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?