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Why Mask Mandates Fail, According to the New York Times

Few things stirred up greater anger during the course of the epidemic than the government’s mandatory usage of facemasks as a prophylactic measure to curb the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), who was suspended from YouTube for citing studies that demonstrated fabric masks were unsuccessful at controlling Covidien, was an example of how just challenging the efficacy of masks or mask requirements may result in a social media suspension. 

Mask regulations have, for the most part, been eliminated throughout the United States, although debates over the usefulness of masks continue.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department under President Biden’s administration filed a petition with a federal appeals court requesting that the order of a District Court judge that declared the government mask mandate on airplanes, buses, and other transit unlawful be overturned. The Justice Department’s petition stated that the CDC had not sought public comment prior to the order and failed to adequately explain its reasoning. The judge had ruled that the government mask mandate was unlawful.

It’s possible that the time chosen by the Justice Department wasn’t the best.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its appeal on the same day that The New York Times published a piece examining the inefficiency of mask regulations. 

It does seem to be a contradiction to suggest that mandatory mask use is ineffective while voluntary mask use is effective. However, Leonhardt acknowledges the data that wearing masks may reduce the risk of contracting COVID, despite the fact that he presents a wealth of research indicating that mask regulations are ineffectual.

Covid has spread at a pace comparable to that in cities in the United States that have mask-resistant populations despite the widespread usage of face masks. Mask regulations implemented in schools seem to have had no impact on the disease’s spread. The latest Covid epidemic in Hong Kong was one of the worst in the world, despite the fact that practically everyone in the city wore a mask.

There are instances when proponents of mandates would claim that they do have a significant influence, despite the fact that this effect may not be seen in statistics collected from the whole population. This is due to the fact that there are so many other variables at play. However, this line of reasoning doesn’t appear to hold much water.

After all, the impact of vaccinations on severe sickness is glaringly clear in the geographic data: Locations with greater vaccination rates have had a significant reduction in the number of fatalities caused by covids.

Even while it may seem to be a contradiction that masks are effective and mask requirements are not, there is in fact a fairly straightforward explanation for the phenomena (even if this is not the only one).

It’s feasible, as Leonhardt points out, that those who are obliged to wear masks will wear them in a different manner than others who choose to wear masks of their own will.

There is a saying that is common among libertarians that goes, excellent ideas don’t need force.  It’s an excellent phrase, but it’s also crucial to keep in mind that using force almost always ends in failure.

Although people have a bad habit of forgetting this, Leonard Read took this concept very seriously. Read stated in his article titled “The Bloom Pre-Exists in the Seed,” which was published in 1969, that one may properly foresee the results of a particular action based on the methods that were used.

Investigate the deeds, or the methods, which are involved in the accomplishment of the objectives.

Inherent in the collectivistic approach…is the idea that the people will act as masterminds…

The life of the person is under the influence of others who are not inside it. On the other hand, from the perspective of an individualist, the most important thing to cherish is the uniqueness and singularity of every single person.

If a conscientious collectivist could… correctly analyze the authoritarian tactics that his way of thinking necessitates, it is probable that they would abandon their collectivist beliefs.

Regardless matter how noble the ends may be, if the methods are immoral, then the end product must also be immoral.

Read reasoned that it was necessary to concentrate first on the methods, and then on the objectives, because of this reason. Sadly, as a culture, we are rapidly adopting the opposite attitude, and during the epidemic, we saw sufficient evidence of this, including mask regulations.

To be clear, this is not the only possible explanation for the seeming contradiction concerning the purported efficacy of masks and the purported inefficiency of mask regulations.

If you have a paradox, the first thing you should do is verify your premises, as will be told to you by any thoughtful person worth his salt. It’s not out of the question that one of Leonhardt’s premises, such as masks work, but mask requirements don’t, is incorrect. (Given that the World Health Organization, the United States Surgeon General, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all expressed doubts about the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of respiratory viruses prior to and during the pandemic, I’m going to place my bets on the former group being incorrect rather than the latter group.)

It is safe to say that Leonard Read would have been have been one of the few voices in the wilderness during the pandemic warning that non-pharmaceutical interventions (lockdowns, mask mandates, etc.) would accomplish very little and would likely cause serious harms—and he would have been right. 

Read was aware that the bloom pre-exists in the seed, and because of this, it is possible that the application of force would, sooner or later, result in the production of rotting fruit.

The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on Headline Health.

Written by Staff Reports

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