My Approach To Mask Wearing On Planes

Throughout the pandemic I was a proponent of the individual choice to mask. I favored airlines imposing their own mask requirements in spring 2020, long before the federal government made existing airline rules a legal requirement. I liked, though, that some airlines handled their exception policies differently, for instance Delta was more flexible with young children and so wasn’t kicking two and three year olds off of planes.

I’ve been a fan of properly wearing a high quality mask. A fitted N95 mask isn’t perfect protection, but it seems to afford quite a bit both to the wearer (from others) and to others (from the wearer, in case they are asymptomatically infected).

I do not understand those who continue to wear cloth masks in an airport and on planes at this point. It made sense when someone didn’t really want to wear a mask – these didn’t really provide meaningful protection, but were the most comfortable way to meet the requirement. Now I understand someone who doesn’t mas, and I understand someone who wears a P100. Voluntarily wearing low quality masks doesn’t seem to achieve any clear goal.

One Mile at a Time explains his approach to masking during travel. He will “still choose to selectively wear a [KN95] mask when traveling” in crowded airport spaces like security, and during boarding and deplaning and sitting in close proximity to others in economy. That’s less about Covid-19 and more about how people get sick generally and how to prevent spread of airborne illnesses. That framework seems right to me, though I’d note that the quality of KN95 masks varies greatly.

I no longer mask because of Covid either.

  • I’m quadruple vaccinated. The long timeframe for the U.S. government to consider and approve updates to the vaccines means that by the time an updated formulation is released it’s largely out of date relative to the circulating virus, but it continues to confer strong protection against severe illness.

  • I’ve recovered from infection. Vaccination plus prior infection confers the strongest protection. There’s still some debate over whether the current circulating virus is actually less severe or the tremendous amount of background immunity means outcomes aren’t nearly as bad. Either way, I have about the most protection possible.

  • There are great treatments now. Paxlovid is basically a cure. When I get sick, I test myself for Covid. I can get treatment. We now also know that pegylated interferon lambda is highly effective against hospitalization as well, but we no longer consider Covid enough of a public health emergency where it is even likely to be approved.

    [A] new class of variant-proof treatments could help restock the country’s armory. Scientists on Wednesday reported in The New England Journal of Medicine that a single injection of a so-called interferon drug slashed by half a Covid patient’s odds of being hospitalized.

    The results, demonstrated in a clinical trial of nearly 2,000 patients, rivaled those achieved by Paxlovid. And the interferon shots hold even bigger promise, scientists said. By fortifying the body’s own mechanisms for quashing an invading virus, they can potentially help defend against not only Covid, but also the flu and other viruses with the potential to kindle future pandemics.

However I carry masks in my laptop bag – and I’m grateful for the changing culture around mask-wearing since prior to the pandemic. I hate getting sick, I just don’t have the space for down time.

I don’t just write this blog (by myself, some similar sites have 100 or more employees) but I also have a full time job and other projects as well. I don’t want to get sick and I’ve long felt like I wanted to mask during flu season, something much more accepted in Asia over the couple of decades since SARS, but I’d have been looked at like a space alien in the U.S. for doing so.

Masks have become way too political. I always thought that Republicans should have been pro-mask in 2020 as the conservative alternative to lockdowns. Now they’re a choice. I don’t wear it for Covid-19 on its own, but am happy to wear it where my risk of flu, RSV, and other viruses is elevated.

I’m grateful not to have to wear a mask on a long haul flight in business class, but I’ve gotten sick after sitting next to ill seat mates too many times to want that for myself. Masks certainly aren’t going to provide protection against viruses spread via fomites. Instead they’re a limited strategic tool that won’t make sense for me in many situations. I am not masking close to a majority of the time when I fly throughout the year.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @CMorgan — Define “baby” and then pose the question to the one who is intimately linked to it: the woman carrying it. Neither you or I have a say in it…

  2. @James N — I guess the SARS-CoV-2 virus is also part of the purported “scam” that we still haven’t figured out?

  3. @DCS

    Not killing an unborn child isn’t “taking away a right to choose” a right that has never existed.

  4. The data on long Covid doesn’t make sense, if there were millions with it in the US we’d see so many people we know that have it but don’t, the studies exaggerated long Covid are methodologically really poor (claiming all sorts of potentially unrelated and often mild symptoms after covid as long covid).

    Long covid is a thing but it isn’t statistically huge risk for most people, especially those who have been vaccinated and recovered from infection.

  5. @ Tim Dunn

    Love your aviation posts.

    Your concept of “evidence” does not apply to the scientific method. Your attempts at logic are misplaced in the context of managing pandemics. Once or twice you said something about being reluctant to comment on the politics of other countries – how about applying that same principle (yours not mine) to restricting your comments when it comes to a topic outside of your personal expertise?

    Now that we are all flying and traveling again – let’s focus on the positives of that shared experience, shall we?!

    It doesn’t seem like any commentator has anything new to say on this topic. The same shite is being repeated by the same scientifically ignorant voices.

    Move on, Gary…please lead the debate to new ground.

  6. @ Gary Leff

    “The data on long Covid doesn’t make sense, if there were millions with it in the US we’d see so many people we know that have it but don’t”

    Seriously, Gary, that is one dumb statement – both your lack of knowledge and your “logic” are severely lacking on this topic. Move on.

  7. @Gary — Long COVID makes sense and it is huge if you know what you are talking about. For a long time, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), a mysterious post-viral illness that is symptomatically quite similar to long COVID, did not make sense either except that, like long COVID, CFS is for real. In fact, there are other such post-viral syndromes that are also claimed to “make no sense” simply because they remain poorly understood…

  8. @ DCS

    What don’t you understand. A foetus the size of a pea is clearly an independent life form capable of miraculous self determination and needs to be protected at all times by strangers with religious delusions from the nefarious and evil intentions of its mother….because, you know, women can’t be trusted to make an informed decision based on modern medical science rather than 2000 year old religious mores…;)

    PS. You’re wasting your time responding to most of the commentators on this blog on matters scientific / medical…

  9. Hi Loren, when you walked outside in 2019 you took a risk. You weren’t thinking about it because the man on TV wasn’t trying to scare you. When you walked outside today you also took a risk. The incremental risk is zero. Who is dying FROM covid? Average age? Health profile? And if you think CNN is “vastly above” Fox News you are truly delusional. COVID broke your brain. I’m guessing you were smart once. This is just so sad to watch.

  10. Long Covid is the left’s last grasp at trying to scare everyone. It never was and never will be.
    I was in a restaurant yesterday, and saw the patron walk in with a bright orange n95 mask. He was so proud to put it on. And then he takes it off while he eats. I was in the front row at a Broadway show a couple of weeks ago. Again, so many people seem proud to wear their mask. It’s so funny to see peoples glasses fogging up because they’re wearing a mask. These people are sick in the head. So many people no longer can think for themselves, and probably never could in the first place.

  11. @DLF They flood any forum they can to spread their drivel. It’s a normalization strategy.

  12. I don’t understand why this is a subject to discuss. Covid isn’t deadly anymore. Mask mandate is off. Now it’s no different than discussing whether to wear a sweater when flying. You want a mask – you wear it. You don’t want a mask – you don’t wear it. End of story.

    I don’t fly anywhere close to what I did before Covid. So when I enter the airport, I put a mask on. Unless I eat or find an uncrowded place at the airport, I keep wearing the mask until I exit at my destination. That’s my choice. I don’t push anyone to do the same. Although honestly some people should – too many clearly sick people coughing every few minutes still choose to fly. That sure was the case before Covid but we never paid attention. Would be nice though if people who don’t feel well internally felt obligated to put a mask on. Like they do in Japan. But yeah, we’re not in Japan.

  13. I bring a mask in my carry-on. If the person next to me sniffles and coughs, I put it in for myself. If the person next to me wears a mask, I put it on as a courtesy to them. Other than that, I’ve gone mask-less.

    ps. Don’t be too harsh on what may look like cloth masks. My HALO mask has a cloth shell, but is fitted and uses inline filters for N95-like efficacy.

  14. @Brian, who clearly lets Faux News do the thinking for him sez:

    So many people no longer can think for themselves, and probably never could in the first place.”

    Unaware of or in denial about the trove of messages released in the Dominion suit against Fox that has conclusively established Fox “News” to be Faux News, @ Bob writes, oblivious to the irony:

    And if you think CNN is “vastly above” Fox News you are truly delusional. COVID broke your brain. I’m guessing you were smart once. This is just so sad to watch.

    No, @Bob, you are the truly delusional one. Faux News broke your brain. I’m guessing you were smart once. This is just so sad to watch…

  15. To the author:
    You do realize you MUST get sick. Try as you might but the human body evolved to maintain natural defenses against microorganisms attacking you. Your immune system works instinctually to protect you – however this only works when it is exposed to your environment. If you could hermetically seal yourself off from every situation a sick person was around you, you’d eventually leave yourself extremely weakened from any sort of natural protections. You cannot possibly vax yourself away from ever getting sick. Vaccinations cannot replicate what the immune system does on its own. Some help… but it’s your immune system doing the heavy lifting against the MILLIONS of microorganisms that are around you everyday that you don’t see. We don’t have millions of vaccinations.

    I laugh at the maskers for this reason alone. They are very uneducated about the microscopic world, the immune system, and how little influence they have over it.

  16. Long Covid is real, full stop. But claims massively overstate it, usually covering anyone with symptoms blamed on long covid without even validating prior covid. Roughly speaking risk from long covid is proportional to regular covid risk… and vaccination remains protective against long covid.

    Given vaccination and prior infection broadly in the community, the risk of long covid is much lower than it was a year ago. That’s what the data supports.

  17. @Gary — Glad that you agree that long COVID is real. However, please provide evidence to support your claim that the prevalence long COVID is overstated. The risk of long COVID is ‘proportional’ to that of COVID only because, by definition, only those who have had COVID (irrespective of severity) can develop long COVID, but that does not into account the individual vulnerability factor that makes it that not everyone who gets COVID goes on to develop long COVID.

    Vaccines are effective against long COVID only to the extent that they protect against COVID, but they are not an impenetrable barrier. The fact that the risk of long COVID is lower now because infections have declined does not mean that the prevalence of long COVID has also declined because millions were infected around the world before vaccines were widely administered, as well as during infection flare-ups due to new variants of the virus for which earlier vaccines were not as effective. I got COVID last August — hardly a year ago — despite getting 2 initial Pfizer injections and being boosted once (I since got boosted again with the ‘bivalent’ vaccine before traveling to Asia for a month). Vaccines have decreased the chances that one dying from COVID more than the chances of one being infected.

    I submitted an application for a federal (NIH) grant specifically to study long COVID, for which I needed to educate myself. I suggest you do the latter, starting with familiarizing yourself with the “case definition” of long COVID by which its prevalence is currently assessed.

  18. @Loretta Jackson – Not to worry. I will take more than 5 over the coming years as COVID vaccines will be tweaked based on the prevalent variant and administered seasonally, forever, just like flu vaccines are…

  19. @DCS – You realize that 90%+ of the time the flu vaccine does nothing right? They’re literally guessing which flu strain they think will be just prevalent each season. And even if they happened to guess the exact right strain to vaccinate you for it actually often does not work at all. But go on with your routine. Never mind that an entire industry is built on scaring you into taking more and more so soar.

  20. I wear my N95 at all times, even while mowing my lawn or driving alone! Why? Because I care for others and so should you.

    There out to be a law banning the use of derogatory word “face diaper” which some evil (particularly righties) use for something so integral to our livelihoods!

    (Psst sadly there’s far too many who believe this is how we all should operate)

  21. I hope people will one day understand masks have been a thing long before covid, and have their valid use including and beyond protection against respiratory diseases. A lot of people love to chant “masks don’t work”, but they don’t even know why the other person is putting on a mask.

    Of course, one can make a baseless assumption that people put on masks never have a good reason and laugh at that. And I agree that playing with one’s own imagination is fun, but to say it out loud to everyone then it becomes childish.

  22. @Army Turtle — Please cite your source for the claim that ” 90%+ of the time the flu vaccine does nothing.”

  23. It won’t matter what source I post, you’ll just attempt to downplay it so your thoughts on the matter still make you feel adequate. That’s how comment sections go. But anyway, here ya go.,to%20as%20low%20as%2010%25

    You really only get to the first paragraph before they cite it often being only 10% effective. And yes, while they do say “10-60% effective is better than nothing” but remember, a water placebo could show a 10% effective rate as well (yes, this happens and I CAN cite a 12% effective rate from a placebo on an unrelated scientific test). So, yes, I laugh at people who act as though others are “endangering the public” should they not wear a mask or get vaccines. Actually it’s these people that will develope a true natural immunity to disease that benefits the public (not all of them, but many from within these groups) as that’s how biology and genetics works.

    I’d take the position that we need people to gain natural immunity to diseases FIRST and then synthesize pharmaceuticals based on that person’s blood to see the highest effective rate for a vaccine. Otherwise you’re essentially guessing and in my opinion, toying around with unproven changes to our physiology. I’ll not be taking any of THOSE “vaccines” thank you very much. And for the Nazi’s who think you shouldn’t have the freedom to choose, or to speak the words “face diaper” when referring to ppl wearing one on their own in their vehicle… I say you’re in the wrong country. Go back to a place that has a monarchy if you don’t like freedom of speech.

  24. All of this is dumb. For three years, I wore an N95 to and from DXB via AMS and CDG. Except once, when the AF flight staffer told me that I had to wear the normal blue and white mask that she freely handed out to me and told me that the N95 mask was not to be worn. I still wear an N95 flying everywhere and in airports, to guard against everything else in what is popularly called the petri dish of flying with bacteria, disease, virii, etc.

    Weird: for three years flying to and from DXB (which stayed wide open), I was the oldest person, like the 1970’s bad film, “Logan’s Run.” (I flew without telling people, lest I be accused: “Youre one of THOSE PEOPLE!”) There were no old people at CDG. There was no line up of wheelchairs and wheelchair attendants at the jetway. So bizarre.

    The N95 is not 100% but is worthwhile. Any other mask is cosmetic or political theatre.

    So much fun. Masks and hoods are great for low-level thuggish activity……ride the trend….

  25. “How can an otherwise sane individual become so enamored of a fantasy, an
    imposture, that even after it’s exposed in the bright light of day, he still clings to it
    – indeed, clings to it all the harder? No amount of logic can shatter a faith
    consciously based on a lie.”
    Lamar Keene, a scam artist who posed as a psychic, describing why it was so
    easy to fleece people.

  26. @DCA – @Army Turtle is simply wrong. As we know, how well the vaccine performs against symptomatic disease depends on how well matched each year’s vaccine is to the virus that actually circulates that year. Surely this commenter is looking at ‘the worst performing years’ against symptomatic disease and claiming that it how the vaccine always works. And this also conflates ‘effectiveness against symptomatic disease’ and ‘effectiveness against severe disease.’

  27. Gary – you should just go ahead and change your name to Gary LefT. Enjoy the koolaid man.

  28. Gary the director of the authoritative Cochrane study concluded that face masks INCLUDING N95 MASKS – “make no difference – full stop”. Stop kidding yourself that your N95 mask protects you or others near you. It’s nothing but virtue signaling at this point – admit it, you’re more virtuous than all those plebians who go maskless.

  29. @ Phil Watkins

    You are fundamentally misrepresenting the Cochrane Report.

    To quote the actual report itself:

    “The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low adherence with the interventions during the studies hampers drawing firm conclusions.”

    So, no, it’s not the authoritative statement that you want to believe.

    Just in case anybody is genuinely interested:

    – The report appears not to be a peer reviewed publications – it’s a “report” and not a “scientific publication”: it’s not a scientific paper with original experimental research by its authors
    – The data were collated from various sources, which represent COVID and non COVID, pandemic and non pandemic, viral control versus limiting physical splashes in operation theatre, etc: it’s a mash up of disconnected pieces
    – You can’t create more robust data by adding smaller datasets together – the limitations of the original datasets will always be implicit: the quoted research from which the collated data were harvested were not necessarily good enough to reach definitive conclusions

    There are plenty of articles explaining the strengths and weaknesses of this report, which you can read to balance your perceptions and can find in seconds through Google. It’s up to you. To make a reasoned and knowledgeable assessment you would to know more about science and have developed skills critical analysis that evidently you, most commentators herein and Gary left are utterly lacking.

  30. @ Army Turtle

    No, your cited article does not state that a flu vaccine is “often” 10% effective. That’s the projection of your personal and deluded perception.

    You may or may not be aware that viruses evolve. Yes, I know that’s bad news for the over 40% of Americans who are creationists, but regardless of their god delusions, viruses do evolve.

    Vaccines are therefore being developed in a game of catch up….;)

  31. Wrong, again, Gary, as usual. Army Turtle is absolutely correct. The flu “vaccines” are a joke and are rarely ever more that 20-30% effective. For gosh sakes, the formulas are created 6-8 months before flu season. It fascinates me how ignorant you are on each of these subjects. Again, anyone who chose to get quadrupled jabbed is clearly incapable of intelligent thought.

  32. @Robert – Size in microns between air pollutants and viruses are worlds apart. Your N95 mask isn’t going to stop viruses. If it did, you wouldn’t see biological virus lab techs wearing hermetically sealed suits with respirator devices that have clean air fed in by compressed air connector hoses – they’d simply be wearing your N95 mask. Clutch your pearls though man.

  33. @Army Turtle – I don’t know why you are injecting another topic into the conversation. Yes, we know apples are not oranges. There is no need to tell us that.

    So, PM2.5 is real. N95 masks stops PM2.5. Therefore, people who doesn’t enjoy breathing in PM2.5 wears N95 masks.

    Now why do we need the mask to stop viruses when we just want it to stop PM2.5?

  34. @ Army Turtle

    Mate, it’s not the size of the virus that matters.

    The viruses are hitching a ride, dude, on droplets and particulate matter – those viruses have an electrostatic charge, so on the one hand they “stick” to stuff, and on the other we have a method to filter them…..;)

    Please keep an open mind because it’s obvious you have some ill-informed ideas rattling around that chelonian brain of yours!

  35. @ Brian

    The Cochrane report is correct in identifying its own limitations and why the conclusions you ascribe to it in your deluded world view, it does not even ascribe to itself as being conclusive.

    Read it. I’ve already quoted its opening caveats in the post above. Now go and read it for yourself.

  36. @ James N

    Strangely enough whenever we look at any reference put forward by yourself or any other of the covidiots herein that there is a sad disconnect between your deluded interpretation and what the reference actually says. There are two examples exposed in the posts above. Claims made with a citation wherein the citation does not support the delved claim asserted.

    You’re out of your depth and just as gullible.

  37. @ Gary Leff

    “But claims massively overstate it…that’s what the data supports”

    Gary, go to the website “pubmed” and type the words ‘long covid’ into the search field. It will return 23,099 matches itemising medical / scientific research papers on the topic.

    As a former research scientist in the bio-sciences I would expect somebody to have read the key references out of that list (starting with the summary articles and drill down into topics of personal interest), to put some sort of figure on it at last dozens, if not hundreds, before they could offer a scientifically informed opinion.

    That’s exactly what I expect @ DCS would have had to do to have any chance of being part of a team worthy of applying for research grants on the topic (together with proven track record in parallel fields of research).

    I personally would hypothesise that identified cases of long covid will continue to increase, but it’s just that, a hypothesis open to be tested as we accumulate more data.

    Making grandiose claims about scientific / medical matters per those in your posts above is arguably ill advised when you have extremely poor knowledge and apparently zero experience. Your website your choice, and there’s nothing wrong with stimulating informed debate.

    Ironically, @ Army Turtle did a good job in bringing a reference to the discussion. That was laudable. But the really interesting stuff in that article came after the misinterpreted statistics cited by a couple in their posts above – the role of unique trajectories of individuals’ immune systems – an understanding that requires systems analysis paying obeisance to complexity and how few stable states pervade in biological systems depending upon starting conditions and environment triggers.

    It might be fair to presume that the real action in that realm is beyond the comprehension of most who read your blog (great as it is on matters travel) – kinda a good idea to stay in lane, buddy – more than happy to bring you up to speed on complexity in biological systems over a few drinks sometime….you may see some parallels in economic theory…..;)

  38. Gary picks Vox and Kelsey Piper to refute the above-mentioned scientific study. Now, it’s a guarantee he’s as ignorant as I thought.

    How much longer will these Covididiots continue to deny reality?

  39. @ James N

    Don’t take my word for it – don’t take Gary’s word for it – don’t take @ DCS’s word for it – don’t take anybody else’s word for it – read the actual report for yourself and put your brain into gear.

    And yes, it’s a REPORT and NOT a scientific study published in a peer review journal, despite your blatantly incorrect claims to the contrary.

    This is a direct quote, the words of the authors of that report:

    “The high risk of bias in the trials, variation in outcome measurement, and relatively low adherence with the interventions during the studies hampers drawing firm conclusions. There were additional RCTs during the pandemic related to physical interventions but a relative paucity given the importance of the question of masking and its relative effectiveness and the concomitant measures of mask adherence which would be highly relevant to the measurement of effectiveness, especially in the elderly and in young children.

    “There is uncertainty about the effects of face masks. The low to moderate certainty of evidence means our confidence in the effect estimate is limited, and that the true effect may be different from the observed estimate of the effect.”

    The authors are saying, buddy, that you cannot make a definitive conclusion based on the data that they pooled and using the methods of pooling datasets which they attempted to employ. Accordingly, they state:

    “There is a need for large, well‐designed RCTs addressing the effectiveness of many of these interventions in multiple settings and populations, as well as the impact of adherence on effectiveness, especially in those most at risk of ARIs.”

    Therein the problem – the lack of RCTs.

    The most comprehensive study, done to date of which I am aware remains the Bangladesh study. The most indicative due to the sample size and effectively controlled nature of the study.

    Sample size is important since you need to have enough data to do the statistics with a certain levels off confidence.

    Controlled experiments assist in focusing in on the relevant parameter.

    This is extremely basic stuff if you understand science and statistics- which you clearly (like Gary and others herein) don’t.

    That makes you the covidiot, buddy, not the scientists and medics trying to save lives and mitigate long term health effects of individual members of the community.


  40. Gary picks Vox and Kelsey Piper to refute the above-mentioned scientific study. Now, it’s a guarantee he’s as ignorant as I thought.

    How much longer will these Covididiots continue to deny reality?

    — James N

    Unfortunately, @James N, it appears that to see a ‘covidiot’ and one who is “denying reality” you only need to look in the mirror and you will see him staring right back at you. Even the editor in chief of the Cochrane Library is not sold on your interpretation, based on quotes attributed to her in a NY Times oped piece titled, “Here’s Why the Science Is Clear That Masks Work”.

    Here’s the final nail in the coffin of the Cochrane report that @platy has already put a lid on pretty well:

    The debate over masks’ effectiveness in fighting the spread of the coronavirus intensified recently when a respected scientific nonprofit said its review of studies assessing measures to impede the spread of viral illnesses found it was “uncertain whether wearing masks or N95/P2 respirators helps to slow the spread of respiratory viruses.”

    Now the organization, Cochrane, says that the way it summarized the review was unclear and imprecise, and that the way some people interpreted it was wrong.

    “Many commentators have claimed that a recently updated Cochrane review shows that ‘masks don’t work,’ which is an inaccurate and misleading interpretation,” Karla Soares-Weiser, the editor in chief of the Cochrane Library, said in a statement.

    “The review examined whether interventions to promote mask wearing help to slow the spread of respiratory viruses,” Soares-Weiser said, adding, “Given the limitations in the primary evidence, the review is not able to address the question of whether mask wearing itself reduces people’s risk of contracting or spreading respiratory viruses.”

    She said that “this wording was open to misinterpretation, for which we apologize,” and that Cochrane would revise the summary.

    Soares-Weiser also said, though, that one of the lead authors of the review even more seriously misinterpreted its finding on masks by saying in an interview that it proved “there is just no evidence that they make any difference.” In fact, Soares-Weiser said, “that statement is not an accurate representation of what the review found.”

    Cochrane reviews are often referred to as gold standard evidence in medicine because they aggregate results from many randomized trials to reach an overall conclusion — a great method for evaluating drugs, for example, which often are subjected to rigorous but small trials. Combining their results can lead to more confident conclusions.

    Masks and mask mandates have been a hot controversy during the pandemic. The flawed summary — and further misinterpretation of it — set off a debate between those who said the study showed there was no basis for relying on masks or mask mandates and those who said it did nothing to diminish the need for them.

    Michael D. Brown, a doctor and academic who serves on the Cochrane editorial board and made the final decision on the review, told me the review couldn’t arrive at a firm conclusion because there weren’t enough high-quality randomized trials with high rates of mask adherence.

    So much for for characterizing a poorly done meta-analysis as “authoritative”…

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