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To Mask or not to two - Mask Megathread cont.



  • Registered Users Posts: 989 ✭✭✭Stormyteacup

    Apparently it was put to the WHO that their turnaround on masks in summer 2020 was as a result of political lobbying and they did not deny it. This from BBC health correspondent at the time Deborah Cohen.

    Of course that is not the same as agreeing that was the case. Many lab-based studies on masks have been conducted (some with funding declarations that should be looked at closely), and many politicians named and shamed for profiting from awarding contracts to mask manufacturers (German politicians most prominently, and Priti Patel closer to home), and lobbying for mandates.

    But my main question is, are there studies out there on a population/country level comparing the effect of mask mandates, ffp2 mandates (Austria and Germany), and no mask mandates, on number of cases? Over a period of a year/half-year? Maybe there are two many factors to consider - reporting, testing, compliance…It’s easy to say ‘but cases would have been much higher were it not for masks’, but that’s lazy.

    Take Ireland v Austria (both stringent in testing and for restrictions), when our mask mandate was removed end of Feb 2021, we had 200,000 cumulative cases approx. (many more in reality), and Austria had 400,000 (likely many more too in reality) - why is they not a bigger discrepancy? And their ffp2 mask mandate ran to until June 21. They have a population of 9 million and we have 5.

    Surely by now countries that had mask mandates in place can point to others that did not, and show evidence of effectiveness?

    But it seems to be just modelling showing how many were spared on account of mask mandates, and those models are incorporating lab findings on mask effectiveness, hence not real world evidence.

    For me the studies that show mask effectiveness owe more to them being a visual prompt to distance socially rather than an effective tool in their own right (on a population level, but I can see the advantage of wearing a good mask individually if you don’t have much social interaction, work from home, don’t have children in school or college and perhaps live alone).

  • Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    @Stormyteacup this is exactly my point. Ian Miller on Twitter has done lots of work on this. Interestingly no one else has done these obvious studies.

    When it was only Sweden there was lots of noise about their "Nordic neighbours" but now we have lots of other examples the "Nordic exceptionalism" motivated reasoning falls apart.

    Was in Portugal last winter for a week - masks were at a fanatical level there and yet they had huge infection levels anyway.

    Ironically people tend to socially distance less with masks as they believe they are protected.

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,920 ✭✭✭✭Goldengirl

    On the subject of droplets transmission this recent study finds that infection is transmitted by droplets in normal face to face interactions..

    This is where masks can help reduce transmission as even cloth masks although not a fan of them myself, do prevent droplet transmission.

    And on the subject of pubs, and the mask mandate that was, people go there to drink pretty much continually, as well as eat and socialise. So masks would not be worn much except when people going to the loo or the bar.

    In these environments it would be nearly impossible to avoid aerosolised droplets which unless you are in an open part of the pub would be circulating in less ventilated sections.

    My personal opinion is that masks in pubs to protect people was pretty much a waste of time, except maybe to stop an infected individual coughing their way to the loo and dispersing aerosols, and that people, especially those who had impaired immunity or were vulnerable, were kidding themselves if they were drinking inside in a crowded, indoor environment like that, that the mask mandate in a pub or even busy restaurant setting would protect them.

    Best avoided totally or eat and drink outside if at all possible. ( which is pretty miserable I know in our climate during winter)

    Now that more have immunity through infection and vaccination it is obviously less of a risk to most people , but those vulnerable will always have to be careful. Whether that means another mask mandate or not, I don't agree that those environments should be restricted, not much point.

  • Posts: 2,078 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    This is a mathematical model, not a study.

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 76,094 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Beasty

    soupandpoitin threadbanned

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,502 ✭✭✭political analyst

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,816 ✭✭✭Red Silurian

    Masks were required in pubs and you were only allowed to take them off for drinking or eating

    What else do you do in a pub other than drink, eat, piss and chat? Unless you're saying you had the mask on between sips of you beer and bites of your dinner, if so then fair play to you.

    Whether it was droplets or airborn is irrelevant to mask wearing. Literally millions infected last winter here in Ireland, literally billions infected in territories where there was no mask mandate.

    In any case, Stephen Donnelly has said on NT breakfast this morning that the advice this winter is to wear masks on public transport, enclosed busy spaces and in healthcare settings especially for vulnerable people but crucially there will be no mask mandate

  • Registered Users Posts: 398 ✭✭jimmybobbyschweiz

    I always point back to hospitals and care homes; in these places the masks were worn correctly and were of a high standard. Yet there was outbreak after outbreak in healthcare settings! As pointless as an ashtray on a motorbike are masks. Purely symbolism as COVID was not a deadly killer so at least with masks there was a reminder to people that there are certain public health restrictions and guidelines that should be noted.

    Nothing more than that with masks and arguing about their effectiveness is like agreeing the shade of brown on a turd.

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,843 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    This is simply false.

    Outbreaks and healthcare worker cases went down significantly in Irish hospitals after masks were fully rolled out.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,327 ✭✭✭corcaigh07

    There is no data to say that is true. Stephen Donnelly says there's oodles of it but hasn't been provided.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 28,843 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    It was posted earlier in the thread. Multiple times. The search is ***** on boards.

    The general point is that you must look at the overall number of cases occurring not just say, oh an outbreak occurred therefore X doesn't work.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

  • Registered Users Posts: 28,843 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    As noted, it was posted multiple times on the thread but boards search being what it is tracking it down again difficult.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,038 ✭✭✭patnor1011

    Meh, and I thought that outbreaks in hospitals went significantly down when they emptied them and sent everyone to die to nursing houses. Also hospitals were ghost towns for most of the pandemic so hard to say what effect if any masks had on empty wards and corridors.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    Interesting but predictable, the media are starting to get the message that the vast, vast majority of people want absolutely nothing to do with masks.

    Eilish starting to get the message -

    And then this; less than 4% wearing masks on public transport, the one place that they’re still being advised in. LOL -

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,957 ✭✭✭kirk.

    Some UK COVID bigshot was saying that the old 2020 COVID that put loads of people in ICU is gone because of community immunity

    Sir John bell on the radio today

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

    Great to see, down to 4%, people continuously copping onto the fact that masks are a waste of time.

  • Registered Users Posts: 989 ✭✭✭Stormyteacup

    Actually there is a source for that. One that is inarguable, first year report from HSPC.

    Number of outbreaks by setting. Clearly after masks were ‘fully rolled out’ - sometime end of April 2020 in healthcare, cases and outbreaks most certainly went down significantly in Irish hospitals. We might note they went down significantly everywhere else too.

    The rest of the graph is open to interpretation as testing was less targeted in healthcare after the first wave. In fact same document says;

    But personally I can’t pick out anything pointing to masks alone making any difference. And if you were to look at cases associated with outbreaks in hospitals well;

    So if Donnelly has evidence specifically showing that masks alone, not the end of a wave, and not distancing, significantly reduced outbreaks and cases amongst healthcare workers once testing was established for all settings - would be good of him to share it.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,205 ✭✭✭Spudman_20000

    Any sign of the "oodles of data" from Donnelly yet?

    Didn't think so.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,957 ✭✭✭kirk.

    No sign of masks coming back anyhow

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,232 ✭✭✭waterwelly

    Hows the tripledemic going?

    Warning over ‘contagious’ virus that could plunge Ireland into ‘tripledemic’ this winter

  • Administrators, Social & Fun Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 76,094 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭Beasty

    patnor1011 threadbanned

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,957 ✭✭✭kirk.

    What are chances of masks coming back for Jan/Feb

    Hospitals are creaking apparently with a triple whammy of viruses

    If they do it's the thin end of the wedge they'll be back every winter when the hospitals kick up

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,177 ✭✭✭Fandymo

    Don’t really see anyone wearing masks any more on public transport. Get 2 buses a day and you might see 1/2 people wearing them.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,541 ✭✭✭jackboy

    I have seen at work and in the local school a variety of viruses are raging through the population. Bad doses but manageable for the healthy. However there are enough vulnerable in the population to overrun our unprepared health system. Things could get very bad in the next few weeks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,097 ✭✭✭mikeybhoy

    Seeing more people wearing masks around lately again and surprisingly younger people too mostly women. Maybe it's a fashion trend.

  • Registered Users Posts: 418 ✭✭Coolcormack1979

    And all them billions that the hse get and there still unprepared.there’s the problem and not bloody covid

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,957 ✭✭✭kirk.

    Looks like it's all slowly being conflated now as feared

    What 15 in ICU "with" COVID

    Well soon be masking up every winter to protect the hse