From the I told you so department, a study showing that masks can actually enhance the likelihood of transmission. (Mask Study) The authors, all engineers at reputable institutions, tested what happened when droplets went through a single or double layer surgical mask, the most commonly used ones. What happened was that the masks turned large droplets into smaller particles that went through the mask and because of their resulting size would be able to spread further and linger longer, with single layer masks obviously performing worse than double layer ones. Triple layer masks could stop the atomization from happening. Note this is separate from the issues of leakage, etc., which also make a mask worthless, especially over a number of encounters. And don’t even think that cloth masks make the slightest bit of difference.
Once again, wear them if you want, if nothing else, as a prominent politician was caught on hot mic saying this week, they are good political theater. But don’t be delusional about their protective ability. As I noted in a previous post, just stay away from fat old people and infected primates.