Face Masks and COVID-19

A reader sent me this
video interview of a physicist who disbelieves in the efficacy of face masks as a tool to reduce COVID-19 cases and asked me to review it.

A few points:

• Epidemiologists are quite convinced of the efficacy of face masks, and published their findings in the June 1 edition of “The Lancet.” Maybe that’s why the interviewer asked a physicist, as opposed to an epidemiologist.  Didn’t you find that strange?  At least he wasn’t a pastry chef or a refrigerator repairman. 🙂

• I agree with the gentleman that a huge randomized study would be nice, and policy made after all the data is concluded and analyzed, but given that there are 40K new cases/day in the U.S. alone, that’s a terrible idea.

• There is a huge (inverse) correlation between face mask wearing and infection rates. While it’s true that correlation doesn’t imply causation, people are dropping like flies, and it makes eminent sense to listen to the public health community when they explain that to us and beg us for our cooperation.

• We seem to be the only country on Earth with anti-mask protesters taking to the streets, and that we’re also one of two countries (along with Brazil) that has runaway infection rates. Places like New Zealand, with good leadership and a cooperative population, now have zero COVID-19 cases.

• Another uniqueness about the U.S. is that our president is lying through his teeth on a daily basis about the disease and the level at which we have it under control. This dishonesty has sent tens of thousands of Americans to agonizing deaths, and there are more every day.

Hope this helps.

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