Based on what I’ve seen on Twitter and other social media, I’ve noticed a really weird trend that the more educated you are, the more likely it is that you’re a believer in the mandatory wearing of a (standard cloth) mask in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Sadly, it is entirely a superstitious faith-based belief and probably the stupidest possible way to prevent the spread of a virus.
1 – Cloth Masks Are Too Loose to Block Viruses
The average coronavirus particle is between 0.06 and 0.14 microns in size.
Meanwhile, the gap in the weave of a standard cloth mask is around 1000 microns. The cloth mask might feel tightly-woven, but it’s virtually useless in stopping a virus from passing through the gaps.
Wearing a cloth mask to protect yourself against a virus is like building a chainlink fence in order to stop sand blowing into your yard.
2 – Not Everyone Can Wear a Mask
There’s little sense in making a policy mandating the wearing of masks, especially in places like grocery stores, when not everyone can wear one.
People who suffer from asthma, COPD, and other respiratory disorders simply cannot wear a mask. But they still need to eat, ride a bus, take a taxi, or do other essential activities.
Masks also cannot be worn by people working in extremely hot environments.
If not wearing a mask is deadly, but you make an exception for some people, then a mandatory mask policy is useless.
3 – Masks Are Breeding Grounds for Bacteria and Disease
Unless you boil or steam clean your mask after every single use, a used mask is, essentially, like strapping a dirty handkerchief to your face.
When you breathe out, you exhale moisture. This moisture gets trapped in the fabric of the mask and becomes a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungi that can cause disease.
Constantly breathing in lungfuls of germ-laden air is ridiculously stupid.
Furthermore, touching the mask with your hands also adds oils and dirt to the fabric. This, too, contributes to polluting the air you breathe when you strap a filthy mask onto your face.
4 – Discarded Masks Are Destroying the Environment
Untold millions (billions?) of masks have been manufactured in response to COVID-19, and tons of them have since been thrown away.
These are finding their way into our oceans and rivers, polluting the planet and killing wildlife.
5 – It’s Anti-Science
I’ve spent the past two months scouring every corner of the internet to find some kind of scientific publication that shows that wearing a mask stops the transmission of viruses. I haven’t been able to find one.
Instead, all the “evidence” used to get people to agree to wear a mask is based on social conformity, celebrity endorsements, and statements of faith from modern-day witch-doctors.
This is 2020, and we’re supposed to be using science to deal with things like a pandemic.
Instead, otherwise educated people are doing exactly what the superstitious peasants did during the Middle Ages when they wore “plague masks” filled with sweet-smelling herbs in order to “fight off” the Black Death.
6 – It’s Illogical
Even if you believe that a cloth mask can protect you against a virus, why would that mean that you need other people around you to also wear one?
If wearing a mask protects you, why would you be in danger from someone else who isn’t wearing one?
How can one mask-wearer be in danger if they’re around an unmasked person but two people wearing masks are both protected? Why not just wear two masks then if that’s what’s required for you to be safe?
Requiring everyone to wear a mask in order for them to work is like saying an umbrella won’t keep you dry unless everyone around you is also using an umbrella.
7 – It’s an Unwarranted Restriction of Liberty
I’ve lost count of the number of legal cases around the world that have been won (and many more are pending) that prove that the government overstepped its authority when it mandated the wearing of masks.
Even if you stipulate that not enforcing mandatory mask rules is dangerous for public health, it’s still an unwarranted encroachment on personal liberty.
Lots of dangerous things are legal such as chugging vast amounts of sugary drinks, drinking alcohol, and smoking tobacco. All of those impose huge burdens on society and public health systems, but they are permitted because personal liberty is important.
Until the financial and social costs of people sick with the virus outweigh the pain and suffering caused by alcohol, it is ridiculous for any government to insist that restricting people’s liberty by making them wear a mask is warranted.
8 – Mind the Air Gaps
When you suck in a lungful of air, that air is going to take the path of least resistance into your mouth or nose.
That means that, if there’s even the tiniest gap between the mask and your skin, the air will flow around the mask and not through it.
There’s almost no way for a standard cloth mask to have a tight enough seal to force all the air to flow through it and not around it.
The air gaps thus render the mask useless, even if you assume that the fabric can block a virus.
9 – Uncovered Noses
I am quite sure you’ve seen someone wearing a mask who has their mouth covered but not their nose.
How exactly is that supposed to protect anyone? And yet this lax behavior is generally tolerated by the selfsame authorities who mandated wearing masks in the first place.
The appearance of wearing a mask is not going to do anything to stop the transmission of a virus.
10 – It Moves the Spotlight
By focusing on masks, less attention is paid to other, far more effective ways of stopping the transmission of viruses and diseases such as:
- ventilating closed spaces
- washing your hands
- avoiding crowds
- staying hydrated
- getting enough fresh air and sunlight
- getting exercise/being active
- eating a healthy diet
- reducing stress
- properly funded and staffed medical facilities
Focusing on all of the above would do a hell of a lot more to prevent people from getting sick, but instead, far too many people are fixated on wearing masks.
Medical personnel and people who work with viruses in laboratories never rely on cloth masks to protect themselves precisely because they know that cloth masks are useless.
Cloth masks prevent you from sneezing or coughing on someone (or having them cough or sneeze on you), but they don’t block free-floating virus particles.
There is zero scientific proof or evidence that wearing a cloth mask will protect you from a virus.
If you’re reading this and are feeling righteously angry about how wrong I am, then congratulations, you’re a member of a faith-based cult.