Health or Revenue – coalition of the self interested

From the AFR:

The NSW government made masks compulsory over the weekend following pressure from medical experts and the state opposition.

Yes.  That’s quality policy making.  “Experts” and the NSW opposition.  And who are the experts?  Norman Swan?  Tim Flannery?  Noam Chomsky?  Gretta Thunberg?  Neil Ferguson?  Evidence of the effectiveness of masks?  Who knows.  But it was the NSW opposition that was the final straw.

But demonstrating that NSW does share a border with Victoria:

$200 for not wearing a mask: business groups and shoppers are fine with that

By the way, according to the World Health Organisation:

Medical masks are recommended for:

  • Health workers in clinical settings. See our guidance for more information on the use of personal protective equipment by health care workers.
  • Anyone who is feeling unwell, including people with mild symptoms, such as muscle aches, slight cough, sore throat or fatigue.
  • Anyone awaiting COVID-19 test results or who has tested positive.
  • People caring for someone who is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 outside of health facilities.

Medical masks are also recommended for the following groups, because they are at a higher risk of becoming seriously ill with COVID-19 and dying:

          • People aged 60 or over.
          • People of any age with underlying health conditions, including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, cancer, obesity, immunocompromised patients and diabetes mellitus.

and

When should masks be worn by the general public?

In areas where the virus is circulating, masks should be worn when you’re in crowded settings, where you can’t be at least 1 metre from others, and in rooms with poor or unknown ventilation. It’s not always easy to determine the quality of ventilation, which depends on the rate of air change, recirculation and outdoor fresh air. So if you have any doubts, it’s safer to simply wear a mask.

You should always clean your hands before and after using a mask, and before touching it while wearing it.

While wearing a mask, you should still keep physical distance from others as much as possible. Wearing a mask does not mean you can have close contact with people.

For indoor public settings such as busy shopping centres, religious buildings, restaurants, schools and public transport, you should wear a mask if you cannot maintain physical distance from others.

If a visitor comes to your home who is not a member of the household, wear a mask if you cannot maintain a physical distance or the ventilation is poor.

When outside, wear a mask if you cannot maintain physical distance from others. Some examples are busy markets, crowded streets and bus stops.

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106 Responses to Health or Revenue – coalition of the self interested

  1. Gerard says:

    Dr Fauci and others conducted a study of the 1918 flu epidemic and concluded that the vast majority of victims died, not of the flu, but of pneumonia and similar lung infections brought about by the wearing of face masks.
    He has changed his position on the wearing of masks several times.

  2. John Bayley says:

    Masks. Don’t. Work.

    In fact, they are likely to make healthy people sick.

    We have ~40 years+ of evidence.

    When are we going to start hanging these ‘experts’ from lamp posts?

  3. Delta says:

    Revenue – masks don’t work.

    John Bayley #3707620 – When are we going to start hanging these ‘experts’ from lamp posts?

    I wish.

  4. mundi says:

    Remember when everyone was saying VIC idiocy would never happen in NSW because they have a liberal in charge…. LMAO.

  5. Bh says:

    Don’t get me started on the subject of masks! I have to lipread, and have encountered so many, many issues, E.g. shop assistants refusing to pull down their masks when talking to me, assistants who fail to get my attention when my order is ready despite my specifically requesting they do so, fast food restaurants which fail to fix faulty order number progress screens, passersby who shout abuse when my husband pulls down his mask to talk to me, random people in the street who stop me to ask a question or tell me something and then walk off in a huff when I don’t answer/react as they expect. And now that masks are compulsory once more, I’ve got to put up with all that rot again!

  6. stackja says:

    SCUBA next?

  7. covid ate my homework says:

    Bh – after so many months of this madness I’d not even considered the addition challenge this presents to people in your position. Best wishes.

  8. Peter Smith says:

    I was in church this morning. Just a guess but I bet I was the only one who found the new rule insufferable. Certainly, I was out of step with the three or four people who I spoke to about it. Nor could I detect anyone allowing the mask to slip below his or her nose, as I did, to make the experience more bearable. So, really, Gladys can bring in any rules she likes. People on the whole will not only comply but will be happy to; grateful even for being kept safer. It’s scary. But that’s the world we live in and we better get used to it because no end is in sight, vaccine or no vaccine.

  9. Daily llama says:

    With all due respect, TAFKAS, I think you’re being a bit flippant. We have laws for a reason. My particular query is- if I was subject to a home invasion by a mask-wearing ax murderer whilst I (no doubt in too much emotional ferment to quickly ring perhaps one of the signatories to the letter inviting Hugo Chavez to Australia, who would all of course be covid experts as well as knowing great ways to cook guinea pigs) was indeed facially unclad, would I be arrested?

  10. covid ate my homework says:

    Ok Penny, so either the masks or Rona are bullshit, my guess is they’re both bullshit.

  11. Alex Davidson says:

    Where is this going to end? Almost daily the list of activities we are free to choose from dwindles under a socialistic onslaught.

    I keep hearing people trivialising the issue – it’s only a mask – but all that does is remind me that we should oppose any reduction in our freedom, no matter how trivial, otherwise gradualism wins again, just as the Fabians prescribed.

    Restriction by restriction, we have lost our freedom. From being forced to fit water tempering valves to our hot water systems; erect pool fences; build our houses to all sorts of ‘standards’ imposed on us by bureaucrats; use land only for government-dictated purposes; fit smoke alarms; wear helmets while riding bicycles; submit to random breath and drug testing; stay within state borders; not leave the country; stay at home; only erect signage approved by our overlords; wear masks; submit to government surveillance of our movements and financial transactions; and so on, into the thousands: we are now unarguably living in a centrally-planned, socialist nirvana.

    Another word in the national anthem needs changing. We are no longer ‘young and free’, not even ‘one and free’, but powerless subjects of an out-of-control state, and unless something changes, a very bleak future awaits us all.

  12. covid ate my homework says:

    Llama, Id arrest your for perverting the course of humour, what is going through that head of yours?

  13. Dusty says:

    >Shoppers are fine with that
    Manufactured consent. They might not have even asked anyone, just plain made it up. They need you to wear the mask in any way, shape, or form.

  14. covid ate my homework says:

    Another word in the national anthem needs changing. We are no longer ‘young and free’, not even ‘one and free’, but powerless subjects of an out-of-control state, and unless something changes, a very bleak future awaits us all.

    A livestock of the Government, by the Government and for the Government.

    Hold onto your anger, you’re gonna need it!

  15. hzhousewife says:

    Bh, can you not carry a small notepad and pen? My neighbour’s only job in retail serves the public and she has co-morbidities, serving people risks her life, and customers are not aware of the danger they can put her in. Pulling down her mask is not a choice she wants to make, she doesn’t know where you have been or come from. Please try to think of both sides of the coin, some of the people at the checkout are desperate to keep their jobs too.
    If you could let others know that you can only lipread, we could all accomodate you. Can you read and write?

  16. Rockdoctor says:

    Dusty I’d even question that but it was from Fairfax so predictable. Problem in 3 years the anger will have subsided and she will weaseled her way out of her ICAC issues.

    And even if you don’t consent you will probably be dealing with some rent a cop itching for confrontation if you don’t leave. Certainly be interesting in places like Liverpool, Campbelltown, Mt Druitt or Blacktown…

  17. covid ate my homework says:

    If you could let others know that you can only lipread, we could all accomodate you. Can you read and write?

    Can you read and write?

    WTF? Are you crazy? You just read her comment and you ask if she can read or write? You idiot. You’re ability to read and write is in question here.

  18. Daily llama says:

    Um…beef vindaloo right now, Covid.
    Mask is displaying whisps of smoke

  19. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    The NSW government made masks compulsory over the weekend following pressure from medical experts

    Thus they prove they’re not medical experts.

    Major Study Finds Masks Don’t Reduce COVID-19 Infection Rates (18 Nov)

    The virus is 0.1 μm in size and the very best masks, which are almost impossible to actually breath through, have pores 25 times the size of the virus. May as make all of Sydney wear magic amulets.

  20. covid ate my homework says:

    What barbecued Vindaloo, that’s a new concept. Which mask? You have so many. Be sure to wash that Loo down with a good Chianti. FFFFFrt!

  21. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Mask do have application in reducing bacterial pneumonia, which can coinfect Covid-19 infected people, but bacteria are much much bigger than viruses.

    I am irritated that these people keep going on about science when they themselves are bastardizing science into mysticism. Better off speeding up vaccine roll out.

  22. duncanm says:

    The acid test for the NSW government approaches.

    There’s already been an anti-mask protest in Bondi.

    Will they bring out the jack boot reinforcers ala. Vic? Or will they be more sensible about it?

  23. Penny says:

    COVID ate my homework
    What are you talking about?

  24. Damon says:

    Watch the politicians. They’re always touching them, taking them off to speak; they’re about as clean as a dirty handkerchief. And the public are even worse. Whatever ‘protection’ masks may confer under laboratory conditions disappears when the item in question is hauled out from a coat pocket (watch Uncle Joe’s performances). Nothing but symbolism-politicians demonstrating that they are ‘doing’ something.

  25. Bh says:

    Covid ate my homework #3707674

    Thank you, much appreciated!

  26. Matt says:

    The virus is 0.1 μm in size and the very best masks, which are almost impossible to actually breath through, have pores 25 times the size of the virus.

    Which would be fine if the virus particles weren’t suspended in aerosol droplets that are much bigger than the virus particles, and if a mask was just a single layer with pores in it. But since the virus is suspended in aerosols, and masks are a network of fibres, and flow dynamics and static charge also have an influence, that statement is pretty meaningless.

  27. Daily llama says:

    Forget about it, Penny. He’s just jealous he doesn’t have beef vindaloo.
    I too wish I didn’t. It’s like eating molten lava. Especially through a straw (non disposable, of course), in order to be Covid and ax murdering marauder safe

  28. Gavin R Putland says:

    Speaking of revenue, it has belatedly come to my notice that the Victorian Government has settled a $2.9M case rather than allow the constitutionality of Motor Vehicle Duty to be tested in the High Court:

    https://premium.goauto.com.au/court-win-for-2-9m-stamp-duty-charge/ .

    In dispute was the application of the duty to the value added by modification of the vehicle. But if the plaintiffs had prevailed on that point, then, by the same reasoning, the entire duty as applied to new vehicles would be an unconstitutional duty of excise.

  29. sabena says:

    I am reading a history of the East German airline Interflug.
    It records that flight and cabin crew had to be specially vetted to fly to destinations in NSW.
    “NSW” however did not stand for “New South Wales”,but for “nicht sozialistischer wirtschaftsraum” or non socialist economic area.
    How times have changed!

  30. Albatross says:

    Where have the self-righteous Welshman telling us how great is Gladys and woeful is Victoria gone?

  31. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Which would be fine if the virus particles weren’t suspended in aerosol droplets that are much bigger than the virus particles

    Matt – An aerosol is a droplet of water. It will dry out nearly instantly. If it is on a mask fibre that will liberate the virus for the next breath to mobilize. Furthermore if you’ve actually worn a mask you will have noted that most of the exhaled air goes straight up past the sides of your nose, because of the positive pressure. So they don’t strain out viruses if you are infected and they won’t stop non existant aerosols from other people which have nearly instantly dried out.

    I am aware of the physics and chemistry, the latter is my profession. I’ve had to wear masks for a lot of my working lifetime.

    When the medical scientists can convince me that you can stop mosquitoes with chicken wire, which is roughly what they’re trying to do here with Covid and PM2.5 masks, then I may change my view. But I have seen no such attempts to explain the mechanism, while on the other side of the argument the Danish study shows they empirically don’t do anything. Which is what you would expect from simple logic and reasoning.

    The Israelis have done stuff like produce activated carbon masks, which would have a chance in your scenario, but the common blue surgical ones are totally useless.

  32. Neil says:

    Went of Officeworks yesterday to purchase my first mask. All the cheap stuff was gone but i was “”lucky”” and got the last box of 50 masks going for $20. If i did not get that box the next cheapest was a box for $50.

  33. Albatross says:

    Matt
    #3707844, posted on January 3, 2021 at 7:10 pm

    You are boring.

  34. Matt says:

    Bruce – if you’ve worn a mask for a period of time you’ll know that they actually become damp – so the aerosols won’t dry out immediately.
    The better analogy would be multiple layers of chicken wire randomly arranged so that the holes don’t overlap.
    And the Danish study didn’t conclude that masks don’t work.

  35. Roger says:

    And who are the experts? Norman Swan? Tim Flannery? Noam Chomsky? Gretta Thunberg? Neil Ferguson? Evidence of the effectiveness of masks? Who knows.

    I believe it was the AMA.

    Prog-Left GPs, mainly.

  36. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    And the Danish study didn’t conclude that masks don’t work.

    It showed no significant difference in infection between the cohort wearing masks and the cohort not wearing masks. And if there was a non statistically significant difference it was in the opposite direction – I can hypothesize why that might be the case, but the difference was small.

    The best approach is stay away from other people and stay outside, since we know UVB is very good at killing the virus. And use sanitizer to kill the virus on surfaces you touch.

    The mask rules are so stupid that they risk discrediting the medical profession in this case, which is a very bad thing. They should think about such issues before knee-jerk prohibitions that aren’t supported by reason.

  37. stackja says:

    Bh – Disability discrimination laws?

  38. Matt says:

    One of the problems with the Danish study was that it was not sufficiently powered to test their hypothesis of a 50% reduction. And agree that distancing and being outdoors are both important.

  39. Squirrel says:

    At the risk of giving the NSW govt. much more credit than it is due, it may just be that they have deliberately been holding off on the “mask mandate” as a sop to the “experts” who are everywhere in the media calling for mask-wearing, but seem to be less unanimous on other aspects of the NSW response – there may actually be a divide and rule (the experts) strategy at work here by Gladys and co.

  40. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    One of the problems with Gladys’ edict is that no one has shown masks work at all.
    Whereas there is plenty of evidence that they don’t, both from the Danish study, first principles argument and logic.

    I can argue about this all day, but unless I see data I am not going to change my view. It isn’t helped that this is so politicized by the Left either. That immediately raises suspicions.

  41. Old Lefty says:

    As I understand it, the research shows that masks are more effective at stopping infected people from passing the virus to others than in stopping uninfected people from picking it up from others.

  42. Tel says:

    Which would be fine if the virus particles weren’t suspended in aerosol droplets that are much bigger than the virus particles, and if a mask was just a single layer with pores in it. But since the virus is suspended in aerosols, and masks are a network of fibres, and flow dynamics and static charge also have an influence, that statement is pretty meaningless.

    The GOOD masks are a network of fibers, and there is extensive testing to demonstrate that an N95 mask, when worn properly, and not used over and over, and not used for too long a time, can trap particles of 0.1 μm. There’s plenty of test results out there, they test using file salt particles.

    However, it’s hard to buy N95 masks, and people do wear them over and over, and instead they wear underpants masks made of knitted Lycra with extremely large holes that are just a single layer … and they generally lack a nose clip as well. That’s why the studies in a controlled lab show masks working, while the studies of actual cities (especially in the USA) show them not working.

  43. Old Lefty says:

    Hence the more nuanced guidance from the WHO, compared to our local lockdown Stalinists.

    The requirement at the height of the Andrews lockdown to wear a mask when walking on your own in the park was never anything more than theatre.

  44. Tel says:

    I can argue about this all day, but unless I see data I am not going to change my view.

    If you are interested in that actual particle filtering capabilities of various materials and masks, as tested against manufacturer specifications … there are plenty of articles out there. The reason N95 masks are given that label is because they do collect 95% of particles.

  45. Tel says:

    It showed no significant difference in infection between the cohort wearing masks and the cohort not wearing masks. And if there was a non statistically significant difference it was in the opposite direction – I can hypothesize why that might be the case, but the difference was small.

    There never was a wave of COVID deaths in Denmark, even while other countries (UK, Belgium, Italy, Spain, etc) were getting hammered. No one has any idea why it ended up that way, but if you search “Euromomo” there are plenty of charts demonstrating.

    In a nutshell, they really do not know what’s going on at street level, and they absolutely won’t admit it.

  46. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Tel – I’ve read up on some stuff on the N95 data. I believe the peak collection is at 0.3 μm, which is very good indeed, but I would be extremely sceptical of the test replicating real-world usage.

    We were forced into using Racal-style helmets in our industry to reduce blood lead levels. Nothing else worked.

  47. Pedro the Loafer says:

    Where is this going to end? Almost daily the list of activities we are free to choose from dwindles under a socialistic onslaught.

    Alex Davidson at 6.00pm.
    I fully concur, Alex.

    I have forgotten where this quote came from, (some Soviet bigwig, I think) but it goes something like this; “Cut off a slice of salami and eat it. The peasants are not going to fight over a mere slice of salami. Continue slice by slice until there is nothing left but the string and nobody is going to fight over that either”.

    We are losing our freedoms, slice by slice.

  48. EllenG says:

    I know it’s pointless to suggest objective thinking but some here might like to keep an eye on Indonesia. Bed occupancy in hospitals in the main centres including jakarta is over 85%. Typical testing rates show 22% positive. Which would indicate that we live next to a very serious epidemic.

  49. Leo G says:

    The reason N95 masks are given that label is because they do collect 95% of particles.

    An N95 filter rating implies the filter medium will remove 95% of particles in a size range centered on 1 micron (ie between 0.3 micrometre and 3 micron). The CoViD virion long diameter ranges between 0.06 and 0.14 micrometer.
    More than 95% of CoViD virions would pass through an N95 mask.
    Such a mask offers limited protection from virions contained within droplets where the droplets are larger than 0.3 micrometre- but only while the virion remains entrained in the droplet that has been captured by the filter medium.
    The recommendation for use of an N95 mask is that it should only be used once if the target filtrate is likely to occur as an aerosol, and should be promptly replaced after such an exposure.
    A problem with general use indoors as CoViD protection is that the wearer is not likely to be aware of a CoViD exposure event in real time.
    If the wearer is a symptomatic CoViD carrier, then their mask is a fomites and also will be a continuous source of virion aerosols.

  50. Diogenes says:

    Double demerits finish at midnight, enforcement of masks starts at midnight. Coincide?

  51. Perfidious Albino says:

    What are the typical bed occupancy rates in Jakarta though? What form of Covid test are the Indonesians using?

  52. Tel says:

    The CoViD virion long diameter ranges between 0.06 and 0.14 micrometer.
    More than 95% of CoViD virions would pass through an N95 mask.

    Only if every viron was able to step aside from other virons and the droplets containing them and fly alone … which of course they cannot.

    Humans don’t exhale pure water … it contains salt, and a mix of sticky proteins, and the water will somewhat evaporate off but how much depends on local air humidity. Eventually the salt concentration holds the micro particle together … using a synthetic equivalent formula this was measured at a spread from 1.9 µm up to 10 µm depending on air humidity in the room (dry air makes smaller particles). It’s exactly what the N95 is intended to filter. See Table 2 and this article.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6364647/

    There are a lot of provisos, in as much as the virus accumulates in the mask and some does get through and the mask has a usage time limit after which you are supposed to throw it away. It’s not perfect protection but if anything it reduces the dose.

    There’s some additional interesting information that in a high humidity environment, the large particles that come along are more likely to lodge in the nasal cavity and sinus, while the smaller particles that you get in a dry environment are more likely to go right into your lungs. Typically people how get COVID in the head are more likely to lose sense of smell, but also less likely to end up dead. Thus high humidity environments are safer because they produce larger particles … which also happen to be easier to filter.

  53. MatrixTransform says:

    hospital admissions for Victorian covid patients as of right now … zero

    very serious disease we have here

  54. Tel says:

    We were forced into using Racal-style helmets in our industry to reduce blood lead levels. Nothing else worked.

    I did a quick search on that, and Lead fumes (from welding at least) tend to be several orders of magnitude smaller than COVID particles, even ignoring the question of droplet size.

    https://www.osha.gov/laws-regs/standardinterpretations/1995-03-22-5

    Welding operations produces copious quantities of very small-sized fume particles. For lead, the fume particle size has been reported to range from 0.0001 to 1.0 micrometers. These small size particles will remain in the air for long periods of time. The fume particles that are not captured by local exhaust systems will disperse and eventually settle out on the workplace’s surfaces.

    If that’s correct then these are astoundingly small particles, and I’m not surprised you can’t filter them. Unless perhaps that’s a misprint and the first number is millimeters?!?

  55. candy says:

    Masks are good for people visiting nursing homes and certain medical settings. It is reassuring and kind and probably helps in protection.

    After that I am not sure people are washing their hands regularly even now. Washing hands may be much more important than masks because your hands simply touch everything – public transport, shopping centres, glasses, cups, food, money, your own face, petrol bowser, elevators, keyboards, phones. Good personal hygiene has always been important.

  56. Tel says:

    Hmmm, this is water filters, but he rates Lead as still smaller than 1 µm, but for some reason claims the dust is larger. I think it must depend greatly on the process and circumstance.

    https://www.portablewaterfilters.org/water-filter-guide/particle-contaminant-size-chart-microns/

  57. a reader says:

    So our esteemed leader said it was good for “mental health” yesterday. In what way? So angry Karens feel good shouting at people? So people that can’t wear one feel pressured to put their health at risk? So Jodie McKay can find a reason to not return to news reading?

    I want to know when the mandate ends. What standard has the government set? Or are we forced into Glady’s Freedom Muzzles forever? I asked my local yesterday what part of libertarianism does she or the party believe in. Still crickets

  58. Leo G says:

    For lead, the fume particle size has been reported to range from 0.0001 to 1.0 micrometers.

    A particle size of 0.0001 micrometre is less than the atomic radius of lead.

  59. RobK says:

    In my younger days I was involved in workplace ventilation. Two things that spring to mind from this time:
    a) masks don’t work at all if you have a beard.
    b)the slight resistance and small amount of added dead volume breathed means you draw particles deeper for a given exertion .
    As mentioned accurately wearing a mask is paramount if the mask has the ability to capture the contaminant.
    Is the government going to mandate shaving of beards? Could be interesting.

  60. max says:

    Dr Vernon Coleman:

    Wearing a mask for long periods could cause pulmonary fibrosis.
    wearing a surgical mask causes breathlessness.
    face masks are a wonderful breeding ground for bacteria and fungi.
    Some face masks may have pores five thousand times larger than virus particles.
    There is evidence showing that mask wearing reduces blood oxygen levels even when the wearer is standing still. Individuals who exercise are likely to sweat. Masks then become damp more quickly and the damp promotes the growth of microorganisms.
    There is a risk that viruses may accumulate in the fabric of a mask – thereby increasing the amount of the virus being inhaled.
    A mask can reduce blood oxygenation by up to 20%
    N95 masks are made with a 0.3 micron filter. The name comes from the fact that 95% of particles having a diameter of 0.3 microns are filtered by the mask. Unfortunately, coronaviruses are approximately 0.125 microns in diameter.
    Mask wearers are more likely to develop infection than non-mask wearers. This may be due to the fact that masks reduce blood oxygen levels and adversely affect natural immunity. It is likely that anyone who wears a face mask for long periods will have a damaged immune system – and be more susceptible to infection.
    Masks can cause hypercapnia (increased carbon dioxide). Symptoms of hypercapnia include drowsiness, dizziness and fatigue.

  61. max says:

    unfortunately we are run by socialist morons and this small number of people protesting show it

    Video was posted to social media showing about 50 people walking through Bondi Junction Westfield on Sunday afternoon beating drums and singing loudly through microphones without wearing masks.

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/antimask-protesters-march-through-sydney-westfield-080106038.html

  62. Captain Katzenjammer says:

    Where can I buy a mask that looks like a proper mask, but with fabric and weave holes large enough to not breathe my own clammy breath, and not fog my glasses. I want a clayton’s mask that looks acceptible to the virtue signalling fearmongers, but one I hardly note is on my own face. There must be a market for this style.

  63. Leo G says:

    Only if every viron was able to step aside from other virons and the droplets containing them and fly alone … which of course they cannot.

    Influenza virions normally cluster in human exhalations, unlike coronavirus virions. Particles emitted in human exhalations are measured by optical particle counters. The is a quite a lot of published test results on the subject. The preponderance of particles are in a size range around 1 micrometre.

  64. Thaddeus says:

    Masks made out of prayer flags, for all the good it does.

    Wear your face nappy you betas/gammas etc

  65. covid ate my homework says:

    Sorry Penny, bad post. I was agreeing with you as always.

  66. Bad Samaritan says:

    OK, so 99% of Cats, and all other reasonable people, know that masks don’t prevent transmission of viruses…..and hope to convince unreasonable people of this reality by commenting on the Cat. Hmmm

    Here is Stephen Conroy, minister for communications when NBN contracts were being tendered in 2012….explaining why your hopes are forlorn..

    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/senators-red-undie-remarks-fall-flat-in-new-york-20120928-26pqt.html…..

    ‘Senator Conroy told the conference: “The regulation of telecommunications powers in Australia is exclusively federal. That means I am in charge of spectrum auctions, and if I say to everyone in this room ‘if you want to bid in our spectrum auction you’d better wear red underpants on your head’, I’ve got some news for you. You’ll be wearing them on your head . I have unfettered legal power.

    The arseholes attracted to ‘public service”, be they as leaders or underlings are almost all of the Conroy ilk.

    What next?

  67. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    If that’s correct then these are astoundingly small particles, and I’m not surprised you can’t filter them.

    Tel – The racal helmets we had are still filtering helmets with a forced-draught fan and a filter. They worked well to reduce blood lead levels whereas ordinary masks and respirators didn’t. It’s notable that facial hair was banned on site too, to enforce better respirator seal on the face. The helmets cost a thousand bucks each back then, which is thirty years ago, but they got the job done.

    I think one of the key aspects is the fan ensured one way air passage through the filter medium, rather than the pulsation you get with a face mask. Jiggling the filtered particles back and forth would cause the smaller ones to work their way through. The filters could then be changed each shift.

  68. Albatross says:

    Matt
    #3707900, posted on January 3, 2021 at 7:51 pm
    One of the problems with the Danish study was that it was not sufficiently powered to test their hypothesis of a 50% reduction.

    Now this fuckwit is LARPing as a statistician. Jesus wept.

  69. Mak Siccar says:

    This article was sent to me by a medical mate.

    https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/10.7326/M20-6817

    very broad confidence levels and not as described in the federalist, sad how stats are abused….the study is not great on many levels so perhaps is unhelpful either way.

    The critical number is the background risk of infection, if very low it would take massive numbers to prove that masks either did have an effect or none. As the background numbers rise it requires less numbers in the study. The NHMRC demands the maths of the number required in the study to demonstrate a statistically significant outcome from the start. There is no point doing the study if the number is too low from the outset.

  70. gavalanche says:

    fines are illegal
    just collect them and use them as toilet paper when it runs out

  71. Bad Samaritan says:

    gavalanche. Please explain.

  72. John Sheldrick (John Knee Rotten) says:

    According to the NSW Government Website, you do not have to wear a Face Mask if you have trouble breathing when wearing one…………..AND, there is NO reference anywhere to you having to get a Medical Statement of any kind as to your situation………………So, at 68 years old, this will be my position when asked by the Police as to why I am not wearing a Face Mask……………………..

  73. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    This article was sent to me by a medical mate.

    The usual suspects are howling with outrage about the Danish study and doing frenetic “fact-checks” and etc. I believe either Twitter or FB were taking down posts linking it.

    Which is interesting.

    Results:
    A total of 3030 participants were randomly assigned to the recommendation to wear masks, and 2994 were assigned to control; 4862 completed the study. Infection with SARS-CoV-2 occurred in 42 participants recommended masks (1.8%) and 53 control participants (2.1%).

    Getting more than 4862 participants and monitoring them for long enough would be difficult, especially now with other controls in place. So this is about as good as it gets. And the data shows that masks don’t work significantly.

    When the authorities do a study with a statistically significant cohort of volunteers which shows they work then they can force the entire population to wear the wretched things. But no the data available does not say that is morally acceptable.

  74. bollux says:

    The link of the study that Penny cited concluded:
    “The foregoing data show that masks serve more as instruments of obstruction of normal breathing, rather than as effective barriers to pathogens. Therefore, masks should not be used by the general public, either by adults or children, and their limitations as prophylaxis against pathogens should also be considered in medical settings.”

  75. John Dee says:

    N95 mask protection (best case- meaning new condition, properly fitted….. 0.3 microns
    Corona virus size measured by electron microscope varies in size from…….. 0.06 microns – 0.14 microns
    Q.E.D.

    p.s. Do your own research…I am not your bloody clerk.
    The information is readily available from the actual manufacturer of the mask and official government sites.
    Wait…there is more….
    6 deaths allegedly from corona virus in Queensland since Feb 2019 from a population of 5.17 million.

  76. Matt says:

    QED

    Except that as has been previously pointed out, the virus doesn’t get around by itself – aerosols are bigger than the 0.14 micron virus

  77. John Bayley says:

    I honestly don’t know why anyone, especially here at the Cat, would even still bother with the technical arguments about the effectiveness, or rather otherwise, of masks.

    A few posts ago I submitted a contribution with easy-to-find links to studies conclusively showing that masks do NOT work even in clinical setting, let alone for the general public.

    Even without that though, all you need to look at is recent evidence in infection and fatality rates between countries where masks have been mandatory for several months now, often accompanied with hard lock downs, and those where they have not.

    Here is a wonderful example – again, easy to find more information on, if you are so inclined.

    Belarus and the Czech Republic are quite close population-wise; both with around 10 million people.

    Belarus is much poorer, with its GDP per head, in PPP terms, sitting at about half that of the CR.
    Belarus also has a much less sophisticated healthcare system.

    Belarus adopted no restrictions whatsoever. In fact, it pretty much ignored the whole virus hysteria.

    The CR mandated masks and introduced curfews back in April, relaxed those over the northern summer, and then brought all of that, plus more, back in September/October.
    It is under hard lock down still, with curfews for all but those with special exemptions after 9 pm.

    As of December 31, the CV figures were as follows:

    Belarus: Infected: 192,361 / Cured: 171,901 / Dead: 1,414
    CR: Infected: 701,622 / Cured: 584,483 / Dead: 11,429

    What more proof do you want that A) masks don’t do sh*t and B) lockdowns have a similar effect?

    And, I am not even going to elaborate on C) the average age of the corona victims, or D) all the other morbidities 90%+ of them had.

    If you like playing with spreadsheets, do compare similar data for the likes of the UK/Spain/France, all with differing degrees of extreme measures, and adjust for population numbers.

    Anyone still supporting what our, and most other developed countries’ governments are doing deserves to be locked up in prison, with the keys thrown down the sewer, together with the politicians responsible.

  78. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    aerosols are bigger than the 0.14 micron virus

    For about a second or two before they evaporate. Look up relative humidity.

    And as I said if you wear a standard mask most of the exhaled air goes up past your nose unfiltered. The N95s are fun – they often have a valve to let you exhale out of it without breaking the face seal. Which kinda negates the value of the mask for preventing other people from being infected.

  79. Matt says:

    For about a second or two before they evaporate.

    By which time is has trapped in the mask

    most of the exhaled air goes up past your nose unfiltered.

    Not sure that it’s most, but substantial. But the point is that it’s not being projected forward to another person to immediately inhale, and it disperses. As you (or someone else?) noted previously, being outdoors is important – ventilation helps.

  80. Albatross says:

    Matt you’re a dense prick. Kindly give yourself an uppercut.

  81. Figures says:

    When the authorities do a study with a statistically significant cohort of volunteers which shows they work then they can force the entire population to wear the wretched things.

    What???

    The government has no right to force people to wear these things for any reason – not even if their own paid stooges, sorry, “scientists” fudge some data “proving” that they work.

    This is what governments do. They can’t say “well you have to obey us because we love lording it over you” they say “you have to follow the science and if that means us lording it over you then so be it”. And who writes the science?

    They do.

  82. Figures says:

    But the point is that it’s not being projected forward to another person to immediately inhale, and it disperses.

    More bullshit from Matt.

    If viruses can only travel in massive piles of saliva then masks are not needed as all we need to do to avoid contagion is avoid spitting directly on people.

  83. Matt says:

    If viruses can only travel in massive piles of saliva then masks are not needed as all we need to do to avoid contagion is avoid spitting directly on people.

    Oh Figures, reading some words and then comprehending something completely different to what was said.

  84. EllenG says:

    Today’s count of us cases is 277,000. Which puts the seven day incidence at 61.3 per 100k of population. Australia’s seven day incidence is less than 0.1 per 100k population. Let’s hear it for the no mask, carelesss anti-science opinion.

  85. Figures says:

    I think you were being sarcastic EllenG but it boggles the mind that anybody can be that stupid.

    The US has almost complete mask coverage in blue states and a signficant level of coverage in red states.

    Australia has bugger all mask coverage. Victoria is about the only place where they have been common. If we are going to cherry pick Australia vs the US we would have to conclude that masks increase the transmission of the virus. That would be stupid of course not least of which because the virus doesn’t exist, but that’s what your cherry picked data says.

    And why do you think your beliefs are “scientific”? Do you think if you use the word “science” a lot then your beliefs will magically become correct?

  86. Figures says:

    Oh Figures, reading some words and then comprehending something completely different to what was said.

    You didn’t answer the question Matt. If viruses can only travel in huge piles of saliva, why do we need masks when all we have to do is avoid spitting on each other?

  87. Matt says:

    If viruses can only travel in huge piles of saliva

    Perhaps point out where I said that viruses can only travel in huge piles of saliva.

  88. Alex Davidson says:

    What we need to understand is that our masters put a lot of effort into nudging us in the direction they want us to go. So to counter the facts about the lack of effectiveness of masks in blocking the transmission of viruses, they have come up with a new story, one that tries to turn those who refuse into outcasts, by asserting that wearing a mask is part of the ‘community obligations’ they claim we must abide by, obligations which few if any of us have ever explicitly consented to, in order to prevent the remote chance that we are infected and contagious, and close enough to others to infect them. Because, you know, others around us ‘have a right to good health’ by controlling not their own behaviour, but the behaviour of everyone else.

    This also assumes the nonsense that masks have a special magic whereby they only work one-way, i.e. block pathogens when we breathe out, even if they don’t fit properly, but not when we breathe in (otherwise only those who fear catching it would need to wear them), except in hospitals where the magic sometimes works the other way around.

    Given that only tiny percentage of test results are positive – possibly false – and given that only a small percentage of those infected actually become sick to any significant degree, we can safely assume that the chance of a random individual causing a serious illness in another is close to zero. And in virtually all cases, the infection would have been inadvertent, just like every other pathogen passed on from one to another.

    What this reminds me of is the issue of pool fencing – a sore point with me because I was recently issued with a ‘direction’ to erect one, even though I live on acreage with no near neighbours or children within hundreds of metres. By taking the statistics published by the government, I calculated that the likelihood of a child drowning in my particular pool was approximately one drowning every 40,000 years – a risk so low as to be irrelevant – yet I was still forced to obey, and at considerable expense, because as far as the bureaucrats at the council were concerned, reason and logic don’t trump over-zealous application of their master’s voice.

    In the case of mask-wearing, the same forces are at play. Number one is obedience to the state. Number two is the state is always right, and cannot be reasoned with. Number three is that cost and benefit analysis does not apply. Even if it only saves one life it will be worth it. Except in the case of roadside trees, which kill many of us each year, but are too precious to remove. And number four is that every action taken by the state must increase their power and privilege over the rest of us.

    Someone said recently that if we don’t fight against loss of freedom during peacetime, we will end up fighting a war. Let’s hope sense and reason return before that happens.

  89. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Matt, your contradictions aren’t exactly convincing.

    1. If most of the air exhaled blows out the sides of the mask, which is my experience, you have filled the environs with virus aerosols…assuming you have heinous bat crud. Therefore the mask does not stop you transmitting it to someone else.

    2. If the virus is exhaled in aerosols, within a few moments the tiny droplet will dry out, since almost always during the daytime relative humidity is lower than 100%. Small high surface area droplets evaporate very quickly. Therefore within a second or two the 30 μm aerosol droplet has evaporated into a 0.1 μm virus particle, which will go through a N95 like poo through a goose.

    3. And even if the virus is trapped in the fibres of the mask material the pulsating action of the person breathing in and out is going to joggle the virus until it is released again.

    This would be different if the mask stratum degraded the virus, which is what the activated carbon masks are designed to do. But the paper masks you get in the pharmacist or at Coles are just paper. No active agent to kill the beast.

    In short, mandating masks is the worst sort of pseudoscience. It degrades and discredits science, so that the voting public finally ignores the wolf criers. Hence all the beach parties lately.

  90. Matt says:

    Bruce:
    (1) If I stand in front of you and your breath exhales to the side , up and down, what % of your expired air am I breathing?
    (2) Within a second or two the aerosol has evaporated leaving only the virus – are you saying that it takes the expelled air 1-2 seconds from leaving the mouth/nose to hit the mask?
    Is your contention that 100% of the virus that is exhaled goes into the air and that 0% is trapped in the mask? And that 100% of that exhaled virus is then inhaled by surrounding people? And if it less than that (ie. if the mask mitigates some of the virus being inhaled by another person, then isn’t that beneficial?

  91. Lee says:

    Let’s hear it for the no mask, carelesss anti-science opinion.

    And never mind all the epidemiologists and other experts who have said that masks are next to useless against Covid, hey?
    But Ellen, like Dictator Dan, knows everything!

  92. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    (1) If I stand in front of you and your breath exhales to the side , up and down, what % of your expired air am I breathing?

    Matt – The rate of diffusion of air is metres per second iirc. As you would realise in contact with CS gas or H2S etc. It’s quick.

    (2) Within a second or two the aerosol has evaporated leaving only the virus – are you saying that it takes the expelled air 1-2 seconds from leaving the mouth/nose to hit the mask?

    No, I am saying that when someone else breathes out within a couple seconds the aerosols have dried out. Then the virus floats about on its ownsome until the next passing prey walks by, which is you. Hence the social distancing thing…which is a number plucked out of the air since many studies show the distance the virus can traverse is lots more than 1.5 or 2 metres. But the idea isn’t ridiculous.

    By the time you walk past though it has gone from a 30 μm aerosol droplet to a 0.1 μm virus particle. Whereupon your 2.5 μm N95 mask is like wearing a bikini in a warzone. Nearly useless as protection. And ordinary paper masks would be even uselesser.

    There’s no data to suggest a mask is beneficial at all, indeed it may even act as a collecting device to increase your virus intake. But in general there’s about as much data supporting mask use as there is for banning plastic bags, and pollies love doing stupid virtue-signaling things. I find it irritating after a lifetime working in empirical science.

  93. Leo G says:

    Is your contention that 100% of the virus that is exhaled goes into the air and that 0% is trapped in the mask?

    The contention that a high proportion of exhaled virus passes through the mask into the air would be reasonable for normal expiration, but not exhalations involving speech, coughing or sneezing. Particles released from small airways during exhalation are predominantly sized smaller than 1 micron.

  94. Matt says:

    Bruce – aerosol distance potentially up to 3m from memory – hence distancing as you say. But masks are about reducing the viral load – so it doesn’t have to be 100% (which is inherent in the name of the N95 mask). That’s why ventilation is also seen to be important. If the mask reduces the amount of virus you breathe out, or that I breathe in, then that reduces the risk of infection. The question then is by how much.
    I would disagree with you that ‘There’s no data to suggest a mask is beneficial at all’ – even the Denmark study suggests a benefit, but there is other research that also shows a benefit.
    On the issue of masks collecting virus – the recommendation for surgical masks are to replace every 30min to 2 hours (or per patient, whichever is shorter) – so agree that if people are wearing surgical masks all day then they will definitely lose their effectiveness.

  95. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Matt – If you are indoors the viral particles are just going to go around and around. They’re so small that Brownian motion will keep them suspended indefinitely. Masks indoors are therefore pointless.

    Masks outdoors are pretty useless too, since under UV light the virus degrades in 30-60 seconds (Israeli data). Of course that may not be so fast in cold winter weather, with little UV and frigid conditions. Hence winter spikes. But even in winter the relative humidity is often very low, so aerosol droplets will dry out very rapidly. Then the freeze-dried virus will go straight through masks like a Hellfire missile.

    I agree with the surgical mask replacement schedule. That makes sense. The surgical masks are about not infecting the opened-up person with oral bacteria and whatnot. As I said, masks are OK for bacteria, which are 100-1000 times the size of the Wuhan critter. And changing them regularly and often limits the risk of drying out and remobilizing the bacteria previously exhaled onto the mask.

    I would prefer to see a reverse Racal style helmet for surgery, although that would impede dexterity, or a return to Lister’s approach of vaporizing carbolic acid (ie phenol) into an aerosol in the operating theatre. Aspirating an antiseptic would be superior to masks for bacterial control, especially for MRSA and its evil cousins.

  96. EllenG says:

    Figures: I rely on advice from people who actually have expert standing. Like the CMO or the people at Johns Hopkins or Peter Doherty. Wearing a mask in the supermarket is not my idea of a tyrannical imposition and I don’t need expert advice to know that.

  97. Matt says:

    Here’s an interesting paper – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7282739/
    The note (from another paper) ‘a droplet of 10 μm shrinks to 2.8 μm at 90%RH and to 1.9 μm at less than 64%RH. The droplet size would greatly affect settling times, with 10 μm droplet remaining suspended for only 8 min at 100% RH while the 1.9 μm droplet at 64% RH remaining suspended for more than 3 h.’
    So I don’t think the particles are going to be suspended indefinitely. The unknown is what minimum infectious dose of virus is – that’s why anything that reduces the amount of virus is important in reducing risk – masks, ventilation, distancing etc. I’m not claiming (and I don’t think anyone is) that masks confer 100% protection against the virus (and even the Denmark study was hypothesising a 50% reduction in infections).

  98. Albatross says:

    EllenG
    #3709020, posted on January 4, 2021 at 5:55 pm
    Figures: I rely on advice from people who actually have expert standing.

    All you do here is regurgitate the propaganda you read in the MSM. Why you come here remains a mystery to me. I hope you know how very uninteresting you, and your opinions, are.

  99. Albatross says:

    Matt
    #3709151, posted on January 4, 2021 at 6:56 pm

    This is you, dingbat:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RECuQaaGGfA&feature=youtu.be

  100. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    I don’t think the particles are going to be suspended indefinitely.

    For certain reasons irrelevant to this issue I looked up such things some while ago. 0.1 μm virus particles will be effectively suspended forever. At 0.25 μm particles tend to be suspended with a half life of up to two years. Of course that depends on extraneous intervention like rain or filtration.

    The Danish study empirically shows masks don’t do squat for 0.1 μm viruses. Logic, analysis from first principles and reasoning shows why that is the case. Masks work for 10-100 μm bacteria because the pore sizes can be engineered to remove them whilst still allowing the person to breathe unaided. I have reservations about non-fitted respirators because of the bypass issue, especially past the nose. (Respirators seal, unlike cloth masks – we used respirators routinely due to SO2 being present.)

    Matt – nothing you have cited gives even the tiniest support for Gladys’ edict. Since nothing gives Gladys’ any support for her ludicrous CO2 targets either that isn’t inconsistent. It is fallacious and wrong though.

  101. Matt says:

    Happy to take your word that a 0.1μm particle will be suspended indefinitely, dependent on rain, filtration etc. But you’re assuming that the aerosol completely evaporates at normal humidity. The link above suggests 1.9 μm at less than 64%RH. That’s a big difference.

  102. John Bayley says:

    The Matts and Ellengs of this thread are a perfect example of why the ‘enlightened’ West is doomed.

    No matter what evidence is presented, they will not be swayed.

    The 45+ years of actual scientific studies I have repeatedly referenced, all showing that masks are worse than useless even in operating theatre environment, let alone for daily use by the public, or the comparative data from countries with and without mask mandates, all mean diddly squat to these people.

    And this is at the Cat, where I would hazard a guess we only have a few brain dead contributors trolls like those two.

    When you instead look at the general public, you can see immediately why the Age of Unreason is firmly upon us, and why a complete monetary & societal collapse is the only possible outcome going forward.

    When I was growing up in a then-Communist country, at least there were places one could hope to escape to.

    Alas, there is not such thing today.

  103. Albatross says:

    Amen John. I blame our University system, which churns out uneducated drones like Matt. No skills, just years of learned propaganda. “Science” is their God, but they’ve never done any, and satisfy themselves regurgitating media cant, punctuated by a cherry-picked paper the found using Google.

  104. Matt says:

    ‘The science is settled’ says John
    There are plenty of studies that show that masks are beneficial. For example:

    By contrast, societal norms and government policies supporting mask-wearing by the public were independently associated with lower per-capita mortality from COVID-19. The use of masks in public is an important and readily modifiable public health measure.
    http://www.ajtmh.org/content/journals/10.4269/ajtmh.20-1015

    The study provides evidence that US states mandating the use of face masks in public had a greater decline in daily COVID-19 growth rates after issuing these mandates compared with states that did not issue mandates. These effects were observed conditional on other existing social distancing measures and were independent of the CDC recommendation to wear face covers issued April 3, 2020.
    https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818

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