By: Michael Thau (RedState)
When someone pushes for a radical departure from ordinary custom by asking “What harm could it do?” you can be pretty sure he’s made no serious effort to find out.
It’s the kind of justification you hear from someone with no interest in exploring the pros and cons of some new craze because he’s decided it’s just easier to go along with the crowd.
Conservatives especially ought to smell trouble when this empty rationale starts popping up. Failing to understand that in a complex world seemingly trivial changes are liable to have momentous unforeseen consequences is, after all, a hallmark of most of the disastrous policies well-meaning liberals have inflicted on us (back in the good old days when most liberals were still well-meaning and didn’t simply want us dead).
So it’s particularly disheartening to see people who ought to know better insist that we all need to start wearing masks because, well, “what could possibly go wrong?”
Pretty much everything can and will go wrong if we all start wearing masks.
Here are 5 reasons why masks are anything but harmless and, indeed, will only make everything we’re enduring now even worse.
I’ll be ignoring the studies indicating masks are ineffective as well as the CDC’s own memory-holed conclusion that there’s no evidence they work against the flu and just assume for the sake of argument that it’s 100% certain they impede the transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
But please try to keep in mind that it by no means is.
1. Wearing masks prolongs the amount of time the virus stays around by slowing down its infection rate WITHOUT decreasing the number of people who ultimately have to get it before it fades away.
One assumption that most mask advocates (who aren’t being disingenuous) seem to be making is that after some fixed amount of time, like maybe a few months, voilà, the virus will just disappear regardless of how few people wind up catching it.
But that simply isn’t so.
Viruses don’t just lose their power to reproduce after a few months and vanish. It isn’t going away till a certain percentage of us have acquired immunity, either thru infection or the advent of a vaccine. The COVID virus will continue to cause problems until the number of infections reaches whatever its threshold for herd immunity or burnout is.
This same misconception was ubiquitous concerning social distancing. It was only ever supposed to slow down the rate of infection so our hospitals weren’t overrun. Lockdowns were never meant to prevent people from ultimately becoming infected. They were only supposed to make us get sick later rather than sooner.
As Dr. Lisa Maragakis, Senior Director of Infection Prevention at Johns Hopkins Medical School explained, flattening the curve means that “the same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate. [emphasis mine]”
The same is true for wearing masks. The only reason for healthy young people to engage in either practice is if there’s a danger of running out of medical resources. In the absence of any such danger, all you’re doing is prolonging the amount of time til herd immunity or burnout and, hence, making sure the virus sticks around longer.
Like maybe right up till the November election.
2. Um, nothing that restricts your breathing during a brutal heatwave is harmless. You may not have heard that one of the Navy honor guards at Rep. John Lewis’s funeral passed out. One can only imagine the deluge of alarmist headlines we’d be drowning in had COVID-19 been the culprit.
But since the virus wasn’t involved, publicizing that a young man in peak physical condition passed out on the concrete while wearing a mask during a seemingly interminable heatwave would have only made everyone wake up and realize what an obviously terrible idea it is.
If you need to see a scientific study showing that “ventilation, cardiopulmonary exercise capacity and comfort are reduced by surgical masks and highly impaired,” here’s a link.
But really. It’s been almost a hundred degrees in large patches of the country for weeks now. Anyone pushing us to wear masks during this heatwave is either depraved or deranged.
3. Everyone walking around in public wearing surgical masks feeds the fear and panic over a virus that’s less harmful to young and healthy people than the flu and delays our urgently needed return to normalcy.
The establishment media makes it a point to run headlines containing meaningless scary-sounding factoids and manipulative stories about those who’ve allegedly succumbed to the virus.
When its supposed death tally was climbing, we couldn’t escape hearing about it. As it started to fall, they started ignoring the number of deaths and shifted over to reporting about rising cases, also neglecting to mention that rising cases and falling deaths is a good thing.
The media has done nothing to make the public aware that a local CBS affiliate looked into 589 alleged Palm Beach fatalities and discovered that far less than a third (169) had actually died of the virus.
Nor have they reported that the COVID-19 death tally they terrorized the nation with for months includes motor-cycle fatalities and gunshot victims.
Most people who did hear about these stories were shocked. But, if the press had been doing its job, they wouldn’t have been. Another crucial fact of which they’ve failed to inform the public is that counting vast numbers who didn’t die from COVID-19 among its fatalities is a feature, not a bug.
Everyone who dies with the virus is being counted as dying from it. Both Fauci and Birx have told us that’s the official policy. They’ve practically bragged about it. So, of course, there will be gunshot victims, motor-cycle accident casualties, and fatalities from every other imaginable cause of death taking up a lot and very likely the vast majority of the positions in COVID-19’s official death tally.
Finally, though it’s by no means the only other disgraceful example of the national media’s failure to report anything that would stop the panic, even if we foolishly take the massively inflated death count used to scare us seriously, the median age of reported COVID-19 fatalities in the U.S. is 80!
And that’s the lowest median fatality age in any of the ten countries for which data is available. In Sweden, which avoided panicking its citizens to an early grave with a lockdown, the average fatality is 86.
The COVID virus is no more dangerous to young and healthy people than the flu and is likely even less so.
Data released by the Texas Department of Health a couple of weeks ago shows that COVID-19 is less lethal, regardless of age, than the flu was just two seasons back.
Thousands of working physicians who are seeing the awful toll this needless panic is taking every day have signed an open letter to the President warning in no uncertain terms that the panic, not the virus, is a mass casualty incident.
It would be hard to come up with a better way to bolster the catastrophic delusion most Americans are operating under that COVID-19 is causing some unprecedented public health crisis than having the entire population walking around in public needlessly wearing surgical masks.
It’s the panic that’s crushing all the life out of America, not the virus. And by acquiescing to the demand that we irrationally wear surgical masks in public, you’re only causing more misery and death and further delaying our return to any semblance of normal life.
4. No one has a clue what deleterious results will follow from depriving people of emotionally connecting with each other via facial cues.
Human beings communicate a lot tacitly via facial expressions — since we only speak with a fraction of the people we encounter, more than we do explicitly using words. Masks create a barrier between people and nobody knows what the effect will be on levels of violence, depression, and other social pathologies if everyone starts wearing one.
Again, conservatives shouldn’t have to be told this.
Human beings are unbelievably complex animals and human societies that much more complex. We have little more understanding of the factors influencing how we react to our environment than does a gnat.
The idea that depriving everyone of the ability to see anyone else’s face couldn’t possibly have any negative consequences is preposterous.
Conservatives are supposed to understand the paramount importance of intellectual humility about the way seemingly unimportant features of our everyday life may very well turn out to be the glue that’s holding everything together.
5. You should never let anyone bully you into behaving irrationally. Especially the state.
As Theodore Dalrymple observed:
“Political correctness is communist propaganda writ small. In my study of communist societies, I came to the conclusion that the purpose of communist propaganda was not to persuade or convince, nor to inform, but to humiliate; and therefore, the less it corresponded to reality the better.
When people are forced to remain silent when they are being told the most obvious lies, or even worse when they are forced to repeat the lies themselves, they lose once and for all their sense of probity. To assent to obvious lies is to co-operate with evil, and in some small way to become evil oneself. One’s standing to resist anything is thus eroded, and even destroyed. A society of emasculated liars is easy to control. I think if you examine political correctness, it has the same effect and is intended to.”
Dalrymple’s brilliant observation applies to engaging in absurd behavior as well as repeating absurd lies. Any situation in which the powers that be are putting immense pressure on you to do or say something irrational is one in which giving in means eroding your sense of reality and ability to tell right from wrong.
The fact that they’re irrationally demanding we wear masks, bombarding us with propaganda designed to make us comply, and comparing people who don’t to murderers provides the strongest possible reason to tell them to go pound sand.
6. Additional bonus reason not to wear a mask: Please consider who’s insisting that you do. The unjustified panic started out with articles in the Washington Post and New York Times peddling information that turned out to be completely bogus. It’s been pushed by corrupt Democrats like Jerry Nadler and Eric Swalwell and members of the permanent federal bureaucracy who would gladly sacrifice the lives of as many American citizens as you care to name if it gave them more power or a means to damage Donald Trump.
I’m talking about the Russian collusion hoax.
At present, the most important difference between it and COVID-1984 is that, while our enemies stand united in promoting both, the conservative side is divided when it comes to the latter.
For whatever reason, apart from an occasional remark or retweet, the President has hitched his wagon to Fauci. Most of his base sees clearly that COVID-1984 is just like the other successive deep state plots to destroy him apart from obliterating our economy and creating a mass casualty incident. But a significant percentage of Trump’s supporters have, to one degree or another, been taken in.
The data, however, is clear. COVID-19 is no more dangerous than the flu. When you take into account the extent to which the death count has been inflated, it’s clearly significantly less deadly.
Any conservatives afraid to look at the data and form their own judgment ought to instead, look at the people who they’re standing with when they dutifully put on a mask or continue to believe that the economic and social catastrophes inflicted on us had any justification whatsoever.
It’s understandable why so many conservatives can’t quite accept how much of a hoax it’s all been. As Tucker Carlson observed a few nights back about its Democrat perpetrators:
This is not the Democratic Party you remember — dopey liberals with flaccid ideas that you probably had contempt for but in the end, could live with.
They will do anything for control. So the question is, what are they doing to win? Well, they are working the right track-wrong track numbers. Democrats understand that the unhappier Americans become, the more likely they are to win. Unhappy people want change.
It’s not complicated. So every ominous headline about the state of the country makes it more likely that Donald Trump will lose his job. The more the people suffer, the greater Joe Biden’s advantage. Democrats have a strong incentive, therefore, to inflict as much pain as they can, and that’s what they are doing.
It’s hard for a normal well-adjusted person to believe that anyone could be so depraved that they’d create a fake medical crisis to inflict the equivalent of a massive bombing campaign on the American people in order to create enough misery to unseat the President.
Or that they’d insist everyone needlessly wear surgical masks in public to keep the crisis going till November.
But, when you find yourself on the same side as Jerry Nadler, Eric Swalwell, the rest of the Democrats, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, and Hollywood; all of them insisting that there’s some horrible threat to America we need to take extreme actions against as they ignore the obvious terrible costs, suppress all evidence to the contrary, and flood us with propaganda that would’ve made the Soviet’s envious, you might want to consider whether you’ve maybe gone astray somewhere.
We haven’t beaten COVID19 yet. As cases drop around the world, they’re going back up in America. As contact tracing and testing capacity expands, please continue to wear masks and observe social distancing.
We cannot give up on fighting this pandemic.