Sunday, July 12, 2020

Face masks in America, treating flu as Covid

Czechs, the first white nation that made the face masks mandatory on March 18th, have thrown them away because we have determined that nothing like epidemics exists on our territory. They're mandatory in the Prague subway, currently 4 highly localized outbreaks areas (some 4x 0.5% of the Czech population), plus a minority in situations in hospitals. Meanwhile, Trump finally sports a face mask, too. He wisely says that it is only helpful in some contexts but calls it a "great thing to wear".

In late March, I wrote Ivanka to persuade her dad to make the face masks as normal in the U.S. as they became normal in Czechia – and it really took 3 days from "local fads" to the nationwide Czech mask duty. (Numerous other Czechs wrote similar messages to American and other VIPs.) Too bad, the U.S. has recorded over 100,000 "deaths with Covid" but 3 months later (instead of the 3 days in Czechia), Ivanka's dad finally sports a mask, too (too bad, without any U.S. flags or MAGA colors and symbols, so disppointing).

I have defended the efficiency of face masks (especially in the reduction of doses which almost certainly matter) many times. The empirical data are even more clear. In Asia where face masks were already a part of the culture, Covid was extremely limited. These countries were joined by the likes of Czechia and Slovakia. And in Europe, e.g. in Italy, the numbers began to hugely drop mainly when the face masks became omnipresent (of course they also drop because the virus has largely run out of vulerable targets: herd immunity). It may happen in America, too.

Off topic: a Russian university has successfully completed a vaccine trial. We may say that it means that someone in the world already has a verified, ready-to-use vaccine.

OK, so those were face masks that are more efficient than all other restrictions on the people, plus vaccines that may make frightened people immune soon (I surely plan to avoid any vaccine or even testing as much as I can). But there's another thing.

Especially in countries like mine, it is clear that we have pwned Covid-19. The fatalities are at 352, well below the 1500-3000 annual fatalities due to the complications from flu. I think that many of us know much more about this coronavirus than we know about such a mundane thing as a flu virus! I don't really know what the shapes of the flu viruses are and I don't know many other things that I know about Covid. The idea that Covid-19 is new and mysterious is already complete BS.

OK, with this comparison to flu in mind, I had the following idea: We should really monitor and fight against flu, especially during the flu (winter) seasons, in the same way as we fight Covid. In particular, places with flu outbreaks should see Covid-style limited duties to wear face masks. And the info website which is so detailed for Covid should be created for flu, too. It could save thousands of lives a year – and hundreds of thousands of Czech people's weeks in the bed.

A friend of mine told me that he had the same great idea. An even better news is that an hour ago, I wrote the boss behind the Czech Covid info page, Dr Komenda, and he quickly responded by saying that... a beta-version of their Covid-style flu app-and-page has already been completed! They only wait for some "OK" linked to the collection of the regional hygienic data about flu and it will go live!

This is the info-side of my proposal. Then there is the other side, the public health policies such as the tracing of the contacts plus regionally limited face mask requirements. I contacted Dr Maďar, a Covid-loosening boss in Czechia, and I will probably keep on lobbying.

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