The Case for Masks Has Taken Another Body Blow

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

 

I’ll probably get driven out of polite society for even writing this article, as just like the lock downs, mask wearing has become somewhat of a religious rite. Even if you can get someone to admit the lack of evidence behind our current hysteria surrounding them, the boiler-plate answer is “what could it hurt?” Blind compliance has also become the norm in the conservative commentariat, with many suggesting that people are stupid or are “snowflakes” for daring to question the wisdom of our masking revolution.

Now, the case for masks has taken another body blow as we are seeing large spikes in heavy mask wearing countries like Japan and the Philippines.

Just as in the past, we again see absolutely no correlation between masking and case loads. Scandinavian countries have almost non-existent masking and absolutely no mandates. Their case loads and deaths have been some of the lowest in Europe. Sweden is the exception, but they also took a more “controlled avalanche” strategy, which has now led them to basically no new cases and deaths after they’ve likely reached herd immunity. They will almost assuredly not see a second wave at all while places like France are seeing a resurgence.

Just focusing on the United States, the states that had little masking early on did the best early on. Meanwhile, disaster areas like New York, which adopted mandates early, did far worse. California has never opened back up and has had a mask mandate. They ended up with the same spikes that Texas and Florida saw, which are now receding with far less deaths per capita than the North East saw during their spikes. Again, there’s absolutely no correlation to be found.

We should all be asking why almost no one in power is willing to ask basic questions and demand answers, especially before rushing to mandate Americans do something by force of law. It’s insane, in my estimation, that so many conservatives are not only fine with what’s happening, but that many are joining the mob instead of demanding objective data.

Meanwhile, Holland’s top scientists are asserting that there’s basically no evidence showing that masking works. Further, they say it may actually make things worse.

Face masks in public places are not necessary, based on all the current evidence,’ said Coen Berends, spokesman for the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. ‘There is no benefit and there may even be negative impact.’

This is a bold but highly controversial stance – especially as fears grow of a second wave sweeping through Europe. Last week, Downing Street joined the global stampede to enforce face masks in public spaces such as shops, supermarkets and stations, following Scotland, Spain and France, along with Holland’s neighbouring nations of Belgium and Germany.

The negative impacts are obvious. Keeping your face cooped up in a damp piece of cloth all day is a breeding ground for bacteria. They also encourage far more touching of the face, which is a primary vector of the spread of coronavirus. Perhaps that’s why we’ve seen spikes mostly after masking became in vogue? Then there are the respiratory issues associated with masks.

While real PPE can be effective for doctors and nurses if used properly, throwing a piece of cloth on your face with a fancy plastic breather hole is doing little to nothing to stop the coronavirus. The cheaper paper masks that were mainly used to hang drywall before the pandemic are certainly not doing much of anything. They were always designed to stop large dust particles, not microscopic droplets.

To be clear, I have no moral or practical objection to masking. I don’t think I’m going to suddenly burst into flames if I wear one, and while they suck, they aren’t the end of the world. If real evidence came out tomorrow that said they were highly effective, I’d be stumping to wear them along with everyone else. But the science is not only not there, it runs counter to the current masking narrative. Should that not matter?

So why the mask hysteria given the complete lack of scientific backing for it? Because people are lazy and want a quick fix. We always want to convince ourselves that we are in control and that if we just do “this thing,” then everything will be fine. Masks have become a security blanket that provide a false sense of invulnerability. They cause people to forgo actual effective mitigation like social distancing. You’ve got your magic mask on, so you can now go out and stand on top of someone in that line at the grocery store or shout your lungs out at a protest, right? How many time have we seen the media excuse massive crowds of BLM protesters because “most were wearing masks?”

Perhaps most frustrating is that instead of reacting to lack of correlation, we see figures like Dr. Birx now saying people should wear masks in their own homes. Dr. Fauci has suggested wearing a face-shield with a mask while also promoting future lock downs, which have been shown to be completely ineffective. These people never adjust or admit error. They just double down. Maybe we can all wear giant sealed metal helmets as the next step?

Here’s what I know. Our leaders are vapid and are completely unconcerned with following the actual science. That much is clear.