WASHINGTON, DC, May 2 – They called the Lone Ranger “the masked man.” For the past two years-plus the moniker belonged to every man, woman and child thanks to COVID-19 and our protectors in Washington. But was it necessary? Did our masks protect us or did they do little more than annoy us.
Here’s the opinion of one expert when it comes to infectious diseases. Her name is Dr. Lisa M Brosseau, and, according to the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy [CIDRAP], her credentials are impeccable. “My biggest problem with telling people they can wear masks is it gives you this false sense of security. And it might even encourage you to think that now you’re protected, and you’re protecting people around you. My husband and I try to take a walk every afternoon just to get out, get a little bit of fresh air, and exercise. And I’m seeing more and more people now wearing cloth masks on the streets. And I don’t go to stores anymore, but my understanding is they’re wearing them there as well. I don’t have a problem with people wearing them. I just want them to understand that they aren’t very much more protective than if they weren’t wearing them. And they’re really not doing a whole lot of good for the people around them.”
It’s important to note that not all face masks are the same. The most common face masks are the simple cloth and surgical masks that cover your nose and mouth. But the U.S. Food & Drug Administration [FDA] explains that they do not “filter or block very small particles in the air that may be transmitted by coughs, sneezes, or certain medical procedures. Surgical masks also do not provide complete protection from germs and other contaminants because of the loose fit between the surface of the mask and your face.”
In order to be truly protected, the recommendation is to stock up on KN95 and N95. But they are less common and more expensive than cloth masks or surgical masks and can be hard to come by. In addition, they are not meant to be reused. But it’s more than likely that many of our masked friends and neighbors are, indeed, reusing them.
Author Ian Miller puts it this way: “we’ve seen the evidence base accumulate over time that masks and mandates have been completely useless, from real world data to randomized controlled trials like the DANMASK study, there’s been a concerted effort to maintain the fiction that masks are necessary interventions … [it’s a] glaringly obvious fact that the highest surge of infections in the UK happened while restrictions like mask mandates and vaccine passports were in place.”
The DANMASK study found that “The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use. The data were compatible with lesser degrees of self-protection.
When the Health Freedom Defense Fund won its federal lawsuit challenging the federal government’s Travel Mask Mandate, it issued a news release stating that “Without any public comment, or serious scientific justification, CDC bureaucrats imposed a sweeping Travel Mask Mandate applying to every American over the age of two. There are laws that set boundaries for federal agencies to protect individual freedom and the Court clearly found that CDC exceeded those limits. Unelected officials cannot do whatever they like to our personal freedoms just because they claim good motives and a desirable goal.”
Some might argue that wearing your mask is for the greater good. Others say, it’s a personal choice just like getting a flu shot in the fall. And still others see a masking mandate as a mere gesture by the powers that be to show that they are doing their jobs. Take your pick; it’s your choice.
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