Saturday, January 30, 2021

Masks: Why Not?

An alert reader of my last post (Mask Required to Enter, 1/27/2021) took issue with my puzzlement and, yes, objection to donning a face mask to enter my favorite bagel bistro the other day. Management had suddenly reverted to a mask requirement for all patrons with no explanation given. 

The reader seemed to not understand why I resisted wearing the cotton face covering that fogs my glasses, decreases my oxygen intake, and makes it harder to make myself heard and understood. I failed to mention that I have had the virus recently and cannot give it to anyone. I also failed to quote the numerous scientific studies and statements that found that cloth masks fail miserably at protecting their wearers from breathing in Covid-19 airborne droplets, which are very small indeed at less than 5 microns (with a micron, even on his tiptoes, measuring only one-thousandth of a millimeter). In fact, experts say that masks often lead to a false sense of protection that interferes with the user taking truly effective precautions against contracting the virus, namely, frequent hand washing and standing at least six feet from people.

The New England Journal of Medicine  in May 2020 summed up the situation this way:

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic. [Emphasis added]

The authors admitted that the greater role of the mask might be as a "talisman," reminding others that a contagious disease was afoot. But I think we all know that by now.

Speaking of The Science, Dr. Simone Gold, an emergency room physician with America's Frontline Doctors, delivered an intriguing address on January 14 of this year titled The Truth About the COVID-19 Vaccine (and a few other things virus-related). This is thought-provoking stuff that will be of special value to those who are considering taking the experimental vaccine. 

To your health!

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