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With airports and airplanes now liberated, masks are becoming a rarity. That is a good thing, as there was never any substantial evidence that masks work. This study of 35 European countries during the period from October 1 2020 to March 31, 2021, when the second covid wave passed through that continent, could put the last nail in the mask coffin.

The study plotted the percentage of mask compliance in each country against covid cases and deaths. The author evidently expected to demonstrate the utility of masks, but was disappointed:

The aim of this short study was to analyse the correlation between mask usage against morbidity and mortality rates in the 2020-2021 winter in Europe. Data from 35 European countries on morbidity, mortality, and mask usage during a six-month period were analysed and crossed. Mask usage was more homogeneous in Eastern Europe than in Western European countries. Spearman’s correlation coefficients between mask usage and COVID-19 outcomes were either null or positive, depending on the subgroup of countries and type of outcome (cases or deaths). Positive correlations were stronger in Western than in Eastern European countries. These findings indicate that countries with high levels of mask compliance did not perform better than those with low mask usage.

Actually, it suggests that countries with more mask compliance did worse. A positive correlation means that more masks corresponded to more deaths.

Surprisingly, weak positive correlations were observed when mask compliance was plotted against morbidity (cases/million) or mortality (deaths/million) in each country (Figure 3).

I.e., more masks = more cases and more deaths. This is the study’s conclusion:

While no cause-effect conclusions could be inferred from this observational analysis, the lack of negative correlations between mask usage and COVID-19 cases and deaths suggest that the widespread use of masks at a time when an effective intervention was most needed, i.e., during the strong 2020-2021 autumn-winter peak, was not able to reduce COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, the moderate positive correlation between mask usage and deaths in Western Europe also suggests that the universal use of masks may have had harmful unintended consequences.

I credit the study’s author for his honesty.