BYU study indicates masks are effective against COVID-19 01

Connie Gonzalez and her husband, Joaquin, both of Provo, shop for produce at Rancho Markets in Provo on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. A study recently conducted by a group of BYU researchers found that wearing a cloth mask can stop up to 90 percent of respiratory droplets carrying COVID-19. Isaac Hale, Daily Herald

BYU study reveals effectiveness of masks against COVID-19 (July 21)

Not the most detailed or informative article, it would have been nice to hear more nuances of the study and/or experiments.

That being said, hopefully this will put to rest some of the strange comments on here about how masks are “the devil’s” will. MASKS HELP PEOPLE! Yes they’re not perfect, they don’t vaporize the COVID virus with Star Trek technology or something, but even if they only helped reduce cases by 1%, that’s still help that everyone can do with extremely minimal effort. — Frank Okaga

Just one example. The BYU article says “Masks prevent infected people from spreading the virus to others by trapping the respiratory droplets (tiny moisture particles) that are produced when we cough, speak, and breathe. (10,12,13)” Go read these footnotes cited, they do not support, even remotely, the statement. Embarrassed for BYU. — Stephen Austin

I looked at the article that the BYU study has listed as the #1 most definitive. In that paper, “the most relevant paper” they reviewed was a study of 10 people. That’s the best they could do? A study that size isn’t even statistically significant. The next study cited had a sample size of 4, and states the comparable efficacy of masks versus no masks at a distance of 8 inches. While that may be useful as far as close personal contact goes, most people don’t get that close to me. What about at 2, 4, or 6 feet? Wouldn’t a good study compare those?

All that said, this reminds me a lot of the situation described in Asimov’s Foundation series at the end of the galactic empire: Here we have BYU doing a study which is not actually doing primary research, but rather compiling and analyzing the results of other studies. And what are those studies doing? They are also compiling research from others’ studies. If you want to call yourself a scientist, get out there and do your own research!

I’m truly not impressed. — Chris Hansen

So, you looked at 115 scientific studies? That is how many the BYU study looked at. It was just a simple summary of those 115 papers. At this time few researchers have had the time to conduct large-scale studies.

We’ve been asking politicians and health care officials to help make decisions without knowing very much about COVID-19. The truth is we still have a long ways to go in researching this pandemic.

And, many Asian nations have the terrible advantage of having experienced things like SARS in 2002-2004, so they have been better prepared. Taiwan, for example, never locked down any business, people just immediately wore masks and distanced with tracing for those infected. The last time I looked, Taiwan had 550 cases and 7 deaths in a country of 24 million on the doorstep of China.

A lot of research isn’t really needed to control this pandemic if we can just be humble enough to learn from other countries. — Talon Jensen

Driver faces multiple alleged charges after 3-year-old hit in crosswalk (July 22)

A toilet paper roll with dryer sheets stuffed in it is not an “improvised bong.” — Angi Snyder

Utah Valley Earth Forum panelists say lessons from the pandemic can help in climate change fight (July 23)

Climate change is always happening. Having a Facebook meeting won’t change anything! Duh! — Alan Perry

We all want to have healthy, clean communities for our families, free from the danger of climate instability, absolutely. The way there will include the freedom to relocate to rural areas and to provide whatever neighborhood is best for our individual families. It will include American innovation and provide jobs for American parents. It must also compel bad actors like India and China to reduce emissions, or we will be hindering our economy without providing any relief from climate instability to our children.

Market-based solutions and capitalism will do it better than stay-at-home-order regulations. Carbon dividends are the first step. They have backing from some of the largest businesses and environmental groups in America, including backing from energy giants like Exelon, First Solar, and ExxonMobil as well as members of the automotive and manufacturing industries. Sen. Romney has floated carbon dividends as a way to address climate change, and it’s a climate policy with more backing from conservatives and moderates than any other that I know of. — Andrew Sandstrom