The Remarkably Surprising Results of Ending Mask Mandates
A number of states have recently lifted mask mandates after months or years of forced masking - so what's happened afterwards?
During the pandemic, an endlessly repeated phrase from experts, media members, politicians and social media pundits has been that it’s “too soon” to lift restrictions.
It’s important to deconstruct the intentions encapsulated in that phrase, because it’s remarkably pernicious.
The implication of the infuriating phrase, “it’s too soon to lift restrictions,” is that restrictions were proven to have had a demonstrable impact on the spread of COVID, which is entirely inaccurate. It also implies that restrictions should be considered necessary or valuable for a virus which will likely infect everyone on earth, possibly multiple times throughout their lifetime.
There’s also the unspoken assumption that restrictions are imposed at no cost; that masking kids in schools, for example, has little to no downside with significant benefits.
We’ve seen the results of masking across the general population and in specific populations:
By pretending that mask mandates ever had any evidentiary basis, that the “benefits” will always outweigh the harms, while ignoring the inescapable reality that COVID will infect essentially everyone regardless of policy, the phrase that it’s “too soon” is profoundly ignorant and extremely disturbing.
Even now, as the Los Angeles City Council voted to end the vaccine requirement for many businesses, they have already set the stage for future mandates:
“I know it feels like we’re out of the woods. It feels like we’re all going back to normal. But there’s new variants and new strains all the time,” he said. “This BA.2 (variant) is spreading and we really don’t know what the variant a month from now or two months are.”
Martinez responded last week by saying, “I agree with you on that,” and noted that the City Council would have to revisit the vaccination mandates “as we learn to live with this pandemic unfortunately.”
Of course, Martinez ignores the unequivocal, inarguable fact that the vaccine mandates and passports in Los Angeles he’s advocated for had zero impact whatsoever on the rate of spread: