JAFO wrote:@eltonioni - I normally agree with you but I'm struggling to follow your reasoning here.
You said there was little evidence, so I gave you evidence. You said my evidence was ancient or lacked day to day relevance, so I pointed out that it was just a few weeks old and concentrated on day to day relevance. You quoted that and then went off on some other points directed at other posters.
The OP was all about indoor settings and you start introducing how the outdoor protests don't appear to have affected the figures.
Of course it would have been better if we'd made masks mandatory in March - as some people said at the time - we may even have been able to sidestep much of the effects of lockdown but we can't go back and do that, all we can do now is what we can do now and taking any steps to limit the spread of the virus is still a good idea. Masks in shops are not the answer but they are part of the best answer we have. As @Charles Hunt points out, there may be tens of thousands of asymptomatic spreaders, if we can do something to limit how they spread the disease by wearing masks in enclosed spaces, in addition to the other measures in place, why wouldn't we?
I am starting to think that what you mean is: "I've made up my mind and I am not going to be swayed by inconvenient facts."
I certainly don't find it easy to articulate a bunch of thoughts into a single sentence, mainly because some don't directly support the others, some are contradictory. That's the joy of discussion though, we can work through ideas and even hold dichotomies of truth (whatever that is
) I'll even change my mind sometimes.
All my points here are at population level so it's taken it for granted that we all appreciate and sympathise with individual tragedies. We don't need to keep clutching at our pearls and reaching for the smelling salts when death is mentioned, as rotten as it is.
I have two key concerns; health and society, the latter including the economy.
On health - unlike some I'm not and don't pretend to be an expert and I will bow to actual expertery once I've challenged it in my own mind. I have the same information that anyone else has on the Clapham Omnibus so I'll look for the big shiney things that I can see out of the window. What stands out to me is who's dying and why. The big ticket deaths are the disproportionately the old and the ill who are disproportionately catching it in healthcare settings - care homes, hospitals, etc. That's a pretty tight, if large, group which means that they can be targeted. IIUI we know how to reduce risk for those groups. 1. Hygiene through many means including masks, and 2. social isolation. Neither are nice changes to daily life but we're told that they are very effective at preserving it. They are also temporary - let's hope so anyway or we're in even bigger trouble. These people will benefit from social isolation and an effective respirator mask that protects themselves.
The points above about asymptomatic spreaders is a good one and sort of makes my point. Those people are not a worry which is a good job because they can not be targeted. Those people don't need masks or social isolation for themselves.
I'd hope we can broadly agree on the above synopsis, even if not on the many details I've glossed over.
Then there are the people we don't know about, me, you, the majority which is pretty much everyone who's not had an antibody test. It's a huge number of people - society at large.
So we quickly arrive at the effects on society, which the economy is an intrinsic part of.
As said a few times above, I'm completely relaxed about individuals choosing to wear a face covering. I occasionally do it. Legally mandating face coverings is a different matter though.
Warning: Here comes the slippery slope.
Ironically, slippery slope arguments tend to be a slippery slope themselves, but just as stereotypes have a habit of outing truths, a slippery slope argument is a good way of checking ourselves from doing things that have worse impacts.
The reasoning behind face masks in shops is specious and the declining numbers don't support it. If the numbers did we would also impose face coverings any time we go out of our house. The disease is petering out in the general population, and has been since before lockdown on 23 March. It's a background matter. If it's necessary to wear a mask in a shop, it should be necessary all the time everywhere outside the home
- that's the only logical position to hold unless I've missed something.
So why not wear masks everywhere? It shouldn't need explaining but there is growing suspicion (evidence?) that in the UK using face coverings perpetuates fear, whether or not it should. I'd posit that this thread is evidence of that since normally sensible people seem to have taken this new version of Project Fear onboard, underscored with shaky but bias-confirming selective "evidence". We've seen that before on another, now banned topic.
So why not wear masks since March? Good question, but that bird flew ages ago. Without wanting (and probably failing) to be a complete smartarris back then I was banging on about people not taking this seriously enough while others some of who are now committed bedwetting mask advocates) were trying to work out how to flout guidance while staying legal. Smartarsery aside, it doesn't matter either way now - the bird is long gone.
If we accept that face masks create fear and put barriers in the way of a productive daily life it follows that legally mandating them increases fear and in its wake the obvious effects on society. That doesn't help anyone. I'd suggest that whether you think it matters is how it affects you personally, some options might be;
> If you are old or have underlying health issues you want belt and braces - everyone should wear a face mask dammit!!!!
> If you secretly think you might be vulnerable, probably best everyone wears a mask just in case.
> If you don't think it will ever affect you - get on that protest, go to a party, call up the swingers society and dig out the gimp masks and nurses outfit for a covid night!!
Most of us have a bit of each in varying proportions, and we have people we care about so when they see the opinion pieces by know-nothing opinion-mongers in the media banging on about masks for advertising clicks then yea, I can see why people think that masks might be worth a shot.
But the truth is that the disease has been dying out without masks. Heck, it was dying out without lockdown! The big question is, what's it worth to society to make it die out a teeny bit quicker?
That's a very
potted version of lots of thoughts, some of which I'll acknowledge may be contradictory but to sum up, face coverings very much have a role. IMO that role is being a technically worthwhile N95 type mask used by people who are statistically vulnerable. The people around them should also take the same precautions that they should have been doing for months. Everyone else - go back to work, wear a mask if you like.
Apologies if that's disjointed and typo ridden - blame the iPad