Geopolitics

Take off the damn mask!

David Leonhardt writes about “Irrational COVID Fears” in the New York Times. The headline: “Why do so many vaccinated people stay anxious?” Oh i don’t know Perhaps because of the constant media hysteria and the insistence of Dr. Fauci and others that vaccinated people continue to wear masks?

Of course, this is not the place Leonhardt goes. It starts with the fact that most people are terrible at objectively assessing risk. This is both true and unfortunate, but not exactly new. The following applies to the Covid vaccination:

The vaccines have all but eliminated death, hospitalization and other serious Covid illnesses in people who have received gunfire.
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If you are vaccinated, Covid poses a tiny risk to you and you pose a tiny Covid risk to everyone else. Driving is a greater threat to you and others. About 100 Americans are likely to die in car accidents today. The new federal data suggests that either no person or one vaccinated person will die from Covid today.

Nevertheless, Leonhardt advocates wearing a mask after vaccination, basically as a concession to irrationality:

It is true that experts believe that vaccinated people should still wear a mask sometimes, partly because it’s a modest inconvenience that further reduces a tiny risk – and mostly because it adds to a culture of mask-wearing.

But if you’ve been vaccinated (and in my opinion, even if you haven’t), the “mask-wearing culture” is stupid and harmful.

It’s decent when most people haven’t been vaccinated.

Why is it “decent” to do something that is utterly pointless, potentially damaging to health, and contributing to the irrational fears that Leonhardt has already described?

When vaccinated, a mask is more of a symbol of solidarity than anything else.

Solidarity with whom? Dr. Fauci? The constantly masked, though vaccinated, Joe Biden? In reality, wearing a mask after vaccination is a symbol of submission to irrational state power.

How about that for a symbol? How about we all declare ourselves free of nonsense, take off our masks and go back to normal life?

I can’t explain why some people are so unnecessarily afraid of Covid. Leonhardt closes with this sad anecdote:

Dr. Ashish Jha of Brown University told us about his own struggle to get back to normal. He had been fully vaccinated for almost two months and only recently decided to meet a vaccinated friend for a drink, unmasked. “It was difficult – mentally difficult – for me,” said Jha.

Impressive. We need people like Dr. Help Jha recover from the covid hysteria. Let’s show solidarity with him by removing our masks so he and others like him can see that normal life is indeed possible.

Fortunately, we have some leaders who have not succumbed to desire. Like Ron DeSantis:

When you tell people, “Oh yeah, yeah, that’s important. Get the vaccine, ‘but then you still have social distancing, you can’t, you can’t, you can’t eat in a restaurant. Some of the people still say things like that.
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In my opinion, vaccines are effective when you get a vaccine, you are immune so act immune. If you tell people the opposite, then you know why, if it isn’t effective for them and doesn’t change anything, then what’s the point of going through it?

In other words, take the damn masks off.

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