Top positive review
Excellent information to protect yourself and others!
Reviewed in the United States on July 22, 2020
Great presentation of the science behind using or not using masks, and how the coronavirus spreads through the air — very helpful for learning how to protect yourself and others. Their conclusions and recommendations make sense to me; the book is easy to follow and understand. Highly recommended!
There is one topic I wish the book had addressed: what is the goal for our masking, social distancing, and lockdown policies?
If the goal is to minimize deaths, then we need to develop herd immunity so that the virus is no longer circulating, and no longer a danger for high-risk individuals (e.g. older and chronically sick people).
How do we get to herd immunity? We need enough people to get sick and develop immunity to coronavirus. Scientific studies suggest that 15% to 20% of the population is enough; Sweden has herd immunity with about 17% having caught it. The Diamond Princess cruise ship saw comparable numbers.
The sooner we get to herd immunity, the better. Sweden took 4-5 months without lockdowns, masking, or social distancing. In the US, we are seeing high rates of infections as lockdowns are lifted, and we are going to take longer overall but are on track to have herd immunity over the coming months.
So the question is, do masks help or hurt the time it takes to get to herd immunity? If they work, then they will increase the time to develop herd immunity, and that might well kill more at-risk people than getting to herd immunity sooner.
In other words, even if masks actually worked, we shouldn’t use them — just as we should stop all lockdowns, social distancing, and any policies that slow the development of herd immunity. We should continue to have programs that help at-risk people, such as a senior/at-risk shopping hour at the start of each day.