19 from spreading. They cannot be used to demonstrate that everyone should be wearing masks. This means that medical personnel and people who work in environments where they come in contact with vulnerable groups (such aged care homes) or in work environments where social distancing is difficult or impossible should be wearing masks. But does this necessarily mean that the general public should be required to wear masks?

A second factor to consider is that areas that used to be part of the former East Germany (including Jena) still do not have as much commuter traffic as do those areas that were part of the old West Germany. The differences between COVID-19 infection rates between the old East German states and the old West German states, thought to be attributable to the different ways in which these states used the BCG vaccine in the past, might be explained by the fact that much of the old East Germany has not caught up with the old West Germany in economic development and therefore labour mobility in the old East Germany is much lower.

Perhaps air pollution levels in the old East Germany are also much lower since the areas in Germany with the largest number of COVID-19 cases tend to be areas (Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria) with more industry, and car-manufacturing industry in particular. These areas are also at the foothills of major mountain ranges, and might be subject to similar local climatic phenomena such as regular temperature inversions during winter.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 11 2020 23:33 utc | 49

Posted by: ToivoS | Jun 11 2020 23:13 utc | 42

"... he would spread any crap if he believed it would undermine current government. He is obviously willing to distort the truth to promote his agenda."

That liar predicting China falls since 2001 "The Coming Collapse of China (2001)". Its a torture forced to watch all his craps in YouTube if I ever come across one..

PS: you too should watch "Guo Wen Gui, Guo Haoyun, Miles Kwok, Guo Wengui" interviewed!

Posted by: JC | Jun 11 2020 23:37 utc | 50

Nick | Jun 11 2020 22:09 utc | 32

Did you actually quote Gordon Chang and the Epoch Times?

Look up the Epoch Times before you make anymore pronouncements.

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:40 utc | 51

Jen | Jun 11 2020 23:33 utc | 50

"But does this necessarily mean that the general public should be required to wear masks?"

Yes. Most definitely. Where's the disconnect?

Posted by: anonymous | Jun 11 2020 23:43 utc | 52

450.org @38--

In my family, we already knew about the efficacy of mask wearing as we employ them often and had our own supply on hand when the outbreak occurred. Don't know what happened to the clock. The pic you linked is dated May 18, the website is inaccessible, and the Wikipedia entry on it's been modified to say the deaths are "theoretical;" so, I suspect pushback from likely sources.

As I've written many times and do so again in my serialized essay, despite its flaws at its founding, the Rule of Law was absolutely Paramount such that no one person was to be allowed to rise above it, which is one of the main reasons why Impeachment was included in such a detailed fashion in the US Constitution. Unfortunately as I've also written, that norm ceased to be the case during and after WW2 (some would correctly point to a much earlier time when lynching went unpunished despite its very public occurrences, but I'm referring to federal government officers).

I find it rather fascinating that Neoliberalism enabled fraud to become the main component of financial business plans. Do this experiment: Go to Michael Hudson's website, click on the search icon at the top right of the page, click to enter the word fraud then hit enter to see where that term is discussed in his essays and interviews. The first item entitled "Fraud and Economics" is a 2012 Keiser Report discussion. While the entire clip's worth watching, the interview with Hudson begins at the 12:55 mark and looks into the connection between the so-called austerity programs and fraudulent conveyance and how that illegal con is being accomplished. That con was enabled in the USA by Greenspan during the late 1980s when he bailed out the bankers after the so-called Savings & Loan Crisis which was a product of banker fraud. It should also be noted the gross, fraudulent manipulation of economic data began during Reagan/Bush, showing the immorality wasn't limited to bank fraud, but wholesale fraud in managing the US economy as it shipped its strategic industries overseas to break unions and reap higher profits.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11 2020 23:57 utc | 53

Re my comment @ 50:

"... These areas are also at the foothills of major mountain ranges, and might be subject to similar local climatic phenomena such as regular temperature inversions during winter."

I had meant to say:

"... These areas are also at the foothills of major mountain ranges, and might be subject to similar local climatic phenomena such as regular temperature inversions during winter, as areas in Lombardia and other parts of northern Italy on the southern side of the Alpine mountain ranges where high COVID-19 infection and mortality rates were recorded.

Anonymous @ 53:

The issue is that compulsory mask-wearing for the general public might not have achieved better results than mask-wearing restricted to certain occupations or people who come into regular contact with high-risk groups. Social distancing and selective quarantining might have been enough. Compulsory mask-wearing for the general public might even have led to worse results if the masks that were available to the public did not meet the required safety standards or were worn improperly.

Posted by: Jen | Jun 12 2020 0:13 utc | 54

Thank you. Yes, pure arrogance.

I would add that we don't even know if the masks lower infection rates because they filter, or because it is a continuous reminder not to touch your face with your hands!
But doesn't matter, precautionary principle (Taleb) wins the day.

And to the "but we didn't have enough mask available at that time" faction: oh, and home-made ones also weren't doable 3 months ago?

Posted by: mime | Jun 12 2020 0:53 utc | 55

Lately been watching closely Covid-19 vaccines collectively gathered below, the latest news the vaccines.......

Dr. Zhong Nanshan a pulmonologist, China foremost and respected scientist predicted China is way ahead of any nations, The company SinoPharm vaccine named "Coronavid" ready for emergency use in Fall - September. Two more Chinese vaccines on the pipeline, Coronavid was tested phase 1 & 2 and currently evaluating the results. Now pushing phase 3 testing with partners in Brazil and Canada. Facility being built in Beijing for 100 millions dosage and another two facilities’ one in Wuhan and another in Brazil.

"The facility in Beijing has been completed and is in the process of qualifying for certification. The annual production capacity will be 100 million doses. The workshop in Wuhan has finished building the main structure.. Its annual production capacity will be 80 million doses,”

"President Donald Trump is putting everything he’s got into a research effort dubbed Operation Warp Speed, which pulls together pharmaceutical companies, government agencies and the military. So is China, which has a head start at a time the two countries are already engaged in a fight for dominance impacting everything from trade to the roll-out of 5G communications networks."

Folks be ready for fucking Pompeo and Trump accusing China stealing - the vaccine.. China must win this race for mankind good.

Posted by: JC | Jun 12 2020 0:57 utc | 56

Mandatory wearing of face masks in public is one component of controlling COVID-19 but testing, contract tracing and isolation of the infected are required too. It also helped to be an island or isolated from everyone else the Winter. Nations who used some of these techniques controlled the pandemic to a degree. The lockdowns worked but not everywhere and not totally. In the USA, North Carolina has had a steady rise in coronavirus cases. The federal American Public Health System has collapsed. The aristocratic Elite's only response is to wait until there is a for profit vaccine to control the pandemic. America is reopening without a functional coronavirus public health campaign despite the risks. Hundreds of thousands more will die. Commenters who ignore all of this have their own political agendas.

The trolls, the unrest, the 116,029 dead Americans to date, Seattle’s Autonomous Zone, 40 million Americans out of work, and the bipartisan political inability to deal with anything indicates that the second American Civil War is approaching. The Western Empire has fallen. Anyone who thinks the old normal will return is delusional.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Jun 12 2020 1:01 utc | 57

The VIRUS is dead.... Long live the VIRUS... Covid has fizzled out and is now nothing more than the flu...but thanks to the MSM and sites like this... the sheep are still cowering in their pens. "B" I thought your coverage of the Syrian conflict was excellent but cannot understand why you cannot see thru the fog on this issue.

Posted by: Mithera | Jun 12 2020 1:26 utc | 58

Anyone who thinks the old normal will return is delusional.
Yep, that is my view also.

My wife had a large stack of N95's (an artist), and I was able to get a covid19 test, two things most 'Merikins had no access to.

Long story, but not an issue in most First World countries.

Posted by: Duncan Idaho | Jun 12 2020 1:36 utc | 59

Jena is just another example of the usefulness of face masks in close contact situations; all Chinese cities were first, followed by Korea, Vietnam and Singapore.
It is the laziness, disinterest, casualty of non East Asians that will cost them. Some in the West are champions of this attitude: cue Off-Guardian who totally disregard the risks of Covid19 "intellectually" to ride their hobby horse of global conspiracies behind every tree in the forest. There have been some (JFK, RFK, MLK, Iraqi WMD, Global Warming, Russiagate) but Murphy's law is still very active.

Posted by: Antonym | Jun 12 2020 2:01 utc | 60

I respect B immensely but he has been consistently wrong on covid because he followed and quoted the same people/sources he rejected as dishonest for so many years. He is basically quoting the narrative of WaPo, NYT, CNN, MSNBC, etc now.

Someday perhaps it will become clear that covid was both a serious disease, to a small percent of the population, and a vehicle for political and economic opportunism. This was turned into a color revolution against trump by inflating the risk, terrorizing with fear and inducing lockdowns. Anyone with a different view from the official narrative was attacked and silenced and that includes doctors of various sorts. Doctors were censured by social media nerds. Think about that. Any country/state that followed a different course was disparaged and only negative info about these places was published along with immature and superficial analysis. Sweden, sweden sweden. No lockdown....diaster. What about all the disasters zones ( lombardy, spain, NY, NJ, MA, CT) that shut down. Ignore. Places sans lockdown or with early opening that did well (say florida)? Ignore.

Who does that....someone with an agenda not someone trying to manage a health crisis and learn. Sadly our host fell for the stunts of the same neocons he has fought so long.

Posted by: Alaric | Jun 12 2020 2:43 utc | 61

B, Miss your cogent reporting and astute analysis on Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine, etc. EVERYONE is talking about the virus.

Posted by: Larry | Jun 12 2020 3:47 utc | 62

I normally don't read website/blog comments, (or at best just a few down til trolls have jumped in) and as well avoid commenting like the plague (or COVID haha!) but find myself regularly reading MOA's comments and enjoying it, so what the hey why not jump in!

My 2 cents: The obvious troll "poor moa" in his self-revealing biased alias is welcome to his moronic opinion as it's easier to critique a study in faux-expert style than come up with his own. I myself don't need a study but just common sense, why not give yourself the best chance to avoid getting the thing? Plus a better chance for not spreading it to loved ones. Common sense MAN! The in-denial FU attitude is just narcism and selfishness, the yanks in particular love to be cowboys, look at their prez, total mask-less moron.

As we have seen, even the "experts" (WHO,CDC e.g.) have changed their minds about the issue, so why not the common joe? In the oil-rich benevolent dictatorship where I live it is mandated (of course) anyways so that decision was made for me, which after using masks for a bit I came to the conclusion that it's probably a good idea. But when I see parents and their kids out without them I just shake my head, at least think of your kids for chrissakes.

My point is use your head not your ass to think, masks MAY give you a better chance of not getting this thing, with a lot of evidence confirming this THEORY, only an idiot denies that!

Posted by: blues guy | Jun 12 2020 4:03 utc | 63

Posted by: karlof1 | Jun 11 2020 20:48 utc | 16

I am not sure that I would characterize the trump and Johnson administrations policies how to deal with Covid-19 "treasonous". I believe that that rationale for the original "do nothing" policies was that "building herd immunity" in the short run would reduce deaths in the long run, not only from the virus, but also the consequences of the lockdown on the newly unemployed. Of course, they probably had an eye to their constituents profits, as well.

The fact that they did not trust the Chinese data, and that they were likely wrong in their choice of policy does not make their actions treasonous, just ill-informed and lacking good judgement.

Surely many of their other government actions on behalf of big finance and big corporations are more worthy of being defined as treasonous.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 12 2020 5:02 utc | 64

Problem with "common sense" is normalizing behavioural responses risks an endless war of any tom, dick or harry with CRISPR and capital can start or deepen a campaign of bioterror or evolutionary techniques.

Posted by: Ralph Reed | Jun 12 2020 5:07 utc | 65

The use of masks and social distancing is just a matter of applying the precautionary principle. Doctors and other medical professionals wear masks in operating rooms for a reason - to help reduce infection or even disease transmission - this even before Covid-19. In both my minor operations over the past couple years, medical personal wore masks. Ergo, there is clearly a good reason for this.

So, one can only assume that those who claim that the masks are totally useless in preventing disease are either imbeciles or scoundrels.

No one has ever claimed that the masks will prevent all possible occurances of the infection, but merely reduce the probability of infection, as has been noted in an earlier post. Thus, knowing that the disease is infectious even when symptoms are not present in those infected, would make it expedient to follow the precautionary prinicple and wear a mask when in crowded places.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 12 2020 5:13 utc | 66

One benefit the mask wearing protocol offers is that one can identify who is a responsible individual who is mindful of their surroundings and others around them, and practices good hygiene in general. Chances are a person like that has no virus on them, vice a sloppy, dirty, stupid redneck; a person one does best to stay away from.

Posted by: Robert | Jun 12 2020 5:30 utc | 67

Firstly, thank you for all your hard work, b, and barflies. I have been lurking for years but am not really an 'online warrior' type of person. I come here because it has excellent information on the middle east and international affairs.

With all due respect I have to say that your covid coverage, from the start, has been awful.

how dare you ignore the opportunity cost of this lockdown and pandemic circus. Just do some simple math on the deaths CAUSED by the lock downs (or do pre screenings for cancer not save lives, for example) and compare a probable range of actual covid deaths (excess over NORMAL deaths of that population).

What about the long term mental health costs?

How about try to quantify the decline in health of the populations of the entire world from being sedentary for so long? who the hell knows that number but i would trade ALL the real covid deaths to take back the uncertainty and costs that have been imposed upon our peoples.

Not to mention, god help us, the REAL story, the new laws and the money spent on the alter of this pandemic. Quantify our slip into total state control in lives. Whats the price of freedom, I dont know. Are you at all concerned about citizen tracking in singapore? Mandatory vaccines? Privacy? You need to step back from the boo hoo some people die and get to the real story. Compare covid deaths to accidental deaths or a range of frivolous deaths, for some perspective.

You sit here proclaiming such propaganda while ignoring so many other data points that one must at least consider if they are intellectually honest. at the start i told family and friends; we hear 90% propaganda and 10% noise, it is hard but we must surf the noise for the truth. Just look at long term care facilities, and govt policies of SENDING sick people to them during the pandemic, and you should change your mind.

I am shocked you dont have one thing to say on this covid circus.

protect the old and vulnerable, the rest of society should go on as normal. that is where the excess deaths are.

you have my gratitude.

Posted by: x00x | Jun 12 2020 5:34 utc | 68

It's amazing how some people cherry pick their information.
Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 11 2020 20:33 utc | 10
Everyone is cherry-picking his/her information, including our host.

One thing I learned from the COVID experience is that we tend to float towards one extreme end of the spectrum, depending on how our limbic system perceived the chain of events. Then we climb the trees of information and pick whatever our taste buds prefer. Our scientists produce their fruits in all flavors, something to pick for everyone. B advertises masks, not because he sells them but he honestly believe they work and save lives. Some advocate HCQ because they believe it can save lives. Others believe a lock-down save lives or perhaps cost more lives that it saves. I think we are all good people here on this blog but the truth of the matter is, none of us can see through the fog surrounding this subject.

Posted by: Joost | Jun 12 2020 6:07 utc | 69

The mask is a symbol of submission to the false narrative, nothing else.

Posted by: Norwegian | Jun 12 2020 7:18 utc | 70

hard to believe that it is the real b who fell for this big data piece... or PL's ultra chauvinism is contagious?
Jena is a campus city, normally full of students and quite spread out. no metropolitan needed, bikes do it well.
without giving information on the density of pop, the figures when the uni was closed and before, the repartition of young vs old in the city, what kind of model can be made out of Jena?
+65 should wear masks since they are 90% of the fatalities and since they will feel reassured from wearing it.. to make it mandatory on public transports, if it protects the bus drivers (where are the studies on that?), why not...

Posted by: Mina | Jun 12 2020 7:19 utc | 71

@ 60 Antonym: Did not read offguardian lately, but unfortunately a lot of good people have fallen for exaggerated or wrong claims about SARS-Cov2 and Covid19. Would be a shame, I liked offguardian quite often.

But I am not sure whether you are another disinformation and propaganda bot when mixing the assassinations of the Kennedys and Martin Luther King and the questions around, the proven propaganda conspiracy of Iraqi WMD and Russiagate allegations with Global Warming. Are you claiming the Global Warming is just fake propaganda like WMD, or much probably government and secret services behind alarming about global warming like behind the assassinations and their coverup? Or did I misunderstand?

As to masks, I agree. I was shocked when WHO officials, and the head of a german doctors' association, Dr. Monroy, were raving about a "false sense of security" masks allegedly would spread and therefore be harmful. That is somehow like saying usage of seat belts would spread a false sense of safety to drivers and encourage reckless driving. No sane person would say so.

It is simple physics that textile fabric is able to hold some droplets, in both directions. And infections are always about numbers of germs, not a single one (which is theoretically able to start an infection). Disinfection too largely is about reducing quantities. In addition, masks prevent unconscious touching of nose and mouth. And every measure reducing the quantity of harmful germs able to start an infection is sensible unless being totally disproportional (like wearing gas masks and ABC clothes in everyday's life).

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2020 7:33 utc | 72

Pandora's box is open, the virus does not go back into the box unless you want the vaccine and sterilization, cancer and what ever else that the creators of virus have planned forced on everyone. We all know who created the virus. Everyone is going to get it sooner or later and you cant stay in your bedroom forever. Deal with the source of the problem not its aftermath unless you want this to be the norm every 3 years.

Posted by: nero | Jun 12 2020 7:38 utc | 73

karlof1 @ 54

Fraud in economics and finance.

A debt based monetary system can only exist in an environment of continuously expanding credit markets.

If credit markets cannot be expanded, the system collapses.

Because of interest owed, debt conforms to the law of diminishing marginal utility.

So, in a debt based monetary system, as the continuous creation of debt requires progressively greater amounts of debt to be generated, fraud gradually permeates the system at ever greater degrees.

It is an arithmetical identity.

In accepting to operate within the system, the political leaning of successive incumbent governments has nothing to do with the progression of the credit expansion dynamic.

Posted by: guidoamm | Jun 12 2020 7:43 utc | 74

Sorry, but you are falling for mainstream propaganda. Unfortunately, you have not done yourself and your so far great website a favor within the corona false alarm (as more and more serious German scientists are calling it meanwhile).

The "study" you are referring to isn't a study at all. You can already see yourself the very low numbers of "cases" (= positive PCR tests, including a number of false positive), and we do not even know how many people were tested at all. Jena is not a "city" but a rather small town of just slightly over 100.000 inhabitants. For people there it was completely easy to go shopping without masks in neighboring towns or shopping malls reachable by car within rather minutes than an hour or more. This cannot be considered in this so called "study" because people weren't locked up in the town. But even if you disregard such factors, the numbers there and in the whole state of Thüringen were always low, so that I can't see how these numbers could be of statistic significance. It can just as well be pure coincidence. The fact that the epidemic was already on its decline before any measures were taken, has already been mentioned here.

You can find other towns and cities, though, that didn't make mask wearing mandatory until April 27. Rostock, for example, has twice as many people. Between April 2 and April 27 - without masks - the number of "cases" was only rising from 60 to 75. In the same period of 25 days after imposing the "mask duty", the number rose from 75 to 99. If Jena proves that wearing masks helps, Rostock proves the opposite. Of course such places were ignored in the "study" because they would have shown its absurdity. They created a "synthetic control city" instead - why? I could give you many more examples of towns, cities and departments that would prove this and that, whatever you like, but don't really prove anything at all. And without knowing the number of tests, no comparison is possible from the start. German mainstream media, catching at any straw within reach, were hyping this ridiculous stuff, while, on the other hand, they have so far successfully ignored most of the serious studies by pundits and real experts such as Prof. Ioannidis and many others. Why?= Because they don't fit into the narrative of the deadly virus that will kill us all if we don't abolish our constitutions and if we don't destroy our economies.

This is all complete bullshit. The wearing of masks is humiliating and changing the society for the worse. Not to mention health issues - masks are doing damage, especially to the mass of people who are not wearing them the way they should, if that would be good for anything. Wearing the masks is for many people a visible sign of obedience. I was hoping, after coming back her after quite a while, that meanwhile you would realize that the whole "Corona" thing is crap. Maybe you would like to read this:

https://swprs.org/a-swiss-doctor-on-covid-19/

Posted by: Corax | Jun 12 2020 7:43 utc | 75

I am reading a lot of Palmstroem logic here: http://www.alb-neckar-schwarzwald.de/morgenstern/morgenstern_poems.html (The Impossible Fact)

Posted by: aquadraht | Jun 12 2020 7:58 utc | 76

A lot of the resistance against wearing masks is simple group behaviour. People combine their own judgement with what they observe/receive from other people. If nobody is wearing a mask then this raises the threshold for wearing one. If everyone wears a mask then the threshold is low.
If the situation is recognized as high risk then this lowers the threshold. If it is low risk then this raises the threshold. When introducing masks you start from a situation where nobody wears them.
This bothered me when in Belgium masks were not recommended because 'they weren't needed yet' during the lockdown. There is always a lagtime needed to lower thresholds - if it succeeds at all. People need to practice.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jun 12 2020 8:21 utc | 77

In Thailand, we started wearing masks (govt suggestion) in early March. We have no stigma about masks. If you're ill you wear a mask to protect others. Population 70 million has lost 58 people, no new cases for two weeks, lock down lifts May 15. Open for business, though with minor restrictions.
According to Sweden, pop 10 million, 4500 dead, with "common sense", we failed. I prefer Thai failure, thank you.

Posted by: Jack_Garbo | Jun 12 2020 8:30 utc | 78

Serious pack of ignorant trolls here today...the thread is almost unreadable...between the conspiracy theorist paranoids and the anti-lockdown morons and the anti-mask morons (who ignore a decade of research on viral transmission and mask efficiency - stuff I listed a ton of links for in the last couple months - and a simple Google search will locate tons more - but no, these jerk-offs are the "experts".)

b needs to do some serious cleanup on this thread - weed out the obvious trolls and complete idiots. If I was him, I'd cancel the entire thread.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 12 2020 8:31 utc | 79

Chris Martenson had a good anecdote that went like this. If we all walked around naked and you pissed on me I would get all wet. If i was wearing trousers I would not get so wet. If you were wearing trousers too then I would hardly get wet at all. Seems entirely appropriate to me and the German city example backs it up.

Posted by: Ike | Jun 12 2020 8:35 utc | 80

When did this whole covid thing kick off? Late Feb I think and we're halfway thru June now; nearly four months of what seems the same old arguments over & over - no change in the argument, no change in the beliefs of the posters - now that everybody has cemented themselves into position no one is gonna shift an inch - no matter what.
Pitiful really, so we've gone back to the mask thing with so many people ignoring the reality of 2 months ago when there was a shortage of masks, goggles, gloves & gowns just about everywhere.
That was when the who & other medical advisers were blathering about not being really sure of the efficacy of masks with a sort of broad wink to those they deemed to be in know, as if to say "Well masks would be good but I'm not allowed to say so.
They are in short supply & if I encourage ordinary citizens to wear a mask not only will the government shit on us from a great height because it will seem as though I'm saying they couldn't run a brothel on a troopship cos no equipment, you'll all go out and pay extortionate prices for masks making them unaffordable or unobtainable for health workers.

Next thing it will be the Doris doing a shift in the ICU who will be wearing a bandanna from an old imitation hermes scarf and Jo/Joe Blow who has ducked into the supermarket wearing the N95 resperators while doin the shopping.

I realise that cannot satisfy the declared fundie anti-Covid bores, but if we try to examine the mask or not to mask, with a smidgen of logic we could get progress.

We know that this novel SARS 2 virus is transferred within the droplets an already covid infected human emits while coughing, sneezing, snorting or breathing.
We also know that if a person covers their mouth and nose with a cloth or a filter the flow of the droplets a human emits will be substantially decreased.
There is no one thus far who has been able to demonstrate scientifically that this reduction in fluid emission doesn't occur although conversely there are a number of studies which demonstrate it does.

Yep some are better than others at preventing aerosol emission but all of them are better than nothing.

Not that anyone will change their opinion even if some great debater put those points together much better, because covid 19 stopped being a rational debate long ago and has instead become about people set in concrete pushing 'their' POV regardless of facts.

A bunch of old men howling at the moon aka MoA 'contributors' are acting like children unwilling to accommodate any alternative which they imagine would make them come across as weak or worse, a loser, are instead coming across as petulant dingbats - all of 'em -no matter what viewpoint they claim to believe is the 'correct' one.

Meanwhile b can see that as much as types point out the stupidity of rehashing this argument, when he does run it again, post and page view stats skyrocket.

Posted by: A User | Jun 12 2020 8:40 utc | 81

As Richard Steven Hack says ! @ 80
Masks were a medical issue all along, it’s an infectious virus!
——————
With regards to the confusion. That is a different symptom, a different ailment !
The chaos of the mask, treatments, testing and lock down are simple caused by our understandable lack of trust in ‘the govenment’
Do I trust them ? No. Do you trust them ? ....
Why would we trust them ?
We know they mistakenly think their superior to us.
We know they are murdering us systematically.
Go figure !
The above explain’s the motivations of some commentators on this blog !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jun 12 2020 8:52 utc | 82

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 12 2020 8:31 utc | 80

No real need to clean up the thread. Varying opinions are useful and need to be countered with better arguments. Afterall, the Rostock,example in Posted by: Corax | Jun 12 2020 7:43 utc | 76 can be countered through proper research, I should hope.

In any case, as I mentioned at the beginning of the thread, I would not put too much faith in the studies. There are clear undisputed facts related to the virus that suggest waering a mask would be an effective precaution. That much is obvious to anyone with a thinking brain.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 12 2020 9:01 utc | 83

@ Richard Steven Hack

"Serious pack of ignorant trolls..."

"between the conspiracy theorist paranoids and the anti-lockdown morons and the anti-mask morons..."

"needs to do some serious cleanup on this thread"

So you have no arguments at all, all you can do is insult people with different opinions from yours, and your solution is to clean up or even delete the thread. I think no further comment necessary here. This is exactly how the German government and mainstream media deal with their inability of justifying their senseless and illegitimate actions. So I seriously wonder who is the troll here....

Posted by: Corax | Jun 12 2020 9:22 utc | 84

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 12 2020 9:01 utc | 84

https://covh.github.io/cov19de/pages/Deutschland.html

You can select states (Bundesländer) and departments (Landkreise, Stadtkreise) You will see all kind of development. Take Bremen, which is both a state and a city. You will find more cases AFTER the mask implementation than before. Why did the makers of the "study" not use those data? Again: Generally, the epidemic had reched its peak already in March, which is clearly shown by data of the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI) that have been interpreteted by many mathematicians ever since. AND: We don't know the number of testings. Maybe in Bremen they just tested a lot more recently. Maybe in Jena they didn't test anymore at all. You can take it any way you like, but this is nt a serious study, it's much rather an accomodation opinion (I hope the term exists or is at least understandable) that helps the government to justify and extend the mask enforcement.

Posted by: Corax | Jun 12 2020 9:32 utc | 85

An interesting read by F William Engdahl

https://m.journal-neo.org/2020/06/09/now-comes-the-davos-great-reset/

Posted by: Down South | Jun 12 2020 9:41 utc | 86

Jack_Garbo #79

Thank you YAY. I too am with Thailand. They protected all their people to the utmost.

UK, Sweden, USA the opposite. Those three sent the elderly to the slaughterhouse. Knowingly! They are disgusting.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jun 12 2020 9:41 utc | 87

I'm disappointed in moa in acclaiming this to be evidence.. first of all the study begins by admiting that there was no medically proved facts to introduce an mandatory masking obligation for all people regardless of their health status in a sugarcoating way to state that it was done anyway. the in the end the study makes the suggestion to remain face-mask obligation whatsoever whatever the state of the epidemic is.. that seems to me like a politized study at first glance.

then it was done with a synthetic control group, a method that I dont know how well it can work.

many facts are explained by further hypothesises within the text but are not proven.

the method as well as all 4 scientists are scientists of economics. you would expect at least one epidemologist amongst them. but no, no medical background at all.

so this one study does not seem to be able to justify the upholding of an emergency state with restrictions of peoples freedoms and doing harm to health (co2, bacteria, virusses etc) and quality of life (social, communication. masks are not healthy and I dont know anyone who uses them properly anyway. they just are symbols as long as their efficency is unproven. symbols of conformity under a irrational regime. I would expect MOA to further analyse the root causes behind the mostly self afflicted crisis instead of feeding us weak mainstream narrative supporting masks that really dont make any sense now and btw countries that are not using them like switzerland, denmark, netherlands dont have had any so called second waves, or am I wrong?

Posted by: Felix Stephan | Jun 12 2020 10:08 utc | 88

Posted by: Felix Stephan | Jun 12 2020 10:08 utc | 89

Most "second waves" won't be experienced until fall or winter, so you are wrong. The US and UK may appear to be exceptions, but really it is still the prolonged first wave do to masive incompetence or worse.

Posted by: Blue Dotterel | Jun 12 2020 10:14 utc | 89

Maybe we could look into the HCW (health care workers) cases and determine how they got infected even wearing masks and other ppe

COVID-19 How many Healthcare workers are infected

Healthcare workers and coronavirus: behind the stiff upper lip we are highly vulnerable

... Rather than being invincible, we are actually highly vulnerable. We are already at higher risk of drug and alcohol abuse than workers from other sectors. This risk may ramp up during a pandemic as did mental and social illnesses during the Sars outbreak.

Healthcare workers signing up to respond to the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak were screened for character traits associated with resilience before being deployed. There is no such resilience screening for the COVID-19 response.

Virus breeding places: hospitals, retirement homes, congregations, housing of migrant workers, parties, congresses ... et cetera

Posted by: c | Jun 12 2020 10:40 utc | 90

F Wiiliam Engdahl has gone to great lengths to expose the actors involved in the management of the Covid19 pandemic and the organisations involved. I’ve linked to a page that has all the relevant articles listed. From the modelers that predicted catastrophic death rates? to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , to even Dr Fauci.

https://m.journal-neo.org/author/william-engdahl/

Whatever the origins of the virus, it is being used to force through social changes that benefits a highly select group of people and organisations. F William Engdahl exposes the lot.

Posted by: Down South | Jun 12 2020 10:50 utc | 91

Westerner: "I ain't wearin` no freakin` mask cuz... cuz muh freedums!"

Easterner: "Wearing a mask could protect others from a deadly disease that I might be carrying without my even knowing about it? That sounds reasonable. I'm not the kind of person who enjoys farting in strangers' faces or shitting on their living room carpets, much less killing them inadvertently, so I guess I will wear a mask."

If you agree that we are facing a civilizational conflict in the world, it is not so difficult to see which side of that conflict is still in the cultural equivalent of caves.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 12 2020 11:00 utc | 92

Thailand has largely a moist atmosphere (they couldn't grow rice otherwise) and Asia has largely speaking higher population density than many other places on earth. It does make sense to wear masks when these two conditions exist.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 12 2020 11:16 utc | 93

Posted by: Corax | Jun 12 2020 9:22 utc | 85 So you have no arguments at all, all you can do is insult people with different opinions from yours

If you were around here for the last two months, you would have seen me post evidence right and left about masks, and everything else related to this virus. It's these troll morons who come in from God knows where to insult b, and the rest of us, with their ignorant horseshit that deserves the ridicule.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 12 2020 11:00 utc | 94 If you agree that we are facing a civilizational conflict in the world, it is not so difficult to see which side of that conflict is still in the cultural equivalent of caves.

Yup. Remember the book, "The Ugly American"? The sheer flagrant ignorance - and the reveling in sheer flagrant ignorance - of the average American is all the proof one needs that this country is headed for the toilet. And it deserves it. This thread alone proves my point that humans are a total loss and need to be replaced by something better as soon as possible.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jun 12 2020 11:18 utc | 94

Corax@ 85

Yes, of course. Many of us wonder why Bernhard continues to tolerate this poster and his socks.

Said poster also represents for Transhumanism, the religion of Elon Musk and other oligarchs. Posts repeatedly about his plans to cheat death, about as pure a symptom of unrestrained psychosis as might be seen. Now he wants to “replace” you and me. You got lucky Corax, he did not accuse you of working for Mossad or use sexual language or direct threats. Although the “replace” part is a lot like an indirect threat.

Posted by: oldhippie | Jun 12 2020 11:33 utc | 95

"Maybe we could look into the HCW (health care workers) cases and determine how they got infected even wearing masks and other ppe"

Maybe b could address the fact, the reality, that the Canadian military entered a number of LTC homes in Canada, in full protective gear and still became infected with Covid?
https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/pandemic-covid-coronavirus-canadian-forces-long-term-care-1.5578948

Clearly their masks failed. And all the PPE failed.

The proof b posits is really proof of nothing considering all the variables. Correlation does not equal causation-"correlation does not imply causation" refers to the inability to legitimately deduce a cause-and-effect relationship between two variables solely on the basis of an observed association or correlation between them

Posted by: R Rose | Jun 12 2020 11:37 utc | 96

Richard Steven Hack @96

What I find most tragic about that ignorance you mention is that ignorance is not just willful, but proudly flaunted. That ignorance is deployed as a rhetorical weapon as some sort of proof of their own imagined superiority. ""Synthetic city"? I don unnerstan` the words you use so you must be stoopid!"

The fact that the Dunning-Kruger effect absolutely dominates in the West while eastern cultures seem resistant to it is another facet of the civilizational conflict that shows where the arc of history is headed. You are correct that we see evidence of that right here in this thread.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 12 2020 11:43 utc | 97

On the topic of Covid-19 studies:

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2020/06/10/from-gekaufte-journalisten-to-gekaufte-wissenschaftler/

“A Guardian investigation can reveal the U.S.-based company Surgisphere, whose handful of employees appear to include a science fiction writer and an adult-content model, has provided data for multiple studies on Covid-19 co-authored by its chief executive, but has so far failed to adequately explain its data or methodology.”

Posted by: Down South | Jun 12 2020 12:08 utc | 98

Posted by: William Gruff | Jun 12 2020 11:43 utc | 100

Pick a random 6-year old kid here from Singapore or from the PRC and he/she will stand a healthy 50/50 chance at beating an average USian adult in math. Yup, things have gotten THAT bad in the 'states.

Posted by: JW | Jun 12 2020 12:10 utc | 99

Granted that wearing masks might reduce the infection of others the question is do we now have to wear masks in perpetuity, everywhere when we venture outside or in the workplace, on in social gatherings or in schools? There is a rational argument to be made that there will be a flu epidemic next year and the year and forever that will cause the death of many people and masks must be worn at all times forever. The CNN has published an article on the undesirable and adverse social effects of wearing masks on society and concealing facial expression (e..g you cannot tell whether someone is smiling or happy or angry). Since most deaths occur in nursing homes and among the immuno-compromised wouldn't it be a better idea to take care of these people and let society go on as before with more limited safeguards? There are also health effects to wearing masks (accumulation of bacteria, hypoxia and hypercapnia) which must be taken into account. In other words the decision of wearing masks or not should be taken in isolation, but only after considering all the pros and cons.

Posted by: Antony Manolis | Jun 12 2020 12:30 utc | 100

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