I keep hearing the phrase “there is no evidence…” that face masks provide any benefit, or that if used improperly, might actually increase your chances of contracting the virus.
Different jurisdictions are giving widely different advice on the subject. Some mandate face mask use in certain circumstances, others advise against their use.
When someone says “there is no evidence” they could mean that no one has looked and the effect is unknown. Or they could mean that people have looked and come to the clear conclusion that there is no benefit. In fact, neither is the case. Studies into the benefits of face masks in preventing the spread of SARS related viruses have been done, and they mostly conclude that face masks work.
So why do we keep being told the opposite? Are there studies out there that have shown that face masks increase the danger? Are they simply trying to protect stocks for medical staff (a perfectly worthy reason)?
Whatever the reason, “there is no evidence” appears to be quite simply untrue.
As before, the number of deaths registered in excess of the five year average, is much greater than has been attributed to covid-19.
The graph shows the difference in the number of deaths in England and Wales from the five year average. The total excess of deaths up to 17 Apr is 27,000. I’m going to assume an extra 10% for Scotland and Northern Ireland, bring the total to 29,700.
The number of UK deaths attributed to covid-19 by 17 Apr was 15,464. This is just over half the total excess death count.
The FT has performed a similar exercise for some other countries as well.