Mask Mandate Advocates Championed ‘Science’ and ‘Experts’ — Until They Didn’t

in #covid2 months ago

Whatever the merits of mask mandates when they were first implemented, they have clearly overstayed their welcome. Now that the CDC has new guidance, to keep mask mandates in place would be to go against their initial justification: namely, that research and expert authorities suggested that we must have them.

If it were truly about the science then mask mandates never would have been a thing. The best science available (randomized control trials) says that masks don't work. There have been several studies in recent years on viruses like the flu and even one or two on COVID-19 itself regarding mask wearing and mask mandates and none of them show that mask mandates work.

Maybe if more people wore masks correctly they would work, maybe if people wore better masks they would work, maybe some other factor would lead to mask mandates working better, I don't know. What I do know is that as things stand today, they don't work.

The data is not entirely consistent. For example, there was a study on no masking, vs. voluntary masking vs. required masking in schools (not sure if it was an RCT or what kind of study it was exactly). The data showed that both required and voluntary masking beat no masking but mandated masking was no better than voluntary.

In any case, no reasonable scientific trial that I have yet seen shows that mask mandates improve outcomes. So why have them? I thought it was supposed to be about the science?

I think if you want a mask to protect yourself or others that is fine. Get high quality ones (e.g. N95) and make sure to take the other reasonable precautions you would need to take to ensure their effectiveness like washing your hands frequently, not touching your face, not reusing masks, wearing the mask correctly, etc. Under those circumstances I think wearing a mask might reduce your chance of contracting or spreading COVID. But just mandating that everybody slap something over their face? It doesn't work and the science shows that.

Source: Mask Mandate Advocates Championed ‘Science’ and ‘Experts’ — Until They Didn’t - Foundation for Economic Education

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Nowadays I mostly carry a mask around in my pocket. I put it on before entering somewhere that requires masks, but I'm actually kind of happy about carrying one around because I pull it when I'm going to cough or sneeze. It doesn't help against covid, but it's much more polite and sanitary (considering other bacteria). I'm buying a handkerchief soon now that I understand how useful those are.