These people don't understand the basic reproduction number: R0. So, of course, they don't get that reducing that number, even by a small amount, has HUGE benefits. Let's take a simple example in which a virus spreads very quickly every day. Let's say a person returns from travel with this virus. He spreads it into the local community by visiting family, friends, and various markets. In this case, R0 is 3. After one week, a staggering 2,187 people would be infected.
|Days after infection||R0 = 2||R0 = 3|
Now, let's say, a similar city a few hours away implements a mask protocol. The masks reduce the risk of transmission by only 33%. Then, the R0 would be 2. One infected person who visits that city would end up infecting only 128 people after one week.
So, a 33% reduction in R0 improves the situation by 94% in ONE WEEK. A month or a year later, the reductions would be even more staggering.