Masks and Politics

Seeing The Trumpites packed in, mostly unmasked, against the Bidenites strictly social distancing with chalk circles marking their carefully spaced chairs and masked up in a beautiful green park, feels like a really bad science fiction movie. Yinon Weiss is an American bioengineer who created some charts connecting the timeline of mask mandates against case numbers in different places. Some of them are below.

There may be many alternative hypotheses that I can’t think of. No doubt oneday it will all come to light. The idea that masks worn by the general public contribute to increasing infection rates is very plausible. Potential reasons for this that I can come up with include:

  • not changing them as often as required leading to;
  • “fly trap effect” of virus accumulating on the material and being breathed in at higher concentrations than in the dilution of open air;
  • ineffective filtration combined with feeling safer, so ignoring other recommendations;
  • untrained people touching infected masks excessively without adequate handwashing.
  • It has recently been suggested that masks cause aerosolisation of entrapped virus via exhalation.

It could also simply be that wearing or not wearing masks makes absolutely no difference, given the lack of any pattern as to when masks were mandated in different locations, compared to what happened to case rates?

People often quote South East Asia as an example of the evidence that face masks work. However, this ignores the extremely plausible (even likely) idea that SE Asian populations have some form of pre-existing immunity. With the exception of Hubei Province, most of China escaped any population level Covid impacts; Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand have also been spared. I’m sure the reasons will become known eventually.

China – who strongly promoted the idea of lockdowns – have no lockdown at all now, and in fact they only ever locked down Hubei Province for a brief period. This coincided with a period of intense social media promotion from Chinese connected sources about the success of lockdown and how horrific it was for Europe that their governments were not locking down. China’s economy is apparently thriving and life goes on as usual. Life in Cambodia has also reportedly reverted to normal after initial fears keeping everyone in hiding for the first few months. The West, meanwhile, staggers forth ignoring established public health evidence and guidelines in favour of highly politicised and fear-driven lockdown responses. Whatever the reasons behind it all, our safetyism has caused us enormous harm.

It’s important to note that the rising cases across Europe are not translating into the same level of rising deaths as occurred earlier this year. The UK, for example, are experiencing lower-end-five-year-average respiratory disease deaths for this quarter.

“Hey, what about that Danish mask study?”

Meanwhile in this horror science-fiction movie, things like this are apparently perfectly tolerable “for the greater good”.


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