Analysis of the medical, political, administrative, and cultural argumentation lines in the context of COVID-19
Ali Harlin, TkT
Vesa Kirjavainen, FM https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6664-8406
Thomas Brand, MSocSc, MA https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4559-1153
3rd Edition (Updated)
Published in series Call for Reviews, ISSN 2736-9404
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Keywords General Finnish ontology YSO:
The first part of the report contains a review of existing medical literature concerning the filtration capacity, benefits, and disadvantages of facemasks. It shows that the benefits of facemasks have been verified in dozens of filtration studies, aerosol simulations, population level simulations, country specific mortality statistics, observational studies, and RCT studies. The health risks related to facemasks are minor, and the ecological and economic costs of facemasks may be minimized by the reuse of masks.
The latter part of the report focuses on analyzing those discourses, paradigms and memes that lead to mask-sceptic statements in healthcare institutions like FDA, CDC, Surgeon General, ECDC and the Finnish ministry of health (STM), to distribute highly skeptical and sometimes even fallacious statements about facemasks. The consequence of these statements was that some schools and grocery store chains in Finland prohibited facemask usage from their employees in the summer 2020.
The central reasons for the exaggerated statements and actions against facemasks were found to be the political argument “we do not have enough masks for healthcare professionals”, the bureaucratic discourse, discourses of healthcare regulation, exaggerated forms of evidence-based medicine, and the culturally conservative discourses that discouraged Western countries to learn from Asian countries. The analysis of these discourses was performed by using memetic discourse analysis as its method. At the end, the authors give their suggestions to healthcare bureaucracies, concerning the best decision-making and communication practices for the times of crisis, uncertainty, and lack of time.
Professori Ali Harlin, D.Sc. (tech.)
Pasi Malmi, D.Sc. (admin)
Vesa Kirjavainen, M.Sc.
Marja Rissanen, D.Sc. (tech)
Thomas Brand, M.Sc. (politics), B.Sc. (tech.)