Q&A Of The Day – Mask “Efficacy” Part 2
Bottom Line: A lots changed in a year. Including the pervasiveness of the spread of the virus. Did you, did anyone, suspect we’d be battling a bigger outbreak of new COVID-19 cases today compared to a year ago? With well over half of the population vaccinated that’s certainly not what we were conditioned to expect. This is a reminder as to why it’s so important to establish and study facts as opposed to simply listening to the “experts”. If all you did was listen to the “experts” you’d likely be a six-masked unemployed hermit who’d still have contracted COVID-19 twice. Sorry, I digressed. One of the changes over the past year has come in the form of overall mask “efficacy”.
The more contagious COVID-19 variants have become put greater emphasis on the study fine droplets. I couldn’t find a disparity in the N95 data compared to the original virus, which speaks to the overall effectiveness of that mask specifically. When it comes to cloth masks however, there’s been a meaningful decline in performance. Quoting a CDC study: Multi-layer cloth masks can both block up to 50-70% of these fine droplets and particles. So, in other words, the best possible performance of cloth masks is currently 7% worse than average performance of cloth masks a year ago. The average performance is 17% worse and you might have noticed another detail. That’s the performance of multilayer cloth masks. There’s no current accredited data on single layer cloth masks against the variants but it’s safe to say their performance would be well south of 50% at best. And this is where I think it’s useful to tie some things together.
From my perspective the biggest problem we have in our society today is a lack of pragmatism. The virus changes, data changes but mindsets haven’t. In our society you’re either “vaccinated” or you’re not. Well, that’s foolish for multiple reasons due to numerous variables. The three vaccines all have varying efficacy, but they’re all treated by those seeking mandates as the same. That's foolish. We have no idea how long efficacy of these vaccines will be but those seeking mandates look at those vaccinated in January the same as people vaccinated today. That's foolish. As illustrated, there’s a huge difference between N95 masks which offer near complete protection, compared to single layer cloth masks which offer very little protection, but they’re viewed the same as those seeking mandates. That’s foolish. And that takes me to the most foolish notion of all. Mask mandates in school.
As I’ve spent all week discussing there are 13 studies on the National Institutes of Health website reflecting the negative impact of mask wearing in an educational environment. Every related study shows that students of all ages, literally from kindergarten through med school perform worse when wearing masks. And that’s in part because teachers/professors can’t effectively teach while wearing masks. So now think about just how jacked up this is. These are schools. The purpose is to learn. We have school boards and superintendents mandating the wearing of a device which provably causes less teaching and less learning. And that’s why, regardless of mask efficacy, it’s absurd to be masking teachers and kids in schools. That gets back to where today’s note started. If the premise of anything is false anything built on it is too. There’s a complete lack of pragmatism, analytical thought and intellectual integrity which exists within most of our society today. I keep myself sane by telling myself it’s my little place in the world to deliver it.