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I own two face masks; my fetching spouse of 36 years, at least two or three. Our Governor here in Pennsylvania, Tom Wolf, long commanded us under his virtually unlimited emergency powers to wear “face diapers” in public places, indoors. Outdoors is “optional,” but “recommended.” Virginia’s Governor, quite belatedly, has just followed suit.
I see no need to wear a mask on my outdoor runs and bike rides. After all, science shows that the risk of contracting the coronavirus outdoors is about zero.
If it makes you feel better that you’re protected from my possibly tainted droplets and spittle, great. I am especially sensitive to our grocery story workers and my local pizza maker. I want everyone to “feel” safe, and I’m mindful that many people, including friends, have underlying chronic conditions that make them especially vulnerable to this novel virus. After all, I’m 63, so I’m sort of on the cusp.
But former New York Times journalist Alex Berenson (also the author of a great book, Tell Your Children, about the effects of marijuana consumption) has it right.
Our governor, his team, and many others elsewhere claim to “follow the science” and “the data.” Well, so do I, but unlike him, I follow it all, not just that which fits into my worldview or political agenda. And it says something very different.
There are recent studies suggesting that wearing face masks outside of surgical and related medical settings is not very effective, including one as recent as April.
The same government experts who tell us to wear masks today were the same ones, in March, extolling us not to wear masks. Something changed. Sadly, they’re the same people who totally ignored the science from a team of epidemiologists in 2006, led by the doctor credited for eradicating Smallpox (D.A. Henderson), which asserted that quarantines were ineffective.
One of my favorite bumper stickers from the 1980s was “Question Authority.” There is no better time to do that than now.Published in