There’s an excellent piece on the Swiss Policy Research blog, aka the Swiss Doctor, trying to puzzle out why the world fell for the face mask folly. It comes up with 10 reasons. Here are the first four.
1) The droplet model
Many ‘health authorities’ have relied on the obsolete ‘droplet model’ of virus transmission. If this model were correct, face masks would indeed work. But in reality, respiratory droplets – which by definition cannot be inhaled – play almost no role in virus transmission. Instead, respiratory viruses are transmitted via much smaller aerosols, as well as, possibly, some object surfaces. Face masks don’t work against either of these transmission routes.
2) The Asian paradox
During the first year of the pandemic, several East Asian countries had a very low coronavirus infection rate, and many ‘health experts’ falsely assumed that this was due to face masks. In reality, it was due to very rapid border controls in some countries neighbouring China as well as a combination of metabolic and immunologic factors that reduced transmission rates. Nevertheless, many East Asian countries eventually got overwhelmed by the coronavirus, too (see charts below).
3) The Czech mirage
In the spring of 2020, the Czech Republic was one of the first European countries that introduced face masks. Because the Czech infection rate initially stayed low, many ‘health experts’ falsely concluded that this was due to the masks. In reality, most of Eastern Europe simply missed the first wave of the epidemic. A few months later, the Czech Republic had the highest infection rate in the world, but by then, much of the world had already introduced face mask mandates.
4) Fake science
For decades, studies have shown that face masks don’t work against respiratory virus epidemics. But with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic and increasing political pressure (see below), suddenly studies appeared claiming the opposite. In reality, these studies were a mixture of confounded observational data, unrealistic modelling and lab results, and outright fraud. The most influential fraudulent study was a WHO-mandated meta-study published in The Lancet.
Worth reading in full.
Stop Press: Scroll down here for a list of 30 studies that show face masks are useless.