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Will Democrats mask America forever? The Covid political posturing is reminiscent of reactions to 9/11

What inflation? (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)

What inflation? (JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images)


May 17, 2021   7 mins

After a full year of staying home, social distancing, and keeping our faces covered, last week’s announcement from the CDC was the one many of us had been waiting for: fully vaccinated Americans were finally cleared to get back to normal. They “no longer need to wear a mask or physically distance in any setting,” the new guidelines said, “except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations.”

And yet, according to Twitter, this was anything but good news.

“Sooo…how does one tell the difference between a fully vaccinated person and a not vaccinated person?” asked one viral tweet, while elsewhere, a chorus of “Too soon!” went up. Some people bemoaned that the guidance seemed not to consider the plight of parents with unvaccinated children, including NBC’s Kasie Hunt, who wrote, “[What] do I do with my child who’s too little for a mask now that these rules have changed and I have no idea if the people in, say, the grocery store are telling the truth about their vaccination status?”

Still another made an ominous, baffling prediction: “We will know who the real vaccinated people are – they will be wearing their masks. The unmasked will be the unvaccinated.”

Around the world, masks have taken on a symbolic meaning distinct from their function as a means of preventing the spread of disease — and also, crucially, a political one. But nowhere has the issue become more detached from reality, more partisan, than in America, where public health advice that should be celebrated — as a sign that the virus is finally on the way out — has been met with outrage.

Americans’ complicated relationship with masks dates to the beginning of the pandemic, when we were scolded that masks didn’t work and we shouldn’t buy them. Then came a twist: they did work, and we should! Then, it wasn’t just should, but must: mandates requiring the use of masks began to pop up across the States.

My own state, Connecticut, imposed one of the strictest of these: not only were masks required at all times, including outdoors, but residents would be fined if caught violating the order. (Failing to mask would cost you $100, while more serious offences, like attending or organising a gathering in excess of 25 people, could run as much as $500.)

Masks, we were told, were about protecting others from getting sick; if you wore one, you were engaged not only in good medical hygiene, but in a brand of performative compassion that has long been associated with the American political Left, and particularly with the anti-Trump resistance. Depending on where you live in the the States, walking down the street without a mask could earn you angry glares, even verbal scoldings; joggers in cities like New York and Washington D.C. may be accused of literally killing people if they don’t mask up.

Diligence seems to vary across regional, and also class, lines; virtually nobody in my own modest neighborhood wears a mask outdoors, but in swankier parts of town, virtually nobody goes out without one. (When I went hiking in a park adjacent to one of the wealthiest enclaves in Connecticut, a trio of well-dressed women carrying telescoping hiking poles made an elaborate show of yanking up their masks and tsk-tsking when I passed at a distance on an adjacent trail.) Meanwhile, friends who had moved to Florida texted the rest of us up North with bewilderment: by comparison, people in more relaxed (and redder) states were going about their business as though they’d forgotten the virus even existed.

This ramped-up relationship between compassion and progressivism can be traced to 2017, when debates were raging over Trump’s desire to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Caring about other people — while the orange narcissist in the Oval Office cared only for himself — became a crucial element of the way the progressive Left saw itself. There’s a reason why compassion played such a crucial role in Joe Biden’s presidential campaign: it validated the idea of him as the Anti-Trump. As Barack Obama said in a speech supporting his former VP: “Trump cares about feeding his ego. Joe cares about keeping you and your family safe.”

When the pandemic hit, it was this sentiment that fuelled the widely agreed-upon notion that whatever Donald Trump wanted to do, the right, morally correct, caring thing was to do the opposite. If Trump wanted to close the borders to travellers from China, we wanted to keep them open (and suggest that closing them was racist.) If Trump wanted to reopen schools, we wanted to keep them closed (and, yes, suggest that reopening them was racist.) A with-us-or-against-us mentality emerged, making dissent dangerous; as one parent confided to a reporter, “If we say anything about wanting our kids to return to school, we’re painted as Trumpers.”

And if Trump disliked pandemic safety measures like lockdowns, distancing, and, most especially, masks? Then we were all for these things. The more Trump or his supporters railed against them, the more we dug in. Masks were good. Masks were great. And most importantly, masks were political: a symbol of tribal affiliation that was literally all over your face. (Or, if you were on the other side, removed from it conspicuously and dramatically at the earliest possible moment.)

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In a country where many people define themselves first and foremost according to political identity, putting “THIS HOUSE BELIEVES” signs in their yards or a decal of Donald Trump’s head in their window, living in perpetual terror of their children marrying someone from the other team, what happened next was probably inevitable. Even as the U.S. began to roll out its vaccination program, and millions of Americans lined up to get their shots, those who had adopted the mask as a symbol of political and moral purity began expressing their intention to keep wearing them even after being vaccinated.

Even if the virus was no longer a threat, the argument went, the mask served other, equally important functions — and people began finding reasons to celebrate them. Wearing a mask even after you’d been vaccinated meant you were compassionate (“Other people don’t know that I’m vaccinated, and I care more about their emotional comfort than about having my face free!”), and health-conscious (“Masks prevent colds and flu, too!”) and even a good feminist (“Masking relieves me of the burden of the male gaze!”) And of course, it also meant you weren’t one of those people. The anti-maskers. The Trump voters. The bad ones, who believe bad things; the ones whose fault it was that we were even in this mess in the first place.

New York Times columnist Farhad Manjoo pointed out the conundrum: “What if you are a good lib and don’t wear a mask outside because the media says it’s ok now because science,” he wrote, “but other libs despite science still associate masklessness with Trumpy defiance, is there a button you can wear, maybe a blue check or something, to show you’re good?”

When a writer at the libertarian magazine Reason expressed that continuing to mask outdoors even post-vaccination was nothing but theatre, author Mark Harris snapped, “If more people had engaged in performative acts of safety and fewer in performative acts of ‘freedom,’ maybe we wouldn’t be discussing exactly how the FOURTH WAVE is going.” And when Emily Oster, a Brown University economist who dispenses popular science-based advice on adjusting to pandemic life, suggested that the CDC adjust its messaging to emphasise that vaccination was our path back to normalcy, she was swiftly and immediately dogpiled: “‘Return to normal’ is a world that is still incredibly unsafe for so many people,” one outraged commenter wrote. “Why don’t you care about them? What would it take for you to find value in their lives?”

But it’s not just that many liberals are still wearing masks, even outdoors, purely to signal to random passersby that they aren’t Republicans. At the same time, to admit out loud that you don’t enjoy masking — or even that you look forward to removing your mask after you’ve been vaccinated — has become a bizarre third rail: how can you even talk about what’s comfortable when 500,000 people are dead?!

In some ways, the political posturing surrounding masks is reminiscent of the aftermath of the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington, when questioning the necessity of, say, removing one’s shoes at the airport was seen as something akin to treason. The fact that a person was vastly more likely to die in a car crash on the way to the airport than in a terrorist in-flight shoe bombing was compelling to no one; the fear of another attack (or in the case of Covid-19, another infectious wave) had dialled our risk tolerance down so close to zero that no precaution, no matter how disruptive to our daily lives, could be considered too much to ask. After all, what’s a little inconvenience in the name of fighting terrorism? Is your comfort more important than human lives?! Why do you hate America?

All of this might be dismissed as nothing more than the latest, dumbest skirmish in the culture wars, except that this one, unfortunately, is having wider repercussions on the landscape of public health. At this point, America’s best hope of returning to living, working, and socialising as we did before is to vaccinate as many people as possible — and to persuade hesitant parties that it’s in their best interest to get jabbed, because once they do, they can get back to normal.

But when vaccinated people won’t remove their masks, they send the opposite message: that getting the vaccine changes nothing. Combined with visuals like this one — in which Kamala Harris wears a mask on a Zoom call, in a socially-distanced room where everyone present has been vaccinated — the impression being created by our political leadership and our media influencers is that the vaccines don’t work.

For a coalition that prides itself on caring about other people, the Left-wing pro-mask-even-after-vaccination folks are remarkably unconcerned that they might be discouraging their fellow Americans from participating in our most important life-saving public health measure. Instead, public responses to the vaccine-hesitant (including a video public service announcement that aired on the Jimmy Kimmel show) have been mainly centred on mocking them, an approach that does plenty to stoke existing tensions but very little to move us toward herd immunity.

Meanwhile, public health officials have struggled to explain to reluctant people why they ought to get jabbed, when doing so wouldn’t make any discernible improvement in their lives, and the vaccination rate in the States has been slowing lately, as supply begins to outstrip demand. The new CDC guidance may change this, assuming that America’s governors respond by lifting the mask mandates — but the update is already being met with hesitancy in places where many people have made overcautiousness into not just a virtue, but a lifestyle. Indeed, it is possible to envision a future in which normality is lost to us forever because the people who care were more invested in performing compassion for an audience of their tribesmen than practicing the real thing.

The real thing, though, is our only way forward.


Kat Rosenfield is an UnHerd columnist and co-host of the Feminine Chaos podcast. Her latest novel is You Must Remember This.

katrosenfield

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Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

Democrats don’t have the power to mask America. Not even for a day, much less forever. Anyone who wants to wear a mask permanently may certainly do so, they are most welcome to wear one forever. Wearing a mask now will not bring back anyone who died of covid. People who choose to stop masking could not care less if democrats cling to them forever.
I haven’t worn one in many weeks because I’ve been vaccinated for a long time and everything is open where I live and businesses want customers to return.
The CDC has no idea what it’s doing. They have become the gang who couldn’t shoot straight. And unfortunately, they have lost the confidence of the public and many state leaders as well. I applaud state Governors who recognized that the CDC doesn’t know what it’s doing and subsequently decided to try to save their economies.
As to getting the vaccine, let’s not forget that Democrats disparaged the vaccines during their development, whining that somehow vaccines were being rushed for political benefit and might not be safe. Kamala Harris said she would not get a vaccine developed during the Trump admin. Seems like she didn’t mean that as she was among the first in line.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

I refused the mask from day1. I never wore one but 4 times, to see a doctor, to enter a Walmart when a security woman blocked me (So I found a discarded one in the parking lot to use) and twice in banks when security guards stopped me (and gave me masks). No one else has tried to stop me entering any buildings although 99% mask up, because I guess I carry a bit of a confrontational demeanor and am big and scruffy. If I lived in London I would have racked up thousands in fines, but I am NOT wearing their star.

But I am here to say:
TODAY MAKES DAY 440 THAT UNHERD REFUSES TO HAVE AN ARTICLE ON THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF LOCK-DOWN AND MMT!

Unherd refuses to tell the REAL STORY. The Lockdown was not for health, but to destroy the West, and the economic war against its self is the biggest part – yet Unherd remains totally silent! WHY?

Su Mac
Su Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

UnHerd does not do economics/global finance…they only do the bit leading up to it and the visible results that happen afterwards.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

I see that – But covering covid and not talking money is like reviewing restaurants and not taking of the food, just the masks, and the arrangement of the tables and chairs and decor.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

New article from France.
In France, NPIs:
500,000 years of life saved
1,200,000 years of life lost (YLL)
The cure was worse than the disease.
http://www.generationlibre.eu/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/GL-Note-Analyse-couts-benefices-des-confinements-Covid-19-web-QR-Code.pdf

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

! Article in French. But I am sure this is true everywhere. The bigger crime though, is loss of a year of education and socalizing for the young. Poor students never recover from missed school, this is why it is against the law to remove students from school to holiday. Then the loss of starter jobs! Young people leaving school without a job to go to are set back for life if they just sit around and have no work – this is as destructive to young as missing school.

Then the MMT, and the excuse to devide the polulations into race (as in USA Biden is doing by making trillions of ‘free’ money and ‘stimulus’ directed by race.) AND the economic chaos resulting of Trillions of M2 being dumped on the economies at once, the fact the ships arrive from the east full and depart empty – it is Crazy! AND that people have been taught that other people are dirty. That is the reason for the masks.

Andrew McDonald
Andrew McDonald
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

But note that in the very next sentence after the figures are quoted we are firmly told not to treat them as definitive. Much too soon to do this sort of life-maths, alas – but obviously not too soon to try to get a dodgy anchor-point set up!

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
2 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

Considering the average age of covid victims the years of life saved seems incredibly optimistic.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

I have worn masks to fly and for the first few months but the mandate was dropped many months ago and we have been freed from masking. I don’t mind others wearing them for any reason they choose. It’s a freedom thing in my view. I’ve not been challenged either and wouldn’t care if I was to be honest. I wouldn’t pay any fines either and they are being dropped in many places in the US anywhere. Florida for example has cancelled all the over the top stuff.
I agree with you on the lockdowns, they were a very bad mistake. When it was clear they didn’t work, they should have been rescinded. I was very fortunate to be in a place where that was recognized early on.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

“I agree with you on the lockdowns, they were a very bad mistake.”

I doubt it was a mistake. I believe it was ‘Never let a good crisis go to waste’.

Jonathan Weil
Jonathan Weil
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

FWIW I seriously doubt you would have suffered any consequences at all here in London. Plenty of people have remained unmasked throughout. No biggie.

Starry Gordon
Starry Gordon
3 years ago

The article above notes that everything that happens in the U.S. is politicized, or rather, tribalized, but the author forgot to mention that those who did wear masks were often harassed or derided by the rather substantial anti-mask party. It’s too bad the article was written as a piece of cultural propaganda; the whole business is rather interesting and could use some study. For instance, living in New York City, I get around a lot on a bicycle, which, looked at practically, is the cheapest and fastest means of transportation for those who have the energy and can endure the terror of zombie drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians. This immediately places me in the ‘Left’ or ‘hippie’ or virtue-signaling class according to those who don’t know anything about the actual demographics of cyclists. I suppose I could make people’s heads explode by telling them I was cycling to a Fundamentalist church or a Republican Party rally.
I’d like to note one very favorable thing about masks for my fellow paranoids of both the Left and the Right: they interfere with face-recognition surveillance.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

The areas that are keenest on mask wearing-and is one enough why not two, why not three, should wear them with pride. You have just succeeded in ending over 200 years of freedom for your country, because as the article says you didn’t like Trump.Just as the people who live where Mr Floyd died are now complaining that the police will not attend when they phone , yet have voted in people whose agenda was to defund the police.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Starry Gordon

“those who did wear masks were often harassed or derided by the rather substantial anti-mask party.”
harrassed? No. Derided? Yes, made fun of a bit, I’d agree with that. Especially with multiple masking and screaming at non masked people outside.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

It doesn’t seem like that long ago that the UK and elsewhere were obsessing over the rights and wrongs of women wearing hijabs and their kind.

Quite rightly, in my opinion, their wearing was considered by many to be not exactly conducive to social harmony and not really befitting of an open, modern, sophisticated, enlightened society perpetually striving for sexual equality.

Roll on covid and it seems that this legally and/or peer enforced facecovering is now the only responsible thing to do with, apparently for some, no end in sight.

If that’s going to be the case ‘going forward’ then stop the world please, I want to get off.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Yes, of course. These practices are aimed at controlling women and safeguarding their chastity. Men don’t want to have to worry about STDs or being cuckolded. In that sense, they’re motivated by health considerations. They suppress the rights and freedoms of women for the benefit of men.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

yes, they are related in psychological terms. Each is a means of subjugation, of the individual bowing to some authority who says “do this” for no viable reason.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

How do you know it’s “temporary” and what does that even mean? You’re the same guy who’s fine with masks being “normalized” forever. That is the opposite of temporary.
We are meant to be living in one society, where adults agree make decisions for the good of us all. What you describe is either a cult or an authoritarian state, neither of which applies to us.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Su Mac
Su Mac
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

We have never done it before and I sure as hell don’t want to do it now. And especially not ongoing into the future thank you very much. I want to go back to 18 months when I could crowd at the bar, accidentally drink from the wrong glass, watch peoples lips move as they talk and shake hands with strangers. If you want to live in that kind of society then either move countries or do as you please but stop with the moral blackmail on everyone else.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Su Mac

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

We are meant to be living in one society, where adults agree make decisions for the good of us all.”

If that were the case those who are predators on the innocent citizens would be locked up forever for 2 reasons: They violate that ‘good for all’, and they are a clear and present danger. But no, they are allowed 100 crime rap sheets and given the freedom to brutally victimize those weaker than themselves. I find KSA has a great many things I do not like, but how it treats criminals has its positives.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Because masks do nothing, and people without symptoms don’t spread coronavirus. Far better to encourage sick people to stay at home. They’re the ones spreading the disease. That said, it’s mostly been a nosocomial disease anyway.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Given all the OTT restrictions and huge spending we did very little to specifically stop infectious individuals – and very little to protect the really vulnerable.

2 weeks salary and hotels either for the positive case or the other people in their household would have been sensible. Not ‘up to ÂŁ13’ for the low paid and tell the rest of the household to avoid them. And these could have been legally enforced.
Btw I think there’s some record of asymptomatic transmission, but it’s apparrently 20 fold lower in even domestic settings.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

“Surely everyone knows….”. No, everyone’s been told, based on a few stories from China.

A scientific meta analysis shows an asymptomatic attack rate of 0.7%, and a 20% attack rate for those with symptoms of Covid within households. Ie, asymptomatic spread is statistically irrelevant.

The things Chris Whitty and co. don’t tell you, eh?

Jim McNeillie
Jim McNeillie
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

And, of course, the people most likely to go out while unwell are the ones who have no other option (e.g., can’t afford to take an unpaid sick day, can’t afford to order in food, solitary elderly or disabled).
Our “public health” policies made victims of these ones, unfortunately.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

However ,some will say this is ”Wacist” but Asians in Blackburn,Bolton,Darwen etc..haven’t been innoculated ..hence the Spike …Why dont imams say there is Nothing suspect or Animal beef in Astra Z ,or Pfizer Jabs?..

William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Grow up mate

Mark Preston
Mark Preston
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

We are meant to be living in one society, where adults agree make decisions for the good of us all.” – if only.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Mark Preston

Not even the Politicians who rule our lives do that!

Sheryl Rhodes
Sheryl Rhodes
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Honest question for those who usually find themselves in the emphatic pro-mask-wearing camp: I mask up where required. I do not discourage anyone else from wearing them. Is it also necessary, in your opinion, that a good citizen pretend that they LIKE wearing a mask? IOW, as long as it doesn’t become a constant whine, is it wrong to note downsides?
I absolutely look forward to not having to wear one at all, because it is unpleasant at best and actively interferes with strenuous activity at worst. When I recently remarked that I get out of breath more easily when I exercise and wear a mask, an online scold jumped down my throat and said that only people with a serious health problem would find that masks make any difference in their breathing and that I need to see a doctor about that. It was obvious that in his mind, it’s just plain wrong to say that wearing a mask has downsides, even when I agree that they are still necessary.
Imagine being back in the WWII era. Everyday people recognized the serious nature of the war effort and endured rationing among many other sacrifices. Was it also verboten to remark that they look forward to being able to cast aside their rationing coupons?

eleanorhazleton
eleanorhazleton
3 years ago
Reply to  Sheryl Rhodes

At best masks are useless, at worst they are a health hazard

Tom Fusco
Tom Fusco
3 years ago

Masks greatly reduce the likelihood of the wearer spreading whatever he may be carrying. If they were useless, they would not be worn in settings such as operating rooms where this is a concern. How would you feel if they rolled you in for surgery and nobody was wearing a mask?

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Here’s news for you, James: masks don’t work against viruses!! They can also be unhygienic and a source of respiratory infections. They are just symbolic, a stage prop. Check the science. Another bit of news: there is no reliable study to confirm asymptomatic transmission. People who are well and without symptoms don’t have sufficient viral load to spread the disease. Another fact: Sars Covid 2 is only dangerous for a tiny minority of people. The average age of death from Covid is 82, including those already suffering from other serious health issues. The average age of death from all causes is 81.

I know, it’s hard to face the reality that you’ve been duped.

Last edited 3 years ago by Hilary LW
Tom Fusco
Tom Fusco
3 years ago
Reply to  Hilary LW

But masks work against droplets carrying viruses. That’s why surgeons wear them.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Fusco

Surgeons wear them to stop splash-back and to prevent bacterial contamination of wounds, although they may help to stop larger virus-containing droplets, if used correctly. The biggest difference however, between a surgeon and member of the public wearing masks, is that the former knows how to use one, handle it and dispose of it correctly, rather than slinging it around their chin, fiddling with it constantly and re-using it multiple times, often after it has developed mould growth, which has its own rather serious risks.

Karl Schuldes
Karl Schuldes
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Yours is the most intellectually lame argument I’ve seen in some time.

kathleen carr
kathleen carr
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

If only you were right , but I fear its preparing us for the new normal .If we are in the middle of a pandemic why is this government so keen on green schemes ( never discussed in 2019), putting through expensive plans & continuing with others ( HS2) that have nothing to do with the immediate problem.Surely not taking advantage of an emergency situation?

Hilary LW
Hilary LW
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

And masks and hijab/niqab have another shared function: virtue signalling, and badge wearing. They identify one as a member of a specific group of “good” people, to separate oneself from the “bad”, the unbeliever, and the impure. For most Muslim women I know, the head covering/face covering is an important identity signal, as well as a “protection” from male harassment (especially from Muslim men, many of whom are inclined to regard non-Muslim women as fair game).

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

So women may need to have their faces covered in case they spread infectious diseases, but men don’t? Men are too important for germs, I guess.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

Masks were introduced as a comfort blanket for people (this is on Hansard record), they don’t want to let them go. As with many of the NPIs they’re of little or even negative value in stopping the spread of Covid. They reduce people’s quality of life, for no provable benefit. Unlike for example the harsh but understandble restrictions on care homes.

Wearing a mask outside and then going into enclosed restaurants where masks won’t be worn is possibly the funniest and most idiotic charade of this whole thing. Being in enclosed spaces with a symptomatic person for a long period remains the overwhelming ‘best’ way to catch it,. The idiotic hands & face doctrine in the UK is nearly criminally wrong.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Where do you see an effect on spread? We have worn them all winter and it seems to have made little difference.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

What you think doesn’t constitute evidence.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

If I could make a hysterical laughing face I would. You are getting your knickers in a knot James.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Really? Where’s the evidence for it becoming clear masks had any effect on spread? There is none.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

The experiment has been done in numerous US states. There’s no correlation between NPIs like masks and lower Covid related deaths.

Analysis of actual outcomes matter far more than your logical fallacies like ‘appeal to authority’.

It’s obviously sad that they didn’t work, I do think they were worth trying, but lets not pretend they’re particularly useful. Limited contacts and now vaccines are the only proven solution.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The obvious flies in the face of beliefs. Evidence shows that beliefs (the measure ought to work) are wrong. The variables for transmission and infection are difficult to measure.

Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Let’s not forget that the “health professionals” were saying only a year ago that wearing mask was harmful, and were even demanding the prosecution of anyone advertising them for sale to the public.
We are expected to trust without question the pronouncements of “experts” who have a track record of being wrong more often that they are right.

Johnny Sutherland
Johnny Sutherland
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Interesting – can you link to the proof please.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

“… later it became clear by encouraging everyone to wear them there was an effect on spread.”
I have seen no evidence presented for that, although I have heard it repeatedly stated, but those two things are not the same.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Indeed. They’re not fools. Fools court a criminal record when they can easily avoid one.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Unlike you I do not wear a seat belt when sitting at my desk.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Now that’s funny!!!

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Being in enclosed spaces with a symptomatic person for a long period remains the overwhelming ‘best’ way to catch it
Where I am, there’s a long PDF for schools by UNESCO and the local Ministry of Education about COVID precautions, with pages and pages about disinfecting, sterilising, cleaning and hand-washing, and buried in the middle, a paragraph about ventilation. And the local press is full of pictures of people in full head-to-toe semi-improvised PPE spraying streets with whatever.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Certainly in the UK the government messenging has been awful. The hands, face, space adverts are back to front. It should always have been fresh air, space repeat. Basically minimal indoor contact with people from outside your household. Although luckily with primary and junior schools they’re very low sources of transmission.

So the UK closed schools and continued to allow/encourage OAPs to go out shopping – as long as they wore a mask.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The WHO, for whatever reasons, has been extremely slow to get on board with the idea. I wondered in the early days, well over a year ago, where this thing about droplets not aerosols was coming from, thinking I’d missed something. It appears it effectively came from nowhere, other than some fairly unsubstantiated assumptions about ‘flu. Be that as it may, there was increasing evidence from say a year ago that aerosols were heavily involved. You’d think the WHO would have taken the idea seriously, even if it wasn’t ‘proven’ – or would you?

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Who can honestly trust the WHO?

Neil Wilson
Neil Wilson
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

It’s apparently a decades old mistake and medical groupthink.
https://www.wired.com/story/the-teeny-tiny-scientific-screwup-that-helped-covid-kill/

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

Groupthink, non-think, or plain pig-headed bureaucratic inertia? This may sound arrogant, but it took me a couple of hours on Google, last March or April I think, to figure out there seemed to be no reliable basis for this droplets-not-aerosols thing. True, I didn’t get anywhere remotely near discovering the origins of the idea, but surely even the most moronic WHO ‘scientist’ could have done the same as me, and realised that if there was no evidence for it, we shouldn’t have based a year of advice and policy on it.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Neil Wilson

Great read thanks

Fred Dibnah
Fred Dibnah
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

My wife has a book from 1906 on school design. What does it say to do if tuberculosis breaks out, Remove the windows.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Fred Dibnah

I looked into this when somebody I know caught TB and was in hospital – stuck in a ward with other people with respitory illnesses, hardly any natural light and extremely stuffy. Basically a recipe for passing on these viruses.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I read somewhere how many older hospitals were originally designed and built with ample ventilation, but over the years re-designed so as to conserve energy, meaning windows no longer open and so on..

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
William Harvey
William Harvey
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

The UK should simply drop the hands and face nonsense and just say something like..enclosed spaces with other people is dangerous.

Its an almost entirely airborne disease and incredibly infectious ..but only dangerous to the very old, sick, overweight or very very unlucky.

Infected Humans breathe it out and in enclosed spaces it drifts in the air and onto/ into other humans.

The “gain of function” experiment gone wrong in the bat virus lab in Wuhan created it that way.
By accident and not intent ….as far as we know.

As for masks..they are about as much use as a chain link fence to stop a mosquito. If they worked then how come so many medical staff in full PPE catch it.??

But that is all way too scary for most people to deal with so it is called “conspiracy theory” or denier speak… like its all some kind of new religion.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  William Harvey

Yeap, they should have continually pointed out who the most vulnerable really were. Instead we had healthy 22 year olds living on deliveries and too terrified to go out, whilst some 80 years went shopping everyday. When the vaccinations started it was clear who was thought most at risk.

I think masks can in theory stop the larger droplet based transmission, but it’s equally clear that for whatever reason they’ve had no discernible postive over all effect. Certainly in the US they appear to be linked to the virtue signalling brigade, whilst the ‘naughty’ states like Florida did things like protecting care homes and prioritising older people for vaccination effectively.

The GOF lab escape theory is interesting, Nicholas Wade’s piece is good. Of course as he himself says it might be naturally occuring, but there’s an awful lot of coincidences around the lab.

Hardee Hodges
Hardee Hodges
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

virtue signalling – The entire article.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

You are partly right. Research has shown no efficacy as a barrier to viral spread.
However, they do change behaviour by making people less likely to go out (as it is unpleasant), less likely to get too close to others (same reason), and reduces the time that people spend talking to others (ditto). In addition it makes people less likely to forget for a moment that they should be in a (Government approved) state of terror.
As a Psy Ops by the Gov nudge unit it is quite an effective measure. Whether this is morally acceptable is another matter. Personally I think they should be recommended, not compulsory.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

They appear to have different effects on different people, regarding behaviour. Some studies suggest what you’re saying, others the complete opposite (example Warwick psychologists report). This is inline with much discussion around Covid. The only unequivocal thing seems to be that the vaccines work exceptionally well.

John Wilkes
John Wilkes
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Absolutely right, no effect on a great many people. But enough of the population do change their behaviour.
Remember also that if many people stay at home and shop online instead, even those who this has no effect on will have more space to move about so will benefit from the measure.

Last edited 3 years ago by John Wilkes
LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  John Wilkes

That is an interesting point about leaving more space for others.

I’m half convinced that the government rules stopped some people thinking for themselves, if it’s legal it must be safe. I personally tried to avoid shopping during busy times, going later at night. Even in peak Covid times supermarkets were very busy ay 5pm and dead at 8pm.

We also avoided even bubbling with older relatives when vaccination became viable. At that point we went above and beyond legal rules – as it made sense.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

no, actually the”funniest and most indiotic charade”is that on Thursday before midnight, we had to wear masks outside and in but during the night, Covid disappeared and by Friday morning we could go maskless. That ranks right up there with my having to take off my coat and shoes at the airport on July 13 but if I traveled on my July 14th 75th birthday, I could leave everything on. Evidently old ladies are no threat
What is really causing great horror is that Trump may have been right about Covid coming from the Wuhan Lab Even if he had the wrong reason to think that, it turns out that many in the scientific community are now almost sure that is the case. Nicholas Wade had a very long article in Medium clearly supporting that view and Bret Weinstein has been saying it for months. Follow the science unless it might vindicate the “Orange Man.”

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

The report is interesting as many US figures are tied up in it,funding that lab to side step a US ban.

I still think the wearing a mask outside, but not in indoor spaces like restaurants is the funnier. If it’s genuinely so dangerous that you need to mask up outside (and masks were good at protection or prevention), then the last place I’d want to be is inside a restaurant with strangers. Low end estimates is that even very crowed outside areas are 20 times safer, other estimates put it in the 10,000s times safer.

Try to enjoy your freedom of not having to take your shoes off in airports – and don’t abuse it.

Dorothy Slater
Dorothy Slater
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

Unfortunately. it is probably safer these days in many neighborhoods in Portland to be “inside a restaurant with strangers”. According to our local “next door” news, there are so many car jackings, robberies, assaults, etc – some in broad daylight and most with no police response – that simply taking a walk outside is dangerous. Usually I discount such stuff but when the elementary school down the block was invaded by a guy with a gun (very few were there and none hurt thank God) I had to take notice. .

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

Blimey I was on Portland a few days ago, not been there before – it looked a bit rough, but not I didn’t know it was that bad! Ok it was Portland, Dorset, England – stunning views over Chesil Beach if you’re ever that way.

I’ve defintely heard of the breakdown in places like your Portland. With hard work the UK is doing it’s best to catch up the US in terms of inner city violence. The police here prefer to pursue non-crime hate crimes, that is where even our draconian anti free speech laws aren’t used, people are still harrassed by the Police for political reasons. Hardened criminals get an easier time, some groups are often ignored.

Rule 1 of the authoritarianism is that you don’t even get the safety you were promised.

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Dorothy Slater

WHO suddenly dropped their Eventual conclusion SARS2 came from a Lab in Wuhan,,when Chinese said they’d Cut off funding WHO, Trump actually had the courage to do so..

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  LUKE LOZE

I wore A lone Ranger mask when 10, pretty good hi ho saliva

Jerry Smith
Jerry Smith
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

I llive in Sri Lanka where mask-wearing in public, even outdoors, is mandatory. A year ago, at the start of the pandemic, I flew to the UK. At the airport entrance was a prominent sign: “No face coverings of any kind may be worn beyond this point”. The reason? A year earlier Sri Lanka had been subjected to an Islamist terrorist attack. And this is a country that, like America, doesn’t do irony. Reasons to be Fearful, Parts 1 and 2.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Jerry Smith

In March this year I asked staff at my local bank why they still had a sign up saying, pictorially, no masks. None of the staff had any answer, and neither did the head office – though it’s interesting they chose not to prosecute me for removing the sign without permission, which I openly admitted. I guess they didn’t want to state in court, or to the police, they were defying government advice and edicts. (They haven’t replaced it.) I can’t help wondering if they reasoned the pandemic, which had only just taken hold here, would lead to a lovely profitable bunch of foreclosures.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago

What I find most concerning about the shoe inspection analogy is that 20 years later I am still forced to remove my shoes at the airport.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Thus we will be wearing masks for eternity.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

one in 5 of posters here are wearing one now, alone in their house, is my guess. If this were the New York Times BTL 80% of them would be.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Every time I fly I get taken into the back room where the sniffer machines are (in case you do not even know these exist – they do) In there they use sticky tape to rub your hands, waist, shoes, belt, luggage, and inside luggage. These are then fed into a machine which tests them for explosives and residue. Every time they call my name at the check in lounge and take me and a couple others in. I ask why and they say it is ‘Random Screening’ but that it is every time means I have gotten on some list. I actually wonder if I will ever get on a no fly list – I know how the Chinese feel.

When I took my utterly disabled father from London to live with me in USA for his last time so I could care for him – at Heathrow departures I had to remove his jacket, shoes, belt, although he was completely immobile, he could not even lift his arms or legs – he was in a wheelchair, and I carried him to move him – him a totally limp 95 year old guy and I had to lift him around and take those cloths off him! and they hand screened him with scanners and gloved hands. BIG COMPUTER IS WATCHING. What you say online matters (I respect and defend Islam and Muslims, although very pro Israel, and am White and Christian, and I suspect that may be it – and I have some odd travels in my past I guess)

Stewart B
Stewart B
3 years ago

There is and has always been a portion of the population that has the compulsion to tell others how to live their lives.
With the masks and the “it’s to protect others” argument this generation of busybodies has found the perfect tool to indulge their nasty little habit and experience the thrill of power which they so badly crave.
These kind of people are usually just a nuisance one encounters from time to time and can be brushed off. But when they are corralled and coalesce into a movement, they are a terrifying force capable of unspeakable misery.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“After a full year of staying home, social distancing, and keeping our faces covered, last week’s announcementfrom the CDC was the one many of us had been waiting for”
This is an exaggeration, a wild one in fact. Few have been waiting for anything from the CDC. States have been opening for months, dropping mask mandates (some states never had them in the first place). Schools have been open where we live since mid 2020. If you live in a blue state, maybe you have been waiting for the CDC but the rest of us have not. As a consequence, the economy in your state is also in a shambles if you have been waiting for word from on high. Smart governors long ago figured out the CDC’s game.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago

The economy in the places where they destroyed their economies are not in shambles anymore. Biden has given them so much money they are better off than cities which were always prudent. Just today BIDEN MONEY – EVERY CHILD IN USA GETS $300 A MONTH FREE MONEY PAID TO THE PARENT, EVERY MONTH, FOR PERPETUITY. IT IS INSANE! The unemployable parents who make their living pumping out unemployable, anti-social, children by the multi-millions have struck pay dirt!

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago

It’s a great shame more people can’t think for themselves. The whole mask thing has been an exercise in idiocy, which reached its peak when people were mandated to wear them out in the open, and Biden promoted “double masking”.

It’s an even greater shame that governments around the world have enforced mask wearing, despite there being a complete dearth of scientific evidence of their efficacy, particularly in, but not confined to, community settings. By promoting the pseudo-science behind masks, and asymptomatic spread, these governments have terrified half their populations and lost any trust from the other half.

I have consistently refused to wear a mask anywhere I can get away with it. I just have a problem with feeling like a complete idiot, and that overrides any feelings of not fitting in, or “scaring people”.

As far as politics goes, who cares? Johnson’s managing of the pandemic has been criminal, and Starmer’s complete lack of opposition to any of it mean neither will be getting my vote. My lack of mask says nothing about this, but clearly things are different in the US.

Last edited 3 years ago by Nick Wade
Gary Anderson
Gary Anderson
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Look…I agree wholeheartedly with the point of this UnHerd story. Now that the vaccines have proven to be so effective, there is no “public health” reason to wear a mask if you’ve been fully vaccinated. That said, it also is impossible to deny the efficacy of masking to help prevent virus transmission. I can’t speak for the UK, but in the US, there was virtually no influenza this past winter. Why? Because everyone was masking and staying socially distant. I simply do not understand the two extremes in this debate.

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

The efficacy of mask wearing can be denied because there is not a single study that shows any statistically significant benefit of masks in preventing the spread of any virus, including influenza. There has been influenza, but it is now called Covid19.
The governments claimed the opposite of all the studies. They now claim vaccines work. I’ll reserve my judgement on that.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

If these experimental jabs are working so well, why are some places with a large majority of their population jabbed – now getting covid? I do not support their claim of ‘safe and effective’.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

The lack of influenza could be for many reasons, and there is no scientific consensus. Influenza is not routinely tested for, in the way that Coronavirus has been. Cases of flu could have easily been misdiagnosed as Covid, or perhaps Coronavirus has supplanted the flu? Either way, ascribing no flu to masks, whilst a similar disease that spreads in the same way is rampant is a bit of a stretch.

LUKE LOZE
LUKE LOZE
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

It’s more than a stretch, it’s warped thinking.

Flu normally had a far lower R0 than sars-cov-2. So the myriad of personal actions and restrictions, not least far less travel is far more important than masjs.

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

If my workplace is anything to go by, sheer paranoia also stopped colds and flu spreading. People who could do so worked from home at every opportunity, so there was less chance of cross-infection. Everyone was temperature checked to death and the slightest hint of being unwell would get you sent home on the spot. Self-isolating for everything was rife and when one person had a positive covid test, there was mass hysteria and everyone sent home, even if they’d been nowhere near the alleged plague-carrier. No chance for anything to spread under those circumstances, but it crippled us, staffing-wise.

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

As we were reminded many, many times: COVID is not influenza! Even assuming mask wearing reduced prevalence of the flu, one cannot assume that masks similarly limit COVID transmission. In fact, as many others have noted, there is no clear correlation between mask mandates and COVID rates. The mask faithful have tried to explain away these inconvenient facts by asserting (without evidence) that rising infection and death rates are attributable to noncompliance with mask policies.

The messaging from leaders in my area (NYC metro region) has been that every time infection levels fall it is because people are doing “the right thing” and when they rise it’s because folks are “letting down their guard” and becoming “complacent.” It’s plainly obvious to me they are spinning narratives out of thin air and there’s no science involved.

Maybe masks help and maybe they don’t. I think the burden lies with those trying to diminish my freedom and quality of life, not the other way around. Not to mention that the overly simplistic guidelines means mask-wearing is more theater than public health practice. Look at how many are wearing flimsy, ill-fitting pieces of paper or cloth. Masks are reused daily and frequently adjusted with bare hands. Even if masking is helpful, do we really think these unhygienic practices are anywhere as effective as idealized mask use under lab conditions?

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

The MASKING was 100% Psy-Ops!

“Psychological warfare, or the basic aspects of modern psychological operations, have been known by many other names or terms, including MISO, Psy Ops, political warfare, “Hearts and Minds”, and propaganda. The term is used “to denote any action which is practiced mainly by psychological methods with the aim of evoking a planned psychological reaction in other people””

Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Another plot perpetrated on the benighted public’s hearts and minds …. so clear now….yes, yes….indeed, those nasty plots to take away our liberty, our freedom to share our droplets with anyone and everyone.

Ross Cusic
Ross Cusic
3 years ago
Reply to  Gary Anderson

The flu was at record lows way before covid, before masking, and is now at record lows in countries that don’t mask much if at all.

So, that correlation at best is nonsense.

Also, look up viral interference.

Viva R
Viva R
3 years ago

“Will Democrats mask America forever?”

Not in Florida!

Cho Jinn
Cho Jinn
3 years ago

“anti-Trump resistance”

You know, the mainstream media, entertainment industries, donor class, academia, Silicon Valley, Washington D.C., – the resistance!

Last Jacobin
Last Jacobin
3 years ago
Reply to  Cho Jinn

You forgot the electorate.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  Last Jacobin

Yes, you’re right, most of them lived in absolute fear of Donal Trump.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

that must explain the massive crowds at his rallies, contrasted against the empty spaces Biden occupied on the rare occasion he left his basement.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I have attended a Trump Rally. They are Fantastic fun. I have attended many dozens of large events in my life, entertainments, and a Trump Rally beats most of them by far. The guy speaks impromptu for an hour! And is a fantastic speaker, Really good. The whole event is festive, Patriotic, and a huge sense of fellowship.

If you get the chance, GO, it is a huge experience.PS Cho Jinn forgot ‘The Swamp’!

Chris Bradshaw
Chris Bradshaw
3 years ago

Stood outside a pub the other day, trying to keep out of the rain, I observed a woman take her used mask out of her coat pocket, drop it into a puddle, pick it up and give it a shake and then put it over her mouth, in order to go inside.
It’s purely a ritual now, nothing more.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Chris Bradshaw

NO. Dropping it into a puddle makes no difference to its mask properties – if you believe masks work.

You are confusing your modern insanely squeamish terror of unsanitary with virus risk. The mask would not give her covid because it was in a puddle, if she thinks masks stop areasol covid then the puddle will have had no effect. Your issue is you think she exposed herself to bacteria – you mix two completely different things. (In my life I used to go into polluted waters all the time, I care nothing about allowing any water into my mouth when swimming, even in polluted water – what you story is your personal fear of dirt, not masks. I admire her for not being such a Pu** y and putting it on.

Viva R
Viva R
1 year ago
Reply to  Chris Bradshaw

Gross!

Malcolm Ripley
Malcolm Ripley
3 years ago

There is another problem that will be very difficult to overcome and that’s cognitive dissonance. How does the avid Cult Covid mask wearer who has berated people in the streets and on twitter look themselves in the mirror when the harms of masks, social distancing and empty hospitals (thus people dying of TREATABLE conditions) becomes mainstream and unavoidable?
The uncensored truth will come out eventually. Quite what the triggers will be I’m not sure but I would hazard a guess at the more vibrant economies of the maskless states in the US that can so easily be compared to their masked neighbours. The wellbeing and overall happiness level of people living in “pre covid normality” wherever that is . The one I would not like to see is the vaccine fallout. There is an increasing amount of anecdotal evidence of long term consequences. There is the attempt by various agencies to thwart accurate recording of adverse reactions.If this all unfolds from sep-2021 onwards with very bad outcomes for the vaccinated the proverbial will hit the fan after a short period of government blaming us “ultra right wing unvaccinated covidiots” of course!
A life long (ex) Labour supporter (Bennite wing) now find himself a right wing conspiracist for having the audacity to read MSM censored/ignored peer reviewed documents! As for refusing the vaccine at my age of 62 OMG!!!!

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Malcolm Ripley

In 1939 the UK government issued the populous with 38 million ‘proper’ Gas Masks.

If this present Scamdemic had any validity we would have done the same. In the event we did not.

As ever, actions speak louder that words.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Calm down Princess!

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Are you from Dounreay? Some of my favorite times were from up there – if you are old enough you may remember Johnny Green of John-O-Groats, what a great guy he was, and memorable times I had with him. What a magical place that area was back then….And anyone from there is welcome to call anyone an idiot, as they are tough, and do not put up with cr*p, and have solid worth.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

Wrong target, it’s John Sutherland who probably hails from Dounreay!

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago

The title asks a rhetorical question, right? My state of GA has been largely open for a long time. Businesses decided for themselves whether to require masks of patrons. And that’s fine; it’s their property and they can make the rules. I also have a choice in the matter – comply if I wish to be a patron or take my money elsewhere if not. lt’s called freedom and it is something that absolutely terrifies the American left. People might make choices the Karenwaffe Covidians do not like. Or something.
Even with the latest change in CDC guidance, many cling to their fear like a talisman. It is an animating force in their lives. The shoe analogy is on point. Because one time, one guy tried using shoes as a weapon, here we are 20 years later determined to prevent that from happening again. It’s not even good kabuki theater.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

“And that’s fine; it’s their property and they can make the rules” So they can refuse service to which ever group they do not like? ” We Don’tServeTheirKindHere
Georgia has changed since I left there, where discriminating on who they serve based on preconceived bias was not allowed if you held a public Business License.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

Largely agree but in OH the governor didn’t have the nads to tell everyone they must wear a mask. He made the businesses do it. If they were caught with customers not observing Covid protocols the business got fined or shut down. A real pu**y move on Dewine’s part.

Nick
Nick
3 years ago

Thank you Kat Rosenfeld, for an insightful and delightful analysis. To this observer it seems like in the past we’d have to wait years to get the “big picture” and analyze whether the 45th President did more to help the country or harm it. I find it amazing that in 4 short months, from my perspective, we’re already able to see just how much the former POTUS helped the country and also just how much the current POTUS is harming the country. Under Trump you wouldn’t be seeing a surge at the southern border, an increase in drugs across the border causing opioid addiction to increase, you wouldn’t see Hamas bombing the hell out of Israel as they’d remember Trump took out Qasem Soleimani w/o hesitation and bombed the hell out of Shayrat Airbase after a chemical attack, they’d recognized & fear the tough stance 45 had and the support he had for Israel. As to what 46 has done- gas prices are spiking higher, he’s destroying our energy independence, massive inflation is on the horizon, violence is still ongoing in Dem led cities across the nation, neither Hiden Biden or Harris have visited the Southern Border where the massive surge he invited is still ongoing. Our Law Enforcement Officers are still being vilified, our National Guard was abused and ignored in in DC, and the mistakes just keep on coming. I remember that Robert Gates said that Biden was wrong on every foreign policy in the past, and he’s proving that every day now. So for me, it’s easy to tell just how much Trump actually did for this Nation, and just how bad the next 44 months will be…..

Jeff Mason
Jeff Mason
3 years ago

People who continue to wear masks after vaccination crack me up. They say it is to make others feels safer but in truth, it simple virtue signaling – nothing more. “I’m better than you because I care. I’m not actually making anything safer but it sure looks like I am.” For those who really are scared to death to encounter an unmasked person, you probably have an anxiety disorder or some other mental issue. If you are crazy, it is not incumbent upon be to act crazy too so that you ‘feel’ normal. As for masks being the uniform of liberalism, great. I know instantly who to avoid.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Mason

It is Psy-Ops behavior implanted Pavlovian style in the Sheep!

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Mason

In Uk to go on Public Transport, shops,Banks,Offices You mUST wear a mask unless medical conditions say otherwise….I’ve had my two innoculations….Only thing I cuddle is my Cat..I suppose An Orgy is out/…?

J Bryant
J Bryant
3 years ago

The author’s description of masking as primarily a form of virtue signaling and anti-Trumping is probably very accurate in some democratic strongholds, such as NYC and the rich parts of Connecticut, but I’m not sure it applies to the whole of the US.
The author notes that many red states were never much into masking in the first place. But even some blue states weren’t as pro-mask as their rhetoric might suggest. California is solidly blue, at least in the coastal cities, but even during their severe covid wave early this year, my colleagues in California said masking in public was quite patchy. I live near a wealthy and strongly democratic town and when I walk there these days most people don’t wear masks in public, including many elderly people. I think folks are plain tired of masks at this point and are willing to leave mask wearing to the real hardcore lefties.
My concern with dropping the mask mandates too quickly is that we still don’t know how well the vaccines work in the real world. Early indications are very encouraging but we’re headed into summer when the virus is naturally less widespread and active. This virus is seasonal and will bounce back to some extent at the end of the year, just when many people gather indoors. If these vaccines prove to be significantly less effective than predicted, I’ll bet the Biden administration will panic and attempt to reimpose lockdowns and mask wearing. I’m not sure if people will be as compliant as before.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

The US federal government has no power to impose either lockdowns or masking. States could certainly do it and maybe some will. But most will not. They will not ruin their economies to please the Biden admin. Those that do will have to answer to their voters.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Jacqueline Walker
Jacqueline Walker
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

Did you not see the case curves through the past season soaring upwards despite masking everywhere?

Fraser Bailey
Fraser Bailey
3 years ago

Exactly. The states that continued with masks and lockdowns saw more cases, while cases in Florida fell after they opened up. This was only to be expected given that Covid spreads most easily indoors.

Katy Randle
Katy Randle
3 years ago
Reply to  Fraser Bailey

And the fact that masks aerosolise droplets – counterproductive to say the least!

Robert G
Robert G
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I am still not certain that masks are effective at preventing COVID transmission. Years of studies showing masks were generally not useful tools in preventing spread of disease formed the basis for the prevailing wisdom in the West. That wisdom was swiftly abandoned in early 2020 based on hypothesis and flimsy evidence and I’ve yet to see a compelling study to confirm the theory. Not to mention that we never set any sort of guidelines on the mask material, thickness, or fit. I am skeptical (to say the least) about the efficacy of putting t-shirt fabric over my face to protect from an airborne virus.

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Proper use of masks require that they are changed regularly, but I don’t think even the most pro mask people I know are doing this. Most seem to wear the same fabric mask day in day out.

CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

My Spaniels has been wearing hers for over 400 days now with no problem.
I ‘borrow’ it occasionally and am still ticking.

Emily Middleton
Emily Middleton
3 years ago
Reply to  Robert G

Masks ARE effective at preventing COVID transmission according to the latest evidence – see below for the summary if you’re interested in what the high quality research data show.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it depends on the type of mask, and the circumstances.
So you’re quite right that t-shirt fabric won’t help in, say a ward full of infected patients…. But that doesn’t mean that masks are a waste of time.
It’s a shame that so many people who want to avoid lockdowns still scorn them, when something so simple can make a real difference at the public health level.
Airborne transmission by droplets and aerosols is important for the spread of viruses. Face masks are a well-established preventive measure, but their effectiveness for mitigating SARS-CoV-2 transmission is still under debate.
We show that variations in mask efficacy can be explained by different regimes of virus abundance and related to population-average infection probability and reproduction number.
For SARS-CoV-2, the viral load of infectious individuals can vary by orders of magnitude. We find that most environments and contacts are under conditions of low virus abundance (virus-limited) where surgical masks are effective at preventing virus spread.
More advanced masks and other protective equipment are required in potentially virus-rich indoor environments including medical centers and hospitals. Masks are particularly effective in combination with other preventive measures like ventilation and distancing.
https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2021/05/19/science.abg6296

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
2 years ago

Here, we develop a quantitative model of airborne virus exposure that can explain these contrasting results and provide a basis for quantifying the efficacy of face masks.

Yes. No thanks. Show some real world data instead of models.

Jessica Boncutter
Jessica Boncutter
3 years ago
Reply to  J Bryant

I wish I could say the same. I live in Santa Monica and it is exactly as the author describes. Just walking outside your house means bracing yourself for constant dirty looks or people yelling at you to wear a mask.

Jeff Andrews
Jeff Andrews
3 years ago

cue,,,show me your vaccine-pass! This is just the excuse the bossy Marxist Democrats and globalists need to give them the ultimate control mechanism, the Vaxipass, what it’s been about from day 1

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago
Reply to  Jeff Andrews

I saw it coming from last Feb too, Jeff. So many people still sound asleep on this.

David K. Warner
David K. Warner
3 years ago

Trying to make sense of irrational behaviour at a time of mass popular delusion, moral panic, and widespread propaganda, when science has become a religion, masking a genuflection, and vaccines the eucharist, is probably beyond us.
Perhaps it might be that masks were always about politics, behaviour, and social control, and not about health, while for some they are a totemic symbol of their perceived moral superiority or political identification, as suggested above.
Or, and here’s a thought, perhaps stupid people sometimes do stupid things, and attempting to rationalise why they do has little positive value.
Or, and this might be the simplest answer, perhaps some people who’ve been vaccinated don’t think the vaccines work as efficiently as claimed by manufacturers and governments, and that masking will provide additional protection and reassurance on the belt-and-braces principle.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

it all boils down to germophobia!

Ruth Weiner
Ruth Weiner
3 years ago

We came to the U.S. from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1938. I was five years old. I was sent to school (kindergarten) with three words (yes, no, bathroom). My mother was told that we should speak only English at home (my parents were fluent English speakers), but my parents had more sense. They knew that I would pick up English, which I did becoming the best reader in my first-grade class. I remain bilingual.
Other behaviors were quite foreign to us; e.g., at that time it was quite common for children to get a dose of cod liver oil daily. My parents knew enough about nutrition to realize that this was unnecessary. Our American neighbors thought it odd that some foods, like peanut butter and cold cereal, were unknown in Austria.
There were (and still are) all kinds of superstitions about the proper feeding and upbringing of children, especially girl children. Activities considered appropriate for adult women (especially mothers of small children) were often circumscribed (the1950s edition of Dr. Spock’s book of baby and child care stated unequivocally that a new mother needed to spend all her waking hours with her baby). When I was considered for a post-doctoral appointment, I was asked “what are you going to do with your children while you are at work?”
There seems to be an element of this kind of response in the reaction to easing masking requirements. We see masks on children in strollers, even though COVID infection of infants is unlikely and extremely rare. Moreover, experience with earlier epidemics is ignored. Immunity in people who have recovered from a COVID infection seems to be generally ignored as well. Alleviation of side effects, like fever, are also ignored (unless the CDC considers the sufferer a very important person).
Eventually (and hopefully) common sense will prevail, as it has in other instances

Robin Lambert
Robin Lambert
3 years ago
Reply to  Ruth Weiner

Common sense isn’t Common,unfortunately!

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

Hi babes, me again. OOOH! Well, let me tell you how it is, me ducks.
Masks do not just symbolise fear, they engender and reinforce fear.
Masks are the tool of those whose mission in life it is to formulate methods of population control.

This isn’t the crazy talk you think it is. If you think it is, go check out the GOV Uk page and check the list of experts brought in to advise the government on aspects of behavioural science that can be used to ‘help’ people obey government restrictions.

Check it out. It’s real. The list is almost as long as the list of SAGE advisers (which group it advises). Governments everywhere will have been doing this.

So your masks really have f**k all to do with the virus (which is why there isn’t a study in existence that can demonstrate their effectiveness as a prophylactic measure where covid_19 is concerned).

Now then. Take them off. The time has come to take them off. The government does not deserve to be respected on this any more. All the government deserves is for its cabinet members to be spending the next few decades behind bars for their sanctioning of this heinous, soul-destroying, misery-inducing, sickeningly abusive strategy.

If you are feeling anxious, I promise you you will feel better. A LOT better.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
Alex Camm
Alex Camm
3 years ago

Including, masks. I mean the science around that is very uncertain, there is weak evidence that there might be a small benefit but then there’s other evidence which points to problems short term and long term. It’s always been one of those things that’s, to some extent been if you like a demonstration that something is being done. It’s what the psychologists call an action bias.
This quote is from Prof R Dingwall member fo NERVTAG advisors to SAGE

Last edited 3 years ago by Alex Camm
Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Camm

In hospitals, even nurses and docs despise masks… none of this is science based. The only effectiveness of masks is reducing spittle from sneezing/coughing. Mask do nothing for aerosolised droplets.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

Correct, the high-grade hospital masks (few of which are being worn outside of hospitals) are there to keep aerosols away from patients during surgery. They do NOT protect the wearer. Also (from my next door neighbor, an emergency room doc who has rotated in and out of a major hospital’s covid unit), in operating rooms there is a three-hour limit on the duration, after which point they are discarded and replaced.

The reason for that is that the masks trap bacteria and virses in a warm, moist environment. The only upside to all of this is that almost all the masks are far below hospital grade and don’t usually do much damage to the wearer — although mask-related infections have increased with so many people forced to wear them.

One more tidbit. Anyone notice that their glasses fog up? That’s because most masks wind up directing the wearer’s breath into their eyes — which happen to be the ONLY unprotected part of the body, and entry point for all kinds of infections.

The science is very much AGAINST what we’ve been forced to do.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jake Jackson
Mel Bass
Mel Bass
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

It’s amused me through this whole saga how some people (even medical professionals) wander around in two masks, sanitising frantically and leaping away from anyone who they think is too close… but leaving their eyes unprotected, when as you say, they are a potential infection route.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago

In the UK, really since the beginning of the mandatory wearing of masks, the weather has, thankfully, been cool most of the time.

I’m self-employed, reasonably fit but I’m not getting any younger, had a TIA two years ago, my job is physically pretty demanding, lots of regular heavy-ish lifting, I walk up to 50 miles a week doing it and I often end up breathless at the end of periods of unavoidable high exertion.

Trouble is my job’s inside, there’s lots of public interaction and thus requires the wearing of a mask for up to 8 hours.

Whilst it has been bearable in the cooler weather, wearing a mask in the hot weather everyday would, I feel, be potentially harmful to my health.

Frankly, I’m dreading a hot summer and the prospect of having to wear a mask all day throughout, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

Nick Wade
Nick Wade
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

You are allowed to exempt yourself on health grounds. What those grounds are, are none of anyone else’s business. I’d highly recommend this. Lanyards and badges are easily available to indicate your health exemption, but are not legally necessary.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Nick Wade

Thanks for the sound and helpful advice, and you’re right, the problem really being that knowing my customers, they wouldn’t be at all comfortable with me not wearing something.

I think my best option is likely to be a less than ideal perspex affair if a mask gets too much in the heat, but it’s then very difficult to hear and converse with one of those on from earlier experience.

Last edited 3 years ago by G Harris
Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  G Harris

We must all refuse, the degree of compliance has been truly depressing! I would rather poverty and death over life with face diapers.

G Harris
G Harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

Understand your sentiments and largely agree, seriously, but I can’t afford to destroy or seriously damage my business of 20 years over it unfortunately.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago

I don’t find the shoe checking in airports is a useful analogy. It is quite possible to hide an explosive detonator in a shoe. The guy who actually did this was only just stopped from blowing up himself and his plane load of companions. Unfortunately, if checking shoes was abandoned because no one tries it now, as it would be discovered, some idiot with his heart set on a trip to a paradise would be doing it tomorrow. Boom!
Masks, on the other hand are of dubious value, except possibly to remind the wearer to observe a social distance.
I saw a woman yesterday get into her car on her driveway outside her house and put her mask on. In her own car, on her own. This is a pathology, not a precaution.

Last edited 3 years ago by Niobe Hunter
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

MAKE THE ONES TAKE OFF THEIR SHOES WHO FIT RISK GROUPS! How Fing hard is that?

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

If you bothered to look at the details of the one would-be shoe bomber, you’d see how stupid the shoe removals are. But you didn’t bother. Oh well.

Kelly Mitchell
Kelly Mitchell
3 years ago

a coalition that prides itself on APPEARING TO care about other people”

fixed.

Chris Eaton
Chris Eaton
3 years ago

Twitter is not an even remotely valuable source pertaining to anything factual. I grow increasingly weary of ANYONE citing Twitter to buttress ANY kind of argument.

Looney Leftie
Looney Leftie
3 years ago

All the scared Apparatchik Democrats (Blue states) will keep wearing masks, not sure about the Republicans (Red States)….

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 years ago
Reply to  Looney Leftie

Reminds me of our cold war slogan – “Better dead than red”.

Darren Cranston
Darren Cranston
3 years ago

This country is on a one-way journey to meltdown. We need to call it and split the country in two—one for those who want to be told what to do and those who want to crack on.

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

It’s always about control with the left; “compassion” is a lie to these people, something you say to get what you want. Right wing governments ARE capable of violence, but only the left are capable of the intensive and sustained savagery at the micro level that gave us North Korea, the final stop on the leftbound railway line. The whole “protect others by masking” thing is essentially about using each individual as a hostage for the good behavior of others. We’re the left’s human shields.

Jeffery Blackburn
Jeffery Blackburn
3 years ago

Uncommon common sense.

  1. Limit indoor exposure
  2. Get vaccinated
  3. Hope you’re less than 60 years of age

Data from the Oakland County, MI dashboard as of 17 May 2021. http://www.oakgov.com
County population is approximately 1.25 million people.
No deaths of anyone less than 20 years of age.
Age Deaths
20 to 29 8
30 to 39 20
40 to 49 60
50 to 59 108
60 to 69 316
70 to 79 542
80 to 89 633
90 to 99 403
100+ 24 (Should we consider people 100+ in policy determinations concerning pandemics?)
There have been several simulation studies using computation fluid dynamics modeling to examine the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of viruses. Basically the virus particles are too small for a cloth mask to be very effective.
One possible measure of actual US deaths (avoiding the confusion of various reporting metrics) due to Covid is to examine the CDC statistics on excess deaths for the past several years as a baseline and then compare to the excess death numbers for 2020 & 2021.

Last edited 3 years ago by Jeffery Blackburn
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Fascinating, thank you.
What about those gargantuan fatties who by Darwinian Self Selection must be vulnerable, but currently seem to be ‘invisible’ in the figures?
Are they perhaps the age Cohort 20-60?

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

The individual virus particles are too small for most masks to catch. The idea is to catch droplets/aerosols containing virus particles, and fairly ordinary cloth masks seem quite good at that, depending on the fit.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

Doing excess deaths has some validity, and then, only if done over decades. The trouble is the cure was worse than the disease, in the various levels of lockdowns actually cause more years of life lost than the illness. A recent study in France determined that the lockdowns saved 500,000 years of life. Which sounds great right? But, their lockdowns caused 1,200,000 years of life lost.
All these additional deaths will show up in the longer run, therefore the excess deaths metric needs to not only cover several decades before, but also several decades after, to have any validity.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

Some transmission by micro particles don’t get caught, but transmission by sneeze/cough is reduced. But this also means that “asymptomatic transmission”, however low those numbers are, who are NOT coughing/sneezing, their particles are NOT being stopped by the mask, which was the entire justification for universal masking in the first place.

Cassian Young
Cassian Young
3 years ago

America has a puritan culture. It loves to make public displays of faith and commitment.

Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  Cassian Young

grow up, stop the stupid cliches. Is Portugal Puritan? Because they now require masks wile ON THE BEACH!

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

There’s a lot of truth in what Cassian wrote.

michael harris
michael harris
3 years ago
Reply to  Galeti Tavas

In Portugal we have tended to go along with stuff – for good or ill. We’re not puritans here, but we’re phlegmatic. All this hype for and against masks seems overdramatic. Wear ’em when you have to, take ’em off when you get round the corner.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

The sole reason I don’t point and laugh at outdoor mask wearers is that I made a resolution against being rude to strangers. It’s getting harder and harder to honor that one.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago
Reply to  Jake Jackson

However… they make many excuses for out door masking, some are truly atrocious, like “I don’t get told to smile anymore”, but the only “logical” one is the justification that they simply don’t want to touch it (as is recommended) so they just leave it on, ALL the time, and are therefore “not touching it”. Let alone how damned disgusting that thing must be by the end of the day!

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

No one owes any one an excuse for masking. Indoors, outdoors, for the rest of their lives. Anyone who wants to can mask forever. It’s none of anyone else’s business.

Last edited 3 years ago by Annette Kralendijk
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago
Reply to  Trishia A

Vaxxed mask-wearers are psychologically damaged, which is fine until they inflict their neurosis on others.

Simon Forde
Simon Forde
3 years ago

Have been noticing the same in the UK. Every street scene photographed in the BBC, from London, shows masked people in the open air, when this is not required. But in the East Midlands where I live, I see almost no-one with masks out of doors.
I noticed the reality recently when travelling via London where indeed many Londoners are masked in the open air.
The clinching argument was in last weekend’s FA Cup Final, You saw virtually no Leicester fans with masks in the open-air Wembley Stadium. But perhaps the majority of Chelsea fans were masked. Fortunately the right team won,

Lisa Nakamura
Lisa Nakamura
3 years ago

One of the saddest sights recently was of the Queen of England, who is fully vaccinated, wearing a mask at her husband’s funeral, and seated far apart from anyone else. Why was that cruelty inflicted on a grieving woman? Or on the dead man’s son, who is also fully vaccinated? We all remember the awful video of the funeral in Northern England when 2 sons who moved their seats to be right next to their mother to comfort her were scolded by the funeral home employee. I wish that Charles had had the same gumption and had torn off his face mask and sat right next to the Queen so he could have held his Mother’s hand.

John Shea
John Shea
3 years ago

We should probably just treat people who are fully vaccinated and still wearing masks as useful idiots and treat them accordingly.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

Washington State (where I live) has a D governor, a lying idiot. But even he has had to give in. The masks are going away.

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

Mostly a correct take on the whole scene, but way too complaisant on the corollary of the statement: “vaccinated can unmask”, for that demands that the unvaccinated must be prevented from unmasking, and that is further breach of human rights, and implies vaccination passports! Hell no!
Vaccinations must not be made compulsory, specially not experimental ones!
A French study came out this week, in Years of Life Lost (YLL), the cure HAS been worse than the disease. In France, that 500,000 years of lives saved by NPIs, and 1,200,000 years of life lost to NPIs.

Roger le Clercq
Roger le Clercq
3 years ago

I find it most distasteful that masking or not masking is a political indicator. It trivialises and warps the very necessary debate that is needed. And I feel sorrow too for those scared souls who shrink away even further than two metres asking me to stand back even as I am correctly masked in a shop. We need to ditch masks as quickly as we can but not amid acrimony. They have a place in hospitals and should stay there.

Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

Yes, but they don’t wear these masks in hospitals. That is the whole point. These masks – the ones we all wear – are barrier masks, no more effective than wrapping a scarf around your face. The ones they wear in hospitals are far higher grade with proper filtration.

It is so blindingly simple: if these barrier masks provided proper filtration YOU WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO BREATHE IN THEM.

But it doesn’t matter how loud you shout it. It doesn’t matter if you are
100 percent right and the mask supporters 100 percent wrong, these people – and I include government ministers – are wholly impervious to reason.
There are in the grip of their emotions to such an extent that reason cannot govern them. They cleave to the notion that even if the masks don’t work, they might, you just don’t know, do you, so it’s best if we all wear them.

This is the kind of thinking people ought to grow out of when they leave kindergarten, but we have these people in government, handing out orders. It is extraordinary.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
David Sig
David Sig
3 years ago

Masks are a symbol of slavery and submission through the ages. This absurd narrative of compassion is one superimposed by tyrants on those that lack any ability to think for themselves and are driven by hatred, malice and unreason which are the intellectual forbearers of the left in general.

Last edited 3 years ago by David Sig
Kremlington Swan
Kremlington Swan
3 years ago

Turned the radio back on to catch up, managed less than 30 seconds. Some economist arguing that she could live with keeping masks in order to stay on top of the virus.
I’ve got news for you – we have never been on top of the virus. The virus has done its thing quite unaffected by any of the man made measures. The only thing making a difference is the vaccine, and that is only accelerating the process of getting to herd immunity.
If a variant comes along that is resistant to the vaccine then the virus will simply rip through the population, as before, in waves.
The idea that lockdowns and masks work is nothing more than a fantasy cooked up by governments that are desperate to give the impression they have a handle on things.

It is astonishing, quite astonishing. We have a PM who is so stupid he waved his arms about talking about how he was going to whack the virus. Biff it, knock it into the middle of next week, with ‘whack-a-mole’.
That should have been it for Johnson, but so paralysed by fear, so docile, is the population that it barely merited a murmur of protest in the press.

The mask don’t work. Everyone with a functioning brain understands that the masks don’t work. Even if you cannot be bothered to think about it yourself, at least realise that if masks worked the scientific trials that prove their effectiveness would be all over the media in order to quash the protests of people like me.

Last edited 3 years ago by Kremlington Swan
David B
David B
3 years ago

Sad to hear about Emily Oster – her books have been invaluable to us over the last year as we’ve prepared for, and dealt with, our first child.

David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  David B

She’s not dead. She just suffered a bit of a social media pile-on for talking a bit of science-based sense, because some members of one of the two big American tribes (and probably her own tribe, at that) didn’t like it.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

This recent Vice article is sadly interesting in the context of masks and vaccinations, though the headline is a bit click-baity – some anti-maskers are considering the idea:
Anti-Maskers Ready to Start Masking—to Protect Themselves From the Vaccinated

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
CHARLES STANHOPE
CHARLES STANHOPE
3 years ago

Does anyone remember the ‘Carry On’ Films of the 60’s?
Is this really just ‘Carry on Corona’ or perhaps ‘Carry on Covid’?

Francis MacGabhann
Francis MacGabhann
3 years ago

The “Carry On” films would be considered racist and misogynistic by the left. Anyone liking them would thus be a Nazi. Ergo, Kenneth Williams was Hitler and Barbara Windsor would be Eva Braun. I suppose Sid James would be Goring. Charles Hawtry? Your guess as good as mine.

Last edited 3 years ago by Francis MacGabhann
Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

The vaxxed maskers remind me a LOT of the middle-aged women who blame those extra 30, 40, or 50 pounds on their unique metabolism. Anything but the fork and the calories that sit on that fork.

If these pathetic hypochondriacs merely ignore the science on their own and cower inside, I’d laugh, but they want everyone else to be as crazy and deluded as they are. That’s when I stop laughing.

Laine Andrews
Laine Andrews
3 years ago

“Masking relieves me of the male gaze”? Well gee, lady, why not go whole hog and burka yourself and don’t forget to glove your hands! Guess Islam has the right idea about how women should be treated and want to be treated after all!

colinkingswood4
colinkingswood4
2 years ago

Around the world, masks have taken on a symbolic meaning distinct from their function as a means of preventing the spread of disease

That was never their function. The masks are to stop surgeons accidentally coughing into open wounds, not to stop the spread of a virus.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago

“[What] do I do with my child who’s too little for a mask now that these rules have changed and I have no idea if the people in, say, the grocery store are telling the truth about their vaccination status?”
You can check on your local COVID and vaccination rates. If there’s a low rate of new cases, or a high vaccination rate, then things are probably a lot safer in general. Of course you still won’t be guaranteed safe, but masks never did guarantee safety, only helping to reduce infections. And you still won’t know any individual’s status.

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

perhaps you noticed that the individual quoted as asking that is a news reporter, someone might assume to be capable of doing what you prescribe. Yet, she is either unable or unwilling, but sees no issue in lecturing others over what to do once she is told what to do. Never mind that her child has never been at any appreciable risk, which she should also know.

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Alex Lekas

I did notice the question seemed to be posed to create an effect, but I thought I’d answer it anyway.

Niobe Hunter
Niobe Hunter
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Kids don’t seem to get it anyway!

Ian Perkins
Ian Perkins
3 years ago
Reply to  Niobe Hunter

True enough for young enough kids, but the advice still holds for adults wondering what to do.

Last edited 3 years ago by Ian Perkins
Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago
Reply to  Ian Perkins

Order your groceries for delivery to your home. If you feel uncomfortable due to other people not wearing a mask, then you stay home.

Jennifer Britton
Jennifer Britton
3 years ago

I don’t know where the author got the idea that Dems want permanent mask requirements, especially now that the CDC has lifted them for the vaccinated. The author seems to believe what she wants to believe about Dems and masks. Another column about perceived persecution of the right by the Dems. The real thing for the GOP is to stop jabbing everyone else with their tiresome victimology.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

Jennifer, dear “progressive,” might I suggest CNN?

Trishia A
Trishia A
3 years ago

Tons of my feminist ex-friends are quite happy to mask permanently, it’s like the Iranian Revolution, women hidden behind veils.

Ronald Schoenberg
Ronald Schoenberg
3 years ago

This article misrepresents what happened at the beginning about masks. There was no one saying that masks were ineffective (except maybe some conservative politicians). Rather the CDC was concerned about health care workers in ICU’s being able to get them if there was a run on them, like toilet paper, and so they urged people not to purchase masks at first. When the supply increased then the CDC called for mask wearing.
I and my fellow vaccinated don’t wear masks around each other, nor in restaurants. Around here most stores still require masks, and we wear them in stores even though we’re vaccinated. If the mask rule was removed for stores, what will happen is that the unvaccinated will stop wearing masks. This will not only endanger unvaccinated people, but the vaccinated as well because there is still a chance for them to be infected.

Elizabeth W
Elizabeth W
3 years ago

If you buy into that this experimental jab is the golden ticket, then you should not be afraid of the person who hasn’t taken it.

Jake Jackson
Jake Jackson
3 years ago

No one said that masks were ineffective because the “progressive” media buried the reearch while you gave the ol’ stiff-armed salute. It’s what your kind does.

Annette Kralendijk
Annette Kralendijk
3 years ago

“There was no one saying that masks were ineffective”
ï»żNot true.
Anthony Fauci, March 8, 2020
“There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.”

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Andrew D
Andrew D
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

It’s an interesting question you raise about what Netanyahu would be doing now if Trump was still in office. I think it’s at least arguable that he wouldn’t be doing what he is doing, since Israel’s current actions appear to be driven at least in part by a sense of isolation in the world – something they did not experience under DT.

Last edited 3 years ago by Andrew D
James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Andrew D

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Donald Trump was a deterrent to Hamas. Now that’s he’s no longer president, they feel free to kill people again without reprisal from the Biden administration.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Brian Dorsley

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Tom Graham
Tom Graham
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Very likely.
Trump made peace in the Middle East. The new Democrat administration supports Hamas and Iran. Why do you think the missile attacks have started again?

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Spot on, Tom.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom Graham

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
Galeti Tavas
Galeti Tavas
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Biden’s handlers have the same view as ‘The Squad’. They wish to destabilize the globe, wreck the West, and divide all people into warring factions so they may take over and rule.

Jonathan Marshall
Jonathan Marshall
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Does the killing of Qasem Solemani constitute peace-making in the Middle East?
Yes it does, actually. Taking out one dangerous enemy as opposed to embarking on another costly and pointless war. Trump got it right.

James Chater
James Chater
3 years ago

Dltd.

Last edited 3 years ago by James Chater
David Brown
David Brown
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Trump, for all his manifold faults, brokered more Arab-Israeli peace treaties than all the rest put together.

Rick Sharona
Rick Sharona
3 years ago
Reply to  David Brown

Absolutely correct because the total for all the other “professionals” is zero.

Brian Dorsley
Brian Dorsley
3 years ago
Reply to  James Chater

Long-term wearing of masks isn’t healthy.