The review’s authors found “little to no” evidence that masking at the population level reduced COVID infections, concluding that there is “uncertainty about the effects of face masks.” That result held when the researchers compared surgical masks with N95 masks, and when they compared surgical masks with nothing...
That the Cochrane review reasonably challenges the effectiveness of population-level masking doesn’t mean the findings of previous studies in support of masking are moot. A common theme among criticisms of the review is that it considered only a small number of studies by virtue of Cochrane’s standards; there just aren’t that many randomized controlled trials on COVID…
We are uncertain whether wearing masks or N95/P2 respirators helps to slow the spread of respiratory viruses based on the studies we assessed. The pooled results of RCTs did not show a clear reduction in respiratory viral infection with the use of medical/surgical masks. There were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.
A Cochrane Review shows that compared with no facemask use, wearing a facemask may make little to no difference in how many people that catches a flu‐like illness. It probably makes little to no difference in how many people that have flu confirmed by a laboratory test. Unwanted effects are rarely reported but include discomfort. Furthermore, it may seem that it makes little to no difference what type of facemask is used. This Cochrane Review searched for studies in April 2020 and does not include studies on COVID-19. The evidence presented here can thus not be considered as direct until COVID-19 studies are included in the analyses.
In contrast, masks can reduce transmission for all respiratory viruses, with no need to tailor the intervention to the specific virus that is circulating. Masks remain a low-cost, low-tech way to keep people healthier throughout the holiday season so that more of us can be free of illness for the time that we value with our family and friends.
Overall, wearing masks was effective in preventing RVIs, especially SARS, influenza, and COVID-19. Besides, N95 masks, surgical masks, and common masks were all effective for RVIs prevention. This suggests that people should be encouraged to wear masks when they are in a large group of people to reduce the risk of RVIs.
However, there has been much debate about wearing masks, and misinformation has spread online.
Masks work best when everyone in the room has one on, but you’ll still benefit from masking up even when those around you aren’t.
Conflicting recommendations exist related to whether masks have a protective effect on the spread of respiratory viruses.
The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of wearing a face mask to help stop transmission of respiratory viruses, including flu and RSV. It’s one of the prevention measures that can protect people from getting infected and spreading disease to others. That is why face masks are still required at hospitals, clinics, and other health care facilities.
The science supports that face coverings are saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic, and yet the debate trundles on. How much evidence is enough?
The research largely suggests face masks won’t necessarily stop you catching Covid-19 but will lessen the chance of you passing it on if you are asymptomatically carrying and unaware of this (so not isolating at home).
For something that’s supposed to cover our mouths it speaks volumes about how crazy some have gotten. Specifically, that face mask tells how the world’s richest and most scientifically advanced country generated a cadre of leaders and citizens who made wearing a covering over their nose and mouth to prevent the spread of a contagion into a freedom-of-speech issue and cultural marker — something no other country in the world did. There is nothing more demoralizing than this, nothing that set us back in the fight against Covid-19 further and faster.
So wear them if you want to or have to, but don’t for one second think they are offering you or others any significant degree of protection. And that is my concern about the mask mandate fetish, not only are people being lied to about the science, but they are being misled into thinking they will have a level of protection they won’t.
The review’s authors found “little to no” evidence that masking at the population level reduced COVID infections, concluding that there is “uncertainty about the effects of face masks.” That result held when the researchers compared surgical masks with N95 masks, and when they compared surgical masks with nothing.