Category Archives: Public Health/Coronavirus

CDC study finds small efficacy of face masks

How much reduction in the spread of Covid-19 comes from wearing face masks? 10%? 25%? 50%?

CDC study finds 0.5% to 1.8%:

During March 1–December 31, 2020, state-issued mask mandates applied in 2,313 (73.6%) of the 3,142 U.S. counties. Mask mandates were associated with a 0.5 percentage point decrease (p = 0.02) in daily COVID-19 case growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.1, 1.5, 1.7, and 1.8 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all) (Table 1) (Figure). Mask mandates were associated with a 0.7 percentage point decrease (p = 0.03) in daily COVID-19 death growth rates 1–20 days after implementation and decreases of 1.0, 1.4, 1.6, and 1.9 percentage points 21–40, 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after implementation (p<0.01 for all). Daily case and death growth rates before implementation of mask mandates were not statistically different from the reference period.

Source: Association of State-Issued Mask Mandates and Allowing On-Premises Restaurant Dining with County-Level COVID-19 Case and Death Growth Rates — United States, March 1–December 31, 2020 | MMWR

They collected data from March 1 to December 31. It’s possible if the high counts into January were included, this small improvement would vanish. Starting and ending points matter a lot when testing effectiveness of strategies.

Restaurant closures and re-opening had little effect:

During the study period, states allowed restaurants to reopen for on-premises dining in 3,076 (97.9%) U.S. counties. Changes in daily COVID-19 case and death growth rates were not statistically significant 1–20 and 21–40 days after restrictions were lifted. Allowing on-premises dining at restaurants was associated with 0.9 (p = 0.02), 1.2 (p<0.01), and 1.1 (p = 0.04) percentage point increases in the case growth rate 41–60, 61–80, and 81–100 days, respectively, after restrictions were lifted

Former CDC Director Robert Redfield said that masks are more effective than vaccines, which have documented 90+% efficacy.

Another study published in the fall of 2020 “found clear evidence that wearing a mask can have a significant impact on the spread of Covid-19 … with a 25 per cent or larger weekly reduction in Covid-19 cases”. That linked press release claimed that indoor mask usage would reduce new cases in Canada by 25 to 40 percent by mid-August (As of early 2021, Ontario is back in total lock down).

As a brain injured idiot, may be I am misinterpreting the CDC study?

Continue reading CDC study finds small efficacy of face masks

Amazing: The poor quality of epidemiological data

Some one just got caught up with old death reports and dumped them out all in one day. This is has gone on for months, in many states, as they catch up on death reports from months ago.

Source of this chart

First, you can see that many public health departments only collate death reports on a few days per week. This results in the “deaths per day” varying by 2 and 3 to 1 from weekends to weekdays.

Second, most public health departments fail to inform the public that their daily body counts are of “past death reports received” and have no relation to actual dates of death.

That in turns leads to hysteria inducing news reports about a sudden jump in deaths – when those deaths actually occurred months ago.

Here are some of the states that made obvious “catch ups” in death reports. Charts are from Reuters.

Many data sources are contradictory. Here is a USA Today chart indicating Oklahoma is off scale:

Here is the chart from the Oklahoma Covid status page:

This same curve is also shown here.

Both sources cite Johns Hopkins University for their data. Why the huge difference?

The media notices that Covid restrictions had little impact

And now their little minds are confused:

Given time, nearly every where ends up at the same destination. If life restrictions had an impact (and it is questionable if they did), the best was to delay the pandemic and extend the pain over a longer period of time.

The “experts” are lost due to unwavering faith in models and multi-hundred year old strategies that were known not to work well (or work at all): it became a religion.

Reminder, I am a brain injured idiot with no relevant experience. I make observations and ask very stupid questions.

Continue reading The media notices that Covid restrictions had little impact

Surge in good news: Some common drugs inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 virus

New research published in the British Journal of Pharmacology indicates that two currently available medications–an antifungal drug and an antidepressant–can effectively inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19 in laboratory cells.

Investigators found that the antifungal itraconazole and the antidepressant fluoxetine each blocked the production of infectious SARS-CoV-2 virus in cell culture lab tests. When either drug was used in combination with the antiviral drug remdesiver, the combination showed synergistic effects and inhibited the production of SARS-CoV-2 by more than 90%.

Source: Antifungal and antidepressant drugs can effectively inhibit COVID-19 virus

Fluoxetine is the drug commonly known as Prozac.