The Masking of America – Why and what does it accomplish?

Faceless people make compliant subjects, not good citizens.

Claremont Review Of Books

There is a lot here, but it is only a fraction of the complete article, which I recommend that you read.

According to the author, some people LIKE to wear a mask!

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic is retreating, it may seem absurd to propose further mask mandates in response to lesser—or even seasonal—viral threats. But Julia Carrie Wong, writing in the Guardian, reports that many Americans like their masks just fine. Francesca, a 46-year-old, fully vaccinated professor in New York, will not abandon her “invisibility cloak” just yet. “It has been such a relief to feel anonymous,” she explains. “It’s like having a force field around me that says, ‘don’t see me.’”

And she’s not alone. But do the masks serve a purpose?

Ostensibly, the point of wearing masks is not to furnish oneself with an emotional crutch but to prevent viral transmission. Many Americans have been taught to believe that masks work—at least a little—and that wearing them comes at a minimal cost. Nearly the opposite is true.

In terms of lethality, Covid-19 is not historically the worst.

In its worldwide impact, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst in a century. As a threat to Americans’ health, however, it is closer to the 1968 Hong Kong flu or the 1957 Asian flu—neither of which noticeably altered Americans’ everyday lives—than to the 1918 Spanish flu. In a head-to-head comparison, COVID-19 makes the Spanish flu look like the Black Death of medieval Europe. According to the best available figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere, the typical American under the age of 40 in 1918 was more than 100 times as likely to die of the Spanish flu than the typical American under the age of 40 in 2020 was to die of COVID-19. Whereas COVID-19 sadly shortened the lives of many older people already in poor health, the Spanish flu took people in the prime of life and left orphans in its wake.

Despite that truth, Americans have reacted with a high level of panic, egged on by government and media, particularly social media outlets.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, the Hoover Institution’s Niall Ferguson recalls that President Dwight Eisenhower asked Congress for $2.5 million in additional funding for the Public Health Service during the Asian flu. Overall, Congress has authorized about 2 million times that much for COVID-19. In 1957, there were no widespread school closures, travel bans, or mask mandates. Ferguson quotes one person’s recollection of those days: “For those who grew up in the 1930s and 1940s, there was nothing unusual about finding yourself threatened by contagious disease. Mumps, measles, chicken pox, and German measles swept through entire schools and towns; I had all four…. We took the Asian flu in stride.”

Regardless of the true effectiveness of masks (especially by healthy people), the WHO and CDC are pushing mask wearing. Question: If mask wearing is so effective, why hasn’t the CDC thus far recommended it during flu season?

Yet the CDC does not (yet) recommend that seemingly healthy people wear masks during flu season. It seems likely that the CDC panicked in April and wanted to be seen as doing something. Plus, public health officials are naturally enthusiastic about public health interventions. Here was an opportunity to introduce an intervention that would previously have been unthinkable to Americans.

It seems that masks aren’t all that effective according to true randomized studies.

The most reliable science on whether masks are effective in stopping the transmission of viruses comes from randomized control trials (RCTs), almost all of which were conducted before COVID-19 began. RCTs, in which researchers assign subjects randomly to different groups and study how those groups react to various forms of treatment, are the gold standard in medical research. They make it very hard for researchers to produce their own preferred outcomes.

Randomized control trials have found little to no evidence that masks work to prevent viral transmission—either from the wearer to others or vice versa. In fact, some significant evidence from RCTs indicates that masks increase transmission. One team of researchers, led by Raina MacIntyre at the University of New South Wales, explained how masks could actually be counterproductive: “The virus may survive on the surface of the facemasks” and “transfer pathogen from the mask to the bare hands of the wearer.”

Forcing masks on small children is child abuse. That’s my opinion, but shared by experts.

Forcing children to wear masks is particularly unreasonable. Minors are far less apt to spread the virus, and CDC statistics show that 99.9% of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have been of adults. Few spectacles are more ridiculous than that of school kids, outside, playing sports, wearing masks. Moreover, the WHO guidance on mask-wearing for children is comical in its implausibility: “Before putting on the mask, children should clean their hands…at least 40 seconds if using soap and water…. Children should not touch the front of the mask [or] pull it under the chin…. After taking off their mask, they should store it in a bag or container and clean their hands.” Sure. Got that, kids?

Results of an actual study of Covid-19 and mask wearers.

A 2020 study by Professor Henning Bundgaard and his team in Denmark is the only RCT that has tested the effectiveness of mask-wearing against COVID-19. It found that 1.8% of those participants in the group wearing masks, and 2.1% of those in the unmasked control group, became infected with COVID-19 within a month. This difference was not statistically significant. The study must have had difficulty getting published, since it appeared months after it was conducted. Once it was eventually released, Vinay Prasad, a medical doctor at the University of California, San Francisco, described it as “well done” but noted (critically) that “[s]ome have turned to social media to ask why a trial that may diminish enthusiasm for masks…was published in a top medical journal.”

Why are the Biden administration and the teachers’ union influencing the recommendation of the CDC?

In attempting to justify its mask guidance on its website, the CDC has relied almost entirely on observational studies while studiously disregarding RCTs—aside from criticizing a couple of the more revealing ones, like Bundgaard’s, that do not support the agency’s guidance or goals. Anyone who thinks the CDC is an impartial, politically neutral agency, dedicated solely to the pursuit of scientific truth, should perhaps consider the recent e-mail evidence that the teachers union and Joe Biden’s White House effectively rewrote sections of the agency’s return-to-school guidance. Like so many unelected leaders, CDC officials consider themselves more accountable to “stakeholders” than to the American people.

The author’s conclusion:

In sum, not only do masks apparently not work as advertised, they are uncomfortable and unhygienic. They obscure our humanity and undermine our children’s development. They prevent us from seeing the emotions, sensibilities, and affections of others, or sharing our own. They limit communication and erode understanding. They profoundly compromise human interaction and substantially reduce our quality of life.

 

This entry was posted in coronavirus, Government, Media, The Culture. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The Masking of America – Why and what does it accomplish?

  1. The Tundra PA says:

    Yes, exactly! I have been saying this for a year and a half now. Masks are utterly useless at preventing viral transmission, either from the wearer to others or from others to the wearer. They reduce the flow of oxygen to the wearer, causing headaches, and they cause nasty Staph infections. This video by Dr. Ted Noel demonstrates the ineffectiveness of masking:

    I am fortunate to live in an area with almost no mask hysteria. No one is wearing them and no businesses are requiring them. The only exception is our local hospital and various health clinics. Since I require health care, I put one on, but don’t cover my nose with it. No one says a thing. Everyone knows it is a sham. I have written STUPID AND USELESS on the mask and everyone who sees it smiles.

    The madness has to stop. Masks are not about health, they are about control. People have to wake up.

    Liked by 4 people

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