Five years ago, any competent doctor or scientist who suggested that masks could help the wearer or society in general deflect illness from a viral respiratory illness would have been laughed out of the room. Science had clearly declared its verdict after copious studies showed that, especially in flu, masks don’t protect the wearer, reduce spread, or have any impact on sickness and death. I mean, flu flies through the best mask as easily as air! So when COVID hit our shores, even Fauci knew this fact, especially since COVID is even smaller than flu and more likely to pass through masks, and 3 large studies and over 150 smaller studies—including those that compare masked communities with unmasked communities—have definitively confirmed what we already knew: MASKS WILL NOT HELP ANYONE IN COVID.
And yet, here we are, almost three years into COVID, and masks have become the symbolic representation of “science,” “protection,” “security,” “health.” Where I live, educated people drive with masks, they wear them even when they are meandering alone outside, they cling to the mask as the Medieval Christians clung to their crosses discrediting any heretics who dare walk without them. Masks epitomize a biopolitical state in which we must constantly be in fear, constantly be aware of (as Cotton Mather may have said in Salem in the late 1900’s) Satan’s presence in our midst in the form of COVID cases, constantly sell our souls and bodies to the state so it can save us from inevitable doom. Masks are scientifically feckless, but culturally despotic. Those who wear them feel safe, superior, beneficent. They are the chosen people of God, the god of science, the god of life. They have willingly traded their freedom for a false sense of security that they seek to impose on everyone else.
And yet, masks are nothing short of symbols of violence, as I have shown. Their zealous wearers are among the flock of Fauci’s Willing Executioners, no different than those who persecuted witches in Salem, adhered to the scientific dogma that blacks were biologically inferior to whites used to justify slavery and segregation, accepted eugenic declarations that led to forced sterilization and massive discrimination. As I show in my book The Great Stupidity, even during the Black Death in the mid 1400’s, Europe’s scientific response to a far more pernicious plague differed very little to what our scientific response is now to COVID. And like in the Black Death, by adhering to the deception of mask-logic and hiding behind the cloth of faux (if appealing) science and a requite suspension of liberty and personal choice, we have killed and maimed millions of people unnecessarily. Masks symbolize everything wrong with our approach to COVID, epitomizing a sharp turn away from human decency, science, and common sense.
But the bigger question is: who will pay the price for the crimes against humanity inaugurated and perpetuated by our mask-based assault on democracy and science? Who will be put on trial at COVID-Nuremberg? Will it be the mask wearers who claim that they are doing what they were told, or those who scripted and enforced the mask-based script and normalized masking and an unending atmosphere of fear and surveillance, who suspended our democracy and slaughtered our children and the poor, who justified forced medicalization of people’s bodies against their will and who mandated lethal treatments while suppressing effective treatments, who censored and punished anyone who dared to speak the truth and break out of the iron grasp of COVID autocrats? Or should it be both?
The question can be asked another way. Were Germans who supported or joined the Nazi party responsible for the actions of Hitler’s henchmen, were Southerners who believed in racist science and accepted the necessity of slavery and then segregation responsible for depriving black Americans of their rights and lives, were those who agreed with the internment of Japanese Americans responsible for this heinous act that was declared by experts and scientists to be justified and necessary, were those who didn’t bat an eye when our public health experts and political leaders forcibly sterilized Americans and stigmatized anyone of color or alien races based on what they claimed was unassailable science?
Because when people today simply believe and comply with what “experts” tell them and are blind to the devastation wrought by more than two years of bio-political fear mongering and societal disruption, when they believe that the 4 year drop in life expectancy is from COVID and not from the masked-based policies they endorse, when they proclaim that Sweden did everything wrong and we did everything right even though Sweden’s life expectancy and excess mortality improved while ours hit the worst level in over 100 years, when they merely accept the word of Pfizer and its medical subsidiaries—from the CDC to Fauci to the media to most politicians to every medical school—then how can they not be implicated in one of the most horrific crimes ever perpetrated in American history?
We have seen this dance before, we have seen people wearing other masks of hatred and blind compliance, we have seen people’s zealous willingness to follow orders that drive us down a road of death and devastation, destroying lives and democracy in the name of a fabricated truth. We ascribe blame to all of those people, who too assert their innocence. Why not now?
It’s because mask fanatics refuse to acknowledge the horror they helped to fuel. They refuse to acknowledge the science that tells us definitively that masks, forced vaccinations, suspension of education, shut-downs of society, extra-legal censorship and punitive punishment of dissenters, and the almost unimaginable desecration of our Constitution and our personal freedoms didn’t help a single person but destroyed the lives of tens of millions, while leading to a wave of unnecessary death as much caused by our medical system and our policies than of COVID itself. They won’t relent. They won’t because CNN won’t, because “expert” doctors won’t, because academia won’t, because those who most profit from our never-ending COVID scare tactics won’t. To them, mask symbolism is the new normal.
Perhaps early on, when COVID truly was worse than other viruses (something not the case for well over a year), it was ok for people to be scared and to engage in meaningless rituals and in draconian actions despite the fact science knew them to be ineffective and likely harmful. But what about now? Back then we just wanted to keep hospitals open for those most ill. Now we will scare people and shut down society even when there are merely too many cases of moderate colds. We have transformed our early fear into a persistent biopolitical vice that impacts us adversely every day. Masks have become the norm. And with masks come fear, control, and a diminution of choice and freedom. With masks come a transformation of science into a dogma that needs no evidence to support it other than the word of tainted “experts.” Reality and human decency have faded behind a persistent assault on everything good in this nation. Masks may not prevent COVID from traveling from one person to the next, but they certainly prevent their wearers from having functioning brains or empathetic hearts.
Are the mask fanatics now, those who continue to believe in them and in the perseverance of the COVID Satan that justifies what five years ago we would have believed to be unthinkable poppycock, those who wear this symbol of violence and refuse to acknowledge what it means and how harmful it is, are those people now responsible for these crimes against humanity? I think so. In a biopolitical state such as ours, anyone who feeds an irrational fear that helps to strip us of choice, democratic rights, scientific rigor, concern for our fellow citizens, and the very essence of humanity, endorsing a never-ending policy fueled by fear and retribution, those people must be forced to pay a steep price for their blind compliance to deadly dogma. Their actions are not harmless. They are horrific.
As I sit in a graduate school class at an elite university, I am one of a handful of people not wearing a mask. Many wear what even zealots know to be useless cloth masks, others hide behind N95’s that allow viral particles to pass through like mosquitoes zipping through wire fencing, none of them seem to understand (even after all this time) that masks don’t block COVID, they don’t reduce illness or hospitalization or death and they dramatically disrupt society and transform the classroom into a dystopian chamber of plague. God forbid the faculty and administration, or even the overly compliant students, understand that a barrier between someone’s face and society, one that blocks air and the expressiveness of human beings, is detrimental to education and to life, especially given its inherent symbolism that fuels the flames of fear and promotes an ongoing bio-political assault on our nation.
The great irony is that in the class we are learning about witches in New England, about the origins of racial slavery in Virginia, about how early American society infused its citizens with false dogma, false science, and mangled truths to create a set of beliefs that enabled the powerful to promote their own self-interest at the expense of human life and decency, and everyone in the class is somewhat perplexed how people could willingly believe such nonsense used to justify burning and enslaving innocent people, and yet there they all are behind their masks doing precisely the same thing.
We could always say that these young mask wearers and their professors are innocent since they have been told that the mask does work, that it is necessary and lifesaving and scientifically validated, and hence they are being good citizens to don them and to mandate others to do the same. But if we are going to traverse that road, then we too have to exonerate those who burned witches, who endorsed slavery, who imprisoned Japanese, who sterilized innocent women under the guise of eugenics, who slaughtered six million Jews. They too were fed dogma that they were told was necessary and lifesaving, they too simply swallowed the words of experts without so much as using critical thought or open eyes to see the fallacy and harm of what they promoted, they thought they were good, caring, scientific souls, that the whipping of slaves was important to prevent miscegenation and rebellion which would tear the nation and the white race to shreds, that sterilization of the handicapped and the execution of Jews were necessary to keep the white race intact.
To me, the excuse of “we are just following orders” should no longer be justification for committing horrific acts, even if the act being committed is to wear a symbol that lends support to what we know is a fallacious and lethal myth. You can’t just follow orders and think it’s ok.
Again, Swedes haveused no masks and have had no restriction on their lives, and fewer of them died, their life expectancy increased, their kids weren’t denied education or forced to live in a cloud of fear, people continued to work and to live life, they had the lowest rate of excess deaths in the world. We mandated masks and vaccines, we shut down society for over a year and even somewhat beyond that, we kept our kids out of school and even now severely restrict them and force their medicalization with an experimental drug, and our life expectancy dropped by 4 years, and we had the highest excess death rate in the world. How could a student or academic not understand a dichotomy that simple? How can they not understand that their mask-based compliance with the Pfizer-Fauci gospel has led to death, hardship, and the greatest threat to our democracy since the Civil War? Why would they not explore through scholarly study the heinous (even if symbolic) act in which they participate rather than just taking the word of hand-picked experts no wiser than those who promoted racial science, eugenics, witchcraft, and Arian supremacy?
If mask wearers aren’t guilty, then why are they questioning the actions of others who were just as foolishly vulnerable throughout history? And if our historical villains are guilty of crimes against humanity from their very obsequience to prevailing wisdom, then so too are the mask wearers in my town, in my class, and everywhere else.
The mask-based lockdowns and mandated medicalization of society were in the end the resopnsiblity of those who insitututed them, the governors (like Newsome, Cuomo, Murphy, Hogan), Mayors, Senators, Representatives, and the Exeuctive. They should and must be punished for defiling the Constitution and driving our nation and its people into a ditch of self-serving autocracy. But, to be accomplices to the masking of our nation is not simply a benign act of ignorance of misplaced beneficence. It is something that history will judge harshly not unlike what we are learning about in class. Shouldn't those who supported these enemies of the people too harbor some responsibility?
Some say that the media is at fault. How can we blame people when CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and so many other internet and radio shows claim that masks and lockdowns saved lives, and that it’s the people not wearing masks, not getting their fifth booster, not staying locked in their homes for months on end who are at fault? CNN says it all the time. Hell, one doctor claimed that she got COVID on a plane through her N95 because other people weren’t wearing masks, and both Biden and Fauci who had all the boosters and wear masks all the time also got COVID and told people that it’s important to get boosters and wear masks. If people are so gullible to believe this nonsense, then we can’t blame the press for this fiasco. Sometimes you have to use the brain that sits behind that mask of yours!
Besides, as my son oft reminds me, the press is hardly nonbiased. There is really no difference between Jake Tapper and Tucker Carlson, Rachel Maddow and Laura Ingram. They are simply promoting someone else’s agenda, using “facts” casually in ways that support what they want people to believe, labeling anything that veers from their truth as “misinformation.” They have been with us through all of history and led us down many dangerous and deadly roads. You can blame the press, but it’s the people who treat the press as a factual conduit of information who are responsible for the actions that flow from media hyperbole and fear mongering. To simply take the word of a biased media with its hand-picked “experts” is to put yourself in the same camp as those who believed the Church when it insisted that the sun goes around the earth and believed Goebbels when he declared that science proved that Jews were launching a world-wide assault on Christian nations. Sometimes you can’t pin your crimes on those who feed you bullshit. Sometimes you are responsible for that bullshit if you choose to believe it.
Whether mask zealots should be persecuted, whether they should be somehow punished for their complicity however unknowing it was—even though as someone who has been immersed in and who has studied COVID (which experts and their compliant flock clearly haven’t), it’s hard for me to believe that anyone could possibly not understand how the mask-myth is benign—is a question for society to answer. Sadly, too many of our citizens fed the slaughter and took us down this dark road, too many institutions and people in power are complicit. Thus, the likelihood of there being some form of justice, reparations, or consequences is not good.
But, as we will discuss in the next two blogs, two institutions in our nation must finally come under our radar after COVID, since they have a long track record of misdeeds, and they are the most instrumental forces that should have stopped the mask-based slaughter but instead became the most vocal and zealous proponents of it. These are academia and the health care industry. While both are perceived in a positive light, just the opposite is true. COVID revealed what we should have known about them for a long time, and until we rectify their crimes, until we reshape their very purpose and composition, we are sitting ducks for another mask-based slaughter, this time one that may well end our republican experiment and scientific integrity for good.