27 March 2021  /  Updated 17 July 2021
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Bangladesh mask study

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lip09am
Posts: 137
Topic starter
(@lip09am)
Joined: 1 year ago

This gold standard clinical trial  appears to show that surgical face masks are highly protective but cloth ones not so much. 

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-021-02457-y

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lip09am
Posts: 137
Topic starter
(@lip09am)
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It would be great to hear some people's thoughts on this trial.

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Shotclog
(@shotclog)
Joined: 10 months ago

Posts: 42

@lip09am I thought that the Daily Sceptic had already published an article in response to this study (although I am not good at searching/turning past articles up). As I recall, the article suggested that the study didn't sufficiently deal with alternative explanations (e.g., as I recall, a simultaneous advertising campaign promoting awareness of Covid) or what is called, in jargon, "confounders". Perhaps someone more IT-literate than I could provide a link.

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willing vaccinee
Posts: 877
(@willing-vaccinee)
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Pointing out that masks are effective will not make you popular on this forum, even if it is true.

Study seems to have large sample sizes, so show the benefit to be statistically significant.

 

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lip09am
(@lip09am)
Joined: 1 year ago

Posts: 137

@thinksaboutit I'm as sceptical as anyone else on here, but surely we must follow the science (excuse that phrase), even if it is fundamentally opposed to our beliefs. If we exist within an echo chamber then surely we are as bad as those on the other side of the fence.

 

Now I appreciate there have been other studies claiming that masks are beneficial but that was based on junk science. What I'm wanting to determine is if this is the same. I'm not qualified to dissect such a trial myself so was hoping there were people on here who could do that for me.

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willing vaccinee
(@willing-vaccinee)
Joined: 11 months ago

Posts: 877
Posted by: @lip09am

@thinksaboutit I'm as sceptical as anyone else on here, but surely we must follow the science (excuse that phrase), even if it is fundamentally opposed to our beliefs. If we exist within an echo chamber then surely we are as bad as those on the other side of the fence.

 

Now I appreciate there have been other studies claiming that masks are beneficial but that was based on junk science. What I'm wanting to determine is if this is the same. I'm not qualified to dissect such a trial myself so was hoping there were people on here who could do that for me.

The paper is very easy to read. Just basic arithmetic needed to analyse.

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RichardTechnik
(@richardtechnik)
Joined: 1 year ago

Posts: 314

@thinksaboutit 

Others have actually read it before trotted out trivial comment. You'll no doubt denigrate these eminent persons as 'dangerous sceptics' or such like.

Dr. Scott Atlas former chief of neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center and a senior fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, called this study purporting to measure the effect of masking on curbing the spread of Covid-19 in Bangladeshi villages “extremely weak tea” on Fox News

That the study was randomized “important” as was the Danish https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-facemasks/danish-study-finds-face-masks-provide-limited-protection-to-wearer-idUSKBN27Y1YW&source=gmail&ust=1631152480356000&usg=AFQjCNHzw9v5aLvPmWkt7t_KNQKDue5vJ A">similarly randomized study from  that showed that “individuals wearing masks do not have a lower risk of infection testing for virus than people not wearing masks.

2 results from the study explained why  it’s hardly the definitive evidence pro-maskers have sought for 18 months.

One, in people defining Covid as symptoms plus anti-bodies, there is no evidence that cloth masks have any impact, no significant impact with cloth masks for people who have Covid as defined by Covid symptoms with antibody documentation. So cloth masks are worthless according to this study.

The second part is the surgical mask study. And the surgical mask study shows that there is from my reading here about an 11 percent decrease in individuals having symptomatic Covid with antibodies. 11 percent. And basically only older people. So what this shows you after all is said and done is it confirms that cloth masks are worthless. It shows  a very minimal impact, 11 percent, decrease in symptomatic cases in mask usage by the village.

And so, you know, of all the clamoring for something desperately to show that masks work, this is what I would call extremely weak tea. In fact, it confirms the reason why we have seen all over the world and in the United States that mask usage by the population does not significantly stop the spread of the virus.

It’s being oversold, but people are desperate to find some pebble somewhere that shows masks work.

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RichardTechnik
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He wasn’t the only critic. Professor Francois Balloux, director of the UCL Genetics Institute and professor of computational biology at UCL, tweeted that it’s “not obvious” from the study that masks are “statistically significantly associated with reduced transmission at the level of the population.

Nick Hudson, chairman of Pandata.org (PANDA), tweeted a blog post by Substack writer el gato malo titled, “bangladesh mask study: do not believe the hype,” calling it “sound commentary.

From el gato malo’s https://boriquagato.substack.com/p/bangladesh-mask-study-do-not-believe?justPublished%3Dtrue&source=gmail&ust=1631152480356000&usg=AFQjCNEKsaVzq14_VPbrMK09M68kYzM9N A">analysis:

To claim that masks caused any given variance in outcome, you need to isolate masks as a variable. They didn’t. This was a whole panoply of interventions, signage, hectoring, nudges, payments, and psychological games. It had hundreds of known effects and who knows how many unknown ones.

We have zero idea what’s being measured and even some of those variables that were measured showed high correlation and thus pose confounds. when you’re upending village life, claiming one aspect made the difference becomes statistically impossible. the system becomes hopelessly multivariate and cross-confounded.

The authors admit it themselves (and oddly do not seem to grasp that this invalidates their own mask claims)

Harvard's Dr. Martin Kulldorff called it “odd” that “mask advocates are excited by this study.

David Chavous, an attorney with a PhD in molecular biology, called the fact that results were only seen for those over 50 years old a “HUGE red warning sign.

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willing vaccinee
Posts: 877
(@willing-vaccinee)
Joined: 11 months ago

When someone says things like ...."that it’s “not obvious” from the study that masks are “statistically significantly associated with reduced transmission at the level of the population.

 

They need to include the maths to justify their statement. The answer to statistical significance is yes or no based on calculations. Anything else is just arm waving.

The fact that they don't probably means their statement is not justified and just an opinion, which is quite possibly just their prejudice.

 

 

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