“Revisiting the Bangladesh Mask RCT” covers the one “gold standard” paper looking at the question of whether ordering the general public to wear masks has any effect on coronaplague. The previously touted conclusions were that cloth masks were useless, but that ordering everyone to wear surgical masks could reduce plague by 11 percent. “Revisiting the Bangladesh Mask RCT” gives us some actual numbers:
In the Bangladesh Mask RCT, there were nC=163,861 individuals from 300 villages in the control group. There were nT=178,322 individuals from 300 villages in the intervention group. The main end point of the study was whether their intervention reduced the number of individuals who both reported covid-like symptoms and tested seropositive at some point during the trial. The number of such individuals appears nowhere in their paper, and one has to compute this from the data they kindly provided: There were iC=1,106 symptomatic individuals confirmed seropositive in the control group and iT=1,086 such individuals in the treatment group. The difference between the two groups was small: only 20 cases out of over 340,000 individuals over a span of 8 weeks.
If we assume that the authors got everything right, and this isn’t simply statistical noise, we’re left with the result that 178,322 poor souls had to be hassled by pubic health Karens in order to eliminate roughly 20 cases of COVID-19 (to be completely fair, a little more than that since the treatment group was larger).
Related (predictions of #Science versus outcomes, albeit not randomized controlled trials):
- The one-year anniversary of the Czech Republic’s mask law
- A year of masks and lockdowns in Slovakia
- A year of face masks in Slovenia
Motivation to visit Bangladesh: