August 13, 2020

Arguing with Idiots: The New Normal

Timothy Birdnow

Looks like I may have a new arguing with idiots edition.

Ev stated:

Masking-wearing is now a common, public cowering place from the invisible "enemy". Given solid evidence that mask-wearing is largely ineffective (in even highly conscientious, expert-trained Healthcare Surgery Rooms) for even bacteria-sized problems (much less, the infinitesimal, virus-sized particles); and given the cost-defectiveness of mask-wearing evidenced by the myriad of added physical and psychological expenses of mask-wearing without quantifiable cost/benefit; and given the horrifying, cross-infecting behavior of multiple mask-wearers readily observed in every crowd next to you, WHY is mask-wearing so prevalent?

Sonny & Cher sang:

I was born in the wagon of a travelin' show
My mama used to dance for the money they'd throw
Papa would do whatever he could
Preach a little gospel
Sell a couple bottles of "DOCTOR GOOD"

Since viruses have always been with us and presumably always will be with us: Can there ever be an "All-Clear-Signal" for mask-wearing? If so, what is your criteria for such a signal?

Flu Season will soon be upon the Western Hemisphere again . . .

Fear is the greatest robber. It multiplies geometrically, like a virus, where Courage dies."
Donna R. said:

I disagree and since I work in healthcare, I feel that I need to address this one. You were suggesting that the surgical mask in the OR is not effective at stopping the spread of viruses and bacteria. Would you like to have surgery with everyone not wearing masks because they think it is from the devil? Maybe we should not wash our hands either before surgery, because I get tired of washing my hands and that goes against my basic human rights to have to wash my hands! I will also consider telling the hard working housekeepers who scrub and disinfect each room after every case to stop doing that because it probably is offensive to someone and really hasn’t proven that it works!
This is ridiculous....y

ou are not considering anyone but yourself! The mask is to protect the spread of infection. There are many studies to prove medically over the years how infections have lowered when using masks.
I think you have forgotten some of medical history when people died from infections due to the spread from care workers. We have learned many things about safety over the years and it has saved many lives. Do you want us to go back to those days???

Ev  answered:

Hi Donna: I’ve already provided several studies showing; for example, that actual infection-rate outcomes didn’t meaningfully differ whether masks were worn or not by surgical teams doing clean surgery. I’ve already provided multiple, genuine Null Hypothesis Studies that show cloth masks and most affordable, disposable masks do not stop viruses. If you will provide any of the Studies you wish to me , I promise to consider them. The ones I have seen, in which I have confidence, have led me and others to the conclusion that there’s little medical value wearing public masks in most instances.

There is no clear and present danger that is even discernible. Studies I have provided in my other FB Posts, my own experience, and that of many other professionals besides me, think and speak well of conscientious cleanliness, disinfecting, hand-washing and so on. Masks are not clearly shown to be quantifiably useful and there’s still some concern about actual harm in public spaces for virus suppression and even bacterial suppression purposes.

The key issue for me is not whether a person wants to wear a mask, but whether a person is forced by a person in government to do so, when there is no clear and present danger to others that the mask has any clear and present value to stop. I don’t believe anything I’m promoting is ridiculous and wish you didn’t, because I believe what I’m promoting is well supported, healthy Truth.

So far as your concern that I’m thinking "only of myself", I believe there is voluminous evidence from many people who know me very well, that I don’t think only of myself. Of course, like you, me, and everyone else has to do, I always think first of all with my conscience, my values - my convictions, even as I choose to help others as allowed. In my FB Posts, I am certainly attempting to demonstrate my high respect for Life Lovers and their right to make their own decisions and accompanying responsibility to accept the consequences for their own decisions and yes, I do believe there's a certain wholesale Lemming Behavior related to this "pandemic" (which is barely classified as a pandemic and wherein the death-rate is often in the realm of the chance of being killed in a car crash). I believe that thoughtless behavior is worthy of shaming those who engage in it.

Of course, I don’t want "us to go back to those (infectious) days”. The items I have posted can readily improve individual mental and physical health. BTW, I’m not totally healthcare naive. I worked as a computer systems programmer for telemedicine and invested some time in most of the top hospitals across the U.S, Korea, and In London brushing elbows with their doctors. I do not consider either of our experiences in that arena to be more than anecdotal. It’s the actual, normally difficult and expensive, Null Hypotheses Studies that I believe warrant the most weight. I appreciate your patience with me; perhaps we could benefit from further discussion?

Here are clear reasons to doubt mask efficacy - even in professional medical settings when used by professionally trained, conscientious medical personal - much less the general public:

see also

there are more, but what to do with these?

Apparently that cheesed off Donna's daughter:

There are a couple things I'm curious about in your reply, if you wouldn't mind clearing them up for me?

If "there is no clear and present danger", then how did 160K Americans die?

If "Masks are not clearly shown to be quantifiably useful" then how did they slow/hopefully stop the spread in New York, and what is your reasoning for the surges in cases in the two week incubation period after large gatherings of people not wearing masks?

Even though the death-rate may be "often in the realm of the chance of being killed in the car crash", aren't there many and varied rules and regulations imposed by the government to hopefully lower the death-rate of car crashes (seatbelt laws, speed limits, texting laws, to name a few)? Why would a virus with a similar death-rate not deserve the same level of regulation?

Finally, and this is one a purely personal note, please do not advise my mother, who has a degree in nursing and a license and certificate to work in medicine, that her "experience in that arena" is not "more than anecdotal" when the purpose of the post was about healthcare risks. I personally found that remark to be insulting, condescending, and disrespectful.

I haven't forgotten about your message on another issue, and I will get back to you there shortly, but this comment raised very genuine questions in my mind that I hope you don't mind answering.

Thank you for your time.

And so Tim steps in:

The closures and social distancing and sanitizing certainly help, but not the masks. You need Hepa, form fitting masks to have any value. Viruses are far too small to be stopped by a cloth bandana or whatnot. Rather like trying to stop bugs with chicken wire. People died because there was a disease, like many other diseases that have killed people Grace Rolle. How many people die from Influenze and colds each year? We've been through this before. There were pandemics in 1957 and '68 too and we did not react even remotely like this. The shutdowns and social distancing and the rest were not even intended to prevent deaths but to "flatten the curve" if you remember, which meant spreading the number of deaths out. It was recognized originally that this thing was going to burn through the population regardless. The only answer to a viral infection is herd immunity, be it natural or manmade (vaccination). But it has subtly morphed into claims we are somehow fighting it by wearing masks. We aren't. Even the locdowns and social distancing have only had the effect of spreading it out so medical people wouldn't get overwhelmed. You tried to compare masking laws with seat belt laws (another thing that is quite unconstitutiona
l) and other traffic laws. Well, there is a direct causal relationship between distracted driving and accidents, or drunk driving. There is no evidence showing any relationship between mask wearing and preventing the spread of the disease. You apparently place little value on liberty. If government can force you to wear a mask they can force you to do anything. Where in the Constitution is it authorized? The Constitution only allows those powers specifically granted to government. I didn't see anything saying they could force Americans to stay home for extended periods in case they might get sick, or force them to wear a mask. BTW being a nurse hardly makes your mother an expert on the science, or are nurses now required to obtain doctorates in molecular biology? Frankly I think you and your mother were both rather snotty to Ev and owe an apology. Just because you think something is a good idea does not mean those who disagree with you are bad people, as you seem to believe. I am high risk myself. But there is no reason to live in fear. H.L. Menckon put it best: "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed, and hence clamorous to be led to safety, by an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." "The desire to save humanity is almost always a false-face for the desire to rule it." It is becoming obvious that this disease is nowhere nearly as lethal as first projected, and in fact death rate continues to decline as a percentage of total cases (which continue to rise). It is not the Black Death. It is not the Spanish Flu. But the powers that be have everyone terrified and are killing lots of people through fear, despair, and the economic downturn that is a direct result of shutting the world economy down. And who benefits? Always follow the money. .

Grace answers:

Thank you for your response!

Am I to assume that you choose to not wear a seatbelt? And am I also to assume that you choose to believe the actual experts in molecular biology who work at the CDC and strongly recommend that every person wear a mask?

I appreciate the answer, however I find myself more confused than anything after reading it. If social distancing and closures do help, than why argue against them?

In addition, we have made many medical and scientific advancements since '57 and '68, so why should our response not be different as well to reflect those advancements and the experts' attempts to truly understand this disease?

I don't remember saying that anyone is bad, and I'm certainly sorry to have hurt your feelings with what I clearly stated was a personal note.

The Constitution is an excellent foundation, however it cannot truly address every issue that will arise, which is why multiple amendments have already been made to it.

I value liberty. I value human lives more. I'm sorry we can't both agree on that!

All the best.

My reply:

Grace, Thanks for a courteous reply. Seat belt laws are clearly unconstitutional and no I do NOT wear them. I have no problem with people wanting to wear them; that is a private decision. But the State has no authority to make you safe against your will. Anyone who thinks otherwise places no value on liberty.C.S. Lewis wisely observed: " Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies." He was right. That is the modern nanny state which you seem to desire.

As to the CDC and the "experts" of which you speak, I would point out the CDC was recommending against masks just a couple of months ago and nothing has changed in their body of knowledge. What has changed? The POLITICS. The CDC wants people wearing masks in much the same way Catholics wear crucifixes around their necks, or Muslim women wear hijabs. They are sacramental, to make the public feel a part of this and to remind everyone. Again, Fauci called them talismans said they were to avoid complacency.

"Masks are visible reminders of an otherwise invisible yet widely prevalent pathogen and may remind people of the importance of social distancing and other infection-control measures." End quote.

(BTW the CDC has proven itself less than scientifically rigorous, and has gotten things wrong repeatedly. Bear in mind the CDC is a government agency funded by tax dollars and has a vested interest in maintaining this charade.

Again, distancing and closures work only for the moment. The point of the whole thing was to buy time, not ever to stop the plague. That will only happen when we achieve herd immunity, be it naturally or through vaccination. Sheltering those most vulnerable - the sick and elderly - while allowing the young and healthy to get it and become immune is the only real answer and this won't go away as long as we keep stretching out the inevitable. Sweden, which so many people sneered at for not going along with this, has probably reached herd immunity and is no longer suffering deaths.

And I listen to epidemiologists like John Ioannodis.

And what evidence do we have? The places that have done the lockdowns and the masking are the ones hitten hardest by Covid. That is true in Europe, and it is true in America where the states that have locked down hardest have the highest rates. Why is that?

And where did this panic come from? Neil Ferguson at Imperial College in Britain, that's where. His models showed millions and millions of deaths. He has since had to amend that considerably. (And he was caught disobeying the laws he himself triggered with his hysteria.) It was Ferguson's work that everyone cited to justify all of this.

What medical advancements have we made against viruses, Grace? Our advances are primarily in understanding the DNA better. We have no better understanding of this particular illness. I would point out that the policies we have implemented were a science project of a teenage girl from 2006 .

You clearly don't understand the Constitution; it is not there to address all issues. It is the framework for what GOVERNMENT can do to you. It appears you don't really believe in it.

You say you value lives more than liberty. O.K.; will you allow yourself to be arrested and put in a prison if that is what it would entail to "save lives" according to a government flack? I rather doubt it.

And this isn't going to save any lives. In fact, thanks to the economic slowdown more lives are probably going to be lost - to poverty, to depression, etc. And delayed surgeries and the like have likely killed quite a few people.
Unicef has warned that hundreds of thousands of children will die from the economic downturn.

Again, all of these policies we put in place had no value in terms of saving lives, except those most vulnerable, who could have self-quarantined.

I am all about saving lives. I am not about feel-good measures and political ploys designed to fool the public into blind obedience.

All the best to you too!

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:12 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
Post contains 2657 words, total size 19 kb.

1 I remember that Cher song -- she was more into reality than she has been for years now.
And every night all the men would come around And lay their money down...

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at August 13, 2020 09:40 PM (ZlC7R)

2 Yeah; that was when Cher still had some sense.

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at August 14, 2020 06:00 AM (t3bpJ)

3 Oh course, Cher didn't write the songs, she just looked pretty singin' 'em. And we all kowtow to Hollywood because we thing they're smart because of that (spit).

Ignoring the article but keeping on the idea of the song, AND tying The New Cher (Kammie) to it, the (stupid Leftist) people seem very ready to throw money to whatever dance she's performing now, as opposed to whatever dance she used to perform. I certainly hope she never gets to perform it in the White House!

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at August 14, 2020 09:04 PM (o3oxi)

4 Me too Dana. Her time is past, in my opinion, or should be.

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