The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews was assigned an impact factor of 12.008 in 2021. This makes it a high-impact source of scientific information. Just a few hours ago, they published an incredibly thorough and comprehensive review of the masking literature.
You can find the paper here.
With all of the data included, it is a beast; 326 pages-worth of high-quality science.
The take-home message is this:
Apparently, masking doesn’t seem to work in the context of the flu or SARS-CoV-2.
Who knew? [sarcasm] But, seriously, we need these kinds of comprehensive and objective studies to back-up what so many people have been voicing for the past three years.
I recently conducted my own extensive review of the masking literature over a period of approximately two months and drew almost the same conclusions as the authors of this Cochrane review:
- Generally, masking studies have been of poor quality.
- Many studies are biased.
- There is a need for well-designed, well-controlled, large randomized controlled trials to obtain more definitive evidence.
Here is one of the main take-home messages from the paper…
“Wearing masks [medical/surgical] in the community probably makes little or no difference to the outcome of laboratory‐confirmed influenza/SARS‐CoV‐2 compared to not wearing masks”
Even in the context of N95/P2 respirators, this is what the authors concluded…
There were no clear differences between the use of medical/surgical masks compared with N95/P2 respirators in healthcare workers when used in routine care to reduce respiratory viral infection.
…and remember that health care workers undergo fit testing for their N95/P2 respirators, which is something that most members of the public don’t even know about.
Nobody can accuse the authors of cherry-picking a few of their favourite papers. Their state-of-the-art review included data from 78 randomized clinical trials!
The ultimate conclusion is the same one that I and many others drew a long time ago:
There is and was no strong rationale for forcing masking mandates on people, even in health care settings!
Now think about the cloth masks and bandanas, etc. that were worn by so many people. Clearly, that was no more than virtue signaling on steroids.
From Dr. Byram Bridle:
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