Thank you for your question as it helps me clarify what I was thinking.
I believe that masks work but they are only effective for short periods. Masks are a filter. Masks trap pathogens. When they become saturated with pathogens they are no longer effective.
Wearing a mask all day long doesn't work because the things become as infectious as the environment.
If the masks are only good for a short duration; then people should be free to determine when and where they wear the masks.
So, I will wear a mask when I am in a store or at a crowded venue. I will not wear one when I am by myself or in a space for a long time.
The mandates are negative as they force people to wear masks until they become dangerous.
BTW, masks don't just pick up COVID, they can pick up any pathogen in the environment.