Masks and indoor dining bans don’t stop Covid
Masks and bans on indoor dining do little to stop the spread of COVID-19, according to a new report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Infection.
According to the CDC report, published March 12 in the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, while mask mandates and indoor restaurant bans did decrease daily cases of COVID-19 and deaths, the results were a correlation and a tiny one at that.
Mask mandates reduced case growth between zero and 1.8 percent, and COVID death rates by .7 and 1.9 percent, with an increase in deaths 21-40 days after the mandate went into effect. Indoor dining bans decreased case growth between .1 and .4 percent with an increase in cases in four time periods the bans were implemented. Restaurant bans were associated with a slight growth in COVID mortality.
The CDC’s findings on masks are in line with a Danish study published in November and a study on quarantined Marine recruits published in the New England Journal of Medicine in December. Both studies found limited evidence that mask-wearing was effective in stopping the spread of SARS-CoV-2. On September 11, CDC reported in a group of 314 with and without COVID-19, there was no significant difference in vigilant mask use.
The mask guidance for vaccinated individuals is curious, says Marilyn Singleton, M.D., J.D., a former president of the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons who has written widely on masks. “The vaccine guidance says that vaccinated folks while visiting with other fully vaccinated [people] can take off their masks and get close to one another in their own home as if most people were not already doing that,” said Singleton. “They can also go mask-less with unvaccinated low-risk individuals. Fully vaccinated folks are still told to wear masks outside the home. We are told to accept this unscientific recommendation as ‘the new normal’ as if that makes it reasonable or rational.”