Memo to all: WHO has ended the Pandemic. You are now free to take off your mask and leave the darn thing off. Unless, like so many here in the sunny Bay Area, you’re (a) going to commit a crime and don’t want your face showing, or (b) are among the “vaccinated and multi-boosted” who seem to cling to the mask as a talisman, perhaps the better not to worry what ill health will befall them next.

I know the rest of the country isn’t necessarily like this, but here we seem stuck in a twilight zone of willful masking, most notably among our large Asian population, but also very strikingly among the heavily indoctrinated teenage population. I see people struggling to breathe behind cloth or paper/plastic nosebags in stores, offices, in their cars, in the gym, and walking on the street. Will this latest news flash from WHO change that? I can only hope!

The talisman aspect can’t be denied. The sad fact is that the “vaccinated” and “boosted” are far more susceptible to COVID (and death, and so many other ills, small and large) than those of us who eschewed the jab.

Image by freepik.

Pressure to keep masking is surprising. I talked with a checkout clerk I have known for years at my favorite independent grocer. He said he’d had to get vaccinated to work, like so many others. I asked why he was wearing a mask. His answer shocked me. He said he needed his job, had a child to raise, and workers who take their masks off at that store don’t get shifts on the schedule. No mask, no work.

Personally, I avoided masks any time I could, even more so after getting a virulent stye that took six months and medical intervention to defeat. When I had to mask, I wore a work-around, made from extremely porous black mesh in a single thin layer. That was obvious only on close inspection, and I could breathe. I still hated the thing, for so many reasons (including coercion and stupidity when I knew they did nothing), but I had to go grocery shopping, etc., so I got coerced. The worst, of course, was being made to mask at the gym. I can’t tell you how many times I got “caught” with my mask down when it was mandated.

Besides impeded breathing, you simply can’t judge facial expressions when someone wears a mask. It’s supremely cruel to children, and there have been ample studies demonstrating that it impairs their cognitive skills. Even for adults, it’s isolating. It wasn’t until last month that California relaxed rules about wearing masks in medical facilities. At my physical therapist’s office, they let us patients know masks were no longer required. Yet every single person who works there keeps a mask on. Yeah, some are slipping it below their nose, but I still can’t see their faces. Leaving the parking lot, I stopped for a pedestrian I belatedly realized was my therapist. I’ve seen her twice weekly for three months, and this is the second round I’ve done with her in two years, yet I simply didn’t recognize her face, without the ubiquitous mask.

It’s the same in restaurants, where most of the staff are still masked. Why?

So much is wrong with masking, but the worst is wearing the same dirty rag for days. There’s a very sweet, old guy I talk to occasionally at the gym One day, I dared ask him why he wore a ragged paper mask hanging under his chin. He wasn’t wearing it on his face, mind you. When I told him that the mask wouldn’t stop a virus any more than pants stopped flatulence, he ripped the thing off and threw it in the trash. Good riddance!

This brings up the other reason people just ought to stop. Masks are not just useless; they are 100% not healthy. Some medical posts posit that “long covid” is actually respiratory fatigue from breathing through a mask and inhaling particles on the mask. Cloth or paper, they’re all bad.

Those blue paper ones are the worst, and some have dangerous graphene layers, which I’ve railed about in print here from the start. That stuff is as bad as asbestos when you breathe in the fibers. How much mesothelioma will we have down the road from blue masks? Class action lawsuits to come? What will lawsuits matter? It’s an unnecessary, painful, and awful death. I know, because I watched my asbestos salesman great-uncle succumb many years ago.

Finally, I will say that I’ve made it a rule (in most cases, and yeah, rules are there to break occasionally) not to engage with masked people. I act as if they don’t exist. That’s partly because any interaction would be stilted by their mask, and partly because I figure the odds are that they are either totally ignorant, mired in fear, or mindless lefties making yet another stupid holier-than-thou statement.

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