Our understanding of public face mask wearing for the coronavirus pandemic is evolving; here’s what you need to know.

Here’s an LA Times article I reference. Here’s my video on herd immunity.

And here’s a must-watch subsequent interview I did with infectious disease physician/researcher Monica Gandhi on the Mask-Inoculum hypothesis.

Transcript Below!

All right, guys, you wanna convince people to wear masks? Stop frickin’ shaming them. It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t work. I hate it, too. When I see people shaming people about not wearing masks, I’m like, okay, all you’re doing is creating more resentment, and more resistance to this idea, but here’s something that really blew my mind.

Remember, my concept of public masking, and my idea of whether it works or not has changed over time, as more data has emerged, and here’s the data that has really convinced me that if everybody in public where you can’t social distance is wearing some mask, preferably a surgical mask, but even a cloth mask, we could actually really do something wonderful about controlling this disease, and make sure we keep our economy open, our restaurants open, all this other stuff could happen that would be so awesome, and this is why.

It’s not just whether you get infected. It’s HOW you get infected. Increasing amounts of data, including on influenza and other viruses, coronaviruses in hamsters, different things like that has shown that it’s not just whether you’re exposed to the virus and get infected. It’s how much virus you get exposed to determines how severe your disease is.

With coronavirus disease, you can have a range of infections from nothing, in other words, no symptoms, but you’re infected, you’re making antibodies, you’re potentially becoming immune to it, and you’re also potentially spreading it because with SARS2 coronavirus, you spread it often when you don’t have symptoms. That’s what differentiates it from influenza, or SARS1, the OG SARS, right, or MERS, so that’s the problem, is people are spreading it everywhere, but if they’re spreading it in a dose where you get a whole butt ton of virus at once, for example, health care workers, in the early days of this pandemic, were getting a butt ton of virus in their face holes, and that high dose was leading to high actual mortality, so the disease they were getting was worse. I talked about this on my show with Peter Hotez.

What we’re seeing now though is if you mask up, it doesn’t necessarily protect you 100% from getting the virus, but it lowers the amount of viral particles that enter your system, so that if you do get infected, you’re much more likely to never have symptoms, or to have very mild disease, and this was borne out on a cruise ship going from Argentina to the Antarctic, and Antarctica, but many of the people got infected, but they ended up getting masks, including N95s for the crew, and about 80% of them were asymptomatic, and that compares to the average of about 40% of patients being asymptomatic, so they lowered this dose, and that’s shown out in seafood processing plants, and other case studies where we’ve seen that when there’s universal masking, even when infections happen, and people test positive, they’re often with either minimal symptoms, or asymptomatic.

Isn’t that what we want because then we can actually develop immunity without actually costing lives, so what’s the cost of doing that? Put a mask on. Put, what, I don’t care if it’s a bandana anymore. I don’t care if it’s a diaper. If you cover your face when you can’t social distance, that means that even if you get infected, your chances of getting sick are less, and your chances of infecting others, of course, are much less because you’re expelling less virus, and that’s been shown in a few studies now, so the data is emerging to really support the fact that if we just had universal masking, all the other crap, we probably wouldn’t have to do.

We could open the economy back up, we could get back to our lives, we could slowly start to develop herd immunity, which, there’s another video coming about that, and we could get through this, and that’s all we really need to do, so let’s do that. Don’t shame people. Just tell them that.

Share this video, and maybe we can get through this a lot faster, with a lot less catastrophizing, and a lot less drama, all right guys? I love you.

Little hamster with a mask. Could you imagine what that study was like? (NOTE: I KNOW they didn’t put masks on hamsters, I just thought it was hilarious to imagine they did). So cute, they’re just like (chittering), with the little mask on. The couple little hamster anti-maskers. No way, bro, freedom. I love you guys.