There’s no case for mask mandates | Gary Sidley

menorth Junand this year, free smile (a group that opposes mask mandates) wrote a open letter NHS chief executives from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The letter — signed by more two,000 medical and health care professionals called for the “requirement” for all staff, patients and visitors to wear face coverings in NHS venues to be lifted. Citing the strongest sources of scientific evidence from randomized controlled trials in real-world settings, the letter highlighted both the ineffectiveness of masks as a viral barrier; and the physical, social and psychological potential harms associate with their use. Scotland and Wales were quick to respond: their attempts to justify their Decisions to impose mask requirements in healthcare settings. were criticized in a previous Article. Now NHS England has spoken, defending its support for mass masking primarily on the basis of computer models.

inaccurate prophecies afraid Western governments in lockdown

in a letter with date of 4 Octover two022, Lady Ruth May (Chief Nursing Officer and National Leader for Infection Control), responding on behalf of Amanda Pritchard (CEO of NHS England), stated that there was “strong” evidence that the widespread use of face coverings achieved a “significant impact” in the prevention of covid -19 transmission. To support this premise, she cited a computational model to studyPublished in Octover two021. This preprint document reported that, based on its model, “universal masking” would achieve a 46 percent reduction in infections among healthcare workers. Given the substantial amount of solid scientific evidence available, coupled with the conclusion that, in the real world, masks constitute an ineffective viral barrier, it is surprising that the NHS in England it is rely on a modeling study to justify its general policies.

There seems to be little recognition of the unfavorable legacy of the epidemiologist, Professor Neil Ferguson. In collaboration with his colleagues at Imperial College London, Ferguson implemented computer modeling to predict the doomsday scenarios of the COVID carnage two.2 million Americans and 500,000 people in the UK. Prophecies so inaccurate were largely responsible for scaring Western governments in lockdowns, an unprecedented public health policy that has led to a wide Collateral damage. now health chiefs are citing a similar modeling study as a key reason to persist with mask recommendations in our hospitals, health centers and GP practices.

An initial look at the study highlighted in England’s NHS response is enough to reveal that it falls well below an evidentiary bar that would justify imposing masks on healthy people. As a preprint document, it has not been peer reviewed.Y comes with an explicit warning note at the beginning of the article that it “should not be considered conclusive, used to inform clinical practice, or referenced by the media as validated information”. Within the body of the article, there are are further warnings about the dubious reliability of its findings, for example, references to its results reported as ‘highly uncertain’”.

Face masks do not achieve an appreciable reduction in the transmission of respiratory viruses

Ferguson’s misleading forecasts throughout the covid era powerfully illustrate the limitations of modeling as a way to predict viral spread and resulting consequences. There are Many inherent weaknesses to this approach, sensitivity to initial assumptions being crucial. For example, Ferguson and his colleagues overestimated (by at least four times) the case fatality rate from SARS-CoV-2 virus infection, an error that contributed significantly to the frightening forecasts of the probable death toll. Speaking clearly, garbage in, garbage out. The modeling study cited by NHS England in defense of its mask requirement clearly harbors the same fundamental flaw. The number of infections purportedly prevented by universal masking depends largely on the initial assumption about their efficacy as a viral barrier.

As stated above, scientific evidence suggests that face coverings do not achieve an appreciable reduction in the transmission of respiratory viruses. The authors of the study referenced by NHS England clearly acknowledge this limitation, as indicated their mentions “significant gaps in the evidence base” and that “evidence on the efficacy of interventions such as the use of surgical masks is seriously lacking”.”. However, despite acknowledging this reality, their model is based on an initial assumption of mask efficacy. The result? Hey ready, the face coverings prevent 46,000 infections of health personnel. It is amazing that NHS England it is relying on such circular logic to defend its Controversial mask policies.

This cultural descent towards ubiquitous masks in hospitals and health centers is very worrying. Policies that require customary face coverings are not based on solid empirical evidence; An ill-fitting piece of cloth or plastic is not transformed into an impermeable viral barrier by crossing the threshold of a hospital or health center. As such, NHS bosses should reconsider their position on this issue. They We must never forget that humane medical care, delivered with demonstrable warmth and compassion, will always be more effective than the version delivered by faceless professionals hidden behind facades of sterility.

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