I got to spend a week making daily visits to a hospital this summer, and of course ended up spending a lot of time chatting with the care team about the pandemic. For context, the room we were in was next door to the space set aside for the COVID-19 isolation cohort, and the some folks were back and forth between both areas throughout the day. As far as customer-facing jobs go this year, having your customers be, not just anyone, but specifically people who are a known SARS-CoV-2 infection risk, seems like a pretty singular situation.
They all felt pretty safe, though, and, at least up to that point, hadn't had a single staff member test positive. They attributed this to everyone on the team being very scrupulous about masks and hand washing.
Somewhat similarly, and less anecdotally, my state recently released some information about their contact tracing efforts, and, while they didn't give any specific numbers, they indicated that workplaces did not seem to be a significant source of transmission as long as mask policies are being followed. The bulk of the transmission was from social gatherings, both in home and in public. There were some case studies of super-spreader events at public gatherings, and the general story is that, as long as the staff is sticking to the policy of wearing masks while at work, they are generally not getting caught up in these events.
So, I suspect it would be fine as long as everyone involved kept a mask on at all times.
The problem with getting together for a Thanksgiving dinner, then, is that you simply can't share a meal and (properly) wear a mask at the same time. Heck, you can't even offer your guests light refreshments and have them properly wear a mask at the same time.
Nitpick: people commenting on things they don't know
You claim that people do not need to attend Thanksgiving. I guess the same goes for Christmas, or most family and friends gathering during the worst times of the pandemic. But this incurs a huge toil on mental health. People suffer.
I'm not saying to ignore restrictions and put people's will to meet above everything. But I think it's important to see what are we prioritizing. How we are considering that 40h of work are irreplaceable, but we must avoid seeing family and friends.
And how long can you sustain this? Imagine this needs to last one more year. A position where I'm forced to work undesired jobs during 40h per week under the threat of unemployment, poverty and starving, at the same time that I'm refused many social activities it's one where I'd rather kill myself.
It's a horrible position to be in, but I don't think it's silly.
Not silly at all.
Most jobs outside of transportation also limit exposure to a relatively small group of regulars like a neighborhood grocery store, so we're already in the range of acceptable consequences (since most people need to work to eat). Creating transmission links between disparate regions is outside the range of acceptable consequences (IMO, and for the first year at least)
Edit: source https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7362827/
Thanksgiving aka the exact opposite of all of the above
Contrast that to crowding within 6 feet of 5+ family members unmasked for hours, traveling and spreading virus everywhere for a holiday that celebrates native americans giving food resources to ill prepared settlers?
What IS silly is that this is a holiday, it's a fun but nonessential day. Do you think Turkey day or Jesus's "birthday" (aka coopted Pagan winter solstice day) is worth the 1000s of deaths that they will certainly cause? The pandemic that has killed 250,000 Americans in just 8 months is far, far more important than a couple family meals.
But the point isn't that people have some risk, so adding more is OK. No — the goal is to not take unnecessary risk when avoiable. Eating turkey with family is something that you can postpone or even do over a video call if you have the means and still want some level of connection.
It sure looks a bit weird to ask this of people who don't work in isolation, but on the other hand it's not worse for them than for the WFH crowd. It could even be argued that it's worse for the WFH because the customer facing at least still get to interact with humans on a regular basis.
To this day, it amazes me that some people don't get that a nationwide travel and dine with a lot of people, could exponentially spread the virus.
We are almost 1 year later... And I think most people are here are well educated.
This saddens me deeply.
If they had done that, the Chinese lockdown probably wouldn't have needed to be nationwide.
I'm talking about smart people not realizing consequences from their own actions.
Either way, I am surprised to see this comment on HN, I would expect people here to not look at it at the individual level, and think in terms of probabilities.
This criticism seems similar to the common one of "why are grocery stores okay but not concert venues: surely the virus doesn't know the difference?" Of course not, but buying food is, at least in the short term, more vital.
Large, well-ventilated space vs close poorly-ventilated space.
Not sharing food vs sharing food.
Not yelling at each other vs yelling at each other.
Everyone wearing a mask vs not wearing masks.
There are some important differences between workplaces and dinner tables.
Every little helps when it comes to public health messages.
And who is "blaming working people"?
COVID is bad, passing it to people is bad, wearing masks and distancing almost guarantees it won't transmit, masks and social distancing are nearly impossible at social gatherings where people eat or drink, so halt social gatherings so we don't overload our hospitals and get a bunch of people killed a few months before a vaccine is available. Really not much more to it than that.
Do you honestly believe that everyone can just stay home until we have wide scale vaccine? Who will make the vaccine, who will keep the water flowing, the power, the food, everything else we need for daily life
Lockdown has never, and will never be a reasonable strategy for a pandemic, this one or future ones
This worked in Europe for a few months, although all the tourism over the summer probably seeded the current outbreaks.
and "worked" in EU is an oversimplification of what has happened with out taking into account 100's of other variables
You can not simply do a base comparison of cases and say "nation X locked down, and Nation Y did not and that is why they have different outcomes" there is no factual basis for that statement
Should be pretty easy, given that so many people believe it.
Well, it didn't work forever, but one can clearly see that most countries of the EU locked down in March/April, which reduced cases massively. They then held cases at a low level until September/October.
This is much better performance than the US, where on a country basis, the numbers basically never went down, and are now increasing massively from a much higher base.
Sure, it's not causality but it's suggestive evidence.
Your interaction with an infected family member is hours in a close setting with poor ventilation without masks.
"56 coronavirus cases were linked to a Starbucks in South Korea. But employees who were wearing masks didn't get infected."
The difficulty here is that there are some truly essential services, and there are some businesses that will die if not attended to, and we can't simply just let that all fall apart or people will starve. The government does actually have to grapple with questions like that, and even the best government will necessarily accept medical deaths to prevent a larger number of starvation deaths in the short term, or mass poverty in the long term.
The trick is adequately figuring out what is an 'essential service'. Really, it's more like figuring out what's inessential....
I'm lucky enough to be a Canadian and the CERB benefit has helped family members and friends who work in inessential industries like tourism that have been hurt badly by this. I support programs to help with that so those folks don't become poor. But no amount of money is going to let us close grocery stores, at least not without some other food logistics system in place.
One would think the fact that cases in the US are rising faster than they ever have would be deterrent enough.
But people feel intense pressure to follow the norm. In the absence of clear messaging from some third-party authority, that norm is generally “what we’ve always done.”
Messaging like this can change the perceived norm to “it’s okay to stay home this year.”
At least when the lockdown first kicked in during the spring, my impression is that most airlines let you cancel your tickets for a full-price credit that you could use later. That's what happened when I cancelled my "non-refundable" spring break tickets.
I got an email from Alaska Airlines recently saying essentially the same thing. They'd rather let people cancel in return for a credit than have people simply not book at all out of fear of needing to cancel. Hell, they'd be happy to take your money now for a plane ticket in the future. It's basically a loan to help them weather the pandemic.
Pretty much every airline is offering credits for future travel, at the very least. I doubt too many people are in this position.
With the pandemic I completely stopped following the details of the aviation and airline industries (a combo of not flying and impact to my family working there.) In normal times, many tickets would be changeable with a hefty change fee. Has the industry switched to even more restrictive "use it or lose it" fares?
Messaging is important. It irritates me to no end that newscasters aren't wearing masks--for example. There are a lot of people who are "Oh, the lady on TV is wearing a mask--so I guess it's bad enough that I should, too."
This helps a lot with people who already wanted to cancel plans, but didn't have "permission" to.
Now, people can say: "Oh, I really really wish I could attend, but I'm following the CDC guidance. I'll really miss you, and I'll definitely be back next year."
I meant people who were already concerned about the virus, but also concerned about the social opprobrium that might come from canceling a Thanksgiving dinner.
This tips the scale—by lessening the negative social consequences for deciding to cancel—so more people may cancel their plans now.
I love my family, but despise family gatherings. Although, admittedly, I'm a happily introverted hermit most of the time.
As long as you can avoid risky situations the rest of the time, there shouldn't be a problem doing the holidays with family. The trouble is that even going to the grocery store counts as "risky" in my book, so you need to plan well in advance.
Does anyone know of any sites/data that offer the same risk analysis, but can take into account people who receive negative covid tests? For example, how would you estimate the risk of a 15 person Thanksgiving gathering if all 15 people receive negative covid tests prior to gathering?
If you want to go further, consider the time you will spend together in an indoor environment mask-less. I think there are some estimates of indoor transmission probabilities per time of exposure to a positive case.
Bear in mind the average 5-8 day incubation period so even if you test the day before you are still almost a week behind in exposures.
But on the other hand this may not matter as much anymore since we are in a late stage of the epidemic, and the disease is everywhere already.
Also I don't mean to dissuade anyone from attending with this.
The test may anyway be worthless if you take it and then anyways have been exposed during a flight or so.
Rural and semi-urban areas like SLO etc. are quite strapped on the other hand.
EDIT: See below, my info was out of date by a week. I would hypothesize it's everyone who wants to be tested for the holidays.
Given the time it takes from exposure to symptoms and tests register it, isn't that kind of a false sense of security? Exposed on sunday - takes a test thursday that's negative - hangs out with friends on friday, kinda deal.
If you were to spend time with me, you will know my entire protocol, and I will willingly show you my contact/movement history (I record each event on Google Calendar and I use Google Timeline History for maps).
I understand if you have a different protocol.
That's probably a factor.
The statewide case spike is probably also creating a testing demand spike even before considering holiday-related impacts, too.
So it looks like your friends are right and I was one week out of date!
I'm sure there is regional variability... but in at least some places, it seems like tests are indeed plentiful.
If I had to guess, the regions that have decided to handle the pandemic by largely doing nothing different than normal don't have great availability, but probably more for political reasons than logistical ones.
Setting aside the probability that someone could be asymptomatic and contagious after a negative test (which actually seems to be fairly low), you'd need to know the false-negative characteristics of the different tests that were used. Unfortunately, people seem to be far more concerned with the former risk than the latter -- they assume that their tests are infallible (wrong), but that the risk of asymptomatic transmission is relatively high (also wrong).
Good point about this. Do we have enough data to compute this? my layman's guess is that if someone is asymptomatic and receives a negative test, they're not likely to follow it up with another test (which would be one way to learn the first test was a false-negative). But maybe there are other clever ways at getting at the false-negative rate for each type of test.
We pulled together performance data for dozens of COVID-19 diagnostics, which you can download. We also created a stats tool to help you understand the Predictive Value of each test based on how widespread the disease is in the tested population.
The key metrics we look at are:
Positive predictive value (PPV), the fraction of positive tests where the person actually had the disease.
Negative predictive value (NPV), the fraction of negative tests where the person actually did not have the disease.
If you could all get tested a week before, isolate completely for the next 7 days, and continue to test negative the day before or day of, then you can be confident.
Otherwise, with the 5-7 lag where you can be infected and spreading the disease while still testing negative and having no symptoms, a single test isn't a guarantee. Depends on your group's specific risk factors.
Some things are more important than tradition. Easter is the most holy holiday of the Catholic Church (Christmas has more secular importance, but is still only 2nd most important).
If you were willing to sacrifice Easter back in April, then Thanksgiving / Christmas is no different, at least to those of us who are religious. Its important to take this situation seriously.
And yes, the Catholic Church definitely cares about tradition. In fact, people criticize it for caring too much about tradition at times.
But kudos for the Catholic Church for what they have done throughout this pandemic. I am by no means saying other religions efforts during this pandemic are any better or worse and just wanted to clarify that so no subtext is inferred. Indeed I don't want to hear what others if they are be doing wrong, kinda want to hear the good examples so we all learn from them.
>And yes, the Catholic Church definitely cares about tradition. In fact, people criticize it for caring too much about tradition at times.
The Catholic Church also has a tradition of caring and people have a tradition of complaining (I'm British so maybe a cultural perspective slant there), but nobody complaining here upon that tradition of caring too much.
I don't know the full mechanics of the decision. But a few things to note:
1. This was Archbishop Gregory's decision. I'm unsure how high up the "chain" goes for the Catholic Church. As such, Archbishop Gregory's history is important, but also the Archdiocese he's leading. So #2 goes into that background...
2. Archbishop Gregory was brought into my Archdiocese as a "turning over a new page" kind of bishop... as Theodore McCarrick (a previous leader) was caught up in the whole sex-abuse scandal that I'm sure you know about. Cardinal Wuerl, Gregory's immediate predecessor, was also seen as too connected to the sex-abuse scandals.
So after having the whole sex-abuse thing come into light over the past few years, and coming on as the new Bishop who will turn a new page after that whole awful affair... it is obvious what Archbishop Gregory should do for his first Easter of this area of Church.
So this is quite possibly a local-church politics (Archdiocese wide) thing that plays into the decision making process here.
> After all, we all know the Catholic church has The Pope as their leader, and probably about the only religion people know who the World voice of that religion is.
And yes, the Pope is the leader for sure. The new Pope is also quite reformist in attitude, and Archbishop Gregory would have been elevated to his position thanks to the blessings of the Pope.
But I didn't know the Archbishop had the power to negate the need of mass + eucharist (temporarily) during this pandemic. Such authority is rarely, if ever, used. But its those sorts of moves that really help get the Church unified during a long-term pandemic like this.
Not bad for Archbishop Gregory's first year.
>> The dispensation issued by Archbishop Gregory from the obligation to attend Mass during this time remains in effect. All persons who are subjects of the Archbishop of Washington no matter where they may be, and all other persons who are actually present in the Archdiocese of Washington who are under the obligation, are dispensed from the obligation until further notice (cann. 87 §1, 91).
We can teach people to abstain completely, or we can teach them how to do things safely.
It's pretty settled on which works better to prevent unwanted consequences.
Thanksgiving is an American secular holiday about eating turkey.
Abstinence-only education is likely doomed to failure because you can't expect people to resist all possible sexual urges. But you could reasonably effectively get people to, say, abstain from having sex at Thanksgiving dinner.
I fear that there's a large subset of the population who won't follow safe practices unless you scare them with text like "don't visit your friends/family".
Masks are only 60%. The only methodology that's anywhere close to 95% effective is a vaccine. Furthermore, you can't wear a mask while eating, and its too cold outside now to hold an outdoor dinner.
If you have a combination of methodologies that reaches 95% efficacy, feel free to tell the world. But mask-up, social distanced (6-feet apart) and all that is only partially effective at controlling the virus. And such conditions are unlikely to be kept during a Thanksgiving party (especially if alcohol is involved)
If it was good enough for the Peanuts, it's good enough for us with appropriate clothing. :D
So certainly much to be learned, but like driving - you can follow all the rules and drive perfectly, it's always the other person who does not that crashes into you.
Just case of managing the flow like a production line and not seeing hospital capacity bottleneck, which seems to be the case in every country in the production line of normal life. So a mass risk increase all in short window of time is one heck of a sudden spike risk that could really jam up and backlog the bottleneck and have a knock-on effect that will not bode well.
This all happening in a country with leadership in a bumpy transition phase and potentially a perfect storm.
I'd hate to think though that the head of the CDC wasn't prepared to do an outright internal flight travel ban or harder notice statement for fear of upsetting the current president and getting twitter sacked and classed as a communist for not protecting American values. But for me and possibly others - I can see how that may well be plausible, so there is that in the back of my mind, can't deny that thought and do hope I'm wide of the mark even though it is a doubt I can't dismiss. But politics and health are never good bedfellows.
Relevant Slate Star Codex: https://slatestarcodex.com/2019/06/04/book-review-the-secret...
Relevant HN: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=22037749
Then people could just test themselves before traveling or going to indoor gatherings. They could also be used at airports, etc.
If the tests give you a positive result, you almost certainly have Covid. However, a negative result doesn't imply lack of Covid with the same accuracy.
Props to you for helping maintain social distancing.
I noticed people stopped wearing masks outside and started doing more gatherings around Toronto right about the time cases started going up again. Coincidence? I don't think so...
If you live far enough that you have to fly then you most likely have a completely separate social sphere where you live plus traveling by plane means being close to 100s of complete strangers. So the chance that one person/group is coming from a region with an outbreak to a non-outbreak region is higher and the risk of catching it during travel is higher.
It's just like ring security theory. Level 2 > Level 1 vs Level 3 -> Level 1.
If you live in California and your family is in New Hampshire, please don't hop on a plane, risking infection, and potentially spread COVID from your social circle in California to your family's in New Hampshire.
Unfortunately, the combination of humans being bad at following instructions, folks being tired of COVID, and the high levels of stress this year are probably going to result in a lot of folks doing exactly this kind of stupid thing. I really wish we could close the airports for the week of Thanksgiving (refunding all flights that week) to give people a push towards responsibility, because they likely won't do it themselves.
It's from 2015 but I wouldn't expect the number to be too different today.
You can see that in some of the rather predictable responses you've received. Of course, I don't think you literally mean "close all airports" – rather, a move to temporarily ban nonessential long-distance travel, which is a pretty normal tool that you'd expect to use to tackle a pandemic.
I'm in England just now—hardly the poster child for excessive restrictions–and pretty extensive limitations apply for the next two weeks for travel and gathering. This isn't anything that anybody particularly wants, but it definitely feels that the country has collectively shat itself to a lesser extent.
Looking at pre-Covid numbers from 2019, driving accounts (~55m) for more travel than flying (~36m) during the Thanksgiving period.
Every institution is enacting policies that make the sense for themselves but together are not great at actually stopping the pandemic.
While the Federal response and some state responses have been horrible, I actually don't see it as inherently bad that schools have flexibility in deciding what they do based on their location, size, need for physical access to teach/lab work. Schools have indeed responded differently and some of that is simply different decisions by different administrations. But some of it is also recognizing that situations are different. And so far, schools do not seem to have been a particular problem in disease spread.
It would be folly to underestimate how much support Trump has in this country.
This was no clear win -- we are very much a country divided.
Edit: That's not to say Biden is not the clear victor, only that there are still A LOT of people who support Trump, and even people who didn't vote for him in 2016 who did vote for him this time.
I think people are taking what I'm saying out of context. I'm not saying that Biden didn't win the election.
I'm saying that this election isn't where this ends. The fact that other commenters had such a knee jerk reaction (yourself excluded) only proves it.
Biden appears to have won got the highest share of the population (not share of those who actually voted) ever to vote for a Presidential candidate.
Biden got a clear popular majority.
Biden got a clear electoral majority (the exact same electoral majority the Trump camp declared a landslide in 2016.)
How on Earth is that not a clear win?
At this point, the “no clear win” argument from Trumpists is the Black Knight in Monty Python’s Search for the Holy Grail saying “All right, we'll call it a draw” after all his limbs have been severed.
I'm just saying that it's a mistake to think that America resoundingly rejected Trump. He got roughly 11 million more votes the second time around. That puts him roughly on par with Ronald Reagan as far as popularity the second time around. In terms of raw votes, he's the most popular encumbent we've had period.
Biden's win is a pretty narrow percentage -- in the battleground states it came down to less than 1%.
This is very much an unsettled political question. If you think that that political movement has buttoned up and moved on, you're nuts. The results of this election are going to be in play in the mid-term elections and the next Presidential.
Feel free to downvote the unpopular truth.
In terms of raw votes, the ninth most popular US Presidential candidate in 2020 (several steps below Kanye West) is more popular than Washington in either election, John Adams, or Jefferson in his first election, and the major party loser of every election 1876 and later was more popular than every President up to, and including, Lincoln.
Raw votes are a stupid measure.
My problem is that 70+ million Americans (almost 1 in 4) voted for him... somehow thought that despite everything the person has done and said, 1 in 4 people actually think it was not reprehensible enough to not vote for him.
I really would have thought that the vote would have been 70% vs 30% or so for Biden but 70 million people! (plus all the ones that cannot/didn't vote but still support him)
It's also a clearer win than he had vs. Hilary.
It's just funny to see how offended people get when you float the idea that half of their countrymen might disagree with them. And that that half has a meaningful political reality worthy of accounting for.
If despite those numbers, you still think we're "unified", you're just burying your head in the sand.
I'm saying the US system is a winner takes all system.
Biden was a clear win, even if he would have won with only 1 EC vote.
He also had the popularity vote.
You could meet outdoors and socially distanced. The participants could all get tested, etc. Not to mention, one could plan for a funeral for vulnerability people regardless of the gathering as they could become infected during other normal life activities, such as doctor visits or grocery shopping.
This was qualified with "we're going to see some of that" but if it's not getting the desired reaction, they will probably continue to ramp up the inflammatory imagery.
I am spending most of my time this week weighing the risks of leaving my father in a Covid-infected nursing home (where he gets otherwise awesome care) or removing him to worse bespoke care but lower risk of Covid infection in the short term. I don't wish this process on anyone.
Do your neighbors a favor and limit your contact with other humans for the next few weeks.
Also, if you know healthcare workers running short on PPE, encourage them to list on https://findthemasks.com/ We are back in full operation.
something (such as a headline) designed to make readers want to click on a hyperlink especially when the link leads to content of dubious value or interest
In this case the headline (from the Mississippi Free Press) is paraphrasing a quote from MSMA President Dr. Mark Horne. The paraphrasing agrees with the quote in context and does not appear to be designed to exaggerate or sensationalize the facts being reported.
Here's the relevant section of the article:
The state’s top health official urged even Mississippians who are having small holiday gatherings to observe 6 feet of social distancing and to hold the gatherings outdoors, where the chance of transmission is lower.
“We don’t really want to see Mamaw at Thanksgiving and bury her by Christmas,” MSMA President Dr. Mark Horne said during the meeting, concurring with the state health officer.
“We’re going to see some of that. It’s going to happen,” Dobbs replied.
“It’s going to happen. You’re going to say hi at Thanksgiving, it’s so nice to see you, and you’re either going to be visiting her by Facetime in the ICU or planning a small funeral by Christmas,” the MSMA president said.
Full article here: https://www.mississippifreepress.org/7014/after-big-thanksgi...
It would be like me saying if you drink alcohol, plan on being an alcoholic. It's true that we see some of that, but it's not the case for everyone.
Of course there are plenty of people that will drink and drive and not crash or be arrested. Not a great warning / deterrent though.
"Drink and drive and statistically increase your chances of crashing or being caught by law enforcement" is technically more correct, but I don't think we would be having an argument over the signs on the highway that simplify the message.
I went with the alcoholism analogy because it is a health issue, like covid is. They both have somewhat unknown triggers, mostly genetic, and actions can initiate the problem actions but not ultimately determine the problem will occur. The analogy you are using is mostly decision based, and not based on genetics or health.
Many neighbors for Halloween came up with distancing solutions as well. So I think there are more people modifying plans than outright cancelling them in this area. Of course this can vary drastically depending on the specific location and I imagine there are some areas seeing the inverse.
Fauci has corrected it multiple times after and said that yes you should wear masks.
And comparing the CDC to a street drug dealer is beyond asinine.
He says that if there is an outbreak, it might make people feel better to wear a mask... among other incriminating things
He also says that he was wrong in saying that masks don't prevent the spreading of the virus
I don't see this is incriminating. Computer security is not perfclty secure, and in the same way masks arent perfect. He took the academic approach of saying they aren't perfect without clarifying that its better than zero masks. Either way, his statements had unintended consequences and was dumb to take the academic approach
which it was not.... incriminating in that sense.
And just for everyone who didn't read the link: Fauci absolutely did advise "no universal masking". The position was reversed in early April, by which time the damage was done.
I think Fauci was trying to avoid a mask shortage that would have affected healthcare workers who absolutely need the masks. The problem is that he downplayed the masks too much, and now his words are being used against him.
EDIT: The video was in another comment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRa6t_e7dgI
Taiwan: 609 cases (7 deaths)
US: 12 million cases (250k deaths)
Their metro stayed open while we're telling people to not go sit in the park.
Taiwan was hit earlier, Taiwan is closer and denser, Taiwan has many travelers to and from Mainland China. There was one right answer. None of this "they were trying to avoid" shit. They just solved the problem. This is the sort of thing it's not good enough to try. You have to be good enough to do it. Clearly what we did is we put a bunch of Pee Wee Leaguers in the MLB and we got the socks knocked out of us. The lesson isn't "they tried". The lesson is "next time, get the A players".
The one thing that this has taught us is that the Anna Karenina Principle applies pretty well to national organizations. All the guys who did well did it the same way. Everyone who sucked, sucked in their own way.
Scooter travel is the most common form of transportation and it's very normal to wear masks to prevent inhaling pollution. You could find masks all over the place. They sell them at convenience stores, stationary stores, in vending machines at the front of hospitals, etc.
I agree there are a lot of lessons that can be learned from Taiwan's success but I'm not sure it's fair to compare their mask adherence to other nations that didn't already have that embedded in their daily lives.
Remember when a smart guy changed his opinion and you stopped harping on him for being kinda wrong that one time? Me neither.
It's incredible the amount of slack this total incompetent has gotten, just by contrast of standing next to the president.
There was no change in available data on mask efficacy on either side of the great switch in recommendations.
A quarter million Americans died for this mistake.
The already small stock of masks would have been consumed much much earlier than how it happened.
I'm sure we can come up with infinite hypotheticals. But East Asia beat this. So we don't have to hypothesize. We know what the right approach is and they showed us in freaking February!
I am going to copy it for you to show you how the A-players do it:
New Year's Eve: Rumours of viral pneumonia in Wuhan. All inbound flights from Wuhan subject to inspection
Jan 5: All Wuhan travelers exhibiting upper respiratory inspections are now subject to screening
Jan 20: First positive test
Jan 21: Mask export ban, production ramp-up
Jan 31: Taiwanese government forced monopsony on masks (1/3 reserved for healthcare personnel). Announces rationing first week of Feb
Feb 2: Taiwanese defence personnel dispatched to bolster staffing at mask factories
Feb 6: Mask rationing starts
Feb 15: Mask production by end of month projected to be 10 million / day. Taiwanese population: 24 million
Mar 9: Mask production 9.2 million / day
Mar 16: Production 10 million / day
Mar 22: Production 12.6 million / day
April 3. Taiwan: Population 24 million. Density: 649 people/sq.km. First case: Jan 20. Cases: 348. Deaths: 5
April 3. Florida: Population 21.5 million. 136.5 people/sq.km. First case: Mar 7. Cases: 10268. Deaths: 170
Did we have to make the choice between the economy and lives? Did we have to choose between grandma and the dollar? Could policy have changed the outcome?
How can that be true if masks were already a highly available everyday product in metropolitan areas in e.g. China. Many people wore masks in winter almost every day even if they were not sick due to lower air quality.
It is indeed true that they raised already existing capacities massively up, but compared to what has been produced in the US or in Europe they already had a starting point magnitudes higher.
The study was not large.
Another study found similarly close rates of infection for mask vs no mask:
From this CDC report we can see that despite widespread mask usage there is infection(as we are seeing in general)
Each of these studies have their own issues such as small sample sizes and self reporting. We need more data and studies to make an informed decisions.
Agreed. Which is why I choose to wear a mask in public. Wearing it may help, and doesn't hurt. At worst, it is mildly inconvenient.
Your second statement is subjective. Regarding your first statement, there are real and potential negatives:
Airflow restrictions on people with COPD/asthma, fogging glasses can cause vision obstruction, tendency to draw closer to hear conversation, false sense of safety, skin irritation, infection if not properly washed, to name a few.
After all, an unreliable information source should contribute near zero to your priors.
People cancel "plans" all the time.