Covid-19: “Should you wear a mask?”
This is the question on top of everyone’s mind.
Despite what our supposedly trustworthy national organizations, and arbiters of truth, are telling us, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
In fact, one of the most disappointing things about this pandemic is how the general public has been completely let down by our bureaucratic organizations and leaders. (I’m looking at you WHO, CDC and Dr. Fauci.)
Our Health Organizations and Experts Failed Us
Let’s quickly look at some of the misinformation they’ve spread:
Here’s our U.S. Surgeon General comparing a year’s worth of flu data to 4-5 days worth of coronavirus data.
Imagine being this ignorant, or this cavalier, about something so serious.
At least the first tweet was very early on in the pandemic.
More than a month later this clown was still at it:
By the way, if you’re curious, here was my response to the above tweet:
And don’t worry, the World Health Organization wanted to get in on the action, too.
By the way, on Dec 31st, Taiwan told the WHO that there was human to human transmission (paywall, sorry) and says WHO failed to act on this warning.
In fairness, this Wall Street Journal article discusses how WHO has compromised its own epidemic response standards, eroded its global authority, and sent the wrong message to countries, outside of China, that might face future epidemics.
But what about the nation’s “savior,” Dr. Fauci?
Here’s an excerpt from his conversation with Dr. Jon LaPook, chief medical correspondent for CBS News, on March 8th:
LaPook: There’s a lot of confusion among people, and misinformation, surrounding face masks. Can you discuss that?
Fauci: The masks are important for someone who’s infected to prevent them from infecting someone else… Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks.
LaPook: You’re sure of it? Because people are listening really closely to this.
Fauci: …There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.
What about Prominent Media Outlets?
It doesn’t help that the biggest, and most trusted, media outlets in the world were publishing articles calling masks “superstition” and comparing them to tossing salt over one’s shoulder.
Curiously, these entities all indicated that they didn’t know and/or didn’t have enough information at the time.
Despite their early misinformation, they’ve since become self righteous—almost devoutly religious—in their call for masking. In fact, if you’re not wearing a mask right this minute, you’re probably contributing to grandma’s death.
Never mind that esteemed professionals like Ebola expert Dr. Dena Grayson, BBC Health and Science Correspondent James Gallagher, Expert epidemiologist Eric Fiegl-Deng, Director of John’s Hopkins Center of Health Security and others warned us in late January of asymptomatic spread.
Should You Wear a Mask in Public?
When I started reading these accounts in late January, I asked myself, “What can an average person do?”
I immediately started advocating for working from home and for wearing masks when going out in public.
Admittedly, I wasn’t entirely sure about the research surrounding masks so I proceeded to dig in a bit before chiming in. (A handful of links below.)
The research was abundantly clear.
If there’s even a small chance of asymptomatic spread, you should be wearing a mask. Masks work. In fact any type of general mask use is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence.
Every country that has this under control has citizens that overwhelmingly wear masks.
I tweeted about this and this (below) was the response I received from a respected physician—one I trusted. Keep in mind, it’s been more than a month since we had confirmation of asymptomatic spread and yet notice the condescension in her response: “No lol.”
I hid the post in attempt to prevent the spread of misinformation, but not before 32 people that ‘liked’ it, took the good doctor’s word, and (very likely) told their friends not to wear a mask.
Keep in mind this same physician shamed me into deleting other earlier tweets warning others of Covid-19.
The “Expert’s” Motivation:
Why did all these experts tell people not to wear masks despite the fact that it was contrary to all scientific literature?
It seems their recommendations were motivated by the fact that they were worried healthcare workers would not have enough proper personal protective equipment to take care of the infected patients. This is a worthwhile concern, of course, but it’s indefensible to lie to the American public about something so serious. Dr. Zeynep Tufecki wrote a great piece illustrating why telling people they don’t need masks backfired.
For what it’s worth, my official stance is that if you have any extra masks you should immediately donate them to nearby healthcare organizations, but any argument that “masks don’t work,” is completely disingenuous. Furthermore, it’s woefully ignorant and outright dangerous.
Need some resources and links to share with and/or convince your friends to start wearing masks?
- Study: Homemade masks work
- Masks for All? The Science Says Yes
- Face Masks: Much More Than You Wanted To Know
- Covid-19: Why We Sould All Wear Masks – There is New Scientific Rationale
- Scott Gottleib, MD, recommends wearing standard surgical masks if going out in public
- An 80% compliance rate [in wearing face masks] essentially eliminated the influenza outbreak
- After months of denial, German medical officials now call on people to wear makeshift masks in public to reduce contagion
- CDC saying for years “we don’t know if masks work in epidemics” is like doctors saying “we don’t know if parachutes work for skydivers”
- Here’s 34 scientific papers that all point to the same thing: masks (even home made ones) really work to dramatically reduce the spread of covid-19
Want to read the most informative articles I’ve encountered on “all things Covid-19”? If so, go here.