The Brilliance of the Mask
Since before the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, people, including doctors, nurses, and scientists, have been using masks to protect themselves, and others. For over a decade, travelers from Japan, China, and other countries have been wearing masks on airplanes and other public transportation. Many people have grown accustomed to masks in medical settings as well as nonmedical settings because masks have been in use for so many years, and especially in the last year.
Now we see that people are perfectly comfortable wearing their mask while working out. Entire high school teams have been able to wear their masks during competition. At a recent track meet, some of the student-athletes were running their races while wearing a mask. People drive around, alone in their car, while wearing their mask, and others bike, hike, and ski with their mask on. Granted, ski masks were in use long before surgical masks were common, but now that ski masks are not common, surgical masks on skiers are becoming a thing!
The surgical mask (or N-95, cotton, bandanna, etc.) is now part of our everyday life. Students get to wear them for hours in school. This is usually not because the school administration wants them to do so, or thinks it is a good idea. It is usually because the experienced experts in the local health department will have to shut the school down or make it unlikely the school would be able to continue with in-person attendance if someone were to test positive for Covid. Many employers have policies which allow all of their employees to wear their masks all day long at work. Some people even allow visitors to their home to wear a mask if they stop by for a visit. I know of some grandparents who allow their children and grandchildren visit them in their home when they are all wearing masks. Did I keep saying “allow” above and make it sound like masks are natural and preferred?
The mask has been a huge hit since Covid took over our lives. Some people, like Joe, even wear two of them at once! We just can’t get enough of the mask lately. People now thoughtlessly walk around wearing their mask in situations and circumstances when the chance of contracting or spreading Covid or any other airborne illness is impossible.
There are downsides though. My hearing is poor, so I find it much harder to communicate with people because I cannot read their lips when they are speaking to me. Unless someone is pretty outspoken, I usually end up finding something else to do if I cannot make out what they are saying. Usually, once the person realizes I cannot understand what they are saying, they pull their mask down to talk to me, which is extremely dangerous and should not be allowed, but I appreciate their desire to convey their message to me.
Another downside is the lack of the smile and other facial expressions which help convey a message to others. Common courtesy is a casualty of the pandemic. Even in smaller communities, where courteous greeting of strangers was still an important part of life up until a year ago, those who are wearing a mask lose out on the down home hospitality of a smile and a nod. Most people walk by oblivious to their surroundings because the mask seems to make them think they are invisible. And to an extent, they are. Why try to smile at someone who cannot smile back or who cannot see your own smile under a mask?
Skin disease is another downside. Yeast infections, respiratory issues, dermatitis, etc., are problems for some people who are wearing their mask for long periods of time. One of my daughters had to go on a steroid and an antibiotic in order to overcome dermatitis which flared up shortly before prom.
Then there is the comical. I won’t say that masks make people look ridiculous, but sometimes one could form that impression. Okay, so I did just say masks make people look ridiculous. This is especially true when someone is walking outside, alone, with their mask on, or when they are driving down the road, alone, in their own car. People, you simply look silly. Stop it! If mask wearing is a moral obligation in order to protect others, you also have a moral obligation to avoid looking like a fool.
There is also the very uncomical. Mask Nazis who roam through stores and other businesses in order to command that people wear masks and wear them properly (according to the mask Nazi’s subjective standards). You people are sick. Do you also stand by restroom sinks and order people to wash their hands? Do you correct people who cough or sneeze without properly inserting their face into their own armpit, crook of their elbow, or hermetically sealed expectorant chamber? Who made you the health Gestapo? Stay the requisite 6 feet away from everyone and mind your own business. And seek some counseling.
The Mask Gestapo has had such success in forcing people to comply with their dictates that they have now branched out into the immunization Gestapo. You are now required to take the jab, even though the chemicals injected into your body have not been tested anywhere near the recommended extent of prior vaccines. Therefore, we have no idea of the long term effects of the current vaccines. This is not a concern for most people who are in their 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s, nor for centenarians, but it is a reasonable concern for younger people, especially those younger than 40. Will it cause cancer, auto-immune disease, infertility, the sudden growth of additional limbs or eyeballs? No one knows. What we do know is that no one knows. But many people believe it is wise and good to have toddlers, even infants, immunized.
By the way, the younger you are, the less the chance you will experience difficulty due to Covid. According to Harvard Health, “adults in the 18 to 39 age range account for less than 2% of COVID deaths, compared to 81% for people older than 65.” That means that people under the age of 18 account for a fraction of Covid deaths because the article says nothing about those who are between 40 and 64, and the chances of complications “rise steadily with age”.
How many U.S. residents under the age of 30 have have died from Covid in the U.S. since the beginning of this pandemic? According to the CDC, as of April 14, 2021, that number is 2,288. In the same time period, just under 117,000 U.S. residents within this same age group have died from something other than Covid (“other causes), such as from car accidents, suicide, murder, drug overdose, cancer, falls, etc…
A recent article in the New York Times discussed “Irrational Covid Fears”. The dictatorship of the mask has given way to the dictatorship of the jab. Whether it is Dr. Fauci stating that people still need to wear a mask and social distance even after their vaccination, or vaccinated people who are insisting that children be vaccinated, the world is spinning out of control. It is almost as if Dr. Fauci is pimping us. Regardless of the question, he will consistently urge the excess of caution. What good is a vaccine if you still have to live under captivity? Once you are vaccinated, you have a 1 in 11,000 chance of contracting covid. Even the New York Times recognizes that continued fear of Covid is irrational. Fauci is obviously irrational, yet he and other “experts” keep spewing out their advice, which too many take as scientific. It isn’t scientific though. At best, it is a scientific guess. How much distance is required? What substances should we use to wipe down all the surfaces which have almost no chance of harboring the virus long enough to spread it to another person? Is one mask enough, or do we need two or three on at once? What type of mask is necessary? Is a face shield a good substitute? What about asymptomatic spread? If we breathe in more of the virus, does it make our symptoms worse? Does my blood type matter? What about genetics? How long must I quarantine? How long must I isolate? What if I had symptoms for a week before my test results came back positive? What if my test was a false positive? What if I have all the symptoms but my tests have all come back negative? How long can I be exposed without contracting the illness?
The fact is, the experts don’t know much about Covid, the long term effects of all the health restrictions, the short term effectiveness of masks or jabs, or the long term side effects of the rushed vaccines. And now they are talking about requiring “papers” in order to be out in public. Talk about Nazi connotations. Am I going to be forced to wear a star on my sleeve if I don’t submit to being injected?
I could go on about all the insanity. I say we come to an agreement. You can live in fear, even irrational fear. I will do all I can to treat you with courtesy and dignity. I’ll admit it won’t be easy, so please be patient with me. In return, all I ask is that you leave me alone. Don’t lecture me, legislate me, or penalize me for not living in fear. And for Heaven’s sake, if you do lecture me, do it while we are either 6 feet apart or seated at a restaurant table, so you don’t infect me with Covid. These are scientifically proven safe zones according to the experts.
The masks are not the brilliant things. The brilliance is the indoctrination we have seen right before our eyes over the last year. It would be even more brilliant if people would free themselves from their self-imposed irrational fears and simply live with courage once again. One thing is for certain, we are all going to die. A very small fraction of us, are going to die from Covid. We were made to live, not to try to keep from dying.