Question: To be masked or not to be masked?
Too many centuries went by before Humankind figured out how to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. The answer was always before Humankind in the term "communicable." If one human or animal does not "communicate" the disease to another human or animal, the virus and/or germ is stopped right there. Duh.
Lets bring in Sherlock Holmes, asking him to determine if measures used to prevent the "communication" of the Red Chinese Virus (Covid-19) have been effective? You know, measures such as wearing masks, social distancing, use of anti-septic hand wipes, and more-frequent hand washing, etc.
As Holmes readers know so well, the famous detective did not just look at the crime scene. Holmes looked at ancillary matters. For example, Holmes might want to know if these anti-Covid-19 measures have had any effect on the number of cold and flu cases and if the sales of over-the-counter (OTC) cold and flu medications have gone up or down?
Voila! According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), during the year prior to the Covid-19 attack, 400,000 flu victims were hospitalized. Of those, 200,000 died. But from 1 October 2020, to 18 January 2021 (the usual height of the flu season) only 292 people died of whom 136 were hospitalized. So, theres one clue.
Okay. What about the sales of OTC cold and flu medications? According to Nielsen, and reported by Bloomberg, at the height of the 2020-2021 cold and flu season, the sales of cold and flu medicines dropped by a whopping 46-percent. Theres the second clue.
Full disclosure. For the record, this world traveler has never worn a face mask because someone ordered me to do so. Common sense tells me to do so for my own benefit and for the benefit of others.
For example, going in and out of Tokyos Narita Airport, you see hundreds of Japanese wearing face masks. On the train into town, people are packed like smoked oysters in a can. If you are not a fan of raw fish laced with Oriental spices, the masks are a great idea. Its like that old Dial Soap commercial: "Arent you glad you used Dial? Dont you wish everybody did?"
Actually, neck gaiters work just fine. They can be pulled up or down as the occasion warrants. Now, an easily washable, fashion item, neck gaiters have the added benefit of preventing male neck hair from wearing out shirt collars. As a fashion item, neck gaiters can be used to signal ones patriotism or even "wokeness." What Lil Abner would call a "Shmoo."
According to media reports, liberals are more likely to choose to wear masks than libertarian-leaning conservatives. Some liberals report they wear masks to prevent on-lookers from thinking they are conservatives. Some conservatives report they refuse to wear masks lest they be taken for liberals. Obviously, ticket sales for the Theater of the Absurd are booming.
As for the regency of Lt. President Biden*, "to mask or not to mask" is more like Hamlet than Science. All the more reason to be like Sherlock Holmes. We report. You decide to mask/gaiter, or not.
* Lieutenant defined: An aide or representative of another in the performance of duty.
Suggested reading: Against the Grain by Kelly Johnston. Arguably, the best political-opinion column being posted on the Internet today: https://Kellyjohnston.substack.com/
©2021. William Hamilton.