Whiplash from the About-Face

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So the US Centre for Disease Control recently reversed its recommendations on the use of masks by everyday people to help control the spread of Covid-19. Up until this point, the recommendation was against the use of masks, believing them to be of no benefit and encouraging people to touch their faces.

This has changed, based on both the scientific evidence that any kind of mask can reduce your chances of getting infected, and even more importantly, reduce the likelihood of you spreading it if you have it.

The CDC's former policy was based off the recommendations from the World Health Organization, which was based off...

Well...

As it turns out, it was based on not having any firm evidence that the masks helped. Basically, they didn't know if it did anything, so they said 'don't do it'.

Which isn't always a bad policy. Dumping random stuff into your water source, for instance, is generally a bad idea. Diving into water without knowing how deep it is, also a bad idea. But masks had no real evidence of being harmful, and the anecdotal evidence even in January was that Covid-19 was spread by water vapour expelled by coughing, sneezing, breathing, talking, spitting, etc. Some places, most noticeably Taiwan, used them as a strong part of their public health response.

Taiwan had its first case on the 21st of January, and currently has 348 confirmed cases. This is ten days earlier than the first confirmed case in Italy, and the Italians have nearly 120,000 confirmed cases. (As of April 3rd)

Now, it's not a scientific conclusion, but at a glance it seems pretty clear that masks haven't hurt anything. And with the about-face about masks in most of the world, it sounds like it's a damn good idea to wear one.

(And hey, thanks to KateLorraine earlier, you got accurate health information before the US government was giving it out! Score one for the doctor in New York. Go give her a cheer when you get a chance.)

And to the WHO: that's called dropping the ball.

By the way, if you want to harass the WHO on Twitter or Instagram by sending them this picture over and over again, feel free

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By the way, if you want to harass the WHO on Twitter or Instagram by sending them this picture over and over again, feel free.

So, get a mask. As was mentioned, anything is better than nothing, even wrapping a scarf around your face like a stylish bank robber is better than doing nothing. Just don't rob a bank, there's no way you can guarantee social distancing while trying to steal money.

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