The DANMASK study is now the best available scientific evidence for COVID-19 that shows wearing a mask gives no real benefit to the wearer.

It wasn't a surprise since this is consistent with existing scientific evidence for other flu/corona viruses.

1/
The disciples of the Church of the Mask rightly point out that the study doesn't disprove that masks help prevent spread to others.

From the book of Ferguson, Chapter 4, Verse 12: "My mask protects you"

2/
However, more Scientific evidence is emerging that asymptomatic spread is not a significant transmission vector for COVID-19.

Even high priest Fauci was adamant about that fact, mostly because it's true of every other Corona and Flu virus.

3/
So if you're NOT sick, you're not infecting others. So wearing a mask (when healthy) protects nobody.

Turns out the age old advice stays true. Remember when your boss used to tell you, "If you're sick, don't come to work and get everyone sick".

That's good advice

4/
If you're sick, stay home until you're better. The best the Church of the Mask can recommend with a straight face should be, "If you're sick and need to go out, wear a damn mask"

Why is this so complicated?

5/
If you're still a loyal disciple with strong faith, by all means wear your mask, and wear it with pride. I have no problem with that.

You can even evangelise.

Just don't force any unwilling heathens to join your religion.

End/

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More from @peter_castleden

20 Oct
The pro-lockdown crowd fortunately all sing from the same hymn sheet. The most recent talking point against the rational voices echo the new fear of "long covid". The frightening boogyman to keep us all in fear.
"long covid" refers to the unknown but frightening potential for horrible life changing everlasting side effects of the virus that can EVEN ruin the lives of young people.

No mention is made that as of today there have been 30 million official recoveries.
Not to mention the tens of millions more that have likely had the virus and recovered without even noticing (and weren't picked up with testing). If long covid was something truly to be frightened about, by now the numbers of those suffering with it would be overwhelming.
Read 8 tweets
19 Sep
I find it curious that, in general, those who might describe themselves as being on the left or progressive tend to be avidly pro-lockdown.

However, lockdowns are completely regressive in nature and should be an anathema to this group.

Thread time.
When it comes to policies which are vital to help uplift the poorest and most vulnerable in society, most would agree that these policies would include:
* Education
* Healthcare
* Joblessness
* Social security spend
In all four of these areas, lockdowns predictability have had a devastating impact, and that impact is disproportionately felt by the most vulnerable (i.e. it's regressive)
Read 17 tweets
4 Sep
On 17 August Prof Karim was on ENCA talking about the potential impact of moving to level 2 lockdown. He set the scene for second wave fears:

"We expect that there may be a slight increase in cases. Around the 28 of August."

Was he right?

Link: enca.com/news/covid-19-…
It's now been a full week since he was expecting to see more cases. Did we see more? No, we saw a lot fewer cases.

Week ending 3 Sep: 14,729 cases
Week ending 27 Aug: 18,346 cases
Week ending 20 Aug: 27,075 cases
"Sure," you say, "but we've done much less testing!"

Yes, you're right, so what we need to look at is case positivity (what % of tests done are positive):

Week ending 3 Sep: 11.4%
Week ending 27 Aug: 13.3%
Week ending 20 Aug: 16.4%

This latest week is better despite level 2
Read 8 tweets
23 Jul
The latest "excess death" report from the SAMRC has come out, reporting up until 14 July 2020, and it's getting a fair amount of attention, but I think there is a big story in there which is being missed.

Find the report here: samrc.ac.za/reports/report…
Firstly, I'd like to point out that I don't agree with the methodology of calculating the excess deaths from the lower bound rather than the original baseline, but THIS is not the story.

Secondly, no-one knows what is happening inside the data, but there are worrying signs
Before unpacking, I think everyone agrees that inside the excess deaths will look something like the image below (this is NOT proportional, just illustrative).

Let me unpack it.

I define "Official COVID Deaths" as those that are reported.
Read 16 tweets
26 Apr
When a new virus emerges, there is naturally a reaction to worry in the absence of data. Epidemiologists will then typically use theoretical models to project the impact of the new virus, and a response can be formulated based on those results.
As the new virus spreads, actual data emerge and becomes more credible every day. Over this period, more weight should be given to the actual data when compared to the theoretical projections.
We’ve reached a point with Covid-19 that the actual data starts telling an interesting story. As an actuary, I really like digging into the data, so this thread will unpack it one step at a time, and potentially draw some conclusions.
Read 17 tweets
11 Apr
Below is a thread trying to unpack the problems with tough decision making using incomplete data. South Africa's response to covid is a nice case study. 1/n
Unlike experiments under lab conditions, where other variables can be controlled and kept constant, in the real world it is impossible to know, after the fact, which path was optimal.

We may have opinions on it and can likely find the data to support these views. 2/n
We should be clear that neither Cyril nor his team know the best path either, despite his ability to deliver a good speech on the topic.

For example, should South Africa be in as strict a lock down as we are?

Let's look at what we know and don't know 3/n
Read 20 tweets

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