A comprehensive study has just been released using data from 35 European nations.
The study compared the percentage of the population wearing a mask to the deaths per million from/with COVID.
The not-at-all surprising results for this writer are clear. COVID was worse in many nations that had more than 50% of the population complying regularly with masking. COVID deaths were LOWER in countries that experienced very low compliance with masks.
The study accounts for vaccination rates but quickly debunks that given the timing of the study. Here's the pullquote:
One of these factors could have been different vaccination rates among the studied countries. However, this is unlikely given the fact that at the end of the period analysed in this study (31th March 2021), vaccination rollout was still at its beginning, with only three countries displaying vaccination rates higher than 20%: the UK (48%), Serbia (35%), and Hungary (30%), with all doses counted individually . It could also be claimed that the rise in infection levels prompted mask usage resulting in higher levels of masking in countries with already higher transmission rates. While this assertion is certainly true for some countries, several others with high infection rates, such as France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, and Spain had strict mask mandates in place since the first semester of 2020.
This should be the topic of discussion when policymakers in our school system and our state and local government discuss what policy to pursue going forward.
While no cause-effect conclusions could be inferred from this observational analysis, the lack of negative correlations between mask usage and COVID-19 cases and deaths suggest that the widespread use of masks at a time when an effective intervention was most needed, i.e., during the strong 2020-2021 autumn-winter peak, was not able to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.
I've been talking about the absurdity of universal masking throughout the past two years citing many independent journalists who cite study after study.
Given the near-zero impact COVID has on kids, we should stop testing and certainly never again entertain the disastrous policy of universal masking, distance, and isolation. The negative impact of school closures is well documented whether it's minority kids or anyone else for that matter.
It may take New Jersey kids years to catch up to the states who opted for in-person school and relaxed masking.
The worst thing we can do is ignore the science that shows the policies of lockdowns, isolation, and masks did not do what the policymakers told us they would do.