The United States is not alone in the insanity concerning the efficacy of masks against COVID-19 infection. Here in Moscow, Russia, the pattern has been in place that about every two or three weeks, businesses insist that their patrons wear a mask when entering the store. This applies to grocery stores and shopping center stores alike. In most local shops, the restriction sticks strongly for a few days, and then dies out. The sense is that there are more new cases cropping up in Moscow that the reported numbers, which stubbornly refuse to crack 700 on the high side and 600 on the low side. However, the number of cases in other regions of Russia are slowly increasing, with the nation reporting a little over five thousand new cases per day.
A lot of people wear masks, but most of us do not unless required to by a given set of rules. The thing that is peculiar about life in Moscow is that this is being met with quiet acceptance or quiet skepticism, where in the United States a lot of uppity Americans have a lot to say.
I am an uppity American, so even though I am in Russia, I also have a lot to say. However, very often it is better to let other people write the opinions I have myself, for their prose may do a better job of representing it. So, from Townhall.com we give you the opinion writer Scott Morefield, who follows below. I will comment again afterwards.
I’m not anti-mask, per se. There, I said it. If you’ve been reading my rants, er, columns on the topic these past few months, you might get another idea though, and I understand that. It certainly SEEMS like I’m anti-mask, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that was the case. That doesn’t mean that I like wearing them, of course. They’re uncomfortable and stifling and, frankly, disgusting. Even so, I WOULD wear them, when necessary, if the arguments the mask-proponents used to con almost the entire world into accepting and even mandating the practice were actually, well, true. Ah, but there’s the rub, right? In fact, precious little of what these idiots say is ever true.
Remember back in May and June when they said, “Hey, if everyone would just wear masks for a few weeks, it’ll all be over and we can go back to normal!” Remember that? Remember those three hairdressers using masks and COVID not spreading at all, or something, then blue state policymakers and national retailers and restaurants using that “evidence” along with a few model-based ‘studies’ to demand that every human from ages two and above wear a moist cloth diaper on his or her face, both indoors and outdoors, to “stop the spread” of a virus that poses very little harm to the vast majority of those who contract it? Remember them telling us it was only temporary, that masks had the power to stop COVID-19 right in its tracks and save grandma?
Except, neither the masks nor the lockdown measures every really stopped COVID-19 in its tracks, did they? Nope, the virus just kept right on virusing, as highly-contagious respiratory viruses are prone to do. You can lock down and delay the inevitable, but as soon as you peek your nose out the virus will be waiting. You can mask up ‘till the cows come home, but even the CDC now admits that, with or without masks, 15 minutes of close contact with an infected person will spread the virus. And given the fact that it has ALWAYS taken 15 minutes of close contact with an infected person to spread the virus, that means masks are generally useless.
But yes, if what they said was true, if COVID-19 could have been eliminated or even severely curbed with a few weeks of mask-wearing, even I would have happily put up with it. Because, indeed, they would have been right about mask-wearing being a “small inconvenience” if we had a foreseeable future endgame and could see actual results behind the practice.
No cheating though! Farr’s Law being what it is, the numbers were going to come down anyway when a certain threshold of infectivity was met. Thankfully, with coronavirus, that threshold seems to be somewhere between 15 and 25 percent. New York and New Jersey are prime examples. Anyone who thinks masks somehow did the trick in those places have clearly never heard of herd immunity. Even California’s cases (yes, I know this is a #casedemic, not a pandemic at this point) are on the way down, but the climb toward the July-August peak happened long after masks were mandated statewide in mid-June. If anything, early July should have been the virus’ swan-song in California, but it was just ramping up. Almost anywhere universal masking has been implemented, from Peru to Columbia to Greece to the UK, has been followed by significant case spikes. As a prime example, this graph that shows the trend since the U.K. made face masks mandatory indoors is nothing short of stunning. [The UK made face masks mandatory on July 24, 2020 – Ed.]
Call me skeptical, but in order to put a face muzzle on me and have me at least mildly compliant about it, you’d have to show me some actual successes, where mask use was implemented and the virus almost immediately went down. In fact, if the “experts” who have suddenly, after years of science proving otherwise, deemed that forced public masking can indeed stop an airborne respiratory virus – if those “experts” could point to actual, timely successes, it’s hard to imagine most everyone not being on board for that ride. Frankly, if mask-wearing did stop the disease in its tracks, as we were promised months ago, you can bet your house the mask-loving media would have been shouting the examples from the rooftops. We’d be seeing red state vs blue state comparisons everywhere since red states have the most non-compliance and/or most lenient mask mandates. Instead, we’re simply told condescendingly that “masks work,” “science shows masks work,” and other unproven nonsense, as if they think if they say it enough times we’ll believe it.
Bottom line: If the powers-that-be were correct, the areas that took a softer approach to lockdowns and masks would all be suffering immensely, while those with hard lockdowns and mandatory masks would be done with this. Right? So, why is maskless, lockdownless Sweden almost back to normal while Peru, India, Brazil, California and Columbia still languish? Why does this epic Twitter thread, which shows country after country performing horribly after they implemented mask mandates, even exist?
Nah, I’m here to tell you the ‘emperor’ is just as stark-naked as almost everyone’s faces should be. It’s past time we ditched the masks, practiced some basic, common-sense social distancing, and lived our lives as free human beings.
I’ll leave you with three things. First of all, what Anders Tegnell managed to do in Sweden is nothing short of extraordinary. This Financial Times story is well worth the read. Second, this piece last week by Daniel Horowitz is by far the best anti-mask article I’ve run across. Few things out there have the power to actually change minds, but this one does. Be sure to check it out and share it far and wide. Finally, we all know Twitter can be a cesspit, but what if you could follow over 100 fantastic COVID truth-teller accounts all at once by simply following an already-created list? Please consider joining the over 1,400 people already following my brand-new COVID ‘Team Reality’ list. Getting and staying informed, then amplifying and interacting with these voices is a great first step in the long-haul fight against corona fascism.
This is very compelling, and as Scott noted, the Horowitz piece gives this little gem which I will close this piece with. It appears that Scott and Daniel Horowitz cover all the bases I could think of, and even better, covered bases I did not think of.
Enjoy. (this from the Horowitz piece)
On April 3, already several weeks into the unprecedented lockdown over coronavirus, but before the big media push for universal masking, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued guidance for respiratory protection for workers exposed to people with the virus. It stated clearly what governments had said all along about other forms of airborne contamination, such as smoke inhalation — “Surgical masks and eye protection (e.g., face shields, goggles) were provided as an interim measure to protect against splashes and large droplets (note: surgical masks are not respirators and do not provide protection against aerosol-generating procedures).”
In other words, they knew that because the virions of coronavirus are roughly 100 nanometers, 1/1000 the width of a hair and 1/30 the size of surgical mask filtrations (about 3.0 microns or 3,000 nanometers), surgical masks (not to mention cloth ones) do not help. This would explain why experience has shown that all of the places with universal mask orders in place for months, such as Japan, Hong Kong, Israel, France, Peru, Philippines, Hawaii, California, and Miami, failed to stave off the spread of the infection. Surgical masks could possibly stop large droplets from those coughing with very evident symptoms, but would not stop the flow of aerosolized airborne particles, certainly not from asymptomatic individuals.
This is why the CDC, as late as May, was citing the 10 randomized controlled trials that showed “no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.” The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine at Oxford also summarized six international studies which “showed that masks alone have no significant effect in interrupting the spread of ILI or influenza in the general population, nor in healthcare workers.”
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.