We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
If conservatives are going to have a shred of credibility on such questions of science, they need to avoid language such as "proves." It's a study. It provides evidence.
This is not a small, technical matter raised by pedants (though I am unapologetically a pedant), it goes to the heart of rational discourse. Liberals abandoned this a generation ago, perhaps two, in favor of activism. Conservatives should not do the same.
I read it. It doesn't "prove" a damn thing. It is evidence that mask are not determinative, and in the context of people wearing them stupidly and not following their state guidelines, they show marginal effects at best. I could have told you that fourteen months ago. It doesn't matter what your state's rules are in terms of measuring effectiveness. It matters what the people are actually doing.
I wear masks only to keep others calm at this point, or to not get into stupid arguments with low-level employees at the grocery, who have no choice. For me, who am vaccinated, it's all for show. But the numbers that a 10% increase in real mask-wearing in a population corresponds with a 7% reduction in symptoms remains unscathed.
Assistant Village Idiot
Yes, doesn't prove.
I wear them only when required, or for good manners. However, fewer and fewer people are bothering with them.
Of course they did. What other outcome could we expect? Life is not a giant lab experiment with controls. People wear the same mask for months, they touch it and then touch doorknobs, they don’t wear gloves to deal with any of it, etc.
It’s a shitshow, but to be expected if we want to understand the world we actually live in.
The idea that we could ask 300 million people — non-medical people — to adopt medical procedures as part of their daily lives and to do it all correctly was always a suckers bet.
No, we don't need pedants telling us how to speak rational discourse.
What we do need are people who use critical thought and ask challenging questions like, "So what?"
We always knew the virus was nanoscopic. But viruses usually travel in aerosol particles, which provide them protection, and a better chance of forward infection. So what are the sizes of aerosol particles? Do masks protect against those? To what extent? And what are electrostatic effects that may attract particles to mask surfaces and prevent additional spread?
Those are useful critiques to improve this discussion from the conservative side.
There is no "new information" on these dumbass, worthless masks. It would be bad enough if they were merely worthless, but they exacerbate respiratory problems that wouldn't otherwise exist in the absence of a ridiculous face diaper. At this point, it's agreeing to wear a dunce cap on your face.
There are probably a few situations where masks make sense. For me, it's a haircut....sitting nose-to-nose with some rando for 20 minutes seems like a bad idea. I'd probably wear one if I'm visiting someone particularly vulnerable (70+, a new mom, a hospital patient, etc.) just in case. People wearing them alone in their cars, OTOH, are loons.
The big trouble with mask mandates is and was their lack of nuance.
(side note: I'm amazed at how meticulously groomed many TV talking heads were during the Covid heights, particularly those who otherwise advocated maximal-concern).
And another good Powerline post: Fighting Covid? It Just Didn't Matter. John Hinderaker looks at the CDC data and comes to the conclusion that "...generally, there isn’t much difference in cumulative case rates from state to state, regardless of shutdowns or mask mandates."
I have not had a chance to dig into the data map that he references at the Powerline link, but other data I have seen supports the conclusion:
“If you spend a little time with CDC’s interactive maps, the conclusion seems blindingly obvious: measures taken by the states to “fight” the Wuhan virus, something that was never deemed possible before last year, imposed enormous costs but have made little or no difference in the end.”