Friday, November 20, 2020

Iron Sharpens Iron; Nothing Sharpens Mud

I don't have to troll around looking for arguments. Just spouting common sense and reality means they find me regardless.

Case in point:

B, over at Middle Of The Right, put up a post. (And I still read people who I disagree with, or who have disagreed with me, because there's always a chance they'll come around, or I will learn something I didn't know, and they absolutely have a perspective that's outside my cranium, which is kind of the point of the internet.)

A thought:

 So Menards (and Home Depot) both were early adopters of the "Mask Mandate" where I live in Indiana, months before the state-wide requirements for masks came into effect,,..

But they don't disinfect ANYTHING.

Not carts, not credit card machines, nothing.

The Virus is transmitted via touch and via airborne at a similar rate...

Yet again, we have the requirement for masks, but nothing else. Much like in a restaurant, or a bar, where one is dangerous when walking to and from the table (or the bathroom) but not when eating or drinking.....

The local grocery stores, all of them, including Wal-Mart, DO at least make the attempt to sanitize the carts and other common touch surfaces. 

Much like the TSA, it is all Theater. 

He's gotten touchy before, but against hope, I responded:
Checking temperatures is theater. Absolutely.

Masking works. (I'm open to counter-argument: just provide the names of the first world hospitals that don't require masks in general surgery, and in fact actually prohibit them, and you win.)

Failure to disinfect: that's just stupid laziness.
Gilligan FTW, Example #3042.

But unfortunately, it's the idea of not being able to cough and sneeze his germs all over random strangers that's apparently the point at issue for him, so full of the bile that led to the last go-around, here's his snappy comeback.
Aesop: Show me evidence that they work, and I'll believe you. If they were effective, we should have stopped this disease already as most mask mandates have been in effect for about 10 cycles of infection....there should be little or no cases if masking the population was an effective deterrent to the spread.

So go ahead, prove it. Or shut up.

Your history shows you are big on talk, but not much else. 

Look, Stud, put your dick away. It's just not that big. And certainly nothing to wave about.

(We'll ignore the 47 Straw Man Fallacies you set up there, ignoring things like spread among relatives, where no masking occurs, as though you'd never heard of it. Taking you to task for errors that obvious is just kicking retarded kids, which is why I didn't get personal in my original reply. But you wanted to dance, so I'll call the tune this time.) 

In fact, I agreed with a lot of what you wrote. You got some things right. Huzzah!

But when you throw out little tard-bombs like that last line, you're pogo-sticking in a minefield of explosive poo bombs, and asking not to get any on you.

It's not all theater.
"Always avoid 'always'. Never say 'never'." - Rhetoric 101 

But with reality vs. theater, evidently you can't tell the one from the other.
Sorry to have to be the one who pointed it out, but there it is.

And where I disagreed with you, I didn't come after you and insult you, and instead gave you a pathway to demonstrate your superior grasp of this. You elected to fling diaper spackle instead. Color me shocked.

Instead of acknowledging the proof you demanded, which was already pointed out in my response, and then declining to name any hospital that bans masks in surgery "because they don't work", as requested, you skipped to the Triple Dog Dare. Why would anyone offer you more proof when you can't grasp the obvious, that's been around as common knowledge since your grandfather wasn't even a gleam in your great-grandfather's eye?

You decided to get all butthurt, as seems to be your bent, because you didn't get 100%.
My only response to that is the same one I got in school:

"You want 100% scores? Study harder."

This ain't rocket surgery, but you have to make an effort.

But for B's edification, here's the response to him that I won't bother to post on his blog, because it'll never see daylight:

You win. Pasteur was wrong. So was Lister. Semmelweis too.  
Wait, no they weren't.
Here's the critical flaw in your reasoning, from just that reply:
"If they [masks] were effective, we should have stopped this disease already as most mask mandates have been in effect for about 10 cycles of infection." 
Let's change a few small words and phrases, and see if it gets clear for you:
"If [gun laws] were effective, we should have stopped this [gun crime] already as most [gun control] mandates have been in effect for about 10 [years]." 
You're arguing like the guy who thinks passing a law = 100% compliance, because everybody obeys the law, always, at all times and places. Like they don't ever. 
People run red lights 100 times a day. Should we get rid of stoplights, because they don't work, and they're inconvenient? Laws against murder have been in effect since Hammurabi, and yet people still murder each other. Using your "logic" shouldn't we get rid of murder laws too?? Because they obviously don't work! 
And then, knowing people don't obey laws, and having undone your own underlying rationale for why mask mandates should have worked, you argue against yourself, to throw out all mask laws, because people are people. 
All I'm suggesting is that you take a breath, and pick one side or the other. 
Do masks work? 150 years of medical history says yes.
I haven't been everywhere, and I've only worked in 30-40 or so of the 6000 hospitals in this country, for most of three decades, and not in such a cosmopolitan venue as Indiana. So something world-class may have gotten by me that you alone have figured out, unlike hospitals in Rome, Paris, London, NYFC, Tokyo, or anyplace else, going back to when Victoria was a young Queen of England. So I can believe your skepticism and scientific acumen, or my lying eyes.
You're not going to win on that point, ever, because it's counter-factual.  
Does the lack of perfect 100% compliance mean that the law (or any law) is of no value? That idea is pure hogwash. Perfection is not the standard, and never was. 
People are Gilligans. Not every single one of them, but it only takes one Gilligan to keep the castaways stranded for the entire run of the show. 
Funny on a '60s sitcom; in real life, amidst a pandemic, not so much. 
The Gilligans have been driving this pandemic since Day One. 
You probably get the concept that "We have to win every day; the terrorists only have to get lucky once." 
That's how virus propagation works too.
So, given that 50% or so of those with this infection are asymptomatic, and can never be detected as infectious (except by testing, daily, 330M people in this country, which we haven't come close to accomplishing even given 10 months), do you figure the better way is to pretend this infection doesn't exist, and throw out all restrictions? Or is it to ask you to make the superhuman sacrifice of wearing a mask in public among people, and keep the flying germs from your coughs and sneezes to yourself amidst everyone else, instead of flinging them outwards 10-30 feet at 100-300MPH? 
We only do two things in the hospital, 95% of the time: wear a mask, and wash our hands. And lo and behold, doctors and nurses aren't dropping like flies from Kung Flu, anywhere, despite working literally inches from people with full-blown COVID for 12-hour shifts, for the last 10 months. 
That's your proof. 
Is there hokum and security theater going on?
Hell YES, by the metric fuckton!
Are some evil nitwits arrogating totally unconstitutional authority and powers they don't have to themselves?
Hell YES!!
Does it piss me off too?  
Go after that pointless nonsense, and I'll march in your parade and subscribe to your newsletter.
Just please stop throwing out the baby with the bathwater simply because it's a minor inconvenience to put a mask on in public places, amidst other people. 
Somebody telling you that you need to wear a mask all by yourself, 20 miles out of town, alone, is a farking moron.
Somebody telling me they don't want to wear one at the supermarket at noon on Saturday "because masks don't work" is an even bigger one.
Both statements are absolutely true.

And that, B., is the difference between simple pugnacious gainsaying, and making the point.

But your response serves me right for thinking you were ready to change your spots, and be reasonable and rational. Sorry to have troubled your single thought. No, really. But might I suggest that next time, you try two or three thoughts, all at once. The exercise with the increased weight will do your mind well. Not to mention, your blog.

But lest you feel cheated, I made something for you in shop class.


smoken said...

I'll be your huckleberry. A 5 minute google search turned up the following article in Anesthesiology. I read the summary not the whole thing (too many big words, iz enjineer, need numberz).

States that as of Dec 2010, Karolinska hospital in Sweden ceased mandating masks for folks not scrubbed in for surgery. Has a picture of maskless dude watching a surgery going on (a good arms length away).

The above is offered for food for thought only. Mostly sought out the article to be contrarian. IMHO, The cost/benefit of wearing a mask is pretty skewed in favor of just wearing the f'ing thing when out in public- even if the benefit is very small, it's got to be non-zero. And the cost is what? My glasses fog up? I'll deal.

Now, tell me The Gov wants to limit who and how many can come to my house? The Gov wants to selectively apply the rules? Somehow eating inside a closed, heated tent is safer than eating it inside a building? (having slept in a few GP-Smalls and GP-Mediums in my day and knowing the gastric effects of MREs combined with greasy mermites, I can tell you that air does not circulate well inside a closed tent.) All this is counterproductive theater.

Aesop said...

Admirable effort, smoken.

It almost met the criteria.
Except they still require doctors and nurses nearest the patient to wear masks.
I also doubt they have much of a sense of humor about maskless persons in the OR coughing and sneezing. So we're still 0-for. Exactly as I suggested the outcome would be, on any look.

(And out of simple curiosity, I wonder what the policy there is ten years down the road. The lack of a follow-up article at this late date suggests epic failure, but either way, I'd love to hear their actual numbers on whether than policy worked, or augured into the ground at speed.)

As for the other fiat mandates you brought up, an appropriate remedy is tar and feathers, and riding around town on a rail, for any proposing or enforcing authorities.

the list of agencies stating publicly that they have zero interest in enforcing mask mandates criminally, nor curfews, even here in Califrutopia, suggests that the limit of peoples' willingness to kowtow has long since been breached. And the exact same folks telling any given Gov. Jackboots "BFYTW!" are also the exact same people who'll be in jury pools.

Once again, giving proof that in this country, government must play ball with We The People. Otherwise sooner or later, it gets the bat shoved up its @$$.

RandyGC said...

Just coming out of Isolation. CINCHOUSE tested positive two weeks ago and my test came back positive about a week later.

Fortunately no severe symptoms, mostly fatigue and occasionally coughing fits. O2 levels bottomed out at about 91%.

Quite frankly, for me, it was hard to tell the difference between the CHICOM Flu and my normal neuropathy and seasonal allergies/colds symptoms. I know we were lucky, this time.

Hope if anyone else here gets it the symptoms are as mild.

Mr. B said...

I guess you have not read the latest study done in Denmark. Not only are masks not effective in preventing the spread of the virus, they may lead to increased illnesses from bacteria infections. For a medical guy, you seem to be woefully under informed.

Aesop said...

1) What study? Citation, link, something; not "some horse droppings I found on the 'net".
2) Define "effective". Show your work.
3) Did the study control for all variables except mask use?
4) "May" is a weasel word. Either they do, or they don't. If they aren't clear on which it is, they're pulling guesses out of their asses. That's not science, it's voodoo.

That's four problems in two sentences.
For a non-medical guy, you seem woefully under informed in what you don't know that you don't know.

Waving a study around proves nothing, and you've still failed to meet the stated criteria: which first world hospitals have banned masks in general surgery, "because they don't work"?
You're still 0-fer.

Odds of one study in Denmark overturning everything we know about germ theory and epidemiology: 1,000,000:1.

But you're willing to base public policy that will affect hundreds of millions to billions of people, and risk killing a given number of them - on one unconfirmed report.

Google "confirmation bias", and get back to the class.

Then look up the consistent problem with 75-90% of "research" done in the last 50 years: the fact that no one can reproduce the results, because it's push-polling and advocacy for rent money, not actual science. That sort of behavior is fine for lawyers, politicians, and whores (but I repeat myself), but science it ain't.

Don't take my word for it:

That's from 4 years ago. It hasn't gotten any better since. Follow the links, and make up for what your high school science teachers couldn't cover well enough.

That's why a study, from anywhere, is worth Jack and Shit, to a metaphysical certainty.

Not that you'll do it, because it would take 15 minutes of solid reading, but sometime take a peek at Michael Crichton's Michelin Essay at Caltech back in 2003:
Aliens Cause Global Warming. It's about 20 places on the web.

Come at the problem (or any other one) using facts and evidence, and see where something leads, rather than hot and panting for the answer you want the computer to burp out, and you'll faceplant into brick walls a lot less frequently, at least on anything vaguely sciencey.

Just saying.
And full props for trying.

Aesop said...


Glad you're out the other side.

I'm hoping to avoid that particular ride until vaccinations (that work) become a viable option.

Unknownsailor said...

Not arguing one way or the other, just posting links for review:

New England Journal of Medicine - SARS-CoV-2 Transmission among Marine Recruits during Quarantine

Masks reduced transmission, but did not eliminate it, in a setting where the study conditions were enforced via military discipline.

Of note to me is the ratio of symptoms to those who tested positive but had none. It seems to me that young, fit persons have little to fear from this thing, and in the interests of building herd immunity and thereby protecting the vulnerable the young should be turned loose so that this bug can run it's course.

Another one that seems to say that masks are problematic, but the comments are not agreeing with that in the least.

This one states up front that it is not peer reviewed, so while that would have made me skeptical recently, unfortunately, my experience with peer review lately has greatly diminished my confidence in that mechanism. So much academic garbage that makes it through "peer review" is just utter tripe. Sokal affair, reproducibility crisis in psychology, all have damaged my faith in scientific study publishing.

OvergrownHobbit said...

Define "masks" please.

Proper PPE N-100 respirators? (This looks promising. Your thoughts? I want to get them for the beloved Aged Relations)

Fabric face diapers?

Sneeze guards?

You've never gotten back to me about the semi-permeable membrane power

Here's a decent article on the Danish study(

It merely confirms what massive data from the Spanish flu records tell us: fabric masks do not protect you, and are likely to make you sick. It has nothing to say about their protective value for the folks around you.

Nonetheless: Sneeze guards as a remedy for people too barbaric to cough or sneeze into their elbow...? Mr. Aesop, isn't that magical thinking?

Grey Fox said...


I think the study Mr. B is referring to is this one:

Ace posted it a couple days ago here:

I don't think it is quite the smoking gun that the anti-maskers think it is, but you probably can understand it better than I.

Unknown said...

Last news I heard out of Indiana was that a hospital in East Central (?) Indiana was about to get crushed by sheer numbers of Kung Flu patients. So Indiana, at least that part of it, has a pretty severe problem with Kung Flu, unless I'm supposed to believe that the hospital installs patient beds in their classrooms every flu season.

Didn't know that Home Depot wasn't sanitizing surfaces but honestly, whatever. I'm more concerned that people wear masks - correctly! - then that stores wipe everything down.

Because I can pull out my hand sanitizer the second I get back to my car, and my lysol wipes for my packages the moment I get home, to correct for that problem. The problem I can't correct for is people breathing their germs out into the air that I then have to breathe because they either didn't wear a mask or didn't wear it properly.


Aesop said...

Thanks. (Note to B: That's how you do it.)
Of note: Survey concludes masks reduce transmission.
Period. Full stop. Game over.

Are they 100% Hell NO!

They were never intended to be.

A hint should be that an N95 (which we're not talking about) only filters out 95% of the particles we're concerned about.That's why it's labeled N95.

So we're talking about snot and sneeze guards.

And FTR, when they say "nuts-to-butts" in boot camp, we're talking EXACTLY that close together. BTDT, got the t-shirt.
So, are masks effective enough?
Last I looked, they're still requiring them.
Game, set, match.

But if you lick your fingers instead of washing your hands, a mask is meaningless.
Run red lights and pee on electric fences while you're at it.
Stupid people can't be saved, and stupid should hurt.

ALCON, for about the 200th time since February last:
You're wearing a mask in public to protect other people from you.
If you want to protect you from other people, you need something like an N95 or better, up to and including a spacesuit.

And people who can't be trained, because stupid, to cough or sneeze into their elbow are precisely why masks. The mask is there because they can't remember not to be fuckwits.
(The dedicated fuckwits pull their masks down when they cough or sneeze. Seen it firsthand. For them, there's a kick in the nuts if they're within 10 ft., or else GTFO and patronize someplace where the patrons have an IQ above fungus. And even if I'm leaving, I still tell them to stop being stupid @$$holes.)

This is also why it's a baaaaaad idea that "the young should be turned loose so that this bug can run it's course" because they'll then spread this, asymptomatically, to the old, the vulnerable, the immunocompromised, and rapidly, all at once - which is exactly the thing we've been trying to avoid. This outbreak is proceeding slowly: 10+% in big cities, far less than that in the boonies. And in record time, we apparently have multiple viable vaccines ready, before it gets much worse.

Aesop said...

{Hint: When the vaccine is given widespread, cue the "it's the just the flu, bro" retards to pipe up, and claim retroactively that "See, it only killed 300K people, not millions, so it was just a really bad flu year", totally ignoring that 300K dead is four really bad flu years, in less than one year, and totally overlooking that an effective vaccine will probably be the only reason this thing doesn't become a permanent problem for years. They'll make those jackassical claims without a clue or a care, mark my words, and you heard it here first.}

Closing schools isn't to "protect the chirin", it's so they don't kill mom and dad, gramma and gramps, half the teachers and ancillary staff, and everybody else at the mall they'll spread it to, like the little heat-seeking plague vectors they are with everydamnedthing, since ever. If that's too hard for some people, you had 'em, you deal with 'em. End of story. And no, public employees shouldn't be getting paychecks when schools are closed. Fair is fair.

The one thing this pandemic is revealing with crystal clarity is what careless, thoughtless, selfish shits 90% of the population is, without any need for any surveys or studies.

Beating that natural bent out of the young and turning them into decent human beings is what parenting is supposed to be all about.
If you got to middle age with that instinct intact, your parents fucked up massively, and spankings should have been whippings, if not beatings. Or a trip to the pond in a sack.

Nick Flandrey said...

I've got almost the exact situation and symptoms Randy has above -- "
Fortunately no severe symptoms, mostly fatigue and occasionally coughing fits. O2 levels bottomed out at about 91%.

Quite frankly, for me, it was hard to tell the difference between the CHICOM Flu and my normal neuropathy and seasonal allergies/colds symptoms."--

So I'm sitting home waiting for my nasal swab test results. I'm NOT driving from TX to FL for Thanksgiving dinner with the old folks. Even if this is just a normal respiratory infection, no one in the retirement village needs to get it from me. Would I have liked to visit with Mom for the holiday? Yes. Would I like to live with the aftermath if she got sick following that visit? THAT is the question I asked myself and the answer was OH HELL NO.

I wear an N95 with no exhale valve to protect both myself and others when I'm out. I disinfect my hands with clorox wipes and am very mindful of what I touch before I do. I'm practicing muslime levels of 'dirty hand'/'clean hand' even when I have my gloves on.

If I somehow got wuflu despite all that, it most likely came in thru the kid going to school, exactly as predicted by our host and many others.

We STILL don't know if herd immunity is even possible, and it's worth repeating, that that phrase just means the there are too few infect-able people in any given area for the virus to sustain itself so that it eventually dies out IN THAT COMMUNITY, NOT that people gain an immunity. Bring in infected outsiders and the cycle starts back up. We see that with all sorts of things that people like illegal aliens and bums have brought back into the US and into our communities.

Practice your civil disobedience all you like. Push back against the illegal power grabs. Shoot tyrants in the face, if that's your thing. Swing your fist where ever you like, but if you don't stop short of other people's noses, then consider that you are part of the problem.

And like the old Carlin routine about mouthwash, you never know what the other person's day has been like, so mind you business, or risk getting stabbed or beaten. People's nerves are getting frayed and we're starting to see frequent articles about what happens when you push.


-'face coverings' are not meant to protect the wearer, they never were.
-lockdowns and other restrictions were never meant to cure the disease or treat it in any way, they were only ever meant to attempt to control the number of sick people at any given time. They have been effective at that.
-the longer you go without getting sick, the more knowledge and tools we have to effectively treat you when you do get sick, especially if you get very sick.
-even if the numbers are exaggerated by a factor of THREE, it's still not 'just the flu, bro.'
-callously consigning older and sicker people to increased risk of early death does not endear you to me or anyone else who isn't a sociopath. You are dismissing the value of almost everyone in my life I care about.
-find a way to live with this, it's going to be a major factor in our lives for years.
and finally--
-Christmas lights don't hang themselves, and neither did Epstein.


Aesop said...

Well said.

Best Wishes and a speedy recovery.

5stonegames said...

Aesop. A tedious 2 parter here

I always wear a mask where required and have avoided touching my face and washed my hands or sanitized them years before this nasty bug. Once caught a very bad respiratory infection once and personally get how bad they can be. I think it can result in very nasty lingering side effects in a few people.

However there is no fucking evidence that this virus is anywhere near as deadly as (your words)

Closing schools isn't to "protect the chirin", it's so they don't kill mom and dad, gramma and gramps, half the teachers and ancillary staff, and everybody else at the mall they'll spread it to, like the little heat-seeking plague vectors they are with everydamnedthing, since ever. If that's too hard for some people, you had 'em, you deal with 'em. End of story. And no, public employees shouldn't be getting paychecks when schools are closed. Fair is fair.

According to the stats I was able to find its absolutely at most 3% lethal which is damned nasty but AFAICT this is mostly old sick people who have at most a few years left, people with weak immune systems , people with other conditions, bad organs, obese etc.

The effects on most people most people are pretty mild or at most flu+ as far as I can tell.

I have questions though.

#1 What is the actual infectiousness of this disease and the death rate from it? How can we find out before making policies than damage the economy, cause human misery and unleash the totalitarian tendencies of every politician on Planet Earth

#2 How effective are the cloth face masks at stopping the spread of the germ in a real world scenario not a hospital We know they work in hospitals but the rest of the world is more complex. We also did mask mandates back during eh Spanish Flu, same cloth face masks and yes people had soap and washed hands. We don't have much incidence it helped a great deal.

Now if they help and it can be proven and is a short term policy , let's do this. I am wearing mine where requested and even in a few places where its loosely enforced. If not and it will be used by our leaders to harm us , maybe the herd immunity plus quarantining the people at risk is the way to go to keep those jerks in check, given that elections are now questionable in efficacy.

#3 You cannot shut off the economy over and over again without vast downwind consequences.

THis includes a huge increase in mortality from loss of insurance, surgery being put off, stress related illness and mental issues . Nor can you do this without destabilizing society further,. The economic trouble, ,loss of human well being and death rates have to be compared to the actual death rate , long term expected life span and on.

And no, societal triage and weighing of costs isn't evil unless you want to call every actuarial and military leader a sociopath. This is how human societies work. All of them, everywhere at all times. Also note you do not get to right off the mentally ill or people who can't cope with the stress or people whose jobs and health care are lost they have just as much to right to live, for the later maybe more than your aging cronies. Lifeboat ethics, younger fertile people first, important people second, everyone else last.

To show some numbers from our engineer friend smoken.

Average mortality rate is around 3% in people admitted. Assuming everyone got the bug and the rate was roughly the same, the theoretical maximum US casualties are 10 million. It would not realistically be that high but let us use the worst case figures. We have to weight this against loss of life do to poverty, lack of medical care, mental health issues and so. and against an even greater lowering of the total fertility rate do to poverty and social isolation. That is your policy number right there, the greater good. Given we are also being swarmed by illegals do to a perceived Biden victory, it probably won't matter. They will be carrying plenty of other diseases and may not bother with masks.

5stonegames said...

part two, with apologies for the length,

#4 As you noted this may never end.

The vaccines may prove to be ineffective or dangerous or something else bad, the virus may even be be a rate of gain mutation experiment at least according to some bio sci guys I read and may simply never go away. A masked dystopia like we are in will simply crush society and as such, we may have to live with at and might be better off doing nothing since as a society we are incapable of doing better anyway. We be dumb. C.F So Cal

#5 The hospital issue.

They aren't going to come out of this mess in any good way no matter what. Either COVID crushes them or the economy does. This is a product of the US's shit tier health care system where even people with decent private coverage often get substandard health care. Worse each time some moron governor locks down a state to flatten the curve, something that never works for long, more damage is done. There ain't no fix for stupidity and malice.

#6 If we go Boog over this election or lockdown fatigue/perceived corruption its all moot anyway.
While I don't think The President has the nerve to Cross the Rubicon, it only takes a few to turn the US into an abattoir and more will die in a few months than COVID could possibly ever have killed.
This assumes that hospitals aren't burned for sport by people paranoid about Bill Gate's genetic marker vaccines or whatever else is spread by word of mouth. Americans aren't Africans but the lack of trust is deep and justly so, c.f, the countless medical experiments run in the American people

#7 The last thing, if this disease is that polymorphic that it turns into Captain Trips or a slow mo version of same and immunity and vaccines don't work, there is nothing that anyone can do. Our society is going to collapse just a little faster than it already is.

Unknown said...

"-callously consigning older and sicker people to increased risk of early death does not endear you to me or anyone else who isn't a sociopath."

What he said.

It's been really fascinating to see how many sociopaths are in the world through all of this.


5stonegames said...


As I said above actuarial ethics aren't sociopathic and people insisting on them aren't sociopaths just for doing so.

Every life, economic loss , economic costs and so on have to be weighed. Its not more evil to as said callously consigning older and sicker people to increased risk of early death than to decide that the benefits of allowing people to drive cars with minimal training or old or young people at all outweigh the hefty costs in life and injury or that cost of eliminating smoking in terms of revenue and enforcement outweigh keeping it legal.

Hell its not different than deciding that X hill is worth X number of lives fighting against Communism overseas.

Cost benefit analysis is mandatory for a functional society and a functional economy, happier better adjusted people with better social environment may well outweigh the number of deaths.

And to note we've been turning off the entire economy in random ways for months, locking down healthy people and making people wear masks to flatten the curve. It doesn't seem to be working and frankly whether its idiot Gilligans or just things that we don't know about COVID 19 and its various strains, it seems to me that the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. At some point you should just say "nope, not working." it doesn't matter why and get back to testing vaccines (not like the current one is gomma be tested properly after all) and/or take our lumps and move on.

There are small things we can do, isolate the sick and weak who might die if they wish to be or cannot chose for themselves mandatory sick leave with government pay and if they help masks but the rest must go. Oh and encourage handwashing. I don't think anyone is opposed to that.

However to do this successfully we must have a political class that obeys the rules they set, stops migration and more. Apparently none of them care enough which tell everyone else "Hey they get the best data, if they don't care why should I?"

Fix that and we can talk. Otherwise the liars have asked for an awful lot of freedom for lies and fake safety.

A last point. I get the concern, ours is terminally ill society that in increasingly childless, every death is one less person not even counting the personal tragedy.

We've spent decades encouraging people to become individualistic, atheistic childless atomized consumers instead of people part of things greater than themselves.

Its not wonder calls for solidarity fall on deaf ears. The national motto is "I don't know and don't care about you." Sow, Reap.

We become a bit more collective as a people, friends, family, faith, private groups, a fucntional government actually for the people by the people and you can ask big things from Americans. Good luck with that in your multicultural nation or minarchy though.

cyrus83 said...

I would have a little more faith in the whole mask policy were there any consistent standards applied to it. There is a world of difference between an N95, the blue masks doctors wear, bandanas, or any other contraption people have used - including some bizarre windshield things I've seen some restaurants using where it's just a little plastic shield roughly 3 to 4 inches from the nose and mouth.

None of the mandating bodies much care what anybody uses in most contexts, which is one reason many will say it is theater over actual sound policy - appearances matter more than effectiveness. The other thing that implies theater is when the mask policy is taken to extreme measures like mandating their use in one's own home or when outdoors when not near anybody at all. That is the point where things seem to cross over to third world superstition in masks as magic talismans.

Other things that make little sense are closing small shops that rarely if ever have more than 5 people in them while places like Wally World get to stay open but with limited hours so it becomes more crowded than it otherwise would be. Barbers are too risky, but dentists are okay even though the latter by necessity is a longer visit with an obviously maskless patient. Casinos are fine with people touching all the filthy touch screens, the big church that seats 1000 is limited to 25. At some point one becomes convinced that the edicts coming from various government entities aren't about public health.

OvergrownHobbit said...

Miss Rhea, that "15-day flatten the curve" 8 month lock-down has callously consigned two people I love to a horrific death. It is consigning millions more to death by starvation, suicide and untreated cancers and more. But they're invisible and the tech giants throttle their stories so you do not have to feel bad about their fate. But you *can* see the magic masks. You can read and listen to the steady flow of establishment-approved fear porn. So that feels real.

Because people have a hard time doing cost benefit analysis. They have a hard time figuring trade offs. And there's a huge cottage industry in gas lighting us and giving us false binaries. No masks ever nohow. Not even when you have hayfever! Or submit to the power of the mask! Alone, in your car.Not to mention politicized science and fake news, so it's hard to figure what's real.

My own aged parent has said that it's better she bites it from the Wuhan Gurgling Death than that the younger people have their education, businesses, livelihoods and health destroyed to save her. Open up! I feel the same way about my chances of getting this bug, and the likely results.

It's trade offs.

And it still croggles me that so many people really think the magic fabric semi-permeable membrane, which cannot keep the virus from coming in, magically keeps the virus from going out. Behold, the power of cotton!

Masks also don't magically make people (or kids) who are too uncivilized to sneeze or cough into their elbow, transmogrified into people who wear masks properly.

But filthy cotton masks do make people sick. They make kids sick. They badly hurt people with asthma who get to wear the reverse yellow star.

And that's all entirely outside of the social and political costs of masks as symbolic badges of compliance and as tools of government extortion. Even if all your wildest fantasies about the magic power of filthy cotton sneeze-guards came true, people would *still* need to judge the trade off of X increase in safety for Y numbers of people vs. Z numbers of destroyed civil liberties, rule of law, and bureaucracratic overreach affecting everyone in the nation.

Unknown said...

5stonegames, I have no interest in actuarial. None whatsoever. I have loved ones whose lives I'm not willing to throw away because Joe Blow up the street decided that he needs to go back to work tomorrow to pay for his car or mortgage or whatever else. Of course, I didn't assume Dave Ramsay talked just to hear himself do it either, so there's that.

The things we've done to control COVID aren't working because we didn't actually any effort into enforcing those things. I believe that people should have been fined for being out in public without a mask or wearing a mask in public incorrectly, and I don't mean a small fine, I mean a crippling fine. And if they refuse to pay? Alright, seize their car, house, bank account, and any asset the state can take to pay that fine. Once there's teeth behind the law, they might figure it out, and as a plus the state has some assets to hand out to the hospitals that are getting hammered with Kung Flu patients.

As far as fixing anything, you're the one who read my comment and started the talk so feel free to get on that. I live in a state where a mostly sane governor tried to keep things under control but as I've already mentioned, as soon as the cases eased up and he gave some power back to they people, they did whatever they wanted and Kung Flu spiked. I was fascinated to discover that he wasn't running a state full of citizens who understand the concept of both RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES, he was managing a playpen full of selfish children. Worry less about what the government is doing and more about what the Gilligans are doing. They, as Aesop has pointed out over and over, are and will drive this pandemic from now until whenever it ends. And worry less about multiculturalism, too. By and large the most vocal critics of even the slightest effort to slow or stop the spread of this are self-professed Conservative Christians. They aren't the only ones, but they are the most visible group about the matter. They tend to be pretty similarly minded, so multiculturalism is a bit of a moot point.

This is what happens when people don't get told "no" enough when they're children. See also Aesop's comment on that matter above.


Unknown said...

Overgrown Hobbit,

First, I want to know, which state closed the ERs that cause your loved ones to die? Because I still can't figure that one out. Where did this happen? Or did your loved ones fear COVID and choose not to avail themselves of medical help? I'm not trying to cast blame on them, I'm trying to understand this. It keeps coming up, but I still haven't found out which state closed the ERs and told everyone to go die at home.

Thanks for the insult, but no, I haven't been listening to "fear porn." I don't live in fear, though I do live in reality. Most of my Kung Flu news comes from this very blog so if that's what you think of this place, you owe Aesop an apology. And despite spending months listening to Conservatives shriek about how everyone would be homeless and jobless and on the street starving, my state still doesn't look like a third-world country. ERs were still open for people who needed them. I never heard any local reports of paramedics not showing up to people's houses. Much like the Pizzagate evidence, evidence of total societal destruction and mass death from a six week lockdown is always coming but never quite gets here. Must be in the other batch of Wikileaks emails that hasn't been released yet.

As for masks, Aesop has explained this a dozen times if he's explained it once. The virus particles float on exhaled water droplets that comes out of mouth and nose when you breath. (You know, the same thing that happens when you breath on a window and it fogs up? Those water droplets.) The cotton you're busy freaking out over soaks up that water vapor and keeps it from going all over the place. Now if someone doesn't wear a mask, you run the risk of breathing germs in. But as Aesop mentioned, masks are to protect others, not the wearer. And because I don't know who is immunocompromised or goes home at the end of the day to a loved one who is immuncompromised, I wear one. I don't know if that immunocompromised person is old or young, and I don't really care, because I was raised to put others first.

Speaking of evidence, I'll take some for your claim that wearing masks makes people sick because I'm tired of hearing about it. If people wear filthy masks, that's their problem, not mine. It helps if you wash them between uses or, at the very least, I like to spray mine front and back with Lysol and let them air-dry. I've not heard of anyone getting rushed to the hospital because the mask legitimately choked off their oxygen. Haven't watched anyone at WalMart drop to the floor clawing at their throat because they couldn't breath with their mask on. The Munchhausen problems people give themselves when they put on a mask are not my problem. The truth of the matter is that if you're too sick to wear a mask in public you're too sick to be out in public during a pandemic. If you can't breath with the mask on, you sure won't be able to breath when you have double pneumonia all over your lungs.

Yes, and we still use WWII ration books for every product we buy because we traded our liberties during WWII for the sake of winning that war and nothing ever went back to normal after that, ever.


Dylan J. Thompson said...

As for the mitigation measures not working, there are so many issues with that you could drive a semi through it. The measures are observably strangling the flu season to the extent we wont have one, and flu has an R0 between 1-2 usually, and right now must have an R0 of something significantly less than 1. If COVID original R0 is even close to the guesses (5-8 IIRC) then even with mitigation measures, it will still spread, but maybe at something manageable like 1-2, rather than a catastrophic 5-8. That means things are working, not that masks don't work.

And for multiculturalism, I will say that there are certain demographics that by observation can be convinced to usually wear a mask, but cannot be convinced to wear it over their nose also. You know, so they can breathe better. This observation, which you can probably make for yourself, should make anyone hesitant to cite articles about masks not working.

Old School Spook said...

Fact: Masks in a surgery theatre are to protect against bacterial/fungal infection transfer, to and from a patient. These bio-particles are many dozens to hundreds of times larger than a virus. Comparing bacteria/fungus to virus is not a relevant argument.
Fact: In comparison of size; take a bucket of BB's and throw them through a chainlink fence. A few will bounce back. The vast majority will go right through the fence. Just as a virus also will blow right through most masks in the same manner. Do the math. If you're wearing a biohazard suit you are safe from contamination from a virus. Otherwise not so much.
I have been doing instrument/controls engineering for decades, including Pharma. The flow factor of even a N95 or KN95 mask can not block a virus sized contaminate - in or out of the mask. A cloth mask is totally useless. The porosity of the cloth /fabric material vs the size of virus is like throwing BB's through a chainlink fence. Do the math. No dog in this fight - but the math is the math.

Aesop said...

It's isn't about about math.

The Great Wall of China wasn't built to stop Mongol hordes: it failed miserably.
What it stopped was Mongol hordes with wagonloads of plunder.
At which it excelled.

With no way to carry home loot, there was no point in crossing it to do anything, since you'd still leave empty-handed.

Viruses are incredibly small.

But viruses don't travel on their own.

They travel on cough and sneeze particles - water droplets, and larger - that are much larger than the pores in an N95.

This is why N95 masks work. They stop your virus-laden slobber on either side.

Because they can.

Math is more complicated than simply comparing numbers.
If you don't know how to set up the problem, you can never get the answer right.

a posse ad esse said...

And N95s are electrostatic so it's not just about "pore size" (though even if it weren't electrostatic, the mask will still diffuse, disperse, or impede larger particles like the droplets the virus catches a ride on). Being electrostatic is what makes them effective against viruses, up to and including covid. That's also why they lose effectiveness when wet. People wearing poorly fit masks or wearing them too long is when they start failing.

Old School Spook said...

Obfuscating by referencing the Great Wall of China is irrelevant, but entertaining. You are welcome to your own opinion - but not to your own facts. One thing we can agree on is that a N95 mask is better than any cloth mask, as long as it doesn't have a vent valve incorporated in it's construction..
Fact: A dry, contaminant laden cough will disperse the virus as well as a wet cough or sneeze. Covid is renown for the "dry hacking cough"; which produces lighter, more mobile contaminant spreads. Tests on N95 masks reflect that dry, aerosol launched contaminants can/may blow through them, but they will stop the slobber. Do a "contaminate dispersal flow pattern" calc, based on normal human breathing/cough pressures & volumes, using any virus scalar you desire to use. Also do a "compression/lift" factor calc, on the mask itself, inherent to the cough/sneeze process. Majority of the time it will result in some mask "seal lift" and contaminant dispersal around the mask. Every mask has a weakness. Do the m.... Naw, don't bother. You obviously assume I am an incompetent and you apparently only like Chinese math.

Fact: No one will change your mind on any of this; but then, you will always have the Great Wall of China.

I'm an engineer - However since I didn't take you to raise, I have no obligation to convince you of anything at all. Not my place to try. I'm done. If anyone is offended, get over it - we have much bigger problems at hand.

God Bless, stay safe and be well..

Aesop said...

That was illustration, not obfuscation.
Mongols could theoretically get past the great Wall, but Mongols didn't get past the Great Wall all by themselves; the object was carrying things.
Virus could penetrate just about anything, but virus doesn't travel all by its lonesome, it piggybacks on droplets.
That's a 1:1 "one of these thing is exactly like the other illustration.
If it confused you, it's because you're still not getting the flaw in your argument.

1)A dry virus-laden cough is an oxymoron.
Viruses are excreted through a mucous membrane; by definition, that's always a moist environment (unless you're dead, but then, dead people don't cough much, AFAIK).
So the virus is always hitching a ride on droplets.
Which, compared to viral particles, are yuuuuuuge.
It's not sitting around like dry cocoa waiting to be blown like dust.
The game is over there.

2) An N95 mask is better at protecting you, with or without a valve, which is the entire point of one. The valve doesn't matter, because it's assumed anyone wearing one is around either people already infected, or others also wearing an N95.
If you're wearing an N95, and nobody else is, they're at exactly the same disadvantage they would be in a gunfight if you had a Kevlar vest, and they didn't.
C'est la vie.
Cloth or medical surgical masks keep your germs behind the barrier, unless and until they become too saturated to work properly.

3) Fact: Um, sorry, but codswallop. As noted, there's no such thing as a "dry contaminant-laden cough". What we call a "dry" cough is just one with less phlegm and mucous being brought up. Not one with none. A wetter one has more virus, but no cough is ever "dry", per se. Just dryer than a really nasty wet cough.
You're imagining a dry martini so dry there's no liquid component. There is no such thing.

4) Coughs and sneezes shoot particles out from 10'@100MPH (cough) to 30'@200+MPH (sneeze).
Masks largely eliminate that amount of dispersal, and greatly diminish velocity and distance travelled. That would be physics and material science in action.
Contaminant dispersal around the mask isn't going anywhere near that far, and most of it is going onto your own face.(Except for the boobs wearing their noses out, or lifting it to cough and sneeze, like countless Gilligans do 24/7/365 right now, because they were raised on lead paint chips after a fetal alcohol syndrome gestation.)
Unless someone is below you or above you, nothing's getting to them unless they're already well inside the recommended 6' bubble. Hence the suggestion to socially distance.

5)I'm not assuming you're an incompetent. You just don't know what you think you do. You're doing a pretty good job of restating a false assumption over and over, and keep coming up with the wrong answer.
If you want to change my mind, work within reality as it is.

That's why I told you if you set up the equation incorrectly, you'll continually come up with the wrong answers.

An engineer should grasp that pretty quickly.

Is a mask perfect?
Of course not.
There's always some viral load leakage.
Hence backing masks up with social distancing.
And hand washing/disinfecting.
And limiting forays out amongst the hoi polloi in the first place.

Once again, as Ol' Remus noted countless times: "Avoid crowds."

The 45 states where people thought "We've got this" are the ones currently getting shellacked now, the way the coastal states and major metropolii did last spring.
The only thing helping them is lower population density.

Suture self.

I can tell people the truth, but I can't make them smarter.

streamfortyseven said...

Masks work. Hong Kong, January - June 2020, 99% wore masks, 200 cases, 4 deaths, 7.6 million people, as dense as NYC, some parts a *lot* denser. And masks reduce viral load, so if you're keeping up your immune system (see it's possible to fight it off, create antibodies, then T-cells and B-cells which confer long-term immunity. BTW, apparently MMR vaccine creates cross-immunity for COVID - see Last, we're doing testing in a way that will *not* detect who's capable of spreading infection - see which suggest a better way. OK, that should be enough.

Reltney McFee said...

I suspect that the windmills a dozen miles north of my home got an extra boost this past Feb or March, when TPTB announced that "masks don't work".

The breeze from my head spinning around, must have been gale force 8. Been an RN since 1979, medic before that, midlevel for a dozen years by now. If "masks don't work", I done been had TB, Legionnaires, and/or a dozen other airborne nasties in my time as an ER nurse, ICU nurse, etcetera.

Right about then my bullshit meter wrapped the needle around the pin.

My present stance is that the "science" appears hopelessly compromised, the WuFlu may be dangerous, particularly to an old fart cardiac patient like myself, and at the very least it is courteous to avoid opportunities to "share the wealth". Besides, like Law Dawg's Korean vet Old Texan Gentleman, incarcerated for not wearing a seatbelt, said, "My wife, my daughter can tell me what to do. I allow them that right. You, your honor, are not my daughter nor my wife, and I do not extend that privilege to you, sir!"

So, since TDW-Mark II will have s stool hemorrhage if I do not act to avoid contracting the ChiCom Virus, well, I take those steps.