Mask-Charade

According to the media, mask-wearing is America’s political dividing line. With almost religious fervor, those not wearing masks are denounced as killers. With a nearly a 50-50 split in the recent election, the indication in the press is half are following the “Science.” The others are horrible people wildly spreading a mass killer disease—virtue shaming taken to the N-degree. President-elect Biden cites the I.H.M.E. model and predicted tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths by the end of January. Mask-wearing dominates any COVID-19 discussion.

This is strange when one remembers on February 29, the U.S. surgeon general infamously tweeted, “Seriously people – STOP BUYING MASKS. They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.” Dr. Fauci concurred. The C.D.C. told us that only medical personnel should wear masks. Somehow over the intervening months, the “Science” morphed to everyone should wear masks all the time.

You aren’t alone if you’re confused. I, too, am suffering from whiplash. While not an “expert” as an octogenarian, I have a great interest in anything COVID. I want to share what I found.

Surprisingly, there aren’t a lot of significant studies on mask-wearing. A recent study in Denmark apparently is the only one available. The first randomized and controlled study of its kind found an absence of empirical evidence that masks protect people wearing them. However, it apparently did not assess whether they prevent infection of those who encounter the wearer. This is the best info we have, yet we are told we must significantly increase our mask-wearing.  

According to a mid-November YOU.Gov poll, public mask-wearing in the U.S. has risen to 83%. This is more significant usage than in Vietnam (77%) or Taiwan (82%). It seems the vast majority of us are already are wearing masks. More importantly, why hasn’t this increased masking noticeably decreased the disease’s spread?

Maybe Dr. Scott Gottlieb provides us with the answer. The former F.D.A. commissioner writing in the Wall Sreet Journal tells us.” Some Masks Will Protect You Better Than Others. A cotton mask offers far less protection than a surgical mask. If a cloth mask is all you can find, buy a thick one. Snug-fitting masks made of cotton-polyester blends will generally offer more protection. But even a perfect cloth mask may only be about 30% protective; scarf or bandanna, 10% or less.” Even a surgical mask is only 60% effective. This assumes it has a proper fit, and you wear it correctly. I’ve had my differences with Dr. Gottlieb in the past, but he’s on solid ground here.

While waiting for our pre-Thanksgiving curbside pick-up, I observed everyone going in and out of the grocery store was wearing a mask. Most were cloth with some others wearing medical appearing blue masks. Because they look the same, the Blue masks could be surgical or the less effective dust masks. As this was in Arizona, the cloth masks were anything but thick. So we had broad compliance with not much effectiveness. Not a scientific survey, but I think it was representative.

In March, I started my series on COVID-19 series. I asked if East Asians were wearing masks and had better outcomes, why weren’t we wearing them? Further, I pushed for P.P.E., mainly N95 and surgical masks, to be supplied to those in the most vulnerable areas. Nursing Homes and assisted living were prominent—potential hotspots. 

Following my own advice, I sought to get my hands on some surgical masks. Like many others, I found these impossible to order. Amazon vendors only offered delivery months in the future. Luckily one of our sons scored some and shared. I eventually received my amazon orders from China. The receipts say they are Surgical Masks, but who knows. They look official.

The Wall Street Journal reports manufacturers woke up to widespread less than effective masks. Companies such as Honeywell International, Sleepnet Corp, and TermoPore Materials are in the process of introducing better face masks for general use. This is an admission of the need for much better masks. This must be done without compromising our medical supply lines. I think we will all feel better knowing the masks we wear actually protect.

Many political leaders and the media have made mandatory mask mandates their primary coronavirus focus. As we can see, without effective masks, this is reduced to folklore. There was a time everyone wore garlic not only to ward off vampires but to show they weren’t one themselves—masks and garlic share the same virtue signaling. 

The worst part of this concentration on mask-wearing is it’s overshadowed potentially more significant problems. Millions of our children are out of school. Even where remote learning is available, it isn’t working well. Many students don’t even attend online classes, This falls heavily on less well-off students. Special needs aren’t met. Meals aren’t served. According to a McKinsey &Co. study, the”Hurt could last a Lifetime.” 

The infuriating thing is, there never was any science behind closing k12 schools. Sweden never closed its schools and had no noticeable effects. Europe generally reopened its schools early and has kept them open in the face of the fall COVID-19 surge. President Trump is echoing COVID-19 advisor, Dr. Scott Atlas, by strongly advocating for in-person schooling. He is joined by the C.D.C. and most of the rest of the medical establishment. 

An increasing number of people postulating the long-term effects of school closing may prove worse than from COVI-19. People are beginning to question whether deaths from COVID were really as high as reported. Rather than COVID-19 causing many more deaths, maybe a sizable number were just “borrowed ahead” from other causes. Comparing average deaths over various periods will tell the real story.

So why aren’t the children back in school? Actually, many U.S. students are in schools. It’s just that they’re going to private and some charter schools. Along with some of Red State s areas outside of Democratically controlled cities, they show how safe it is for kids to be in school. But in many states and cities, schools remain closed. These communities have a certain commonality. They are mostly controlled by Democrats in alliance with its chief supporters, the teacher’s unions. Backed by a complicit media, they managed to keep millions of public students at home. To date, no one has asked President-Elect Biden where he stands are on these school closings. He’s always talking about following the science. Why hasn’t he stood up for it in this instance?

Has anyone noticed many of the same people crying for mandatory mask mandates are supporting the school’s closures? They’re the ones saying they want to follow the “Science.” and then ignore it.

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