Inconvenient Truth: Ending Mask Mandates Protects the Environment
A federal judge has ruled on Monday masks are no longer required on airplanes and other public transit. U.S. District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle called the U.S. Centers for Disease Control mandate "unlawful," thereby striking down the Biden administration's controversial mask mandate. One would think Democrats from New York to Los Angeles would be rejoicing at finally being able to breathe easier, speak freely and see others' smiling faces after a grueling multiyear pandemic.
But no, many liberals are upset over the ruling because A) the judge was appointed by former President Donald Trump; and B) they can no longer continue the pretense they're morally superior to "dumb" conservatives, many of whom doubted the efficacy of most face masks from the get-go.
Never mind that Democrats' demigod, Dr. Anthony Fauci, in a rare moment of truth at the outset of the pandemic in March 2020, advised against public mask wearing. He said, "When you're in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better, and it might even block a droplet, but it's not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is, and often there are unintended consequences -- people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face. ... When you think masks, you should think of health care providers needing them and people who are ill."
Nonetheless, throughout the pandemic, many liberals have used masks as a political symbol, a cultural badge of honor, if you will, that they're somehow "smarter" and more socially virtuous by donning them than their conservative counterparts who purportedly don't believe in "science."
That conceit, of course, contradicts studies that showed that states that implemented mask mandates throughout the pandemic did not fare significantly better during the pandemic -- if at all -- than states that didn't require them. Rhode Island is one such example. The blue state had an extraordinarily high compliance rate for its mask mandate during the latest omicron surge, yet, in January, it had one of the largest surges in the nation. In short, evidence suggests masks did little to stop transmission of the virus.
"Given the current understanding that the virus is transmitted in fine aerosol particles, it's likely an infectious dose could easily get through and around loose-fitting cloth or surgical masks," experts associated with The Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota found.
But remember, virtue-signaling isn't based on science or data. This explains why "maskaholics" who are vaccinated and boosted, if not double-boosted, are still wearing masks everywhere, including outdoors, despite "experts" like Fauci saying the risk of transmission outside is "miniscule." These maskaholics still wear face coverings while walking solo in the woods or alone on the beach -- or, even more embarrassingly, while driving alone in their cars. Has it ever dawned on these individuals that face coverings are supposed to protect one from getting the virus and transmitting it to others?
So when they're alone, who are they protecting exactly? Themselves from themselves?
You can see the absurdity and effect upon those who, throughout the pandemic, spent far too many hours watching CNN and other left-wing outlets that relentlessly peddled fear to its viewers -- to boost their ratings.
Today, the pandemic is shifting to an endemic phase, and daily case counts are down from a seven-day moving average of 806,984 new cases on Jan. 15 to about 35,000 a day as of April 15, according to the CDC. This comforting news is in addition to the fact that, today, at least 82.2% of Americans have been vaccinated with at least one dose, according to the CDC, and therapeutics and other medical interventions are readily available.
But again, facts are of little consequence to "maskaholics" still clinging to their masks like Linus from "Peanuts" clings to his baby blanket wherever he goes.
Here's an inconvenient fact mask proponents don't want to recognize: Masks and other personal protective equipment are wreaking havoc on the environment. Billions of masks made of microplastics have made their way to the world's oceans, and soon, experts warn we'll have more masks in the sea than jellyfish. This unfathomable reality is something British Environmental Minister Zac Goldsmith sounded the alarm about last month.
"More than 26,000 tonnes of the billions of plastic masks we've used have leaked into -- and are now choking -- the ocean," he tweeted. "It is catastrophic and unforgivable. Covid theatrics are costing the Earth. It genuinely pains me to see ... committed environmentalists bemoaning the loosening of restrictions on these largely pointless and nature-ruining masks. Enough now. Please."
Bottom line: The longer people wear masks, the more profound damage they're doing to the environment. A mask isn't a symbol of cultural superiority; to the contrary, it's a sign one doesn't care about marine pollution, poisoning wildlife and other environmental damage. Enough is enough.
Adriana Cohen is a nationally syndicated columnist with Creators Syndicate. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2022 Creators Syndicate, Inc.