Face Masks to Stop COVID-19 Transmission are Modern Day Talismans for the Religion of Liberal Scientism
As readers might have seen over the past two years, the response by Western (and many Asian) governments to the COVID-19 pandemic has been comically ineffectual in addition to having no worthwhile effect on its trajectory. If you don’t believe me, just have a look at the aggregate number of diagnosed cases, hospitalizations and deaths (normalized to population) attributed to that disease over past two years. Isn’t it odd that most western countries have very similar numbers in all three categories, even though they took different approaches in their futile attempts to control its spread? Perhaps, I should post a graph in my next post showing this most peculiar phenomenon. My point is that all the “NPIs” and other measures taken to control a respiratory virus failed in a very consistent manner, as anybody with a decent understanding of the epidemiology of infectious diseases would have predicted.
Continuing in that general direction, let us talk about one specific intervention cooked up by the credentialed dummies advising the incestuous morons occupying elected offices in these allegedly developed countries. Yes.. I am talking about the enthusiasm displayed by many countries in the past couple of years for making people wear face masks. Once again, any person with a decent understanding of medical microbiology will tell you that cloth and surgical masks are ineffective at stopping the transmissions of respiratory viruses. I should point out that no well-powered study had ever shown face-masks (even N95s) to have any worthwhile effectiveness against such viruses. But as you will soon see, my issues with forcing people to wear face masks are about much more than their ineffectiveness at preventing infection by airborne viruses.
So let us start by talking about the efficacy of various types of face masks at preventing viral infections. To make a long story short, only masks rated N95 or higher have been ever shown to reduce the transmission of airborne pathogens under any condition- and the best evidence for such an effect exists for airborne bacteria such as M. tuberculosis which are much larger (0.2-0.5 μm by 2-4 μm) than the median airborne virus (0.1 μm). However it should also be noted that N95 masks which fit poorly, or worn improperly, are close to useless against airborne pathogens- especially viruses which have a low infective dose. Did I mention they are very uncomfortable to wear for more than an hour, resulting in poor compliance? To quickly summarize, even N95 masks only work when they are worn properly for short periods of time (less than 1-2 hours) and with additional protection for eyes- such as goggles and face-shields.
Normal surgical or cloth face masks, on the other hand, have no chance of stopping airborne bacteria and viruses. At best, they are effective at reducing the formation of small droplets created by the wearer when speaking or breathing. For your information- surgeons wear surgical masks to reduce the chance of small droplets (larger than 2-4 μm) which contain bacteria from their nose and mouth from ending up in opened tissue during surgical procedures. All of this is another way of saying that normal cloth face masks and surgical masks are basically useless at filtering out particles in size range of respiratory viruses. Sure, they might reduce the gross number of bacteria or viruses expelled by trapping larger droplets, but let us not pretend that they do anything for airborne viruses such those responsible for influenza, common colds or COVID-19.
Now some of you might say- "isn't a bit of protection better than no protection”? OK, let us talk about the magnitude of viral reduction by masks necessary to have a worthwhile effect on its transmission. Given that it probably takes between 100 to 1,000 COVID-19 virions to cause an infection, and the average cough or sneeze releases hundreds if not thousands of times that viral load, any face masks will have to consistently stop 99.9% of virions shed by the person over the course of a day to have any worthwhile effect on viral transmission. To put it bluntly, it would be necessary for people to consistently and constantly wear a face mask capable of stopping 99% of 0.2 μm particles (along with eye protection) to have any realistic chance of stopping respiratory viruses. This is also why the vast majority of physicians and nurses who work in hospital with COVID-19 patients got infected even though they wore N95s, goggles and face-shields and other protective gear.
So why are liberals, especially those found on social media sites such as Twitter, Reddit etc so enthusiastic about forcing people to wear ineffectual face masks? To understand this, you have to first accept the fact that liberals are as stupid as their conservative equivalents- they just happen to believe in a different religion. While conservatives believe in traditional religions with all its trappings, liberals believe in the church of Scientism. So instead of blindly believing in the word of priests in white or black garbs, liberals choose to blindly believe the words of "credentialed" dummies representing the church of Scientism. It is about blind faith, not rational and critical belief. The liberal obsession with making people wear ineffective facemasks starts making sense when you understand what they really represent to believers in the church of Scientism.
To make another long story short, ineffective facemasks promoted by the priests of Scientism are best understood as secular Talismans. In case you don't know, a Talisman is an object which someone believes to hold magical properties providing particular power, energy or specific benefits to its possessor. Note that Talismans or 'good luck charms' have a long history of use in pre-modern medicine and as the more cynical might say-- even modern medicine. Now you might say- "but what is the harm of letting people believe in such bullshit if it makes them feel better”? Don't many otherwise rational people have their own lucky shirts, coats, dresses, shoes, baseball caps etc? Well.. it comes down to the potential for many negative impacts from going down that path.
For starters- if you promote something, such as facemasks, to be highly effective at preventing COVID-19 infection, most people might believe you in the beginning. But what happens after it becomes increasingly obvious that they are almost ineffective at preventing COVID-19? While devout believers in church of Scientism might continue to believe in ordinary face masks irrespective of evidence to the contrary, many others are not that ideologically invested. To make another long story short, the massive loss of credibility caused by failure of such face masks will blow back on those most involved in promoting them and destroy whatever residual public credibility they might still command. If you thought people weren't believing in the pronouncements of attention-hungry losers such as Fauci or institutions such as CDC and FDA now, imagine how bad things could get once it becomes once it is obvious that these face masks don't work.
What do you think? Comments?