In response to one of yesterday's posts, commenter Fido offered up, in apparent rebuttal, the abstract of an Oz/Kiwi study on PubMed, comparing effectiveness of cloth versus medical masks for personal protection. We held off posting it only until we had a chance to devote the requisite time to giving it a once-over. The results did not turn out the way we suspect Fido had hoped.
1) This no personal slam on Fido. I don't know him, but I'm spotting him that he was offering what he thought was "Scientific Proof!" as a legitimate debate data point, in good faith.
2) The slam here is on the total jackasses and frauds deliberately foisting such ass-generated codswallop on the public, for any purpose other than pure comedy relief.
3) That point established, pray, go and read our reply in detail.
4) First and foremost, and apart from what we wrote, 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. (If this is news to you, apply a tourniquet to your wedding tackle at once.)
5) "Studies" of this caliber of babbling baboonery is exactly why bloggers like Silicon Graybeard remind us nearly annually that anything between 70% and 95% of all studies published are total non-reproduceable bullshit (he'll have the exact number handier than I do, I'm sure), and why that's so to an even higher percentage where Covidiots and their Covidiocy are concerned.
6) If you didn't read a given study, and/or cannot grasp in a couple of minutes where it probably veered off into lunch for Biff Tannen, you probably shouldn't be jumping up and down and pointing to one, linking to any, or blogging any collection of them as "meta-studies".
7) As we noted in comments previous to our reply to Fido, "meta-studies" are 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 you do when you 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 MD, MPH, or Ph.D. credentials online, from Jamaica or Zambia. Egon Spengler, Ray Stantz, and Peter Venkman in Ghostbusters weren't entirely fictional characters.