That Mask Thing

I’m a simple guy. So why on earth is anyone wearing a mask anymore here in these fine United States?

I was at an outdoor activity with several hundred people in rural Wisconsin for most of the weekend and saw zero masks. On the way home from that today I stopped at a large, chain hardware store in the city of Madison. The majority of people in the store were wearing masks.

Employees were all wearing masks, although that is not mandatory. Indeed, I own a business in the city of Madison and do not require my employees to wear masks although they can if they want to (none do).

The majority of customers were wearing masks. There is no mask mandate locally anymore, although everyone always asks you to wear one if you aren’t vaccinated.

Which brings me to my question. I was told early on that the masks weren’t for the person wearing them, they were for others, because you care. So, if this is the case, my logic works thusly.

If you are vaccinated, there is no reason to wear a mask – because you can’t get covid. If you are not vaccinated, you do not need to wear a mask “because you care”, because those that are vaccinated cannot get covid.

So, logically, cut it out with the face diapers – right? Is the new theory that vaccinated people can give non vaccinated people covid? The evidence locally doesn’t support that as our covid cases are statistically insignificant.

So was mask wearing all virtue signaling all along? Good to know. Cuz science.

When this whole sad episode started I said to my wife “as soon as we start understanding that none of this makes any sense at all, it all makes sense”. When the books are written, I think this will be right.

32 thoughts on “That Mask Thing”

  1. Who wears masks anymore?

    Some people seem more comfortable if they wear masks. OK.

    Some people seem to think they are still required by law or store policy to wear masks. Whatever.

    Until recently I often wore a mask because maybe it did some good, or the shops required them. Then I got vaccinated. A couple of months ago I took off my mask to smell a green pepper in Trader Joe’s, and a woman told me to wear a mask. Whatever. The last time I visited Trader Joe’s I didn’t wear a mask, even though most of the other customers did, and no one cared.

    I did wear a mask at the Post Office recently, because who knows what rules they follow and I don’t want to quarrel with the people who work there.

    In most stores now, most people wear masks even though it’s not required, and maybe 10-20% don’t wear masks, and no one makes a fuss either way. I’m guessing that mask use will fade away during the coming months.

  2. I started wearing a mask last February, since it seemed it couldn’t hurt and we didn’t really have a grasp of what was going on.
    I think masks should have been dropped by last fall. It was clear the mandates were kept as long as they were because authorities knew once they were optional for anyone, they’d be dropped by everyone. I’m not vaxxed because at this point I distrust the unknown longterm effects of the mRNA shot compared to the known risk from covid, which for me is low, and I recoil from the oppressive measures being pushed, and the drive to vaccinate kids.
    Here in small town central New York, I’d say mask wearing is in the low single digits. I’m going to Ithaca for business again this week, it will be interesting to see what it’s like there now. A few months ago masks were universally worn by everyone inside and out, while in nearby non-college towns they were already uncommon, despite state and national guidelines.

  3. There are an estimated 10 million immunocompromised (IC) Americans out there that the vaccine does not protect. They need to wear masks to protect them from the people who are not vaccinated and can still transmit the virus. Many of the IC have family members or children who may not be vaccinated and who, technically, should also be wearing masks to protect the immunocompromised family member.

    Additionally, while it’s a pretty good bet that vaccinated persons don’t carry the viral load necessary to transmit to the non-vaccinated and IC, there is still a very small chance that it could happen.

    Those who are IC are particularly vulnerable because not only can they still catch the virus but their bodies are not equipped to fight it as well as someone who is healthy.

    So there are reasons for certain people to be wearing masks. And, believe it or not, getting rid of the mask mandates only made it more difficult for those who are IC because non-vaccinated unmasked are mixing with vaccinated unmasked and there is no way for the IC to tell who is who. The mandates provided protection for everyone in all situations.

    So life for the IC hasn’t changed any since they got vaccinated. It actually has gotten a little more dangerous for us. And it’s not political. It’s a matter of life or death…as it has always been.

    All the above information is out there on the internet. You just have to be interested enough to find it and read it.

  4. Sherri- I’m sorry for your health issues. Just curious, what sort of mask do you wear, and what sort of masks do you think everyone else should have to wear?

  5. Went through a Starbucks drive-thru this PM here in the Soviet. Both the lady in the car ahead of me AND the one in the car behind me pulled on masks IN THEIR CARS for their 30 sec encounter with the barista. It’s a cult.

  6. Dear Mrs. Sherri,

    If you are truly immunocompromized, not only the CCPox but the flu and even a bad rhino-virus can ruin your life. Not to mention diseases like measels that folks who come to tbe U.S. illegally from places where those diseases are endemic carry.

    Please, please, get yourself N-95 or N-100 respirators (also called “masks” – but so are my Mardi Gras props). The cloth and cheapo paper masks people wear are nothing more than glorified spit guards. Aerosolized particles puff out from the edges with each breath, and coughs and sneezes are worse. And that’s without the fact that as far as far a virus is concerned, the gapscin the weave are like wide open doors: the only thing that will keep you safe is distance (10-20 feet) and limiting your exposure time. Trusting to quarantine kabuki to keep you safe will mess you up.

    Also, if you are extremely immunocompromised you need a high level, high trust technological society to enable you to survive. If you demand a locked-down, isolated, dehumanizing society to keep you safe, you could kill the very thing that gives fragile people a shot.

    I sympathetize: I have my own immune system issues. Do you have a doctor who can hook you up with Ivermectin and the other treatments available? Being prepared helps, too.

  7. @Jonathan – I went into the post office last week without a mask on and nobody said anything. YMMV.

    I agree that as time goes on, the mask wearing will decrease. I do think that there will be mask “hangers-on” but whatever.

    As for IC folks, I get it, but I never saw a mask pre-covid outside of Asian people in airports, and it isn’t like there weren’t transmittable things around then.

  8. Codex: Yes, I am “truly” immunocompromised. And, yes, I know the flu can do a number on me, but COVID is a whole other ballgame. I don’t demand “a locked-down, isolated, dehumanizing society” to keep me safe. But I do expect most folks to have some basic understanding about COVID so they don’t get upset if they see me wearing my mask. There will always be those that don’t but, hopefully, those should be the exception rather than the rule. And thanks for all your advice but I have sought and received directions from my oncologist in consideration of my particular condition.

    Brian: I wear an N95 when I go into medical offices. I have not been in a hair salon, a department store, or a Starbucks for 15 months. I went into a grocery store once to get a flu shot in October.

    As far as “what sort of masks do you think everyone else should have to wear”…I don’t. People should be free to do whatever the hell they want. But I do wish they would take the time to understand how their decision could potentially affect others. In some settings and with some people, that decision could potentially have a greater impact and I wish that could be a factor in their decision making. Again, we have all types in society so I’m realistic enough to know that isn’t going to happen all the time…just like I know not everyone out there is going to use their turn signals.

    I detect a sarcastic tone in both your responses and that, too, is to be expected. Just know that for me, COVID has the real and serious potential to end my life and I’m not ready for that to happen just yet. I plan on doing all I can to protect myself and doing what I can to inform others that there are lots of us out there who depend a certain amount on the compassion and common sense of our fellow Americans. I really don’t expect much these days but the least I can do is increase awareness to some small degree.

  9. Sherri: I apologize if you detected sarcsasm in my response. I sincerely expressed compassion for your condition and was honestly trying to find out your ideas about how we all should behave moving forward. I don’t recognize your name so had no idea if you were just a troll. It seems you are reasonable and we can work together, which isn’t the case for many people nowadays.

  10. I wrote last week of the road trip into the Hill Country, and saw no one but some Army troops wearing masks. This last Sunday, the Daughter Unit and I took Wee Jamie to the weekend market at the Pearl Brewery in downtown San Antonio – and it was nicely crowded. I didn’t see anyone wearing a mask, and no one social distancing. One of the shops in the complex, the Twig Bookstore had a sign requiring masks, so we skipped going in. (Their focus is on children’s books – guess they don’t mind losing my business.) The HEB we frequent had a scattering of people wearing masks – but the numbers of people wearing them has fallen off, every time we go there.

  11. I have friends who are HIV+ and immune compromised. They know how to practice good common sense personal hygiene, and have a pretty savvy take on personal risk management. All of them are intent on living their lives, and only wear masks where required, such as in medical offices or when visiting family in nursing homes.

  12. Comments at a pilot/controller discussion group:

    PILOT: Hey, are you guys required to wear masks these day? I hear a lot of controllers who are a little hard to understand.

    CONTROLLER: Mask wearing was previously left up to the discretion of each facility manager, but since Biden took office we’re under the ‘masks on all federal property’ rule.

    ANOTHER CONTROLLER: There is one exception, though. If a pilot says he really can’t understand us, there’s a safety of flight exception that allows us to take the mask off.

    ANOTHER PILOT: What did you say? You’re mumbling, can’t understand you.

  13. Codex: “The cloth and cheapo paper masks people wear are nothing more than glorified spit guards.”

    Codex is spot on. An effective mask can indeed help reduce the amount of nasties an infected person puts into the surrounding air — but it does nothing to help the uninfected from inhaling those virus micro-particles. And the challenges of making a “mask” effective are serious — expensive N95 grade at least, tight-fitting, single time use for short duration, proper disposal. Outside of a few hospital settings, most CovidScam “mask” wearing has been equivalent to hanging a garlic clove around one’s neck to keep the vampires away.

    For our Canadian friend — apparently in the last month or so, the average age of Canadians dying with Covid has been 85. The average age at death of all Canadians has been 83. Have we been victims of a pandemic or of economic warfare? Curious minds want to know!

  14. In somewhat related news, I just was made aware today of the WHO’s position on child covid vaxxing:
    Children should not be vaccinated for the moment.
    There is not yet enough evidence on the use of vaccines against COVID-19 in children to make recommendations for children to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Children and adolescents tend to have milder disease compared to adults. However, children should continue to have the recommended childhood vaccines.

    How very shocking that the US media never mentions this…

  15. @Dan – That’s my preferred PO branch and I don’t want problems. I’ll probably ditch the mask and see what happens.

    I used to wear an N95 to protect elderly relatives, but everyone’s been vaccinated.

    There’s a small shop I patronize whose owner insists on masks. I heard that he recently threw someone out of his store for not wearing a mask. I wear a mask when I go there.

    I still see a few people wearing masks outdoors while walking or even bicycling. I have no idea what they are thinking.

  16. @Jonathan – the outdoor ones really have me scratching my head, even from the very beginning of this whole thing.

    I get it with the USPO, I wouldn’t want to ruffle any feathers there either. Or anywhere for that matter.

  17. Ithaca has an outdoor pedestrian mall downtown, called The Commons, with very prominent signs saying masks are required–you can see one here:

    The past 17 months should prove beyond all doubt that we are a deeply irrational and tribalistic species. My guess is that places like Ithaca, that are dominated by “educated” white liberals, will see masks as the norm for a long time to come…

  18. Sheri, “I detect a sarcastic tone in both your responses and that, too, is to be expected. Just know that for me, COVID has the real and serious potential to end my life and I’m not ready for that to happen just yet. ”

    Are you vaccinated ? My wife has High IGe Immunodeficiency and takes an injection every two weeks of a biologic called Xolair which costs $7,000 a month. Before we discovered this drug she was repeatedly hospitalized with pneumonia. She has taken it for about 5 years now and last June she developed Covid and was hospitalized for 3 days. We attributed her mild case to HCQ, which she takes for rheumatoid arthritis and the Xolair. She did take the Moderna vaccine and does not wear a mask, except in her allergist’s office.

    I wore masks in surgery for 50 years and have never seen any information that they affect viruses. Orthopedic surgeons who do joint replacement surgery wear “space suits” to avoid Bacterial infection. Outside of a Bio Hazard level 4 lab I see no evidence that masks prevent viral transmission. They are theater,

  19. Dan: I second re: USPS branch.
    ~3 weeks ago, right after it was declared masks are not required indoors, I came into the P.O. to send a parcel – and everyone was masked. I was, too, since Biden ordered all federal gov facilities to be under mask mandate. There were some busybodies in line hectoring people who omitted that all-important ritual.
    Last Saturday had to visit same branch again, with another parcel, and by habit put on the miserable muzzle – until I noticed several customers do not wear masks. So I gratefully taken off mine and threw it in the garbage. No comment from anybody!

  20. Mike K: “Outside of a Bio Hazard level 4 lab I see no evidence that masks prevent viral transmission. They are theater,”

    And not even good theater, because our Betters stuck us with masks AND Lock Downs. It might not have been so ridiculous if we had had to put on masks and then carry on as normal — but NO! Businesses and schools had to be shut down and people had to be laid off — with massive economic damage which will reverberate for years.

    We can all understand the initial fears from those famous Chinese videos of bodies lying on the sidewalks — never repeated anywhere. But once the evidence showed that children and working age people were at minimal risk from Covid, and the real At Risk population of the sick & elderly had been identified, it is hard to see why any rational leader would have continued the initial panic measures. But across the Western world, they almost all did.

    However, this foolish reaction to the CovidScam was in line with the general unscientific approach which our Best & Brightest cling to. Think about the anti-nuclear edicts, Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming, “Green” energy. There are a number of important public policies in the West which could not withstand 10 minutes of genuine scientific analysis.

    In passing, we have to note that the competent leaders of the Chinese Communist Party pay lip service to such Western delusions when it is convenient — but in practice ignore Western unscientific nonsense … or use them as profit opportunities.

  21. Where I work, we have 25+ people scattered very haphazardly over 12,000 SF, some work alone, some necessarily close to others and most some of both. We dropped the masks when Texas did, maybe six weeks ago. Now the only people still wearing them are 3-4 25- women, don’t ask me why.

    None of the other places I go have more than 20% masked and most much less. Rural Colorado is mask free as far as I could see except tourists. Nobody seems inclined to push the point so they just have to put up with my bare mug.

  22. “Now the only people still wearing them are 3-4 25- women, don’t ask me why.”
    White college graduates?

  23. There are a number of important public policies in the West which could not withstand 10 minutes of genuine scientific analysis.

    We don’t even have to go back to the concept of Phlogiston. Lysenko showed how well this stuff merges with leftist ideology. Some of the rationalization of mask wearing came from Chinese habits of mask wearing in public but much of this is derived from the habits of Chinese expectorating in public.

  24. We wear masks when in a hospital or doctor’s office. Which is depressingly often as I had a heart attack less than a year ago and my wife had ortho surgury. I would also note that our household is vaccinated. We carry masks to put on if we find that a store requires it. No point in arguing with an employee who is just following legitimate orders. Mind you, it may be a long while before we come back. But basically, we do not wear masks any more.

    Subotai Bahadur

  25. As I’ve said before, it takes surprisingly little to convince a customer that you’d rather not have their business. For most of us, a hint is enough.

    We can all be sure that if there was any real evidence that masks were effective, the din would be deafening. You can be sure that the preliminary evidence that they aren’t is being suppressed as completely as the MSM can manage. The silence is all the proof you need.

  26. }}} But I do expect most folks to have some basic understanding about COVID so they don’t get upset if they see me wearing my mask.

    Sherri, the issue here is that you, unfortunately, are in the minority.

    MOST of the Maskovites are doing so for stupid virtue signaling reasons, not because they need them in any way.

    The poster boy for stupid Maskovites is, no surprise, David Hogg:

    David Hogg says he’ll continue wearing a mask outdoors so people don’t mistake him for being intelligent “a conservative”

    So when people sneer or otherwise make fun of mask wearing, it’s mainly due to this.

    Plus, more critically, the current mask-wearing is really, as suggested by others, Kabuki Theater.

    I know this guy who bought a house on the Mississippi River, on a 3 year flood plane. He’s confident he’s safe, though, because he surrounded his property with a chain link fence. :-/
    Yeah, it’s like that.

    Ask the people you see wearing a mask —
    1 — how long have they been wearing it? If it’s over a few hours, the thing is almost certainly impregnated with all kinds of crap, not just virii, and it’s spreading ALL of that around because it’s now a wet, warm Petri dish cultivating more of everything that person has. Many peeps wear those baby blue paper masks for days on end.

    2 — better still, if it’s a “permanent” mask — when was the last time they seriously sterilized it? I.e., at least dipped it in alcohol, washed it with soap, or even soaked it then microwaved it for 60 seconds to heat/boil the moisture and kill stuff? My bet is the most common answer will be, “Huh?” They have no freaking clue WHY they are wearing a mask, they’re just dumb sheep doing what they’ve been told. And no one has really told them that sterilizing masks regularly is critical to making the masks actually do ANYTHING worthwhile.

    Oh, by the way, one study says those masks will take over 400 years to deteriorate back to the soil. I never fully trust such claims/estimates, but, given the millions of them now in land fills and going out to sea…. “crickets”…

  27. }}} Mike K: I wore masks in surgery for 50 years and have never seen any information that they affect viruses.

    Sherri: One thing to grasp is that there are now TWO arms of the CDC — the political arm — notably Fauci — and the medical arm.

    The political arm does things like organizing a study about defensive uses of firearms from the medical arm — then suppressing its release when it clearly shows that the defensive uses of firearms are about 10:1 vs offensive use. The former don’t make the news because often nothing happens — someone shows a gun in possession, and the wannabe thief/rapist goes looking for easier prey.

    And the political arm also does things like calling for masks, even as the medical arm produces not just one, but TWO different “studies of studies” (what it sounds like — a review of papers on a subject, not a single paper on that subject) on wearing masks to protect against viruses, and BOTH of those SoS’s showed that there was little to no evidence to support masks offering ANY protection against viral agents.

    So, realize, even for you, masks may be far more placebo than you understand.

  28. I wear one only in those places that require them, which these days is down to medical facilities. As for wearing one apart from those places, Hell, no! If nothing else, I don’t want anyone to think I vote Democrat.

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