Stupid and Wrong is a Deadly Combination


Yesterday, I highlighted a new study by the CDC that suggests that wearing two masks (a cloth mask over a 3-ply surgical mask) will more than double your protection and the protection of others. One of my readers, engineer and technologist Aldo Cugnini, admonished that I was underselling the benefits and offered the following math to back up his claim: “If wearing one mask is 44% effective (560 out of 1000 particles get through) and wearing two masks is 92.5% effective (75 out of 1000 particles get through), you calculate the increase in effectiveness by dividing the effectiveness of wearing one mask by the effectiveness of wearing two masks. (560/75 = 7.5). Therefore, wearing two masks is 7.5 times more effective than wearing one.” Thanks, Aldo.

Now, for the crazy part. As usual, I posted a video version on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and my new favorite video platform, TikTok. As reflected in the comment section, my TikTok audience is far more diverse than my audience on the other social media platforms. I generally love and applaud this diversity. Yesterday’s comments were different. The amount of misinformation in the comments was overwhelming. The more scientifically inaccurate the claim, the more pejorative the comment. Most remarkably, the number of people who are “anti-mask” was stunning. In most cases, this amount of nonsense is harmless, but not in this case.

There’s clearly a significant number of people whose beliefs and associated actions put everyone at risk. I don’t want to fix the blame. I want to do what I can to help fix the problem. Your thoughts and suggestions are more than welcome. Please respond on the form below and tell me what you think we should do.



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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, co-founder of Metacademy, and the CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC and writes a popular daily business blog. He’s the Co-Host of the award-winning podcast Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett and his latest book, Blockchain - Cryptocurrency, NFTs & Smart Contracts: An executive guide to the world of decentralized finance, is an Amazon #1 Bestseller. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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