On Sunday, three academics from the Brown University School of Public Health wrote a piece for NBCNews.com arguing for more mask mandates to benefit the public's physical and mental health.
People, Place and Health Collective's Abdullah Shihipar and Brown University's William Goedel and Abigail Cartus claimed we are in the middle of a “tripledemic” of flu, Covid, and Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and recommended we take similar measures to the ones we took in the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, “starting with the most basic and flexible level of protection: masking. When and where respiratory viruses are surging, mask mandates should be reinstated.”
“Masks work and, critically, they don’t need to work perfectly to have a positive impact,” they wrote. “A recent study found that Boston school districts that had lifted mandates averaged 45 more Covid cases per 1,000 students and staff than those with mandates.”
To bolster the argument, they added that evidence suggests masks are effective against the flu, as well, and that is why there were such low rates of flu during the pandemic.
They also claimed, “Mask mandates not only stem the spread of diseases but also have helpful psychological benefits.”
Their point was that mandates “remove the onus on individuals to figure out ‘what is safe.’”
Ah, understood. It is psychologically beneficial for the public to avoid thinking for themselves. Just wear the obedience diaper, do not question it.
As if that was not enough reason for mandatory masking, they added, “[a] mandate preempts the awkwardness of having to ask people to mask or of having to disclose a high-risk condition.”
How about the awkwardness of not being able to understand people because they are wearing a muzzle? How about the awkwardness of not being able to smile at one another? How about the awkwardness of not being able to breathe normally?
They argued for permanent masking even after this “tripledemic” ends.
The trio added: “We should always encourage mask-wearing during fall and winter seasons (as these respiratory viruses tend to transmit more efficiently in colder weather due to changes in humidity and how much time people spend indoors) and in busy places like mass transit and grocery stores.”
Towards the end, they conceded that “[w]e are all tired — of the pandemic and its attendant disruptions to our lives, of taking mitigation measures.”
But with that said, they still argued for doing this permanently: “The pandemic has taught us that levels of community transmission of respiratory diseases can increase quickly and unpredictably. Luckily, it has also taught us how to take action to decrease their dangers.”
The American public have learned from the past two years and will almost certainly never let ideas like this happen again.