Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

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Jadagul
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Jadagul »

While Nicole is predictably more worked up about this than I am, I am not at all a Fauci fan.

The big one of course being the outright lying about masks. (He lied about the value of masks, and I _think_ he subsequently lied about the reasons he lied about the masks although that's of course hard to prove.)

It's my sense he also did the same thing in a bunch of other cases, though as DAR says in a manner very in line with standard public health bullshit. But I think standard public health lying about consequences is also bad!
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by D.A. Ridgely »

Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 13:52 While Nicole is predictably more worked up about this than I am, I am not at all a Fauci fan.

The big one of course being the outright lying about masks. (He lied about the value of masks, and I _think_ he subsequently lied about the reasons he lied about the masks although that's of course hard to prove.)

It's my sense he also did the same thing in a bunch of other cases, though as DAR says in a manner very in line with standard public health bullshit. But I think standard public health lying about consequences is also bad!
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by thoreau »

There are indeed truths that people can't handle, but if you're going to conceal those truths then you'd better fucking keep them concealed. Or accept the consequences of admitting that you ordered the Code Red. (Or, if you really want a third option, keep them concealed from everyone except jesters, who enjoy a unique ability to tell truths in sort-of-not-threatening ways.)

The value of masks for public use was not a truth that could be concealed for long, nor one that they even wanted to conceal for long.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

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I should correct my earlier post. Fauci claims that he was originally lying about the value of masks. I think that claim is a lie. I think that he originally thought masks weren't helpful, because that was the consensus among Western scientists for decades. (E.g. the CDC gave the same advice during the Swine Flu epidemic, when there wasn't a shortage.) But after it became clear that masks were important, he wanted to convince us (and himself) that he hadn't been making a major error, and so claimed that he'd done that on purpose.

The more general complaint is that the American public health officials have not wanted to give any nuance or actual fucking information, even when that's what people really need. They want to figure out what to say that will generate big behavioral changes, rather than communicating clear information. And as Thoreau says, that's not sustainable over the medium term, because people will stop listening when they realize they're being fucked with.

But it's also specifically bad in a situation like this where people need to keep making nuanced judgments and tradeoffs. Should we spend (limited) effort on surface sanitization or on air filtration? Is it better to work out in a gym while wearing a mask, or outdoors without a mask? Should I do my socialization with ten friends in an outdoor park, or with three friends in my house?

And the CDC is going to say "don't do any of those things" because the CDC is gonna CDC, but that's not realistic so people need actual advice on harm minimization. So instead we have to go read randos on twitter and try to put it together ourselves.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by lunchstealer »

He is shitty within normal parameters.

It'd be great to get someone truly honest and competent in there because it might long-term increase faith in medical advice, but A - replacing Fauci is unlikely to accomplish that because the impulse of doctors is to say what they think will get the patient to the healthiest place and knowing human psychology means a lot of them will decide on something that is not scrupulously accurate to say the least, and B - because human psychology is such that people will rarely as a group take the least bad course of action based on the most scrupulously honest information from their doctor or from officials, it's unclear that we'd have actually seen fewer deaths had they been scrupulously honest anyway.

The big fuckup here and the scandal that has been ignored and probably plays the single biggest role in the shitshow that was America's response was the FDA choice to go with its home-grown test because fuck your WHO tests we want murcan tests dammit and the subsequent at-least-a-month-delay in getting ANY accurate data, such that mrs lunch and I* were probably infected before the first case had even been detected in Colorado when we should've been a month further along in our understanding of the US spread of this thing. Seriously, even nurses and doctors in the ER where I suspect we caught it weren't wearing even standard masks as a precaution.

That's the fuckup that Fauci and pretty much everyone else at FDA/CDC need to own.

The first-shot-first objection is silly but while the distorted messaging seems overhyped to me, it is certainly valid criticism.

* it's not clear that I actually caught it because I never got a test but it's like 98% certain that mrs lunch did based on symptoms and a many-months-later trace-positive antibody test, and I can't imagine I got away with not catching it if I was living/sleeping with an infected person the whole time and caring for her post-op meaning I was handling all her dishes and pretty much anything else that could transmit this thing. I did have a few days of chills and sneeze/cough that could've been allergies and hypochondria but is consistent with a barely symptomatic mild case.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by thoreau »

I question how public health experts didn't know that masks could work. Although virus particles are certainly too small to be stopped by anything short of an airtight seal, if they are embedded in a droplet of water or mucus then most such droplets will be large enough to, if not totally stop, at least greatly reduce the number of via the tortuosity of the porous mask.

If it were easy to remove 100 nanometer particles (or smaller) from liquid and disperse them in air then some of my grad school projects would have been way weirder, in good ways and bad. And a bunch of medical testing would be easier. But small particles tend to aggregate with each other (which makes them easier to block) and/or stay in liquid rather than escape to air. Even hydrophobic particles, if for no other reason than there's often surfactant mixed in with bodily fluids.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by lunchstealer »

I think I do at least tentatively buy Jadagul's analysis that as with the FDA assuming that America just had to build its own tests because merka is better, America's establishment, Fauci included, were at least as motivated by actual dismissal of mask use in the general populace as a silly Asian thing rather than Real Western Medicine. And tbf a lot of the research that suggests mask effectiveness was done after SARS and the Swine Flu '08 Tour, so it probably still hadn't filtered up to leadership levels yet. I doubt Fauci and Surgeon General Guy et al had seriously reviewed the more recent literature yet when they started downplaying mask use, and the 'we were just trying to preserve supply for our Heroes and First Responders' is a rationalization of that failure - possibly even in their own minds - rather than the prime reason. Sure they wanted to preserve the supply for medical Heroes and First Responders but also some ignorance of the science and not a little pfft masks silly Asians was lurking in there too.

I mean, it's obvious that docs know and have known for a very long time that masks can cut the risk of infection from the wearer to those around them. It's the whole reason we call them surgical masks. But translating that to recognizing that widespread mask use will significantly reduce community spread such that 'everybody make your own masks at home' becomes doctrine is another leap. And American/Western medical doctrine has just never included hey-wear-a-mask-if-you're-sick-and-have-to-go-out as a part of its schtick. It's just not on the radar, and it probably took time for the mass of the medical community, Fauci included, to really realize that that was a hole in their thinking worth reexamination.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Pham Nuwen »

Oh man. Wait til you guys hear about how often normal doctors make mistakes like regular ass humans. And also hedge on being wrong. The guys literally under a microscope from truthers and anyone that wants to appear "fair". Y'all are weird.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Hugh Akston »

Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 14:23 I should correct my earlier post. Fauci claims that he was originally lying about the value of masks. I think that claim is a lie. I think that he originally thought masks weren't helpful, because that was the consensus among Western scientists for decades. (E.g. the CDC gave the same advice during the Swine Flu epidemic, when there wasn't a shortage.) But after it became clear that masks were important, he wanted to convince us (and himself) that he hadn't been making a major error, and so claimed that he'd done that on purpose.

The more general complaint is that the American public health officials have not wanted to give any nuance or actual fucking information, even when that's what people really need. They want to figure out what to say that will generate big behavioral changes, rather than communicating clear information. And as Thoreau says, that's not sustainable over the medium term, because people will stop listening when they realize they're being fucked with.

But it's also specifically bad in a situation like this where people need to keep making nuanced judgments and tradeoffs. Should we spend (limited) effort on surface sanitization or on air filtration? Is it better to work out in a gym while wearing a mask, or outdoors without a mask? Should I do my socialization with ten friends in an outdoor park, or with three friends in my house?

And the CDC is going to say "don't do any of those things" because the CDC is gonna CDC, but that's not realistic so people need actual advice on harm minimization. So instead we have to go read randos on twitter and try to put it together ourselves.
All of this.

Another thing the CDC is bad at communicating is that there's a lot we don't know and this is our best recommendation based on current information. They want to sound authoritative, which in 'Murca means never admitting you're wrong. So when information changes, they update recommendations with no context and suddenly we've always been at war with Eurasia.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Pham Nuwen »

Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:12
Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 14:23 I should correct my earlier post. Fauci claims that he was originally lying about the value of masks. I think that claim is a lie. I think that he originally thought masks weren't helpful, because that was the consensus among Western scientists for decades. (E.g. the CDC gave the same advice during the Swine Flu epidemic, when there wasn't a shortage.) But after it became clear that masks were important, he wanted to convince us (and himself) that he hadn't been making a major error, and so claimed that he'd done that on purpose.

The more general complaint is that the American public health officials have not wanted to give any nuance or actual fucking information, even when that's what people really need. They want to figure out what to say that will generate big behavioral changes, rather than communicating clear information. And as Thoreau says, that's not sustainable over the medium term, because people will stop listening when they realize they're being fucked with.

But it's also specifically bad in a situation like this where people need to keep making nuanced judgments and tradeoffs. Should we spend (limited) effort on surface sanitization or on air filtration? Is it better to work out in a gym while wearing a mask, or outdoors without a mask? Should I do my socialization with ten friends in an outdoor park, or with three friends in my house?

And the CDC is going to say "don't do any of those things" because the CDC is gonna CDC, but that's not realistic so people need actual advice on harm minimization. So instead we have to go read randos on twitter and try to put it together ourselves.
All of this.

Another thing the CDC is bad at communicating is that there's a lot we don't know and this is our best recommendation based on current information. They want to sound authoritative, which in 'Murca means never admitting you're wrong. So when information changes, they update recommendations with no context and suddenly we've always been at war with Eurasia.
I think everyones bad at that.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by lunchstealer »

Pham Nuwen wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:21
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:12
Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 14:23 I should correct my earlier post. Fauci claims that he was originally lying about the value of masks. I think that claim is a lie. I think that he originally thought masks weren't helpful, because that was the consensus among Western scientists for decades. (E.g. the CDC gave the same advice during the Swine Flu epidemic, when there wasn't a shortage.) But after it became clear that masks were important, he wanted to convince us (and himself) that he hadn't been making a major error, and so claimed that he'd done that on purpose.

The more general complaint is that the American public health officials have not wanted to give any nuance or actual fucking information, even when that's what people really need. They want to figure out what to say that will generate big behavioral changes, rather than communicating clear information. And as Thoreau says, that's not sustainable over the medium term, because people will stop listening when they realize they're being fucked with.

But it's also specifically bad in a situation like this where people need to keep making nuanced judgments and tradeoffs. Should we spend (limited) effort on surface sanitization or on air filtration? Is it better to work out in a gym while wearing a mask, or outdoors without a mask? Should I do my socialization with ten friends in an outdoor park, or with three friends in my house?

And the CDC is going to say "don't do any of those things" because the CDC is gonna CDC, but that's not realistic so people need actual advice on harm minimization. So instead we have to go read randos on twitter and try to put it together ourselves.
All of this.

Another thing the CDC is bad at communicating is that there's a lot we don't know and this is our best recommendation based on current information. They want to sound authoritative, which in 'Murca means never admitting you're wrong. So when information changes, they update recommendations with no context and suddenly we've always been at war with Eurasia.
I think everyones bad at that.
And fuck Eurasia. Fucking Eurasian fucks with their collared doves and their magpies and their largest continent by both land area and population.

Seriously though I think Fauci's fuckups have been normal fuckups and sure criticize him like you'd criticize any bureaucrat or doctor (I think my record on doctors aren't nearly as impressive as doctors want us to think they are is clear and consistent) and to get anyone significantly better would've been finding a unicorn.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

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thoreau wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 15:04 I question how public health experts didn't know that masks could work. Although virus particles are certainly too small to be stopped by anything short of an airtight seal, if they are embedded in a droplet of water or mucus then most such droplets will be large enough to, if not totally stop, at least greatly reduce the number of via the tortuosity of the porous mask.

If it were easy to remove 100 nanometer particles (or smaller) from liquid and disperse them in air then some of my grad school projects would have been way weirder, in good ways and bad. And a bunch of medical testing would be easier. But small particles tend to aggregate with each other (which makes them easier to block) and/or stay in liquid rather than escape to air. Even hydrophobic particles, if for no other reason than there's often surfactant mixed in with bodily fluids.
We didn't have any formal research indicating that widespread mask-wearing worked. No RCTs, no gold-standard studies. (SSC had a roundup of the then-current research here that lays that out pretty well.) Therefore clearly they don't work, because all treatments either "are proven to work" or "don't work".
Hugh Akston wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:12

Another thing the CDC is bad at communicating is that there's a lot we don't know and this is our best recommendation based on current information. They want to sound authoritative, which in 'Murca means never admitting you're wrong. So when information changes, they update recommendations with no context and suddenly we've always been at war with Eurasia.
Also that, and it's related. Our medical communication is built around the idea that some things are officially approved, and everything else officially doesn't work. And that means all the communications, especially about guidelines and recommendations, are definitive and don't express much uncertainty. And normally that's a little bad, and then in the pandemic it was very very bad.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Shem »

C'mon guys, can't we put the past away?
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by thoreau »

Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:43
thoreau wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 15:04 I question how public health experts didn't know that masks could work. Although virus particles are certainly too small to be stopped by anything short of an airtight seal, if they are embedded in a droplet of water or mucus then most such droplets will be large enough to, if not totally stop, at least greatly reduce the number of via the tortuosity of the porous mask.

If it were easy to remove 100 nanometer particles (or smaller) from liquid and disperse them in air then some of my grad school projects would have been way weirder, in good ways and bad. And a bunch of medical testing would be easier. But small particles tend to aggregate with each other (which makes them easier to block) and/or stay in liquid rather than escape to air. Even hydrophobic particles, if for no other reason than there's often surfactant mixed in with bodily fluids.
We didn't have any formal research indicating that widespread mask-wearing worked. No RCTs, no gold-standard studies. (SSC had a roundup of the then-current research here that lays that out pretty well.) Therefore clearly they don't work, because all treatments either "are proven to work" or "don't work".
Yeah, well, Dr. Fauci should have walked across the street to the NIH Clinical Center and told the surgeons there's no need to wear a mask because no RCT has proved that masks prevent transmission of oral bacteria to the patient. Just see what happens.

For that matter, I know for a fact that NIH has people on staff who could tell him that it's hard to get nanoparticles to cross a liquid-air interface.

I mean, yes, I understand your point. And I understand that licensed MDs have to be particularly careful about how they say these things. But I'm mildly surprised that biology experts who aren't licensed MDs weren't able to get the message out.

If nothing else, Fauci must have known that the research would likely prove that masks are effective (because even though you don't know for sure, you know that some hypotheses are way more likely than others), and he must have known that once he did the whole MiniTrue thing a bunch of people would decide that Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia are equally fucked up.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Jadagul »

thoreau wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:54
Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 16:43
thoreau wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 15:04 I question how public health experts didn't know that masks could work. Although virus particles are certainly too small to be stopped by anything short of an airtight seal, if they are embedded in a droplet of water or mucus then most such droplets will be large enough to, if not totally stop, at least greatly reduce the number of via the tortuosity of the porous mask.

If it were easy to remove 100 nanometer particles (or smaller) from liquid and disperse them in air then some of my grad school projects would have been way weirder, in good ways and bad. And a bunch of medical testing would be easier. But small particles tend to aggregate with each other (which makes them easier to block) and/or stay in liquid rather than escape to air. Even hydrophobic particles, if for no other reason than there's often surfactant mixed in with bodily fluids.
We didn't have any formal research indicating that widespread mask-wearing worked. No RCTs, no gold-standard studies. (SSC had a roundup of the then-current research here that lays that out pretty well.) Therefore clearly they don't work, because all treatments either "are proven to work" or "don't work".
Yeah, well, Dr. Fauci should have walked across the street to the NIH Clinical Center and told the surgeons there's no need to wear a mask because no RCT has proved that masks prevent transmission of oral bacteria to the patient. Just see what happens.

For that matter, I know for a fact that NIH has people on staff who could tell him that it's hard to get nanoparticles to cross a liquid-air interface.

I mean, yes, I understand your point. And I understand that licensed MDs have to be particularly careful about how they say these things. But I'm mildly surprised that biology experts who aren't licensed MDs weren't able to get the message out.

If nothing else, Fauci must have known that the research would likely prove that masks are effective (because even though you don't know for sure, you know that some hypotheses are way more likely than others), and he must have known that once he did the whole MiniTrue thing a bunch of people would decide that Oceania, Eastasia, and Eurasia are equally fucked up.
Biology experts who aren't licensed MDs were able to get the message out. It just took a few months. Don't you remember all that discourse?

But like, this isn't just an MD thing, it's a medical researcher thing. In February and March it was really easy to get medical researchers on the record saying that masks won't help and might make you more likely to get sick. Like, here's an article about MERS from 2015 discouraging masking:
Wearing a mask might make people feel better. After all, MERS has killed about a third of the people known to be infected.

But there are no good studies looking at how well these masks prevent MERS transmission out in the community, says Geeta Sood, an infectious disease specialist at Johns Hopkins University.

"On the street or the subway, for MERS specifically, they're probably not effective," she says. One problem is that the masks are loose fitting, and a lot of tiny airborne particles can get in around the sides of the masks.
And I'm pretty sure the thought process is that we haven't proven that masking works, therefore it doesn't work, therefore it must be bad, let me think about all the things that could possibly go wrong.


But of course surgeons can wear masks. It is known that surgeons wearing masks is good, and thus it would take a gold-standard RCT to prove they shouldn't. On the other hand, it is not known that common people wearing masks is good, and therefore it's not good until a gold-standard RCT proves that it is good.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by lunchstealer »

I think it's less there-were-no-RCTs and more it-wasn't-conventional-wisdom-for-the-pandemic-playbook.

Surgeons wear masks when doing surgery because that's an especially high-risk environment for the patient. They go to fuckloads of lengths to minimize the chance of infection and every-little-bit-helps is the word of the day.

It's a bit of a leap to go from lets-keep-a-surgical-environment-as-sterile-as-we-possibly-can to everyone-should-cut-up-some-old-T-shirts-to-make-a-mask-they-can-wear-down-to-the-King-Soopers-to-see-if-they've-finally-gotten-a-shipment-of-toilet-paper-OMG-we're-down-to-three-rolls. Knowing that they can keep spittle and even maybe vocalized-microdroplets from getting into an open incision for a few hours of surgery is not knowing that they will really stop community spread of what was initially thought to be an only semi-airborne infection. It's just not a part of Western Medicine's playbook to have randos wear masks on the chance that they might be pre-symptomatically infected.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by thoreau »

I'm just saying that those surgical masks aren't exactly tight-fitting in most cases, but most droplets are expelled forward so the masks work more or less. If pathogens from the mouth diffused out of the mask sideways in large quantities, surgical patients would have much worse outcomes.

I don't expect every doctor on the face of the earth to think through those air flow principles, but I'm at least mildly surprised that whatever advisory committees were handling the PPE side of pandemic prep didn't have some people who said "Yeah, we know that most oral and respiratory pathogens go forward rather than sideways when you exhale into a mask, hence surgical masks work. Because if routine exhalation put a massive cloud of bacteria and viruses into the air via the sides of the mask, dental offices would be ground zero for every single respiratory disease.

I mean, the dentist is literally staring into your mouth while breathing into the mask, and then they periodically turn their head to the side (i.e. edge of the mask may be pointed at your mouth) to look at x-rays or grab tools or whatnot. If the sides of the mask were venting large quantities of germs then any dentist in the pre-symptomatic stage of cold or flu would be infecting dozens of people. And over the decades some epidemiologist or public health researcher would have picked that up. "Recent dental work is major risk factor in flu season!"
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Jadagul »

Conventional wisdom, oddly enough, is that respiratory diseases are spread primarily by contact, and only rarely by transmission through shared air.

And, secondarily, that they're only spread through shared air when you're, like, directly breathing on someone else with droplets. That's where the 3-6 feet thing came from; if you're further away, the conventional wisdom was that the respiratory diseases couldn't spread that far through the air.

This is why it's been such a fucking uphill battle to get people to take ventilation seriously, even though as far as we can tell covid-19 basically doesn't spread at all through surface contact and spreads almost entirely through shared air.

Most interesting thing I learned from that article: there's at least some decent evidence that colds work the same way, and are spread almost entirely by shared air and not by surface transmission or getting your hands dirty. This evidence dates back to 1987. One project I want to do is go figure out what happened to that research, whether it's been followed up on or anything, etc. But I have a sad suspicion that it just kinda got ignored because we all knew that colds spread via surfaces.
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by thoreau »

Jadagul wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 18:09 Conventional wisdom, oddly enough, is that respiratory diseases are spread primarily by contact, and only rarely by transmission through shared air.

And, secondarily, that they're only spread through shared air when you're, like, directly breathing on someone else with droplets.
That's why it's all the more mysterious that masks wouldn't have been part of the conventional wisdom.
This is why it's been such a fucking uphill battle to get people to take ventilation seriously, even though as far as we can tell covid-19 basically doesn't spread at all through surface contact and spreads almost entirely through shared air.
Here I have a bit more sympathy. Besides the fact that ventilation is more expensive than a cloth mask, and hence people are motivated to not believe it matters, the grain of truth is that concentration goes down rapidly as you move away from the source. So distance matters. But, yes, ventilation does too.
Most interesting thing I learned from that article: there's at least some decent evidence that colds work the same way, and are spread almost entirely by shared air and not by surface transmission or getting your hands dirty. This evidence dates back to 1987. One project I want to do is go figure out what happened to that research, whether it's been followed up on or anything, etc. But I have a sad suspicion that it just kinda got ignored because we all knew that colds spread via surfaces.
I wonder how much of this is related to the fact that little kids get sick like crazy, they touch everything even when they shouldn't, and they also eat with their fingers more than utensils. So it's easy to perceive dirty hands as a key variable. (And they surely are for SOME diseases.) Plus the overall success in persuading people that handwashing matters. (Note that getting people to think something matters is different from getting them to do it as often as they should.)
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Jadagul »

Yeah, like, we have pretty good evidence that handwashing matters for preventing the spread of disease. I think we're pretty fucking confident that that helps a lot with, say, fecal-oral transmission. Or contaminated-raw-food transmission.

But that doesn't mean it's a key variable in dealing with respiratory diseases like the cold and flu.

But for the first bit: the conventional wisdom was that respiratory diseases aren't spread by the air you breathe, and thus masks aren't actually blocking anything. If the danger is hand or hand-to-face contact the sale pitch for masks is a lot weaker.
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lunchstealer
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by lunchstealer »

thoreau wrote: 22 Mar 2021, 17:32 I'm just saying that those surgical masks aren't exactly tight-fitting in most cases, but most droplets are expelled forward so the masks work more or less. If pathogens from the mouth diffused out of the mask sideways in large quantities, surgical patients would have much worse outcomes.

I don't expect every doctor on the face of the earth to think through those air flow principles, but I'm at least mildly surprised that whatever advisory committees were handling the PPE side of pandemic prep didn't have some people who said "Yeah, we know that most oral and respiratory pathogens go forward rather than sideways when you exhale into a mask, hence surgical masks work. Because if routine exhalation put a massive cloud of bacteria and viruses into the air via the sides of the mask, dental offices would be ground zero for every single respiratory disease.

I mean, the dentist is literally staring into your mouth while breathing into the mask, and then they periodically turn their head to the side (i.e. edge of the mask may be pointed at your mouth) to look at x-rays or grab tools or whatnot. If the sides of the mask were venting large quantities of germs then any dentist in the pre-symptomatic stage of cold or flu would be infecting dozens of people. And over the decades some epidemiologist or public health researcher would have picked that up. "Recent dental work is major risk factor in flu season!"
Institutional inertia is a helluva drug.

And again, the dentist only wears the mask while they're breathing directly into your mouth and also creating some bacterial spray from inside your mouth that could come up to their mouth/nose that is probably the big droplets that could cause them problems. I assume that's why they also wear eye coverings while doing cleanings/fillings/etc. But even dentists and hygenists don't wear masks when just talking to you - only when they've got tools in your mouth and docs/patients are at the highest risk for bodily-fluid-transfer. The standard Western playbook is for doctors and nurses and pretty much everyone else to stay home if they're contagious - social distancing - and only wear masks in a particularly high-risk situation. Almost all of those are during procedures, dental or surgical, where blood or other bodily fluids are exposed and could be aerosolized, and/or where there's an open incision in the skin that's particularly vulnerable to infection from the breath of the caregivers.

Hell, pre-pandemic family practice or ER docs didn't expect patients coming in for a flu test or otherwise strongly suspected to be contagious with airborne diseases to wear a mask either for anything short of super scary shit like TB. And possibly not even then. "Cover your mouth when you cough and wash your hands" was all they expected then, and that continued to be all they expected for the first couple months of the COVID crisis. Again, when mrs lunch was at the ER in February the docs/nurses didn't wear masks, and IIRC when she went in with flu like symptoms to the doctor's office AFTER CASES HAD BEEN REPORTED IN COLORADO the doctor provided hand sanitizer but not masks and didn't wear a mask herself nor did her staff.

And even when people started thinking about mask use the focus in the West was STILL on will-the-mask-protect-the-wearer not will-putting-everyone-in-masks-stop-the-wearers-from-transmitting-to-others. It just wasn't part of the mindset. They thought that since exhaled droplets evaporate down to particles too small to be captured by regular cloth masks that they didn't protect the wearer, and that was their focus.

All the pieces were there but it wasn't the CDCs/FDAs idea or conventional wisdom so when 'ZOMG stop the rubes from cratering the PPE supply' was at the top of everyone's minds and no one had really contemplated mass masking for literally a century when doctors were still barely more than sawbones, they latched onto the answer that got them the result they wanted and was literally in the playbook they had in front of them. They wanted rubes to fuck off with the mask hoarding so they said what they said and didn't self-reflect right away, then they were probably embarrassed that they'd given wrong advice and so they just kind of avoided confronting it and that delayed the correction.

All speculation on my part but seems like the kind of unremarkable standard-issue incompetence of organizations in the face of a radical challenge that libertarians should just expect as de rigueur institutional bullshit.

It's just not necessary to invent some special incompetence to explain the reaction. It takes more than the pieces of the jigsaw being there to overcome conventional wisdom and standard practice. That's especially true when trying to respond to a once-in-a-century event and trying to deal with a monumental fuckup in their testing side AND deal with a monumental fuckup on the part of the voting rubes that made a complete maliciously incompetent narcissistic asshole into their boss.
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Pham Nuwen
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Pham Nuwen »

Guys. It's no fucking rush now. Just do it fucking correct is all.

https://www.businessinsider.com/million ... nyt-2021-4
Goddamn libertarian message board. Hugh Akston

leave me to my mescaline smoothie in peace, please. dhex
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JD
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by JD »

After having a covid-19 test, I'm more impressed by those sideshow performers who hammer a nail up their nose. I always knew it was possible, I just didn't realize how uncomfortable it was.
I sort of feel like a sucker about aspiring to be intellectually rigorous when I could just go on twitter and say capitalism causes space herpes and no one will challenge me on it. - Hugh Akston
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dhex
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by dhex »

I get swabbed once a week until I'm 14 past 2nd shot and even the gentle guy is in "ya gotta get it all the way up there morty"
"i ran over the cat and didnt stop just carried on with tears in my eyes joose driving my way to work." - God
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Shem
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Re: Corona(virus)? ITS NOT EVEN BEER DAMMIT!!!

Post by Shem »

I dunno, I kind of liked it. Never had sinuses so clean.
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