I live in New York State. I am writing this on day 104 of Coronavirus–by which I mean 104 days after New York was “shut down.” Schools closed. Work places closed. Now many of us are “back” to work, but under different circumstances.
Without knowing, at first, exactly how Corona was spread, multiple ways to avoid it were tried: social distancing, disinfection of everything, quarantining both people and objects. We, as a society, didn’t see this coming, to such an extent that I have a friend who went back to work baffled: they had just installed, before the shutdown, new locks on the doors, which were thumbprint activated. How would people get in now that no one was supposed to touch anything?
And then, there’s mask wearing. It depresses me to see how angry people get over this. Because, and there is no other way to say this: face coverings are just not effective. Here’s an interview with Dr. Lisa Brousseau, infectious disease expert:
But don’t just take her word for it, think it through. IF masks were effective, they would be supplied for us, regulated, and public health nurses would be telling us how to use them.
Masks are simply good luck charms.
Some people say masks are like seat belts. Oh, are they? Are we expected to make our own seat belts, to no specifications, from whatever we have handy?
Some say they are like condoms. Oh. OK, I suppose. If you use the same one all night and take it off and put it on again whenever you feel like it.
Or maybe like vaccinations. Again, if we made our serums ourselves and administered them whenever we saw a danger.
Vaccinations, condoms, and seat belts are heavily regulated for safety.
If we had an ample supply of N95 masks and educated people on how to use them properly and enforced this, masks might help. That is not the situation we have. We have people wearing scarves on their faces like bandits fully convinced they are being safe. People sneer that if I don’t wear a mask I am not protecting other people, but the fact is that if I wear a bandana over my nose I have provided no more protection that a bare face.
People complain that their glasses are fogging up and give each other tips on what cleaning product to put on the lenses to keep them from fogging, not remembering that if their glasses are fogging up, their breath has escaped the mask.
We have people wearing masks on their chins. People are putting the same filthy cloth on and off their faces all day. On top of which, the particles that carry Covid are so small you may as well try to keep a squirrel in or out of your yard with a chain link fence. They may prevent transmission of other diseases, but not Covid.
It is easily googled that masks do not keep out Covid. It is easily googled that in the pandemic of 1918 people wore masks and that they didn’t help then, either.
If masks were any good at stopping Covid infections, there would be multiple lawsuits against the CDC, since they told us for months masks were not needed.
The one good thing about mask-wearing is that the practice identifies who is and who is not considerate of rules of health, of safety. I wear a mask in public, because it is a courtesy. People who are not wearing masks, I have noticed, also do not tend to respect social distancing, and do not follow the little arrows on the floor of grocery stores that tell us which way to walk (so as to keep people from crossing each other’s paths).
Since it is objectively and demonstrably true that masks do not reduce transmission of Covid, why are we being told to wear masks?
Because the situation is so dire we, the people, have to believe that something can be done, and that WE can do it. Various levels of government have failed to act, have failed to protect us, and need to tamp down on the despair that would result if the public realized how screwed we are, and how much the government that was supposed to protect us has not.
The same people that knew enough to move their investments ahead of the worst (so far) of Covid know masks are not helpful. And these people can also afford to social distance, can do so long after the poor people, the working people, go back in public wearing masks.
It is insideous to tell people to wear masks while providing no real masks and providing no specifications or training. As Covid infections rise among the mask wearers, the ruling class, can blame the poor: oh, they didn’t mask up (in time, properly, whatever).
Social distancing works, but our economy couldn’t survive indefinitely in a shutdown. We had to send the masses back to work. In useless masks.