Modeling COVID-19 scenarios for the United States Nature (popularization in STAT). From the abstract: “We find that achieving universal mask use (95% mask use in public) could be sufficient to ameliorate the worst effects of epidemic resurgences in many states. Universal mask use could save an additional 129,574 (85,284–170,867) lives from September 22, 2020 through the end of February 2021, or an additional 95,814 (60,731–133,077) lives assuming a lesser adoption of mask wearing (85%), when compared to the reference scenario.” • The model aggregates several natural experiments conducted in the United States and abroad:
Mask use has emerged as a contentious issue in the United States with only 49% of US residents reporting that they ‘always’ wear a mask in public as of 21 September 2020 (https://covid19.healthdata.org/). , toward the end of 2020, masks could help to contain a second wave of resurgence while reducing the need for frequent and widespread implementation of SDMs. Although 95% mask use across the population may seem a high threshold to achieve and maintain, on a neighborhood scale this level has already been observed in areas of New York (https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/20/nyregion/nyc-face-masks.html); and on a state level, reported mask use has exceeded 60% in Virginia, Florida and California (see Supplementary Information for related methods). In countries where mask use has been widely adopted, such as Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan and Iceland among others, transmission has declined and, in some cases, halted (https://covid19.healthdata.org/). These examples serve as additional natural experiments of the likely effects of masks and support the assumptions and findings from the universal mask-use scenario in our study. The potential life-saving benefit of increasing mask use in the coming fall and winter cannot be overstated.
“Regardless” is doing a lot of work there. If the tactic used to increase mask usage is shaming, it’s likely to backfire where mask uptake is needed most. (The historical analogy is the AIDS epidemic, where shaming failed to increase condom usage). Perhaps Biden’s famous albeit not systemically-applied empathy will percolate downward through the liberal nomenklatura, and shaming and fingerwagging will be abandoned as tactics. However, I fear they are too deeply embedded in the collective psyche of the professional-managerial class for that to happen (and, in any case, “Othering” is embedded not merely in the liberal Democrat psyche, but more to the point, in its fundraising.) I would be extremely happy to be wrong. (A paranoid and cynical person over-hasty to “connect the dots” will immediately connect Nature’s endorsement of Biden with recommendations for masking published in its pages, the “horns effect” of the former discrediting the latter, and producing, for that readership, exactly the result that the good people at Nature hoped not to produce. For example, how can this possibly achieve its putatively desired goal:
Coronavirus: Germany improves ventilation to chase away Covid BBC. “Fresh air has, for a while now, been seen as a key to dealing with coronavirus too. L for Luft (air) was recently added to A for Abstand (distance), H for Hygiene and A for Alltagsmaske (mask) – the official government directives on how to live in corona times.” There’s a lot to be said for Victorian remedies.
Russia Has Secret Novichok Nerve-Agent Program, Bellingcat Says Bloomberg. I’m printing this not so much for the story — I mean, obviously Russia needs a Novichok program, because the stuff keeps embarrassingly failing in high profile cases — but because Bloomberg’s editor, who wrote the headline, is treating Blob creature Bellingcat as a serious source.
Sanders hits back at Trump’s attack on ‘socialized medicine’ The Hill. Wellie…
Biden made it clear again he’s running as an anti-socialist, neoliberal, pro-American Empire candidate. He’s been explicit about it from day 1, and he clearly sees his primary victory as a victory over socialism, populism & anti-imperialism. Lotta folks in denial out here. — Mark Ames (@MarkAmesExiled) October 23, 2020
The flip side to “push Biden left” is “Biden circles back later and mops up the left.”
1986 MIKOYAN MIG 29 Trade-A-Plane (Re Silc). Re Silc comments: “[D]on’t know about you but I’m getting ready for the election.” Say what you will about the Russian arms industry, they certainly make lethal-looking aircraft (especially compared to that airborne tub of lard, the F-35).
📣 We need your help. This is the post we hoped to never write, but today marks a huge turning point in The Strand’s history. Our revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year, and the loans and cash reserves that have kept us afloat these past months are depleted. pic.twitter.com/mI074pigZu — Strand Book Store (@strandbookstore) October 23, 2020