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Why aren’t we wearing masks? Part 1 July 18, 2022

It’s summer, 2022, and COVID is rearing its ugly head again. I can see it in the slowly creeping numbers of positive tests, every day, little by little. No state is spared.  While not at peak levels experienced in the delta and omicron waves of last fall and winter, the sheer numbers of new daily infections assures us that COVID is back in the swing of things. 

Back in April of 2020, many state governors, including those of Maryland, Connecticut, Hawaii, and New Jersey,  were clamoring to be seen as being on the “cutting edge” of COVID public health and safety movement by requiring statewide mask mandates in early April. Other states followed suit, while some states never implemented a statewide mask mandate. 

U.S. COVID infections in April and May 2020 averaged about 20,000 to 30,000 new infections per day. States that established early mask mandates were praised by establishment medical associations and media, while states who lagged in the mandates were vilified.

Fast forward 2 years and 3 months, to July 2022. We find ourselves averaging over 100,000-120,000 new cases everyday–over 4 times more the number of new cases than April-May 2020–and no mask mandates to be seen–anywhere. Yes, all 50 states have either rescinded or let expire mask mandates that were in place previously. 

Why is this? 

After all, weren’t we told that “wearing a mask would stop the virus” by the CDC, public health officials, our local hospitals, the mainstream media, modelers like IHME, and research journals? I mean, this was only 2 years ago–I don’t need to rehearse the litany of sources pontificating most assuredly the virtues of the almighty mask.  Mask mandates for all commercial flights and airports, mandates for all federal and most state government buildings, mandates for all students from kindergarten to college, mandates for restaurants (but only when not actively eating), mandates for churches, synagogues, mosques, department stores, etc. etc. etc–you get the point. They’re all gone now. Cases are 4 times higher than 2020. Again I ask: 

Why no mask mandate?

Even now, IHME models predict (er, I mean project) that we can reduce COVID deaths by over 25% if we have 80% of the population use masks. Why is nobody taking them up on this most valuable advice? After all, IHME largely got it right when predicting the number of COVID deaths in the U.S. by February 28, 2021. Why not pay attention and bring back the mask mandates? 

Could it be that mask mandates did almost nothing to reduce COVID infections and deaths? Could it be that experts lacked the insight of real world effects of mask usage over the long term and not just short term goals? I mean, someone’s life usually lasts longer than 3-6 months. Depending on how old you are, typically we are talking at least a decade or more. Why apply 3-6 month mandates of dubious value in the first place when it has zero effect either way after 6 months? 

Why not just require us to live in masks? I mean, as soon as you take it off, you are no longer protected. Again, as soon as you take the mask off, it’s as if you never wore it in the first place. At least with a vaccine, you have some real protection to show after the jab. You can’t “take off” a vaccine like a mask.  Do we not remember the “mask mafia”  coming by and ridiculing, shaming, and publicly humiliating those who didn’t wear one? Have we already forgotten the “I’m wearing this mask to protect you, not just me” mantra? In fact, Dr. Fauci of the NIH, still recommends wearing a mask as of this writing.

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