OK, let’s talk about the Bangladesh study on face-masks.
This is a study the empire conducted in order to prove that face-masks work.
Here is the author’s opening statement:
“Background: Mask usage remains low across many parts of the world during the COVID- 19 pandemic, and strategies to increase mask-wearing remain untested. Our objectives were to identify strategies that can persistently increase mask-wearing and assess the impact of increasing mask-wearing on symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infections.”
From the get-go the implementers indict themselves. Why would you seek to increase mask use unless you had already bought into the concept that they work?
In a nutshell the empire went out to many villages in Bangladesh and did a prospective study, which is good, in which they gave approximately 178,288 villagers face-masks in order to measure the effectiveness of the face-mask. They then compared COVID-19 infections in those 163,838 villagers against villagers who were not encouraged to wear face-masks at all.
The villagers who were given face-masks were asked to comply in wearing face-masks.
Face-mask use was monitored in mosques and other areas of public domain.
Presumably these two groups of villagers were citizens of different villages.
COVID-19 infection was monitored by symptomatology and by seroprevalence meaning that they drew the villagers blood to check for antibodies.
The study, according to the implementers, proves that face-masks work. They point to increased symptomatology of COVID-19 and increased seroprevalence in the villagers who did not wear face-masks.
The implementers and the empire they represent are currently running around the village square high-fiving each other.
You see, they crow, we were right.
Not so fast.
Let’s begin at the beginning. Who funded this study? That can always tell us a lot. Well, it’s just so happens that the implementers told us. It was funded by GiveWell.org, a foundation you can examine on the Internet.
GiveWell’s website tells you a lot.
GiveWell’s leadership is populated plentifully with graduates from the empire’s top schools. There are plenty of Yale, MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley types there.
Do you really think they and the implementers of this study are going to defy the power establishment and risk their first class ticket in America?
They’re not stupid. They can see what happened to Cornel West. They can see what happened to the Dixie Chicks.
Can you imagine if they came back with a study that said the face-mask was worthless?
That aside, let’s look at the major problems with the study.
First, it was not double blinded. Not only was it not double blinded, it wasn’t blinded. That of course comes about for obvious reasons. It’s pretty tough for a subject of a study to not know whether he’s wearing a face-mask or not. Likewise for the implementers.
For the implementers to be blinded, you’d have to shuttle the patients to a neutral town for observation and testing, or they’d have to submit answers over the phone – unlikely in Bangladesh.
That it is difficult to blind the study in no way legitimizes the results. In fact its lack of blinded-ness is a real problem.
Everyone, including the implementers, has a built in bias that effects how one will construct the study. The biased mind subconsciously shades conditions to favor its own preconceived beliefs. The biased mind really doesn’t desire the truth as truth may be painful.
Were the masked villagers placed into a state of fear by the implementers through constant monitoring. Apparently they were as the implementers reveal that social distancing increased in the masked group of villagers. And was it that fear-engendered social distancing in masked villagers that caused the decrease in COVID-19 infections?
Were the masked villagers from higher socioeconomic groups where education and sanitation is higher and better?
Did the villages have different customs that might have contributed to the differences in COVID-19 prevalence? For example, some villages may have had a greater tradition of handwashing.
Bangladesh is probably a more tribal community than that seen in the United States. The United States is fairly homogeneous; not so countries in the third world.
There may be stark genetic differences from one village to the next. We know that India has many dialects. What about Bangladesh? If there are different dialects, the customs and genetics may be very different as well. And this will affect results.
That aside, let’s look at the data. The results hardly represent a ringing endorsement for the mask. But before we examine those, let me note that the methodology used in this study is a laughable case of paralysis through analysis. If I as a trained physician am overwhelmed at the amazing complexity of the methodology of mask use and mask monitoring employed, how much more confused were the villagers? Maybe they didn’t get COVID-19 because their brains were frozen into a state of paralysis by the mask guidelines.
One shouldn’t require an IQ of 900 and an advanced degree in the calculus of imaginary numbers to conduct and interpret a study, unless, of course, you don’t want it interpreted properly.
Here is what the implementers wrote: The proportion of individuals with COVID-like symptoms was 7.62% (N=13,273) in the intervention (masks) arm and 8.62% (N=13,893) in the control (maskless) arm. Blood samples were collected from N=10,952 consenting, symptomatic individuals. Adjusting for baseline covariates, the intervention reduced symptomatic seroprevalence by 9.3%.
To recap, there were approximately 340,000 total participants, 170,000 in each group, masked and unmasked.
7.62 % of the masked had COVID-19 symptomatology; 8.62% of the maskless had COVID-19 symptomatology. Then they measured IgG levels in the two groups, but of the roughly 27,000 with symptoms, only 10,952 consented to have their blood drawn. Of those tested there was a disparity in prevalence of COVID-19 antibodies of 9.3%.
With regard to symptomatology, there were only 620 more infections in the maskless group. 13,973 versus 13,273. But that’s just symptomatology. If the study is not blinded, who’s to say that the implementers didn’t go out of their way to find more evidence of infection in the maskless group?
I would have more confidence in this study if the people who were collecting the data had no idea whether the people were wearing masks or were not wearing masks.
As I say, this may not have been possible if whole villages were selected. How could a collector of information not know if the subject had been wearing a mask or not?
With regard to seroprevalence which seems to be more objective, the implementers claim 9.3% disparity between the masked group and the maskless group. It seems reasonable to accept this number.
The problem with these seroprevalence results however is that not everyone consented to give blood. Again, the lack of blinded-ness will affect the results. If I know a person is sick and wearing a mask, I may choose to discourage or reject a blood test from that villager.
There are other problems with this study. It is physically impossible to monitor this many people with high efficiency and reliability.
Additionally one would also have to take into account household population densities.
Then there is the problem of not drawing blood amongst all patients suspected of having COVID-19. With the blinders off, an implementer might easily draw blood off the sickest of the maskless while ignoring the sickest of the masked.
But if it were the case that the people who got their blood tested weren’t chosen except through their own volition, then it might be reasonable to ask if there were any factors which might induce the sickest of the masked to be less likely to get their blood drawn.
Well, maybe they did want their blood tested but were delayed and prevented from having it drawn by the implementers who were being paid by GiveWell and were smart enough to see what the study was really about.
What these questions in part illustrate is that when it comes to studies in general, a study is not necessarily better because it has more people.
Nor can you change reality with fancy stats and Cox regression analysis.
But this is what the empire desired.
The empire loves open and shut cases.
The empire l-o-v-e-s blue ribbon panels and fancy school graduates. They know you will get suckered by men in white coats who hail from towering Meccas of shimmering glass and steel – especially if the implementers and authors are resume hounds who have attended phony Ivy League schools.
The empire also knows that you won’t take the time to read their study.
So to achieve their ends, they rounded up some loyalists (puppets and true believers) and went to Bangladesh, a country far removed from American scrutiny, where it might be possible to induce an impoverished people who, for a few bucks, might give the elites the results their empire so desperately requires.
Would our elites do that?
Why, yes they would.
The elites are real good at corralling wannabes who wanna sit with the cool kids in the cafeteria.
Fuck the cool kids.
These wannabes, these academic puppets, are clueless followers who desperately seek to be invited to a State Dinner or a ride on Air Force One.
Throw in a little federal grant money, and Buster, you’ve got yourself a professor.
When our wannabes aren’t groveling before the political class, they’re queuing up at the Louvre for their chance to Sieg Heil before the Mona Lisa.
They don’t know why they believe Leo is the greatest painter who ever lived; they just believe it because it’s another item to store in their buzzword repository.
For all we know Leo was one of the worst artists in Florence. After all how many redos did it take him to get the Mona Lisa right?
Beyond that, why should we care what some cocksucker at the Smithsonian thinks?
We shouldn’t, and neither should the academics.
What we need out of academia are voracious tigers who rip the flesh off their prey.
When it comes to research, we don’t want nice people, smiling backslapping goofballs.
We need courage, courage to act, courage to think, courage to attack like a motherfucker.
Now, you may ask why I am taking an aggressive stance against this study. Because it goes against my work experience and most likely the work experience of every single honest pediatrician and honest family practitioner in all countries across the globe. It also goes against your life experience, that of you, the reader, who have eaten at innumerable restaurants, flown on innumerable airline flights, and congregated at innumerable parties sans mask without getting sick.
Where is the beef?
If mankind could get infected by respiratory droplets this easily, man never would have made it out of his first cave. Your body isn’t that dumb. Only professors can be this stupid.
For 37 years I worked in front of coughing children, day in day out, up close and personal and hardly ever get sick.
A face-mask? Forget it.
I washed my hands.
Nobody wore a face mask.
Copyright 2021 Archer Crosley All Rights Reserved