We already know based on objective, impartial, empirical data, that there is effectively no difference in covid case counts/hospitalizations/deaths in states that mandate masks and business restrictions (such as North Dakota) vs states which do not (such as its southern neighbor).
So, perhaps while looking at this graphic, the CDC had a brilliant idea: ok, one mask does not work, but what about... two masks!
That's right: starting Wednesday, the CDC (aka the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) began recommending that Americans wear two masks, or specifically a cloth mask over a medical mask to slow the spread of Covid-19.
The guidance followed the release of an agency study (because "scientists") that found double masking can boost protection from aerosolized particles.
Whereas government officials previously said the CDC was waiting to gather evidence on double masking, they now appear to have a greenlight to mandate double-masking. The new study, part of the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, also examined the efficacy of modifications made to improve the fit of a medical mask. Either double masking or tightening a mask’s fit reduced exposure to aerosols that could be infectious by about 95%, the research concluded.
“These experiments highlight the importance of good fit to maximize mask performance,” the authors wrote.
“There are multiple simple ways to achieve better fit of masks to more effectively slow the spread of Covid-19.”
The findings came from experiments done by the agency last month, which tested how double masking and changes to improve mask fit worked amid coughing, which the researchers simulated. Knotting the loops of a surgical mask and tucking in extra fabric near the face was found to reduce exposure, as was wearing a cloth mask over a surgical mask.
As a result, the CDC's new guidance now recommends that Americans should ensure that masks fit tightly on their face and have layers, both of which improve protection. There are several routes to do that, including wearing a disposable mask beneath a cloth mask or choosing a mask with multiple layers of fabric, according to the recommendation.
That said, double-masking with two disposable masks, or with a KN95, isn’t recommended.
“The bottom line is this: Masks work and they work best when they have a good fit and are worn correctly,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said at a White House briefing on Wednesday.
And while the CDC may argue that "the bottom line" is whatever it wants it to be, at least until it changes its mind in a month to suit some political interest du jour, the reality is that wearing just one mask has shown no tangible improvement on infection numbers.
In fact, none other than Dr Anthony Fauci said one week ago that "there's no data that indicates that [double masking] is going to make a difference."
Fauci on double masking:— Eli Klein (@TheEliKlein) January 31, 2021
“There’s no data that indicates that that is going to make a difference” pic.twitter.com/ptVivQfuwt
But that was science in January. We now have February science. As a result, it's time to reset the count and start with two.... then three masks.... then four.... until eventually we all will look like this...
... at least for a few minutes before everyone dies from asphyxiation.