This headline and article came to my attention today. It is part of the digital offering from the Ashland Daily Press. Which as it turns out is behind a paywall. However, the items of the article that caught my eye are all here to see.

Now I’m not certain where in the state this survey was conducted. Likely the information might be in the body of the article. The author of the article, Shamane Mills of Wisconsin Public Radio, does say that the study was an observational one conducted in 20 counties in the state last month.

The headline writer did their job to get our attention and wants us to read more. It is interesting to note that the study was an observational one and not one where a semi-scientific count to the grocery shoppers was done. Also missing in what I can see of the article is the designation of what counties were selected for the survey.

In doing some additional research I find that the survey study was done by students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Medical Scientist Training Program. They report that they found 41 percent of 3,271 grocery shoppers observed between May 16 and June 1 had their faces covered as they exited the store.

So a count of shoppers was done, and they only, according to the article observed the shoppers with covered or uncovered faces as they left the store. We have no knowledge of the shopper’s behavior while shopping in the store. The article goes on to state -

Public health officials around the state have encouraged people to wear face masks, although it is not required in Wisconsin.

  • Masks reduce intake of oxygen, leading to carbon dioxide toxicity
  • Germs are trapped near your mouth and nose, increasing the risk of infection
  • Wearing a mask causes you to touch your face more frequently
  • There is no scientific evidence that supports healthy people wearing masks
  • Masks obscure your facial features and impede normal social interaction
  • Masks make it hard for hearing-impaired people to understand you
  • Masks symbolize suppression of speech

And if you’re concerned about the science and guidance from medical professionals -

New England Journal of Medicine:

“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little if any, protection from infection.”

CDC — There is no scientific evidence for healthy people wearing masks.

The bottom line, healthy individuals shouldn’t be wearing masks as they don’t prevent the spread of any virus.