SCIENCE AND DATA ALERT! DO MASKS WORK?
So below is a graph expressing the R value of the coronavirus in New Jersey. As the graph explains, the R value depicts essentially how contagious, how aggressively transmissible a virus is. We’ve been told, nay admonished, that we all need to wear masks to slow the transmission of this most-deadly-of-all-time viruses. But let’s take a look at what the actual SCIENCE AND DATA shows us. Notice the first red line I’ve added at about April 10th when wearing masks for indoor shopping in NJ was commanded by our benevolent (and very intelligent and caring) autocrat Phil “that’s above my pay-grade” Murphy. The second red line is added at about July 8th when our fearless leader told us we now had to wear masks outside if we could still see another human being in our field of vision. He admonished us that we must take this step because “certain worrisome transmission trends in New Jersey require us to do more.” (more on this later)
First, please notice the advent of masking (and the onset of lockdown for that matter) had no effect at all on the R value of this virus in NJ. The curve goes below 1 (theoretically what you want) for part of the time we’re locked down, but starts coming back up pretty much in the middle of lockdown. How do you explain that? Then notice, since we’ve been freed, the line doesn’t really move at all; irrespective of the second mask edict. How do you explain that? If masks work in slowing the spread of the virus, we should see a discernible change, a readily recognizable shift in the R curve, which we do not, for either the indoor or outdoor order. And if you’re going to say that if not for the masks, the curve would have gone back up, how do you explain that pesky left side of the curve which shows a precipitous drop (about 60%) in the R value before lockdown, and long before masking? That’s kind of important. While I’m aware of the complexities and vagaries of calculating the R value, someone needs to explain the natural and significant decrease in the rate of spread before some silly human who actually believes we can affect the course of this viral event picked up his dictatorial pen. And while they’re at it, they can explain why neither the masking nor lockdown shows any effect at all (no shift in curve). Maybe, just maybe, it’s because the virus (which is about 1/1000th the size of a human hair) is going to go where it wants to go, and take those it can take. It’s something we like to call “nature”. As I have said before, the idea that we humans can mitigate the spread of this virus is both arrogant and foolhardy. And by the way, where exactly are those “worrisome transmission trends” we were PANIC PORNED about? Do you see a worrisome trend anywhere on this graph? Anyone? Anyone? (shout out Ferris Bueller)
In fact, if anything, the R value increased (ever so slightly) AFTER the July 8th mask order took effect. If masks work, how do you explain that more mask wearing caused an INCREASE in viral transmission? But wait, maybe these worrisome trends will show up on say, a graph of daily cases in New Jersey (as I’ve also said before, positive tests are not really “cases”). Yeah, that must be where the evidence lies. Let’s take a look:
Oops, not so much. Again here the red line is at about July 8th when the outdoor mask edict came down from on high. Do you see any “worrisome trends”? I may not be a smart man (shout out Forrest Gump), but I don’t see any “worrisome trends”. I see a consistent and significant decline from the “daily new cases” high back in April and then a flat line, dare I say a flattened curve (that’s right, I said it!) but NO decrease in new cases since at least mid June (about one month before the outdoor mask order). If masks work to slow the spread of the virus, how do you explain that? Well, maybe we can see the “worrisome trends” in the death count. Let’s see:
I’ll leave it to you to decide if you see some justification for the mask rules. Once again let me be clear. I am not telling you not to wear a mask. But I am telling you there is no actual SCIENCE AND DATA to support the use of masks (read my last post). I do, however, feel that this need by some (many) to insist on all of us wearing masks is harmful in that I don’t see wearing a mask as being thoughtful, kind, or considerate of my fellow travelers; I in fact see it as playing into, supporting, and perpetuating their unjustified fear. Where do you think we got the idea that mask-wearing was to show you care about your neighbor? With no SCIENCE AND DATA to support the mask requirements, our “leaders” played on our emotions and in the process turned neighbor against neighbor. I believe if you are not part of the solution (those who trust in the actual SCIENCE AND DATA), then you are part of the problem (those whose irrational fear has overtaken them, but really the media). I believe by playing into this (unfounded) belief in the power of the almighty mask, one would only be adding to the hysteria and thereby making things worse. At some point, we HAVE to look at what the actual SCIENCE AND DATA tells us and react accordingly. I did not make any of these figures up. They are the facts, whether you like them or not. But maybe I’m just a selfish, science-denying, grandma-killer. That could be it.