Breaking: Clear plastic shields do not stop Covid

Breaking: Clear plastic shields do not stop Covid


norman lebrecht

December 10, 2020

The Bavarian Ministry of Health has declared that clear plastic masks are ineffective in preventing the spread coronavirus. A new study by the Munich University of Applied Sciences has seriously undermined confidence in plastic shields.



  • Hilary says:

    and yet this was near enough established in July due to the widely reported case in Switzerland :

    Why the reluctance to take these findings on board immediately ? Yes, it falls short of being a scientific test but I’d rather err towards caution.

  • Ghoul Chud says:

    Now do a study on dirty pieces of cotton that you pull out of your pocket.

    • Hilary says:

      The lack of info/ education dished out to the general public on masks is exasperating.
      We got off to a shaky start on this area with the WHO telling non -Asian countries that masks weren’t useful for the general public. I can understand the rationale (shortage of supply) but it remains an awkward back-pedal.

  • BruceB says:

    Is this news? I thought it was already pretty well understood.

    Where I work we have to wear them as eye protection when we go into patient rooms, but we also have to wear the mask for respiratory protection. You can opt for a pair of pseudo-goggles like these if you prefer, but they don’t fit or stay on very well over my glasses. (The eye protection aspect is not as silly as it sounds: it’s not so much to protect against the virus floating around in the air, but more that the patient may cough or sneeze right in your face without covering up.)

  • la plus belle voix says:

    Now there’s a surprise.

  • Gustavo says:

    Now do a study on the consequences of global environmental littering through disposable masks.

    Now do a study on the individual risk of fatality due to COVID-19 relative the individual risk of fatality due to traffic, car driving, smoking, obesity, alcohol – including interactions among factors.

    Now do a study on the impact of COVID-19 on the growth rate of the world human population.

    • Genius Repairman says:

      Now do a study on why hospitals are filling up and morgues are full and doctors and nurses are getting sick, all across the US, Europe, South America. the Middle East, Russia and India. Just routine illness and death I suppose?

      • Anthony Sayer says:

        They’re not. Get informed.

      • Gustavo says:

        Now a study about why the self-preservation urge and self-pity of humans is so pronounced when it comes to an infectious disease, whereas our environmentally destructive way of life on this planet does not lead to any far-reaching measures at the required speed.

        The ship is sinking rapidly, but the crew is concerned about the clogged toilet in a luxury cabin.

        In the end, there are fundamental ethical (non-scientific) questions that need to be resolved, as the vaccine promise will also require triage on a global scale.

      • Occamsrazor says:

        “Now do a study on why hospitals are filling up and morgues are full and doctors and nurses are getting sick, all across the US, Europe, South America. the Middle East, Russia and India. Just routine illness and death I suppose?” They are not. Your TV is full of them as well as of honest politicians and reporters.As soon as you throw away the TV they all will disappear from your home because your other electric appliances such as your vacuum and coffee grinder are presently unable to fill your home with corpses although this may be possible in the near future.

    • Hayne says:

      for your down voters entertainment…

  • London Cellist says:

    Sweet Lord, is this supposed to be a joke?? Do we really need a scientific study to tell us that airborne aerosol droplets coming out of someone’s mouth and nose aren’t stopped by a piece of plastic that doesn’t cover said orifices? The fact that a visor alone, without a mask to go with it, is considered PPE anywhere, is mind-boggling.

  • Dennis says:

    No kidding. Anyone who ever had confidence is such absurd “shields” – as with face muzzles in general – needs mental help. The face shielding and muzzling cult is a psychopathic mass delusion and had nothing to do with “the science” or public health.

    • Ffs says:

      1% of the population of say, the EU (447 million, give or take) is still 4.7 million people dead…. from an easily preventable disease.

      That not even taking into account that a completely uncontrolled pandemic would probably have a higher CFR (you do know what that means, right??) of ~3%, nor does it take into account the number of people who have permanent lung and/or heart damage or other long-term medical issues that are caused by this coronavirus. Nor does it take into account that for every one person that dies, about nineteen are hospitalized. That’s a mind-boggling number – in the EU, that would be what? 90 million? More casualties than WWI…

      Your arrogance tells you that you’re too good to do literally the smallest thing to help because you think you know more than literally centuries of epidemic control. Masks and quarantine are not new concepts. Hand hygiene is a bit newer as a medical concept, but I’m assuming you’re not a four year old who doesn’t understand why they should wash their hands after coming home from a play date or using the washroom. But it is the internet…

      You call me a sheep for wearing a mask, but you march like a sheep when you attend an anti-mask/anti-lockdown protest. No rights are absolute and without responsibilities. Check your national constitution for more details.

      • Occamsrazor says:

        Ffs, how many people died of regular flu and regular pneumonia in 2020? I hear it`s almost no one.I often detect the desire for this new plague to exist in many people. Covid deniers,on the other hand, sense a unique opportunity of denying the existence of a supposedly deadly disease and thus forcing it out of reality by sheer will. You have to agree that cancer doesn`t leave room for such mental games. What if you could deny cancer out of existence, wouldn`t it be a miracle? If this purely speculative idea was possible, would you still want cancer to exist? A deadly disease that doesn`t exist offers deniers a unique satisfaction of becoming an instant Paracelsus or Avicenna by simply turning off the tv. If you ever lost a loved one to an incurable disease, you cannot resist this new temptation. Even if Covid deniers are wrong, you can`t blame them for this way of thinking, due to so many absurdities in the official version. Their motives are idealistic and they are not trying to sell you anything at all, unlike the official crowd which is profiting in countless ways.

        • ffs says:

          “how many people died of regular flu and regular pneumonia in 2020? I hear it`s almost no one.” – Because the people who aren’t selfish idiots are wearing masks, practicing hand hygiene, and physical distancing. It’s almost like there’s science behind public health orders! It’s almost like masks were a preventative measure in multiple pandemics and disease outbreaks! In a normal year, in the US, the number of people who die from influenza numbers somewhere in the 10,000 range.

          And yes, I can absolutely blame them for being stupid enough not to believe that a virus exists when they are the ones ending up in hospital when they’ve caught the virus. I live in a country where my tax money is going towards their treatment. I work in an industry where wage is going towards their treatment.

          I would recommend not using Ibn Sina and Paracelseus as examples. Ibn Sina was very influential and very intelligent, and was actually getting towards the right idea with his early versions of contagion theory. Paracelseus was basing a lot of his theories off Galen, but was smart enough to get to some early form of toxicology. This is in stark contrast with COVID-deniers.

    • Occamsrazor says:

      Dennis, the entire world is enduring an unprecedented gaslighting operation. The fact that most grown adults presently trust anything that comes from the mainstream media is a slight shock to me. The government and the media are like a wife that has been cheating for the duration of the entire marriage and has the nerve to demand your trust. The species who keep giving trust do not deserve to survive. I know people with university degrees in physics and several languages who buy whatever enters their homes from tv. Humanity has been lied to so many times on absolutely everything, genocided and enslaved by their soulless owners that the current situation can only be explained by induced insanity. Also, there are countless gatekeepers who know what’s going on but parrot the official line for the crumbs from the table. You can read oceans of text in any language parroting the mainstream media, reports of the horrors of the plague either experienced or witnessed. You need to have both knowledge of psychoanalysis and the animal intuition to spot another fake report. The animal intuition is inborn and is honed in situations where a mistake equals grave consequences. If you see enough people in your life who have genuinely gone through traumatic experiences, you’ll never buy those canned reports. Genuine recent trauma is never expressed in journalistic language. Sometimes I read a long such report a few times and I’m able to identify the exact few words that can never come out from a person who just went through a tragedy.Even a stone-cold psychopath loses a degree of smoothness after a close brush with death.These gatekeepers always fail, even if for half a sentence. It’s like watching a fiction movie about some police or military action and immediately sensing that the actors never once looked death in the face. People in genuine grave situations often lose control of their emotions in some way, the more stable ones become eerily calm and that emotion is impossible to hide from a trained eye. We are looking at a very cheap show.

  • Overboard Joe says:

    “Clear plastic shields do not stop Covid”

    Neither does shielding those, soon to die anyway.

    Check the “corona deaths by age” statistics. It’s not bloody pandemic.
    It’s a flu.

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      All this common sense will get you nowhere. Please buy into the senseless hysteria.

    • Ainslie says:

      Oh, you are an idiot, sir.

    • Covid survivor says:

      You want to catch this special “flu,” Mr. Tough Guy? I hope you get your wish very soon.

    • Evil Billie Jean says:

      Yes!! But it is more infectious than current flus: Hopsitals are filling.

      But yes, old people will die soon anyway.

      Which is not any big news, since when hospitals get too full, they perform triage anyway; and let the old ones die, preferring to save the young.
      (If the old haven’t lived to the full till now, it’s their own fault!)

      I just hope that money is not a ticket out, for some rich old, to prioritize themselves before the young.

    • William Safford says:

      It is a pandemic that has killed three people I know and infected others. One of the survivors is still injured six months after first coming down with symptoms.

      More Americans have been killed by COVID-19 this year, than were killed in the European theater of WWII.

      • Northener says:

        Aged what?

        Come on and shock me. Mid 20’s? Mid 30’s? Mid 40’s?
        Haha. No. Otherwise you would have written it.

        Oh and just understand this:
        More Americans grannies and grandads die every damn year (of old age), then were “killed in the European theater of WWII”.

        • William Safford says:

          Why do you take pleasure in old people dying unnecessarily before their time, because of a criminally-mismanaged (at least in the U.S.) pandemic?

          Or anyone?

          The dead I knew were aged 39, 60, and about 80.

          The 39 year old was a police sergeant. He was in the hospital for a month, much of the time on a ventilator, before he finally succumbed to COVID.

          The 60 year old was a violist.

          The 80 year old was a minister.

          Or are you just a troll?

          • Occamsrazor says:

            “The 39 year old was a police sergeant. He was in the hospital for a month, much of the time on a ventilator, before he finally succumbed to COVID.” At least we know the cause of death of this person. He was killed by the ventilator so the hospital could get 39000$.

  • John Borstlap says:

    The airborne transmission, which has already been researched in april in a Japanese study, is not stopped by a shield. Only ventilation of closed spaces helps stop the spreading of infected aerosols, and face masks help somewhat to stop the macro droplets – not the aerosols.

    • Hilary says:

      It’s a measure of how hopeless the U.K. government is that the critical point of ventilation doesn’t feature in the latest mantra (“hands, face & space”) . Not quite as risible as “stay alert”.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Don’t say!!!!!???

  • Greg Bottini says:

    My dentist wears a plastic shield AND a mask.
    And upon my arriving at his clinic, he took my temperature, and he often washed his hands during my checkup/cleaning.
    Better safe than sorry….

    • Anthony Sayer says:

      Mine doesn’t, and he’s still fine.

      • Brettermeier says:

        “Mine doesn’t, and he’s still fine.”

        Sure, he’s fine until he’s not. It’s like jaywalking with blindfolds. If jaywalking would be highly contageous.

        Great idea, have fun!

      • Greg Bottini says:

        I remember who you are, Anthony Sayer.
        You’re the “face nappy” guy.
        You have no credibility.
        Go away.

  • Basso Continuoso says:

    One study. It seriously impedes air flow, but for people with difficulty breathing through masks, these are necessary.

  • Lindsay Groves says:

    How about a link to the source?

  • Occamsrazor says:

    The very absence of orange containers for disposal, similar to those for used needles, end the debate about the existence of this disease.We`ll have to endure this pathetic spectacle for a few more weeks. By now only those who either directly profit from this scam or are hoping to, are parroting the official line. I call those who wear plastic shields “welders”. Another one I`ve invented is “conductors”. It`s those concerned citizens who make this disgusting gesture with their index fingers upward near their noses to signify to those like me, whose mask is below their noses while on public transportation, the need to deprive ourselves of oxygen even more. A week ago one of these Karajans did just that to me on the NYC subway. I looked right thru him and he took a photo of me with his phone, probably hoping to report it later to some unmasked nose division of the NWO Gestapo to identify with the latest face recognition software. I lost sleep and I`m expecting a knock on the door at night.

    • PFmus says:

      Occam’s Bludgeon apparently wants to add the title of Typhoid Mary to their collection.

    • Bill Nye, the Science Guy says:

      How large do you think an O2 molecule is? Or the slightly larger CO2 molecule? Can you compare these to a respiratory droplet or an aerosol particle from a sneeze or cough?

      But then, you probably think I’m actually Bill Nye, so critical thinking and science education (as student or teacher) were probably never your strong suits.

    • William Safford says:


  • Hmus says:

    No one ever said tht the shields WITHOUT masks were enough. They do, however, offer you protection from the kind of Covid-deniers who attend anti-mask, pro-Trump and anti-science, rallies and intentionally cough and spit in your face if you ask them to follow your store’s rules. SOme of whom apparently read this column, sorry to say.

  • Sharon says:

    Remember that the Pfizer vaccine that is coming out MAY protect against some symptoms but does NOT kill the coronavirus. My big fear is that people will have a false sense of security from this vaccine and that the virus itself will spread even more widely. It will also be a long while before the vaccine is available to everybody.

    • Hayne says:

      “My big fear…” ah, there it is:)

    • Occamsrazor says:

      “Remember that the Pfizer vaccine that is coming out MAY protect against some symptoms but does NOT kill the coronavirus. My big fear is that people will have a false sense of security from this vaccine and that the virus itself will spread even more widely. It will also be a long while before the vaccine is available to everybody.” Are you going to take this vaccine? If yes, do you know what`s in it? If yes, could you list the ingredients here? If no, do you normally inject unknown substances into your body? Do you exchange needles with random people or have close bodily contact (aka sex) with people who do?With all due respect, I would like honest answers to these questions from the people who are planning to take this vaccine. Thanks.

      • Petros Linardos says:

        My honest answer is that I trust the medical establishment infinitely more than Covid-19. The vaccine has apparently not seriously hurt any of the more than 43,000 people on whom it was tested. That cannot be said of Covid-19.

        Are you that skeptical with everything you eat or drink?

        • Occamsrazor says:

          “The vaccine has apparently not seriously hurt any of the more than 43,000 people on whom it was tested”. This info came to you thru exactly which electrical appliance of yours? “Are you that skeptical with everything you eat or drink?” You mean if we ever met at Mcdonalds? No.

    • Bill Nye, The Science Guy says:

      Genuinely curious, but do you think that the MMR, TB, flu, polio, etc vaccines all “kill” those viruses?

  • Ilio says:

    Working in healthcare, it’s known that face shields alone don’t protect you and neither to goggles that have openings at the top. They have to be used in conjunction with masks or respirators.

  • This has become a website about Covid-19 that occasionally discusses music.

    • William Safford says:

      Alas, the comments section has been bogged down by COVID-19 deniers, health precaution deniers, snake oil salesmen, and their disinformation.

      COVID-19 has had a profoundly negative impact on the music profession. Halls are closed. Concert seasons are canceled. Musicians are unemployed. The continuing existence of organizations from local per-service orchestras to the Metropolitan Opera is at stake.

      Musicians are dying of COVID-19.

      None of this is unique to the music world. However, as you wrote, this is a music blog.

      Such deniers make things worse.

      I look forward to when we are past this. At least I hope that will be the case. We do not yet know what the future holds for us. Will vaccines get rid of this scourge? Or will COVID-19 become part of our lives, as flu has, albeit with far less devastating effect than right now? Or something else?

      • Hayne says:

        Oh, stop it.
        Wow, that was easy!

      • Occamsrazor says:

        “Will vaccines get rid of this scourge?” They sure will get rid of 90% of humanity which tptb have publicly called a scourge. A guy I know has died of coronaphrenia. He was in his late 60s, had hepatitis C since the late 1980s which was well-managed. He caught a cold while on a plane flight, got scared and instead of drinking lots of chamomile tea plus a few baby aspirin, he went to a hospital and was promptly put on a ventilator by the obliging Mengele. The medical industry in the Western world had been organized butchery for profit before the coronaphrenia. I sincerely hope that you don’t know about it because you and everyone you know are in such stellar health that you have never needed medical attention of any kind. Otherwise your motives for professing faith in it are suspicious because I don’t know personally a single person who doesn’t know about it.

    • Hayne says:

      What the hell do you expect when most of us musicians aren’t “allowed” to work!

  • Orchestra player says:

    Newsflash from the Ministry of Bleeding Obvious