Covid-19 Discussion

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Interesting article on the subject of face masks and breathing. I wonder if the NHS or the WHO will produce a benefit & risk analysis like this one. It would seem unwise to issue advice without doing so in my humble opinion.

 
It's even more difficult to establish causality when you just match two record sets to simply identify if the deceased ever tested positive for COVID-19 and assume that if they did then that was the cause of death.
Quite.

Couldn't agree more with the above.
Obviously need a great deal of data and analysis to establish any true correlation and whether it is a direct cause of death or exacerbates existing conditions causing death.
Other conditions, treatments and medications need to be known and analysed and compared before this can be accepted as reliable.

I would hope that this has already been done to establish and confirm the high risk health groups identified in the early guidance on covid and provide better advice to those who need to be extra careful or stay isolated as things progress, i.e. is heart disease more risky than obesity, asthma, COPD, heart problems, cancers or whatever.

Whether it has or not is another matter, and I wonder if the 28 day cut-off being used in some countries would correlate with the results of the above?
 
Obviously need a great deal of data and analysis to establish any true correlation and whether it is a direct cause of death or exacerbates existing conditions causing death.

The problem is data collection. More than one route by which it is collected and reconciled - and what is collected is incomplete or subjective.

This is not a UK problem. It is quite possible that other parts of the world have been undercounting - same underlying problem with the data - just a different policy with regard to using it to draw conclusions.

Other conditions, treatments and medications need to be known and analysed and compared before this can be accepted as reliable.

Not practical unless you investigate each case forensically. And you'd need to investigate a reasonably large sample of deaths not attributed to covid to complete the picture.
 
Interesting article on the subject of face masks and breathing. I wonder if the NHS or the WHO will produce a benefit & risk analysis like this one. It would seem unwise to issue advice without doing so in my humble opinion.


Read the detailed COVID-19-related response by the authors of ref 27. Wearing masks reduces the risk of infection, albeit to different rates, with N95 masks offering best protection, followed by surgical masks, then cloth mask offering the least protection. Also, some other interesting critical comments regarding the relevance of these trials to COVID-19.


EDIT: PrimaryDoctor.org is a website promoting Naturopathic Medicine, and the author is an NMD (not MD). Their other articles include 'Lockdowns - Locked states had worse results than free states', 'Free states maintain survival advantage', and 'Lockdowns failed to reduce deaths in US'. So it's clear what their agenda is. I think we can safely assume that their 'summary' of previous research on mask wearing is suitability biased... as per my example above - if you drill-down into the references you find that the actual articles don't always say what the 'summary' claims they say.
 
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Read the detailed COVID-19-related response by the authors of ref 27. Wearing masks reduces the risk of infection, albeit to different rates, with N95 masks offering best protection, followed by surgical masks, then cloth mask offering the least protection. Also, some other interesting critical comments regarding the relevance of these trials to COVID-19.


????

What am I missing? I took a look at that and it's about masks in a healthcare environment.
 
????

What am I missing? I took a look at that and it's about masks in a healthcare environment.

Yes. It's about the effectiveness of masks for healthcare workers. Anyway, it's a moot point now, because I read the article and went through the reference before I realised who is behind this website - see my 'EDIT'. I wouldn't have bothered if I knew beforehand.
 
Yes. It's about the effectiveness of masks for healthcare workers. Anyway, it's a moot point now, because I read the article and went through the reference before I realised who is behind this website - see my 'EDIT'. I wouldn't have bothered if I knew beforehand.
The author of this article references 42 studies from well respected established sources.

You could of course just look on the BBC reality check website and they will provide a different view with no referenced evidence at all. Your choice.

 
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TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE. The effectiveness of face masks may well depend on a sort of placebo effect medicine, and if anyone knows about placebo medicine its naturopaths!
Having almost paralysed the populace into social distancing by fear [ a necessary and what turned out to be an effective move imho] the government is now trying to rebalance the mindset slightly by perhaps over emphasising the protection wearing a face mask may convey to the wearer. That's not to say wearing a decent quality correctly positioned face mask won't afford a measure of protection-it will- but that may not the primary purpose for their introduction/adoption ---which may be psychological rather than physical and whose motivation may have a socio-economic element rather than a purely medical one?
 
The author of this article references 42 studies from well respected established sources.

You could of course just look on the BBC reality check website and they will provide a different view with no referenced evidence at all. Your choice.


Given the website's and the author's credentials, you should take anything they say with a grain of salt.

Firstly, being openly anti-lockdown and anti-mask and anti-vaxxees, you have to wonder if what they did wasn't simply pick-and-choose those studies that seem to confirm their own agenda, while ignoring all others. So I would be very careful in assuming that the list of studies they refer to in their article is either exhaustive or representative.

Then, when you look at the actual references, you often get a very different picture to the summary they provided.

It would be too time consuming to list the discrepancies for each articles they reference, but the typical examples are:

- Studies that actually found that masks are effective, in spite of what the summary on the website said.

- Studies that were carried-out before coronavirus, and to which the original authors added a recent disclaimer: 'Not applicable to SARS-CoV-2'.

- Studies that were carried-out on viruses in atomized environment, while Coronavirus (as far as we know) travels mostly in large droplets and only in rare circumstances gets atomized.

- Studies that were carried-out specifically in Healthcare environment, which is very different to wearing a mask in public.

- Studies that refer to contamination of the exterior of the mask, which is more relevant to bacteria that continues to propagate on its own, as opposed to viruses which tend to do the opposite e.g. die-out over time as they lack the mechanism to reproduce outside of a host.

- Studies that were criticised for using 0.3 micron virus with chemical carriers that do not represent how coronavirus travels wrapped in fatty layers.

None of the above are mentioned in the clearly-biased summary, although they are all available if you read the actual articles on the references.

There's more... but it's pointless going through them one by one, because it's like going over the Pravda news from the USSR and pointing-out the fallacy of each news bulletin one by one.... time consuming and pointless.

As for the BBC... yes, they are at it as well, but two wrongs don't make a right.

The short answer is that PrimaryDoctor.org is a site with a clear agenda, strong bias, and very thin on impartial facts. Best ignored.
 
but that may not the primary purpose for their introduction/adoption ---which may be psychological rather than physical and whose motivation may have a socio-economic element rather than a purely medical one?
I'm sure you're correct that the perceived benefit of giving people confidence to get out and about is the greater element and the motivation for making face coverings (nb: not masks) mandatory. And an element of that is media "pester power" of the form, "other countries are doing it, we must too".

Personally, I have mixed feelings on this. While I will comply with the law, I'm unconvinced that there will be an overall infection control benefit, not least because of the practicalities of people untrained in infection mitigation procedures using them and disposing / storing them.
 
Yes, it does seem the COVID-19 has been brought under control... for now, at least. Let's hope the trend continues.
 
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I'll bet that the people dying of flu [viral] and pneumococcal [bacterial] infections are a "catch all " category of people dying of respiratory distress--- that didn't test positive for covid-19. = a negative diagnosis ! no mention of the division of numbers between flu and pneumo either . What would be of interest would be how many of those dying of flu or pneumo were vaccinated as vaccines exist for both making them potentially survivable ----unlike covid 19 up to now
 
Maybe the government should have told us we should wear a mask in shops to prevent the spread of flu.

Both the young & old are susceptible to flu & subsequent pneumonia remember. Flu deaths matter.

It's all about finding the right balance.

According to what we know so far, SARS-CoV-2 is far more infectuous than the Flu.
The R0 for SARS-CoV-2 is anything between 2.0 and 6.6, compared to 1.3 for seasonal Flu. And, being exponential, even a low R0 of just 2 is still significantly higher than 1.3.

The mortality rate is also higher:
I appreciate that COVID-19 mortality has proven to be an illusive metric, and so the suggested '7 times higher' is quite speculative, but even-so the majority of research into COVID-19 mortality rates so far suggest that it is considerably higher than flu.

So.... what have we got? A virus that is far more infectious than Flu, and far more deadly. Time to put-on the masks... not complicated. Conspiracy theories not required.

PS - As an aside... there are valid arguments both in favour and against lockdown/masks/distancing etc. But what I find is that a considerable proportion of the anti-lockdown/masks/distancing arguments are not made in good faith, when those promoting them seem to be bending-over-backwards trying to find 'scientific' evidence to support their hidden agenda (personal freedoms / oppression by the sate / save the economy etc etc), instead of airing their views outright and explaining the real reasons why they oppose the proposed measures. This behaviour isn't helpful, because it contaminates the public discussion with pseudo-science and with false facts. *Present company excluded, of course*.
 
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