Masks & Covid-19

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Question Phase:

What law requires the complicit wearing of a mask on the federal level? State level?

What guidelines exist on the wearing of masks internationally, federally, or in your state?

What social or cultural pressures exist on the wearing of masks?

What laws exist to protect against the forceable use of masks?

What laws exist to mandate the use of masks?

What masks are being recommended to be used?

What masks are rated to be effective in protecting against a virus like COVID-19?

What studies have been conducted on the efficiency of masks; both masks rated for COVID, and masks
whose rating does not meet the standards to be effective against COVID?

What is the standard for a mask to be rated effective against COVID?

Answer Phase:

There is no law that requires the use of a mask on the federal level, instead the Federal government, through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only making a recommendation. In America, the guidelines for wearing a mask are as follows: “CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” 1 Only seven states have written laws requiring the use of a mask. 2 The guidelines on wearing of a mask internationally are provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and state, “Medical masks should be reserved for health care workers.” 3 The WHO defines a mask as, “medical masks are defined as surgical or procedure masks that are flat or pleated (some are shaped like cups); they are affixed to the head with straps. They are tested according to a set of standardized test methods (ASTM F2100,EN14683, or equivalent) that aim to balance high filtration, adequate breathability and optionally, fluid penetration resistance.” The WHO also further differentiates and advises on using cloth masks (Non-Medical); which is what the federal level of the CDC and state recommendations are based on. “The use of masks made of other materials (e.g., cotton fabric), also known as nonmedical masks, in the community setting has not been well evaluated. There is no current evidence to make a recommendation for or against their use in this setting. The WHO further elaborates on who needs to wear a medical mask by advising, “For healthy people wear a mask only if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCov infection.” 4

There are other topics from the question phase in which I would encourage you to research rather than provide you all the answers.

Discourse:

Our federal recommendations as well as any state mandates or recommendations are based on CDC guidelines that are not rooted in scientific or empirical evidence provided by the WHO or otherwise in the use of a medical mask that will prevent infection of COVID-19. Americans across the country are being subjected to infringements of personal liberties and individual rights that are not even based on sound medicine practice. There are many arguments currently being played out in the courts as the legality of states to mandate mask use. Once such argument from Connecticut, Lindsy Urso V. Governor Ned Lemont, outlines “the Governor’s Order that he must carry and/or wear a mask while in public is an unconstitutional infringement on these liberty and privacy rights in violation of the penumbra of rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights generally and specifically of the 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, and Article 1st, §§8 and 1 O of the Connecticut Constitution.” 5 Urso V. Lemont is but one example of a legal challenge to the complicit use of a mask as instituted by a governmental organization and what specific rights are being violated. Many legal challenges are being played out in court that will eventually be resolved and generate new precedence on the future outbreaks within our country. The current situation on the ground seems like we need masks to protect our minds rather than our airways from psychological warfare and information dissent rather than being scared into wearing a useless piece of cloth to protect others.

Social Implications

These facts alone should make someone wonder why anyone would become angry when someone chooses not to wear a cloth mask or medical mask in public. If the advice of the WHO is to not wear a mask, and the CDC recommends the use of a non-medical mask that will not protect you or others from COVID-19, what basis is their to stand on in subjecting someone to the socio-culture pressure of chastisement and vis-à-vis mindset of safety. Any arguments presented for such that are not based on the current scientific standards or the reality of our guidelines can be reduced to opinions. It is an opinion that wearing a mask will keep you and others safe, it is an opinion that not wearing a mask is a selfish act that endangers others in public, it is an opinion that those who chose not to wear masks are going to “ruin it for the rest of us”, it is also an opinion that the federal government and state governments have ultimate power to restrict you liberties. Those opinions are not based science nor are they based on our founding doctrines.

Challenge

If a mask will not be effective against the transmission of COVID-19 for myself or others, why do I care if others wear one around me or not?

If my government recommendations are not based on science, why should I comply with a recommendation of wearing a mask?

Have certain states and various executive orders overstepped constitutionally derived individual liberties under the guise of false medical pretext?

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