Widely cited study claims Ontario data supports face mask usage

Face Mask, Public Polices and Slowing the Spread of COVID-19: Evidence from Canada, September 24th.

They examined and compared communities in Ontario, Canada where face masks were made mandatory versus those where they were not made mandatory, collecting data up through mid-August.

They concluded:

We find that, in the first few weeks after implementation, mask mandates are associated with a reduction of 25 percent in the weekly number of new COVID-19 cases.

And sure enough cases declined steadily through mid-August, proving that face masks worked

Until September, when they magically stopped working.

Source: Public Health Ontario.

Scientists (Trust ScienceTM) routinely cite studies like the above, oblivious to the real world reality that has changed. The media then cite these studies, and tell us that “studies prove” and “There is no question that face masks work”. The first is the Appeal to Authority argument and the second is the “Get on the Bandwagon” peer pressure argument; skepticism is prohibited.

Other examples of this phenomena, where there is “proof” that face masks work include California (most of the populated areas had mandates starting in April), Hawaii (tough mandates, restrictions and quarantines and arresting violators, since April), Czechia and others.

Each proclaimed that face masks work by cherry picking the data and ending their analysis just before cases literally exploded.

I have asked OHA, CDC and other public health officials for a unified theory to explain how face masks both worked but then stopped working. None have answered this question.

Czechia was ground zero for the #MasksForAll social media activists. Starting in late March, they proclaimed that cases were low in Czechia because 98% of the population was wearing home made cloth face masks. Petr Ludwig, a resident of both Czechia and New York, promoted this theory which led to a social media campaign and a web site of the same name.

As you can see, their cases remained low – until they increased by an order of magnitude.

Hawaii’s tough restrictions and face mask requirements were in effect since April. Travel to the islands fell by up to 95% as all travelers were required to quarantine for 14 days, at their own expense. Violators were arrested. Travelers, including permanent residents of the islands that traveled between islands were also required to quarantine. As of early October, Oahu was back in lock up.

Face masks and other public health mitigation measures worked fantastic – until they didn’t work. Data from Disease Outbreak Control Division, Hawaii.

I could continue to bring up charts from other jurisdictions.

Generally, public health engages in hand waving explanations that “people are not adhering to social distancing and face masks” or similar.

First, public health does not get to choose its real world population; the people are what the people are. As pandemic fatigue hits, as people become miserably depressed they eventually say to hell with it and get on with their lives. That is reality. People cannot and will not remain locked up forever.

This is why pre-pandemic, professional epidemiologists said that public health mitigation measures for pandemics either work only for short period (after which they become infeasible), do not work or do not work well.

At this time, cases are exploding in numerous states AFTER six months of numerous public health mitigation measures. Empirically, they have failed.

Yet the response from public health is to threaten further lock ups and more of the same. (And note that this weekend, WHO says lock ups only work for short period in limited, specific situations.)

The question is not: Do face masks work?

The real question is: Why are face masks not working?

Update: Cases surging throughout Europe – Germany, Poland, Czechia, UK (expected to put people back in lock up, starting Monday), Italy, Spain (many areas back in lock ups), also not mentioned at the link, but surging in Norway, but way, way down in Sweden.

Why are face masks and public health mitigation measures failing?

Remember, I am an idiot with no training health care and these comments are FOR ENTERTAINMENT ONLY. I am obviously easily confused and the above issues all make total logical sense to actual pandemic professionals.

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