Dutch Government Won't Advise Public to Wear Masks

"[F]rom a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks," Dutch health minister says
Chris Menahan

Jul. 30, 2020

While Dr Anthony Fauci on Wednesday told Americans to consider wearing goggles as well as cloth masks, the Dutch government on the same day decided against advising the public to wear masks because they haven't been "proven" to be effective.

From Reuters, "Dutch government will not advise public to wear masks - minister":
The Dutch government on Wednesday said it will not advise the public to wear masks to slow the spread of coronavirus, asserting that their effectiveness has not been proven.

The decision was announced by Minister for Medical Care Tamara van Ark after a review by the country's National Institute for Health (RIVM). The government will instead seek better adherence to social distancing rules after a surge in coronavirus cases in the country this week, Van Ark said at a press conference in The Hague.

"Because from a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the Cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks" Van Ark said.

[...] RIVM chief Jaap van Dissel said that the organization was aware of studies that show masks help slow the spread of disease but it was not convinced they will help during the current coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands.

He argued wearing masks incorrectly, together with worse adherence to social distancing rules, could increase the risk of transmitting the disease.
Meanwhile, Sweden is also advising against masks and focusing on social distancing.

From The Financial Review:
Dr Tegnell, the author of Sweden's controversial lockdown-lite strategy, this week welcomed a decline in new cases and deaths as he continued to champion the country's largely voluntary approach to social distancing.

"The curves go down, and the curves over the seriously ill begin to be very close to zero. As a whole, it is very positive," he told reporters.

"With numbers diminishing very quickly in Sweden, we see no point in wearing a face mask in Sweden, not even on public transport."
These countries are pretty different from the US as they're more naturally prone to social distancing.

According to reports, Hispanics in southern states disproportionately make up the bulk of coronavirus infections (47 percent in Houston despite being 40 percent of the population) which the Washington Post is blaming in part on "crowded housing" conditions (which are likely even worse due to the lockdowns).

If you have 10 or more people in a modest home social distancing is not much of an option and while some Texas officials are encouraging people to wear masks in their homes, cloth masks cannot filter out viruses the way P100 or N95 mask can.

Enforcing occupancy limits and our nation's immigration laws would probably do a lot more to help stop the spread than recommending everyone wear goggles.

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