Lifting Masks = Back to Getting Down With The Sickness

Kwak

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I don't believe ''people as a whole have never been healthier'' when more than like half the population is overweight and a majority of healthcare expenditures are because of lifestyle diseases. More people than ever also suffer from emotional and psychological problems so you can wonder how effective all that therapy and pill popping really is. The amount of people with depression or anxiety disorders is through the roof.
Compared to what when and where?
 

Gethsemani

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I don't believe ''people as a whole have never been healthier'' when more than like half the population is overweight and a majority of healthcare expenditures are because of lifestyle diseases. More people than ever also suffer from emotional and psychological problems so you can wonder how effective all that therapy and pill popping really is. The amount of people with depression or anxiety disorders is through the roof.
"Lifestyle diseases" are still, on average, much easier to treat and less severe and lethal then scarcity diseases the likes of which you get from malnutrition, lack of clean water and poor living conditions. The greatest predictor of how much you will cost a healthcare system is also not lifestyle diseases but age, which is entirely what you'd expect as health naturally declines with age.

Further, while we today spend more on mental health then before and have a lot more people diagnosed with it, we really need to question whether we have a "pandemic" of mental illness today or whether people have just started seeking medical care for it in greater numbers then before. Mental illness has been heavily stigmatized all the way up to the early 00's in the Western World and is still a great taboo in many other parts of the world today and as such it tends to be severely underreported (you might note that many African countries report almost zero incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders, do you think that's because Africans are just happier or because social stigma and underdeveloped healthcare means you don't want to or can't seek help?). The prevalence of mental illness we are seeing today in the West is more consistent with scientific findings (like that 1 in 4-5 will suffer a depressive episode at some point in their life) then prevalence in third world countries.
 
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Seanchaidh

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Further, while we today spend more on mental health then before and have a lot more people diagnosed with it, we really need to question whether we have a "pandemic" of mental illness today or whether people have just started seeking medical care for it in greater numbers then before. Mental illness has been heavily stigmatized all the way up to the early 00's in the Western World and is still a great taboo in many other parts of the world today and as such it tends to be severely underreported (you might note that many African countries report almost zero incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders, do you think that's because Africans are just happier or because social stigma and underdeveloped healthcare means you don't want to or can't seek help?). The prevalence of mental illness we are seeing today in the West is more consistent with scientific findings (like that 1 in 4-5 will suffer a depressive episode at some point in their life) then prevalence in third world countries.
It's also worth considering whether some mental illness may be just a normal response to *gestures at everything*
 
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Thaluikhain

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It's also worth considering whether some mental illness may be just a normal response to *gestures at everything*
Well, yes, but nothing new there. Admittedly, there were a few good years/decades, at least for some people, and it might have looked like it would have stayed that way, but same old, different packaging.
 

McElroy

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It's also worth considering whether some mental illness may be just a normal response to *gestures at everything*
A complicated chicken-or-the-egg type of situation. We know there are environmental things that protect from mental illnesses and factors that exacerbate the issues. While we find a terrifyingly high number like 20-25% of people (I've even read that being true among teenagers already) having clinical depression at some point, it doesn't mean that one in five kids is just doomed. It's completely possible the prevalence actually is somewhat lower in developing countries as well as in the past, but the "everything" that goes on around us and in the life of every individual is closing in on being enough cumulative risk that 20-25% of teenagers really go through a depressive episode.

My point is that I agree, but a "normal" response from an individual perspective is to find a way to deal with everything without getting depressed.

OT: When there is no covid-19 around and people aren't crowded or they're just passing by, masks are basically trash. Loose masks flying around in the wind; I've picked them up by the dozen and it doesn't put a dent in the countless ones I've seen lying about practically everywhere you can think of. I've been only ironically worried about the virus almost since the beginning, because it's only other people's fault while I am perfect and rational.
 
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stroopwafel

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"Lifestyle diseases" are still, on average, much easier to treat and less severe and lethal then scarcity diseases the likes of which you get from malnutrition, lack of clean water and poor living conditions. The greatest predictor of how much you will cost a healthcare system is also not lifestyle diseases but age, which is entirely what you'd expect as health naturally declines with age.

Further, while we today spend more on mental health then before and have a lot more people diagnosed with it, we really need to question whether we have a "pandemic" of mental illness today or whether people have just started seeking medical care for it in greater numbers then before. Mental illness has been heavily stigmatized all the way up to the early 00's in the Western World and is still a great taboo in many other parts of the world today and as such it tends to be severely underreported (you might note that many African countries report almost zero incidence of anxiety and depressive disorders, do you think that's because Africans are just happier or because social stigma and underdeveloped healthcare means you don't want to or can't seek help?). The prevalence of mental illness we are seeing today in the West is more consistent with scientific findings (like that 1 in 4-5 will suffer a depressive episode at some point in their life) then prevalence in third world countries.
I think it's probably two-fold. In Africa everyone is equally poor so lack of success isn't internalized as much. The standard of living in developed countries is way higher but so are the differences between people. Success is determined through competition, individualism and luck so the outcome is so different among people that many compare unfavorably to peers(a great source of emotional stress). Whether it be education, jobs, financial success or even love everything is a competitive 'market' with winners and losers. Hence why the same place is hell for some and paradise for others. Espescially when people are made to believe their loneliness and/or bleak prospects are their own fault.

Secondly I also think in developed countries there is such a sense of control and predictability in everyday life that it has made people complacent. Remove threats and dangers and suddenly people will start to excessively worry about the most mundane minutiae. Our instincts aren't really prepared for such predictability so it sees dangers where there are none. When the threats are actually real than the worry and stress associated with it will disappear just as quickly. I'm not saying a lawless, impoverished or ancestral environment is preferable to the predictable modern one but needless to say people don't have minor worries blown up to epic proportions there.

Running water and a sewer system have doubled the life expectancy but the question was more what is the biggest financial burden on the healthcare system and the majority of that is due to lifestyle choices. The other day I read an interview with a lung doctor who literally said that half his colleagues could retire tomorrow if people stopped smoking. Same can be said for doctors treating heart and vascular disease or any of the numerous other diseases caused by unhealthy or inactive lifestyles. Preventative healthcare should be the absolute priority in a modern society but it isn't for some reason.
 
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Kwak

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Dubious, scientifically. There is believed to be some benefit in exposure to pathogens as children to help with immune system development.

There are various things that may suppress immune function. However, sitting in rooms staring at computer screens is far more likely to cause problems associated with low fitness, like obesity and high blood pressure, etc.
Can you explain why there is scientific pushback against vitamins that market 'improved immune response' that contrarily claim that a strong immune response is bad and is what kills you? So is the best immune system a weak one or what?
 

Phoenixmgs

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There's no data actually showing masks have done anything. The Danish mask RCT showed no statistically significant results. The medical community hasn't been able to prove surgical masks do anything either. All mask data besides the Danish RCT (I believe it's the only mask RCT of masks and covid) is just correlational data, which when I provide such correlational data with other things it doesn't count for some reason. There are plenty of other reasons to explain cases decreasing at the time masks are implement (and also cases don't always decrease when masks are implemented). There's also other reasons to explain the flu being gone that don't even a single restriction that has to do with covid like viral interference (which is a known thing). I am for masks but there's no data proving they do much of anything, they probably help some but I very much doubt they have a significant effect. Lastly, all the high transmission places where you are with people for hours, I doubt wearing a mask is helping much because the air is still being filled with viral particles over time, masks may slow down that from building up some but it's still going to build up over hours as basic masks have several limitations.

IF you get the vaccine, you don't need a mask. Period. I only wear masks when I am forced to.
Or naturally immune.

There is no known reason why allergies are on the rise. Contenders include things like more pollutants (certain forms of chemicals). Or globalisation: people seem to pick up allergies more when they move to a foreign country, potentially with greater exposure to new environmental factors. And today, the world is brought to us. Some may be forms of improved diagnosis or awareness, or medicalisation.
There's studies showing kids that play outside have less allergies. I played outside 24/7 as a kid (playing sports, exploring forests and prairies) and none of my friends from then have any allergies, I'm not allergic to anything that I know of. And all the people I've become friends with since as I've gotten older from work and whatnot, just about all of them with allergies were not people that played sports and did lots of outdoor activities as a kid.
 

Agema

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Can you explain why there is scientific pushback against vitamins that market 'improved immune response'
There's no convincing evidence they improve immune response - at least, not unless someone is vitamin deficient in the first place.

that contrarily claim that a strong immune response is bad and is what kills you? So is the best immune system a weak one or what?
A "strong" immune response is good. An out-of-control immune response is bad.

Autoimmune disorders are where the immune system attacks the wrong target. It's a dysfunction, really. Chronic inflammation causes a lot of damage, because the immune response chews up a lot of healthy tissue in the process of getting rid of the bad stuff. And then there's the sort of hyperactivity such as with covid-19, which is a form of dysregulation causing hyperactivity - and it's (perversely) more likely in people with weaker immune responses.

Where the immune system is overactive, basic anti-imflammatories (ibuprofen, etc.) are okay for mild cases, and (cortico)steroids if severe. There are also other specialist immunosuppressants for things like Crohn's, rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplants. All cause generalised immunosuppression, People on stronger immunsuppressants (inc. steroids) would be well advised to take extreme care with an infectious disease like covid-19 doing the rounds.
 

Drathnoxis

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I like wearing masks. I haven't been sick at all since before the pandemic and I certainly don't miss it in the slightest. It's barely an inconvenience at all, anyway.
 
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Gethsemani

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I think it's probably two-fold. In Africa everyone is equally poor so lack of success isn't internalized as much. The standard of living in developed countries is way higher but so are the differences between people. Success is determined through competition, individualism and luck so the outcome is so different among people that many compare unfavorably to peers(a great source of emotional stress). Whether it be education, jobs, financial success or even love everything is a competitive 'market' with winners and losers. Hence why the same place is hell for some and paradise for others. Espescially when people are made to believe their loneliness and/or bleak prospects are their own fault.

Secondly I also think in developed countries there is such a sense of control and predictability in everyday life that it has made people complacent. Remove threats and dangers and suddenly people will start to excessively worry about the most mundane minutiae. Our instincts aren't really prepared for such predictability so it sees dangers where there are none. When the threats are actually real than the worry and stress associated with it will disappear just as quickly. I'm not saying a lawless, impoverished or ancestral environment is preferable to the predictable modern one but needless to say people don't have minor worries blown up to epic proportions there.
You forgot the tl dr of "I Know nothing about mental health issues". Because seriously, this is a load of tripe that has absolutely no connection to the reality of how anxiety and depression manifest. While social factors certainly play a big part you've failed to identify the right ones and you walked right into the trap of assuming that lack of data means no prevalence. The whole "Western society is too cozy and safe and that's why we have mental illness"-rhetoric is a massive load of bollocks that needs to go die in a trash fire.

Running water and a sewer system have doubled the life expectancy but the question was more what is the biggest financial burden on the healthcare system and the majority of that is due to lifestyle choices. The other day I read an interview with a lung doctor who literally said that half his colleagues could retire tomorrow if people stopped smoking. Same can be said for doctors treating heart and vascular disease or any of the numerous other diseases caused by unhealthy or inactive lifestyles. Preventative healthcare should be the absolute priority in a modern society but it isn't for some reason.
Yeah, lung wards are filled with smokers, those are the exception. As I said before, age is the biggest predictor in terms of cost here. While healthy lifestyles are important for the individual in terms of staying healthy and living a fulfilling life, it provides a relatively modest RoI in terms of avoided healthcare costs. Because the cost of an obese person following up their diabetes and messed up joints is miniscule compared to performing a PCI or all forms of cancer treatments. As Agema pointed out earlier in this thread, the rising healthcare costs is because people survive previously fatal illness and thus live longer. Not only is there a cost associated with treating a stroke, heart attack or cancer, there's a cost associated with follow up care and it all means that the person now gets to survive until the next cost intensive, life threatening condition comes about. Healthcare costs today are spiking because really old, really sick people survive way longer then they would have just two decades ago thanks to the the efficacy of modern medicine and thus keeps racking up costs for itself.

The joke among healthcare staff is that we are the only business in the world that makes a bigger loss if we do our jobs right.
 

Johnny Novgorod

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I know for a fact they don't 100% guarantee preventing infection but I don't mind wearing masks at all. Every little thing helps.
 
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Agema

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I know for a fact they don't 100% guarantee preventing infection but I don't mind wearing masks at all. Every little thing helps.
A persistent feature in the literature regarding mask usage is compliance. Suffice to say, it is a major confounding factor, because the effectiveness of masks decreases markedly the fewer people actually use them (or use them properly).

There's no data actually showing masks have done anything.
There's a load of data saying that they are effective.

The Danish mask RCT showed no statistically significant results.
As has been well noted, this study did not at all look at an important aspect of masks for infection control (i.e. that the wearer protects others from their own germs), and was underpowered as it did not have enough participants: in fact so underpowered it virtually guaranteed a false negative. It is therefore of very modest use as an independent study - and in fact recommends mask usage even despite its own findings.
 
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Generals

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Regardless of what people think of masks, the fact they help control airborne illnesses is practically indisputable. Otherwise we wouldn’t have had the practice of covering our mouths when coughing or sneezing dating back to the Spanish flu (although it’s also pathetic that we’ve still had to inform people as little as three years ago to cough into their arm vs hand). So regardless of how effective COVID-19 vaccinations prove to be, the more mask free our society gets the more we’re inevitably going to have to deal with getting sick again, even with common colds or other random viruses.

I don’t like it. I fucking hate getting sick and haven’t forgotten how miserable it can be, even if it’s once or twice a year. The sinus pressure, nose blowing and coughing up thick phlegmy bullshit, sore throats, etc. can fuck right off. The last year or so is the healthiest my whole family has been (especially the little one who’s been home since the pandemic but has previously already needed two sets of ear tubes by his second birthday from a daycare environment), and I doubt it’s a coincidence seeing as the catalyst for most of these health issues have historically been peoples’ breath holes.

Wondering what everyone’s thoughts are here.
Well it depends, as long as Covid is around I believe masks should remain mandatory in crowded indoor spaces (incl. public transportation). Once Covid is (quasi) gone I wouldn't mind keeping some masks related rules during flu season for instance. (Eg.: mandatory masks in public transportation)
But I don't like the idea of keeping the same kind of rules forever. Not only are masks uncomfortable but there is also a financial and environmental cost attached to it. So I believe its use should remain opportunist (when it matters most).
 

Dirty Hipsters

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The nice thing about the lifting of mask mandates is that you can still wear a mask if you want. No one is stopping you.

I won't be wearing a mask all the time, because as someone who wears glasses I really don't like them, despite having some of the decent ones that don't completely fog up my glasses, only somewhat. I'll still wear a mask when I go to the store and things like that.

I'd also like to get a nice mask for travel purposes when I'm on planes. I get sick pretty much every time I take a trip because airplanes are disgusting. If razor ever releases their mask I'll probably buy one just to use it when I'm on a plane, or at a convention, or on subways.
 
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Phoenixmgs

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There's a load of data saying that they are effective.

As has been well noted, this study did not at all look at an important aspect of masks for infection control (i.e. that the wearer protects others from their own germs), and was underpowered as it did not have enough participants: in fact so underpowered it virtually guaranteed a false negative. It is therefore of very modest use as an independent study - and in fact recommends mask usage even despite its own findings.
Please post the data that shows masks work and is also not correlational.

The nice thing about the lifting of mask mandates is that you can still wear a mask if you want. No one is stopping you.

I won't be wearing a mask all the time, because as someone who wears glasses I really don't like them, despite having some of the decent ones that don't completely fog up my glasses, only somewhat. I'll still wear a mask when I go to the store and things like that.

I'd also like to get a nice mask for travel purposes when I'm on planes. I get sick pretty much every time I take a trip, and I'd because airplanes are disgusting. If razor ever releases their mask I'll probably buy one just to use it when I'm on a plane, or at a convention, or on subways.
It's probably not the planes at least
 

CriticalGaming

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The nice thing about the lifting of mask mandates is that you can still wear a mask if you want. No one is stopping you.

I won't be wearing a mask all the time, because as someone who wears glasses I really don't like them, despite having some of the decent ones that don't completely fog up my glasses, only somewhat. I'll still wear a mask when I go to the store and things like that.

I'd also like to get a nice mask for travel purposes when I'm on planes. I get sick pretty much every time I take a trip because airplanes are disgusting. If razor ever releases their mask I'll probably buy one just to use it when I'm on a plane, or at a convention, or on subways.
I flew across the country twice during the height if the pandemic because my business was forced to go to a trade show that Tennessee stubornly refused to cancel.

Four planes in total, no social distancing because the scumbag airlines didnt even try to keep people safe. They just said their airfliters were enough.

That being said, no illness. And none of my business contacts from the show got sick either. Some protocols were changed as there were no shaking of hands or anything like that.

As for the mask mandates. I feel like they should be canceled everywhere. Wear them if you want, but you can never eliminate 100% of the risk of going places and being able to see another face is important psychologically.

So people shouldnt be forced to wear them if they dont want too.
 

Gergar12

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You can still be infected and infectious to others after vaccination.

Vaccination should mean you have greatly reduced or zero symptoms, and will clear up the infection faster. But you are still a risk to others. You might not have to wear a mask after vaccination, but it is a reasonable precaution, particularly in situations where there is a high risk of passing on infection.
Unless I act like Bill Maher I think I and many others are fine. I wear a mask near people; true, especially if they want it. But outdoors near a gas station, or outside the local state university with wind, or even outside in general.

Also, Bill Maher sucks, I don't wish ill on him, but he hates the internet. Okay, Boomer.