Recently, I’ve been running into the argument that the current resurgence of cases proves that the corona-related restrictions (mask-wearing, contact restrictions, and so on) don’t work. Now, this argument is blatantly fallacious, of course: we don’t know how bad the current caseload would be without the measures, so we don’t have a baseline to compare against. Plus, if the measures are ineffective, what caused the caseload to diminish initially? Did the virus just go for a summer break?
Anyway, that’s not my topic for this thread. Rather, since pointing out the fallacious nature of this argument doesn’t seem to do much (I know, I know, I was as surprised as you are), I’d like to at least meet it with some data—ideally in the form of easily-understood infographics and the like, since nothing else seems to have much of a chance in capturing anybody’s attention.
One interesting approach I’ve used is pointing out that while we don’t have baseline data in the case of corona, we do in the case of other, similarly transmitted viruses. So, for instance, flu season has been a virtual no-show in the southern hemisphere:
So clearly, masks, contact restrictions, and the like are effective at slowing virus spread. But still, it would be preferable to have data directly applicable to coronavirus. That can’t obviously be a comparison like the above one, but it seems that there should, by now, be enough data on how well and what restrictions were observed in certain places, and what effect that had on the local corona spread. Something like a correlation between how well the public adhered to wearing masks, and the rate of infection.
For one, there’s this meta-analysis that concludes that mask-wearing is more effective in Asia than in Europe, which might be indicative of the fact that it’s already been a part of local culture there:
But does anybody know of anything more readily appreciated? I mean, I know I’m sorta asking for something near-impossible here, a study that’s scientifically well done and whose conclusions can also be boiled down to social-media compatible infographlet form, on a topic that’s currently very much in development and hampered by oodles of confounding variables across different regions, but hey—a man can hope…