Monday, September 11, 2023

♫I've Been Working On The Sh*tpile♬

25) The Impact Of Community Masking


Summary: A randomized-trial of community-level mask promotion in rural Bangladesh during COVID-19 shows that the intervention tripled mask usage and reduced symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections, demonstrating that promoting community mask-wearing can improve public health.

Results: There were 178,288 individuals in the intervention group and 163,838 individuals in the control group. The intervention increased proper mask-wearing from 13.3% in control villages (N=806,547 observations) to 42.3% in treatment villages (N=797,715 observations) (adjusted percentage point difference = 0.29 [0.27, 0.31]). This tripling of mask usage was sustained during the intervention period and two weeks after. Physical distancing increased from 24.1% in control villages to 29.2% in treatment villages (adjusted percentage point difference = 0.05 [0.04, 0.06]).

the intervention reduced symptomatic seroprevalence by 9.3% (adjusted prevalence ratio (aPR) = 0.91 [0.82, 1.00]; control prevalence 0.76%; treatment prevalence 0.68%). In villages randomized to surgical masks (n = 200), the relative reduction was 11.2% overall (aPR = 0.89 [0.78, 1.00]) and 34.7% among individuals 60+ (aPR = 0.65 [0.46, 0.85]).

Aesop summary:

1) Masking decreased the prevalence and extent of the COVID outbreak.

2) Despite an intense effort at selling masking, the proportion of idiots remained at 60-90% of the population.

IOW: a) Masks work.

b) Masking policies don't work.


26) CATO Working paper: Evidence For Community Face Masking etc.

Review; No Abstract

Aesop summary: When scientific guesses support our no-masking bias, we'll quote the science. When they don't we'll ignore the science. When studies are shit and poorly constructed, we'll ignore the results, and point out that the studies are shit and poorly constructed. Heads we win; tails you lose.

Nonetheless, they let a few chin-balls fly over the plate. Money quotes:

"Unlike respirators, which protect their wearers from airborne particles, surgical masks are intended to protect those other than the wearer, and have a much looser fit."

"Laboratory evidence supports the ability of masks to serve a source-control function. Multiple studies have demonstrated that masks can reduce the number of bacterial colonies that grow on petri dishes placed in front of subjects who are directed to cough with or without a mask"

"In an experiment in which 2 mannequins configured to simulate tidal breathing faced each other in a test chamber at greater distances of 25 cm to 100cm (<10 inches to 3.4 feet), placing a cloth mask on the source mannequin blocked more than 50% of virus transmission (P<0.05)."

"In cases where mask mandates occurred alongside other public health interventions, such as school or business closure or shelter-in-place restrictions, disambiguating the effects of one component is challenging. Most studies readily admit to limitations such as these."

"Although some studies attempted to control for potentially confounding variables, it is unlikely that researchers were able to account for all of them or know which were most important."

Ultimate take-away: all the studies looked at are shit. 

27) Personal Protective and Environmental measures for influenza pandemics


Here, we review the evidence base on the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical personal protective measures and environmental hygiene measures in nonhealthcare settings and discuss their potential inclusion in pandemic plans. Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning.

In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.

Aesop summary: When we stirred all the studies we could find -good and bad, valid and invalid, and total horseshit - into one big pot, the average results was nothing. IOW, when we took 50 pounds of sirloin, ten pounds of hamburger, and thirty pounds of shit, and cooked it all together, amazingly it all tastes like shit, not sirloin. Who knew?

Science, bitches! This is what passes for "review of the literature" at the CDC. 

Only small glimmer of light: At least they were looking at transmission (or failure of) for aerosolized viral infections. After 24 other studies referenced to this point had not a damned thing to with any of that. But They didn't do any actual research, they just amalgamated other people's work, of varying degrees of validity.

28) Another "review" and "meta-analysis" of the various Shit and Shinola of flu studies


The goal of this review was to examine the effectiveness of personal protective measures in preventing pandemic influenza transmission in human populations.

We collected primary studies from Medline, Embase, PubMed, Cochrane Library, CINAHL and grey literature. Where appropriate, random effects meta-analyses were conducted...

Aesop summary: We took eight studies, some showing mask use was beneficial, some showing mask use didn't do anything, and we combined studies until the results obtained allowed us to conclude that mask use didn't make any difference. In other news, hamburgers made with 50% sirloin and 50% bullshit all taste like bullshit. More study is needed.

Tiny glimmer: At least we were looking at viral transmission, and trying to compare apples to apples, instead of not looking at viral transmission at all.

One Turd World study, three reviews - just regurgitated studies of studies, all amalgamated horseshit - and only two even bothered to even look at viral transmission. For the first time in the pile.

More than halfway through the shit pile, and we have an unquestionable Best Possible Grade for Team Claire of a solid hard-core "F".

Clever readers will spot a trend here, after 28 links out of 51.

But wait! There's more!


B said...

Y'know, if masks really worked (for any disease or medical reason) there would be significant evidence.
But there isn't. Time and time again, the evidence is just not there in overwhelming statistics.

At best a resounding "Meh".

Aesop said...


There is; they do; and we've referenced it times beyond counting.
And we'll do it yet again, once this incredibly tedious slog is concluded.
(The first half has been like watching paint dry on the side of a building, or counting grass blades in a meadow.)

And 90% of everyone will ignore it, just like every time before, because thinking is hard, and people are lazy like that.

B said...

I look forward to you providing some real evidence that masks actually work.
So far you haven't.

Aesop said...

Au contraire. I put the "real evidence" out there years ago.
And referenced again, time after time.

But dollars to donuts you're confusing masks with masking.
Like most of society, not least of which our would-be overlords amongst TPTB.

Masks work, as designed, when used as designed, to do that for which they're designed.
They're not a free-standing panacea for all ills, nor were ever intended to be.
(Anybody who told people that, or believed it, is profoundly retarded, simply evil, and perhaps both.)
Masking doesn't work. And never could, most especially not by itself, but in any event, it's a perpetual failure all on its own, and cannot help being so.

It's the same as noting that airplanes work. Which, last I looked, they have, since 1903.
But that giving everyone an airplane, and then modelling air traffic control on an Italian roundabout in Rome won't work, ever.
(Unless the secret agenda is population control; if so, all bets are off.)

So it turns out masks are as difficult for Joe Average to master as a Cessna.
Perhaps even more so, because everyone thinks they can do so, they don't know what they don't know, and unlike a Cessna, the consequences for total failure at masking are generally both delayed, and indirect, rather than immediate and personal.

When that delay is not true, for example with Ebola et al, Darwin's learning curve weeds out the stupid people rather rapidly.

Beef about masking to your heart's content.
But unless you've got hard evidence unlike every one of these bullshit "studies", leave off damning masks.

If you follow the breadcrumbs, Team Claire's idiot position is 0 for 41, so far.
Out of 51.
And I haven't looked at the last 10 yet.

I wouldn't get my hopes up for a last minute comeback for a team down 41-0.
Some idiot she dredged up tried waving 79 bullshit studies/paper/napkin notes, many if not most of them already dealt with (generally harshly) in this series.
As I've pointed out on the topic, the plural of invalid b.s. is not "data".