Time to unmask America

The unmasking of General Flynn and others in the Obamagate scandal was egregiously wrong.  However, the unmasking of America in the context of COVID-19 is necessary and right if we are ever to regain a semblance of American normalcy and strength.

There are times when a medical face mask is necessary, for instance when medical workers are dealing with infectious patients.  Masks are probably a good idea for family and friends to wear when visiting shut-in, vulnerable seniors.  But for most people, wearing a face mask now, after several months of COVID-19 experience, is not likely to be doing much medical good, but rather is likely doing harm in many ways.

Masks are of questionable use.  The medical "experts" initially said that there was no need for face mask–wearing for most people going about their normal business.  In April, the experts changed their tune, including the U.S. surgeon general and the CDC.  The so-called experts have gotten virtually everything wrong about this pandemic, including the modeling; the mortality rate; and insisting we stay indoors, thus depriving us of immune system–strengthening vitamin D and other outdoor benefits.  Now the World Health Organization says masks are not a good idea for the general population to wear and should be reserved for those taking care of coronavirus patients.  So which is it?  How can we, and why should we, rely on recommendations as inconsistent as these?  There is also evidence that masks are often incorrectly worn, thus causing more harm than good, and that masks can cause increased levels of carbon dioxide in wearers, leading to deleterious health effects.

Masks are dehumanizing.  We relate to other human beings through our highly expressive faces.  We get great joy out of seeing warm smiles.  We can read others' moods and intentions through their facial expressions.  Mask-wearing clearly prevent all this.  Face masks subconsciously tell us to relate to others as toxic virus receptacles, not fellow humans.

Masks are a control symbol.  There appears to be little doubt that the arbitrary dictates mandating mask-wearing, almost always in blue states, are part of the lockdown power trip.  The mask is a ubiquitous physical reminder that citizens, treated more like subjects, are under the jackboot of these area leaders — without any properly passed laws by the people's representatives.  These mandates also take away the agency that full-fledged adults should have to make their own responsible decisions.

Masks foster crime.  Robbers and burglars have been wearing face coverings for hundreds of years to avoid recognition and identification.  Not surprisingly, there has been a clear uptick in mask crimes since the COVID-19 lockdowns and mask encouragement.  Also, during the recent rioting that began in Minneapolis and spread to other mostly Democratic Party–run cities, mask-wearing by thugs and anarchists has conveniently made it much more difficult to identify and prosecute the mayhem perpetrators.  (Granted, there does not appear to be much political will in these Democrat-run cities to prosecute these criminals anyway.)

Masks suggest fear.  For a great nation such as the U.S. that fought and won world wars and built the most dynamic society in human history to be walking around wearing "face diapers" is a sad, fearful look.  No wonder President Trump refuses to wear a face mask in public.  Mask-wearing telegraphs fear and weakness.  It is disturbing and disappointing to see 20- and 30-year-olds, cohorts extremely unlikely to be harmed by COVID-19, wearing masks.  This mask-wearing is often outdoors, sometimes while exercising and even while driving alone!  How can a generation exhibiting this kind of knee-jerk obedience be counted on to step up when real courage is called for?  To quote Edward R. Murrow, "[w]e will not walk in fear, one of another.  We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men[.]"  We are at risk of losing this legacy, even if it seems a small thing to wear a face mask out of "an abundance of caution."

Masks could become the new normal.  The longer Americans wear face masks, the more difficult this habit will be to break.  After all, there are germs everywhere.  Colds and flus come along every year.  There is no shortage of politicians and media scolds looking to constantly ratchet up fear in the population.  The sooner we break this timid habit, the better.

Jeffrey Wright, is a Minneapolis-based investment banker, entrepreneur, and concerned citizen.

The unmasking of General Flynn and others in the Obamagate scandal was egregiously wrong.  However, the unmasking of America in the context of COVID-19 is necessary and right if we are ever to regain a semblance of American normalcy and strength.

There are times when a medical face mask is necessary, for instance when medical workers are dealing with infectious patients.  Masks are probably a good idea for family and friends to wear when visiting shut-in, vulnerable seniors.  But for most people, wearing a face mask now, after several months of COVID-19 experience, is not likely to be doing much medical good, but rather is likely doing harm in many ways.

Masks are of questionable use.  The medical "experts" initially said that there was no need for face mask–wearing for most people going about their normal business.  In April, the experts changed their tune, including the U.S. surgeon general and the CDC.  The so-called experts have gotten virtually everything wrong about this pandemic, including the modeling; the mortality rate; and insisting we stay indoors, thus depriving us of immune system–strengthening vitamin D and other outdoor benefits.  Now the World Health Organization says masks are not a good idea for the general population to wear and should be reserved for those taking care of coronavirus patients.  So which is it?  How can we, and why should we, rely on recommendations as inconsistent as these?  There is also evidence that masks are often incorrectly worn, thus causing more harm than good, and that masks can cause increased levels of carbon dioxide in wearers, leading to deleterious health effects.

Masks are dehumanizing.  We relate to other human beings through our highly expressive faces.  We get great joy out of seeing warm smiles.  We can read others' moods and intentions through their facial expressions.  Mask-wearing clearly prevent all this.  Face masks subconsciously tell us to relate to others as toxic virus receptacles, not fellow humans.

Masks are a control symbol.  There appears to be little doubt that the arbitrary dictates mandating mask-wearing, almost always in blue states, are part of the lockdown power trip.  The mask is a ubiquitous physical reminder that citizens, treated more like subjects, are under the jackboot of these area leaders — without any properly passed laws by the people's representatives.  These mandates also take away the agency that full-fledged adults should have to make their own responsible decisions.

Masks foster crime.  Robbers and burglars have been wearing face coverings for hundreds of years to avoid recognition and identification.  Not surprisingly, there has been a clear uptick in mask crimes since the COVID-19 lockdowns and mask encouragement.  Also, during the recent rioting that began in Minneapolis and spread to other mostly Democratic Party–run cities, mask-wearing by thugs and anarchists has conveniently made it much more difficult to identify and prosecute the mayhem perpetrators.  (Granted, there does not appear to be much political will in these Democrat-run cities to prosecute these criminals anyway.)

Masks suggest fear.  For a great nation such as the U.S. that fought and won world wars and built the most dynamic society in human history to be walking around wearing "face diapers" is a sad, fearful look.  No wonder President Trump refuses to wear a face mask in public.  Mask-wearing telegraphs fear and weakness.  It is disturbing and disappointing to see 20- and 30-year-olds, cohorts extremely unlikely to be harmed by COVID-19, wearing masks.  This mask-wearing is often outdoors, sometimes while exercising and even while driving alone!  How can a generation exhibiting this kind of knee-jerk obedience be counted on to step up when real courage is called for?  To quote Edward R. Murrow, "[w]e will not walk in fear, one of another.  We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men[.]"  We are at risk of losing this legacy, even if it seems a small thing to wear a face mask out of "an abundance of caution."

Masks could become the new normal.  The longer Americans wear face masks, the more difficult this habit will be to break.  After all, there are germs everywhere.  Colds and flus come along every year.  There is no shortage of politicians and media scolds looking to constantly ratchet up fear in the population.  The sooner we break this timid habit, the better.

Jeffrey Wright, is a Minneapolis-based investment banker, entrepreneur, and concerned citizen.