Rebecca Watson is the founder of the Skepchick Network, a collection of sites focused on science and critical thinking. She has written for outlets such as Slate, Popular Science, and the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. She’s also the host of Quiz-o-tron, a rowdy, live quiz show that pits scientists against comedians. Asteroid 153289 Rebeccawatson is named after her (her real name being 153289).
A new Cochrane report found no evidence that masking stops the spread of viruses, despite tons of studies that show unequivocal benefit. Why? 1/4
The main reason is that they only considered a few studies on masks vs COVID, which DID show they helped. They combined those with studies on masks vs influenza in NON EPIDEMIC times. 2/4
Essentially it’s like looking at the benefits of seat belts: here are two studies on seat belts helping on the freeway combined with 10 studies on seat belts helping in Safeway parking lots. Result: no benefit. 3/4
There are some other quibbles that epidemiologists have brought up in regards to Cochrane’s new review. More in the video and transcript! 4/4