The evidence shows that cloth and those blue paper masks don't work
When it comes to masks, I've reached my limit, not that it matters; I'll just have to set a new one. I realize there's not much I can do about my frustrations, except vent (such an ironic word!), given life in sunny California, but I wish there were.
Over the weekend, I went to the farmers' market, where I had to wear my mask on a sunny morning, fogging my glasses and making breathing as uncomfortable as ever. This, despite my constructing masks that are a thin single layer of light cotton jersey.
Friday, I was at the gym, again yearning to breathe free. Nothing says "loss of individual freedom" like running on the elliptical in a mask. There are signs from one end of the gym to the other, about every six feet on the wall, reminding us we must remain masked. That taking the thing off will result in loss of membership.
Since I just got my membership back, after a year-plus of frustrating and unreasonable closure, I've knuckled under. I know it's not the management's desire to do this to me; they just live in fear of a visit from the Environmental Health inspector. Or being called out by an irate, do-gooder, ignorant, paranoid-of-COVID fellow member. So, even though I'm the only person within 30 feet, given that I exercise mid-afternoon on weekdays, a time when our little gym is always mostly empty, pandemic or not (which IMO there no longer is), I follow the rules (when anyone's looking).
I decided to look up masking studies online yet again, to see if anyone had actually gathered the information that used to be scattered here and there from this and that study, and then analyzed it scientifically. Do masks do anything positive enough to make us wear them? That is the question at hand, after all. I already know on a personal, empirical level that they have negative effects on respiratory and mental health. My search yielded this, from last July:
The foregoing data show that masks serve more as instruments of obstruction of normal breathing, rather than as effective barriers to pathogens. Therefore, masks should not be used by the general public, either by adults or children, and their limitations as prophylaxis against pathogens should also be considered in medical settings.
I have also been pondering whether, with the recent spate of mass shootings, masks could be a direct cause. Masks make everyone socially isolated, and I am betting that people who are mentally less stable are losing touch with reality after a year-plus of shutdowns and masking. I think masking dehumanizes all of us, thwarting normal interaction, and makes it hard to discern how people are reacting, one to another. People on the edge of sanity have vivid imaginations, persecution complexes, tremendous guilt. Masking feeds that beast.
You'll see in the first study I linked that there's a problem with dyspnea, a fancy way of saying shortness of breath. I cringe whenever I see people running outside in masks, kids riding their bikes wearing masks, teens playing sports in masks.
I've talked about it before here (probably too many times), most recently in an article about graphene in the blue masks. That substance (you can't tell if it's there or not because these masks all look alike) causes the same deadly lung problems as asbestos. When I see toddlers and little children in those masks, I am tempted to yell at their parents, although, so far, I've restrained myself.
Remember a year ago, when masks were a new thing, and discussion ensued about how easily they become bacteria-laden? I stood in the ever-long pastry line for ten minutes at the farmer's market and observed passersby. I'd watch people as far as I could see them, noting how many times they touched their mask. Turns out, in the space of half a block, the only people who didn't touch their masks had a basket in one hand and a child's hand in the other. Everyone else, at least once. The masked children, a minimum of five touches with their grubby little hands.
I've heard and read that lots of people want to make May 1 "emaskipation" day. I don't know how we can achieve that here in California, given the fear and unreasonable rules. Add the repression of information in the MSM and online platforms, and it's even harder to get people acting together. I guess that's the point of repression. If they can do it for such a thing as masking, think how easy it is to achieve the same result with other dicta from on high.
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