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31 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Nope. Where have I said anything about walking around the Lakes? But in supermarkets? That's where you really need to start engaging the brain instead of regurgitating lines. My local supermarket doesn't appear to be all that much busier than during lockdown, let alone smaller shops where you may be the only customer in 

I was labouring the point you don't have to wear them everywhere.

The virus funnily enough does not just rely on you breathing in someone's breath two feet away. It adhere's to surfaces, which is why all the deep cleaning. People in queues are socially distanced but human nature someone wanting an item will reach past someone to get it.

Now your supermarket may not have lots of people or the odd shop, but what is needed is a clear and concise message, not one with lots of exemptions for numbers of people, size of shop or the like. Otherwise someone goes to the local co-op and finds 3 people walk in after and they now might need a mask. You're a bright person I'm sure you can see the value in a simple message in a time of extraordinary measures - confusion kills.

As for being arrogant I'm not saying my opinion is more valid or because I have expertise in a field I overrule your opinion but when you infer people who support masks / social distancing don't understand risk or are conditioned to safety because don't know any better I make a point of saying in my case you're way off.

I don't have a closed mind, risk planning you always start from first principals and assess every situation individually. But everyone seems to be arguing personal risk like they live in a bubble. Also this isn't nannying it is prudent measures applied for the good of the nation. Nannying would be telling everyone to buy Vitamin D tablets, demanding quota of 5 fruit & veg eaten and banning alcohol sales ( happened in S Africa) during pandemic to reduce obesity and ensure everyone in tip top condition. But as ever the scope creep of what gets called nannying increases until any gov proposal is nannying regardless of merit.

Requirement to wear a mask is not nannying. Requiring someone wear a mask in their own car with members of their own household or in their back garden would be.

 

27 minutes ago, GeneCernan said:

Masks are there to subjugate, humiliate and get people used to compliance

Now that is quality tin-foil hattery

Edited by Staffsknot
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31 minutes ago, GeneCernan said:

Masks are there to subjugate, humiliate and get people used to compliance. 

If they were that big a deal people would have to wear them all winter to help fight seasonal flu etc....

Not sure, many are not complying, many are using it only for the shop/bus, and many are genuinely alarmed and think it might help, not exactly China style state crackdown so far?

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1 hour ago, A.steve said:

An obnoxious misrepresentation.  I do not accept your authority and I will not be attempting to answer your intrusive personal questions.  I am not obliged to justify myself to you and I reject your ad-hominem attack.

Steve not trying to form a personal attack but as stated you are refusing to take the very measures you see as Draconian yet which you have not refuted or provided any evidence refuting the efficacy of said measures. So one can only assume you refuse to take them as you do because they are imposed and you don't like it.

You make a stand fine, but you need to also be aware those not wanting to participate in your social stand, however well intentioned you may see it, would be having their freedoms infringed upon. Refuse to submit to mask wearing but not at the expense of thosewith no choice - otherwise you've created one hell of a paradox of logic. 

Do you acknowledge at least those not wearing masks, have on the whole, not sought out a letter of exemption making their case. But instead just said to wider society - deal with it

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1 hour ago, scottbeard said:

I rely on scientists to determine the efficacy of masks, and government to make laws taking that science into account.

If the law says "wear a mask" I wear one.

My point is, wearing a mask does NOT have a zero downside - it's unpleasant and it costs money buying masks.  Therefore, I expect the health benefits to society to collectively exceed the collective cost and nuisance of wearing them.  I can't decide that for myself - and it's not my job to do so.

But if you're as logical as you say, surely that's the logical cost/benefit approach - not to say (as you seem to be saying) "well the POSSIBILITY exists that it MIGHT help so let's do it".  

The law does say to wear a mask. Your post implied that you are still sceptical about the science claims. So am I, but not active scepticism, just passive, usual scepticism with an open mind. 

But it is a pascals wager. I have no vested interest. The cost of wearing a mask is not zero but for the majority is pretty close to zero. People who want to argue the cost is higher probably have a vested interest favouring the side of "not wearing a mask" and I won't bother engaging if that is the case.

Since some scientists indicate that it reduces transmission and the factor seems out, but it could be reasonably significant, then pascals wager applies. Since I can't decipher the science I'm going to error on the most potential upside, which is a minuscule cost to myself with a potential larger benefit to society. The overall cost of wearing a mask is as close to certain less than the overall benefit to society as can be.

Not wearing a mask is just an act of an arsehole at this stage and trying to stir the pot of debate is encouraging others to not do so. Just don't.

I can't believe I actually got sucked into this absurd debate. Just wear a frikken mask and get on with your life.

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4 minutes ago, dugsbody said:

The law does say to wear a mask. Your post implied that you are still sceptical about the science claims. So am I, but not active scepticism, just passive, usual scepticism with an open mind. 

But it is a pascals wager. I have no vested interest. The cost of wearing a mask is not zero but for the majority is pretty close to zero. People who want to argue the cost is higher probably have a vested interest favouring the side of "not wearing a mask" and I won't bother engaging if that is the case.

Since some scientists indicate that it reduces transmission and the factor seems out, but it could be reasonably significant, then pascals wager applies. Since I can't decipher the science I'm going to error on the most potential upside, which is a minuscule cost to myself with a potential larger benefit to society. The overall cost of wearing a mask is as close to certain less than the overall benefit to society as can be.

Not wearing a mask is just an act of an arsehole at this stage and trying to stir the pot of debate is encouraging others to not do so. Just don't.

I can't believe I actually got sucked into this absurd debate. Just wear a frikken mask and get on with your life.

Exactly right. There is little to lose if masks turn out to be useless but potentially a lot more to gain. Better to be cautious and wrong than not cautious and wrong. 

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1 minute ago, Postman said:

Exactly right. There is little to lose if masks turn out to be useless but potentially a lot more to gain. Better to be cautious and wrong than not cautious and wrong. 

Up to a point, but where do you draw the line? You could say the same for prayer.

And when legal compulsion is involved I really hope the bar should be set higher than "well it might help."

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11 minutes ago, dugsbody said:

The law does say to wear a mask. Your post implied that you are still sceptical about the science claims. So am I, but not active scepticism, just passive, usual scepticism with an open mind. 

...

Not wearing a mask is just an act of an arsehole at this stage and trying to stir the pot of debate is encouraging others to not do so. Just don't.

I can't believe I actually got sucked into this absurd debate. Just wear a frikken mask and get on with your life.

You're not reading what I wrote, you're projecting things onto me.

I *do* wear a mask.  I wear one because the law tells me to.

What I'm saying is, I do so HAPPILY if the science backs up the law and UNHAPPILY if the science does not.  I don't know what the science says because I'm not a scientist.

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16 minutes ago, Postman said:

Exactly right. There is little to lose if masks turn out to be useless but potentially a lot more to gain. Better to be cautious and wrong than not cautious and wrong. 

As an absolute minimum you're talking the cost of a mask for each of the 5 billion or so adults on Earth, so £15 billion+

I'm pretty sure the world could do something better with that if masks don't in fact work.  If they do work, then great - well spent.  That's why it matters.

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3 minutes ago, scottbeard said:

You're not reading what I wrote, you're projecting things onto me.

I *do* wear a mask.  I wear one because the law tells me to.

What I'm saying is, I do so HAPPILY if the science backs up the law and UNHAPPILY if the science does not.  I don't know what the science says because I'm not a scientist.

I find it baffling that so many people allow themselves to be led by what the LAW says. The law is generated by politicians, who in the UK are a bunch of muppets who are generally several months behind on the science.

The concept of "Viral Load" is well established - catching covid is not a binary - you have it or you don't have it.

  • If you inhale a few molecules, you may be lucky an avoid infection completely.
  • If you inhale a few dozen molecules, you may be infected with a mild case with little or no symptoms.
  • If you inhale hundreds of molecules, you will be infected with a more severe case that could prove fatal.

Wearing a mask is known to reduce (not eliminate) the number of molecules you inhale and exhale.

Wearing a mask in the street is not yet a legal requirement, but in busy areas doing so may save your life.

To test the effectiveness of your mask - try blowing out a flame while wearing it, if you can blow out a flame the mask is not working.

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17 hours ago, Riedquat said:

Up to a point, but where do you draw the line? You could say the same for prayer

There's no such thing as an atheist in a foxhole one of the chaplains once told me. This is meant humoursly as humour has abandoned us a bit here so please don't take it as an endorsement ( I'm not religious either).

 

16 hours ago, Riedquat said:

My scepticism doesn't extend to ignoring it altogether

Therein is the schism with some of the other posters - I don't think anyone would deny you the right to be skeptical or have an open mind. Hell if you want to post reputable scientific information to the benefit of all I think we all agree that only informs us all better.

Science can change, situations evolve and remain fluid. New facts emerge but on current evidence and in line with current regulations mask wearing and social distancing we should adhere to the rules as they are.

What a lot of people seem to take issue with is how the counter-narrative of don't wear a mask is forming and those advocating ignoring the regs. That is where I draw the line.

Be skeptical but wear a mask, great, don't want to wear a mask but avoid situations requiring one, also fine. 

Riedquat we can agree on that and on the whole I have found you quite pragmatic in your approach so don't feel I have taken issue with you. You are just one of the more frequent responders

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Steve first off let me state this clearly that this is not intended a personal attack and if it comes across as such that is my error and I apologise

Second I am not trying to attack you but get to the bottom of your standpoint and actions. As it is your personal viewpoint and your actions are intrinsicly linked to the context of how it is viewed, that is why I have questioned you. But if you are going to state 'objection to ad-hominem attack' please refrain from posting things such as any scientists / doctors that disagree are doing so as vested interests, questioning other posters ability to read scientific data, or in other posts querying the level / quality of education as in claiming the gov agenda is to weed out the 'wrong sort of education'. If we go for a gold standard let's do that.

19 hours ago, A.steve said:

or, perhaps, I just hope) we are not yet in this situation.

19 hours ago, Staffsknot said:

... but you refuse to have any measures reduce risks that impinge on your freedoms.

An obnoxious misrepresentation.  I do not accept your authority and I will not be attempting to answer your intrusive personal questions.  I am not obliged to justify myself to you and I reject your ad-hominem attack.

Now I have read this back several times and should have stated 'current measures' but,  as far as your statements to date that is the impression given. So for clarity and the abscence of doubt please could you confirm if these are true statements ( I could go and get quotes but trawling back 2 or 3 days is tiresome)

- You object to the current legislation as you view it as a Draconian imposition that infringes on freedoms and rights you hold sacred - yes / no

- Accepting these infringements is a stepping stone to totalitarianism - yes / no

- you refuse to accept mask wearing or social distancing ( noted you say you do personal space but assuming not semantics and sub 2m and on avg let's say 1m max) - yes / no

Now the personal questions were not intended to antagonise nor for the sake of attack. What they were there to establish are you simply making a case of protest that affects others or not. I have no more authority to question you or decided how valid an argument may be than you yourself. But perhaps a less heavy handed and more broadbrush approach is this.

For the benefit of others and myself are you 

- maintaining your view and avoiding any situation requiring social distance / mask

- maintaining your view and actively breaking the law

As you can see those are two very different animals

So you do not feel you are being singled out and as others have stated their positions and actions here is mine.

I wear a mask in any situation where social distancing is not possible or where asked to by the establishment ( even if 2m distancing possible so appears unnecessary) as a courtesy. I do not wear one in a wide city street with few people, though in a small market town on market day I do around stalls / built up areas. I practise 2m social distancing wherever practical.

I go to an office 2 days per week on a rota and sit 3m spaced desks, with numbers in reduced from nearly 100 to 16 voluntarily returned staff. We do not wear masks at our desks but as a courtesy do in public areas and stairwells - a policy agreed between all offices in the building. The cleaners appreciate that everyone is respecting those rules as they have been anxious at how it would work in practice (would we get bored and do what we feel like).

I go to a gym class twice a week as a social and health activity. These classes do not require a mask in the large hall 4m spacings, but do when transitioning in and out. No showers or changing + clean all equipment and leave a clean paper towel to identify for cleaning crew after class that used. I no longer use running machines or other daily indoor gym exercise.

I do not wear a mask when hiking in the countryside but have upgraded my mountain first aid skills at personal expense for best practice in the Covid world + the online first aid at work refreshers.

I hope this is complete enough and I hope Steve this post is less obtrusive and will provide clarity of your position as well as clarifies my own

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I wear a mask in indoor areas where there are people I do not usually come into contact with, who without necessarily meaning to might come into close contact with me and others.......a mask helps protects others from particles of vapour being dispersed into the air from mouth and nose in and around others, it protects spital being projected and falling onto nearby surfaces that others might touch......if I am going out of my way to avoid others catching what I might carry, I expect others to do the same.....by not coughing or sneezing in my face that my eyes might catch......😉

Edited by winkie
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Last thing and I have stated elsewhere I know a ICU nurses and that may shape my vehement defence of any measure that prevents the spread of Covid.

I spoke to one last Friday and I post this here not to reinforce a view one way or other, but as a backdrop to what is being discussed. Please don't debate it or pass any comment / use in own justifications. It is purely anecdotal.

El is an ICU nurse, she's been talking to me about PTSD, techniques employed to compartmentalise and move on after repeated traumatic experiences, how PTSD manifests and grief at losing her own parent recently ( lost my father nearly 18 months ago)

El has a small team, they have worked long hours and at the height of the pandemic they struggled to even get a break as had to remove PPE, lengthy rekit and supply worries. She had nurses with families worrying about taking it home, that their PPE might be a bad batch due to Gov debacle and on one night a feeling they were going to lose every patient. They did lose some patients but more than died have survived and are recovering ( for some an ongoing process even after discharge).

Her personal circumstance is she lost her mum in April, she had deterioated with cancer around Christmas, went into a hospice in Wales in Jan. El is in London. Due to restrictions she had her last visit with her mum in late Feb /early March. She had 2 video calls, but then none of the family could be there at the end. El found out post shift. She took 2 days of personal time then as staff already stretched she returned to work. She watched the funeral by video link.

She stupidly engaged in Twitter as a distraction one night and had to uninstall after keyboard warriors told her she was part of an "NHS murder machine", "hoaxer", "project fear" and the general Twitterati pile on hoping she got covid or that it's mild flu. She uninstalled Twitter after waking up to hate messages and posts that went on as different countries woke up. Muting and blocking was ineffective.

One of her nurses is British of Thai decent, at the same time clap for carers was happening she was told to F off with her Chinky Flu when she asked someone to step back while food shopping.

Another team member spent her nights in the spare bedroom, avoiding her son and husband and socially distancing herself in her own home.

El believes members of her team and indeed herself exhibit some signs of PTSD. They are professionals not new to trauma. They are tired, they don't see the pandemic as near over they think it is half time and they hope there isn't an opposition super sub as they don't have a lot left in the tank. In short they feel like they are pushing on a piece of string.

Now this is an emotive piece and I make no apologies for that. I accept it is one team and may be atypical - but I doubt it is too far from others experience.

So please these are the people we ask to pick up the pieces when things go wrong and so whatever side of the debate you sit on just have them in mind when you have a what-if moment.

And again don't use this to justify, quote or attempt judgement please. I present this as an anecdote and not supporting statement

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40 minutes ago, Staffsknot said:

- Accepting these infringements is a stepping stone to totalitarianism - yes / no

It absolutely is. Once politicians grab these powers for themselves, they never relinquish them.

 

It is not about CCPV. I wear a mask in shops and clean down gym equipment after I use it, but I am vehemently opposed to these things becoming mandatory by law.

Sympathies to your friend, but that seems to be an extreme observer bias. The risk to healthy young people is close to nil and so these laws are particularly draconian when applied to them.

Like it or not, NHS staff are the face of the government when it comes to CCPV.

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1 hour ago, Locke said:

It absolutely is. Once politicians grab these powers for themselves, they never relinquish them.

 

It is not about CCPV. I wear a mask in shops and clean down gym equipment after I use it, but I am vehemently opposed to these things becoming mandatory by law.

Sympathies to your friend, but that seems to be an extreme observer bias. The risk to healthy young people is close to nil and so these laws are particularly draconian when applied to them.

Like it or not, NHS staff are the face of the government when it comes to CCPV.

I'm trying to ascertain Steve's position as when I stated what I thought was his position - he's against any of the measures imposed as an infringement and refuses to take those steps as such - he told me it was an obnoxious mistepresentation and adhominem attack.

I'm trying to work out if when he says he's opposed to and refuses to do something he actually means breaking the law.

You oppose it being law but obey the law as is - which is different to flouting it because you oppose it ( which several posts seem to imply).

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3 hours ago, Habeas Domus said:

I find it baffling that so many people allow themselves to be led by what the LAW says. The law is generated by politicians, who in the UK are a bunch of muppets who are generally several months behind on the science.

The concept of "Viral Load" is well established - catching covid is not a binary - you have it or you don't have it.

  • If you inhale a few molecules, you may be lucky an avoid infection completely.
  • If you inhale a few dozen molecules, you may be infected with a mild case with little or no symptoms.
  • If you inhale hundreds of molecules, you will be infected with a more severe case that could prove fatal.

Wearing a mask is known to reduce (not eliminate) the number of molecules you inhale and exhale.

Wearing a mask in the street is not yet a legal requirement, but in busy areas doing so may save your life.

To test the effectiveness of your mask - try blowing out a flame while wearing it, if you can blow out a flame the mask is not working.

I wear a mask in shops because otherwise I'm breaking the law and could be fined.  If the law DIDN'T say that I had to do it, then I would have to make a judgement based upon other reasons (viral load etc) as to whether to wear one for my own and others' safety.  However, that decision is moot because the law says wear one - I don't need to research the virus, or form an opinion of lawmakers' competence, I just follow the law. 

As for busy streets, at the moment my approach is to simply avoid them and stay at home.  COVID19 is clearly nasty, and even better than wearing a mask in places you might catch it is just to avoid places you might catch it altogether.

People seem to be reading into my comments that I think masks don't work - that isn't the case at all.  My point was - and remains - that in determining whether making mask-wearing compulsory under law the lawmakers should - in my opinion - not approach it from the perspective of "might wearing a mask have a chance of helping a little bit?" but approach it from the perspective of "is the benefit of everyone wearing a mask worth the [financial and non-financial] cost of everyone wearing a mask?"  At the moment I suspect that the answer to that is probably "yes" - but I don't have the data. The government and their scientific advisors have the data.

What I find odd is that people who assume that there are only two types of people in Britain
- "good eggs" who wear a mask
- "bad eggs" who spread fear and conspiracy on the internet that wearing masks is bad, and don't care if their granny dies

I also find it odd that people seem to think there is zero cost to wearing a mask when there isn't - like hard hats, safety glasses and bullet proof vests masks cost money to buy and aren't very nice to wear.  Like those other safety items we therefore should be sensible and proportionate in whether and where we use them.  Surely?!

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2 hours ago, winkie said:

I wear a mask in indoor areas where there are people I do not usually come into contact with, who without necessarily meaning to might come into close contact with me and others.......a mask helps protects others from particles of vapour being dispersed into the air from mouth and nose in and around others, it protects spital being projected and falling onto nearby surfaces that others might touch......if I am going out of my way to avoid others catching what I might carry, I expect others to do the same.....by not coughing or sneezing in my face that my eyes might catch......😉

I am a bit Robin Hood in my outlook and don't like being told what to do, I sense we are both similar in that regard but from different perspectives.

Your comment sums it up for me. I am no scientist but am an engineer both production and service and have worked in all sorts of hazardous environments with chemicals present in the air.  You wouldn't dream in the 21st century of not wearing a mask in those environments. We know it is respiratory, we know it can be transmitted in droplets or aerosol type exhalations.  So why not minimise those airborne transmissions ?

Its not a cure or a catch all but will enhance  other measures such as social distancing and hand washing. Its rather like tax planning if you go to  a swanky West End accountant they don't talk about saving 20% a year they talk about 2 -3% here and there.

If all these measures help by 15% surely a good thing

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5 minutes ago, scottbeard said:

Like those other safety items we therefore should be sensible and proportionate in whether and where we use them.  Surely?!

I agree which is why I wear them in shops seems to make the staff and people around me feel comfortable. It's not the law making me wear one just courtesy

 

Edited by GregBowman
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3 minutes ago, scottbeard said:

What I find odd is that people who assume that there are only two types of people in Britain
- "good eggs" who wear a mask
- "bad eggs" who spread fear and conspiracy on the internet that wearing masks is bad, and don't care if their granny dies

This - it's the black and white oversimplified extreme if you're not aligned with my view you're at the opposite extreme that I often complain about. Although discussions tend to crystalise more in those directions and probably over-exaggerate how many people are really like that.

Quote

I also find it odd that people seem to think there is zero cost to wearing a mask when there isn't - like hard hats, safety glasses and bullet proof vests masks cost money to buy and aren't very nice to wear.  Like those other safety items we therefore should be sensible and proportionate in whether and where we use them.  Surely?!

It's very odd what people regard as zero cost, especially when you get a bit more subtle than the most obvious physical impact, and also how they're willing to go with "do something unless there's good reason not to" rather than the opposite.

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6 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

Your comment sums it up for me. I am no scientist but am an engineer both production and service and have worked in all sorts of hazardous environments with chemicals present in the air.  You wouldn't dream in the 21st century of not wearing a mask in those environments. We know it is respiratory, we know it can be transmitted in droplets or aerosol type exhalations.  So why not minimise those airborne transmissions ?

Why not minimise them? Well that depends on how much difference doing so actually makes in whatever the particular situation actually is, whether it's sensible, marginal, or ridiculous, but those considerations don't match the 21st century view of "one size fits all, better just in case."

A problem with "you wouldn't dream in the 21st century..." is that so much of the 21st century has gone down the path of "just in case" that it's starting to have a boy who cried wolf effect. Another one extreme or the other example there I think, the defenders of it have a tendency to point to past times when things were unquestionably too far in the other direction.

Edited by Riedquat
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7 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

I agree which is why I wear them in shops seems to make the staff and people around me feel comfortable. It's not the law making me wear one just courtesy

 

Yes.....that is i would think why most of us wear them, there is also the thought that if visiting certain places where can see a high percentage are not wearing a nose and mouth covering or wearing it incorrectly, people in future would avoid visiting those places...so it is in the interests of shops to ask people if they can wear one politely to do so.....sometimes it is only a bit of prompting or education that is required.....of course will always find people that will not conform either because they don't have to or are not bothered about anyone else or both, not a lot can do about that apart from keeping well away from them..;)

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4 hours ago, Habeas Domus said:
  • If you inhale a few molecules, you may be lucky an avoid infection completely.
  • If you inhale a few dozen molecules, you may be infected with a mild case with little or no symptoms.
  • If you inhale hundreds of molecules, you will be infected with a more severe case that could prove fatal.

Wearing a mask is known to reduce (not eliminate) the number of molecules you inhale and exhale.

This is a partial model. Is there strong evidence that masks reduce spreading of diseases? End-to-end model - comparing mask usage to sickness. I didn't think there was and I've been reading about this stuff since way before Covid-19. There are studies comparing common cold in Asian countries where they already have a culture of wearing a mask when sick to rest of the world. There have been studies of surgeons and masks.

Things like risk compensation which is surely a real phenomenon completely mess with models not to mention the fact that when people are in close proximately there are other vectors of transmission that may dwarf aerosol transmission.

I think you need to be a bit more honest with yourself and everyone that these are partial models and there just isn't much relevant evidence that stands up to scrutiny.

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19 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

I am a bit Robin Hood in my outlook and don't like being told what to do, I sense we are both similar in that regard but from different perspectives.

Your comment sums it up for me. I am no scientist but am an engineer both production and service and have worked in all sorts of hazardous environments with chemicals present in the air.  You wouldn't dream in the 21st century of not wearing a mask in those environments. We know it is respiratory, we know it can be transmitted in droplets or aerosol type exhalations.  So why not minimise those airborne transmissions ?

Its not a cure or a catch all but will enhance  other measures such as social distancing and hand washing. Its rather like tax planning if you go to  a swanky West End accountant they don't talk about saving 20% a year they talk about 2 -3% here and there.

If all these measures help by 15% surely a good thing

The wearing of masks in crowded environments reduces transmission by a lot more than 15%.

There is no gold standard test that can put an exact number on it as there are just too many variables, but I did post a report on the CV thread that said mandatory mask wearing reduces spread by up to 80%, with over two thirds of the benefit coming from the masks reducing the amount of airborne virus. It also said that if +90% could be persuaded to wear masks where social distancing was not possible/practical lockdowns would be unnecessary. 

 

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35 minutes ago, GregBowman said:

If all these measures help by 15% surely a good thing

Definitely.

My problem is with people who think we should still do them even if they help by 0.15% or 0.00015% just because those numbers are greater than zero, without taking into account the costs of doing the things.

There is a reason that builders wear hard hats, and accountants don't, even though occasionally accountants bump their head on the corner of their desk picking up a pen from the floor.

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