DiscourseJuly 14, 2021 13:22:47 IST
The masks help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, but there have been some wonderful misrepresentations in the policies that cover the West. Here are some.
1. Ignoring Asia
Early studies showed that countries (mostly Asian) that made mask use mandatory within 30 days of the onset of the first case had dramatically fewer COVID-19 cases than those (mostly Western) that were more than 100 days late. Instead of taking seriously the theory that camouflage may have contributed to low mortality, Western countries rejected the use of masks. collectivist societies or a the myth of the people among the less educated.
2. Waiting for complete evidence
Asian countries introduced masks at an early stage in case they were effective ( the precautionary principle), Westerners argued that the best course of action in the face of uncertain evidence was to do nothing. Such caution is appropriate to try new drugs and vaccines that may have worse side effects than the disease itself. But a little cloth over your face simply doesn’t have the same risks, and the delay can be thought to cause huge damage.
Instead of asking, “Do we have definitive evidence that masks work?”, We should have asked, “What should we do in a rapidly growing pandemic, given the empirical uncertainty?”
3. Blows speculative disadvantages
Some was feared that masks may act as “fomes” (objects with disease) because people are constantly confused by the mask (which may have infected droplets on the outside) and then touch their eyes, infecting themselves. However, the evidence shows that people really do touch their faces Less when wearing a mask than naked. But camouflage was described as a highly specialized and potentially dangerous activity that depended on perfect dressing and undressing procedures.
The concern about “risk compensation” (if you wear a mask, you feel protected and you take more risks, such as a driver who becomes frustrated when wearing a seat belt) was also the evidence does not support it.
4. Overestimation of a randomized controlled study certificate
In the name of evidence-based medicine, Western countries were obsessed with the Holy Grail of the final randomized controlled trial (RCT), which would determine both the pros and cons of masks, as well as the drug. But mask RCTs, in which people are randomly targeted to wear or wear a mask and then track who gets infected, are problematic.
First, they can’t measure source control (how much using my mask protects you from infection). I agree to use the mask and also agree to test me for infection. But to test whether I had spread the virus further to others, the whole city has to agree to be tested (at the beginning of the study and repeatedly) for infections – and this is not possible.
Second, short-term implemented RCTs are unable to capture exponential changes in transmission. A mere 10% decrease in virus transmission rate during repeated reproductive cycles can result in half of the cases. But the short-term RCT only measures the initial 10 percent reduction and considers it “statistically insignificant.”
5. Underestimation of the mechanical display
When assessing a complex phenomenon evolving in a complex system, we need two types of evidence: mechanistic evidence helps us to understand causal pathways that link an intervention (such as the use of a mask) to a particular outcome (such as not receiving COVID-19) and statistical evidence to assess the magnitude of the effect.
Mechanical evidence is often produced in laboratories. For example, by measuring drops caused by sneezing or with the help of an artificial cough simulator filtration efficiency various masks. These studies do not prove that masks work, but they are important pieces from a broader puzzle and should not have been discarded.
6. Prevention of airborne contamination
There is a wealth of evidence for this spread in the air is the primary mode of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 through super spreading events in poorly ventilated interiors. This is a game changer. That means we need to avoid close contacts (airborne spreads mostly occur within two meters), long periods indoors, and crowds.
With masks, we need to move our mechanistic model from a model that focuses on clouds of projectile droplets (coughs and sneezes), one that sees the air we breathe loaded with infectious particles. The World Health Organization banned for a long time this virus in the air. Still, airborne spread is important in mask design because it means we have to pay careful attention to the suitability of the mask (avoid gaps around the page from which air can escape) and may consider upgrading to a higher-end FFP2 mask.
7. Raise mask assignments prematurely
British Government ad it is premature that masks will cease to be mandatory in public places from 19 July. The cases of COVID-19 are rises rapidly and while vaccinations have weakened the link to hospitalization and death, these numbers are also on the rise. If politicians want to “open up” society despite these ongoing risks, continuing mandatory camouflage could be one way to do so more safely.