Wuhan Virus Watch: New England Journal of Medicine – Wearing mask outside health care facilities offers little protection
No major increase’ in coronavirus in 21 re-opened states. Denmark & Finland report no increase in virus after schools re-opened. Leading scientist urges faster exit from UK’s lockdown. The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal.
Today’s update will start with new information related to the touchstone of the latest spate of coronavirus policies: “Wearing masks is critical in reducing spread.”
The New England Journal of Medicine has published an article stating that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little protection from infection and assesses their true value as anxiety alleviation.
We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.
The calculus may be different, however, in health care settings. First and foremost, a mask is a core component of the personal protective equipment (PPE) clinicians need when caring for symptomatic patients with respiratory viral infections, in conjunction with gown, gloves, and eye protection. Masking in this context is already part of routine operations for most hospitals. What is less clear is whether a mask offers any further protection in health care settings in which the wearer has no direct interactions with symptomatic patients.
…It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. Masks are not only tools, they are also talismans that may help increase health care workers’ perceived sense of safety, well-being, and trust in their hospitals. Although such reactions may not be strictly logical, we are all subject to fear and anxiety, especially during times of crisis.
From the New England Journal of Medicine: “We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection.” https://t.co/BYPSPC9SRD
— Brit Hume (@brithume) May 29, 2020
ABC report finds ‘no major increases’ in coronavirus in 21 re-opened states
It appears that projections about cases of coronavirus “spiking” after reopening were another failed pandemic prediction.
The nearly two dozen states that have begun re-opening their economies in recent weeks have had “no major increases” in coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths, according to a recent report by ABC.
The network “looked at the first 21 states to ease restrictions” to determine whether the loosening of lockdown measures had cause the virus to spread faster in those locations. Among the surveyed states were Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Dakota and Texas.
“Analyzing seven-day averages, there were no major increases in hospitalizations, deaths or percentage of people testing positive in any of the 21 states,” the network said.
Denmark, Finland say they saw no increase in coronavirus after schools re-opened
Hopefully, this news will persuade American school officials to reopen fully for the fall, if not sooner.
The Nordic countries of Denmark and Finland are reporting no increase in the spread of coronavirus since opening their respective schools, further suggesting that children are less likely to be sickened by COVID-19 and spread the virus.
Denmark began sending its children back to school on April 15, just over a month after Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen issued an extensive nationwide lockdown. They were kept spaced apart in classrooms and on playgrounds, while sanitation measures such as hand-washing stations and deep-cleaning procedures were put into place.
Similar measures were put into place in Finland to keep children from congregating in large groups. The country’s education minister, Li Andersson, predicted that reopening schools would “have a minimal impact on the pandemic, but grand benefits for children.”
Leading scientist urges faster exit from UK’s lockdown
The science is settled: End the lockdowns sooner rather than later.
A prominent Oxford epidemiologist has reportedly called for a more rapid exit from Britain’s lockdown, saying the coronavirus pandemic is “on its way out” of Britain after infecting as much as half the population.
Professor Sunetra Gupta says there would be a “strong possibility” that pubs, nightclubs and restaurants in Britain could reopen without serious risk from Covid-19.
The professor of theoretical epidemiology at the University of Oxford said the UK had most likely erred on the side of over-reaction in its handling of the crisis, suggesting imposing the lockdown itself was one such misstep.
The lack of evidence lockdowns actually worked is a world scandal
Sherelle Jacobs, a British journalist for the Telegraph, has analyzed the response and concludes there is a lack of evidence the lockdowns worked.
…This is a scandal so overwhelming that there is only one good place to start: the evidence as it stands. In accordance with pro-lockdown theory, if stay at home orders worked, you might have expected to see daily deaths spike 3-4 weeks after such measures were implemented. (Studies estimate Covid has a symptom-free incubation period of rougly five days, and fatalities typically die 2-3 weeks after showing symptoms.) But, in Britain, infections may have peaked a week before lockdown, according to Prof Carl Heneghan of Oxford University, with daily deaths in hospitals plateauing a fortnight after it was introduced. We are not an anomaly: peak dates across Europe also seem to confound the official theory.
Don’t just take my word for it. A University of the East Anglia study posits that Europe’s “stay-at-home policies” were not effective. A JP Morgan investigation suggests the virus “likely has its own dynamics” which are “unrelated to often inconsistent lockdown measures”. But such insights have failed to induce even the vaguest quiver of serious mainstream debate.
Nobel prize-winning bio-physicist Michael Levitt has fared little better, despite his valiant one-man effort to expose the inconvenient truth about Covid numbers. He has claimed, sensationally, that the modelling that justified lockdown made the fatally incorrect assumption that Covid-19’s spread is continuously exponential. In fact, his research has found an uncanny pattern across numerous countries whereby the virus grows exponentially for two weeks, before slowing seemingly irrespective of lockdown and social distancing measures.
Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.