Health News Digest

Lockdowns and masks

November 23, 2020

More On Lockdowns And Masks

By Michael D. Shaw

In the wake of increasing cases of COVID-19, talk of more aggressive lockdowns is all the rage. California is imposing a curfew. This is supposedly justified by an uptick in the number of “cases.” In reality, this is an uptick in positive tests, which is not exactly the same thing. Kentucky is another state that has gone back to heavy restrictions.

“Los Angeles County is at a critical moment to save lives and curb the spread of COVID-19,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “I urge our residents, businesses, and community leaders to heed this warning and follow these heightened safeguards so that additional restrictions do not need to be imposed.”

The most draconian aspect of the new California regulations would kick in if the five-day average of cases spills over 4,500, or hospitalizations top 2,000 per day. A new “Safer at Home” order would be imposed for three weeks. The order would allow only essential workers and those securing essential services to leave their homes. Ah, yes, “essential workers.” Let me assure you that an “essential worker” is anyone who supports himself or his family. Any further distinctions are patently absurd and indefensible.

Think about it. Any “essential” enterprise requires thousands of vendor-supplied goods and services—as do THOSE vendors. The very nature of an economy is that these items are all interrelated. Moreover, who’s to say that providing “frivolous” recreation for an essential worker is not also essential?

There are dissenting views on such lockdowns, as well. Renowned physician Dr. Roger Hodkinson is appalled at the overreaction to COVID-19. “It’s politics playing medicine, and that’s a very dangerous game.”

Austrian school economist Jeffrey A. Tucker has also been arguing against lockdowns. On November 13, he referred to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, the results of which have not exactly been shouted from the rooftops.

Quite simply, a quarantine (lockdown) under tight Marine Corps discipline, when compared to the control group, showed very little difference in the incidence of COVID-19 cases. The study involved new recruits, 1,848 of which were in the quarantine group, and 1,554 of which were in the control group. Any of the experimental group who tested positive were placed in isolation. Rigorous mask use and sanitation were in place.

At the end, 51 of the quarantined 1,848 (2.8%) tested positive as did 26 (1.7%) of the 1554 control. So, broad- brush, the quarantine made no difference. In fact, the control group did a little better. While this was clearly the most important finding of the research, those few media outlets that did report on the study focused on the majority of the cases being asymptomatic.

As to masks, the position of the CDC is that they work. “Experimental and epidemiological data support community masking to reduce the spread of SARS-CoV-2.” The linked page cites several studies attesting to the efficacy of masks. Interestingly, as noted earlier, the CDC speaks largely of cloth masks, although paper masks are in wide (possibly wider) use.

Many people are uncomfortable with awarding China—the source of SARS-CoV-2—with purchases of millions of masks. And now, a made-in-America and reasonably priced alternative is available. Check out Virginia Beach based AmeriShield. Listen to co-founders Vitali Servutas and Brent Dillie:

“A face mask made in America is also a shield for all Americans. Hence our name: AmeriShield. Our disposable face masks are safe, effective, and affordable. Because we follow the CDC’s rules, because we uphold the rule of personal integrity, because we abide by the rule of professionalism in the products we manufacture and the services we provide; because of these things—and more—our face masks are a necessity in the fight against COVID-19.”

AmeriShield disposable face masks are Berry-compliant, and the company is currently producing 750,000 disposable face masks per day, with plans to gear up. The company also has government contracts for ASTM Level Two disposable face masks, and features a full assortment of personal protective equipment.