Mask and Verify

I realize that the U.S. isn’t returning to widespread mask use any time soon, but it’s still worth noting that, as an intervention, masking is visible–which is very important, as it turns out. Two studies, one looking at adults who were dishonest* about their adherence to COVID prevention measures, and one examining dishonesty among parents who lied about their children’s COVID status, are pretty shocking.

While the sample sizes aren’t large, for the kids, 24 percent of parents failed to tell others when they either thought or knew that their child had COVID. In the other study, eighteen percent failed to mention that they thought or knew that they themselves had COVID when being in person with other people. Those are the highlights, such as they are. One of the primary reasons had to do with a belief in the freedom to do what they want, consequences to others be damned. Assholes are gonna asshole.

To me, the take home message from both of these studies is that masking is an important intervention–and, again, while we’re not going to return to any kind of masking mandates, don’t let anyone make you feel awkward for wearing a mask. Because masking status is the one intervention you can actually determine: you likely won’t have any idea if the room you’re in has good ventilation, you won’t know someone else’s vaccination status, and a fair number of people will lie about their COVID status.

I guess one could say, “Trust, but verify.”

*I use the word dishonest and not misrepresent because, after three years and 1.2 million dead, I’m tired of walking on eggshells so as not to offend. We too are suffering from pandemic fatigue.

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3 Responses to Mask and Verify

  1. Fiona Gierzynski says:

    I spent a year making triple-layer fabric masks for my family. I’m probably the only one who still wears them every day, whenever I’m in a public place. I’ve been double-vaxxed, double-boosted, and had the co-variant shot also. But like you said, others don’t care about me. I sub in a high school most days, and few students, and even fewer teachers, are still masking. But those who aren’t are the reason I’ve been making so much money for the past couple of years. I may never give up masking. I don’t trust anyone else.

    BTW, I LOVE your posts. I’ve been reading them for years. Thanks for being a voice of reason in these foolish times. I’d like to think that being so far removed from the primordial ooze we crawled out of, would increase our intelligence. But apparently it only works on the willing. My husband called me a cynic years ago, when I told him that many people are born with their heads up their ass, and spend their whole life trying to jam it all up in there further. Now he shakes his head, reluctantly agreeing with me.

  2. Stormcrow says:

    Only your respirator trust.

  3. Ten Bears says:

    But for the manufactured hysteria … I made the observation early on that nobody in Asian societies even blink at the sight of a mask, is perfectly acceptable. I think eventually it will be here too, as we all know the mask hysteria is manufactured hysteria. Once it’s no longer a useful club to beat the buggaboos with …

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