Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Don't Fight The Last War

"Masks Don't Work!"

If that sounds like you, you're demonstrably a scientific moron. The claim is as asinine as claiming rocks don't work when used by sea otters or raccoons, or that wrenches don't work on lug nuts. You sound like an idiot for saying it, because you are one, and the question is beyond further rational dispute.

What is also absolutely true, is that masking policy, or indeed any policy that depends to any degree on personal compliance with masking, or any other non-compulsory thing, is doomed to abject failure. (We take a moment to remind the "Aesop got COVID wrong!" fucktards that we warned you about this problem only about three years ago, before we, or 99.9999% of you, had even met someone with COVID.)

Whether TPTB were too stupid to know this outcome, or deliberately ignored it for their evil ends is immaterial. Because either way, they tried it, and as foreseen, it failed most miserably. (You can debate whether this was coincidence or design; frankly, IDGAF).

The end result is, it failed colossally.

So ask yourself: in your experience on this planet, does failure make TPTB grow more reflective and considerate of common sense? Or do they usually double down on Teh Stoopid? Take your time answering.

So knowing that, and looking at the inexorable accelerating descent into draconian megalomania by your would-be overlords, maybe do yourself a yuuuuuge favor, take your finger off the pause button to blast Twisted Sister  and  The Who at 130 dB, and stop trying to fight and win The Second War Of The Mask.

It isn't coming.

O, hell no it isn't.

As I noted in reply to one of the intelligent comments to yesterday's post, that's not the way to bet. The oligarchy is crazy and stupid, but they're clever, and not entirely clueless.

How does DotGov always respond when you don't measure up to their expectations? With sweetness and light, and tenderly wooing you back into the fold?

But with
you, next time, they're going to say, mock-reasonably,

"Hey, sorry buddy, we tried the soft approach last time, and let you wander hither and yon with your slipshod and haphazard pseudo-compliance with wearing face diapers, but this time the gloves are coming off. We're simply locking your infected asses in your houses for the duration. Line up for your test."

And, in news that sucks if it's news to you, that approach has flawless and bombproof medical and legal pedigree that stretches unbroken back to the Roman republic, or even earlier.

Refusing face diapers won't be an option next time around, bucko.

And there's GOING to be a "next time".

They like how it felt, and they're going to shoot up a bigger dose of that high the next time they get the chance. Even if they have to make the chance. I deal with addicts every day. Ask me how I know.

So whether by blind luck and happenstance, or deliberate design, TPTB have now seen a pandemic, any pandemic, as a nifty way for them and their cronies to get around that Constitution thingie, and start some serious population control, both temporary and permanent, and even better than an existential war.

Potentially or demonstrably actually sick?

GTFBack into your plague-den house, until further effing notice, on pain of getting tossed into Pandemic Chateau d'If . And Edmund Dantes or The Man In The Iron Mask had a better shot at freedom by tunneling out than you ever will once that happens.

So you'd better start wrapping your head around that, planning and equipping for contingencies, to get around not getting quarantined, and/or not getting rounded up for breaking quarantines, the best way you know how.

#Anonymous Commenter fast track


Glen Filthie said...

There’s nothing to fight about. Masks are nothing but filters. The bugs and small liquid aerosol droplets they ride on are too small to be stopped by them. This is easily demonstrated with the vape/cigarette smoke presentation. Nor ridiculous social distancing rules.

Is that where you’re going next? Do tell how the racist Covid monster can spread in a gym but not at a BLM riot?

California Xirl Science!😂👍

Paul said...

Let god sort it out.

Aesop said...


You just can't help being stupid, can you?
Viruses aren't smoke, which is why neither surgical masks nor N95s substitute for CBRN-rated gas masks, anywhere or ever.

But there's a simpler test (and actually valid) test of face masks than your idiotic and irrelevant vape smoke suggestion:

You and I each get a liter bottle of water.
We each get to swish and spit all of it by the mouthful at each other from a range of 6'.
But since masks don't do anything, you have to wear one, and keep it over your nose and mouth every time you spit.
I don't.
If you take your mask off to spit, you lose.
Whoever has more water on them once the liter bottles are exhausted loses the argument.

So, when can I expect you to take that challenge up?

Or should we just cut to the chase, and pencil you in as half-bright full-of-shit ass-gasbag 24/7/365, because even you can see that you've already lost, and both move on with our lives?

Persistence isn't a virtue when you're sticking your face into a wood chipper.
Any man even slightly smarter than you would have shut up while he was only a mile behind, long since.

Anonymous said...

That would be great if virus was water... but it isn't!

Paul M said...

While I agree with your argument (it is technically and logically correct, not that you need my assessment), and precaution is prudent depending on the environment one finds themselves (like yourself and many other disciplines), at this point no informed person cares about the mask minutia of whether they work or not. They work for their intended purpose as designed. Yet 'masking' was a non-starter from Day 1 due to [proper use of the term] 'disinformation', let alone the waffling by TPTB.

The original mask edict offered a false sense of security after the so-called "experts" generated a "fear of others" that was designed to separate and control the population. It was pure Perception Management and not that complicated to understand. Yet people got into the secondary morass of discussing "mask efficacy" that fully obscured whether wearing masks all day was even a good thing. If someone wants to walk around with a mask, so be it...just don't force me to do it...which sounds exactly like the Not-A-Vax edict, another play on peoples lives. As was for both, the given surface reasoning was never the truth, but the ensuing shameful peer pressure was incredible. I NEVER masked and avoided crowds for a time, mainly to avoid the stupidity presented by those who were afraid of their own shadow. (Ex: "Buy toilet paper!"...and they did, garage fulls of it. That was Compliance Test #1.) I'm also not "vaccinated" because, while I do some risky pursuits, I do not play Russian Roulette with my health as the behest of some "doctor" or government I do not trust.

Outside of hospital personnel who have PROPERLY fitted masks because of the environment and duties, the general public is mainly ignorant on the "how". When I sand a project in the shop my N95 is on and fitted. But even that is a Band-Aid, which is fine for the minor task or risk whereas heavier requirements ramp up from there (painting, etc). Short of a full [properly fitted and worn] respirator, a dust or dangerous vapor or viral loaded area can not be safely avoided (dangerous testing lab personnel are the example).

Having been on this planet for more than six decades without wearing some stupid face covering while out and about, my immune system is robust. People aren't getting enough dirt, they are too clean oriented (especially modern mothers). I'd rather be immune sufficient while not re-breathing my exhalate all day into a cloth Petri dish that many of the general public have ignorantly created for themselves.

God knew what He was doing with our systems working in concert. We can certainly help that out with modern medicine and precautions, but to override them by a edict Band Aid is foolish at best. Common sense must prevail, which seems to be severely lacking in the populace. Sorry to go on. And we appreciate your excellent and uniquely offered commentary.

Aesop said...

@Anon 7:02A,

What they aren't is smoke vapor.

So, are you another person who slept through middle school science, and thinks viruses travel all by their lonesome, with ninja-like guided missile capabilities?

They travel in saliva droplets, and as such, get stopped by anything they hit.

Filthie thinks they can get through "worthless" masks, so this would be a great way for him to put his theory to the test.

Or just chickenshit out, when he has a lucid moment.

Aesop said...


My quibble isn't with people who didn't comply, for all the reason you mention, and more.
It's with people who don't know what they're talking about, throw out babies with the bathwater, and spout absolute mentally retarded horsesh*t in lieu of actual knowledge as a rationale.

All this does is demonstrate that the average American's science IQ is somewhere around retards with calculators.

Phelps said...


Both systematic reviews highlight a lack of trials on this topic and a lack of evidence on the effectiveness of SFMs [surgical face mask] for prevention of SSIs [surgical site infection]. One included trial was terminated by the authors before completion due to a high SSI incidence in the comparator group, while one statistically significant finding from a prospective cohort study suggested that SFM use increased SSI incidence.1 Although the design of SFMs is intended to prevent contamination there are possible mechanisms by which SFMs could contribute to SSIs. These possible mechanisms include incorrect use of the SFMs, incorrect removal or touching of the SFM and subsequent contamination of hands or gloves, exhalation of moist air causing venting, wicking of bacteria through the SFM and skin scale dispersal through friction of the SFM against the face.7 All other trials included in the systematic reviews did not demonstrate any statistically significant differences in SSI frequency between the masked and unmasked groups. [my emphasis]

The only outcome examined in the included systematic reviews was postoperative wound infection therefore no evidence as to the effectiveness of SFMs in protecting OR staff from infection is presented.

Paul M said...


Exactly the problem, which can be blamed on personal education. People believe this is restricted to formal schooling (which of course has been in serious decline at every level since my Middle School years when the Libs took over). It is not, it is the lack of people stopping their learning, either through laziness or unwillingness to see the merit of being less ignorant. (we are all a work in progress)

Keep continue to educate us on perspectives we may not already own, it is refreshing.

Aesop said...


It evidently escaped your notice that the citation highlights "a lack of trials and a lack of evidence". So any assertion based thereon is based on vaporware. You're trying to prove a negative.
A survey of the shitshow that remains underlines that, like the Cochrane horseshit from the earlier post, they're simply polling the available horseshit, and using it to make horseshit pie. Nice crust, but the filing leaves a lot to be desired.

They also overlook, for just one example, that with surgery, most patients get blasted with broad-spectrum antibiotics. The only way to control for that variable would be to perform surgery on a statistically valid sample (1000-2000 operations would do) as a control group, and see if masks and sterile technique alone worked, or made no difference. If only that wasn't immoral and unethical. Thus any "study" of a multi-variable problem is inherently worthless.

That's before we get into quality of post-op wound care, and twenty other variables that cannot be controlled for without similar ethical and moral hurdles.

So by definition, you're trying to assert whether lug nuts improve handling and performance on cars, by doing everything other than removing them. The "results" tell us more about the studies' biases than they do about whether or how well masks do or do not work.

But you knew all that, right?

A poll of Thomas Edison's lab scientists found that there were 999 ways not to make a lightbulb.
Extrapolation based on that is to assert that electric lightbulbs are impossible.

I'm betting looking that foolish wasn't what you were attempting to do.

And just out of curiosity: There are 224,720 operating rooms in the U.S. So based on the non-reproduceable data in that steaming pile, can you tell the class how many of them have banned the use of surgical masks in the OR as a direct result of that "science"?

Feel free to round that number off.

That's what polling data and meta-studies are: an appeal to the mob, rather than to the evidence (especially when they admit there isn't any valid data).

Anonymous said...

What is your take on the latest study put out by The Cochrane Library? Seems like someone other than the Chinese have been studying the effectiveness of masking. See video below by Vinay Prasad MD MPH.


Interestingly, Dr. Fauci has a published study on the Spanish Flu of 1918 and his results were that masks were ineffective and caused more deaths than they prevented. People weren't dying so much of the flu but from bacterial infections or other complications related to masking. When COVID first came to light both he and the Surgeon General were saying that masks don't work, and then suddenly they weren't and they wanted everyone to mask. They were even encouraging people to use old t-shirts for masking.

From time immemorial people have been getting sick with virus' and will continue to get sick from virus'. The remarkable human body manages to adapt and overcome virus' and other illness by developing antibodies. It's all a part of being human. The whole idea and science of developing antibodies has been tossed into the trash. Science doesn't seem to care about that anymore. Just get jabbed and all will be okay.

You seem to be speculating that in the future, people will be put into quarantine camps for not masking or for being sick. You also seem to be saying that if a person doesn't mask and ends up being quarantined then they have no excuse because it isn't like they hadn't been warned. It used to be that only sick people were quarantined. Now the goal posts have changed and the govt. wants to put healthy people into quarantine. That makes little sense and certainly isn't very scientific.

Mask, don't mask? I don't much care what other people do. It appears as though you have thought out your stance and have even backed it with a sprinkling of science. I have done the same. I won't mask. In fact I have already taken a stand regarding masking and it cost me my career, and that's okay. If it costs me my freedom so be it. In the end when all is said and done, I can say I weighed the costs, didn't compromise myself, and didn't compromise my beliefs for a buck or out of fear. I'm not sure all will be able to say the same.

Phelps said...

You are wrong.

The included systematic reviews examined the wearing of disposable SFMs by staff in the OR compared to OR staff not wearing a SFM.

They removed the lug nuts. The car drove fine. I agree that antibiotics, sterilization of instruments and proper cleaning are doing the job. That's the very point. The masks are a talisman that make no difference. They serve as PPE if you get splashed in the face with an issue. They do nothing about infection from aerosols. Clear face shields do the same job much more comfortably.

They won't take off masks because people like you won't accept the science, and simply have an emotional reaction to seeing an unmasked surgeon in the ER.

Sound familiar?

Anonymous said...

Your proposal of hard lockdowns sounds exactly like what the Chinese Communists tried in Shanghai, Wuhan, and dozens of other Chinese Cities. "Zero COVID!" Lock everybody up, test everybody, nobody works, nobody leaves their apartments, hopefully the authorities can deliver food and people do not starve.

That did not work either. As soon as they stopped the lockdowns, soon after the coronation of XI Jinping as Maximum Leader last fall and he stopped the ZERO COVID policies, the Chinese Coronavirus spread like wildfire through China.

I think Sweden's model worked as well as any. Isolate the elderly and the vulnerable, but let everyone else continue life as normally as possible. The weakness is all the people that work in places like nursing homes and assisted living bring the virus into the elderly.

The Swedish model will not work as well, much less perfectly against COVID because of the huge numbers of Obese and Diabetic in the United States.


Aesop said...


One study in one hospital removed masks.
What they didn't do was remove antibiotics, or wound care, or any twenty other things that all contribute (or fail to) to post-op wound infections, and then do a control group that made masking or not the sole variable in the equation.

If you can't control for all but the relevant variable, you can't base any conclusions on what happens afterwards.

They also didn't differentiate between the sources of wound infections. If they noticed no difference, it could easily be that the infections aren't coming from exhaled respirations of surgical staff members, and the concomitant infectious material they carry, because those are already being handled by post-op antibiotics.

Saying "masks make no difference" in that event is thus the embodiment of the classic post hoc ergo propter hoc Fallacy. And neither you nor the study authors can say either way.

You haven't quoted any "science", just confirmation biases masquerading as science, which is precisely the point at issue.

@Anon 9:52A,

You're kidding me, right??
Scroll back a day, and get back to me.

Aesop said...


I'm not proposing any such hard lockdowns. And those aren't quarantines.
But you can damned sure bet TPTB will use actual quarantines as a political control mechanism.
And they won't give a damn whether it "works".
Just like masking policies, lockdowns, and Not-A-Vaxx, efficacy of their solutions isn't even a secondary nor even tertiary priority.
In fact, the worse it works, the harder they'll do it, much like pushing a guy into a wood chipper, and the better they'll like it.
The outcome is the point of the exercise.
They DGAF how you like it.

And the Swedish model of handling COVID (or anything else from Greater Scandinavia) won't work here at all, mainly because we have cities bigger than the entire population of Sweden, and comprised of populations totally heterogenous to anything encountered anywhere in the frozen lands of reindeer and IKEA.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:52A,

You're kidding me, right??
Scroll back a day, and get back to me.

Sooooo, what you're saying is that only you know how to read these studies and that the Doctor's and Epidemiologist that have looked at the data and concurred with the finding that masks most likely don't work, are wrong.

Got It. Aesop is smart, the rest of the world are idiots.

Aesop said...

I'm telling you that the people who issued it told you themselves it was a steaming pile of horseshit, right on the front page of the summary extract, which I quoted verbatim in the post. But $100 cash says you're too smart to take them at their exact words, or more likely, too smart to read that far into the post.

Does it hurt to be as dumb as that? Or does your own imagined mental superiority numb you to the pain of your tender bits under both your own shoes?

All your arguments rely on thinking they either weren't smart enough to know they got it right when they said they got it wrong, or them lying when they said it was crapola, but telling the truth when they then tried to build a snowman out of all that horseshit, and tell you it was really a bronze statue.

After you staunch the bloodflow from your nethers, maybe Google the concept falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus.

The Cochrane site "study" was self-declared by the authors to be nothing but diaper spackle.

Ryan said...

This is a good overview of the transmission vectors for Covid:


We also have, as other people have pointed out, retrospective studies that fail to demonstrate any effect of masking on transmission.

The Science article lays out initial evidence from transmission patterns that Covid was likely to be spread predominately by aerosols that could stay suspended in the air for hours. Aerosols of that size category are much smaller than the pores in surgical masks.

From there it's just putting two and two together to reason that the retrospective studies show masking didn't do anything useful because, given the nature of the transmission, there was never anything useful for them to do in the first place.

It's a sign of our distressed culture that people are still arguing about this when the evidence so strongly suggests one conclusion. It's also unfortunate that the argument seems to be getting in the way of actually effective policies we could use in the future, like major improvements on air circulation and ventilation in any area where a lot of people gathered (the virus containing aerosols won't stay in the room if they're being circulated outside).

I guess final note, airplanes constantly cycle air in the cabin for exactly this purpose and there were approximately zero flights that seemed to be the center of covid outbreaks.

Anonymous said...

Like I said before: Aesop is soooo smart. The rest of the world, leading Doctors and Epidemiologists are stoopid.

You really have the whole Saul Alensky Rules for Radicals down. If I don't agree with somebody, they are wrong. You have completely discounted what experts are saying about the report and only bloviating about how smart you are and dumb everyone else is.

Aesop said...

@Anon 11:31A,
You should probably also Google all the other classic fallacies you're trying to pull out of your ass to support the insupportable: Scapegoating, Straw Man, Appeals to Authority, Red Herrings, and ad hominem.

Every time you type, your apparent IQ drops, and you're a one-man lesson on Rhetorical Argument: How Not To Do It.

If I were a professor of logic, I'd pay you to make demonstration videos. It would be like hiring Bozo to teach Clown School, or Pavarotti to teach opera Singing. Usually I need to quote the moonbats on psychiatric holds, or Democommunist politicians, to get so many mistakes all in a row, in one place.

Walk tall, man.
And wear your well-deserved anonymity with pride. If I were you, I'd keep my identity a deep, dark secret from the entire internet too.

Fido said...


Phelps said...

One study in one hospital removed masks.
What they didn't do was remove antibiotics, or wound care, or any twenty other things that all contribute (or fail to) to post-op wound infections, and then do a control group that made masking or not the sole variable in the equation.

So your argument is that you test the mask variable by changing all the other variables?

You keep sciencing, bro. Conversations like this make me glad I don't need significant medical care.

Anonymous said...

You are good, maybe Saul learned from you. You seem to bash me because I don't agree with you. You totally discount any experts and their opinions. You then knock me for my staying anonymous. All the while, you stay anonymous and hide behind the name of Aesop, or the Shepherd of the Gurneys.

Well played.

Aesop said...


By the numbers:
1) Let's grant you, arguendo, that the study of studies you cited is correct, and that COVID is airborne transmission.
2) You just shot your argument in the foot, by pointing out that zero flights were centers of COVID outbreaks*. If COVID were airborne, flights with endlessly recirculating airflow would necessarily have been regular Typhoid Mary events.

So...pick one or the other. You can't have it both ways.

3) The study I cited used actual COVID, from actual COVID infected human beings, coughing and sneezing. Which, by actual measurement, demonstrated 100-1000 viral particles distributed by ejected saliva via coughs and sneezes at 6', over and over again, when no mask was worn.
The same instrumentation and the same subjects recorded 1 viral particle distributed, when a mask was worn.
I think a 10,000%-100,000% improvement in reducing transmitted viral load demonstrates pretty conclusively the efficacy and value of simple masks. Nothing in the Science study you linked contradicts any of that, nor did it even look at that.

4) Surgical masks are composed of layers. How big the pores are is less important than whether they all line up. If they don't, then missing one layer's fibers means the subsequent layers will get it. People showing pictures of volleyball nets under electron microscopes, and trying to pass these off as SEM pictures of simple masks isn't going to cut the mustard. These are COVID-laden saliva particles under discussion, not wire-guided missiles.

5) Retrospective studies purported to showing masking ineffective, which didn't examine mask effectiveness at all, but rather masking policies' imaginary effectiveness, where the studies self-admitted they were virtually worthless, and totally ignored the massive lack of compliance by the subjects with the policies supposedly being studied, is the scientific equivalent of trying to prove your point by wearing a suicide vest. It's messy, painful, and you still lose.

6) Effective policies weren't the object of the exercise.
Population control with a huge eye on using it both as comprehensive cover to openly subvert a national presidential election, and secondarily to completely destroy the economy both for its own sake, and to remove it as an election issue by sabotaging it, was the entire end of the policies.

If this saga was the poem "For Want Of A Nail", you're the guy trying to train better blacksmiths, and missing the bigger picture. The incontrovertible fact that horseshoe nails work isn't even open for discussion.

But at least you're arguing science, instead of feels, butthurt, and confirmation bias.
Sincere kudos.

*(BTW, Unless you can find them, I'd argue no one has any wild idea if airline flights were blameless, or disasters. Both from lack of valid studies, and the near-impossibility of studying them as such in the first place.)

Aesop said...

(-10 for Straw Man misstatement).

My argument is that you can't evaluate one variable on its own merits, when multiple other variables have God-alone-knows-what effects on the outcome, ranging from 0.00000000001 to ∞ (and because you have no wild idea where that variable is, for any single variable, alone or in concert, in that range).

You test a light in darkness.
You're trying to do it on the red carpet lined with strobing paparazzi flashes during an overhead fireworks show from the Vegas Strip at dinnertime, and telling me you can make any accurate, let alone valid, conclusions.
Sh'yeah. As if.

You keep fallacying, bro. Conversations like this make me glad you don't give significant medical care.

@Anon 12:30P,

I'm much better than good.
I bash you because you refuse to use reason and logic to evaluate evidence to make conclusions. And because you can't (or won't) read.
Expertise is awarded for congruence with the rules of sound thinking. I discount anyone who, on the front page of their abstract, explains to anyone with eyes that they're speaking fluent bullshit, then tries to sell it as sirloin anyways.
I don't "hide" behind the name of Aesop, or Shepherd Of The Gurneys.
I write under them, scrupulously signing them to anything I write on the internet, every single time. That's called integrity, and it's the polar opposite of someone so lacking in imagination they can't come up with something to assert responsibility and ownership of their own drivel.

Given your general cultural illiteracy and fear of reading, doubtless you're completely unfamiliar with the literary works of Silence Dogood, Mark Twain, Ayn Rand, C.S. Forester, Daniel Dafoe, Abigail Van Buren, Ed McBain, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, Erich Maria Remarque, Franklin W. Dixon, George Orwell, John Le Carré, Joseph Conrad, Lemony Snicket, Lewis Carroll, Maya Angelou, Moliére, O. Henry, P.L. Travers, Saki, Voltaire, or Dr. Seuss, who are anything but randomly anonymous.
Brighter lights in general, or at least those brighter than you (it's a big club) know that every last one of them is nom de plume, a pen name, which has a long and distinguished pedigree for authors back to even before Gutenberg's invention of the printing press. And the list of authors whose real names you know who also wrote under pen names as well as their own (as I've done as well) is even longer than that.

The best reason for you to remain anonymous is that you haven't written anything of which it would be worth claiming ownership (and no sign of change there anytime soon), and such anonymity accords both you, and the rest of the world, in a happy congruence of "is" and "ought".

Ryan said...

Hi Aesop,

So I don't think you have the correct idea of how air is cycled on airplanes these days, helpful overview here: https://www.iata.org/en/youandiata/travelers/health/low-risk-transmission/

When you have sick passengers they are breathing out aerosols containing the virus but the air is being cycled through the filters and mixed with fresh air from the outside, so 99.99% of the viral particles are constantly being removed from the cabin air.

This is a wholly different situation from say something like an office conference room where the aerosols will linger and infect people.

The science article is right in line with the other studies showing that flem, spit, so forth contained infectious covid particles. The key finding though is that those were not what were making people sick, it was the aerosols that were lingering for minutes or hours after the sick person breathed them out.

For lack of a less gross picture: people did not contract covid by being coughed/sneezed or spit on, they contracted covid from breathing in infected air. This is why the masks didn't end up doing much of anything to prevent infection (a little less flehm everywhere is of course its own reward, just not the one we were hoping for).

There's also some physics that I don't think you have correct regarding aerosols. A mask can't "get" an aerosol if the aerosol is not large enough to clog a pore. If they're much smaller than the pore they will navigate a path of least resistance past them. The gap between the layers is also much larger than the size of the aerosols, there's no way for them to get stuck on anything.

I agree that studies which show mask policy was ineffective do not also show the reason why. My point here is we can use other evidence and some logic and reasoning to reach a conclusion about the masks not stopping the principle method of infection.

And holy mother of moly do I wholeheartedly agree this was all about "Population control with a huge eye on using it both as comprehensive cover to openly subvert a national presidential election, and secondarily to completely destroy the economy both for its own sake, and to remove it as an election issue by sabotaging it, was the entire end of the policies." So absolutely same page there, I just geek on certain things.

Anonymous said...

How to test if masks work: Put on your paper or cloth mask. Walk into an ebola ward and spend the day there. Walk out, go home, get back to us in a week. No other safety equipment (because masks work don'tcha know). After all virus don't travel alone like guided missiles they are in drops of saliva and can't get through your mask. Oh yeah, ignore the docotrs and nurses in full protective gear, they don't know shit...

Ryan said...

Also, Aesop, I should throw one more bone: I can't disprove the counterfactual that if people hadn't been wearing masks and religiously disinfecting every commonly touched surface that infection rates might not have been higher. The evidence that transmission rates were not too different in areas where masks were common from those where they were uncommon works against this being too big a factor (but even here religious disinfection was kind of universal), but there's no real way to know since there was never enough control for really good data. Like you said, masking policy is not the same as masking.

T said...


I like my solution to TPTB elite's insane lust for more power.

DC and NYFC disappear in two blinding white flashes. And it's American weapons that do it.

Anonymous said...

Marburg virus is next. I heard it on the internet.

Aesop said...

@Anon 2:40P,

How to tell if you're just another idiot:

Confuse masks that don't protect you with masks that do, and then try to use them interchangeably, even though people with 50 more IQ points than you have explained the difference 1000 times in the last three years, but it still hasn't gotten through your thick empty skull.


You're the exact guy Leno was hoping to find every time he did a man-on-the-street quiz.

Aesop said...


I get what you're saying. But literally no studies ever established how people got COVID, nor what worked/didn't work, because they were all* full of more methodological holes than the fence between the US and Mexico. Start anywhere. (That's why, AFAIK, the study I keep citing on masks being a 10,000%-100,000% improvement on nothing is the only one I've seen or heard of, to date, since ever, that actually documented exactly what and how much simple masks do and don't do. And if COVID is actually airborne, that would be equally testable, but no one's done a test that controls out all other variables, just looks at that, and establishes it beyond reasonable doubt. Which would have made avoiding it for most of the pandemic mostly a matter of dumping simple masks, and swapping in properly fitted and worn N95s or better. No need for hurry-up not-a-vaxx. Game over. Silliness over. Forever.)

I noticed, when seeing test after test after test, for literally years running, deliberately set up with fundamental methodological errors so glaring a sixth grade science class could spot them, that it's almost as if TPTB wanted to deliberately confuse the issue, rather than do actual scientific study using valid methodology, and come to good conclusions with useful suggestions.

But our pseudo-sciency would-be overlords at NIH, CDC, NIAID, etc. would never do that, would they? /sarc

*{Full disclosure, I've only shot Hindenburg-sized holes in maybe 50 of them, including 21 in the last outing awhile back with yet another "meta-study" conglomeration of crapola, which is why I have no doubt about what I'd find with the 78 cobbled-together piles of bullshit in the latest "meta-study". [For the novices or deliberate ignoranti in the crowd, a meta-study is like polling the fans at a basketball game - and the guys selling beer outside, and the parking lot attendants not even following the game, and random hockey fans in some other county or state or province - on who's winning the game, as opposed to actually, y'know, looking at the scoreboard for the correct answer. It's what people do when they have grant money, but have blown it on pizza and beer, and are too lazy or stupid to do actual frontiers-of-science original research, because that's too hard, and they got their M.D., MPH or Ph.D. credentials online, from Jamaica or Zambia. Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters weren't entirely fictional characters.]}

Aesop said...

@Fido (12:07P)
You posted this link:
I embargoed your post and that link only until I looked at it, and gave it the time and study it deserved.
Which, as it happens, wasn't very much.

Color me shocked: You just posted the textbook example of ass-tastically bad pseudo-science/"junk" science, masquerading as "scientific data".
It's everything I just finished telling Ryan, above, parenthetically.

And in exactly 32 seconds of reading the abstract, we have a winner for "This Is Total Bullshit":

"Additional end points included compliance with mask use, defined as using the mask during the shift for 70% or more of work shift hours. HCWs were categorised as ‘compliant’ if the average use was equal or more than 70% of the working time. HCW were categorised as ‘non-compliant’ if the average mask use was less than 70% of the working time."

One can safely ignore the entire rest of the abstract.

1) Someone who didn't wear any mask at all, seeing 18 to 21 patients per day, for up to 2 hours and 24 minutes per 8-hour shift, is "compliant". Riiiiiiiight.
{Pro Tip: Mask use is like being pregnant, or marital fidelity. You aren't pregnant 70% of the time each day, and not banging 70% of the other partners you meet is not considered by your spouse to be "faithful".}

2) No one's monitoring what they're doing the other eight hours every day for four weeks they were in the study, or their entire days off, or their family contacts, including spouses and children. They could be licking sewer grates and stripper poles for all anyone knows, and their families swarming with two-legged petri dishes in grade school. Which might have some wee effect on disease transmission to the HCWs in the study. Don'tcha think??

3) So what this is, is a study of whether wearing a mask for only 336 minutes each week out of 10,080 minutes per week had any notable difference in infection rates. That's precisely 3 and 1/3rd percent (0.033333333%) of their weekly existence. While ignoring what they do the other 96.6666667% of the time. Hmmm. Anyone see a problem with that? Beuller? Ferris Beuller...?? Anyone...???

Now you see why nearly any "study" anyone puts forth is simply a sack of bullshit rich enough to grow roses. And discoverable as such with about one good whiff.

4) To put this in perspective, that's like taking someone on a diet of 2500kcal/day, and taking only the caloric equivalent of 1½ bags of Cheetos (583 cal) away from them every week, and leaving the entire rest of their diet unchanged, and then seeing how much weight they'd lose in a month.

That's not a scientific study, it's a comedy farce worthy of Laurel & Hardy or The Three Stooges.

Fido: Nice try. You found a "study", for some value of that word.
Now that we've looked at it and analyzed it for all of a minute and a half, please let us know when the cluebat connects with your forehead.

I'm pretty sure that wasn't why you pointed it out to everyone, but that's the way it goes when you probably didn't read it yourself very carefully (or at all?) before linking to it. We modestly suggest investing the effort to do that, before dropping any more studies on the porch like a cat with a dead bird.

We have nothing whatsoever against you personally.
You just illustrated our last point splendidly, if unwittingly and unintentionally.
But the "study" was nothing but a pasture patty.
Best not to bring them in the house.

Phelps said...

You can in fact test one variable in a multivariate situation by only changing that variable. This is called the scientific method.

Antibiotics and sterilization aren't infallible. If they were, there would have been no SSIs to measure. There were, and there was no difference in SSI rates whether masks were worn in the ER or not. Even in Vegas, when one bulb goes out, you might not be able to see it, but the change in brightness can be measured. The measurement didn't change.

Megan said...

Wait, i thought the study said it was an RCT (Randomized Controlled Trial) not a meta? I know it spoke to previous studies in a lit review sense, but I swear it said RCT.

Tucanae Services said...

Lock ups come to pass? Probable seeing as certain States insisted that eateries block non-Vaxxed people in their establishments during Round 1. But here's the problem. Compliance during Round 1 was a joke. People wearing masks not covering their nose, or hanging down around their neck. As a mammal it is hard to unlearn what has been learned before, principally because what what worked before was perceived as 'successful'. (Don't believe me, watch a household cat.) So the TPTB are already one inning down due to the general population's present learned behavior.

Wayne said...

A couple of quibbles with your response to Fido.

The excerpt you quoted was NOT from the abstract of the study that Fido posted. It was from the main body of the study under, as you said, Primary End Points.

Your points 1 & 2 are spot on. Wearing a mask 70% of the time is not compliant. Also fair point in #2 about the time the nurses were not at work.

But you totally missed on #3. Your 336 minute calculation is for a single 8 hour shift. Most people working 8 hour shifts work 5 days a week. You claim that that is only 3.33% of their total week. No, it's 16.7%. Still, you are assuming that the risks of exposure are identical during the time the nurse is not at work. Not true. Unless someone they are living with is contagious, most people sleep 8 hours a night (or try to anyway). Taking just the sleep hours away you would get "masked time" with 70% "compliance" (which we agree is not really compliance) of 25% of the week. So you are off by a factor of 8x. Ouch.

Also, the discussion shows a relative risk of 13.00 for cloth masks vs. medical masks. That's NOT insignificant, and it's not taurine scat. I'll agree that the study has major flaws, but it at least shows that cloth masks are totally ineffective at protecting against respiratory infections. I couldn't tell from scanning Fido's link precisely what they meant by "medical masks". If they were N95 masks and properly fitted, they can provide some protection. Surgical masks, not so much.

Not your best effort, Aesop.

Anonymous said...

Focus on the effectiveness of a mask is distraction.
The real issue is severe loss of credibilty of those telling people to wear a mask.
Their credibility vanished because of their own repeated behaviors which were lie after lie then doubling down then not accepting accountability then more lies, ad nauseam.

Focus on that. Show and tell how that alone is sufficient to get people to do exactly the other than what the aforementioned despicable 'experts' and 'authorities' who advise, mandate, cajole, threaten the people to act as they are told.

Aesop said...


When the variable you remove is affected by other variables upstream, the variable you're playing with is irrelevant to your actions.

You're taking the spare tire out of the car trunk to see how cars function without one. And as it turns out, they do just fine.

Until you have a flat tire. Then suddenly, under that condition, you're actually studying the actual effect of the variable you removed.

This is ignoring that the study you've pointed out was studying mask use in the context of post-op wound infections. Unless the surgeon was tying the sutures off with his teeth, that's a non-issue. Normal post-op antibiotics would cover anything in that realm, as we tried to tell you.

The post-op infections face masks prevent would be URIs and respiratory infections, ranging from colds to pneumonia, which your study wasn't even looking at, but with post-op immuno-compromised patients, can become fatal.

Now see if you can guess why hospitals haven't gotten rid of face masks for staff in surgery on the basis of a wholly irrelevant study, which you thought was studying mask effectiveness, but was actually demonstrating a poorly-constructed methodology to explore mask effectiveness.

Multiply that times 100, and you've got just about every mask study in the last 20 years, and doubly so for the last 4.

Aesop said...

1) As to that being the main body versus the abstract, it appeared to be the abstract to me. That's on PubMed for not demarcating it clearly. And nonetheless, the information cited was, in fact, in plain sight, and clearly comprehensible, had Fido or anyone actually bothered to read it.

2) As to the math, you're absolutely correct:
I forget a step in the math, and forgot to up the total x 5 days, which gets us to 1680 minutes. And 3.333333% x 5 is, indeed, 16.5% of a working week.
My error in doing math before bedtime, but that's not an excuse. Mea culpa.

So the study was actually evaluating mask effectiveness for less than 1/8th of the time they were worn, while totally ignoring the other 7/8ths of their weekly lives.
And the study authors, or even you, think that's a feature, rather than a monstrous study-invalidating flaw???

3) I assumed people sleep 8 hours a night. But a contagious spouse is exactly the problem there. That and kids is overwhelmingly the exact people who give you your colds and flu, most of the time.

4) And the time those HCWs are not at work is far worse than the hospital. Unless you're talking the brief spans during the height of COVID, most patients in-hospital don't have colds and flu to give you in the first place, you handwash frequently anyways, wear gloves, the air is filtered coming and going, the entire place gets gallons of nuclear-strength disinfection and wipedown frequently, and we're only talking about 18-21 patients a week, per the study. I come into close proximity to 100 times that many people in an average week in my life, not counting the doorknobs and shopping carts I touch, and other potentially-infected objects I handle. So studying mask protection that ignores three times as much time every week as the study looked at for mask-wearing time is, beyond argument, recockulously stupid.
This is easily proven: Go to Thailand. F**k 100 infected prostitutes. Wear a condom 1 time in 4. Report back to the class on whether you get VD even once. If it happens, the whole study concept and parameters are simply shit-brained from the outset.

Aesop said...

5) As noted on the subsequent follow-up blog post, the bigger issue with Fido's citation is this: both cloth and medical-grade masks are NOT (and never were) intended to provide any protection to the person wearing the gorram things, they're worn to prevent the wearer's slobber droplets from infecting other people, since Joseph Lister was a practicing surgeon in Victorian England 150 years ago (which you'd think even the stupid bastards in Oz and Kiwistan would have been taught at some point in their obviously wasted years of formal education). So anyone studying which masks provide better protection, when comparing masks never intended to provide any wearers ANY protection whatsoever is simply a world-class fucktarded moron, with delusions of functional intelligence. This is like testing t-shirts and cotton underpants to see how much protection they provide in a motorcycle crash: so far beyond pointlessly stupid one cannot be seen from the other even from space.

The entire study was bassackwardsly stupid and totally pointless from the start, suffering from the fatal flaws of leaving the barn door wide enough for a herd of elephants to stampede through, and its pin-headed authors delusionally thinking that what they were studying was ever even a thing to begin with.
The only way to top it would be a study of the utility of screen doors on submarines, or seatbelts on motorcycles, and the only useful information would be to select the individuals who did it, and the idiots who paid for it, for a sound cudgelling about the head and shoulders with stout tree limbs, until they'd fled out of town and over the farthest borders of whatever misbegotten land spawned them.

This is shit spurted out of diarrhetic cows, and served as haute cuisine.
If real scientists had any self-respect, the people that wrote this one would be burned at the stake before a worldwide television audience.

Not my best work? Nonsense. Despite one math error that was solely mine, and minimally effects the point made, I should have been even harsher.

Phelps said...

You're taking the spare tire out of the car trunk to see how cars function without one. And as it turns out, they do just fine.

Until you have a flat tire. Then suddenly, under that condition, you're actually studying the actual effect of the variable you removed.

If you take one trip. If you track thousands of cars, you will measure the effect. If you can't measure the effect, then you don't need a spare tire.

Phelps said...

I'm talking about the "surgical masks make no difference one way or the other in surgical site infections" study.

Aesop said...

The one documenting nothing about the mask efficacy, because it was based on surgical site wound infections, because any possible results were wiped out by post-op antibiotic use, and surgical masks would prevent respiratory infections, which weren't studied at all in post-op patients in that study.

The one where the authors' names aren't even provided, and a search of the originating source turns up no results?

That one?

If you're looking at driving performance based on inclusion or exclusion of a spare tire, everything is nifty.

If you're looking at consequences of no spare tire on a trip across the Australian Outback from coast-to-coast, the survey data would be markedly different.

That's the difference between looking the wrong way at the wrong outcome because you don't know how to construct a valid survey, and actually studying the variable you think you're studying.

And if I can spot a flaw that huge and obvious in under two minutes, think how stupid the people with MPHs and PhDs after their name who probably wrote that study (anonymously, apparently) really are.

Phelps said...

Respiratory infections? THAT is what you think surgical masks are for in surgery?


Aesop said...

Tell the class what bacteria and viruses you suspect would issue from the nose and mouths of persons in the surgical suite that would find a host in a surgical incision.

Or did you miss the part where I told you anything bacteriological would probably be killed, and handily, by most post-op antibiotics?
But you're not going to blast people with the few antivirals we have every time they undergo surgery, especially when you can virtually guarantee no transmission of same with surgical face masks.

Unless you think surgeons and OR nurses are licking the wounds, hocking spitballs into the incision, or tying knots in sutures with their teeth, the barrier SFMs provide is going to stop respiratory infections, including TB back in the day. FFS, is this really news to you?? Maybe read up on why surgeons wash their hands, and no longer wear their street clothes into and out of surgery, unlike in the early 1800s.

The point of surgical sterility is to preclude every bacteria and virus, from breath, skin, saliva, and even sweat, from issuing from surgical team member hosts to a potential recipient whose primary defense mechanism - skin - has been cut wide open. And whose immune system will be rather drastically affected by the healing process just from that, without the added burden of a URI or LRI. Anesthetics change the way phlegm is handled after surgery, and post-op pain makes deep breathing more painful, which increases the risk of post-op respiratory infections greatly. But by constructing a study focusing on what masks don't change much - wound infections - the Canadian survey fucktards you selected have cleverly failed to search for the things masks do affect, primarily: respiratory pathologies, which occur in up to 20% of patients who have open chest, abdominal, or head/neck surgeries.

In other news, seatbelts do absolutely nothing to stop flat tires, and parachutes don't prevent plane crashes. Color me shocked.

That this astounds you so, underlines the perils of thinking you can learn medicine by watching Scrubs or House, and googling PubMed.

Phelps said...

I said that I had a study that showed that surgical masks used in surgery don't matter for preventing infection.

You tried to change the subject to respiratory illness. That's a huge sign of cognitive dissonance. I'll talk to you again when you are rational.

Aesop said...

Any study purporting to discern whether non-protective masks protect the wearer is as jackassical as studying the effectiveness of boat anchors as flotation devices.
A study looking at something masks have no effect on, and finding no effect, is no better, and deliberately dishonest.

I didn't "try to change the subject". The study you cited was fatally flawed in design, and thus totally invalid. It's like looking for bullet wounds from a knife, FFS, or looking for fingerprints left by shoes.

If you want to win the point, find a study that's on point, and tests masks at what they're designed to do. Surgical masks are not designed to prevent surgical wound infections. If that's the information you're after, you should be looking at studies of the effectiveness of things like pre-op hand washing, instrument sterilization, surgical suite disinfection, pre-op skin prep, post-op wound care, and antibiotic prophylaxis. Not masks.

Lacking any formal medical education, you may not have known this in 0.2 seconds, but I do, and the study's anonymous authors bloody well knew they were screwing the pooch before they ever set pen to paper.

Just like about 500 "study" authors.

The study I cited reduced the question to one variable, and surprising no one with any common sense, found masks over infected people's piehole and snot locker achieved a 10,000%-100,000% improvement over wearing nothing, at a distance of 6' (the exact recommended social distancing during peak COVID).

Find the study that uses the exact same methodology as the original study, but can't replicate the results, or achieves wildly different ones, and you have room to argue mask efficacy, or lack thereof.

The average college could skip the grant money, and do the same damned study on student credit cards; it's ridiculously simple and straightforward.

Which is why the original study was accepted without further question, much like accepting that water freezes at 32° F. at sea level, 1Åtm, and 50% relative humidity.