Monday, May 11, 2020

Very Brief Blog: PrePrint Article Circulates, Suggests Masks Could Be Very Important Against COVID Spread; PLUS Upping Your PrePrint Game

If there has been one particularly controversial point about COVID, it's been advice for and against masks, with arguments and public policies on both sides.  (From March 1 right up to the news May 11 about masks in the White House).

See healthcare journalist David Ewing Duncan writing on May 8 about a preprint article - Kai et al. - arguing that 80% mask wearing rate is practically as good as 80% herd immunity for cutting infection rates with COVID-19.   

In the graphic below, from Kai et al., red and yellow are different but high rates of masking; blue is "lockdown continues indefinitely."  Gray is conventional success of social distancing w/o masking.

I can't speak to the quality of the input data or the model in Kai et al.  I did notice, they substantially raise the stakes in terms of the sophisticated formatting of a pre print article.  See below.

Kai et al: Much more elaborate preprint formatting (click to enlarge)