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Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Tuesday, August 10, 2021

For more than a year, we've worked with North Carolina school districts and charter schools, studying the rate of new Covid cases, the efficacy of mitigation measures such as masking and the increased risks of participating in school-sponsored sports. Although vaccination is the best way to prevent Covid-19, universal masking is a close second, and with masking in place, in-school learning is safe and more effective than remote instruction, regardless of community rates of infection.

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How do we know that masking helps prevent spread among unvaccinated people in schools? In July 2020, we and our colleagues developed the ABC Science Collaborative to pair scientists with school and community leaders to make sure that school leaders had the most up-to-date, scientific information pertaining to Covid-19 and K-12 schools. In conjunction with North Carolina, the ABC Science Collaborative collected data from more than one million students and staff members in the state's schools from March to June 2021.

During that time, more than 7,000 children and adults acquired the coronavirus and attended school while infectious. Because of close contact with those cases, more than 40,000 people required quarantine. Through contact tracing and testing, however, we found only 363 additional children and adults acquired the coronavirus. We believe this low rate of transmission occurred because of the mask-on-mask school environment: Both the infected person and the close contact wore masks. Schools provided this protection without expensive screening tests for the coronavirus or massive overhauls in ventilation systems.

With the evidence now clear that universal masking is linked to lower spread, why not require universal masking? Why seek to gather hundreds of unvaccinated, unmasked individuals in an enclosed space for several hours a day, five days a week?

In schools that choose to open without mask mandates and with limited vaccine uptakes, increased Covid is likely. Until all children can get vaccinated, masks remain a well-researched solution for lowering the risk of getting Covid. Children should be in school, and we should embrace the measures that can keep them safe.

Didn't we all used to believe in the wisdom behind "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?"

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2021-08-10 07:53 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

People that didn't understand this fact about masks have no common sense.

#2 | Posted by Tor at 2021-08-10 09:56 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

How do we know parachutes work?

We've never tested jumping out of planes with a placebo parachute.

#3 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-10 10:18 PM | Reply

The phrase "Masks don't work" has now joined other admissions of idiocy, including invocations of Benghazi, Vince Foster, and tax cuts increase revenue.

#4 | Posted by Danforth at 2021-08-10 10:18 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

"Since children never die of COVID, or ever spread it to others, they shouldn't wear masks!"

- Gov Myth B. DeSantis

#5 | Posted by Corky at 2021-08-10 10:45 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Meanwhile in Florida, folks are finding out that private schools are not raising their hands to take in students who are the spawn of the anti-vax / anti-mask crowd. The Catholic schools have religious requirements and academic standards, and the non-sectarian private schools are just too damned expensive and their students wear uniforms. And the Governor's tactic makes a fatal assumption, i.e., that these private schools have plenty of room and are looking only at the money, and not the risk and the prospect of disruption by admitting new students who may be on hand for only a semester or year...

#6 | Posted by catdog at 2021-08-11 09:58 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"Meanwhile in Florida, folks are finding out that private schools are not raising their hands to take in students who are the spawn of the anti-vax / anti-mask crowd."

This is why vouchers will never work*.

No one is going to single black mom vouchers.

*When I say work, I mean work to improve education for the poor. But the truth is, the actual goal of vouchers is to make things even worse for poor kids, while funneling Federal tax dollars to middle class and rich kids schools. Once you under

#7 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-11 10:22 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

understand the actual goal of vouchers, you can see how they would work to redistribute wealth upwards.

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-11 10:23 AM | Reply

Facts don't convince Conservatives. They never have. They never will.

#9 | Posted by Sycophant at 2021-08-11 10:34 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#2 | Posted by Tor

Common Sense is not common.

#10 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-08-11 12:00 PM | Reply

#1 | Posted by tonyroma

I know a lot of people that can quote Ben Franklin out of context on a tax issue that don't believe that...

#11 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-08-11 12:04 PM | Reply

I am going with "duh!"

#12 | Posted by donnerboy at 2021-08-11 12:06 PM | Reply

Of course I know too many people that if I share that Editorial with them who will simply attack it as not a scientific paper with enough participants, blah blah blah - I will then want to say "Just shut up simpleton."

#13 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-08-11 02:12 PM | Reply

Great article from over a year ago that is pretty well cited - Still Confused About Masks? Here's the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus. Note: Nothing has changed really since this put out but more evidence supporting mask wearing saves lives.

#14 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2021-08-11 02:23 PM | Reply

Well duh! South Korea had their first diagnosed case on the same day we did, South Korea, having lived through SARS immediately mandated masks and social distancing thus avoiding the fate the fat old orange dimentia patient thrust on the United States because of politics.

#15 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-08-11 02:48 PM | Reply

15. You forget however, mask wearing is a culturally accepted norm in Asian countries, especially Korea and Japan. The moment people feel sick, they wear masks, and have for 50 years at least. Mask mandates don't take anyone by surprise there.

I am but justifying being a anti masker by any means. They work. Period. But it was always going to take longer to gain acceptance here than a a place like Korea.

#16 | Posted by ABH at 2021-08-11 04:04 PM | Reply

#7 Good point, how about you start a thread on that topic. If I may be so bold.

#17 | Posted by bored at 2021-08-11 04:34 PM | Reply

#15 South Korea also started working on massive, population-scale testing, as soon as COVID-19 became a reality.

Uncle Sam never started working on that. In fact, Trump discouraged testing, because tests came back positive.

#18 | Posted by snoofy at 2021-08-11 04:41 PM | Reply

#16 & #18, Yet if Dotard had been honest (I know an impossibility for the orange a*al cyst) with the American people, and said the virus was dangerous and it was their patriotic duty to mask up and get tested, the MAGATs would have eagerly donned MAGAt masks just to own the libs. But of course he didn't do that, instead he lied and dithered and lied some more, and turned masks and testing into a political football, because Ivanka's meal ticket told him it was a blue state problem.

#19 | Posted by _Gunslinger_ at 2021-08-11 04:52 PM | Reply

"People that didn't understand this fact about masks have no common sense."

I guess the question would be, why start now.

The seasonal flu is far more deadly to children. Did people just now start caring?

#20 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-12 02:31 PM | Reply

"The phrase "Masks don't work" has now joined other admissions of idiocy, including invocations of Benghazi, Vince Foster, and tax cuts increase revenue."

What masks are you talking about? They're not all the same.

For the vast majority of masks, the effectiveness is determined by their dilligence in useage.

And technically speaking, in today's environment, the masks that are designed to keep you safe would not be permitted for use because they don't keep those who are as diligent as you safe as well.

#21 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-12 02:34 PM | Reply | Funny: 1

^
This dude doesn't even validate the most simple of assertions he drooled out on another thread, but he is knowledgeable in this subject

For Christ sake, stop with your --------

#22 | Posted by ChiefTutMoses at 2021-08-12 02:45 PM | Reply

For the vast majority of masks, the effectiveness is determined by their dilligence in useage.

That's true for all masks and respirators.

And technically speaking, in today's environment, the masks that are designed to keep you safe would not be permitted for use because they don't keep those who are as diligent as you safe as well.

#21 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

What does this even mean? Where are particular masks banned or not allowed?

#23 | Posted by jpw at 2021-08-12 03:09 PM | Reply

The seasonal flu is far more deadly to children. Did people just now start caring?

#20 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Still trotting out this stupid line I see.

Why don't you leave this topic to people who can actually consider more than one variable at a time?

#24 | Posted by jpw at 2021-08-12 03:12 PM | Reply

www.nbcnews.com

Sorry, doc. Some schmuck with zero medical training or knowledge knows more because...I'm not actually sure why, he just does.

Because you know, Germany and the gym.

#25 | Posted by jpw at 2021-08-12 03:20 PM | Reply

BTW I don't know where you got your numbers but the high mark for pediatric influenza deaths is 188 in the 2019-2020 season.

www.cdc.gov

There have been 423 deaths for those under 18. 131 of which were children four or younger.

data.cdc.gov

Plus, for the millionth time, death is only one outcome and we know long term damage following COVID is a significant difference between the two viruses.

#26 | Posted by jpw at 2021-08-12 03:24 PM | Reply

#21 | POSTED BY MADBOMBER

Oh FFS. Shut up, dopey.

#27 | Posted by LegallyYourDead at 2021-08-12 05:26 PM | Reply

"What does this even mean? Where are particular masks banned or not allowed?"

If you wanted to wear an M50 gas mask, it's effectiveness in protecting you is tangent to 100%. But it doesn't filter the air you exhale.

The current strategy is reliant on people effectively wearing masks that filter the air you breathe out for the safety of others...the underlying assumption being that, if everyone does it right, everyone will be safer.

It's not a strategy that allows for an individual to protect themselves first.

It's really no different that wearing masks with valves. Those masks are designed to protect the individual from the environment...not the environment from the individual.

That being said...I don't know what the mask requirements are in the US. Where I live paper surgical masks are required. The US may permit gas masks that protect the individual first and foremost.

#28 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-13 01:46 PM | Reply

"Still trotting out this stupid line I see. Why don't you leave this topic to people who can actually consider more than one variable at a time?"

People like you?

OK.

So then refute them.

I mean, this is far more your field of expertise than mine. Am I misinterpreting the CDC's numbers? Is there something I'm missing?

How about, in stead of mansplaining, show me where I got it wrong?

#29 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-13 01:48 PM | Reply

"BTW I don't know where you got your numbers but the high mark for pediatric influenza deaths is 188 in the 2019-2020 season."

Here is where I am pulling the numbers from:

2019-2020, 434 died of the flu. 36.2 per month
2018-2019, 477 died of the flu. 39.75 per month
2017-2018, 643 died of the flu. 53.6 per month
2016-2017, 251 died of the flu. 20.9 per month
2015-2016, 268 died of the flu. 22.3 per month

www.cdc.gov

#30 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-13 01:53 PM | Reply

Unrelated, I am sitting listening to a bunch of Germans at a party scream John Denver's "Country Road Take Me Home" in what appears to be a pretty intense party.

They love their JD.

#31 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-13 01:56 PM | Reply

"Plus, for the millionth time, death is only one outcome and we know long term damage following COVID is a significant difference between the two viruses."

It's also a function of the seasonal flu. But I don't have numbers on the long-term effects from seasonal flu or COVID for those

#32 | Posted by madbomber at 2021-08-13 01:58 PM | Reply

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