Are Masks About to Become Permanent?

Much of the world’s media is spewing nothing but gloom and doom over the Chinese coronavirus, that the worst is yet to come. NBC newsreader Lester Holt recently interviewed CDC Director Rochelle Walensky. When Holt asked her, “Is this becoming a worst-case scenario?” she replied, “Unfortunately no I think things can still get worse.” Is that true?

Most Americans have had at least one COVID-19 vaccine, specifically 56 percent receiving at one dose with partial immunity and 48 percent fully vaccinated. Of the most vulnerable over-age-65 population, 79 percent have been fully and 89 percent at least partially vaccinated.

The CDC “estimates about 35% of all Americans have been infected with COVID-19 over the last year.” Even with some overlap between those previously infected and those vaccinated, 80 to 90 percent of Americans have either natural or vaccination immunity to the Chinese coronavirus.

Whatever happened to the basic concept of herd immunity? The media refuses to discuss it as suddenly this basic concept of immunology is now QAnon or white supremacist conspiracy theory. The Mayo Clinic explains,

Herd immunity occurs when a large portion of a community (the herd) becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. As a result, the whole community becomes protected -- not just those who are immune.

There are two main paths to herd immunity for COVID-19 -- infection and vaccines.

Note infection and vaccines. Why are we told that vaccination is the only path to herd immunity? Are we there yet? It depends on who you ask and when. As the New York Times notes,

Scientists initially estimated that 60 to 70 percent of the population needed to acquire resistance to the coronavirus to banish it. Now Dr. Anthony Fauci and others are quietly shifting that number upward.

Moving goalposts is Fauci’s new hobby. The goalposts are sifting again for masks. Why are we going backward with mask mandates by masking up again despite most of the country having some degree of immunity?

As reported in the Daily Mail, “Los Angeles orders EVERYONE to wear masks: County demands vaccinated residents to cover their faces indoors as Indian Delta variant spreads across the US.” What starts in California often spreads across the U.S.

If the vaccines work as advertised, why the masks for everyone? The unvaccinated can wear masks if they are at higher risk or concerned about exposure to COVID. But the vaccinated are protected. Do we walk under an umbrella on a clear day because it might rain, and one can never be too careful?

Too bad Lester Holt didn’t ask these types of questions of the CDC director. Or the obvious question of why vaccinated people need to wear masks contrary to her CDC guidelines, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”

Early in the pandemic, Fauci was anti-mask, saying masks were ineffective at protecting against the Wuhan flu virus. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams agreed. Fauci then changed his mind, recommending one then two masks.

Now he is saying that “fully vaccinated Americans should ‘go the extra step’ and wear masks when traveling to parts of the country with low vaccination rates.” Why? It’s the unvaccinated who are at risk, not the vaccinated. Are the vaccinated and immune spreading infection? Where is the science on that? If the vaccines are not protective, then why the push to get everyone vaccinated? How soon until we are told to shelter in place and avoid travel as has become the norm again in some parts of Australia?

Why the new indoor mask mandate in LA? Almost 70 percent of LA County residents have had at least one vaccine dose. As of six months ago, a third of LA Country residents have had COVID and that number is undoubtedly higher now. So, who’s left to infect? Even with overlap between infected and vaccinated, most everyone in LA should have at least some immunity by now. Yet they are back to masks.

Is it because the India/Delta variant is so dangerous as we hear constantly on cable new gabfests? The Wall Street Journal says no.

The reassuring data on the delta variant

There’s no sign of a surge in hospitalization or severe illness, and the vaccines remain extremely effective.

So far, as we march through the variant alphabet, none of the predicted doomsday scenarios in virulence or vaccine resistance have come to pass.

Officials in Los Angeles claim, “the outbreak was caused by the delta variant, which is far more contagious than the original strain of the virus.” No kidding. That is the normal course for virus mutations, more contagious and less lethal. Are masks even effective in stopping the Delta variant?

The Copenhagen mask study found little benefit to masks in stopping the Chinese coronavirus. From a viral particle size perspective, masks also do little. The COVID virus is 50-140 nm, while the pore size in standard surgical masks is 300 nm to 10,000 nm. This is using a chain-link fence to stop mosquitoes.

Is this about public health, protecting the LA population, most of whom already have COVID immunity? Or are there other motives at play? Given how so much of the pandemic has been politicized, it is appropriate to look at any new guidelines through a political prism.

What is in the political news these days? Election audits, nearing completion in Arizona and ramping up in other states, may reveal electoral fraud with election winners declared losers and vice versa. If this turns out to be true, how will the American people react? Especially when it was the pandemic that provided cover for last-minute changes in election law and processes that may have facilitated the fraud.

New information about the timing and origin of the Wuhan virus is coming to light, suggesting a weaponized virus and response possibly used to cripple an American president and prevent his reelection.

Hunter Biden’s laptop is in the news again, perhaps showing a massive pay-to-play scheme involving President Biden and his family, far worse than the alleged and nonsensical claims President Trump was impeached over.

Special Counsel John Durham may be releasing not only a report but also indictments, on Spygate conspirators in the near future, with prison time for some, according to Rep. Devin Nunes. As we’ve heard this song before, take it with a grain of salt, but some deep-staters may be worried.

Inflation is not something Jen Psaki can circle back on as a visit to the gas station or supermarket confirms that inflation is here and worsening.

Lastly, Trump rallies are a thing again, drawing magnitudes more than Biden or Harris could even dream of at any of their events. Trump is in campaign mode and is the GOP kingmaker ahead of both the midterms and next presidential election.

What better way to stop the Trump rallies and distract from unpleasant news than by returning to the COVID glory days of 2020, masking up and locking down. Wait until fall when seasonal influenza kicks in and the calls for masks will become deafening. Tweak the PCR test cycle threshold upward and viola, more cases, more masking and distancing, more mandates. Totalitarianism on demand.

Is LA’s new mask mandate in the interest of public health or shaping and directing the political narrative? Why would it be politically convenient to mask up and lock down again? Do the Democrats have plans that they would prefer to receive little news coverage? George Orwell had a good thought, “If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face -- forever.”

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.

Image: Rawpixels

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