Don’t Be The Bloviator……….

We all know a “bloviator.”  The best example is Cliff Claven from “Cheers.”

They like to try to impress people with their great volume of knowledge and never miss a chance to do so, often quite verbosely and arrogantly.  When confronted with the bizarre concept of The Bloviator being wrong, they get louder and say even more silly nonfactual things.

Some time ago (this has been in the que to write up for too long!!)

What most of us already told them:

“Drs. at USC and UCLA say masking didn’t prevent transmission of the China Wuhan Virus.”

We can stop right there and say we already knew that.  How?  Because the day before the pandemic, it was the policy and guidelines of the CDC et al that masking did not stop the transmission of respiratory viruses and NOTHING has changed in the science since then.

But then enters The Bloviator:


He sites a study that he alleges PROVES that masking worked to slow/prevent/stop/hinder/obfuscate the spread of the China Wuhan Virus.

The irony is that he called people “Idiots” if they didn’t believe the study. (this will come next) and he makes the claim that without masking “operative infections would kill everyone”.


I state correctly that there is almost no difference in post operative infections and provide a study that shows that.

Now the irony is that there is an “idiot” that chimes in and states they don’t believe that study.

“A study done 30 years ago is not valid blah blah blah blah and why then do Drs. wear masks….”

So, below are a number of studies.  It could go on ad nauseum but there’s no need for that

Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery | Cochrane

Key results

Overall, we found very few studies and identified no new trials for this latest update. We analysed a total of 2106 participants from the three studies we found. All three studies showed that wearing a face mask during surgery neither increases nor decreases the number of wound infections occurring after surgery. We conclude that there is no clear evidence that wearing disposable face masks affects the likelihood of wound infections developing after surgery.

Quality of the evidence

The findings from this review cannot be generalised for several reasons: the studies included only looked at clean surgery, some of the studies did not specify what type of face mask was used and one of the studies did not involve many participants therefore making the findings less credible. The quality of the studies we found was low overall. The way in which participants were selected for the studies was not always completely random, which means the authors’ judgements could have influenced the results. More research in this field is needed before making further conclusions about the use of face masks in surgery.

So in this study, they didn’t like the quality of the evidence of the other studies that they reviewed, but they absolutely destroyed The Bloviator’s position that without masking in a surgery, EVRYONE WOULD DIE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Postoperative wound infections and surgical face masks: a controlled study

It has never been shown that wearing surgical face masks decreases postoperative wound infections. On the contrary, a 50% decrease has been reported after omitting face masks. The present study was designed to reveal any 30% or greater difference in general surgery wound infection rates by using face masks or not. During 115 weeks, a total of 3,088 patients were included in the study. Weeks were denoted as “masked” or “unmasked” according to a random list. After 1,537 operations performed with face masks, 73 (4.7%) wound infections were recorded and, after 1,551 operations performed without face masks, 55 (3.5%) infections occurred. This difference was not statistically significant (p greater than 0.05) and the bacterial species cultured from the wound infections did not differ in any way, which would have supported the fact that the numerical difference was a statistically “missed” difference. These results indicated that the use of face masks might be reconsidered. Masks may be used to protect the operating team from drops of infected blood and from airborne infections, but have not been proven to protect the patient operated by a healthy operating team.

Oops !!!  Did you notice the part where they did NOT say that everyone died without a masked surgical team?

Want another one?

Use of Surgical Masks in the Operating Room: A Review of the Clinical Effectiveness and Guidelines

The use of surgical face masks by staff in the operating room is presumed to reduce the frequency of surgical site infections. The evidence identified and included in this report finds no evidence basis for this presumption. The consensus of the systematic reviews included in this report is that there is a paucity of data on this topic, and that current evidence is lacking for altering clinical practice. The included guidelines of this report are also in agreement that the long standing practice of wearing surgical face masks in the operating room should continue despite the lack of clinical efficacy evidence.

No evidence was identified that examined a potential role for surgical face masks in protecting staff from infectious material encountered in the operating room. In the absence of available clinical evidence the guidelines recommend wearing masks of a type suitable to the procedure being performed and in accordance with applicable health and safety regulations.

“The use of surgical face masks by staff in the operating room is presumed to reduce the frequency of surgical site infections. The evidence identified and included in this report finds no evidence basis for this presumption”

There it is again !!!!


Surgical attire
Members of the surgical team entering the OR when an operation is about to begin or already underway should wear a mask and headgear which fully covers hair, sideburns, and neckline. Experimental studies using tracer particles have shown that bacteria can be shed from hair, exposed skin, and mucous membranes of both OR personnel and the patient’s skin. This is why we use barriers (masks, gowns, hood, and drapes) in the OR. But besides sterile gloves and impervious surgical gowns, no clinical studies have proved that the use of these barriers has led to a decrease in SSI rates. They are nonetheless recommended not only for the purpose of reducing the shedding of microorganisms in the OR but also as part of standard precautions. Barriers are most important when the procedure implies the insertion of an implant/prosthesis.

“no clinical studies have proved that the use of these barriers has led to a decrease in SSI rates”

Is that enough?????

Oh, and as to why Drs. wear masks, stethoscopes, white lab coats……..

Because other studies show that it makes patients more comfortable.   Yes, literal theater.

Please, don’t be The Bloviator…….


Unmasking the surgeons: the evidence base behind the use of facemasks in surgery – Charlie Da Zhou, Pamela Sivathondan, Ashok Handa, 2015 (

Unmasking the Surgical Mask: Does It Really Work? | MedPage Today

Is Routine Use of a Face Mask Necessary in the Operating Room? | Anesthesiology | American Society of Anesthesiologists (

If masks don’t work, then why do surgeons wear them? A Surgeon Explains – BSNEWS

Do we really need surgical masks and caps in the operating room? (

Disposable surgical face masks for preventing surgical wound infection in clean surgery – PubMed (




15 comments on “Don’t Be The Bloviator……….

  1. Midwest Chick says:

    Booyah!! Way to bring the receipts! For myself, I figured masks were used to keep large quantities of patient fluids out of the mouth and nose of the doctors, especially during surgery. Aside from that, no use really.

    Excellent roundup of information!

  2. […] Mathew at Bacon Time, remember there is always time for Bacon, has discovered the long lost cousin of the Karen, Cliff […]

  3. Gatordoug says:

    Got this linked, I think the Cliffs might be cousins of Karens, except they ask not for your manager, but for you vax papers and demand you mask up

  4. Cederq says:

    I was a surgical nurse and masks were worn so your snot and drool did not drop into a open surgical wound and while most surgeries are juicy, so as not to allow the patients bodily fluids to enter your snot and drool orifices. In most states and hospitals are no rules for masking, only gloving and gowning…

  5. McBurney's Point says:

    You still missed most of the relevant points.

    You were asked which hospitals no longer have their staff members mask in surgery as a result of any or all of those studies? I’m guessing, as was predicted, it’s zero, which was probably why you didn’t address it.

    Passing OR masking off as medical theater is silly, as OR patients are sedated, and many sedatives used wipe out their short-term memory afterwards anyhow, so there’s no audience to impress.

    Patients post-operatively get bombarded with so many broad-spectrum antibiotics after surgery in most cases currently, the wonder is that there are any post-op infections. That being a variable none of those masking studies you cite took into account, the obvious point is that looking at OR mask use for evidence of viral transmission from healthy staff members when what is at stake after surgery is bacterial infections and massive antibiotic use, are the worst examples you could possibly use. COVID patients aren’t infected by healthy people wearing masks, and then blasted with multiple antibiotics afterwards.

    The point of COVID masking was to reduce transmission of virus from unhealthy, COVID-infected persons, which exactly none of the studies you cite even considered, for obvious reasons.

    Also, of the documented post-op infections that did occur in the study you cited, no differentiation as to type and source of infection was given. They were all lumped together as “post-op infections”. If there were more respiratory infections from staff without masks, but those increases were cancelled out by similar numbers of catheter infections or poor post-op wound care by those operated upon by masked staff, the studies are missing the exact specificity they ignore, and which you require, and upon which you make all your assumptions, based on zero relevant evidence.

    An actual valid masking study would control for that variable, and for every single variable except one: the use or non-use of masks, but they didn’t. And you totally missed that observation, but anyone working in medicine would ask it in about a minute. If you presented your conclusions at medical student grand rounds, you’d be laughed off the stage.

    You’ve picked an apples to oranges argument and tried to make fruit salad, and you don’t even know enough from the information given in those surveys to base any of your conclusions on, because nothing you’re trying to prove was even looked at by anything you cited.

    What did the only cited study of mask use at reducing transmission of actual COVID viral particles find? And why is that study the one you chose to ignore, since that’s the exact relevant use in question?

    Your alleged bloviator, even if surgical use was a poor illustration for any reason, cited a study exactly studying the outward transmission of viral COVID particles from unhealthy people, and simple masks under those conditions showed an improvement of between 100 times better to 1000 times (1 x 10³ to 10 x 10³) better protection for others than using nothing, under the exact circumstances of casual everyday contact. Which anyone who ever sneezed into a handkerchief would understand without needing a scientific study. I only got as far as differential calculus before medical school, a long, long time ago, but I’m pretty certain 1000 times better is more than the “no difference” in the OR masking studies.

    And the COVID masking study you ignored was done far more recently, with better survey design and instrumentation, and only one relevant variable. I’m pretty sure that’s called “actual science”.

    So I’d have to say you were called out correctly, and drew all the wrong conclusions from all the wrong studies, and the only thing you proved was mask use for surgical venues may – or may not – be very helpful for those patients, and is thus totally irrelevant to the discussion of their use to decrease COVID transmission.

    The guy you bagged on cited a study relating to the exact use in question, reducing COVID viral particle outward transmission from infected individuals to others in indoor settings like retail venues in public, and you didn’t even examine or consider it.

    You’re not doing a good job, except of illustrating the dangers of anyone bloviating on things about which one doesn’t have enough practical experience or critical thinking skills to discuss. Listening to a radio show or staying at a Holiday Inn Express isn’t going to cut it. And you’re probably still wrong about the central topic, even if you scored a minor victory on what’s probably a completely irrelevant point.

    In short, you got stuffed, and you didn’t even see it.

    The problem with masking for COVID was never that masks don’t work. It’s that most everyday people, and more than a few alleged professionals in my field who should know better – based just on seeing hundreds of goofballs every single day for the last two years get it wrong – aren’t bright enough to do it right every single time.

    That’s besides noting that you’re chopping at a tree that fell down on its own months back.
    Let it go.

    • Matthew W says:

      Nope, nope, nope, nope.
      A ranting ignorant maroon made an ignorant stupid factually incorrect statement.
      I clearly disproved that statement.
      That’s all I’m going to do.

    • ckc2000 says:

      Hahahaha you funny but not real smart.

    • MN Steel says:

      Good thing nobody leaned a bike against the tree a few decades ago, the bike could have used the leverage from the great height and killed someone!

    • Midwest Chick says:

      Masks don’t work in the real world and there are studies that prove it. If you look at the fact that in Canada they still mask and that a paper this week from the HHS is highly recommending mandatory masking AGAIN, then Matthew’s post is pretty timely and a good reminder.

  6. ruralcounsel says:

    As if an operating room where there are open wounds and bodily fluids everywhere is at all analogous to people walking around in public just breathing.

    Using an operating room environment as analogous to where masks were being required for covid transmission purposes. Not!

  7. Don't mind me. says:

    Aesop’s got so much egg on his face, he’s got a free breakfast for life.
    He’s also a grade A asshole.

  8. Mark says:

    Masks stop cough and sneeze snot from blowing across the room.
    Thats why I like them in places where people are sick.

    They do NOT stop Virii any more than a chainlink fence stops skeeters.
    Or underwear stop a fart from smelling.

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