📑 How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Bookmarked How Masks Went From Don’t-Wear to Must-Have During the Coronavirus Pandemic (Wired)

Floridians were screaming at their city councils that their rules on wearing masks were part of a 5G/pedophilia conspiracy that involved “the devil’s laws.” A discredited documentary, widely spread on social media, wrongly claimed that masks actually made people sick, or cut off their air supply. Some anti-mask conservatives co-opted the rallying cry of the abortion rights movement—“my body, my choice”—to defend their anti-mask-ness. People who believe that the whole pandemic is some kind of left-wing hoax (it is not) declined to wear masks. Mask use somehow got tied up in the heady, conspiratorial brew of rugged individualism, 5G paranoia, and anti-vax sentiment. They became symbols of an insidious, freedom-sapping plot.

Megan Molteni and Adam Rogers dive into the world of masks and how there place in confronting the current pandemic has changed. The current hope is that mask wearing maybe enough to get RO under 1.

Based on the available evidence, his team estimates that near-universal mask wearing could cut transmission by as much as a third. Would that be enough to turn back the record-smashing tide of new cases breaking across large parts of the US? Probably, says Murray. It will depend on exactly how fast local outbreaks are growing. The reproduction number, or R0 (pronounced R-naught), is a measure of how many people one contagious person infects. If R0 is higher than 1, cases will grow exponentially. If it’s below 1, an outbreak will shrink. In places like Brazil, where a chaotic response and lack of social distancing measures has led to an R0 trending above 1.3, a mask mandate likely won’t be enough to bring cases under control. But Murray says the US still has a chance.

It is interesting to read this investigation alongside Maciej Ceglowski’s post. I think what stands out is that other than slight inconvenience, what is lost?

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