Face Masks in Northern Michigan
Marie, five of our kids, and I took our annual trip to Alpena, Michigan for a long weekend. Five days. We normally go up in July or August for ten days, but weddings and other family exigencies have made the forecast pretty clear: virtually no free weekends from June through August = no vacation.
It was a great trip and, to be honest, lifted the COVID syndrome off my shoulders. The shift in scenery shifted my perspective, even though Alpena is far more COVID sensitive than my town, with even the staunchest rednecks wearing face masks at Walmart.
The host on Relevant Radio this morning said his liberal friends wear face masks and his conservative friends don't. That's a freakin' shame. Yes, the CDC and Fauci apparently lied about face masks in order to preserve them for health care workers. Yes, I believe we have been lied to repeatedly about this virus from Day One (more on that below). Yes, it certainly appears the entire risk was grossly overblown.
But come on. Clearly, COVID was a risk and remains a risk . . . at some level. Wearing a mask is a small inconvenience. Wearing a mask definitely greatly reduces the germs you spread, even if their effectiveness at protecting you is only mediocre.
Masks, in short, are the least restrictive means to help with the COVID problem. Compared to lockdowns, they are barely a blip on the screen. They should be the conservative middle finger to humorless liberal governors who don't even believe in their own orders: "We don't need your lockdown orders. We can simply wear face masks."
And why do I say we've been lied to since Day One of the COVID crisis? Simply because much of the information--from death rates, to the efficacy of face masks, to how far the virus travels, to the effect on the young, to the need for social distancing, to how long the virus lives on surfaces--has been wrong. You might respond, "We are still learning about the virus. The authorities didn't lie. They were merely mistaken."
But the mistake is where the lie was. The authorities didn't say, "Well, frick, we really have no idea. This is just our wild*** guess based on the best evidence we have." No, they assured us they were right. They spoke as assuredly as a brimstone Puritan preacher. They didn't let on that they really didn't know. That's where the deceit was.
And that assumes that they weren't just flat-out lying to us or grossly exaggerating on purpose.