CDC Study Finds Overwhelming Majority Of People Getting Coronavirus Wore Masks

Source: The Federalist.

Tucker Carlson had a segment on this CDC study Tuesday night. The segment followed The Federalist narrative linked above fairly closely, right down to including Dr. Redfield’s goofy video clip claiming that face masks are better than vaccines in preventing the spread of Covid-19.

The base claim of the story is that most people in the study who got sick with Covid-19 were people who “always” wore masks (more than 70%). You might assume that these results are evidence that masks don’t work. But that’s not quite right.

What the study actually suggests is that mask mandates as public policy may not be effective. That is, you can’t draw a straight line between the presumed effectiveness of individual mask use and the measurable effectiveness of community mask use.

This is a surprising result. You would think that a technology that works for one person must work for a group of people. Not in this case. Expanding the “one-person model” to a “community model” apparently introduces new factors and new variables that should change our expectations.

It remains for science to confirm the study results. In the meantime, it is humbling to contemplate that “a virus is gonna ‘virus'” no matter what public policy says.

19 thoughts on “CDC Study Finds Overwhelming Majority Of People Getting Coronavirus Wore Masks

  1. Carlson? The guy whose defense in a lawsuit was that he lies? That Carlson?

    Okay, now eliminate those who wear masks all of the time because they are the medical staff dealing with the Covid infected. You remember, the people who were washing their masks because they couldn’t get sufficient PPE.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Once again, you don’t wear a mask to protect yourself against infection, you wear a mask to avoid infecting others if you are infected and don’t yet know it.

    What is more relevant would be whether those they were exposed to were wearing masks.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. RE: “Once again, you don’t wear a mask to protect yourself against infection, you wear a mask to avoid infecting others if you are infected and don’t yet know it.”

      I’m curious about that. I think of a mask as a filter that works in both directions, incoming and outgoing.

      If the filter is more or less effective in one direction than expected, shouldn’t it be more or less effective than expected in the other direction, as well?


      1. Volume of virus infection is important. If a mask will reduce the amount of sputum aerosol emanating from mouth and nose, it will reduce the volume of viral cells dependent upon the droplets for transmission.

        The reason we have lost a lot of first responders and medical staff to the virus despite proper or improvised PPE is volume. Whereas door handles may have the infection, even if you are a bit careless about hand washing, the volume might not reach beyond what even a weak immune system can handle.

        Bottom line: contained sputum will help prevent the spread.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. RE: “Bottom line: contained sputum will help prevent the spread.”

        My question is, shouldn’t a mask that retards outgoing sputum also retard incomming sputum?

        More generally, if airborne transmission is of only minor significance, why have mask mandates?


        1. “More generally, if airborne transmission is of only minor significance, why have mask mandates?”

          Here is my understanding . . .

          The sputum in this discussion travels through the air. It is main way that coronavirus is transmitted. It is not referred to as “airborne” because the air does not hold it up. Gravity pulls it to the ground within a few feet. That is why the separation part of social distancing. “Airborne transmission” refers to virus carried in an aerosol which means a mist of very small droplets which do float in the air for longer periods. THAT is what is of only minor significance. Masks stop sputum at the source. Unless you are wearing a very tight fitting N95 mask where you draw ALL your air through the filter you cannot rely on a mask to keep you 100% safe. Thus the need for BOTH a mask AND distancing.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. RE: “Here is my understanding . . .”

            Mine is that sputum is only one source of body fluids that can transport the virus.


          2. Sure, virus can be in any bodily fluid. I thought we were talking about masks and why to wear them?

            The virus starts first in the respiratory system so it is not long after infection that the exhalations of the infected become dangerous. Masks help.

            When critics of Trump’s virus failures point out that South Korea and Japan contained the outbreak with very small losses, the response from Trump supporters is “That is not fair, they are used to wearing masks.” And, in the next breath “Bwah, why am I being forced to wear a mask.” You seem to be scratching to find SOME reason to ignore Trump’s extremely dangerous rhetoric and behavior about masks.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. RE: “I thought we were talking about masks and why to wear them?”

            I wrote the post to focus on the question of mask mandates as public policy. The study found that — under the conditions it observed — masks were less effective at preventing incoming infection than expected. If that’s true, shouldn’t masks be equally ineffective at preventing outgoing infection?


          4. I think common sense explains why masks are more effective stopping you from spreading virus than in protecting you.

            When you breathe out the flow of air is directed right into the mask material. The air that does not go through the material leaks out the edges but has lost the momentum that would carry it a distance from where you are.

            When you breathe in, the air flows directly into your lungs. If you are in a miasma of virus from a maskless person, the mask cannot help you with regard to the air that reaches you from around the edges of the mask. In fact, the physical resistance of the mask will force more of the air to come from around the edges. Thus the tighter the mask the better. Unlike most masks that you see, an N95 mask is designed to fit very tightly and force almost all the air to go through the filter.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. RE: “I think common sense explains why masks are more effective stopping you from spreading virus than in protecting you.”

            Your explanation relies on the differential consequences of masks not fitting tightly in a way to show that masks work better as filters for outgoing sputum than as filters for incoming virus. That suggests to me, however, that masks which don’t fit tightly are simply not effective as filters at all.

            Put another way, the explanation begs the question by assuming that exhaled sputum is more significant as a spreading mechanism than inhaled virus. It may be, but the explanation doesn’t really support that view.

            I actually think it likely that masks help slow the spread of the virus, more by protecting others than by protecting the wearer. But this study suggests I may have no good reason for thinking that.

            If masks as self-protection lose measurable effectiveness at the social group level, I would expect masks as group protection to do the same, albeit perhaps for different reasons or to a different degree.


          6. Just wear the best mask you can find when you are around other people and vote down any jackass who invites maskless people to gather in tightly packed crowds to watch him as he “struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.”

            Democrat or Republican – vote the man down.

            Liked by 1 person

      3. You would think, but no.

        Then you sneeze, or speak loudly, you exhale droplets. The really large ones settle to the ground pretty quickly but smaller ones float in the air, getting still smaller as they evaporate.

        When you inhale through a mask, the big drops are caught but the smaller the drops are, the more get through. That’s why the mask doesn’t protect you very well.

        But when you exhale through the mask, many of those droplets are still big enough to catch an inch from your face, but by the time they are 6 to 10 feet away, they have shrunk enough to get through.

        So, filtration works better the closer it is to the source.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My mask will protect me. My spousal unit made it for me. It fits tightly and is made from 100% recycled material. The inner layer is flannel, the outermost layer is 800-thread count bedsheet and in the middle is a layer of recycled plastic shopping bags.

    Liked by 2 people

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