We should all wear face masks, as often as possible, this is simply obvious, isn’t it?
Firstly, I am absolutely not a “Covid-denier”, or an “anti-vaxxer”,
– it’s clearly a really nasty virus, and I fully support anyone who takes sensible steps to avoid contracting it.
I just happen to believe, having a read a great deal on the subject, that wearing masks makes little if any difference to the spread of the virus.
At this point in the pandemic I would suggest there is also now a huge amount of evidence available to support this belief.
At least 90% of people have been wearing face coverings, as directed by new UK laws, for many months,
– yet despite this we have seen a large spike in reported cases towards the end of 2020, and into the early part of 2021.
It’s not just in the UK that widespread mask wearing is obviously not doing a great deal to stop the virus making its way through the population,
– here are a few charts demonstrating how little mask wearing has changed the course of virus infections in other European countries:
But surgeons wear them, so surely we all should if we can, whenever we can?
Let’s start with why this is not true, here is an excellent explanation:
So why do governments keep encouraging everyone to wear masks, “flying in the face” of evidence that they achieve little or nothing ?
Possibly because they make people feel like they are ‘doing something to protect themselves”, possibly because they keep the fact that there is a nasty virus around in people’s minds,
– possibly because seeing everyone wear them creates fear, and fear is the best way of making people comply with things that ordinarily they simply would not.
The more fear you can generate, the more compliant people will be. It’s a simple and undeniable truth.
It’s not a new concept. It’s a tactic that dictators and despots have employed for thousands of years with great success.
Let’s run over a few of the other claims being made in support of forcing us to wear masks in shops
Claim 1: “We must now wear masks in shops, because the science has changed”.
Six months into the pandemic masks were made compulsory in all public indoor environments where people were not eating or drinking, supposedly because “the science had changed”.
Except, the UK government doesn’t seem to think it needs to provide any evidence of this supposed “change in the science”,
– and countries like Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands continue to state openly that there is still no reliable scientific evidence to support the claim that wearing masks in shops reduces transmission of the Covid-19.
The results of a large study released on 18th of November, in Denmark, found the difference in infection rates in two groups, one which wore masks, one which did not, were “not statistically significant”.
In fact far from reducing them, cloth mask wearing may even lead to higher transmission rates in some scenarios, as most ‘non-medical’ people do not use them correctly,
– in fact, they routinely ignore just about every guideline for their safe use.
If you are honest you will probably admit that you do most of the things under:
“TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS, AVOID THESE COMMON MASK-WEARING MISTAKES”
– and hardly any of the ones listed under:
“FOLLOW THESE GUIDELINES TO PROPERLY WEAR YOUR FACE MASK”
The result is that the benefits of mask wearing seen under laboratory conditions, are balanced, quite possibly outweighed, by the way that masks are stored, put on, worn, and taken off, “in the real world”.
This goes a long way to explaining why, if we stand back and take a look at what effect masks have had in altering the course of the pandemic across the globe, the evidence points very strongly to one conclusion,
– “none at all”.
So again, why are most governments around the globe, so keen to force people to wear face masks, in more and more scenarios?
– despite the Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jenny Harries reiterating that the evidence that masks reduce the spreading of the virus “is not strong”.
(Presumably she’s not one of the increasing number of people in government with shares in PPE and/or vaccine manufacturers)
There is another reason behind the push to keep us all “masked up”, for as long as possible, and in as many places as possible…
– it makes it seem like our elected representatives are “doing something”, “taking some action to keep us safe”.
That’s what governments must do. Or at least they almost all believe they must, after all, a government’s first duty is to protect its citizens. Or at least to look like it is.
Forcing masks on the population is a “no lose”, from a government point of view.
What do I mean by ‘no lose’ ?
There are a huge number of factors which can, and do, routinely affect the transmission of Covid-19.
However, if infection rates happen to drop after mandating more mask wearing,
– then the government involved will obviously claim credit,
– the rate drop was obviously down to their “smart intervention”, it was clearly a direct result of forcing people to wear masks more often, in more places.
Alternatively, if the infection rate happens to go up some time shortly afterwards, the government can, and of course will, simply say,
– “well just imagine how bad it would have been if we hadn’t made mask wearing compulsory!”
They can’t lose, either way they win.
Masks in shops were mandated in England on 24th of July.
Infections had been dropping steadily over the previous month or two.
Not that long afterwards infections began to rise again.
As predicted, absolutely no one in authority suggested these two facts may be connected. Masks wearing in laboratories works, so how dare anyone question that the same will be true on the High Street,
– where people are putting them on and taking them off repeatedly, without washing their hands, and touching all sorts of potentially infected surfaces as they do so?
Unless there is a massive public backlash this will never stop. We are already being “softened up” for the reintroduction of masks next Winter, even if they are temporarily relaxed during the Summer of 2021.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that once most of the population has been vaccinated, facemask law will be repealed,
– it will be argued that we need to continue to protect those who haven’t been vaccinated, and/or those who the vaccine does not protect,
– or maybe even that we should wear them to protect against ‘flu, which has killed tens of thousands of people in the UK in previous years, famously 80,000, back in 1969/70.
More of this later.
Note: We may well see a move to push the Police and Crime Commissioner, Metro Mayor, and local elections, already delayed by one year,
– back another six months to the Autumn of 2021.
Meanwhile every other European nation will have managed to hold elections in 2020.
This anti-democratic move should be resisted as strongly as possible.
We very badly need elections to give the government “feedback” on how they have handled the pandemic.
We also therefore badly need a party to vote for which will represents the view of an increasingly large percentage of the population,
– that the damage “hard lockdowns” are doing to our economy, and to public health in general,
– now far outweighs any benefits in terms of reducing the spread of the virus.
It looks like we may well have a choice of several parties putting forward this view very shortly, Reform UK, Reclaim, the Libertarian party, UKIP and SDP. Assuming we are permitted to vote in 2021.
My own view is that we should protect the elderly and vulnerable, where they want to be protected (not all do),
– and allow the rest of the population, who very little more to fear from Covid-19 than a Cold or ‘flu, to live their lives as they used to do.
(It has long been established that more than 95% of people who die from the virus are either very elderly, and/or had a serious underlying health condition, usually several)
It makes no sense, and is simply not fair, to continue to place severe, indefinite restrictions on the lives of 98% of the population who have nothing to fear from Covid-19.
It needs to stop now. Protect the vulnerable by vaccinating them, or shielding them, and allow everyone else to get on with their lives, using Common Sense and personal responsibility.
The tactics we used to employ to deal with a nasty virus.
As an example: If a college student returns home, and there has been an outbreak of Covid-19 at their university, then they know enough by now not to rush up to granny and hug her when they get home. Wait for at least 10 days, preferably two weeks first, or maybe don’t visit her at all.
This is how we used to deal with viruses, like ‘flu, which has always unfortunately always killed a lot of elderly people,
– if we felt ill, or knew that we had been in recent contact with someone who had ‘flu, we made sure we didn’t give it to our elderly relatives by avoiding contact with them.
We used Common Sense. We took personal responsibility for our actions. We didn’t try to blame the gov’t.
We certainly did not scare young children stupid, by telling them “Don’t hug granny or you will kill her”,
– despite the fact we know that young children can easily pass ‘flu to grandparents,
– but most evidence indicates there is very little chance they will pass Covid-19 to them:
“findings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) could not recall episodes during contact tracing where transmission occurred from a child to an adult”.
This doesn’t stop certain people trying to fill very young children’s minds full of the fear of exactly this. Step forward Matt Hancock, Nicola Sturgeon, and many local councils. To name but a few.
Difficult not to view setting out to deliberately induce this level of fear, into such young children, based on effectively no evidence whatsoever… as just “plain evil”. Difficult for me anyway.
I have outlined how I believe we can carry out the principles of the Great Barrington Declaration, incorporating vaccines to protect the most vulnerable in society, and releasing everyone else, on this web site:
Claim 2: “Wearing a mask protects other people, and it can not harm you”.
In certain scenarios if you wear a cloth mask it may protect other people, to a small degree.
(Although a recent study by the CDC, “Centres For Disease Control and Prevention” in the USA, suggested ‘this degree’, is so small as to not be measurable
There are however a huge number of scenarios where “donning a face mask” can lead to you getting infected with Covid-19, when you may well not have done if you hadn’t.
As touched on above, these scenarios include, but are not limited to:
i) If you do not wash your hands thoroughly before putting it on
ii) If you have not kept the mask in a ‘Covid-19 free’ container at all times
iii) If it’s a reusable mask, and you have not washed it correctly
iv) If you have not washed your hands thoroughly before taking it off
v) If you don’t dispose of it properly, and immediately, once taken off.
vi) If you touch anything contaminated with the virus whilst wearing it, and then adjust the mask on your face.
I would invite you to take a moment to observe people wearing a mask in supermarkets,
– even for a just few seconds. Chances are you will see them “fiddle with it”.
Contamination from anything that they have touched since they last washed their hands can get transferred to their face, and the mask they are wearing, “fiddling with”.
Masks are uncomfortable to wear, they slip, they lead to increased sweating, they itch, particularly in a warm indoor environment,
– consequently it’s almost inevitable that you will touch your face far more regularly whilst wearing one.
Perhaps you keep your mask in a box which you sanitise regularly, you wash it every time you wear it, sanitise/wash your hands immediately before you put it on, and always resist the urge to adjust it whilst wearing it,
– if you do I would suggest you are a very unusual. I personally don’t know anyone who does any of the above, never mind “all of”.
Some people have claimed that the wearing cloth masks for any significant period of time reduces the amount of oxygen breathed in, and increases the amount of carbon dioxide,
– and that this can cause a variety o health issues.
Most medical professionals argue these risks are very small for people in good health, however the situation is very different if you already have any kind of respiratory problems, and there are some who disagree:
You might want to think twice if you are in the habit of making your young child, who is incredibly unlikely to suffer harm from Covid-19, and/or pass the virus on to anyone else who might do so….
– wear a cloth mask for anything other than a very short period.
The following provides quite a good summary of the potential dangers to human health of wearing face masks, particularly for prolonged periods:
A claim that is much harder to disprove, becomes it is eminently and obviously true, is that mask wearing often leads to a false sense of security.
People will stand and talk ‘face to face’ when wearing a mask, perhaps just a foot or two apart, in a way they almost certainly wouldn’t do if they were not “masked up”.
Typically, because masks muffle sound, people will speak more loudly whilst wearing them, with more force, and expel more virus particles.
There is also evidence that due to an increased feeling of “security”, a feeling of “being protected”,
– people often become less vigilant with respect to their hand hygiene and social distancing.
Governments have very clearly been mandating face masks in ever more places, without any scientific evidence as to whether they will increase or decrease virus transmission “in the real world”,
– on the basis that ‘well they can’t do any harm, and they might do some good”.
In a laboratory environment masks may well “only have benefits”,
– however when put on and taken off repeatedly on the High Street”, mask wearing clearly can also have significant downsides, they can potentially increase virus transmission rather than reduce it.
Before mandating masks in any environment, governments need to begin carefully evaluating the risks of “more harm than good” being the end result outside of laboratory conditions.
We should also demand that they specify the conditions which, when met, will result in the relevant laws being repealed. If we don’t, there is a good chance we will be forced to wear them in many scenarios, forever more.
Claim 3: “Mask wearing in shops will encourage people to return to shopping on the High Street”.
The government gambled that more people will lose the intense fear that has been driven into them on a daily basis for many months, and go out shopping again, now that it is a legal requirement to wear a face mask in most retail outlets,
– than will decide that they really don’t want to wear a mask in order to shop on the High Street, and either not buy things at all, or just order them from Amazon and wait for them to turn up on their doorstep.
Given the absence of any proper scientific justification, it would be reasonable to assume that this was one of the primary “drivers” behind mandating mask wearing in shops.
I am not a behavioural scientist, however if you are extremely fearful of Covid-19,
– are you really going to feel more comfortable going into shops, now that the vast majority of other shoppers’ faces are hidden by masks?
Since the introduction of the new laws, going to a supermarket is like entering the set of post-apocalypse movie.
Whether you personally are wearing a mask or not, it’s really, really not a pleasant experience.
Absolutely everyone (other than the staff, possibly) in the store has one thought on their mind, “let’s get outta here”, and as soon as possible.
There are more downsides to face coverings. Argue they are “worth the benefits” if you wish, but pretending they don’t exist is unacceptable and simply duplicitous.
Humans use facial expressions to communicate,
– not being able to see the majority of someone’s face consciously, or sub-consciously disturbs most of us. It’s not what we used to in the UK, and it makes us feel uncomfortable.
It’s not “new normal”. It’s just not “normal” at all.
Unsurprisingly, all the early evidence shows that “the gamble has failed”.
On the whole, people have become more scared, not less, and have altered their behaviour accordingly,
– as a result footfall on the High Street and in Shopping Centres has gone down since mask wearing has been mandated, not up.
So, if this continues, given there is no evidence proving they prevent infections on the High Street, and plenty that at best they are ‘infection spreading neutral”, the government will just repeal the law requiring mask to be worn in shops , right?
No of course it won’t. This is a government that never admits it is wrong.
I believe there is also another large agenda here, around the take up of vaccines.
A lot of people will understandably be very wary of having a vaccine which has been rushed through clinical trials, in well under a year, compared to the normal cycle of 10 to 15 years, injected into their body.
If, like Boris, you believe such people are just “silly anti-vaxxers”, you may care to watch this:
We may be closer to herd immunity in the UK that was previously thought, partly because we “Locked Down” later than many other countries, but mostly because most of us have more defences against the virus than specific antibodies, as are gained from having been exposed to it.
This fact is widely acknowledged amongst medical experts, yet Sir Patrick seems curiously unaware of it.
Or if he is, he never mentions it. All he ever talks about is the number who have antibodies. Strange…
It appears from the latest research that 20 to 50% of people may have T cells which react to, and often successfully fight off, Covid-19, despite that person never having been exposed to the virus previously.
If Sir Patrick isn’t aware of this research, then he “sure as Hell” should be.
At least they seemed to be aware of it at a high level of government in the US
We are having strict restrictions placed on us for another six months, on the basis that only 10% of the population to date has built up antibodies, and the other 90% are therefore extremely vulnerable to being infected.
If this is in reality only 30 or 40%, this paints a very different picture of how the virus is likely to behave in the coming months.
One thing seems reasonably certain, the imposition of mask wearing isn’t going away any time soon. Very likely it will be maintained throughout 2021, quite possibly well into 2022, despite the evidence that it provides any significant benefit in reducing virus transmission “not being strong”.
If you are interested in a little extra reading on the subject of cloth face masks, the following lists a lot of the studies that have been done, and gives their findings:
I would suggest that it is fair to conclude that mask wearing in shops was introduced without any genuine scientific justification, consequently it’s not likely it will be ended as a result of one. It was a purely political move. “The science”, had not changed.
For the reasons outlined above, it is almost certainly only going to be expanded for the foreseeable future.
One school has already said it will make all children and teachers wear face masks, at all times, in all school buildings:
There is zero scientific evidence that this will serve to protect anyone, in any way, it’s very widely acknowledged in the scientific community that, certainly young children, simply do not transmit the virus, to each other, or adults,
– and a whole host of evidence that forcing children and teachers to wear masks whilst indoors, at all times, will achieve precisely nothing, other than make their lives miserable.
Younger don’t transmit it, older children are highly likely to indulge in behaviour which might, either “unseen” at school, or as soon as they leave it.
We now have many schools across the UK requiring children aged 12 and above to wear face masks in communal areas
– because the WHO, which is essentially run by China, and for the benefit of China, suddenly decided that this should happen.
But still plenty of outbreaks in secondary schools across the UK (Even with just keyworkers’ children attending)
Meanwhile life in China has returned to normal. Their totalitarian regime which was able to introduce sufficiently harsh measures, for a sufficiently long time, that they were able to successfully eliminate the virus… which they exported out to the world at the end of 2019/early 2020.
Shutting down internal flights, sealing off the infected areas, but continuing to allow flights out to the rest of the world.
More of this in:
We have an increasingly totalitarian regime in the UK, making dramatic decisions about people’s daily lives, removing personal freedoms and liberties, almost on a daily basis,
In most areas it has become almost impossible to see a GP ‘face to face’.
So now that we have government prepared to trample all over civil liberties, impose draconian restrictions “at the drop of a hat”, indefinitely, essentially becoming increasingly similar to China’s,
– why don’t we try and eliminate the virus in the UK, as they have done in China?
Again I cover this extensively under the tab: “https://petedurnell.com/covid-19-how-did-we-get-into-this-mess-and-how-do-we-get-out/”
Essentially we could. It would be extremely costly economically, but we are an island, so we could do it.
The real problem would arise once it had been achieved, what then?
In 2019 London’s 6 airports saw around 100 million people arrive in the UK, even if this was reduced down to a fraction in 2021, say 10 million,
– how can we possibly “police” a 14 day quarantine for this number of people?
It would only take a few people to “slip through the net”, and we would have to return to locking down large parts of the country again.
(Something along these lines actually happened in New Zealand, they effectively managed to eliminate Covid-19, for a short period, then a couple of Brits brought it back in to the country, and some incredibly strict restrictions were immediately initiated in an attempt to eliminate it again).
Unless the rest of the world also eliminates the virus, there is little point in doing so in the UK, unless, we are prepared to largely close our borders for an extended period of time afterwards, and dramatically change our way of life, the way our economy functions, for quite a long period, maybe forever.
Looks like Australia may well be planning to keep its borders shut for the whole of 2021. It’s “a much bigger deal” for the UK to do this.
Even if not mandated by new UK laws, employers across the UK will be leaping on the ‘face mask wearing” bandwagon, wanting to “virtue signal”, wanting to show how much they are care about their employees, and in pursuit of this goal, will start mandating the wearing of masks in offices.
Many employers are already considering it. The UK government has been actively considering it. It will happen. In a number of offices across the UK I feel sure it already has.
Maybe this would save lives. Just as “on the High Street”, there has never been a proper study into the “pros and cons” of mask wearing in offices.
France announced on 18/08/2020 that face masks be worn in most offices: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-53817383
*** Update 16th October 2020 ** Scotland introduces a law mandating face mask wearing in office. As always, no end date, no criteria for when this law might be repealed. No scientific study of mask wearing in offices provided as justification. Increased mask wearing is always good. “It’s obvious innit”
“I bet things were different when you worked in an office 30 years ago grandad?”
“- we didn’t even have to wear a mask when we got up to go to toilet!”
Is this a conversation which will take place in the year 2050? I wouldn’t bet against it.
Some towns and cities in France have recently made mask wearing compulsory in outdoor public places.
This, despite the fact that there is no evidence that an outbreak of Covid-19 has “sprung” from an outdoor gathering, anywhere in the world.
Study after study has shown that it is extremely difficult to pass the virus on outdoors, droplets are instantly taken away on even the slightest breeze. Obviously if you also have physical contact with another person who is infected, there is a chance it will be passed to you, but if you are “Socially Distanced”, it’s near enough zero.
This simple fact won’t stop governments from introducing laws to make outdoor mask wearing compulsory.
A couple of quotes from this research:
“There were virtually no cases that we could identify that sort of took place in everyday life outdoors”
“There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted when people walk past each other outdoors”
On the 8th of October 2020, Italy’s government announced it was requiring masks to be worn in “all outdoor spaces”.
No mention of how long for, or under what conditions this might no longer be required.
Just how rare transmission of Covid-19 is “outdoors” is now backed up by a mountain of anecdotal evidence,
– during 2020 we saw packed beaches, Black Lives Matter demonstrations, huge numbers of people in relatively close proximity outdoors in the UK, and also in the US,
– but precisely zero Covid-19 outbreaks recorded as a result of these mass outdoor gatherings.
This hasn’t stopped France’s power-crazed leaders exercising their newly acquired powers.
Next obvious step, mask wearing at home.
Think I’m joking?
It’s already being openly discussed in some states in America.
The West Midlands’ Police and Crime Commissioner has called for powers to break into people’s houses where there is a suspicion that lockdown laws are being broken.
Could we see police breaking into houses to check that all occupants are wearing their facemasks?
“Ridiculous” you might say. I would say if I had described what is happening in the UK right now, at the start of 2020, you would have laughed in my face and told me “it could never happen”. But it has.
Claim 4: Wearing a mask will reduce transmission of the virus, and hasten a return to “Pre-Covid19” life.
Very probably not, and ‘”definitely not”.
There is no end date for mask wearing in shops to cease, no conditions have been specified, no criteria, which if met, will see the legislation repealed.
The government has repeatedly made it clear that it will not specify the conditions, not define and publish the criteria under which we can be released from lockdown, mask wearing, social distancing measures etc.
Mandating more and more mask wearing, in more and more scenarios, is a political move, and it is not based on science.
It’s essentially “virtue signalling” at a government level. Unless the public demands it, it’s highly unlikely they will stop. And as long the public remains in a state of extreme fear, it’s very unlikely this will happen.
The nanny state is looking after us all, by forcing us to wear cloth masks, which may slightly protect others, but through improper use, can easily lead to us getting infected ourselves.
Thanks nanny state.
Despite this article, claiming that they changed their advice on face mask wearing “as a result of evolving scientific evidence”
– the World Health Organisation (WHO) later admitted it actually changed it as a result of political pressure, from governments around the globe.
There is no “evolving scientific evidence”.
These governments wanted an excuse to grab more powers, so pressured the WHO to give them one. The WHO duly obliged.
Politicians might tell you that 29 WHO studies showed that wearing face masks reduces virus transmission”
– they will forget to mention that 26 of these studies took place in a hospital, and the three that didn’t, did not involve Covid-19.
This is typical of the kind of duplicity being shown by governments, desperate to try to disguise the fact that they may have crashed the economies of the countries they are running, for “no good reason”.
So they inflate statistics, use PCR tests which they know return significant numbers of false positives, and introduce ever more restrictions, whether they make sense in terms of reducing the spread of Covid-19, or not.
I would suggest our government, along with many others, is currently in what could be described as a “Death Spiral”.
There are not enough police to enforce all the restrictions we are currently living under (Jan 2021), they are reluctant to use the army, so have employed the “weapon of choice” for dictatorships throughout the centuries in order to ensure high levels of compliance.
Fear. The more fear you can generate, the higher the levels of compliance. It’s a very simple principle.
But as fear has risen in the population, so has the desire to see the end of the pandemic. The government has successfully convinced a large majority that after almost a year, the reason we are still very much still right in the middle of it, with no end point in sight,
– is that the fault of the small minority of people who haven’t full abided by already extremely strict restrictions, prohibiting them from hugging their mother or siblings,
– or that existing restrictions simply haven’t been tough enough.
So a petrified public, desperate for a return to “normal life”, paradoxically demands not only tougher penalties for the relatively few “non-conformers”,
– but even tougher restrictions to be enforced on everyone.
And doesn’t appear to care how long this be required for, or at least continues to believe the government when it tells them “we’ll be fine by Autumn, Christmas, Spring, Summer”, etc.
An obliging government, with elections, already once cancelled, very much in its sights, see opinion polls indicating people want more restrictions, and duly introduces them, but worries that compliance will drop,
– so does it all it can to raise fear still further.
Methods employed for this include
. wilfully using PCR tests which pick up the residue of infections which happened and were recovered from weeks, even months ago, as indicators of “current case levels”, knowing they are nothing of the kind,
. making wild projections based on data it knows to be out of date, and
. suggesting to TV companies that more “live broadcasts” should be made from Intensive Care Units
Anything to further petrify an already petrified public.
But as they succeed, as fear levels rise still further, the public demands even more restrictions, tougher restrictions…
– and so it goes on.
A “never ending spiral”.
At all times we should be balancing up Covid-19 deaths, against increased deaths from suicides, missed cancer scans, scans for heart problems etc, arising from lockdowns, or being in “high Tiers”.
A cost based analysis should be performed for each and every restriction placed upon us, how much is it likely to reduce infections/deaths, compared to the cost to the economy, and potential increase in deaths from other causes, the government flatly refuses to do this.
Until they do, we have no idea if Lockdowns are killing as many or more people than they save.
It appears they don’t want us to know. Why not?
One thing is beyond question, on the back of Covid-19, “ruling classes” all over the world have grabbed new, sweeping powers over their “subjects”,
– history very clearly shows, once you have a power, sooner or later you will submit to the immense temptation to use it.
And once you have grabbed a whole bunch of new powers, you are unlikely to stop there. You will always want more. And are very unlikely to give any of them back without a huge fight.
We are living through the creating of a totalitarian state. And right now it’s “Dead ahead”.
If you think this is an exaggeration, here is the dictionary definition of a totalitarian government:
“A form of government which permits little or no individual freedom, and seeks to subordinate all aspects of life to the authority of the state”
“Any views which do not conform will be quickly suppressed and punished”.
Boris Johnson went out of his way in his latest speech to encourage anyone with a different view to effectively be “rounded upon” by those who do conform to the current group think.
His way, is the only way.
Anyone who suggests differently, should be brought back into conformity.
This can be done through punishment, or if that doesn’t work, simply making sure their views are disregarded, discredited, preferably not even voiced/heard.
We have already been encouraged to “snitch on our neighbours”, West Midlands Police has apparently been deluged with people doing just this.
So many reports they simply can’t investigate them all.
At least not until they get back up from the army.
This is exactly the kind of thing which the Stasi in the East Germany of the 1960s encouraged.
And all this, justified as necessary in order to deal with a virus which has 99.7% survival rate.
A virus which almost exclusively kills the very elderly, or people who were already extremely ill (much as viruses always do, but has usually been ‘flu in the past).
Obviously I am not suggesting that people in these categories “don’t matter”, I am suggesting that we can, and must find better ways to protect them than simply shutting down society indefinitely. Fortunately we now have vaccinations to add to shielding.
There remains no reliable scientific evidence to support the claims that wearing cloth masks, cloth face coverings in shops reduces transmission of Covid-19.
All the evidence shows that, overwhelmingly, Covid-19 transmission generally takes place within the home or workplace. Not in shops. Certainly not outdoors.
Wearing a cloth mask may provide a small “overall benefit”, in a very small number of scenarios, by reducing the distance infected droplets travel, and therefore the chances someone else may breathe them in.
However in many scenarios “the pros” will often be matched, even perhaps outweighed by “the cons… inadvertent mask contamination, leading to the wearer becoming infected with the virus,
– plus, as a result of the mask wearers incorrectly ‘feeling safe’,
– reduced social distancing / failures to maintain rigorous hand hygiene, leading to greater virus spread, not less.
Visiting people in hospitals, wearing a mask seems not unreasonable. It’s likely that you will wash your hands frequently, hand sanitise, and manage to avoid touching your face and mask for the relatively short period of your visit. The same can not be said “on the High Street”.
If you are going to be in very close proximity to someone on public transport for a significant period of time, or perhaps at the hairdressers, again a reasonable argument for face coverings can be made, that the benefits may outweigh the risks.
Each scenario should be properly assessed and Common Sense applied.
There have been small outbreaks traced to restaurants and bars/pubs, the two places where we are not required to wear masks in the UK most of the time. “Go figure”.
Obviously it’s impossible to eat and drink whilst wearing a cloth mask.
However, not only was it being deemed “safe”, we were encouraged to visit restaurants, spend perhaps two hours sitting, without a mask, in close vicinity to a considerable number of other people,
– but supposedly “to be safe”, we needed to put a mask on to walk briefly past another table, so as not to endanger people who we would be within a couple of metres of… for perhaps a second or two.
Equally patently ridiculous and pointless are “One Way Systems” in Supermarkets.
There is a fundamental principle here which the government appears unable to grasp,
– the more rules you introduce, the less likely people are to obey all of them,
– if you introduce obviously nonsensical rules, such as “you are not permitted to enter the garden of a relative, or walk in the park with them”
– people will start to view all of them as pointless and nonsensical.
Essentially by clamping down on entirely safe outdoors meetings, which can potentially be spotted by police, and fines issued,
– the government risks people deciding to meet up relatives indoors instead, where there is, (assuming neighbours are not spending their time watching out of the window with the “snitch hotline” number already dialled in to their phones)
– almost no chance they will caught and fined.
I would suggest it’s painfully obvious, if you just look around you on a shopping trip, that the vast majority of people are not abiding by all the requirements for safe face covering use, in fact hardly any of them, and no amount of public health advertisements is likely to change this.
Before we shut down our economy again, or at least, all but the major chains, we need to understand if there is any real point to what we are doing, if there is an overall benefit. At the moment it’s largely just guesswork. A guesswork that is destroying livelihoods and lives.
There has never been a single recorded case of someone catching Covid-19 as a result of walking past an infected person in a shop, or by breathing in air which contains droplets from an infected person who perhaps has recently passed by that same spot. Not one.
Unless the person you are walking past sneezes or coughs in your face, it’s highly unlikely that you will inhale sufficient droplets, in the second or two that you are within a couple of metres of them,
– for Covid-19 infection to take hold in your body and make you ill.
Which is probably why nowhere in the world is there any record of this happening.
(As for people worried about passing by someone walking in the opposite direction on “a narrow path”, please just stop it. Stop worrying.
There is almost certainly more chance of you being hit by lightning on that same, “dangerously narrow path”, than contracting the virus from an extremely brief encounter with a person walking in the opposite direction,
– yet we frequently see someone in a tourist area is interviewed on TV, usually Devon or Cornwall, and complains that “we only have narrow paths here, it’s very worrying”. It really isn’t, or shouldn’t be)
The imposition of masks in ever more walks of life, is like a juggernaut, careering down a hill.
The only way it will be stopped is if the public wise up, rise up, and say “No”.
Where there is any kind of significant benefit, perhaps, in most scenarios, especially outdoors, there is little or none.
It will take a lot of people, “standing in the way of it”, and they will be roundly abused by both establishment figures, and the large proportion of the UK public who have been filled with pure fear over the past year.
A great deal of abuse will be hurled by “the fearful”,
– directly at those brave enough to throw themselves in the path of “The Mask Juggernaut”, with its non-stop virtue signalling driver and passengers, all determined to plough straight through them.
We now have a significant proportion of the UK public eager and willing to believe literally anything that the government tells them, as long as it involves a claim that potentially it will lessen the chances of them being infected with Covid-19,
– despite the fact that the UK government’s record to date, by almost any metric you choose, is extremely poor.
Arguably amongst the worst in the world, if not the worst.
Yet this group of people will very happily, instantly and violently condemn anyone who goes dares go against government guidance, despite having realised it is very often simply, demonstrably, “complete nonsense”.
(Remember “the picnic ban”, when we were told it was too dangerous to walk to a nearby empty field or park, and eat a picnic, potentially half a mile from the nearest human being,
– or when joggers were hounded by police in London if they paused for a moment to get their breath back, because “being stationary whilst outdoors”, was deemed to be highly dangerous, and illegal?
It would be nice to say common sense has now prevailed, largely it clearly still hasn’t,
– we still see reports of police trying to fine people for sitting on a bench, or out walking in a local beauty spot, despite being fully Socially Distanced, and clearly not in breach of any of even the harshest laws or guidelines).
For these reasons, any rebellion against the pointless wearing of masks in places where they have little or no benefit, but increase the risk of transmission to the wearer, via mask contamination, very probably won’t succeed in the short term,
– and consequently the inexorable spread of mandatory mask wearing into every aspect of our lives will continue unabated.
However I will personally continue to do my best to highlight the stupidities and inconsistencies of some of the government’s policies regarding mask wearing, at every possible opportunity,
– whilst fully expecting to end up ultimately with the tyre marks of “The Mask Juggernaut” across my forehead.
I believe Common Sense will eventually replace masks and lockdowns, but sadly not without a protracted battle.