The analysis, which examined 78 studies featuring more than a million people around the world, found that community masking made "little to no difference" to either Covid death or infection rates.
From the section on "Medical or surgical masks":
Ten studies took place in the community, and two studies in healthcare workers. Compared with wearing no mask in the community studies only, wearing a mask may make little to no difference in how many people caught a flu‐like illness/COVID‐like illness (9 studies; 276,917 people); and probably makes little or no difference in how many people have flu/COVID confirmed by a laboratory test (6 studies; 13,919 people). Unwanted effects were rarely reported; discomfort was mentioned.
Four studies were in healthcare workers, and one small study was in the community. Compared with wearing medical or surgical masks, wearing N95/P2 respirators probably makes little to no difference in how many people have confirmed flu (5 studies; 8407 people); and may make little to no difference in how many people catch a flu‐like illness (5 studies; 8407 people), or respiratory illness (3 studies; 7799 people). Unwanted effects were not well‐reported; discomfort was mentioned.
Writes Prasad: "Here is the big summary finding. With 276,000 participants in RCTs or cluster RCTs, masking does nothing. No reduction in influenza like or Covid like illness and no reduction in confirmed flu or COVID. That’s stone cold negative. See those effect sizes and confidence intervals."
People need to read the Cochrane review on masking. In this post, I summarize the key findings, and explain why so many people lied. Important to set the historical record right.https://t.co/KSW4w7rntC— Vinay Prasad MD MPH (@VPrasadMDMPH) February 2, 2023
Professor Francois Balloux, who teaches computational biology at University College London, described the Cochrane Review as the "gold standard in evidence-based medicine" in a tweet last week.
Cochrane reviews are the 'gold standard' in evidence-based medicine. They follow a rigorous methodology and only consider high quality evidence. As such, the review included a limited number of studies and has moderate power to detect small effects.— Prof Francois Balloux (@BallouxFrancois) January 31, 2023
As I've written on this site more times than I can count, if masking worked to limit the spread of Covid-19 or any other highly contagious respiratory virus, it would be blatantly obvious because high masking areas would have discernably different infection rates than low masking areas. They never did, and now the scholarly evidence continues to confirm this.
In any kind of sane world, an analysis like this would end the debate for good. But sadly, we're dealing with Covidian cultists to whom evidence means nothing.