Cloth Mask: Symbol of Societal Harm

For two years, the experts’ dictums around masks have been contradictory, confusing and incorrect. Especially cloth masks.

First, we must begin with the fact that at the beginning of the pandemic, US surgeon general Jerome Adams specifically said not to wear masks. Any kind of mask. Even an N95 mask, which he said needs to be fitted properly and should only be used in a medical setting. Anthony Fauci also said mask-wearing by the general public was not necessary on 60 Minutes.

Then, the messaging changed and we were told to do the opposite. Cloth masks were celebrated and encouraged. Masks were deemed an essential tool to combat Covid. Masks became emblematic of the pandemic, always there to remind us (along with the news) that it was happening. This tool–a mask–was so important in the fight against Covid, that people were arrested for not using it.

The CDC gave some guidance on fabric type and fit on its website, meanwhile studies supporting cloth masks were flimsy at best. Perhaps knowing this, the CDC eventually recommended wearing two masks to improve the efficacy and fit of cloth masks about a YEAR AND A HALF into the pandemic.

Think about that. It took the best minds in science well over a year to figure out that cloth masks are so ineffective you should wear TWO of them.

But why didn’t they KNOW that already? There were several studies, dated PRIOR to the pandemic, asserting that cloth masks aren’t effective and shouldn’t be used. Heck, a 2015 study in the NIH’s National Library of Medicine stated 97% of respiratory viral particles penetrated the cloth masks and weren’t recommended for health care workers!

But the massive mixed messaging around cloth masks REALLY took off when epidemiologist and advisor to the Biden Administration, Michael Osterholm, went on CCN in August 2021 and dropped this bombshell:

In the video Osterholm says: “Many of the cloth face coverings people wear are not very effective in reducing any of the virus movement in or out; either your breathing out or your breathing in. And in fact, if you’re in the Upper Midwest right now, those who are wearing their face cloth covering can tell you, they can smell all the smoke that we’re still getting. We need to talk about better masking.”

Excuse me? Sixteen months into the pandemic and this leader in Science who advises the president on all things Covid is JUST NOW discovering (even with the benefit of relevant studies available to him in government-owned libraries) that cloth masks are “not very effective”?

So, people wore cloth masks for over a year in good faith, believing they were effective protection against a deadly virus, and this guy comes along and blows that out of the water. But, no biggie! Nobody’s ticked off with the government and media approved experts about this fairly large error regarding a critical life-saving tool.

Even after her colleague on CNN said so, it took Dr. Leana Wen another few months to clearly state that cloth masks do nothing. Her actual words during a CNN interview in late December 2021 were, “Cloth masks are little more than facial decoration. There’s no place for them in light of Omicron. So wear a quality mask, at least a 3-ply surgical mask.”

Faced with this media hitjob on cloth masks, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky finally conceded on January 14, 2022 that that cloth masks aren’t that effective but “the best mask you can wear is the one you will wear.” Almost two years into this pandemic and now the recommendation is that it doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you have something on your face.

You don’t saw a log with a butter knife. The type and quality of a tool needed for a job MATTERS. Especially when it comes to a tool so important in “the fight against Covid” that you can get arrested, or be publicly accused of killing people, for not using it. But the truth is, there STILL is not a consensus about mask usage–type, fit, fabric or even if they are necessary in the first place–and there never has been.

For every parent who insists all children be masked in school to protect others because there is no real risk to the child, there is another who cites an article stating that masking is detrimental to children. Meanwhile, many of the masks worn by children are…..cloth. Cloth masks that, according to one media-anointed expert, are mere “facial decoration.” Do we need to wonder why some people are losing patience with masks and would like them to be optional? And also why others are digging in their heels and want those masks to stay on?

At first, our trusted government and media experts said that they didn’t want people to wear masks. Then they said they DID want people to wear them, absent of any major study to justify the switch. Pro-mask studies and news articles flooded the internet AFTER they made the recommendation. This distinction is important. Why? Because the government suddenly told us to do something that they specifically told us NOT to do, BEFORE there was any “science” to justify their total 360.

The president says he wants to send N95 masks to Americans. But the CDC still presents cloth masks as a viable option and the prior US Surgeon General said N95s aren’t appropriate for the public either.

Are you seeing an insane-making pattern of contradictions here, or is it just me?

Contradictions like this are a wonderful way to sow fear, confusion and anger amongst the public. How about we all come off this battlefield and take a look at who is really causing societal harm in this country?

2 thoughts on “Cloth Mask: Symbol of Societal Harm”

  1. It is impossible to stop a 0.1 micron particle (the virus) with an 80 micron filter (average for cloth masks). the whole thing was ridiculous. Masks were the same as every other COVID restriction. We had no reason to believe that selective business closure, social distancing, or masks would prevent the spread of an airborne virus. For 2 years while we were “following the science” we somehow managed to ignore absolutely all science and engineering.

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