A SIMPLE SOLUTION LITERALLY STARES US IN THE FACE
“If you’re wondering whether to wear or not to wear, consider this. The day before yesterday, 21 people died of COVID-19 in Japan. In the United States, 2,129 died. Comparing overall death rates for the two countries offers an even starker point of comparison with total U.S. deaths now at a staggering 76,032 and Japan’s fatalities at 577. Japan’s population is about 38% of the U.S., but even adjusting for population, the Japanese death rate is a mere 2% of America’s.”
““One reason is that nearly everyone there is wearing a mask,” said De Kai, an American computer scientist with joint appointments at UC Berkeley’s International Computer Science Institute and at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He is also the chief architect of an in-depth study, set to be released in the coming days, that suggests that every one of us should be wearing a mask—whether surgical or homemade, scarf or bandana—like they do in Japan and other countries, mostly in East Asia.“
Is there any place that has figured out a way to open and have employees work safely, with each other and with their customers? Well, yes: in health care.
They’ve adopted…”an approach that we might think of as a combination therapy—like a drug cocktail. Its elements are all familiar: hygiene measures, screening, distancing, and MASKS. Each has flaws. Skip one, and the treatment won’t work. But, when taken together, and taken seriously, they shut down the virus. We need to understand these elements properly—what their strengths and limitations are—if we’re going to make them work outside health care.”
“Austria seemingly managed to reverse its crisis by making masks compulsory on April 6, following a spike in infections in late March.”
Masks made mandatory in the Czech Republic on March 18th. Cases peaked and dropped.
If you want to end the lockdown immediately, then you will want to take any nominal precautions that will allow reopening as quickly as possible. Wearing a mask is a low-cost, high-benefit way to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, and hence make it possible to ease restrictions while lowering the chances of another outbreak.
WE CAN’T HAVE IT BOTH WAYS. EVIDENCE STRONGLY SUGGESTS WE’LL NEED TO WEAR A MASK IF WE DON’T WANT TO CONTINUE STAY AT HOME RESTRICTIONS.