Since it looks like the geniuses in the South African government seem to be entertaining the idea of forever masking, why don’t we go back to the initial MAC advisory (dated 9 April 2020) that gave us masks mandates in the first place.
You can download it from the link below. I can’t find it on a government website, but given that Bhekisisa has been one of the government’s many PR arms, it’s a safe assumption that it’s legitimate.
Let's see if we can spot some flaws:— Peter Castleden (@peter_castleden) March 16, 2022
1. This study says nothing about the effectiveness of masks against transmission. It tried to measure traces of the virus in people's breath with or without masks.
2. It measured use of surgical masks, not cloth masks.
(not that I think surgical masks work well for preventing transmission)— Peter Castleden (@peter_castleden) March 16, 2022
3. It refers to covid, but it's seasonal covid, not SARS-COV-2 (the study period was up to 2016)
4. In both the mask and unmasked groups, they didn't find any virus in breath for the majority of people. pic.twitter.com/AskfisCsdd
In fairness to the study authors, they do concede these limitations of their study, and it’s therefore wholly inappropriate for this paper to be the basis on which our mask recommendation for ALL is to be made.
Their second reference to asymptomatic spread is a cute story (https://t.co/GjqN2y9nW0) but it is literally an anecdote.— Peter Castleden (@peter_castleden) March 16, 2022
There has subsequently been a number of actual studies suggesting that asymptomatic spread is rare and not a primary driver of transmission.
Not only does this study recommend against the use of cloth masks, it also suggests that cloth masks may actually be worse than the ‘control arm’ – meaning, no masks.
Our eminent scientists are essentially lying, and they both know they are lying and don’t really care. Remember this as our government considers rolling out the power to forever mask.
After two years of this nonsense, and fairly compelling evidence that mask mandates haven’t made a positive difference anywhere, it’s incredibly frustrating that our chaps are going to dig in their heels while much of the world continue to drop the mandates.