June 30, 2020

Message To Wendy Bell (Who's Sowing Doubt About The Science And That's Gonna Get Some People Sick)

Yesterday, KDKA Radio's Wendy Bell ranted about "the virtue signaling of mask-Nazis" saying:
By the way, the science about masks sucks because no body knows and no body can prove anything about these particulates, right?\
Um, no. Wendy is incorrect here. And the more her audience believes her the greater the chance they'll get sick. There's even some science to back that last statement up:
An April study about the effects of coronavirus media coverage analyzed two popular Fox News cable programs — and claims how one host talked about the threat of the coronavirus resulted in greater numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
The paper says viewership of Hannity relative to Carlson is associated with approximately 30% more COVID-19 cases by March 14, and 21% more COVID-19 deaths by March 28.
But let's look at the science that Wendy Bell says "sucks" shall we?

Two experts from Stanford University answer the question, "How do cloth face coverings prevent the spread of COVID-19?
[Larry Chu, MD, a professor of anesthesia and director of the Anesthesia Informatics and Media Laboratory]: In order to answer this, it’s first important to understand the concept of source control. We’ve learned that as many as 40% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 may have no symptoms. But when they talk, cough or sneeze, they can still spread the virus to others in the form of respiratory droplets expelled into the air. Those droplets evaporate into fine particles that may linger. The mask traps these larger droplets before they can evaporate. So, wearing a mask regularly can prevent spreading at the source even when we don’t know we are sick. But masks are just one important way to prevent this disease from spreading. Washing your hands regularly and thoroughly and keeping at least 6 feet apart from one another are still vitally important.

[Amy Price, PhD, a senior research scientist at Stanford’s AIM Laboratory]: Many people argue that cloth masks can’t be effective because they can’t filter out viral particles, which are extremely tiny. But, as Larry explained, most of these particles leave the mouth and nose in much larger droplets that become smaller through evaporation as they move away from the body. Trapping droplets with the mask means not nearly as many viral particles escape. So, when all parties in a gathering are wearing well-constructed, well-fitting masks, it provides an extra layer of safety for everyone. If two people are wearing masks, the viral particles can travel about 5 feet away from each individual. When an infected person is not wearing a mask, those particles can float through the air 30 feet or more and stay alive for up to 30 hours.
Then there's some actual science (as opposed to two scientists answering questions about the science).

Here's the abstract from a literature review:
The science around the use of masks by the general public to impedeCOVID-19 transmission is advancing rapidly. Policymakers need guidance on how masks should be used by the general population to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we synthesize the relevant literature to inform multiple areas: 1) transmission characteristics ofCOVID-19, 2) filtering characteristics and efficacy of masks, 3) estimated population impacts of widespread community mask use, and4) sociological considerations for policies concerning mask-wearing.A primary route of transmission of COVID-19 is likely via small respiratory droplets, and is known to be transmissible from presymptomatic and asymptomatic individuals. Reducing disease spread requires two things: first, limit contacts of infected individuals via physical distancing and contact tracing with appropriate quarantine,and second, reduce the transmission probability per contact by wearing masks in public, among other measures. The preponderance of evidence indicates that mask wearing reduces the transmissibility per contact by reducing transmission of infected droplets in both laboratory and clinical contexts. Public mask wearing is most effective at stopping spread of the virus when compliance is high. The decreased transmissibility could substantially reduce the death toll and economic impact while the cost of the intervention is low. Thus were commend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation. [Emphasis  added.]
Are you paying attention, Wendy?

The science is there and it does not "suck."

The more people in your audience that believe you, the more they are at risk.

Is that OK with you?