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  • Writer's pictureKL Forslund

Masked Reasoning

We’re a year later and folks are still arguing about masks. My drive has a couple drafts of unpublished articles on the subject. It doesn’t seem to me how I can change folks' minds on things. Kind of the feeling that most folks have on a lot of issues. I’ve thought about how I reached my conclusions, so if you like that kind of thing, here’s how I got there.

What Flu Season?

Let’s go back to last summer. I remember telling the wife and a few others that flu season wouldn’t be a big deal in 2020. They argued with me, because they saw people resisting wearing masks, where I saw that we went from 0% of the American population wearing masks, washing hands, etc to at least 50% or better. And sure enough, the Flu season in 2020 was mild. Amazing what happens when even some of a population is taking precautions that apply to a variety of infection spread concerns.

Cover your nose when you sneeze

Moms have been telling us to turn away, to cover our mouth and nose when we sneeze or cough. It’s obvious that germs, bacteria and viruses get spread if you don’t. Taking it further, wearing a mask when out in public helps catch more of that crud. Not all, but it helps. This science was figured out around 1910 by a Dr. Wu Lien-Teh in China of all places.

Government Mandate

I accept that a crisis can come up that requires the government, be it Federal, State or even local level, to issue an order that the public needs to comply with for the greater good. If that’s wearing a mask or getting a shot, recycling iron or starting a Victory Garden, then that’s what we all need to do. Sure, we should make sure it’s not motivated by evil, but if the boat is going sink unless everybody starts bailing water, the captain has a duty to issue that order and you better bail water with me.

The Side of Caution

There is a horrible amount of sedition and misinformation causing people to distrust the government, the news, the virus, masks, vaccines, etc. I side with scientists who went to school for many years with the goal to learn how something works and to help people. They don’t have an end game of playing a prank or world domination by making people wear a mask. And it’s such a simple thing. Strap it on, go into the store, come out, and take it off. So I favor wearing the darn thing. It’s not going to hurt me, and remember that Flu anecdote? Turns out it helped with that, too.

The Future

If we ever get out of CoronaTime, we ought to keep wearing masks and washing our hands. Why did we ever let humans breathe directly over our food while they prepared it? Why did we ever go to a populated place and share direct air with random people who could have a cold? Now you could argue, “but we’re social creatures” and that’s true. But we’re social in wanting to hang out with our friends, not pick up germs from randos at the supermarket. It wouldn’t surprise me if somebody who stuck with the protocol got sick far less than folks who returned to the old way of doing things. Maybe we ought to rethink how we do things.

A Few Last Words

I don’t feel persuasive with these issues. Saying “I did my own research” is what the other guys say as well. But I’m always going to side with scientists and actual evidence and history. Masks work. Vaccines work. We’re in unprecedented times, so the current Corona vaccine hasn’t got as solid a testing record, but it’s the best shot we’ve got right now.

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