nothinguptop linked Jim Meehan’s blog, wherein Meehan recommended Cochrane Foundation and systematic reviews, preferably pre-2020, so…
Physical interventions to interrupt or reduce the spread of respiratory viruses
Cochrane Systematic Review – Intervention Version published: 06 July 2011
– Nine case‐control studies suggested implementing transmission barriers, isolation and hygienic measures are effective at containing respiratory virus epidemics. Surgical masks or N95 respirators were the most consistent and comprehensive supportive measures. N95 respirators were non‐inferior to simple surgical masks but more expensive, uncomfortable and irritating to skin.
– Implementing barriers to transmission, such as isolation, and hygienic measures (wearing masks, gloves and gowns) can be effective in containing respiratory virus epidemics or in hospital wards.
– simple mask‐wearing was highly effective […] (Analysis 1.3), based on seven studies (Chen 2009; Lau 2004a; Liu 2009; Nishiura 2005; Seto 2003; Wu 2004; Yin 2004)
Many claims Meehan makes are contradicted by the very sources he cites. The argument he promotes is political, “the politicians are trying to scare you”, but he presents no evidence for that. I expect that some politicians are trying to scare people (I wouldn’t know because I rarely listen to them but its the sort of thing that politicians often do) but if that’s the argument he’s making then that’s what he should present evidence for eg. quotes of politicians versus facts, rather than trying to misrepresent research results.