Day 267: On masks & masking

We now stand at Day 267 of 15 Days to Flatten the Curve and Day 27 of Ohio’s 21-day WuFlu Curfew.

Deb and I are just fine.

The wearing of masks to control the spread of communicable diseases always has been a questionable practice — basically a do-it-if-it-makes-you-feel-better proposition — until, that is, masking became The Official State Religion.

There’s been no technological breakthrough in masks. There’s been no epidemiological thunderbolt revealing that the Wuhan coronavirus behaves or is transmitted any differently than countless other viruses. And yet the masses happily mask-up these days, prompted not by science but by messaging.

Politicians and lab-coated bureaucrats intone, “We know that masks work.” They recite the creed day after day after day, never telling us how “we” know that. The result is a populace that understands very little but believes very much, and with a religious fervor.

Yesterday I watched a news-talk program airing a tribute to a local celebrity who died last week, reportedly with the virus. It was poignant, really — an interview with a friend and colleague of the departed, sharing images and remembrances stretching back decades.

At the end of the conversation the friend held up a mask, thrusting it toward the camera like a crucifix, all but accusing the willfully unmasked of murder if they didn’t convert. It was disturbing as hell.

I also dropped in on an exchange in which a guy who’d recently attended a professional seminar expressed abject horror that several of his classmates weren’t masked. That, he said, was evidence that they didn’t give a damn about his health, the health of his family at home or the health of the community.

“Even if these cretins don’t believe masks work,” he grumbled, “if it makes me feel more comfortable, is it too much to ask to put on a damned mask? For me? How hard is that?”

That’s a good question. It deserves an answer. I’ll make it personal.

So far I’ve seen no evidence that masks work. Allow me to be more precise — no one has shown me either data or a plausible theory that universal (or even widespread) compliance with orders to wear masks affects the transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus.

I’ve heard the talking points — as a matter of fact, I know the narrative by heart. I’ve listened to politicians and bureaucrats, academics and “front-line workers.” I’ve absorbed peer-reviewed research and anecdotal accounts.

I’m well aware of the prevailing sentiment that everyone is supposed to wear a mask. I’ve even seen the laughable pee-your-pants infographic.

Unlike most Americans, however, I’ve considered a wide variety of perspectives on the matter. And approaching it rationally, with Reason, I simply don’t believe that masks do what their adherents claim they do.

Now, is it too much to ask of me to just “go along” and wear a mask anyway?

Yes — yes, it is.

Since the current groupthink is that we should mask-up for each other, not for ourselves, I’ll start there: It’s not my job to take care of your health, and it’s not your job to take care of mine. The State’s “pandemic theater” is a guilt trip aimed at simple-minded collectivists, a giant circle-jerk of virtue signaling.

It’s not science.

We survive and we thrive — as individuals, as a society and as a species — by being selfish, taking care of our own interests first. A strong whole comprises strong parts, and considering others before ourselves weakens us.

A culture of altruism will get us all killed.

You do you, as the saying goes — that is, what you choose to do is none of my damned business, and my choices are not your concern. (Spare me the talking point about the unmasked endangering others. It’s not scientifically justified.) When we come from a place of Liberty, when we live and let live, we win — each of us and all of us.

And then there’s the State, and the groupthink it inspires.

We have to listen to the experts. Trust the science. How many times have we heard that? Translated, it means that we must automatically accept and obey what Official People in expensive suits and lab coats tell us, lest we find ourselves guilty of heresy.

It’s 2020, and that’s The Official State Religion — the Catechism of COVID, the Liturgy of Isolation, Hymns of Handwashing, a Doctrine of Distancing, the Sacrament of The Mask.

Throughout this “crisis,” the State has shown us that it’s not operating in the interest of “public health.” It’s focused only on controlling public behavior related to a single contagion, aided by citizens’ blind trust in The Holy Narrative, and that comes with a high price.

Depression. Suicide. Addiction. Domestic violence. Street crime. Gutted education. Unemployment. Economic collapse.

The State and its acolytes will never tell us the truth about that, or even acknowledge it, any more than they’ll tell us that universal masking — everywhere, all the time — carries serious risks, even for healthy people.

So no, I won’t put on a mask for you just because you think it’s my obligation to “protect” you. It’s not my job to make you feel safe, better, comfortable or whatever.

No, I won’t put on a mask as a symbol of something I’ve determined is neither true nor effective.

And no, I won’t put on a mask because the State tells me to.

Now here’s a twist — if you cross paths with Deb and me while we’re out and about these days, you may see both of us wearing masks. After everything I just said, what the hell’s up with that?

You can be sure that it’s our choice, and a choice born of limited options. Businesses are under tremendous pressure to comply with the government’s WuFlu rules, and to survive virtually all of them are enforcing the mask requirement. Lacking a practical alternative I’ll mask-up, go in, take care of business, get out and take the mask off.

That’s been my approach since the beginning of this nonsense. Just as wearing a mask isn’t a symbolic gesture for me, neither is not wearing a mask.

We don’t wear masks at home. We don’t wear masks while driving. We don’t wear masks when we’re outdoors. We don’t wear masks anywhere they’re not required or wherever the State decree isn’t enforced.

Ditto the other State mandates. We think for ourselves. You get the idea.

Something we did do, by the way, was to surf over to the Johns Hopkins “COVID-19 Mortality Risk” calculator to see what it says about our vulnerability.

Turns out I have half the “risk of dying from COVID-19 compared to the average risk for the US population,” even at the age of 63. Deb, a bit younger and with similar health and lifestyle characteristics, comes in at one-third the average risk.

No guarantees there, of course, just interesting information. Try it.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

(Header image: Hocking County, July.)

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