To Mask or Not to Mask

I see/hear a lot of debate about wearing masks and whether or not they are worth wearing.

I see people sharing posts on social media from randomly named quacks they don’t know, or worse the poster is clearly a fake account but the sharer’s uncle Larry posted it so it must be real.  People are honestly sharing these types of posts because it mirrors their own opinions.

Sharing one’s own opinions through the words of others is still not intelligent conversation, it’s just creating a silo.

Some people are sharing links to websites that have no reputation.  Websites that were clearly found by Googling for information to support the beliefs he/she already convinced themselves were true.  I see/hear people making statements starting with “they say,” without explaining who these “they” people are that are being cited.

Politics has infected any attempt at intelligent discussion on this topic, or really any topic important enough to be discussed in our lives today.  People are being lied to and misled, and are lying and misleading others, sometimes intentionally and sometimes unintentionally.

Liberals are yelling at us to wear masks, conservatives are yelling at us about violations of freedom, and somehow a conversation about wearing a mask has become a conversation about politics?

The problem with liberals and conservatives is that they are behaving in the same way, very different beliefs and opinions, but very much cut from the same cloth.  They are two sides of the same coin, each has an agenda and they seek out information that confirms the beliefs they already have.  This need for “confirmation bias” clouds their judgement.

Sometimes the truth hurts, sometimes no matter how much you think you’re right, you might actually be wrong.  No matter how much your ego wants you to win this argument, the reality is that your ego is your biggest enemy.

I always look to science for answers to the things I don’t understand, but unfortunately scientists are people, and people are bias, egotistical, and sometimes have agendas and lie.  Which is why science must be scrutinized, studies must be repeated, findings questioned, to remove as much human error as possible.

Evidence doesn’t lie, people do.  Let go of your opinions, let go of your beliefs, let go of your assumptions, they cloud your judgment.

Below is a podcast I found about a year ago, I like their work and have developed respect for them because they actually provide references and cite their information via studies, they follow the evidence, even if the truth formed by the evidence isn’t what we’d like to hear.

The below episode is about whether or not wearing a mask makes any difference.


I found a video on the same topic, this time by the team at ASAP Science, another source I have learned to trust.  Hard to believe the results shown in this video after reading published studies that blatantly state wearing layered cloth masks are not useful in preventing viral transference compared to N95 respirators.  But it’s important to note however that the two experiments in the below video were to test for bacterial transference and not for viral, obviously a virus doesn’t consume organic matter and grow in a petri dish.

The point of these two experiments, one in the home and the other in a controlled lab environment, was to see how much of their spit got into the petri dish with and without a mask on, thus telling them the effectiveness of wearing one in public to reduce oral bodily fluid transference between them and something directly in front of them.

I’ve been on the fence about this whole mask debate, and while I agree they can be shown to reduce the risk of your oral bodily fluids spraying everyone in front of you, we all need to realize they are not 100% effective and do not guarantee safety and shouldn’t instill a false sense of protection.  When you sneeze, cough, or even breathe with a mask on, those fluid particles and the fungus, bacteria, and virus they contain still comes out around your mask because they are not air tight.  Those particles land on surfaces where the virus has been shown to survive for some 30 hours, or even a couple days based on some lab studies.  Those surfaces are touched by hands that are impossible to keep sterile.

I’ve not yet heard anyone mention this and I haven’t seen any studies about it, but I’d like to know about air particulate to eye transference.  Our eyes have tear ducts, how likely is it that the virus can infect you through your tear ducts?  These organisms have evolved to enter a host any way they can, it would seem any opening would be suffice.

Mask vs No Mask Lab Results – Do They Work?

Here are some additional links you may find helpful if this topic interests you…

A rapid systematic review of the efficacy of face masks and respirators:

5 Questions: Stanford scientists on COVID-19 mask guidelines:

A User’s Guide To Masks: What’s Best At Protecting Others (And Yourself):

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