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A Few Serious Questions About Mask Mandates

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that in a year like 2020 something as benign as donning a cloth mask has become the cultural equivalent of the Battle of the Bulge, but nonetheless here we are. As masks have become the latest great battlefront in our society’s painstaking effort to destroy itself, the skirmishes are everywhere.

Media humiliates itself by trying to attack the president for his reticence to embrace national mask-wearing. When reasonable people point out that the media itself was once encouraging the public not to wear masks themselves, they defend it by pointing out they were just saying what the “medical experts” were saying. But wouldn’t that also apply to the president? One can imagine how well the media would have treated a president who decided to ignore those “medical experts” and been the first to push masks, after all.

Meanwhile, a nation of Karens have emerged, seemingly dropping, as this gentleman points out, like masked monkeys out of trees, wielding cell phone cameras as weapons to spy on citizens buying groceries and attempt to shame and humiliate them.

(Language warning)

To be clear, I don’t feel a sense of pride or vindication watching the behavior of either party in that video. I’m embarrassed that it’s happening.

I suppose given our current environment that I should perhaps stipulate from the start that I don’t think mask mandates are about power or control. I like a good conspiracy theory every now and then, but if the New World Order were seeing how far we could be pushed, I think they’d be far more impressed by our compliance with having over 30% of our income confiscated from us by government than our consent to wearing medical masks.

Further, I have no moral, theological, or even personal qualms with wearing a face mask. But I do have questions. I live in a state where masks are not mandatory, but I also just got back from a vacation in two states where they are. And what I witnessed left me with a few serious questions about masks that I’d actually appreciate dispassionate, calm, rational answers to – for the sake of my family and the sake of others around me.

  1. Are we sure they help? I know the CDC says they do and that goes a long way with me. But I also know that the CDC said they didn’t a few months before that. Assuming that they weren’t lying to us the first time, what is the data or study that changed their mind? Is there data from other countries that have mandated masks versus those that have not that yield some type of objective conclusion about their effectiveness?
  2. Do they block the transmission of viruses, especially COVID. Yes, I have done a google search. Yes, I have seen the answers on both sides. And while it seems to me the voices saying the masks will either stop COVID particulates or greatly impede them seem to be the most prevalent and convincing, on vacation I also witnessed people drinking through their masks, and hitting their vapes through their masks. Am I confused to think that such scenes demonstrate a rather porous defense that is unlikely to stop microscopic germs?
  3. We change our dishtowel at home regularly. We do that because it gets wet and sits there collecting germs from dirty hands. While on vacation, I watched my 10, 8, and 7-year-olds all constantly chewing on their masks, soaking them. They complained about the wet, moist cloth resting on their faces. I couldn’t help think about the dishtowel. Are these wet masks germ receptacles that we’re attaching to our children’s faces? Is that really the best idea?
  4. One other thing that simply astounded me while on vacation was the shocking number of times I was barking at my kids to stop playing with their masks. They couldn’t stop touching them, adjusting them, and pulling on them. That meant little hands that were wiped along handrails, walls, and about every item in every gift shop we entered were right up by their faces. Constantly. My wife and I were all over them about it nonstop, but if they had COVID on their hands from a surface, there’s no doubt it got in their faces. And that happened because of the mask they were wearing.

Truthfully, I’m good with masks. I am happy to wear one to protect others, and I have no problem adjusting to something as small and insignificant as that. Altruistically, if me wearing a mask prevents a neighbor from getting sick, or selfishly, if us wearing them gets us sports and movies and theme parks back sooner, I’m all in.

But I do have questions and would appreciate wise, legitimate, sensible answers. Please tell me we’re still capable of that.

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