The most egregious and horrific image over these past tilt-o–whirl of years doesn’t come from the bloody and shelled streets of Ukraine. Nor does it come from the burning skyscape of American cities in 2020’s summer of rage. It doesn’t even come from TV promos for “1000-lb. Sisters.”
The most blood-boiling, tension-squeezing, nail-spitting, pulse-jumping, arrhythmia-inducing impression took place in, of all places, a preschool. It was of a little boy being forcibly bridled by an inhuman caretaker in the name of “stopping the spread.” The child, demonstrating it’s never too young to grasp the wisdom of repugnance, heroically resists the muffling, while his minder struggles in vain to mask him.
The video evoked in non-maskiphiliac parents the kind of visceral anger a lion feels when his or her cubs are threatened on the savanna. Were the boy one of my daughters, the Loudoun County clink would have its pop count tick up by one.
Lazy father I am, my kids were never taught the proper way to strap on those one-ply bacteria collectors that are all now gathering algae at the bottom of the ocean. We avoided daycares for the first COVID years. Now that they’re “someone else’s problem during the day,” otherwise known as kindergarten, they can frolic freely, smiles unsmothered.
Oh, and I get the wonderful esteem boost of being vindicated. A new survey of studies done by the research consortium Cochrane found that masks were ineffective at preventing COVID-19 transmission. John Tierney, who reviewed the Cochrane review, reports: “It may seem intuitive that masks must do something. But even if they do trap droplets from coughs or sneezes (the reason that surgeons wear masks), they still allow tiny viruses to spread by aerosol even when worn correctly—and it’s unrealistic to expect most people to do so.”
The lead author of the review, Tom Jefferson of Oxford (Ooooooo), offers no qualifying purple prose. His assessment is as blunt as a rock: “There is just no evidence that [masks] make any difference. Full stop.”
Now, before the hypochondriacs among us start screaming DISINFORMATION!!! and dial 911 to get our humble publication banned on Facebook, I’m going to commit an argumentative fallacy: appeal to authority. Cochrane isn’t a crank firm. Funded by the National Institute of Health (you know, the same NIH where St. Fauci toiled for decades on our ungrateful behalf) and other governmental health ministries, and partner of the Sino-captured World Health Organization, Cochrane is properly credentialed. The Great Barrington Declaration this is not.
So there: the science has debunked The Science™. Checkmate, libs. You can send your groveling apologies for force-masking everyone to 1100 S Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL 33480. And for the love of sense, stop making Joe Biden randomly mask up on the South Lawn while he gets lost puttering the 500 feet back to the Oval.
Of course, this incontrovertible evidence won’t convince the diehard mask worshipers, who treat the chin diapers like sacraments. You’ll still see bug-eyed blue voters with N95s Velcroed to their ears at the grocery store. Medical facilities still require face coverings, if only to qualify for Medicaid reimbursement. Science, evidence, proof, and empiricism are only arrows in the left’s quiver—they aren’t the basis of any actual policy.
Mask mandates were always based on flimsy evidence, and the notion that doctors and dentists wore them for a reason pre-pandemic. And they still remain an available tool many schools are still employing, especially over this past winter’s “tridemic.” But in light of the Cochrane review, the onus needs to shift. In public policy, the burden of proof falls on the mandaters, demanders, and imposers who seek to disrupt normal life. Forced change should be done for a rational reason—it’s only fair. But liberalism is about undermining fairness for its own ends. Like an apex predator, liberalism seeks the easiest, most vulnerable victims to impose its will.
Which brings us, as always, back to the kids, whose childhood was spent receiving classroom instruction from NPCs. “Children everywhere spent a year wearing masks solely to assuage the neurotic fears of adults,” Tierney wrote in the summer of 2021. That projected healthism continued for at least another year in many leftist enclaves, and there are some students, if my daughter’s parochial school is any indication, that have been mentally scarred into donning masks permanently.
For the youngsters who had the misfortune of navigating through an expression-less world for two years, the backslide in speech and emotional-cue recognition will take even longer to rectify, if it can be pushed back up at all. Worst of all, the sacrifice was for naught. Children were never at risk of being COVID superspreaders thanks to their naturally small ACE2 receptors, the primary vectors for keeping and spreading virii. Masks weren’t going to “stop the spread” anyway.
It turns out Tucker Carlson wasn’t stirring the rhetorical pot too hard when he called masking minors “child abuse.” He was all too prescient. And the Covidiots who still insist on capping their turned-up chins? Let the jaw-strapped phonies enjoy their smug performance. The rest of us can laugh, flying spittle and all, at their virtue theater.