We now hear that wearing masks is not a safety issue but a control issue imposed on us to take away our liberty.
How likely is it that every state, local, and federal health official, every state governor, every government in the world is involved in a control conspiracy? How can countries locked in intense conflict against one another be united in a control conspiracy? Can we really imagine Washington in league with Iran, Venezuela, China, North Korea, Russia? It is amazing to me how far off real concerns all of this has become. It has become more of a hysteria than the virus itself.
The emotional and liberty issues are made up. Everyone was demanding masks, the general population as well as doctors and nurses. The criticism of the authorities was the lack of masks. The lack of N-95 or higher masks was the leading sign of the unpreparedness of the Western governments.
The flip-flopping of public health officials on masks is likely explained by the initial unavailability of masks even for those treating infected patients as well as for the public. With no masks available, the authorities did not want to be criticized for their unpreparedness and underplayed the importance of the unavailable masks. When masks became available, they changed their position. It seems clear enough that the use of masks was intended for moving about in congested areas and in circumstances of close contact, not for a walk alone in the woods.
The notion that wearing a mask is harmful to healthy people is nonsensical. If you don't have the virus, you can't be building up the load by breathing in and out trapped virus. On the other hand, if you have the virus, yes, you could build up your viral load by breathing your own infection and make yourself sicker by protecting others by wearing a N-95 mask without a respirator valve. A respirator valve allows contaminated air to escape. If the purpose of the mask is to prevent spread of the virus, only people who are not infected should use a mask with a respirator. If you are infected, you are better off isolated at home than going about wearing a mask.
Health educator Peggy Hall alleges fake science behind mask wearing: CDC Mask Deception: So why do surgeons and researchers working with infectious substances wear masks?!
The allegation that masks are not effective -- such as this one -- comes from confusing surgical masks with N-95 masks. A N-95 mask prevents entry and exit of small virus particles. A surgical mask does not. An infected person should use the N-95 mask that does not have a respirator valve, because the respirator valve allows unfiltered contaminated air to escape. See here.
Public health is a public issue. To claim individual exemption on freedom grounds is narcissistic selfishness.