Since the beginning of the covid pandemic, face masks have been mandated for extended periods in almost every nation in the world. Government health officials and media commentators claimed masks saved lives, but that masks only work to save lives when everyone is forced to wear them.
The established science was correct at the beginning of the pandemic. Flimsy paper surgical and cloth masks don’t stop airborne respiratory viruses. Only a personally well-fitted N95 respirator works. But because masks were viewed as a visual virtue signal of taking the pandemic seriously, under most government mask mandates, surgical and cloth masks covering the mouth and nose were acceptable.
The enforcement of mask mandates in Australia by the police, saw a mask-exempt woman choked on the street by an officer, a Western Sydney man hospitalized after suffering a seizure when officers arrested him for not wearing a mask, and in Brisbane, an elderly man had a heart attack after officers attempted to arrest him for not wearing a mask while exercising, even though he was medically exempt.
In 2022 government-enforced mask mandates have been slowly removed from most societal settings. The calls for wider mask mandates during waves are being resisted by governments who now prefer an educational approach. They now offer free N95 masks to anyone who wishes to use them. As the covid Omicron subvariant BA4 and 5 wave subsides, Australia’s National Cabinet lifted the mask mandate on planes, and the remaining mandates on public transport are hardly enforced.
The established science around masks is allowed to be said again, that cloth and surgical masks don’t stop respiratory viruses. There is also now enough data comparing similar jurisdictions where one has a mask mandate and the other doesn’t. Data shows hardly any difference between the course of their covid waves, proving mask mandates on a population level don’t work.
Fines handed out during lockdowns and mask mandates, disproportionately affected marginalized communities. Mask mandates in schools have also hindered children’s verbal and educational development. Those hard of hearing rely a lot on reading lips which masks covered. In adults, constant mask use could cause skin rashes, headaches and obviously breathing difficulties.
The return of established science has also debunked the collectivist mask narrative that masks only work if everyone wears them. A personally well-fitted N95 respirator protects the individual from catching a respiratory virus from others they encounter in an indoor area who are masked or unmasked. It is almost impossible to catch a respiratory virus outside, again demonstrating just how insane outdoor mask mandates were.
The mask zealots have also conceded that only personally well-fitted N95 respirator work, yet they still advocate for mask mandates where surgical and cloth masks would be acceptable. They still claim that any mask is better than no mask, their way of saying it’s the thought that counts, or the compliance that counts. Many mask zealots and covid zero advocates have admitted that the main aim of any mask mandate is to make the public take the virus seriously, not necessarily to stop the spread.
Even though covid vaccines, boosters, and anti-virals have been rolled out the virtue value of the face mask hasn’t diminished so it can still be worn by those to proclaim ‘they care about others’ and can scowl at those they see not wearing masks (even though an unmasked person could be fully vaccinated and boosted).
The fact that vaccines don’t stop the transmission of covid is also why mask zealots continue to promote them as a foolproof way to avoid contracting covid. This winter masks were also sold as a way to avoid catching the seasonal cold and flu as well. They claim our hospitals are in crisis because not enough people are wearing masks. The main driver of our hospital crisis and ambulance delays is because of deferred care and people picking up more unhealthy habits during lockdown.
As each day passes, life in Australia looks more like it was in 2019. Sports stadiums are packed and nightlife lively. But if you go to the shops you will still see many wearing cloth or surgical masks despite science proving them ineffective. One can only conclude that masks have become a safety blanket for them. They are more likely to get covid in a social or home setting when they are most likely unmasked. But they will blame the unmasked at the shops if they get covid for their own social interactions.
Masks are also being promoted as a non-pharmaceutical intervention, (NPI) as a way to control non-covid related health epidemics. When monkeypox began to spread in the West for the first time back in May, the covid alarmists became monkeypox alarmists declaring it must be airborne and masks would prevent transmission. But months on given that 99% of cases in the West are men who have sex with men, intimate skin-to-skin contact has been proven to be the main source of transmission.
With heightened surveillance and media reporting about new outbreaks of viruses or new novel viruses, it feels that the first reaction is always to suggest masks might stop any potential further transmission. This year we’ve seen the Marburg virus in Ghana, the so-called Tomato flu affecting children in India and the novel Langa henipavirus discovered in Eastern China during a multi-year surveillance study.
Although face masks have become symbols of virtue and compliance, the belief that they protect you from all manner of things is proving superstitious. What next? Will it claim that wearing a mask protects you from a mass shooting, or a nuclear explosion?
A sad legacy of the covid pandemic is that some will be wearing masks everywhere for the rest of their lives, believing that the mask alone will help them live a longer and healthier life.