Will We Learn the Right Lesson in Our Recent Failed Social Experiment with Mask Mandates?
Modern progressives have been particularly susceptible to the seductions of masking propaganda over the past two years, as it was presented as scientific innovation overturning the ignorance of the past. They fancy themselves enlightened sophisticates who are uniquely able to grasp such supposedly novel ideas, you see.
A piece of cloth over mouth and nose, you say? Why, the mouth and nose are often the sources of respiratory viral spread. Ingenious! Why didn’t anyone in the twentieth century think of that? Thank goodness for Dr. Fauci and “the Science!”
It never occurs to them that the scientific consensus against public masking had been shaped and preserved for a hundred years by scientists and public health officials who also recognized that wearing a barrier over one’s mouth and nose might provide some marginal benefit in preventing the spread of a virus.
Take Dr. William T. Vaughan, for example, a physician who wrote in the American Journal of Hygiene:
One difficulty in the use of the face mask is the failure of cooperation on the part of the public. When, in pneumonia and influence wards, it has been nearly impossible to force the orderlies or even some of the physicians and nurses to wear their masks as prescribed, it is difficult to see how a general measure of this nature could be enforced in the community at large.
That quote is from 1921. He doesn’t discount that wearing a mask might provide some marginal benefit. Indeed, if human beings were as predictable as cogs in a machine, he seems to imply that there could be some benefit. The problem, as he correctly sees it, is that human beings are not predictable cogs in a machine.
To prove just how unchanged that consensus had been, consider the observations made by the Surgeon General of the Navy in 1919. He argued that there was no evidence to “justify compelling persons at large to wear masks during an epidemic.” “Masks of improper design,” he goes on, “which rest against the mouth and nose, become wet with saliva, soiled with the fingers, and are changed infrequently, may lead to infection rather than prevent it.” Each of those arguments may sound familiar to you, if you were listening to Dr. Anthony Fauci or the United States Surgeon General in the early days of the 2020 COVID crisis as evidence against public masking.
The reason this had been affirmed consensus for so long is simple, and it has nothing to do with the size of viral particles, or even whether a cloth mask might block them in some small measure. It was not a question of “the Science.” It was simply recognizing the limitations of social engineering in a free society comprised of free individuals.
Suddenly, in 2020, after having shut down churches, bars, small businesses, and schools, the freedom question became moot. A government that could tell you that you can’t sell a hamburger to your neighbor in a local restaurant you’ve owned for years certainly has the power to demand that you wear a rag over your face, progressives thought -- however marginal the benefit of that might be.
And, proving that everything is cyclical, even stupid ideas like public masking implemented by people drunk on their own seemingly limitless power, we are learning once again that you can’t control individuals to the extent that such impositions would work -- even in a global population as yoked as our world became in the wake of the COVID pandemic.
Modern technology captures the facts making this case more clearly today than was possible in the 1920s, we just seem to have fewer honest people in positions of power observing them. But the conclusions are the same.
Back in 1918, there were chroniclers observing that Stockton had compulsory masking and that Boston didn’t, for example. There was no discernible difference in influenza death rates, and if anything, Stockton fared worse. This result was continually observed and was continually affirmed by future observations. Hence, one hundred years of consensus on the matter of masks.
Today, after the world again descended into mask-madness in the wake of the COVID epidemic, we know beyond shadows of doubt that there’s not one single place on planet Earth that you can point to as evidence of the public benefit of masking or mask mandates.
Oh, the promoters of masking tried early on, pointing to Japan’s 98% adoption of masks. Then the virus ravaged Japan in the summer of 2021, and cases in Japan are crazily spiking right now.
Meanwhile, Nordic countries never adopted masking to any significant extent and fared similarly (and often far better) than their mask-crazy European neighbors. We’ve seen the same dynamics play out among neighboring states in the United States, and the observed data all suggest the same thing -- mask mandates do not work.
So, now we have mountains more evidence to prove what we already knew for a hundred years. Unfortunately, the lies about the benefits of masking made their way around the world thousands of times over the past two years, but it seems that the truth is finally getting its pants on.
And there’s no better evidence that we’re nearing the end of this madness than the Super Bowl in Los Angeles, where the Hollywood royalty and political elite dropped all pretenses of COVID fear, and dropped the masks and distancing nonsense for the world to see.
Yet, the very next day, Gavin Newsom’s cronies went on to insist that our children in California, who were never at any significant statistical risk of the virus, needed to continue wearing these useless and thoroughly disproven talismans on their faces in schools and to continue living within the fearful fantasy that the adults around them had abandoned.
Maybe that’s why students are protesting across California. It’s definitely why I left a detailed message to my children’s school superintendent on Monday. On Wednesday, my son and his friends, in sixth grade, left class to protest Newsom’s renewed mask mandates. This was prompted, perhaps, by our local high school making national news on Tuesday night for doing the same.
This all, in turn, prompted me to speak at our local school board meeting on Wednesday night. As luck would have it, I was the first to speak, relaying some of the information included in this article. Those in attendance cheered their support loudly when I concluded, and while I am quite certain there were several in that room that actually believe the evidence-free fantasy that public masking works, there was not one community representative arguing in favor of the continued masking of our children.
The next morning, it was announced that our school district was encouraging masks, but not requiring them. Everywhere, mask mandates are finally being lifted, usually slated for some arbitrary date in the future where masks will magically no longer be needed. This only serves to highlight the farce this whole masking craze has been.
But it has taken a heavy toll, to say the least. As just one example, the CDC quietly altered speech development guidance, suggesting that toddlers know 50 words by 30 months of age, signaling slower development than the previous guidance of that same level of development by 24 months of age. Masks undoubtedly slow our children’s development, and rather than admitting it, the CDC changed the standards to hide that fact.
Meanwhile, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky says that she wants us to “take a break” from masks so that we can be ready to “reach for them again when we need them.”
If that’s what we’ve learned from this, then we’ve learned nothing at all. Knowing all that we now know, seeing the blatant hypocrisy that what we’ve continually seen these past two years, and having relearned, at great cost, what we’d known for a hundred years before 2020, a serious country and a serious people would be firmly resolving to never submit to these tyrants, or their useless mask mandates, ever again.
Image: Pixabay / Pixabay License