The following was written by another reader of mine who prefers to remain anonymous. It summarizes precisely how many of us think and feel:
At least two car accidents have happened when morons were overcome by CO2 because they wore their masks while driving. Alone. In a car. Unfortunately neither of them took themselves out of the gene pool when they crashed. Masks are becoming a symbol of how much you care about other people: “Look how good I am because I care about you. Now care about me in return. I SAID CARE ABOUT ME, DAMNIT, OR I’LL PUNCH YOUR FACE!”
The refusal to wear a mask is the refusal to submit to ignorance and irrationality. It’s the refusal to allow someone else’s panicky fear to direct your choices. I will not help people pretend that there is a reason to be afraid of a germ with a 99.97% survival rate and I will not help them feel better about their own inability to assess risk. I will not make their self-victimizing into a virtue. That is the fight I’m going to pick, because Nathan Hale didn’t die so a bunch of pansies frightened of germs could make me wear a symbol of their cowardice.
Masks are a “minimal imposition”? You, buster, don’t get to define “imposition” for anyone but yourself. Masks are a symbol of idiocy and ovine docility. They’re a symbol of an utter failure to think critically. Pointing to politicians who wear them doesn’t help your case. It’s proof that masks are about optics, not reality. The only thing masks achieve is to give the wearer a fraudulent sense of moral superiority he can’t get legitimately through independent thinking. They’re about appearance and intentions, just as every disastrous government program and every economy-wrecking politician are judged by their intentions, no matter how ruinous their actual results. Intentions matter, not reality. Reality gives these people a sad, and masks give them a happy.
Masks are to the general public what the TSA is to airports: security theater. They miss 95% of everything that goes by them. N95 masks are “up to” 95% effective when donned, worn, and removed correctly, but their efficacy varies by manufacturer and can be anywhere from 50-95% and is also dependent on the concurrent use of other PPE types. Even N95 masks don’t filter tuberculosis bacteria, which is much larger than any coronavirus at .2-.5 microns wide. Properly fitted and worn masks can filter out particles as small as .3 microns. Human coronaviruses are between .1 and .2 microns. So now you have the added spectacle of alleged medical professionals, who should be educating people, instead telling patients that if they don’t have a real mask to wear to an appointment, they can use a handkerchief or scarf. Any doctor who says that stamps himself as a quack. That’s the definition of security theater: Doing something 100% pointless and telling yourself that it’s a virtue because your intentions are good.
Medical-grade masks are intended to be worn in conjunction with other protective gear, including full face shields, gloves, and gowns, and they’re made to protect medical personnel from pathogens in blood, feces, and other body fluids. That’s why doctors suit up in trauma bays and operating rooms, but don’t put masks on their patients. That’s why medical examiners wear masks: to protect themselves. They don’t wear masks during autopsies to protect the stiff on the slab. In any case, you’re taking advice from the same clods who wear their scrubs and street shoes outdoors and then clomp back into the hospital to treat patients. How much do you think they really care about introducing bacteria and viruses into patient settings?
You know what it means when 50-90% of people with Wuhan flu are asymptomatic? It means those people don’t get sick. That’s how scary this germ is: It doesn’t make most people sick. What are you having a meltdown over, exactly? Corona is 99.97% survivable. 99% of the fatalities are in elderly people with co-morbidities who can just as easily be killed by the common cold. If you are in close, extended contact with an elderly person with comorbidities then you should already be taking precautions to prevent spreading *any* bacteria and viruses to that person. But putting masks on healthy people when they’re confronted with something that’s less lethal than seasonal flu is ignorance, not virtue. I will not help you pretend otherwise.