The Cult of Masks

It requires complete and total adherence.

Masks have become a belief system. The cloth mask has become the symbol of a cult movement, whose advocates consider themselves endlessly virtuous, and whose members become enraged at the thought of an individual defying their supposedly righteous demands.

Today in America, membership in the mask cult requires complete and total trust and confidence in the mask, because we are still left with a paper-thin body of evidence that masks do anything positive to slow the spread or prevent transmission of the novel coronavirus. It doesn’t matter if you wear a surgical mask, a cloth mask, or even a bandana, any face covering suffices to show that you are a member in good standing with the mask cult. 

Those who aren’t true believers must be demonized and dehumanized, in the name of “safety” and protecting others. Failure to secure that piece of cloth to your face, regardless of if you are anywhere near another human being, is now being interpreted as an act of total recklessness, or even violent behavior. Governments have instituted 4 figure penalties for failure to comply. In many places in America, you can be arrested or even imprisoned for not wearing a mask. 

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Many of the true believers in the mask cult have become convinced that this is literally a life or death matter. Some become enraged when they see someone failing to comply with their demands:

My friend Daniel Horowitz, a practicing modern orthodox Jew who writes over at Conservative Review and elsewhere, regularly reminds me that his faith is seemingly amateurish compared to the rigid ideologues he encounters in politics. I always get a laugh out of his trademark line during our phone conversations: “You think I’m religious? They’re the religious ones!” 

When it comes to the conversation surrounding masks and COVID-19 prevention and transmission, this line of reasoning certainly applies. 

There are no reputable studies showing that cloth masks (or something like a bandana or towel) helps the mask wearer or the person near the mask wearer. The “studies” that mask mandate advocates point to are largely a handful of scientists who *model* universal masking based on either anecdotal evidence (remember the *two* COVID-19 positive hair stylists wore masks and no one got sick) or transmission studies involving the spread of “droplets,” which is distinctly different than tracking the spread of a submicroscopic infectious particle.

“What’s the downside?” say some of the mask advocates. “Just wear the mask. It can’t hurt” is the logic we frequently see on television and in print.

That’s certainly not true. In fact, there are many established negatives to mask wearing, and they cover a wide variety of detrimental physical, mental, and emotional effects. Also, rebreathing the virus through a mask can potentially result in further complications from COVID-19. 

Now that we’ve established that there are many potential downsides and risks to universal mask wearing and mask mandates, are we allowed to debate these issues openly and publicly?

The answer is an emphatic “no” from the proponents of mask mandates and universal masking.

In fact, the mask cult has doubled down on the supposed efficacy of masks. 

At first, we were told that “my mask protects you.” Now, suddenly, the goal posts have shifted to complete and total faith in the cloth or bandana or towel that is loosely secured around most people’s faces. The mask not only protects you, it protects others. The ever-expanding faith in the cloth has now transformed into an object that provides complete protection to the true believers.

Bloomberg has a piece up today arguing that an outbreak on a plane proves that masks work, because the person who got infected by the virus had a momentary slip up involving his mask. The man “let his guard down allowing his face mask to slip below his nose,” the report says. “That lapse appears to have been how he became infected with Covid-19." Of course, the story ignored the countless variables that could have caused this unidentified man to acquire the coronavirus, other than his very brief mask faux pas.

Also today, the media went into full frenzy mode after a Republican congressman who opposed mask wearing has tested positive (but is asymptomatic) for the virus. 

Mask mandates are not only foolish, but just like lockdowns, they are by all indications a net negative across the board. Mandatory masking is another "cure" to a problem that is worse than the disease. And don’t be fooled, a mask is not your ticket to more autonomy, it is just the opposite. It is your ticket to tyranny. When the people in power see that they can control you, they will demand more. It’s worth remembering during these tumultuous times that  your unalienable rights do not expire because of a virus. 

Many otherwise decent Americans have been fooled into believing they can "do their part" to stop the spread, and that masks are part of that “science.” But remember, there's very little, if any evidence to support that. Nonetheless, people who aren't wearing masks are branded selfish barbarians, which is not only ridiculous and unfair, but rich coming from some of the same political leaders who ordered sick patients into nursing homes. Perhaps the worst part of mask mania is that it is tearing apart our social cohesion. Those of us who question the “science” have been branded the infidels of the cult/religion of mask wearing.