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Honored Social Butterfly

If 80% Wore Masks Infection Rate Would Plummet, New Study Says

If 80% of Americans Wore Masks, COVID-19 Infections Would Plummet, New Study Says
There’s compelling evidence that Japan, Hong Kong, and other East Asian locales are doing it right and we should really, truly mask up—fast.

 

It sounds too good to be true. But a compelling new study and computer model provide fresh evidence for a simple solution to help us emerge from this nightmarish lockdown. The formula? Always social distance in public and, most importantly, wear a mask.

 

If you’re wondering whether to wear or not to wear, consider this. The day before yesterday, 21 people died of COVID-19 in Japan. In the United States, 2,129 died. Comparing overall death rates for the two countries offers an even starker point of comparison with total U.S. deaths now at a staggering 76,032 and Japan’s fatalities at 577. Japan’s population is about 38% of the U.S., but even adjusting for population, the Japanese death rate is a mere 2% of America’s.

This comes despite Japan having no lockdown, still-active subways, and many businesses that have remained open—reportedly including karaoke bars, although Japanese citizens and industries are practicing social distancing where they can. Nor have the Japanese broadly embraced contact tracing, a practice by which health authorities identify someone who has been infected and then attempt to identify everyone that person might have interacted with—and potentially infected. So how does Japan do it?

 

“One reason is that nearly everyone there is wearing a mask,” said De Kai, an American computer scientist with joint appointments at UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also the chief architect of an in-depth study, set to be released in the coming days, that suggests that every one of us should be wearing a mask—whether surgical or homemade, scarf or bandana—like they do in Japan and other countries, mostly in East Asia. This formula applies to President Donald Trump and Vice

 

President Mike Pence (occasional mask refuseniks) as well as every other official who routinely interacts with people in public settings. Among the findings of their research paper, which the team plans to submit to a major journal: If 80% of a closed population were to don a mask, COVID-19 infection rates would statistically drop to approximately one twelfth the number of infections—compared to a live-virus population in which no one wore masks.

 

The mask debate, of course, has been raging for weeks in the States and globally. Pro-maskers assert that the widespread use of face coverings can diminish the spread of COVID-19. Some anti-maskers, including various politicians and public health officials, have insisted that there is no proof of the efficacy of face guards. According to some activists, a blanket mask mandate places a limit on individual liberty and even one’s right to free speech. (Pro-mask advocates are fighting back with #masks4all and #weara**bleep**ingmask Twitter campaigns).

 

Representatives of the World Health Organization have also been sounding rather anti-mask, fretting that many people won’t wear masks properly, thereby risking infection, or that masks will give people a false sense of security and encourage risky behavior, such as partying up close and personal—none of which seems to have played out, as far as we know, in Japan or Hong Kong or other mask-wearing places. Adding to the brouhaha has been the shortage of medical masks for doctors, nurses, bus drivers, and the guy who delivers burritos to your door.

 

The muddle over masks is what drove Berkeley’s De Kai to drop everything two months ago and help convene an ad hoc team of scientists and academics: a physician from London, a bioinformaticist from Cambridge, an economist from Paris, and a sociologist and population-dynamics expert from Finland.

“I felt like this was pretty urgent,” said De Kai, who was born in St. Louis, and is the son of immigrants from China. “I saw the country where I grew up, where my family lives [now mostly in the Bay Area], about to face this pandemic without knowing much about something as simple as wearing a mask to protect themselves and others.” In part, this comes from a cultural difference between East Asia, where masks have been routinely worn for decades to fend off pollution and germs, and other parts of the world. This includes the U.S., where people are unaccustomed to wearing masks, and, in the past, have sometimes been insensitive, even stigmatizing East Asians, many of whom had chosen to wear them in public prior to the pandemic, and had continued the practice in the aftermath of the SARS and MERS outbreaks. (In part, this habit was meant to show other people that they were concerned about transmitting the disease—something we in the West would do well to emulate.)

De Kai’s solution, along with his team, was to build a computer forecasting model they call the masksim simulator. This allowed them to create scenarios of populations like those in Japan (that generally wear masks) and others (that generally don’t), and to compare what happens to infection rates over time. Masksim takes sophisticated programming used by epidemiologists to track outbreaks and pathogens like COVID-19, Ebola, and SARS, and blended this with other models that are used in artificial intelligence to take into account the role of chance, in this case the randomness and unpredictability, of human behavior—for instance, when a person who is infected decides to go to a beach. De Kai’s team have also added some original programming that takes into account mask-specific criteria, such as how effective certain masks are at blocking the invisible micro-droplets of moisture that spray out of our mouths when we exhale or speak, or our noses when we sneeze, which scientists believe are significant vectors for spreading the coronavirus.

 

Along with the masksim site, the team is also releasing a study that describes their model in detail as well as their contention that masksim’s forecasts support a growing body of pro-mask evidence. “What’s most important about wearing masks right now,” said Guy-Philippe Goldstein, an economist, cybersecurity expert, and lecturer at the Ecole de Guerre Economique in Paris—and a masksim collaborator, “is that it works, along with social distancing, to flatten the curve of infections as we wait for treatments and vaccines to be developed—while also allowing people to go out and some businesses to reopen.”

 

While all models have limitations and are only as good as their assumptions, this one is “a very thorough model and well done,” said William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University, who reviewed the De Kai team’s paper. “It supports a notion that I advocate along with most other infectious disease experts: that masks are very, very important.” Jeremy Howard, founding researcher at fast.ai and a distinguished research scientist at the University of San Francisco, also assessed the paper. “It’s almost overkill how careful they were with this modeling,” said Howard, who also coauthored and spearheaded a study last month (recently submitted to the journal PNAS) that reviewed dozens of papers assessing the effectiveness of masks.

 

During a screen-share Zoom from his home office in Hong Kong, De Kai, who has not had to shelter in place (“because nearly everyone in here wears masks”), explained to me how the model works. (Check out this video where De Kai demos the site). On De Kai’s Zoom screen, a box pops up filled with dozens of blue dots, each representing a person who is publicly zipping and zapping about, doing their thing, and sometimes interacting with others. These blue dots denote the “uninfected, but susceptible.” As the simulation rolls along, one of the dots becomes orange, representing a person who has been exposed to the coronavirus. This orange dot then touches a nearby blue dot, which also changes to orange while the original orange dot changes to red. This means that dot-person is now infected. As the model runs and simulated “days” pass by, with the dots continuing to bounce around, some of the oranges and reds turn green, meaning they have recovered—or died.

 

On the screen-share, De Kai first ran a simulation that shows what happens when COVID-19 strikes a population in which no one wears a mask. The orange and red dots proliferate at a frightening speed; “susceptibles” becoming “exposed/infected,” then recovered or dead. “This is what you don’t want,” said De Kai. He changed the setting to simulate what would happen if 100% of the make-believe population wore masks; almost all of the dots would stay blue—with each of them surrounded by a white square, representing someone wearing a mask.

 

Next De Kai added another tweak, modeling a situation in which 80% of a given population wore a mask. Here, most of the dot-people stay blue, with a few going orange, red, and green. “This is the goal,” De Kai maintained. “For 80 or 90% of the population to be wearing masks.” Anything less, he added, doesn’t work as well. “If you get down to 30 or 40%, you get almost no [beneficial] effect at all.”

 

“I started to go out just to buy food in mid-March,” recalled economist Guy-Philippe Goldstein. “I was the only one wearing a mask, and people were making fun of me. They aren’t now, although there still aren’t enough people in Paris wearing masks.” This may be one reason why only a few states in the U.S. currently require people to always wear masks when they are out in public, although many states require masks for certain workers, for entering businesses, and on public transportation. Many cities and counties, including Denver and Los Angeles County, require them too. Whether you’re in a blue state or a red one, you don’t want to become one of De Kai’s red dots.

 

More at Link:

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/05/masks-covid-19-infections-would-plummet-new-study-says


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

@ChasKy53 said:  

Read my postings closer and pay attention. I said "likely".  Most masks don't have valves. Wearing masks without valves or with valves greatly reduces the chance of spreading Covid-19, any way you try to slice and dice it.

 

 

Anecdotal only, but I wear N95 masks because that's what I have.  I have since gotten some homemade masks and have ordered some 2.5pm dust masks.  In any event, even though there is a filter letting germs escape, I'm sure it's not as many germs as if someone sneezed maskless.  Also, civilized people instinctively cover their mouths with hands or elbows when sneezing and coughing...  All the more reason we should be staying 6 feet apart anyway.

Regular Social Butterfly
Honored Social Butterfly

Yep, eye protection is also good when around others, all it takes is an idiot without a mask sneezing around you, it can be caught through the eyes.  Of course, if a person wears a mask a sneeze won't likely infect anyone else


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Regular Social Butterfly


@ChasKy53 wrote:

Of course, if a person wears a mask a sneeze won't likely infect anyone else


Not quite true.  If someone with covid-19 wears a valve mask and sneezes, coughs, or talks, they can likely infect others.  Most states don't prohibit wearing valve masks.

 

You are getting sleepy.
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Honored Social Butterfly

aruzinsky wrote:

 

@ChasKy53 wrote:

Of course, if a person wears a mask a sneeze won't likely infect anyone else

Not quite true.  If someone with covid-19 wears a valve mask and sneezes, coughs, or talks, they can likely infect others.  Most states don't prohibit wearing valve masks.

***********************************************************************************************

 

Read my postings closer and pay attention. I said "likely".  Most masks don't have valves. Wearing masks without valves or with valves greatly reduces the chance of spreading Covid-19, any way you try to slice and dice it.

 


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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Esteemed Social Butterfly

As of today 12:16 MAINE counties have reopened for semi-normal business.

 

Most 75% of population have decided, me included and my county that we’re not ready to hang the open “ Come on in” sign . We have been open, as necessary business with requirements, posted on door!

 

Masks, goggles, gloves , lab coats and clean rooms only. No customers are allowed in building(s), no equipment enters until disinfected. We’ll send people out to lobby to meet your equipment.😇 With thermometers, for humans.

 

My time spent working for a genetics lab in late 79 to 82, says I trust Science more than T.

In public it’s masked to protect you from my cooties, and protect me from yours. Same with PPE.

 

Simple don’t have a mask Call when here , with packaged equipment , or stick your hard drive only or mobile device in a bag and box, put your name on device and we’ll get back to you. Don’t forget two courses of happy birthday with your hand sanitizer.

Inside here, it’s all of the above and gloves. We’re all safe, no ones been sick 😷.  Same requirements must be followed ME , GA or TX.


To date only one housecall and would prefer to keep it that way.

Haz mats suits are uncomfortable.

 

Froze

 

And yes, after long days/nights, I'd still like to swing these hunks of glass , plastic and silicon against the nearest wall Come on retirement!
Honored Social Butterfly

Our public health officer spoke extensively this week on what’s happening in my county since we aren’t following the partial opening Hogan has implemented for Maryland. 

I was wondering how so many people were still getting infected even though we have all these mask measures in place: 

 

he said it was high density housing. I thought, really, condos and apartments? But no, individual homes where there are many people living together.  Out paramedics are conducting at home testing for people and they apparently regularly go into a house where there are 8-10 people residing. And four or five test positive. Which is in line with most people getting infected at home. 

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Regular Contributor

I've been trained in a hospital by the infectious disease department on PPE and running around with a dirty rag over your face will be of no benefit at all.

 

But what the heck too paraphrase the bozo in the White House "What do you got to lose",  so....

go for it I guess.

 

 

 

.

"Don't worry about the oil running out, worry about the food running out"
Professor Al Bartlett PhD (emeritus 1923-2013)
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Honored Social Butterfly

bw3491 wrote:

 

 running around with a dirty rag over your face will be of no benefit at all.

********************************************************************************

 

Wearing a mask is not wearing a "dirty rag" and wearing a mask helps deep an infected person from spreading it. Too bad tRump didn't prepare us early by increasing the production of masks.

 

I wear a "Bio Mask" that is made by Curad, it blocks the virus and kills it with an inner layer made of different metal fibers, so it will protect you from others too.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

Maybe they should examine the effect of masks outdoors versus indoors? A new Chinese study just came out revealing almost all cases of the Corona Virus happened indoors. In this study, in only 2 of the cases, was the virus spread outdoors.

Honored Social Butterfly

CritcalThinking wrote:

 

Maybe they should examine the effect of masks outdoors versus indoors? A new Chinese study just came out revealing almost all cases of the Corona Virus happened indoors. In this study, in only 2 of the cases, was the virus spread outdoors.

********************************************************************************************

 

Most people spend most of their lives indoors. Most public places are indoors. Wearing a mask in public is a good idea indoors and out.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

Maybe they should examine the effect of masks outdoors versus indoors? A new Chinese study just came out revealing almost all cases of the Corona Virus happened indoors. In this study, in only 2 of the cases, was the virus spread outdoors.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yea, and I hear it could be passed on by touching hard surfaces like countertops. I assume it could be passed when you press on ATMs, or lottery machines like I did today. Above all, I think washing hands frequently is a very good idea.

Honored Social Butterfly

Thank goodness that Kentucky elected a Democrat governor. Governor Andy Beshear is requiring everyone to wear masks starting this week. I am awaiting AR-15 touting chicken butt protesters in response to this. 


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

Way back in the 1950's, well before Republicans made everything about profits over people and Fox was allowed to lie constantly, I'd bet over 90% of Americans would already be wearing masks and our Government would've shut down travel from China six months ago when our intel services first identified the serious nature of Covid19.

 

But now we have the entire Republican party devoted to worship of profits and power and they have their own network telling their dupes they should be proud to die for The Cause and their ToadPOTUS.

 

Seems Covid19 has focused our attention on the basic difference between the major parties, altho GOPerBots have been told the issue is FREEDOM, not their needless death and a great many of them believe that absurd rubric.

 

It'll be a couple weeks before we know if opening tattoo parlors and bars, etc., was a sane idea, but I'm betting the answer will be a resounding NO!

Bronze Conversationalist

Wearing a mask protects those we come in contact with. If everyone did this we would be protecting each other. This is a minor inconvenience for a short time in one's life. When I hear people screaming your violating my rights I won't wear a mask, I wonder if they have ever considered they could be violating my right to live. I doubt they care. 

 

Esteemed Social Butterfly

@cn5621 

 

Violating their rights by mask wearing - huh?

 

I’m mature close to retirement age for 3rd/4th and final time.

Must be a Maine thing, I don’t really care if someone is offended by my mask. I’m keeping my friends, family and even foes safe.

 

Don’t like it, TS and I don’t mean Eliot. Start stepping , actions talk louder than mere words.

Be offended, don’t care - have one virtual Coronavirus funeral later this week for someone that didn’t want to wear a mask, he felt emasculated - TS.

 

With it he may have lived, without it  He’s dead, tested positive, no ventilator , he was an annoying PITA in life and even more annoying in death but, his family would have enjoyed having him around for awhile more.

Time to imbibe, virtual mourning just doesn’t cut it. But, 20-90 year old family members say you do what you gotta do.

His ashes will be scattered later this year at a secret fishing spot😷, by 3 friends.

 

Froze

And yes, after long days/nights, I'd still like to swing these hunks of glass , plastic and silicon against the nearest wall Come on retirement!
Honored Social Butterfly


@Frozenoem wrote:

@cn5621 

 

Violating their rights by mask wearing - huh?

 

I’m mature close to retirement age for 3rd/4th and final time.

Must be a Maine thing, I don’t really care if someone is offended by my mask. I’m keeping my friends, family and even foes safe.

 

Froze


Thank you Froze for being a decent and considerate person.

 

I've been thinking about tRump not wearing a mask, heck he's probably like Typhoid Mary. Perhaps he knows that, has tested positive but is asymptomatic. We know he cares about no one. Funny how those around him started wearing masks but he still doesn't..


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
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@cn5621 wrote:

Wearing a mask protects those we come in contact with. If everyone did this we would be protecting each other. This is a minor inconvenience for a short time in one's life. When I hear people screaming your violating my rights I won't wear a mask, I wonder if they have ever considered they could be violating my right to live. I doubt they care. 

 


People who don't wear a mask very simply don't give a hoot about another person's life or the life of one of their own loved ones. They are inconsiderate buffoons.


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

I wear a mask and vinyl gloves whenever I go shopping. However, I notice I am now in a small minority. 

 

One day, while walking the dog in the park, someone I was talking to coughed on me. I know it was an accident. He got a piece of candy stuck in his throat. But since then, I always wear a mask in public, at least out of respect for the other person.

Social Butterfly


@gordyfl wrote:

... I always wear a mask in public, at least out of respect for the other person.


Gordy, thank you for writing this! I've been thinking since February when first videos of people in Asian and Mediterranean countries wearing masks became common place globally, "they are thinking about other people and themselves being safe"; I was very proud to be human.

 

As the US became impacted, and behaviors from hoarding to treating employees badly (physically attacking) became common place, I became ashamed.

 

Now, as some refuse to wear a mask ($1 or less) and/or refuse to observe distancing, I am as ashamed as I was in 1986 when I received a dui following office holiday party. I was irresponsible and obviously did not think of other lives I might impact, and thankfully Officers pulled me over within 1 block of the venue. The same night, another woman killed a young man on the highway while driving dui...

 

To me, anyone who refuses to wear a nose/mouth mask in public now is as guilty as I was in 1986 (possibly causing injury and/or death to others); and especially possibly worse if they don't observe distancing requests in retail locations.

 

I don't understand this but every day in front of my apartment other Seniors walk around and chat and touch rails and never wear a mask. I think they need the importance of someone listening to them, which is okay, but please wear a mask and gloves if you're leaning on the rails...

 

I went to the office the other day to pick up a package and a gentleman chatted away with staff (masked) without a mask without a care, while she tried to distance without him realizing it; another (again, without a mask) walked behind then ahead of me, as I waited away from the entrance and entered the area as if nothing was different.

 

Perhaps this is part of why over 65 is high percentage of COVID19 mortality? All generations need to remember none of us are immune, as of yet.

 

#StaySafe 


#VegasStrong
Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Honored Social Butterfly

Without the trump supporting  'I don't want the gubberment telling me what to do' or the 'this is a hoax' crowds, we would have a shot at getting 80% to wear masks. Because of trump and those that follow him, I doubt we ever reach it.

 


Man learns from history that man learns nothing from history.
Honored Social Butterfly

That would be great! I’m happy to wear a mask for a year or two. Just ordered some Nationals masks for my husband and kid. 

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