In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic.
Molly McCann, The Federalist
I’ll admit that I’ve been a bit defiant when it comes to the wearing of a mask
while venturing out in public.
I’ve made several mentions of such here in blogland.
I am fortunate in that I live in a smaller city that has no mandate
to her citizens of the must-wear or else camp.
Naturally, if my governmental officials tell me to wear a mask, otherwise, I’ll die…
well, that’s pretty clear cut, I’d don my mask.
Yet that sort of mandate comes with caveats.
Such as absolutes versus suppositions.
This whole notion of to mask or not to mask came up yesterday when a kind woman commented on my post
Her comment to me:
I believe that wearing a mask is the polite thing to do in consideration
of the health of others as well as yourself.
How hard is that?
Wearing a mask in public areas is showing self-respect for yourself and respect for others.
If I am required to do so, I certainly will but what we know about the masks that
the average person wears, of which are not medical grade, is that they are not a defense
against a virus— viruses are smaller than the pores of the fabric so the protection,
if any, is negligible.
I’m all for being polite but I’m also all for being smart.
And as for respect, the wearing of a mask, of which is not
shown to be of any real health benefit, is not my idea of respect
but rather more like blindly following mass hysteria
The majority of the masks being worn by the general public are more or less
dust protection masks.
Masks that help filter out pollen, smoke, and yes the obvious, dust…
and let us note the words “help filter” — which is not 100% filtration.
We know that viruses are so tiny that they can pass through the pores of cloth style masks.
Rather it is the medical-grade masks that will do the trick but they are needed for our
medical teams and first responders as they come face to face, literally, with this virus.
There has been a shortage of medical-grade masks because a panicked populace went out
with a henny penny mentality to gobble them up–and when those ran out they
bought every other sort of mask.
That panic-driven purchasing has left the folks who really need the protection
in the lurch.
That’s what a media-frenzied driven hype does to people…
it generates panic grabbing—hence the shortages of toilet paper, but I digress.
Back when this pandemic mess was just starting to ramp up, the word
from fellow blogger IB, over on Insanity Bytes, was this:
First a word about masks.
So, talking to the general public here, regarding infection control,
should you wear a cloth mask?
Probably or possibly, but with big caveats.
Viruses are really tiny, they go right through the weave of material.
So if wearing a cloth mask makes you feel better, go for it,
just don’t let it give you a false sense of security.
You still need to keep your distance from other people.
Also, you have to dispose of it or wash it frequently, otherwise,
all you’re really doing it putting a dirty rag over your face and rubbing germs right
into your mucus membranes. How long does it take for a mask to become contaminated?
About two seconds.
IB does have a scientific background and speaks with the knowledge of her field and craft.
Tuesday when I went to the car dealership to have my car serviced…the technicians
who greeted me were each wearing masks and gloves.
The gentleman who checked me in was not.
I was not.
As I made my way to the waiting area,
there were some folks with masks and some folks without masks.
Plus all those waiting and working the showroom were all nicely spread out.
I do know that when one of the folks wearing a mask started coughing and sneezing,
despite their mask,
I found myself with that sinking feeling of ‘great, here comes the good old cold”
Yesterday I read an interesting article on the Federalist regarding the issue
of masks or no masks.
It seems that the mask issue has become more than a medical issue—
it is now a politicized issue.
It is not merely a matter of health but it has morphed into a matter of being a
Trump supporter vs one who is not.
It seems that Trump supporters don’t wear masks.
Those on the left, who despise Trump and all those who support the president,
are demanding masks to be worn at all costs.
Virginia and her Governor are a case in point as the Governor has mandated
that his state’s residents all wear masks.
And remember, this is all Trump’s fault.
So to me, this has all gotten absolutely ridiculous.
It has become a matter of control rather than health and safety.
And that is something I cannot abide by.
The article, which I’ve linked to below, was written by Molly McCann—
Here are a few excerpts.
An April 18 article in the Washington Post underscores the strategy,
presenting the mask controversy as a left versus right debate.
People resisting mandatory mask policies are, per usual, painted as unreasonable,
headstrong, and backward—displaying ignorant American bravado while
rejecting science and good sense.
(That caricature is itself a tool to mock, marginalize, and silence dissent.)
The most telling passage of the article is this one:
For Trump’s supporters, declining to wear a mask is a visible way to demonstrate
“that ‘I’m a Republican,’ or ‘I want businesses to start up again,’
or ‘I support the president,’ ” said Robert Kahn, a law professor at the University of St.Thomas
in Minneapolis who has studied Americans’ attitudes toward masks.
‘Masks will quickly become the new normal in blue states,
but if social distancing continues through 2022,
the mentality among Republicans could well change, too:
If I can go to work and the cost of marginal improvement in my life is wearing a mask,
maybe Americans of both parties do accommodate ourselves to it.’
Masks Are of Limited Benefit
The truth is you aren’t irrational or obdurate if you are skeptical about masks.
The “experts” have admitted that masks’ efficacy is usually negligible.
Dr. Anthony Fauci himself, in a “60 Minutes” interview early in this pandemic,
dismissed masks as essentially useless.
“There is no reason to be walking around wearing a mask.
When you are in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel better,
and might even block a droplet,” he said with almost an eyeroll,
“but it’s not providing the perfect protection people think it is,
and often there are unintended consequences…”
Fauci may have changed his tune, but plenty of sensible doctors are still speaking up.
Last week, a doctor in the Wall Street Journal pointed out that cloth masks—the type worn
by the overwhelming majority of the population—are not very effective,
echoing Fauci’s earlier admission. The WSJ author noted that even the N95 masks fall short:
“They’re considered effective at blocking coronavirus particles only when they’re
form fitted and tested to make sure there isn’t any leakage.”
In short, cloth masks are largely symbolic.
The science hasn’t changed, but the agenda has.
Implementing mandatory mask policies across a society of 300 million because
it makes some people feel better is absurd on its face.
But the policy makes a lot of sense if you understand its purpose and usefulness to
shift the American mindset.
Mandatory masks are a critical predicate conditioning us to accept abuses of our liberty.
Mandatory masking provides the foundation on which governments continue to justify emergency
measures and rule by executive fiat, and it creates a national mood of consent that
America will accept indefinite government expansion because we face a “new normal.
Even well known liberal left-leaning CNBC had an interesting article
posted back in early March.
“Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS!” U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams
said via Twitter over the weekend.
“They are NOT effective in preventing [the] general public from catching coronavirus,
but if healthcare providers can’t get them to care for sick patients,
it puts them and our communities at risk!”
The warning from America’s top doctor is consistent with medical advice from the
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
which has said there is no evidence to support wearing face masks.
Instead, Adams said “the best way to protect yourself and your community
is with everyday preventative actions, like staying home when you are sick and
washing hands with soap and water, to help slow the spread of the respiratory illness.”
‘Not a lot of evidence’ to support wearing face masks
It has been suggested wearing face masks could be useful if you’re sick in order to
prevent you from sneezing or coughing into somebody’s face, David Heymann, who led WHO’s
infectious disease unit at the time of the SARS epidemic in 2002-2003,
said at a Chatham House press briefing last month.
But, “a mask that is used to stop getting an infection is sometimes not very effective
because people take it off to eat, many times they are worn improperly (and)
if they get wet and somebody sneezes on that mask it could pass through.
So, there is really not a lot of evidence (to support wearing masks).”
Thus the moral of this convoluted little tale—
if I’m told “no mask, no shirt, no shoes, no service”
I’ll be donning my mask— otherwise, I’ll be 6 feet away while washing my hands.
Lastly, I find it all rather ironic that there are those out there who
are claiming to be ‘following the science’
(hence the shuttering of the various Houses of Worship while allowing
the doors of abortion clinics to swing wide open) but is not “the science” telling us
that the common mask is actually not medically beneficial?
So in the end, who’s to say?…
Obviously a great many who are both in and out of the know.
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging and commented:
Love this SC!! :):) From your sometimes I don’t wear my mask GW. 🙂 🙂
I wear my bandana tied around my neck, but only put it over my mouth when I have to cough, which is often, because of these stupid allergies.
A true cowgirl!!!! 😍
Thanks for the kind mention, Julie. I’ve recently encountered some people wearing lace masks. They are beautiful, you can breath much easier, and they serve absolutely no purpose except demonstrating compliance. There are some lovely crocheted ones too, they look like doilies.
I who move and breathe fairly well, have very nearly knocked myself out twice now from wearing a mask. Running at work, exercising, any activity that requires more oxygen then usual can get a bit questionable if your mouth is covered and your breathing restricted.
Technically, legally, in theory anyway, you actually can’t mandate masks due to our non discrimination laws and medical privacy acts. So masks can be “strongly encouraged,” highly recommended, or a “directive from the health dept,” but some of these states like mine who are trying to make it illegal to not wear one are going to find themselves losing in court.
I knew I could count on your wisdom and clarity — with a delightful dose of humor!
Strange times these are— as I was driving into Atlanta today the highway billboards were flashing the message “ it’s all the rage, wear a mask”— hilarious 🙄
Nice Julie. It’s so incredibly frustrating to observe each day a new once beyond the pale type of behavior that has 0 science behind it become the acceptable, alas, virtuous way of being human. Masks, running across the street when seeing others, “stay home, stay safe” yard signs (blechh).
Speaking of science, I’d like to know what studies are behind New York’s rule of not being allowed in the ocean while sitting and laying on the sand is ok. Here in San Diego we can go in the ocean and walk or run on the sand, but no sitting. A couple of hours north in Los Angeles, you are allowed both in the water and the sand but only WET SAND, not dry.
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Entirely about control and very little science.
Asinine!!! Tricia— and might I add that I just love our love of consistency- HA!!!!
Nice blog 💕
Thank you Saania 🥰
Surgical masks were originally worn by surgeons who did not want to infect the open wounds of their patients. The idea was to keep bacteria, not viruses, out those wounds. Now we worry about viruses too. Still, the original idea behind a mask was to protect others, not ones self.
Are masks worn public effective? For the Coronavirus (COVID-19)? That remains to be seen. I expect physical distancing is more effective.
The virus seems to spread most rapidly in crowded places like subways. We notice it in nursing homes because the patients are vulnerable and need hands on care. Meat packing plants seem to have a special problem too, probably because the workers sit next to each other for long periods. Because we don’t have an alternative, masks probably make sense in such places, but we also ought to do our best to keep sick people out of them in the first place. In addition, we should look at the design of our subways, nursing homes, meat packing plants, and so forth. When we don’t have to crowd strangers together, then why do it?
Agreed Tom— I do distance myself and actually go very few places