The WHO is full of irresponsible idiots.
They, amongst many others, have consistently made reckless statements throughout this pandemic. This is why so many people do not know who or what to believe anymore.
THIS IS IMPORTANT:
Asymptomatic infected - a person who has the virus and will NEVER exhibit symptoms.
PREsymptomatic infected - a person who has the virus and WILL eventually exhibit symptoms.
But you know what?
THEY BOTH INITIALLY LOOK THE SAME AKA NO SYMPTOMS.
So even though Asymptomatic carriers may not be a main driver of spread, the fact it is impossible to distinguish them from those who are PREsymptomatic and could spread virus means people should STILL wear masks when they cannot social distance - eg. at protests, grocery shopping, etc.
The WHO may not have misspoken regarding asymptomatic spread, but they are also are idiots to assume people would know how to distinguish this statement from presymptomatic or mildly symptomatic - eg mild unrecognized fever or slight cough attributed to "allergies". ANY symptom STILL qualifies as symptomatic.
Just look across the world and you can see the countries who have the highest compliance with mask-wearing are also the ones with the best control of the virus. Coincidence? Unlikely. I do not understand why their effectiveness is so hard to fathom.
COVID fatigue is real, I know and I totally get it. We all want this to be over. Even physicians are not immune to it.
My stance at this point is everyone needs to be comfortable with their own acceptable level of risk. If you do not want to wear a mask around family and friends, I believe if the ENTIRE group feels the same way, then you have all agreed to the shared risk. But if even one person is opposed, their wish should still be respected by the group as a whole.
And in the case of strangers, who have NOT consented to the risk of being around you without a mask, you should wear a mask when unable to social distance around strangers as a result. It is the right and respectful thing to do.
The WHO has been making irresponsible statements throughout the pandemic. Remember the WHO slamming Sweden for not shutting down then lauding them as a model for their approach then being eerily silent after Sweden admitted themselves they messed up in their approach?
The WHO even updated their guidelines ONLY A FEW DAYS AGO to say EVERYONE should wear a mask now when social distancing is not possible - a stance many countries have taken for a while now, and once again, the WHO was slow to adopt:
The statement regarding the low-risk of asymptomatic spread NEVER said people who do not exhibit symptoms should now stop wearing masks - because
1) There is a HUGE difference between those who are asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic as I have described and
2) It would TOTALLY contradict their newest recommendations about how everyone should wear a mask when social distancing is not possible 🙄🤦🏽♂️.
Remember the uproar over the headlines about surface contamination not being a major driver of spread? This is another headline - unintentionally or intentionally - causing unnecessary confusion and anger. And if unintentional, it is another example of the dangers of non-medical journalists reporting on medical topics where they do not grasp the nuances of these statements.
But it is the WHO's responsibility to be abundantly clear in their statements. And they have been pathetic in doing so.
The WHO has continued to shoot themselves in their own foot due to making statements that demonstrate, at worst, their incompetence, or at best, their poor communication skills.
They are that friend who just does not know when to stop talking. Ugh.