The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, June 08, 2022

The Foegen Effect

I really do wish I could leave the idiocy of bad COVID-19 policy behind and move on to other important topics, but a small group of blue state bitter-enders, many in positions of authority or leadership, just can't let go of the authoritarian powers COVID confers on them. A case in point is a California school district that has threatened to re-institute mask mandates for grade school children. Even in the free state of FL where mask mandates were removed 18 months ago, there are a small number of medical offices that still continue masking idiocy, requiring everyone who enters to wear a mask. And true to form, the catastrophists within the Biden administration still want mandatory masking on public transportation

BTW, mandatory masking did not stop the spread.

Yet, we were told by "experts" that masks were life-saving devices absolutely essential to stop the spread. And besides, masks were an obvious way to virtue signal, indicating that you were willing to wear a scientifically ineffective piece of cloth if it let everyone who mattered know that you cared ... you really, really cared.

Science, of course, relies on actual facts. A recent paper, "The Foegen effect: A mechanism by which facemasks contribute to the COVID-19 case fatality rate" published in the journal Medicine, suggests that mandatory masking may have done far more harm than good. From the abstract:

Extensive evidence in the literature supports the mandatory use of facemasks to reduce the infection rate of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). However, the effect of mask use on the disease course remains controversial. This study aimed to determine whether mandatory mask use influenced the case fatality rate in Kansas, USA between August 1st and October 15th 2020.This study applied secondary data on case updates, mask mandates, and demographic status related to Kansas State, USA. A parallelization analysis based on county-level data was conducted on these data. Results were controlled by performing multiple sensitivity analyses and a negative control.A parallelization analysis based on county-level data showed that in Kansas, counties with mask mandate had significantly higher case fatality rates than counties without mask mandate, with a risk ratio of 1.85 (95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 1.51-2.10) for COVID-19-related deaths. Even after adjusting for the number of "protected persons," that is, the number of persons who were not infected in the mask-mandated group compared to the no-mask group, the risk ratio remained significantly high at 1.52 (95% CI: 1.24-1.72). By analyzing the excess mortality in Kansas, this study determines that over 95% of this effect can solely be attributed to COVID-19.These findings suggest that mask use might pose a yet unknown threat to the user instead of protecting them, making mask mandates a debatable epidemiologic intervention. [emphasis mine] The cause of this trend is explained herein using the "Foegen effect" theory; that is, deep re-inhalation of hypercondensed droplets or pure virions caught in facemasks as droplets can worsen prognosis and might be linked to long-term effects of COVID-19 infection. [emphasis mine] While the "Foegen effect" is proven in vivo in an animal model, further research is needed to fully understand it. 

Obviously, the Foegen affect needs additional study, but it seems plausible. Far more plausible, in fact, than suggesting that cloth masks would stop an airborne virus or that mandates that force small children to wear masks have any beneficial affect.