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Masks are becoming ubiq­uitous despite neg­ative health effects. | Pikist

According to a Centers for Disease Control and Pre­vention study pub­lished Sept. 11, 85% of COVID-19 patients report having worn a mask “always” or “often.” The study also found that “In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control-par­tic­i­pants reported always using cloth face cov­erings or other mask types when in public.” 

So that sea of masks in Kroger may not prevent the spread of coro­n­avirus after all. 

This study only adds to the growing sus­picion that science cannot give us a defin­itive answer as to whether or not mask-wearing pre­vents the spread of COVID-19, and that mask man­dates are in reality a form of political control.  

A report from the National Acad­emies of Sci­ences pub­lished April 8 said there is not enough evi­dence to say by what per­centage masks prevent coro­n­avirus. 

Public health and disease expert Michael Osterholmis worried that mask effec­tiveness is being over-hyped.” 

In an article from Jordan Schachtel on the CDC report, he cites a tweet from cog­nitive sci­entist Mark Changizi, in which Changizi argues that masks actually have neg­ative side effects. Changizi cites a study from the Tech­nical Uni­versity of Munich that shows that mask wearing can increase rebreathing of expelled carbon dioxide and sig­nif­i­cantly increase res­pi­ration, res­pi­ratory rate, and hyper­ven­ti­lation, while also increasing heart rate and carbon dioxide in the blood. 

In other words, masks make it harder to breathe. I’m sure everyone has had the expe­rience of feeling light­headed after an hour or so of wearing a mask; the science only tells us what we already know. Masks, then, are not harmless whether they work or not. So, no, you shouldn’t wear them just to make other people feel safer. 

Other studies show that even where mask man­dates have been put in place, cases of the virus have not decreased, but have actually increased. Daily cases in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange, and Ventura counties either con­tinued to increase or spiked after mask man­dates were put into place in all four counties. The highest spike for Los Angeles County occurred more than a month after a mask mandate was put in place. 

Spreading the mass delusion that masks somehow prevent the spread of COVID-19 only con­tributes to an envi­ronment of fear and iso­lation. Making someone fearful and iso­lated does not compute with making them feel safer to me. The tactics of the devil include fear, and the greatest antidote to fear is truth.

The truth is that masks do not only fail to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but also sig­nif­i­cantly harm human inter­ac­tions. If I cannot see half of your face, I probably can’t hear you very well or see the emo­tions on your face. I can’t see you as you, as an entirety of a person.  

Peter Hitchens, one of the few patriots left in the United Kingdom, under­stood the sit­u­ation rightly when he said, “Face masks turn us into voiceless sub­mis­sives ­— and it’s not science forcing us to wear them, it’s pol­itics.” 

There is nothing more dis­maying than walking into a dining hall that feels like a hos­pital ward when none of this is nec­essary. The main­stream culture encourages all of us to avoid con­flict and choose “niceness,” or, in the case of the Christian culture here at Hillsdale, some emas­cu­lated form of “charity.” When did charity become taking part in a lie?

Back in March, the World Health Orga­ni­zation, the CDC, and the U.S. surgeon general told the public that it should not wear masks, as they do not prevent the spread of coro­n­avirus. 

In June, WHO said its position had evolved and encouraged the general public to wear masks in places where proper social dis­tancing could not be main­tained. Now, even in October, masks are still the end-all-be-all of coro­n­avirus pre­vention such that anyone not wearing a mask is seen as either callous or crazy. 

Whether or not the science has changed since March, the right of a person to not wear a mask should be equally pro­tected as the right of someone to wear a mask. To a great extent, the sci­en­tific studies on the subject don’t really matter. Law should not change in the face of changing cir­cum­stances, for law is the only thing that can protect the people from despotism. If the sit­u­ation deter­mines the law, then true liberty will not exist. Law must be unaf­fected by passion, oth­erwise a tyrant can do any­thing he wants should the sit­u­ation “require” it. 

Mask wearing is a symbol of the people’s dying desire for true liberty. Our culture values bodily health more than it does political liberty. Exchanging liberty for the hope of bodily health, even the bodily health of your elders, is a deal with the devil. Sac­ri­ficing the youth for “public health” is not my idea of American liberty.

 

Emma Cummins is a senior George Wash­ington Fellow studying pol­itics.