It’s November 2023 and masks are officially back.
It’s been increasingly likely over the past few months, but the largest and most significant return of mask mandates is here. Not just at a college, a White House event, or at a specific company. But a mask mandate that impacts members of the general public.
It’s not surprising, given the amount of work “The Experts” did, and continue to do, to mislead the public about the efficacy of masks.
Mandates affecting the general public are, of course, the most intolerable and unacceptable decisions made by administrators and public health officials. But almost equally as bad are efforts to encourage masking once again as we head into winter. And boy oh boy are those efforts ramping right back up.
As just one example New York City has been promoting an ad with a masked child at school, with a classroom full of masked children behind her, with the well-worn message of mask make-believe claiming that these efforts will “keep our children safe and our schools Covid-free.”
It’s exceptional timing then to cover a little known study that examined the very subject of school masking. Unfortunately, given the efforts of delusional cities like New York, it’s still remarkably necessary to have more evidence to use to disprove these nonsensical narratives.
Simplicity Is Profundity
This study, conducted in the Spanish region of Catalonia, was designed to examine the impact of masks on young children, with an exceptionally simple methodology.
Compare one age group of kids required to wear masks, and one that wasn’t, and notice the different outcomes between them. Six-year-old children who were in year 1 of “primary education” in Catalonia were required to wear masks (not the torturous 2-year-old requirement seen in the United States), and 5-year-olds in the last grade of preschool, were not.
This sets up a perfect comparison, with the masked 6-year-olds classified as the intervention group and the unmasked 5-year-olds as the control one.
A quasi-experimental comparison between children in the last grade of preschool (5 years old), as a control group, and children in year 1 of primary education (6 years old), as an interventional group.
Main outcome measures Incidence of SARS-CoV-2, secondary attack rates (SARs) and effective reproductive number (R*).
The study population was massive, giving the results even more consequence. Nearly 600,000 children were included, with those aged 3-5 as the control and the masked 5-11-year-olds as the intervention group.
So what was the result?
In a stunning turn of events, the researchers found that with this massive sample size and the obviously demographically similar populations, masks made absolutely no difference whatsoever.
In fact, the unmasked younger children had lower rates of infection. Lower.
Results: SARS-CoV-2 incidence was significantly lower in preschool than in primary education, and an increasing trend with age was observed. Six-year-old children showed higher incidence than 5 year olds (3.54 percent vs 3.1 percent; OR 1.15 (95 percent CI 1.08 to 1.22)) and slightly lower but not statistically significant SAR (4.36 percent vs 4.59 percent; incidence risk ratio 0.96 (95 percent CI 0.82 to 1.11)) and R* (0.9 vs 0.93; OR 0.96 (95 percent CI 0.87 to 1.09)). Results remained consistent using a regression discontinuity design and linear regression extrapolation approaches.
Importantly, the SAR (secondary attack rate) was nearly identical, as was the reproduction number.
The authors of the study come to a clear, succinct conclusion as well. There was no evidence that masking was remotely relevant to reducing the spread of Covid among school-aged children.
Conclusions: We found no significant differences in SARS-CoV-2 transmission due to FCM mandates in Catalonian schools. Instead, age was the most important factor in explaining the transmission risk for children attending school.
“The effectiveness of the FCM mandate for children attending school is based on insufficient scientific evidence,” they added.
The main findings of the study show no significant differences between P5 and year 1 of primary education in terms of transmission indicators during the first trimester of the current academic year, despite the difference in the FCM mandate, and a strong age-dependency in the transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in the schools, reinforcing the results published for the year 2020- 2021, but with a different and more transmissible SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant. The age-dependency trend observed for P5 (preschool) and older children follows a different pattern when P3 and P4 are included in the analysis. With no mandatory use of FCM, the youngest children have significantly lower transmission indicators when compared with any other year group.
Importantly, the authors mention that this examination took place during the time period when the Delta variant was dominant, September to early December 2021, when masks (if they worked) would be needed the most.
They were entirely ineffective.
This result confirms past research showing that masks in schools failed spectacularly in the United States as well, according to the CDC’s own data.
Not to mention that they could potentially be harmful too.
There are several other important details revealed in the data from this study, notably that the incidence rate from ages 3-5 ranged from 1.74-3.10 percent. By age 11, the incidence rate was nearly 6 percent.
Unmasked younger children were ~45-70 percent less likely to contract Covid than forcibly masked older children.
It’s almost impossible for an intervention to be less effective than that.
Not to mention that as cases increased among all age groups, they accelerated faster and higher among age groups that were forced to wear masks.
This doesn’t mean that masks make things worse, but it certainly means they do nothing to make things better either.
The evidence base against masking continues to grow; observational studies, randomized controlled trials, and high quality reviews like the one coming from the Cochrane Library.
There’s also abundant evidence against masking children; from comparisons between states and cities that had universal mandates to CDC data, and now to this review of a massive sample in Catalonia. All of it prove that masks don’t work.
So why is New York City continue to promote them?
We all know the answer: they won’t admit they were wrong. Their worldview demands an unending alliance with “The Science™,” despite the “experts” involved in creating it being summarily discredited. Acknowledging that they misled the public would remove their unearned sense of superiority and obsessive dedication to pretending that progressive political views are “science” based.
And clearly, they’d rather continue to hurt children by recommending masks indefinitely than accept defeat. It’s a historic disgrace. In short, it’s the logical extension of the Covid era.
Republished from the author’s Substack
Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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