The Mask Dead Enders
By Tom Woods
Masks have been taking a beating.
First it was the sudden Establishment consensus that outdoor mask mandates had no scientific merit and should be repealed.
Then it was the CDC saying that the vaccinated don’t need to wear masks.
Then, from this foundation, big stores like Trader Joe’s, Walmart, and Costco all announced that the vaccinated would not be required to wear masks in their stores — and added that they wouldn’t be verifying anyone’s vaccination status.
And yet in many places mask wearing is still overwhelmingly prevalent.
The wearers either don’t believe their vaccines work, or they suddenly don’t trust the CDC, or who knows what.
Or they’ve simply been so terrorized and propagandized that they can’t think clearly.
Or the mask is a symbol of “science” and moral superiority, and they can’t give that up.
|The other day on Twitter someone asked people: why do you care if people are wearing masks outdoors? They’ve just been through a mass death event. Let them do what they want.|
Well, of course I’ll let people do stupid, pointless things if they want.
But here’s why I care:
(1) If people did a rain dance after a long drought I wouldn’t say, “Can you blame them? It’s been a long drought.”
(2) Many of the people still wearing masks, especially outdoors, are the very ones who spent the past year lecturing the rest of us about science. When they themselves act in defiance of science, it rightly makes us question what their true motivations had been all along.
(3) Masks don’t seem to do anything. The “studies” purporting to show that they do either involve arbitrary dates (and thus exclude huge spikes that would be embarrassing to have to explain away) or are just models, in which the model assumes from the start that masks work.
What we know in reality is that we have chart after chart after chart of countries around the world in which, just before a massive spike, some headline read, “How Country X Defeated the Coronavirus,” and the story generally involves masks. After the spike, no journalist revisits the issue and says, “Maybe we were being too simplistic when we attributed country X’s success to masks. The Florida panhandle is mostly unmasked, and their health outcomes are no different from those in the rest of the state. Mandates have ended in numerous states, with no ill effects.
(4) Human communication involves more than words (and even words can be hard to make out with masks on). Masks disrupt the full spectrum of human communication, thereby opening the door to suspicion and misunderstanding.
(5) Are we seriously so debased that I actually have to argue in favor of seeing people’s faces?
(6) Infants and toddlers need facial expressions for their proper development. We all know about the studies involving infants and a mother who is expressionless as opposed to a mother who is smiling. Infants and toddlers today are growing up in what must seem like a soulless dystopia.
(7) If you’re wearing a mask outside in particular, you’re either impervious to evidence or you’re making some kind of statement, and neither possibility is particularly flattering. Nobody would do such a thing without at least a vague sense that it’s scientifically justified. So that means they almost certainly look at my unmasked face and assume scientific ignorance. I don’t particularly care for having that assumption made about me.
At first many of us wondered how the politicians would stand down from all these crazy restrictions and requirements. But now an equally compelling question is whether substantial segments of the American public itself will be willing to ditch these things.
I suspect the masks will come off in large numbers once a critical mass is reached. In other words, the remainder will fall quickly because I think many of those people complied in the first place out of a desire to do what was popular. As soon as masks cease to be popular, this group of people will rip them off pretty darn quickly.