Every now and then I feel a need to wax philosophical, which I should probably suppress. To someone who grew up in the Pentagon Papers, Watergate era; government lying and deception shouldn’t be a surprise. But I am a bit taken aback by the level of misinformation and outright mistruths perpetuated by most governments in this epidemic. Readers know my perception of the science and data behind mask mandates. But in addition to whether they make any difference in transmission, the impact on the people wearing and seeing people wear masks should be pondered.
We are told that wearing a mask communicates our concern for others. Apparently no one in Sweden or several other countries has such a concern. Kind of surprising given how philanthropic Swedes are. Seeing people wearing masks creates a feeling of alienation, not closeness or unity. We can’t perceive the expressions of others. The mask is a message of fear and distrust. Wearing a mask primarily communicates “don’t get close to me, I might infect you”. It communicates a level of risk and danger that simply does not exist. It is also an expression of compliance to governmental control, to abandonment of individual judgment and freedom.
But there is an impact on the wearer as well as the perceiver. Wearing a mask is a humiliation at some level, it forces the wearer to feel manipulated and dictated to by government and social forces beyond his or her control. It leads to depression, anxiety and anger. It creates fear in the wearer. We feel more isolated. We feel the loss of all those small daily social interactions that can mean so much. We cannot smile at others, or frown. Communication disappears.
Life behind the mask is not a good life. The sooner we abandon this useless practice, the better we will all feel. Just go google pictures of current life in Sweden.