New covid-denial single from Eric Clapton and Van Morrison

"This is England, this is a white country, we don't want any Black w—s and c—s living here. We need to make clear to them they are not welcome."
--Eric Clapton, 1976

Isn't it strange, we never changed
We've been through it all yet we're still the same
--The Kinks, Rock & Roll Fantasy

Reading the lyrics of this anti-lockdown ditty reveals all the standard talking points of the Tommy Robinsons and Spiked cadre, the nationalism, the xenophobia, the small business identification with the ruling class mission of opening the economy as if that’s what is needed to help the “working class” as capitalist bosses and Right-wing fanatics imagine them.

Quote:
Stand and deliver
You let them put the fear on you
Stand and deliver
But not a word you heard was true

They look at the science based analysis of the spread of the airborne, highly contagious, and deadly Covid-19 virus, and behind lockdowns to stop the plague spreading, and dismiss it with "Not a word of it was true.” Rather than media critique we get the standard “fake news” MAGA talking point. The "lying press" (lugenpresse) line from the Nazis, revived by Richard Spencer and Trump voters is not media critique, it's propaganda.

And the implication that “fear” is what makes people wear masks, that it’s a form of hysteria from above, is an insult to the vigilance of those who wear them to protect both themselves and others, including essential and frontline workers. Their efforts have been consistently stifled and counteracted by the contrarian Claptons and Morrisons of the world, and the Malthusian governments insisting on the allegedly more cost efficient Right-wing version of “herd immunity.” We don’t like masks, too “woke.”

Quote:
But if there's nothing you can say
There may be nothing you can do

This is the standard Right-wing appeal to "free speech.” As wielded by the far right, this is almost always designed to place conspiracy theory on the same level as sources assessed as trustworthy through actual media critique. They want to put reactionary talking points on the same level as expertise, experience and data from healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, etc. It is precisely this kind of confusion that allowed the Trump administration to bully scientists and the Center for Disease Control into softening the urgency of their messaging. This cost lives and created doubt in the federal institutions that were in many ways, best placed to protect people and mobilize effective measures to fight the spread of the plague.

Quote:
Do you wanna be a free man
Or do you wanna be a slave?
Do you wanna wear these chains
Until you're lying in the grave?

Next they compare isolating and mask wearing to slavery. The implication is that caring about stopping the spread is not only unfreedom, but bootlicking. This is supposed to go along with these artists being rooted in the tradition of the blues (hear the country tinged blues music of this song) and their legitimacy as artists who relate to the oppressed and some kind of righteous resistance. It really just diminishes and distorts the history of slavery, a favorite pastime for British nationalists these days, who insist that Black Lives Matter is irrelevant to England’s history of slave trading globally. It ignores the current disproportionate impact of the Corona virus on working class people, especially people of color, and on migrants. When a rockstar whose racist, xenophobic rant became the reason for launching “Rock Against Racism” in the mid 1970s wants to teach you about slavery, check his footnotes.

Quote:
I don't wanna be a pauper
And I don't wanna be a prince
I just wanna do my job
Playing the blues for friends

They sing that they don't want to be rich or poor, but just want to do their jobs, as if this is an appeal to some work ethic of authentic salt of the earth folk who don't want a handout. Let’s put to one side Clapton’s Royal Honours as a Commander and Officer of the British Empire, and “Sir” Morrison’s Knighthood, and both artists’ vast wealth (and hence lack of need to work to survive) when assessing this lyric about just wanting to play the blues with all of us “friends.” The idea that normal people just want to go to work right now is four- goose-Bozo crazy. The point is that the capitalist economy, the drive to reopen and send people out into the plague environment is what drives the spikes in cases and deaths, and puts those who have to show up as frontline and essential workers at far greater risk. They may as well sing “I just wanna be a compliant worker, dyin’ for the man.”

The real solution is, as has been noted millions of times but almost completely ignored, paying people to stay home until the vaccine establishes science based herd immunity rather than the Malthusian version that demands we let the virus rip through the population until "the strong" are left to live on. For those who have to work to maintain social infrastructure, we provide PPE, temperature checks, free healthcare, hazard pay, testing and tracing, social distancing via things like curbside pickup where possible as well as increased staffing for healthcare workers. In short, do everything possible to protect and support them along with the elderly and other extremely vulnerable groups. Isolating protects them by lessening the spread of Covid-19. The fact Clapton and Morrison are portraying this anti-lockdown/anti-masker single as a defense of live music and the arts is shameful. The only solution for the arts is the same that applies to everyone else, pay them to isolate and fund alternative projects involving their skills that can be done safely away from super-spreading environments until the vaccine takes effect.

Quote:
Magna Carta, Bill of Rights
The constitution, what's it worth?
You know they're gonna grind us down, ah
Until it really hurts
Is this a sovereign nation
Or just a police state?
You better look out, people
Before it gets too late

Then they make the appeal to the Constitution, now an empty dog whistle word for "kill the poor" and or leftists, and various voter suppression schemes when uttered by the far Right. "Is this a sovereign nation?" they ask, alluding to border controls, Trump’s Muslim ban, anti-China hysteria, and Brexit. Borders function first as capitalist labor controls, and exacerbate outbreaks by, among other things, herding sick and ill people together into detention and deportation centers where viruses spread rampantly, then sending the infected back to their alleged countries of origin to further spread the virus globally. In this logic, there is no priority to save human life and no respect for workers specifically. The nationalist exclusion of outsiders, those who "don't belong" to a place and should therefore be denied rights, decent living conditions, healthcare, and basic social services, makes it all worse. The implication is that they are "leeches" rather than hyper-exploited workers generating profits for the bosses and politicians who demonize them. This is standard fascist nationalist rhetoric. It has ensured the virus would spread rapidly and largely unrestricted. “More of this!” the rebels yell.

Quote:
Stand and deliver
Stand and deliver
Dick Turpin wore a mask too

They end their song with a weird “gotcha” (and the source of the title) by offering a counterpoint hero from the early eighteenth century, singing: “Dick Turpin wore a mask too.” This is to counterpose the outlaw to the mask wearing sheeple, duped by elites and globalists, Clapton and Morrison are trying to wake up. Turpin was the son of a butcher who was also an inn keeper, meaning the son of a small business man and skilled artisan. He probably was a small business man himself at certain periods in his life, a perfect hero in the model of Trump’s and the new Right’s base, and perhaps any remaining Clapton fans. Turpin became a “highwayman” and here the musicians again try to portray themselves in a Robin Hood vs. the “police state” for the good of the workers. I guess Clapton can’t really say “I shot the Sheriff” (apologies to Bob Marley) since Sheriffs have become so important to the sovereign citizen movement. The “Constitutional Sheriff” is supposedly the highest authority with the power to disregard federal laws among Posse Comitatus type outfits in the US. These are the states’ rights and white nationalist folks that would probably love this “Stand and Deliver” single. Turpin, whose gang sometimes murdered and raped their victims, stole mostly from his own class for himself, not out of any “resistance” or rebellion against the system. It’s a real whimper of an ending to the song, and hopefully to the careers of these two confused Covid Denialists.

Posted By

Comrade Motopu
Dec 21 2020 04:17

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Spikymike
Dec 21 2020 12:45

Many thanks for this 'expose' - Thought Clapton had made amends to some extent for his notoriety with past nationalist and racist comments, obviously wrong - two good musicians using their talents for the enemy. I've seen some comments from even erstwhile ultra-lefts succumbing to notions of a potential common cause between them and these kind of fake rebels so this text is right on the ball. And never let the 'libertarian' in 'libertarian communism' politics become detached. There is hysteria around but it's mostly attached to right wing conspiracy nuts. Front page material for libcom.

R Totale
Dec 21 2020 14:06

By the way, I think that as a non-UK commenter you may have missed the significance of the "Magna Carta" bit, I was trying to think of a US equivalent for the specific brainrot you get around the Freeman of the Land/Magna Carta stuff but I suppose Posse Comitatus is probably pretty similar from what I understand of it. If you've not encountered it before, here's a bit of background:
Magna Carta offers no way to get out of lockdown
A Medieval Historian Explains Why The Magna Carta Has Nothing To Do With COVID-19

Comrade Motopu
Dec 21 2020 14:41

Thanks Spikymike and R Totale for these comments. I was expecting that maybe people would ignore this given the current pain of lockdown done wrong and all the horrible supply chain problems looming. I hope folks are ok!

On the Magna Carta, I wasn't aware that people were citing article 61 specifically, but I did know the basic outline that in 1215 it established a very limited check on the King's power, and this is held up as a precedent which partially explains British expectations against an "Absolute" monarch vs. other countries in Europe, like France and Austria. I seem to recall Ellen Meiksins Wood using the Magna Carta model of "democracy" as sharing power between a monarch and nobles as also partially explaining the limited scope of a lot of current Western democracy, which she contrasts to the direct democracy of Athens in ancient Greece. So the "Republic" model of indirect democracy has a filter of "representatives" who are in some ways nobles (that last part is more in my own words but I think what she was getting at). With the House of Lords and the House of Commons, after the Enclosures and then the Industrial Revolution, the Rising Bourgeoisie become the new Barons, surpassing today the power even of great kings, one could argue. So the bourgeoisie is in the House of Commons and legislates to legalize all their enclosing and business, and criminalizing the poor which leads to the harsh penalties for vagrancy of Linebaugh's _London's Hanged_ (still waiting to read on my bookshelf, but I know some of the content from other sources).

And "charters" as agreements, granting of rights, or a set of rules for a club, can also be the grant to a person to govern in a colony, as with the US charter colonies, or the Charter companies like the British East India Company which eventually became the actual government of India for about a hundred years.

Ok, sorry the world history intro class adjunct prof came out for maybe no reason there, ha ha.

R Totale
Dec 21 2020 14:50

I am quite curious as to how much it's a specifically British thing and whether there's equivalents in other countries - do some people elsewhere have this weird belief that one specific historical document means that they can just ignore all contemporary laws? Oh, thinking about it I suppose there's the Sovereign Citizen movement in the US, that's probably the closest thing.

Spikymike
Dec 21 2020 17:01

Regarding the USA I recall this left-wing text had a reference to the constitution and the Qur'an that caught my eye being pretty ignorant as I am of supposedly radical deferring to aspects of the USA constitution See here:
https://cosmonaut.blog/2020/09/29/us-constitution-hiding-in-plain-sight/
But then most on that site would lack any clear communist critique of 'democracy' as such.

Red Marriott
Dec 21 2020 17:23

Surprised they didn't rope in Rod Stewart;

Quote:
Interview Q-"What do you think of the political situation in this country?"
A-"I think Enoch (Powell) is the man. I'm all for him. This country is overcrowded. The immigrants should be sent home. That's it."
- Rod Stewart, International Times 94, Dec 1970.

adri
Dec 22 2020 16:35

Nice piece Motopu, and shit song from Clapton. I'm not really a fan of the apolitical flavor of blues that focuses on individual "misfortune/bad luck" rather than things actually responsible for people's conditions, which seems common with a lot of the later blues stuff especially. Clapton's lamenting wearing a mask seems pretty remote from the post-slavery conditions of African Americans from which the blues developed. I'm not sure for example Memphis Slim would really appreciate Clapton covering songs like "Mother Earth" (with Slim referencing the civil rights era there) with the things he's said. Anyway the fact that safety measures against coronavirus, businesses shutting down etc., might impose capitalist hardships is more an issue of capitalism than anything else.

Noah Fence
Dec 22 2020 21:50

Clapton’s music, especially his guitar solos, have always turned my thoughts to measuring him for his lampost. This only makes the act all the more appealing!
What a wanker.

Nymphalis Antiopa
Dec 23 2020 16:08
Quote:
Leftist bollocks from the usual suspects

A pathetic crap article, yet another Covidiocy, typical of leftism, even in its “libertarian” forms, which has totally failed to get to grips with the misery of state and capitalist impositions of social control with the pretext of the virus. It’s a reactive article almost as reactionary as the rubbish spewed out by the racist and nationalist millionaire rock stars it condemns.

For example, recent scientific research has shown that masks worn outside are utterly ineffective (see this: https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/societe/le-masque-en-exterieur-est-il-un-moyen-de-lutte-efficace-contre-l-epidemie-20201211), but because these 2 arseholes, Clapton and Van Morrison, oppose masks this text feels the need to support them, even though they’re not only unnecessary outdoors but intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets, and are even unhealthy because you breathe in your own bacteria.

It counterposes “expertise, experience and data from healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, etc.” to conspiracy theories and reactionary talking points, as if the “expertise, experience and data from healthcare professionals, epidemiologists, etc. “ wasn’t itself contradictory and in any case open to questioning regardless of their differences. In Science We Trust. Nowhere is there a critique of dominant science, as if to suggest, let alone embark on, such a thing would put you in the same camp as Trump and religious anti-Darwinism. The perspective of the realisation and suppression of science is beyond this Leftist ideologue. The notion of using aspects of evidence-based science against a blanket submissive respect for “Science” with a capital S is a no-go area for people lacking in all curiosity, research and adventure outside of habitually trodden paths. Denunciation of “conspiracy theories” has now become a knee-jerk reaction to anything that dares to question the connection between scientific “experts”, state and capital, the interaction of capitalist interests.

Comrade Motopu’s criticism (one could hardly call it critique) succumbs to the false choice of pro-lockdown against the anti-lockdown positions and of anti-mask v. pro-mask. It even ends up with an uncritical pro-vaccination position. As if the constant vaccinations that will be necessary at least every 6 months because the mutations and variations of the virus will necessitate constant changes in the vaccine (a vaccination available after just 6 or 7 months’ research, when 10 years is the more usual time necessary for a safe vaccine) is the cavalry come to save us all from this shit and not something that will greatly contribute to weakening the body politic, helping to reduce resistance, both internal and external. Nowhere does this leftism point out that it will only be an informed social movement which could begin to confront the ever-tightening interaction between the state, the pharmaceutical companies, the manipulative scientists and other “experts” and the totality of pro and anti ideologies that colonise people like Comrade Motopu and the totalitarianism of present and future developments. No – until the magic wand of a vaccine, it’s “paying people to stay home” (as if various states haven’t done this, admittedly at reduced wages, though some leftists have described these as “socialist” measures) . Why has the state done this? Because going out and socialising doesn’t only mean going out to pay absorbitant wads of cash to listen to rock star millionaires in a claustrophobic atmosphere repeating the same old tunes we long ago got bored with. It also means being able to do things the state does not want us to do – discuss, organise , demonstrate, strike and occupy together. But Comrade Motopu wants us to rely on “the federal institutions … best placed to protect people and mobilize effective measures to fight the spread of the plague”.

When you take the opposite point of view of the Right you end up utterly defined by them and can’t assert a single independent point of view that recognises that “in a world that is upside down the true is a moment of the false” and the false is a moment of the true. In the current climate, the Right are the prime recuperators of anger, with the Left demanding things some states are imposing with a vengeance. At the beginning of this crisis one could maybe forgive that but 9 months later it’s just an expression of acute laziness, of a total absence of critical vigilance, of submission to classic either/or Manichean choices.

Amongst those who define themselves as class struggle libertarians it’s become de rigeur to proclaim the need for a total one-size-fits-all lockdown regardless of specific situations. Daring to question the contradictions and miseries that such a “solution” imposes runs head on into a circle-the-wagons-mentality of everyone self-righteously denouncing you simplistically as an inconsiderate individualist right-wing arsehole that most people in this milieu can’t even begin to unravel, let alone express, their doubts, fearful of becoming a target of strawman arguments that will be too wearing to confront. And yet remaining silent about such doubts just reinforces the whole sense of impotence in the face of this relentless tangled onslaught of false choices.

- here: https://dialectical-delinquents.com/covid1984-latest/

adri
Dec 23 2020 22:59
Quote:
For example, recent scientific research has shown that masks worn outside are utterly ineffective (see this: https://www.lefigaro.fr/vox/societe/le-masque-en-exterieur-est-il-un-moyen-de-lutte-efficace-contre-l-epidemie-20201211),

Glad you posted all this here instead of your utterly unnavigable site where I'd never read it anyway. Thanks for the French sources also (from experts? -- like I don't speak French but "conservative editorial stance" I think should raise an eyebrow) in your English review -- really helps drive home how pointless and "alienating" masks are, while also demonstrating an audience awareness. Was it really necessary writing up this petty review of Motopu's review of an anti-lockdown Eric Clapton single?

I have nothing else to really go off other than what experts say (and you too apparently?), and there seems to be consensus (dominant science?) that masks are helpful in preventing the spread of covid, not to say governments couldn't and haven't abused covid measures. There hasn't really been much in the way of "covid1984" in the U.S. (not sure if you've been following here the last couple months). It's mostly just right-wing idiots upset they can't enter stores without masks and social distancing (the "Liberate Minnesota Rally" crowd and others), along with small/large businesses who have an interest in opening things up. The fact the pandemic has caused layoffs and other disruptions is again just capitalism's inability to cope with such situations (recall the mass food destruction which coincided with increased visits to foodbanks); people are made to want to put themselves and others at risk in order to "sustain themselves." I'm also sure Motopu wouldn't be posting here if they were nothing more than some American liberal.

Comrade Motopu
Dec 24 2020 03:39

Hi NA,

The “recent scientific research” you posted was not a controlled study or really “research” so much as a professor of economics and professor of physics and chemistry taking a look at some stats and trying to tie mask policies and death rate reports (not Covid specific death rates) to that and then saying the one “caused” the other. If you have any scientific studies showing that increased masking causes rises in infection, transmission, and death from Covid-19, I’d be glad to look at them as a layman, but this article is not an example of that.

And yes, I’m counterposing the scientific consensus to the sources like rock stars, Spiked, Anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers. That doesn’t mean I think science is a God, or infallible “In Science We Trust” as you have me believing in your very excited straw man.

I wrote a review of Angela Mitropoulos _Pandemonium_ book and in it she talks about “catastrophe bonds” and countless other ways that nationalism, capitalism, and white supremacist views categorize populations in an essentially Malthusian way, and using those categories, make calculations as to who is worthy of protection and who it is more cost efficient to let die. So yeah, science is embedded in these factors too, of course. None of that changes my focus on the ideology and logic of these rock stars and how their rebellious posing is reactionary and anti-scientific as well as that their song acts as a popular mobilization for the absolute worst capitalist “herd immunity” lies. Lies that kill. That’s not in contention.

My article isn’t pro-lock down vs. anti-lock down. I say in a response that this is lockdown done wrong. To understand why lockdown alone is not enough, you have to place it in the greater picture of migration, nationalism, how aid depends on casino logic like “catastrophe bonds” and how that helps justify governments doing less and being unprepared, and also how capitalist borders exacerbate plague situations.

Forgive me for my “uncritical pro-vaccination position.” I’m for vaccines because they are the only basis for herd immunity. The other capitalist herd immunity that Spiked, Boris Johnson, Trump, and other misanthropes promote means letting the virus rip through populations leaving only the strong. The half-assed “we must protect the vulnerable” provisions are non-provisions, or worse, because if you have everyone going out into the plague, contracting, and spreading it, they will deliver it to the old, the sick, those with “pre-existing conditions” etc. Aside from that, those who are deemed as not at risk, also get this virus and the long term effects are now understood as extremely serious for many who “get over” it. You refer to the vaccine as a magic wand, but it’s not, it’s the only actual possible basis for herd immunity unless you support mass death, and it really sounds like you do.

Then you imply that states have been paying people to stay home but your main objection is that this isn’t socialist enough. Please explain to me my situation in the US where people have lost jobs, been evicted, been laid off, lost most of their pay, healthcare, union representation, etc. how this is a good example of a sustaining payment to stay home while jobs, food, shelter, and general social security are maintained. This is just a nutty thing to insist and is completely not what is happening. And if you're saying that states have fully funded people to stay home without losing money, wages, jobs, basic services, over the last 9 months, I find that very hard to believe.

If you can’t see the difference between my critiquing the ways the state distorts healthcare and emergency responses, and on the other hand, peoples' demands on capitalists that they not let people die, you arrive at your weird non-rebuttal to my article. And let's face it, capitalists are not just "letting" people die, they planned for it as an externality, and are now _demanding_ it in a sacrifice to markets.

I don’t know. I won’t respond to the rest of this, which mostly seems like dressing up standard MAGA talking points in Situationist sounding lingo. I happen to like the Situationists as far as I can understand them, but you seem to fall more into this current trend of talking left to push right, if you know what I mean.

Nymphalis Antiopa
Dec 24 2020 05:28

Whilst I agree with you about attributing a very scary Malthusian project on the part of capital's use of this virus, what you say has nothing to do with the quote (not from something I wrote, by the way) - eg:

Quote:
If you have any scientific studies showing that increased masking causes rises in infection, transmission, and death from Covid-19, I’d be glad to look at them as a layman

Why would I have such a study? The bit I quoted doesn't claim that "increased masking causes rises in infection" etc. so I doubt it does. It merely says that it makes no difference wearing them outside. Are you so illiterate that you don't understand the difference between "wearing a mask outside makes no difference" and "increased masking causes rises in infection"?

As for vaccines - check out this on Pfizer - https://labourheartlands.com/coronavirus-what-do-we-know-about-pfizer-and-can-we-trust-them-with-a-vaccine/

And this - https://medium.com/@gautamtejasganeshan/is-there-an-intelligible-anti-vaxx-position-52c530b1d518

Nor does the quote talk left or right - it's you who's trapped in the false choices of left and right, MAGA shit v Democrat (or whatever) shit, etc., incapable of thinking critically outside of these repulsive choices - eg "it...mostly seems like dressing up standard MAGA talking points in Situationist sounding lingo" - seems to you but not to anyone who can read. Since you clearly are incapable of reading what's written here I too won’t respond to the rest of this.

Comrade Motopu
Dec 24 2020 06:18
Quote:
Are you so illiterate that you don't understand the difference between "wearing a mask outside makes no difference" and "increased masking causes rises in infection"?

In fact, the article from the far right wing le figaro you posted, is not "scientific research" as you called it, and they do state that masking measures had "the opposite result of that expected," of the hoped for lowering of infections and deaths:

"What was the effect of the imposition of the mask on August 28 in Paris and the inner suburbs? The comparison only relates to the wearing of the mask outdoors because it was already compulsory everywhere in closed public spaces. Let's compare weeks 35, just before the measurement, and 39, at the end of this experiment. The departments where the mask was imposed outdoors at the end of August saw their deaths increase by 129.2% against the pile + 100% in the peripheral departments of the region: the opposite result of that expected, failure of the measure."

And yes, that a source is far right is context for any kind of media analysis. Everyone knows that it's almost entirely far right wing parties, street fighting groups, and media companies, who have been pushing bogus reports on how masks supposedly don't lessen transmission of the virus, and holding mass anti-masker rallies. It's you who lack any kind of media literacy here. You also post sources you may not have read, but certainly don't understand.

From the wikipedia page on le Figaro: In February 2012, a general assembly of the newspaper's journalists adopted a motion accusing the paper's managing editor, Étienne Mougeotte, of having made Le Figaro into the "bulletin" of the governing party, the Union for a Popular Movement, of the government and of President Nicolas Sarkozy. They requested more pluralism and "honesty" and accused the paper of one-sided political reporting. Mougeotte had previously said that Le Figaro would do nothing to embarrass the government and the right. Mougeotte publicly replied: "Our editorial line pleases our readers as it is, it works. I don't see why I should change it. [...] We are a right-wing newspaper and we express it clearly, by the way. Our readers know it, our journalists too. There's nothing new to that!"]

Red Marriott
Dec 24 2020 10:12

To claim that ;

Quote:
masks worn outside are utterly ineffective

is over generalising. Even the article cited in defence of that claim acknowledges masks are worthwhile on crowded streets. Nor does the article show if it took into account various factors - eg, relative population density, housing density, transport hubs - when comparing different regions.
If one is on, eg, a shopping trip, and going in and out of buildings, it's also worth 'wearing a mask outside' rather than keep taking a mask on and off and so risking infection by hand contact with the face.

And this is a vague claim;

Quote:
masks.. are even unhealthy because you breathe in your own bacteria.

"Your own bacteria" is what is breathed out of you so is already in you;

Quote:
Speaking to Reuters specifically about fungal infections, Dr. Thomas Nash, an internist, pulmonologist, and infectious disease specialist at New York Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, said: “The only thing that hits the mask is what you breathe out,” as he explained that healthy people “don’t exhale fungus.” 
He added that someone who already has a fungal infection in their lungs could possibly contaminate their own mask, but not the other way around.
A global team of public health experts at Learnaboutcovid19 also told Reuters there was “no evidence” to suggest face masks can increase the chance of developing pneumonia, “or any other bacterial, fungal or viral infection in the lungs”. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pneumonia/fact-check-people-have-not-been-developing-antibiotic-resistant-pneumonia-from-wearing-face-masks-idUSKCN26E2NA

Spikymike
Dec 24 2020 13:24

I don't imagine Comrade Motopu is suggesting any open ended acceptance of all the states 'lockdown' measures and border controls irrespective of the circumstances and is supportive of many of the strikes and protests by workers in defence of our working and living conditions that inevitably have to contest those restrictions to be effective, but that doesn't deny the reality of the threat from this virus and the need for us to take sensible precautions based on the best available scientific knowledge available at the time. Don't get too fixated on the benefits or otherwise of waring masks in public or the propagandist displays of those in organised displays of refusal in some misplaced idea of protecting civil rights.

R Totale
Dec 24 2020 16:25

I think that if you're interested in questions around social control, it's a bit inadequate and one-sided to just say that masks "intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets". Where's the consideration of how generalised mask-wearing affects the powers of CCTV and facial recognition? At this point there's been decades of debate around the black bloc tactic, with militants urging the need for people to protect their identities versus critics arguing that the advantages in terms of hiding a given individual's identity are undermined by the dangers of setting up the mask-wearers as a separate collective identity, the black bloc, antifa, casseurs or whatever. At one stroke that whole distinction has been erased, meaning that it's now much harder to spot the difference between a group of people leaving the house with the specific purpose of keeping their identities hidden while carrying out property destruction and any other mask-wearer on the streets. I don't want to be reductionist about this, obviously it's not as simple as "everyone masks up -> we get a massive social uprising", but I think there is an interesting question to be discussed there.
To say nothing of other social benefits, e.g. I'm aware that some people who are expected to perform conventional femininity have expressed relief that normalised mask-wearing frees them of social expectations from the nose down at least. You can say that this is reformist or whatever, and it'd be better to get rid of those expectations altogether, and that's true enough, but in the mean time we are where we are and I'm not going to scorn anyone who finds that mask-wearing gives them more freedom in that area.
Obviously, that's just one side of the argument, I'm sure there are plenty of negatives to discuss as well, but if you're interested in discussing state and capitalist impositions of social control, then I think there's a bit more to say on this subject than just "you breathe in your own bacteria".

Nymphalis Antiopa
Dec 26 2020 17:31
Quote:
Comrade Motopu gives a good example of what I said above: “When you take the opposite point of view of the Right you end up utterly defined by them and can’t assert a single independent point of view…”. S/he writes that Le Figaro is “far right”. It’s not – it’s mainstream right, though admittedly yesterday’s far right is now mainstream. But it’s always been standard mainstream right, but hardly worse than mainstream liberal/left-wing media. For example, France’s “Liberation” and “Le Monde” supported the 1991 Gulf war, the UK’s Guardian and the US’s New York Times mostly supported it also, along with supporting the Kosovo war of 1999. Does that automatically negate everything else they say? Does the fact that the link I put to the site about Pfizer is to a Corbynite site negate the value of what the ex-soldier says about Pfizer? Likewise, even if Le Figaro were nazis that wouldn’t in itself negate what it says. Hitler’s scientists did research showing the link between smoking cigarettes and cancer, some 10 years or more before the American Cancer Society and thousands of US doctors and scientists reversed their previous notion that smoking was fine. If CM’s stupid reactive logic were consistent, s/he’d be recommending smoking along with all those pre-1953 American scientists and doctors. Even our worst enemies sometimes get it right. For example, the other day Marine Le Pen said the sky was blue.

*

Re. R.Totale’s post, whilst some of it’s pertinent, the notion that masks protect you from CCTV cameras is not necessarily correct. Apparently even those wearing surgical masks can be identified by the latest in Facial Recognition Cameras ( [url=https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-facial-recognition... ]https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-facial-recognition/even-mask-wearers-can-be-idd-china-facial-recognition-firm-says-idUSKBN20W0WL [/url])

“A Chinese company says it has developed the country’s first facial recognition technology that can identify people when they are wearing a mask, as most are these days because of the coronavirus, and help in the fight against the disease.” The head of the company that has developed this has said, “When wearing a mask, the recognition rate can reach about 95%, which can ensure that most people can be identified”. Sure, the state wants to present itself as all-seeing and all-powerful in order to reinforce our sense of impotence and the phrase “can reach about 95%” already implies that there’s likely to be an element of hype in all this, but that remains to be seen (or, hopefully, not seen). But there’s no reason to be complacent. Iris recognition is the new future. But maybe sunglasses are a protection.

Moreover when he refers to those for whom “mask-wearing frees them of social expectations from the nose down at least” that at least is a choice, but masks have been made compulsory – even in areas where before they were compulsory there were no severe cases of Covid. Making them legally compulsory, with often a heavy fine for those who don’t conform to this irrationality, is as bad as forbidding foulards (Muslim scarves) for women

However, when I wrote that masks “intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets” I meant that you can’t even see people’s smiles or frowns, that you can’t make funny faces at kids, that it reinforces people being trapped in their heads. This doesn’t matter to those who are already constantly stuck in their heads listening to something on their headphones or glued to the screen on their smartphone but for those who find some consolation in even the most superficial of non-virtual human contact, it just adds to the weariness of daily life. In addition, you constantly have to raise your voice to a strained level that doesn’t come naturally or repeat yourself because you haven’t been heard from behind the mask. This in addition to all those people who have no power finding that their masters have suddenly given them a crumb of hierarchical power because now even the lowest of the low can tick someone off for not having covered their nose in the supermarket or library or wherever. All of which gives daily alienation an extra dose of wear-and-tear, intensifying irritability, adding to a sense of despair with humanity.

*

Re. Red Marriott’s quote – “A global team of public health experts at Learnaboutcovid19 also told Reuters there was “no evidence” to suggest face masks can increase the chance of developing pneumonia, “or any other bacterial, fungal or viral infection in the lungs”. https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-factcheck-pneumonia/fact-check-people-…Well, maybe. But others have said the opposite: https://perma.cc/V2UH-DZT3?type=image

“The masks on the market do nothing to protect people from the virus. They’re not sterile, unlike the ones you find in hospitals and you shouldn’t wear one for longer than 15 or 20 minutes, otherwise they are transformed into incubators for bacteria. And even worse are the masks made out of material, which are veritable collectors of bacteria because they’re porous.” – Antoine Khoury, microbiologist

There’s also this:

https://jdmichel.blog.tdg.ch/archive/2020/11/24/covid-faut-il-de-confiner-oui-et-en-super-urgence-310935.html

“To give just two examples, the famous long-suspended Danish study has finally been published with the conclusions one might expect: wearing a mask in the general population does not prevent contamination by Covid. The authors have accepted some political contortions in their conclusion, but the fact remains: this measure, which no pandemic plan had ever considered, so absurd that it is, has no justification in terms of the cost / benefit balance and would therefore never have had to be imposed. Another study has just been published in Nature which concludes (based on research carried out in Wuhan) that asymptomatic people are largely not otherwise infectious. “Compared to symptomatic patients, asymptomatic infected individuals generally have a low amount of viral loads and a short duration of viral shedding, which decreases the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 5. In the present study, the culture virus was performed on specimens from asymptomatic positive cases, and found no viable SARS-CoV-2 virus. All close contacts of asymptomatic positive cases tested negative, indicating that asymptomatic positive cases detected in this study were unlikely to be infectious. There were no positive tests among 1,174 close contacts of asymptomatic cases.”

The only possible use of a mask is for symptomatic people only during the time they are symptomatic. It’s highly probable (since in science it’s always a question of working with hypotheses, it’s advisable to remain cautious) that everything that has been imposed on us for months – with the force of propaganda – has had no real use, with monstrous costs for individuals and for community.

Besides, Covid can enter the eyes and be conveyed by touch, so maybe everyone should be compelled to wear goggles and gloves, and then Leftists like Comrade Motopu would probably be thankful that “the federal institutions … best placed to protect people and mobilize effective measures to fight the spread of the plague” were at long last allowed to do their job.

**

I see 3 very general categories of responses to the various “experts” who we are somehow forced to partly rely on if only to get some vague idea about what’s what.

First category is probably the most prevalent, which is that of Greta Thunberg, who said “We can’t solve a crisis without treating it as a crisis and we must unite behind experts and science. This of course goes for all crises.” This is a kind of “Who am I to decide if this or that is true or not?” attitude, the self-effacing avoidance of all striving for autonomy on the part of those who submit to dominant society even if they don’t necessarily seem to respect it or aspects of it.

Yet, given the enormous contradictory “facts” spewed out by scientists and other experts, a second stance is almost as common – each individual, regardless of the precise extent of their precise knowledge, is forced back onto their own opinion, in much the same way as if what you accept and don’t accept amongst all the questions thrown up by this permanent crisis is just a matter of taste. In other words, people are cherry-picking information that confirms their previously held opinions, leaving understanding down to a purely arbitrary question of subjective choice or to your own prejudices. Almost invariably people will find some “scientific fact” to provide ‘objective’ proof for these tastes and prejudices.

But there’s also a third attitude, a more honest one – acceptance of your own confusion whilst submitting to the politics behind this confusion, justified in terms of an inability to decide which ideas are valid because you can’t check all the other positions/angles/facts. But this is another expression of resignation.

Whether it be those who accept the apparent objectivity of science, those who resort to a purely subjective selection of 57 varieties of facts dependent on whom they happen to read on the internet, or those who more honestly admit to resigning themselves to the chaos and confusion imposed by dominant society, the imposed madness which seems to be an essential part of of its principle political strategy – all of them seem to have, at best, only one aim – to make themselves and others as healthy as they think they were before this crisis, health being defined narrowly as being protected against the virus. This conservative aim, which is anyway an impossible dream and a nostalgic falsification of the misery of pre-Covid times, thus wants desperately to believe in the saviour of a vaccine (or, more rationally, but less common in Western societies, other more tried and trusted immune-boosting methods).

Those who want to contribute to the revolutionary destruction of a society hell-bent on destroying all sense and the vast majority of human beings potentially able to destroy this senseless society, will have to pit themselves against these false choices. As part of this they will need to unravel aspects of the medical science surrounding Covid with the aim of subverting dominant discourse, past, present and future. Accepting science without filtering it through critical vigilance means acquiescence to developments that’ll be even worse than, though very different from, the Industrial Revolution was for the peasantry. Selection of facts is inevitable, but selection that achieves progress towards clarity has to look at contradictory ‘facts’ as well as strive to unravel the reasons for these contradictions rather than be based on notions of objectivity or prejudiced taste or fatalistic resignation to confusion. Questioning everything is a major aspect of the struggle to free oneself of received ideas, unconscious taste, and the fog of contradictory information. It’s a major aspect of breaking with excessive reliance on experts and science as well as the domination of the past over the present, a major aspect of developing a genuine health – the health of an attack on the totality of unhealthy conditions.

- https://dialectical-delinquents.com/leftist-bollocks-from-the-usual-suspects/

adri
Dec 26 2020 18:39
Quote:
However, when I wrote that masks “intensify dominant separation and the alienation of the streets” I meant that you can’t even see people’s smiles or frowns, that you can’t make funny faces at kids, that it reinforces people being trapped in their heads. This doesn’t matter to those who are already constantly stuck in their heads listening to something on their headphones or glued to the screen on their smartphone but for those who find some consolation in even the most superficial of non-virtual human contact, it just adds to the weariness of daily life. In addition, you constantly have to raise your voice to a strained level that doesn’t come naturally or repeat yourself because you haven’t been heard from behind the mask. This in addition to all those people who have no power finding that their masters have suddenly given them a crumb of hierarchical power because now even the lowest of the low can tick someone off for not having covered their nose in the supermarket or library or wherever. All of which gives daily alienation an extra dose of wear-and-tear, intensifying irritability, adding to a sense of despair with humanity.

Yes, my glasses also fog up when breathing into masks, which makes me feel incredibly sad and alienated, as well as making it even more difficult to see people's smiles or frowns. On the other hand, I actually kind of like the hierarchical powers my masters have given to me with respect to telling people not to sneeze or cough in my direction, even though, as you say, it does intensify my alienation, despair and irritability. I am now convinced we should break free of this dominant capitalist pseudo-science of mask-wearing, so that it will lead to even more deaths and more of a strain on health care workers.

Red Marriott
Dec 26 2020 20:21

Re Khouri (Catholic MP and close friend of Lebanese President) and his anti-mask quote;
1. He talks of "the masks on the market"; but there are 1000s of mask suppliers of various designs and materials.
2. He says they "do nothing to protect people from the virus." The consensus has long been that masks mainly protect others from droplets that may come from the wearer's mouth & nose; their reach is greatly reduced by masks. That has been repeatedly illustrated by research. Anyone who doesn't even grasp that has no business talking about masks.
3. "They’re not sterile, unlike the ones you find in hospitals and you shouldn’t wear one for longer than 15 or 20 minutes, otherwise they are transformed into incubators for bacteria." There are many jobs where people wear masks for hours every day, have done so for 100s of years or more and AFAIK there is no known history of medical conditions or outbreaks caused by regular mask wearing. Of course masks should be washed regularly, like any piece of clothing.
4. He doesn't explain what bacteria he's referring to or its source.
So again, unconvincing claims. Where are all the people made ill by mask wearing - surely we'd be seeing a clear pattern of such illness by now?

The 2nd 'michel' link is dead.

Red Marriott
Dec 26 2020 21:30
NA wrote:
The only possible use of a mask is for symptomatic people only during the time they are symptomatic. It’s highly probable (since in science it’s always a question of working with hypotheses, it’s advisable to remain cautious) that everything that has been imposed on us for months – with the force of propaganda – has had no real use, with monstrous costs for individuals and for community.

There is a wealth of recent evidence to dispute that claim so to baldly state it as fact is highly misleading. In fact the quotation you gave which cites the Nature article distorts what it actually says – it finds that asymptomatics are less infectious but it doesn’t conclude “that asymptomatic people are largely not otherwise infectious”;

Nature wrote:
Nov 2020 - ... evidence suggests that about one in five infected people will experience no symptoms, and they will transmit the virus to significantly fewer people than someone with symptoms. But researchers are divided about whether asymptomatic infections are acting as a ‘silent driver’ of the pandemic. ... a meta-analysis published last month, which included 13 studies involving 21,708 people, calculated the rate of asymptomatic presentation to be 17%. ...
Byambasuren’s review also found that asymptomatic individuals were 42% less likely to transmit the virus than symptomatic people. ... Although there is a lower risk of transmission from asymptomatic people, they might still present a significant public-health risk because they are more likely to be out in the community than isolated at home ... But other researchers disagree about the extent to which asymptomatic infections are contributing to community transmission. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03141-3

Quote:
It’s highly probable (since in science it’s always a question of working with hypotheses, it’s advisable to remain cautious) that everything that has been imposed on us for months – with the force of propaganda – has had no real use, with monstrous costs for individuals and for community.

Just how does that process work? So many thousands of medics and scientists of the world are in league with governments to doctor and distort scientific evidence constantly? And the governments of the world needed to do something on this massive scale to repress us with a tactic that has wrecked economies at enormous cost? They haven’t faced any massive class struggles in, eg, the UK that necessitated such a conspiracy.

Comrade Motopu
Dec 27 2020 01:28

Try to keep this short just so people can judge for themselves on what they think about Nymphalis Antiopa's sources:

Nymphalis Antiopa wrote

Here is an article on this guy NA uses as an expert source. I link to the google translate from French to English.

https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fmenace-theoriste.fr%2Fjean-dominique-michel-imposteur-de-lanthropologie-medicale%2F

Nymphalis Antiopa
Dec 27 2020 03:55

Re. RM:

As the quote says "Well, maybe." And continues later on by saying " given the enormous contradictory “facts” spewed out by scientists and other experts,.... each individual, regardless of the precise extent of their precise knowledge, is forced back onto their own opinion, in much the same way as if what you accept and don’t accept amongst all the questions thrown up by this permanent crisis is just a matter of taste. In other words, people are cherry-picking information that confirms their previously held opinions, leaving understanding down to a purely arbitrary question of subjective choice or to your own prejudices. Almost invariably people will find some “scientific fact” to provide ‘objective’ proof for these tastes and prejudices." - which may or may not apply to the author of these quotes, but at least he later on says "Selection of facts is inevitable, but selection that achieves progress towards clarity has to look at contradictory ‘facts’ as well as strive to unravel the reasons for these contradictions rather than be based on notions of objectivity or prejudiced taste or fatalistic resignation to confusion. Questioning everything is a major aspect of the struggle to free oneself of received ideas, unconscious taste, and the fog of contradictory information. It’s a major aspect of breaking with excessive reliance on experts and science" .

No point in continuing - just to say that there are plenty of other articles about masks which are also critical of their use, just as there are an overwhelming amount that support them.

As for CM's continued avoidance of the main point of the quote against him/her - " “When you take the opposite point of view of the Right you end up utterly defined by them and can’t assert a single independent point of view…”. ... even if Le Figaro were nazis that wouldn’t in itself negate what it says. Hitler’s scientists did research showing the link between smoking cigarettes and cancer, some 10 years or more before the American Cancer Society and thousands of US doctors and scientists reversed their previous notion that smoking was fine. If CM’s stupid reactive logic were consistent, s/he’d be recommending smoking along with all those pre-1953 American scientists and doctors. Even our worst enemies sometimes get it right. For example, the other day Marine Le Pen said the sky was blue."

I suggest people also look at articles like this:
https://enoughisenough14.org/2020/11/01/corona-state-measures-let-us-not-leave-the-field-to-the-far-right-and-conspiracy-theorists-again-be-prepared-and-get-organized/#more-85185 (sample quote "Anti-authoritarians have not much to gain in coalitions with the „Corona-conformable“ left.")
And there should be no problem with this link for CM since by his/her logic this site should be considered a good reference because the people involved supported the RAF and the USAF's bombing of Dresden in 1945. Good anti-fascists. Hitler opposed Stalin - we should support Stalin. Hitler opposed the British Empire - we should support the British Empire., etc.etc. ad nauseam .

Nymphalis Antiopa
Dec 27 2020 04:25

Though I said "no point in continuing", I'll just say this re. RM's " the governments of the world needed to do something on this massive scale to repress us with a tactic that has wrecked economies at enormous cost?"

Since when has the use of masks wrecked economies?

And though certain economies have been wrecked by this permanent crisis, particularly for those at the lowest end of the hierarchy, since when has capital been concerned with particular economies as long as the economy as a whole (in particular the need for money) remains firmly in the hands of the rulers? Two world wars wrecked elements of the economy but reinforced it for the arms industry, for example - and massively reinforced state power. The pharmaceutical industry is raking in billions each month now, just as state power and the desperate need for money is being reinforced endlessly (and often with the tacit, though largely unconscious, support of so-called "libertarian" revolutionaries). Capital in the 19th century was subject to periodic crises that saw individual capitalists regularly "wrecked" but capital itself continued unabated. 1929 saw bankers jumping out of windows, but the Great Depression didn't wreck the economy as a whole - Roosevelt, Hitler testify to that.
So what's the relevance of saying " the governments of the world needed to do something on this massive scale to repress us with a tactic that has wrecked economies at enormous cost" other than to manipulate the reader (or maybe just to contribute to your own confusion) by implying that critiquing CM's post is landing in the same camp as simplistic conspiracy theorists ?

Red Marriott
Dec 27 2020 11:11

Despite media rhetoric this is not a war, it’s a health crisis, one largely caused by the capitalist mode of food production and distribution etc. Yes, some always make profits from any crisis but that doesn’t prove that this is a preferred or chosen strategy for the ruling class instituted to aid more repression.

So all the world’s governments, having co-ordinated a global conspiracy to securely falsify the scientific evidence; with all their resources they’ve used that to – MAKE US WEAR MASKS WHEN WE GO SHOPPING AND FOR MANY TO NOT WORK. If that’s all they have in their repressive arsenal we have little to worry about.

Your stated claims are based on sources that don’t hold up to scrutiny, as shown several times above. Before weighing in to try to show how superior your analysis is try basing it on credible cross-referenced, fact-checked sources. Seems like you’re the one swallowing the dodgy “force of propaganda” more than those you denounce.
For instance your recently quoted JD Michel source claims;

Quote:
"Most of the deaths from Covid are political deaths, consequences of an imbecile and lethal health policy" while affirming that the Covid19 is the exact equivalent of a seasonal flu: "From what we know today, the characteristics of the Covid-19 epidemic in terms of contagiousness, dangerousness and lethality, are exactly the same, in terms of order of magnitude, than the influenza epidemics that we have year after year. No more, no less. ”… Which is wrong. Contagion and mortality from Covid19 are considerably higher than that from seasonal flu.

These are the most basic factual errors or distortions, falsehoods known to be so by anyone who cared to find out since the start of Covid. That should make anyone think twice about using such sources.

Despite you denouncing others for an uncritical deference to Science the only ‘evidence’ you’ve presented has been, not actual scientific research, but the dubious personal opinions and articles of scientists and science journalists – as if their qualifications and status give automatic extra weight and validity to their claims above actual conducted material research. So it looks like you deferring to the authority of Science more than anyone else.

And again, where are all the millions of people made so sick by wearing masks that we could expect if your claims were true?

Red Marriott
Dec 28 2020 21:20

The presence of bacteria in the air was discovered by Pasteur in 1861. It was soon realized that some sick people could spread disease via expelled droplets and airborne transmission. (Amazing that some anti-maskers still dispute its relevance in a pandemic.) For a history of medical masks; https://wellcomecollection.org/articles/XwMmcBQAAGwR9GY8
Masks were used during the 1918 flu pandemic, though not without a minority opposition;
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/us/mask-protests-1918.html
Those wishing to get an idea of the recent science regarding masks with good visual illustration of airborne infection, see; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ4Epf8i1uk

Cooked
Dec 29 2020 17:09

I have to say I find it quite strange that various libcommers have such strong views on the mask related science as well as other covid health related topics. This really isn't basic stuff thats simple to understand. The libcom twitter account for instance as well as commenters in this thread are making it seem as if the knowledge about these issues are settled. I'm pretty sure knowledgeable and sincere researchers on these topics would be much less certain about various conclusions.

I think it's doing "our politics" a disservice to weigh in with certainty on these topics. The politics are to a certain extent entangled with the science but I think it's important to maintain separation as much as possible. Several opinions seem to stem, at least in part, from traditional political oppositions. Or are marshaled as arguments for other political reasons. Picked to suit the politics.

The pandemic has seen the rise of the amateur virologists etc and it's not pretty to be honest. There isn't clear evidence for anything making a critical difference as far as the spread is concerned. It's just very complex. The mental and physical health issues as well as secondary violence, poverty etc are also really difficult to grasp or compare to covid deaths.

edit: Countering the class targeted nature of the covid response without ending up in half baked policy suggestions is obviously difficult but nevertheless important.

Red Marriott
Dec 29 2020 21:15
Quote:
There isn't clear evidence for anything making a critical difference as far as the spread is concerned.

Are you sure? smile

It's hardly controversial to say that airborne infection is a reality and that there is credible evidence that masks can help protect against that (and wearing them doesn’t make you ill). That has been known since the 1860s. Or that washing hands during a pandemic is sensible.

And, against the conspiraloons, certain things have to be stated as facts; eg, the virus does exist, Covid contagion rate and death rate are considerably higher than normal flu, there won’t be a microchip in the vaccine etc.

That some things are not absolutely proven doesn't mean evidence suggesting certain outcomes should be dismissed. There is nothing wrong in assessing critically in a sincere way research like this suggesting (in line with evidence from earlier epidemics) that mask-wearing resulted in a significant drop in infection; https://www.pnas.org/content/117/51/32293 - but equally no reason to dismiss it as useless or not credible if it doesn't give final absolute proof (something often hard to obtain under pandemic conditions). This article indicates also a protective effect; https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/55216518 In contrast, this earlier survey found only marginal protective effect from mask wearing; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.564280/full [Edit; see note in my later post below about this link]
But the predominant consensus from available evidence is overwhelmingly that mask-wearing is protective. That is consistent and logical with the evidence in the video I linked to earlier (based on recent research) showing how airborne infection occurs.

For myself I’ve only challenged here dubious claims presented as facts and blatant distortions such as the false interpretation of the Nature article.

Steven.
Dec 29 2020 22:46

Just to say I completely support everything being said here by Red, especially in response to NA/Samotnaf's conspiracy nonsense, which would be amusing if it were not actually extremely dangerous, and contributing towards tens of thousands of deaths, especially in the US where the extreme right has been propagating the exact same propaganda he is propagating here, leading to significant numbers of imbeciles refusing to wear masks and continuing to spread this deadly virus. Which has already killed one member of my family, as well as a friend of another member of the libcom group, a health worker.

Just wanted to add one small thing:

Red Marriott wrote:
In contrast, this earlier survey found only marginal protective effect from mask wearing; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmed.2020.564280/full But the predominant consensus from available evidence is overwhelmingly that mask-wearing is protective. That is consistent and logical with the evidence in the video I linked to earlier (based on recent research) showing how airborne infection occurs.

On this, authors of some studies on mask-wearing in non-medical settings, which have found similar results (i.e. that there was only a marginal protective effect), have warned against misunderstanding the results. Because these studies are mostly not looking at universal mask wearing, they are mostly looking at whether individuals wearing a mask are less likely to become infected. Whereas it is generally accepted scientifically that mask wearing by infected people helps reduce the spread, and universal mask wearing helps reduce it further. Hence the general projection now in the US that universal mask wearing help save around 50,000 lives in the next few months.

Red Marriott
Dec 30 2020 00:35

I put the link to the article finding only marginal effectiveness for mask-wearing to avoid accusations of imbalance; it was the only source easily found with that view and cos it has been often (mis)used by anti-maskers. Though it is dated on that site as Sep 2020 that is the date it was published on the site. But I should have mentioned that its findings are based on;

Quote:
Relevant peer-reviewed literature that assessed the effectiveness/efficacy of surgical face masks (SM) in preventing community-acquired acute respiratory infections (ARIs) were identified and extracted from PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane databases on February 25, 2020.

So it's based on a Feb 2020 overview of various studies of mask use in previous respiratory epidemics & pandemics and has little to do with what has been learned from the pattern of mask wearing during Covid that we've come to know since. Feb 2020, when this survey was made, was very early in the pandemic; before it was even officially declared a pandemic. That probably accounts for the different conclusions of this research compared with later research based on longer experience of this pandemic.

Cooked
Dec 30 2020 13:46

I'm certainly no covid denier nor pro or against masks. I firmly know that it's way outside my ability to reach good conclusions from a selection of articles and papers.

My main point is that handling the public health during a pandemic is about a lot more than blocking the virus. What Samotnaf/Nymphalis points out (with trademark hyperbole) has *some* merit. Mental health and other issues also kill, the long term behavioral consequences of masks on distancing and safe behaviour are uncertain and culturally dependent. Balancing this is waay beyond my knowledge and I'm therefore reluctant to cite a few papers or articles supporting either way.

As I said the issue is fighting the class skewed solutions but avoiding making conclusions about medical matters or elaborating whats beginning to look like home made policy proposals. Particularly when they are based on reports about small parts of the whole public health question.

Steven those projections about mask wearing saving 50,000 lives are projections and the US has huge issues with spread. It's just extremely difficult to judge the merit and complex interactions of all these things. The depth of knowledge, effort in popularising the information and research consensus just isn't at the level of say global warming. Yet