UK face coverings discussion

yorksrob

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As with everything, there is a balance.

The scientific knowledge isn't perfect. There are gaps. Thete are differences in opinions between experts in the field.

That is why I am prepared to wear face coverings in shops or on public transport.

That is why I'm also absolutely not prepared to wear one walking down an open street.

One is a proportionate reaction, the other is not.
 
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LowLevel

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Absolutely.

As Churchill said, KBO (Keep Buggering On).
If we've managed to get groups of teens and 20 somethings to get on with it on the way to and from the lash it doesn't seem a huge issue. I had a group of 6 lads earlier having a laugh trying to decide who looked daftest.

I'm also seeing more people with exemption cards out and about which hopefully means they're feeling more confident about being about too.
 

MontyMinerWA

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As with everything, there is a balance.

The scientific knowledge isn't perfect. There are gaps. Thete are differences in opinions between experts in the field.

That is why I am prepared to wear face coverings in shops or on public transport.

That is why I'm also absolutely not prepared to wear one walking down an open street.

One is a proportionate reaction, the other is not.
Fair enough. Mine isn't a first hand account by the way but by all accounts hand sanitizer points are everywhere in Milan. Disappointingly it's certainly not the case here in England.
 

yorksrob

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If we've managed to get groups of teens and 20 somethings to get on with it on the way to and from the lash it doesn't seem a huge issue. I had a group of 6 lads earlier having a laugh trying to decide who looked daftest.

I'm also seeing more people with exemption cards out and about which hopefully means they're feeling more confident about being about too.
Excellent news on all counts.

Fair enough. Mine isn't a first hand account by the way but by all accounts hand sanitizer points are everywhere in Milan. Disappointingly it's certainly not the case here in England.
There's more hand sanitizer than there was, but we can always do better. The guidance suggests carrying it as well which is good.
 

Islineclear3_1

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I'm hugely opposed to mandatory masks, which I consider at best useless, and at worst harmful, but I wear them because I can't be bothered being a martyr about it. A lot of people feel this way.
I am one of them. I put mine on because I can't be bothered to argue the toss. The problem is, if my mask is too tight, I can't breathe properly and if the mask is too loose; then that defeats the point of wearing one (under duress that is).

And I think it has been said before; many masks are not ventilated meaning that you are breathing in your own carbon dioxide (if the mask is tight-fitting) which if allowed to increase in the bloodstream can be harmful. It can make you feel dizzy for starters
 

DavidB

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If we've managed to get groups of teens and 20 somethings to get on with it on the way to and from the lash it doesn't seem a huge issue. I had a group of 6 lads earlier having a laugh trying to decide who looked daftest.

I'm also seeing more people with exemption cards out and about which hopefully means they're feeling more confident about being about too.
Perhaps the same exempt people as previously are out, but are just trying to avoid hassle by carrying a meaningless card?

Certainly, I have no intention of going on a train any time soon as I am clearly not welcome and can expect hostility from various quarters. Shop visits are limited to the absolute minimum at a quiet time, and no shops at all apart from food shops. What a society we are creating, eh!
 

LowLevel

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Perhaps the same exempt people as previously are out, but are just trying to avoid hassle?

Certainly, I have no intention of going on a train any time soon as I am clearly not welcome and can expect hostility from various quarters. Shop visits are limited to the absolute minimum at a quiet time, and no shops at all apart from food shops. What a society we are creating, eh!

All I can say is I am patrolling my train regularly, having a quick word with anyone not wearing a mask along the lines of "are you aware of the rules?" in a friendly way so that any busy bodies can see I've spoken to them myself, and then making a fairly pointed announcement telling people not to harass their fellow passengers. I've not had any problems of that sort since the first week.

Your self limitation is at the end of the day your own choice. I could refuse to go anywhere in the dark for fear of being mugged, but I get on with it.

For myself, I've been pretty clear throughout that I'm not necessarily convinced by people wearing masks but I also respect the rule of law and think if there is a chance they may help then crack on. I've invested time and effort in trying different types until I've found ones that work for me and I've also found that of the various colleagues that struggled for various reasons (some of whom were extremely distressed at the idea to begin with) they have done the same and found things that work for them.

The attitude you start with is an important thing in life.
 

Darandio

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Perhaps the same exempt people as previously are out, but are just trying to avoid hassle by carrying a meaningless card?

Certainly, I have no intention of going on a train any time soon as I am clearly not welcome and can expect hostility from various quarters. Shop visits are limited to the absolute minimum at a quiet time, and no shops at all apart from food shops. What a society we are creating, eh!
Perhaps it's not as bad out there as you and others keep repeatedly trying to claim it is?

This constant questioning and pulling apart of posts by people with fairly positive experiences is tedious in the extreme.
 

Puffing Devil

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Afraid I don't see how the concept of the null hypothesis makes any difference to the argument you are making.
Perhaps you should have paid more attention in your experimental design class?

As regards the second point, do you normally wear a mask in case you have pre-symptomatic cold or flu and pass that on? I would suspect not. If the masks aren't because this virus is allegedly so dangerous and might kill people, then what are they for?
You're avoiding the question again. Do you, personally, have any qualms about passing the virus on to others, should you be infected and asymptotic?

I'm assuming that you would isolate properly should you become aware that you were infected.
 

Journeyman

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You're avoiding the question again. Do you, personally, have any qualms about passing the virus on to others, should you be infected and asymptotic?

I'm assuming that you would isolate properly should you become aware that you were infected.
I'll engage with this. I have no qualms about asymptomatic transmission, masks or not, because it's impossible to know if you have it, and you can't be held responsible.

If I had symptoms, I would isolate as per guidance.
 

DavidB

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Perhaps you should have paid more attention in your experimental design class?



You're avoiding the question again. Do you, personally, have any qualms about passing the virus on to others, should you be infected and asymptotic?

I'm assuming that you would isolate properly should you become aware that you were infected.
Please do enlighten us then as to how the null hypothesis helps to prove your case.

I would and do take proportional steps not to pass it on, should I have it without knowing. As regards the isolating question, yes I would as there is clear logic behind that, unlike masks.
 

Yew

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And yet, the University of Oxfords Centre for Evidence Based Medicine says the complete opposite, when reviewing the results of high-quality randomised control trials:

This recent crop of trials added 9,112 participants to the total randomised denominator of 13,259 and showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.
 

AdamWW

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I'll engage with this. I have no qualms about asymptomatic transmission, masks or not, because it's impossible to know if you have it, and you can't be held responsible.
Hmmm.

So if the law mandates that someone takes action intended to prevent them from harming others if they are asymptomatic, they aren't responsible for any impact of breaking the law because if they're asymptomatic they don't know they're infectious?

Or have I misunderstood?
 

Islineclear3_1

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Hmmm.

So if the law mandates that someone takes action intended to prevent them from harming others if they are asymptomatic, they aren't responsible for any impact of breaking the law because if they're asymptomatic they don't know they're infectious?

Or have I misunderstood?
Yes, they can't be held responsible

If you believe you are asymptomatic; then you might also believe that you are not infectious.

If I went to the supermarket believing that I wasn't a carrier of a specific disease and somebody near to me died because they just happened to be close to me; how can I be held responsible? Any reasonable judge would throw this out of court.

If I went to the supermarket having forgotten my face mask, in the belief I was asymptomatic of coronavirus and somebody near to me died of coronavirus; how can I be held responsible. The concept is absurd
 

AdamWW

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Yes, they can't be held responsible

If you believe you are asymptomatic; then you might also believe that you are not infectious.

If I went to the supermarket believing that I wasn't a carrier of a specific disease and somebody near to me died because they just happened to be close to me; how can I be held responsible? Any reasonable judge would throw this out of court.

If I went to the supermarket having forgotten my face mask, in the belief I was asymptomatic of coronavirus and somebody near to me died of coronavirus; how can I be held responsible. The concept is absurd
So if I forget to get my car MOT'd and fail to find out the brakes are faulty, I'm not responsible if I run over a pedestrian because of the faulty brakes, because after all I didn't know about the problem and I didn't intend to forget about the MOT?
 

westv

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So if I forget to get my car MOT'd and fail to find out the brakes are faulty, I'm not responsible if I run over a pedestrian because of the faulty brakes, because after all I didn't know about the problem and I didn't intend to forget about the MOT?
But if you use that analogy then you would have to say the brakes may help to stop the car but there were no guarantees that it actually would.
 

DavidB

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So if I forget to get my car MOT'd and fail to find out the brakes are faulty, I'm not responsible if I run over a pedestrian because of the faulty brakes, because after all I didn't know about the problem and I didn't intend to forget about the MOT?
It's easy to prove that someone was hit by a particular car, but how are you going to 'prove' where someone caught this virus?
 
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yorkie

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So if I forget to get my car MOT'd and fail to find out the brakes are faulty, I'm not responsible if I run over a pedestrian because of the faulty brakes, because after all I didn't know about the problem and I didn't intend to forget about the MOT?
This is one of the most unusual analogies I've ever heard.
 

trebor79

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Do you, personally, have any qualms about passing the virus on to others, should you be infected and asymptotic?
I'll also engage. I have no such qualms.

What I see is that social distancing worked very well. Part of the economy like non essential shops, hairdressers and pubs reopened and cases continued to fall. The recent rise in cases correlates almost exactly with when the masks in shops mandate was introduced.

I believe what has happened is two effects:
1. People don't use masks properly, and given there very little evidence of efficacy, it's entirely possible that poor mark hygiene is making things worse, not better.
2. Psycologically, many people "feel safer" that others around them are masked, and hence aren't being so diligent with social distancing, or even bothering at all.

It stands to reason that if masks aren't effective in stopping transmission, but cause people to lessen their adherence to other measures (especially those that aren't legally enforceable), then on the whole they are a bad thing.
The data backs this up.

So no, I won't wear a mask. I find it distressing so I am exempt. And if I do inadvertently infect someone then it's likely I would have infected more had I been masked.
 

Journeyman

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Hmmm.

So if the law mandates that someone takes action intended to prevent them from harming others if they are asymptomatic, they aren't responsible for any impact of breaking the law because if they're asymptomatic they don't know they're infectious?

Or have I misunderstood?
You've misunderstood. No-one can be held responsible for passing on infection under any circumstances. I'm wearing a face covering anyway, to comply with the law, even though I'm convinced it achieves nothing.
 

Puffing Devil

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And yet, the University of Oxfords Centre for Evidence Based Medicine says the complete opposite, when reviewing the results of high-quality randomised control trials:
Not exactly, from your linked article:

The views expressed in this viewpoint represent the views of the authors and not necessarily those of the host institution, the NHS, the NIHR, or the Department of Health.
A viewpoint is not a study, or even a paper. They also do not speak for the University of Oxfords Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.

The article is nine paragraphs bemoaning the lack of studies and that some have been curtailed. The viewpoint is that further research is required.


I'll also engage. I have no such qualms.

What I see is that social distancing worked very well. Part of the economy like non essential shops, hairdressers and pubs reopened and cases continued to fall. The recent rise in cases correlates almost exactly with when the masks in shops mandate was introduced.
1. Correlation is not causation
2. Even if it were, you're wrong. 7 day daily new cases moving average on 13th July, when pubs reopened was 625. It's been on the rise ever since then and was 752 on the 31st July.
 
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DavidB

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Not exactly, from your linked article:

A viewpoint is not a study, or even a paper. They also do not speak for the University of Oxfords Centre for Evidence Based Medicine.

The article is nine paragraphs bemoaning the lack of studies and that some have been curtailed. The viewpoint is that further research is required.
All of the issues you mention - disclaimers, need for further study where something such as benefit of masks is unproven - are pretty standard academic practice.

Note that one of the authors of that paper is the director of the CEBM.
 

Puffing Devil

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All of the issues you mention - disclaimers, need for further study where something such as benefit of masks is unproven - are pretty standard academic practice.

Note that one of the authors of that paper is the director of the CEBM.
It's not an academic paper. It's a viewpoint. It has as much value as a newspaper column.
 

AdamWW

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2. Even if it were, you're wrong. 7 day daily new cases moving average on 13th July, when pubs reopened was 625. It's been on the rise ever since then and was 752 on the 31st July.
Of course the figures for positive tests depends on how many tests are carried out, who gets tested etc.

A more robust way is to look at the results of random sampling.

But the sample size (and infection levels within the sample) is too small for this to be very accurate. So all these are saying at the moment is that - within the rather large uncertainty when extrapolating these results to the population as a whole - there's no evidence for infections going down or up.
 

DavidB

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It's not an academic paper. It's a viewpoint. It has as much value as a newspaper column.
Right. So you think that the view of two academics who specialise in this area and have studied the evidence has the same value as an opinion piece by a Daily Mail jounalist?

Presumably you didn't notice the links in there to papers illustrating each major point?
 
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Richard Scott

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It's worth perhaps mentioning here that in Italy pretty much everyone wears a mask in the street without grumbling.
You know for a fact they're not grumbling? This is the nation where many won't wear helmets on motorbikes, which is known to reduce chances of serious injury in event of an accident, not sure they're doing it out of goodness of their hearts.
 

Puffing Devil

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Of course the figures for positive tests depends on how many tests are carried out, who gets tested etc.

A more robust way is to look at the results of random sampling.

But the sample size (and infection levels within the sample) is too small for this to be very accurate. So all these are saying at the moment is that - within the rather large uncertainty when extrapolating these results to the population as a whole - there's no evidence for infections going down or up.
It sounds as if you're suggesting that the evidence on which the OP relies is not reliable? I agree.


Right. So you think that the view of two academics who specialise in this area and have studied the evidence has the same value as an opinion piece by a Daily Mail jounalist?
I do believe that they have more knowledge in the field than random journalists.

Reading the viewpoint, it does not say that wearing masks is ineffective in preventing the transmission of COVID. It does criticise the lack of reliable evidence on which to make a decision. It does say that the most recent research

using lower quality evidence found masks to be effective.
It is a call for better and more informed trials.

It is not a call to abandon the use of masks.
 

DavidB

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it does not say that wearing masks is ineffective in preventing the transmission of COVID. It does criticise the lack of reliable evidence on which to make a decision. It does say that the most recent research

It is a call for better and more informed trials.

It is not a call to abandon the use of masks.
See also the interview with the authors on Unherd

They are quite clear that in their view there is a lack of evidence that masks help.

Given that the government mandated masks on the basis of claimed 'growing evidence' this is pretty damning.
 

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