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Why aren’t we wearing masks? Part 2 July 26, 2022

(Part 2 in a 2 part series…)

Here are my opinions based on my experience, of why masks are nowhere to be seen, despite growing numbers of COVID infections. Granted, I, just like you or anyone else, am subjected to my own biases, but at least I’m telling you up front instead of spouting tribal groupthink ideas that imply “this is how it is, I’m right, they’re all wrong” sort of attitude. 

  1. N95 masks do help prevent infection very minimally.  However, they are incredibly difficult to conduct normal, human day to day life wearing one. There is no way on earth I’m going to wear a N95 mask everywhere I go, for an indefinite amount of time, just so I can minimally reduce my chance of infection, without any proof that they lower my chance of dying or getting hospitalized. They are hard to breathe in, and I hate wearing them. I would imagine a lot of other people feel the same way. 
  2. Surgical masks prevent infection even less than N95 masks, but more than cloth masks, which provide no protection whatsoever in regards to infections, hospitalizations, or deaths. Again, after vaccination and eating healthy, the problems of wearing a mask greatly outweigh the vanishingly small benefits from wearing a mask. 
  3. Again, if I wear a mask to avoid infection, even theoretically, eventually I have to take that mask off to do something. And when I do, I’m no longer “protected” like I am with a vaccine. 
  4. There are no substantive, real world, long term (over 6 months) studies showing any  difference on any effect from wearing any kind of mask, let alone a cloth mask, on hospitalization or mortality. All these studies are literally a few weeks or months long, which makes them almost all meaningless in context of a human life over a long term. 
  5. People are getting burned out from wearing masks in general and saying, “I’m going to live my life. I am not wearing a mask. I’m already vaccinated 3 or 4 times, I’m done with masks”. 
  6. People are waking up to the hypocritical relationship between mandates for everyone and personal choice. They may zealously agree with universal mask mandates for everyone because it makes them feel good in the moment, and giving them value and purpose to life. Yet when it hits home in their personal life, values don’t seem so black and white anymore. 
  7. People are having a “faith crisis” in science itself. Yes, we all believe in something, even the atheists. We as humans have to “believe” in something, whether it be God, Muhammed, global warming, or facemasks for COVID. When science and those standard-bearers of the scientific method are wrong, we are confused and sometimes angry. I believe that a faith crisis has occurred largely in those who “believe” in science and they are responding by leaving the “scientific orthodoxy”. 
  8. Questioning the validity of scientific studies showing significant benefit of mask wearing is no longer considered “misinformation”. Of course, 2 years ago, had one questioned the research methods surrounding mask studies, they would have been smeared, ridiculed, and ostracized as a “quack”. 

Where are JAMA, NEJM and Lancet now, after breathlessly proclaiming the virtues of masks back in early 2020? Why aren’t they doing follow up research? Why aren’t they requiring masks in their organizations? Why can’t we call them “quacks” for publishing “misinformation” back in 2020? I fear that I already know the answer to this question. What is the difference between medical orthodoxy and misinformation? About 1-5 years. 

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