31 thoughts on “Wednesday’s Papers

  1. Gerry

    Disappointing VP choice by Biden, Harris was a really horrible D.A. in California, she thinks she was progressive and reforming, she’s the only one.

    Here are the studies I was asked for yesterday by SOQ and f_lawless: the first shows facemasks effective in stopping the spread of respiratory infections, the second looks at a timeline of mandatory mask wearing in the current epidemic.

    There are many more along the same lines but I can’t read them because I’m not a researcher and Elseiver subs cost thousands per year. Maybe someone else here can post if they have access and the posters think it worthwhile.

    Cochrane Review

    Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses


    “Implementing barriers to transmission, such as isolation, and hygienic measures (wearing masks, gloves and gowns) can be effective in containing respiratory virus epidemics or in hospital wards. We found no evidence that the more expensive, irritating and uncomfortable N95 respirators were superior to simple surgical masks.”

    Medicine in Microecology

    Epidemiology reveals mask wearing by the public is crucial for COVID-19 control


    “In this article, by reanalyzing the epidemiological curves and simulated daily infected cases, we provide evidence that wearing masks in the public is the most crucial measure for public health control of COVID-19.”

    1. SOQ

      Your first study is from 2011 and such were until about a month ago completely rejected by the entire medical establishment as a reason for public mask wearing. Holohan and O’Neill are on record many many time dismissing such so this is not new science- there is no new science.

      The second is recent but makes some very broad assumptions. It regularly mixes up lock downs and mask wearing but when the two happen together it is impossible to discern which is which. It also completely ignores the lifestyle of this seasonal virus which has absolutely nothing to do with mask wearing or any other human behavior.

      It is above all an exercise in modelling and these days, they come with their own health warnings. Oh and speaking of health warnings comes this.

      This work was financially funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, Grant No. 2017ZX10103011 and the National Natural Science Foundation of China, Grants No. 82041007 and 81925026 to Prof. Hongwei Zhou.

        1. SOQ

          I do not have a medical opinion as I am not a medic- so lose the sarcasm. I do however have a reasonable understanding of data analytics and there is no evidence that the introduction of masks impacts the spread of CoVid-19 one way or the other.

          As for your link- “The lack of clear recommendations for the general public and low uptake of wearing face masks and coverings may be attributed to: (i) over-reliance on an evidence-based medicine approach and assertion that evidence was weak due to few conclusive RCT (randomised controlled trial) results in community settings, discounting high quality non-RCT evidence. ” pretty much sums it up.

          As I understand it- RCT is the standard for proving any intervention so why not with this?

          As you are such an advocate, let me ask you this- were you wearing a mask in March and April and if not, why not?

          1. Cian

            Speaking of data- real verifiable data.. Any comment on your claim:: “Sweden’s over 65 population is 3 times that of ours- the per million metric is very misleading. In that demographic they actually have % less deaths than Ireland.”

            I said
            “Sweden 5,358 deaths from 2 million = 25,950 per 1,000,000 ( 2.6%)
            Ireland 1,653 deaths from 0.7million = 23,740 per 1,000,000 (2.4%)”

            You are correct that Sweden has 3 times our over 65 population. But you are not correct that they have a lower % death.


    2. Mary (Never) Wong

      I can post the full papers here if you want as I have a sub
      I’ve had four comments deleted already which agreed with your perspective so you can imagine what will happen if I post links to actual facts.

  2. MacGafraidh

    SOQ I work in International Healthcare. I have been in regular contact with individuals based across Europe since February (primarily Northern Italy, Greece) when it actually became a widespread issue and have been wearing a mask since then because what I heard from my clients versus what I seen / heard in local media differed greatly. So you’re right, I am an advocate.

    You do know that things work before we have research to validate same. Just because there’s no study, that doesn’t mean it won’t work. And in terms of RCT the only way they can have such a trial is to have a set group of people with same backgrounds etc. Some wearing masks and some not to be able to complete the RCT which fundamentally is unethical to ask people not to mask up so we can prove it does / doesn’t work. So I don’t think the right thing to do is to tell people masks don’t work, advise that they’re losing their free spiritedness and repeatedly bang the same drum and push what are unproven statements on people, repeatedly on a public forum. What you’re saying hasn’t been proven Correct only enhanced by the inability to ethically trial masks. Do you not accept that much?

    1. MacGafraidh

      Whoa there cowgirl, cowboy or cowperson… That’s the second response I’ve given you that you’ve disregarded and honed in on one aspect.

      I’m Happy to answer once you stop avoiding my response on those not standard but Gold Standard trials you keep harping on about. I’m wearing face masks since February, which you may not Believe but unfortunately you can’t contradict. I have been traveling across Europe at the start of the year prior to most countries Lockdown, masks are not unusual for me. You guys yesterday had a little toy toss because we’re not debating. Let’s debate. Do you not accept that the only reason we can’t prove masks working or not is because there is an unethical aspect to asking a select group of individuals not to mask up but expose themselves to the virus for the sake of trialing and therefore do you not accept that this leaves the ‘masks don’t work’ statement unproven because ethically we can’t prove / disprove.

      1. SOQ

        The reason I am asking about mask use is that some of the most ardent supporters now were not wearing them then- which is at best hypocritical, particularly as the risk of infection or transmission is now so much lower.

        So then you have people like Anders Tegnell coming out and saying that “The findings that have been produced through (the use of) face masks are astonishingly weak,”- is he wrong?

        He certainly seems to be on the mark so far because Sweden’s figures are just the same as everywhere else- without the economic carnage.

          1. MacGafraidh

            Apologies on the conversation hopping here but broadsheet doesn’t make it easy to reply to each comment for some reason.

            I think the point here is that SOQ is presenting a case against the use of masks, they don’t work or are unproven. I’ve said what I’ve said so far so consider all of this. So for SOQ and f_lawless to close this off for you. SOQ brought in a comparison for Sweden. They’re doing great and they don’t use masks, in fact they condone Masking up.

            Fine fair play to them. Then why, in a less densely populated country, has Sweden had a higher rate of of ICU admission than Ireland. Given they have double our population why have they had 4x the ICU admissions? Where Ireland admitted approx. 70 odd cases in one Day (at our peak).. Sweden had about 560 on one day alone admitted to ICU at their peak. So given their population is double, let’s make it relative, that’s about 280 per 70 here. Don’t tell me masks don’t work and try to use a country who promotes mask wearing when said country has had more almost 4 times the ICU admissions we have despite only being double our population. I’ll leave that one with you. Putting a mask on is less effort than this!

        1. MacGafraidh

          Sweden closed schools for the over-16s and banned gatherings of more than 50 people, *but otherwise relied on Swedes’ sense of civic responsibility to observe physical distancing and home working guidelines*… That’s not down to masks… We have proven in Ireland (beaches, bars, house parties etc.) that we can’t manage this like the swedes can and therefore the intervention of masks are required. Their actions don’t disprove masks. They just handled it differently.

          Also, this isn’t apples and oranges. Stockholm has a population of under 1 million in 188km2 versus Dublins 1.4 million in 115km2. Higher densely populated area and if people can’t adhere then masking up is necessary to minimize transmission.

          1. f_lawless

            Read this quote and tell me how is it any different from the Irish experience. It’s not.


            ‘But while Swedes are aware of the guidelines, there have been reports of large gatherings and mingling in some tourist hotspots since domestic travel restrictions were relaxed last month.

            “We try to tell them and show them to keep their distance,” says Shiar Ali, a manager at one of the beachfront restaurants on Lake Storsjorn. “Especially young men and young people, they don’t care about it.” ‘

    2. Junkface

      +1 MacGafraidh

      Finally a Medical healthcare worker! Thank you for reinstating common sense from a very relevant point of view.

  3. MacGafraidh

    100% completely agree.. Hence the reason I called RCT the gold standard as opposed to standard in trialing simply because that’s been the trial type referred to so for the sake of this argument and the type of trialing we can’t prove it based on RCT because this requires asking people not to mask up. I’m happy with the Info I see and the esperience I have to know that masks impede the transmission rates (when coupled with good hygiene and mask use) but SOQ seems to think that anything other than RCT should be disregarded and therefore masks don’t work because there’s no RCT to prove otherwise.

  4. Ben Madigan

    As of 9am there are just 2 Irish titles and 8 British ones under “Wednesday’s Papers”. What gives?

        1. Janet, dreams of big guns

          fupping Mr Whippy drove right past the gaff the other night, I’d ran out, money in hand, did he stop , no and I have had a goo for a 99 since, the pic made it worse

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