Wearing masks, by itself, will never stop COVID-19

We have become a tattletale culture under COVID-19. This, combined with the obsession with face masks, has actually caused us to take the coronavirus pandemic less seriously than we should. As an example, I give you this report from Shepard Smith at CNBC:

In July, the CDC director said the United States could get COVID under control in 4 to 8 weeks if we would only all wear masks.

Fake News!

As I have said many times, I was wearing a mask before it was mandatory. If the mask mandate went away today and no store required it, I would still wear a mask indoors in public places. But let’s be real here: Masks are not a panacea. By themselves, masks are not and were never going to get COVID-19 “under control.” Masks are one weapon in the arsenal against the pandemic. An important one, but one weapon nonetheless. Other weapons include social distancing, reasonable capacity limits, mitigation testing and so forth.

The reason this kind of thing is irritating is that it shows this is not about science at all, but about religion. To the radicals, this is a cult, and masks have become a sacrament to the cult. And no, this is not me refusing to take the pandemic seriously. This is because I take the pandemic far more seriously than the cult. I am not fixated on one thing to the exclusion of everything else.

Plus, CNBC found one store in Florida where people are not wearing masks. Well, whoop de diddly do. Do you know what mask compliance is, nationally? A survey in October found over 90% of people wear masks in public places. In many parts of the country, compliance with mask mandates is over 95%. I have no interest in self-righteous preening about mask wearing that is not backed up by data. Stop lecturing people about doing what almost everyone already does. An anecdote is not the singular of data.

Furthermore, this pandemic has been extremely fast-moving, and we know a lot more than we did seven months ago. So how about citing something more recent?

The statement that we would get COVID-19 under control if we all wore masks has been proven 100% totally false. People have been wearing masks since last Summer and the virus is still spreading. We had a huge spike of COVID-19 infections in November and December, during the peak of cold and flu season.

Noes this mean masks do not work? Obviously it does not mean that. Masking can help slow and limit the spread of the virus, and widespread masking has already done that. Widespread mask use in public, however, cannot totally stop the spread of the virus, because a large portion of infections happen in the home. The reality is no one has a handle on a respiratory virus that has only been in the human population since November 2019, and we have no natural immunity for this virus. Furthermore, COVID-19 spreads much more easily than influenza. Speaking of the influenza, should I repeat myself for the nonillionth time?

I might as well. Influenza numbers have been crushed this year. Do you know why that is? Because people have been wearing masks and social distancing in addition to obeying other pandemic mitigation guidelines. Influenza spreads the exact same way as COVID-19, so influenza numbers prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that people are following the guidelines. But once again, COVID-19 spreads much more easily than influenza, and we have no natural herd immunity to COVID-19.

What we have at CNBC is so-called “journalists” engaged in sensationalism and fearmongering, demonstrating they know nothing at all about science and virology. They only want to parade their virtue and righteousness. If CNBC actually wanted to inform the public, they would run more thoroughly researched pieces about how the virus spreads and how we can limit exposure instead of spreading alarm about outlying cases that do not represent the vast majority of public places and private behavior.