The other day I stopped into a local pizza place for a slice. Our small coastal town gets a decent tourist trade, though pandemic fears seemed to have discouraged the migratory patterns of snowbirds and Canadians (which is fine with me). But one can usually spot the tourists, and there they were. Standing in the checkout line, I looked over my shoulder at four of them huddled together around a small bar-high table, all clearly under the age of thirty, and three of the four wearing their masks. I couldn’t really see how those three could be enjoying their meal (the unmasked fourth was merely talking nonstop), but I would have encouraged the rest of the patrons and staff to give them a standing ‘O’ for their obvious heroism, were it not for their so flagrantly violating social distancing enough to wipe out half the town.
This past week one of the evilest despots to ever foul our cowering society was at it again, as The Fauci issued his latest proclamation to Savannah Guthrie on the “Today” show with the equanimity and resolve guaranteed to stir the desire of the most benighted housewives and their locked-down males, doubtless hanging on his every word. Guthrie asked The Fauci whether “double-masking” – the practice of wearing one mask over another – made any difference in reducing one’s susceptibility to Covid-19 infection. Wisely, the Enlightened One observed, “I mean, this is a physical covering to prevent droplets and virus to get in. So if you have a physical covering with one layer, and you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.” It was a comment so wise that we could forget that less than a year ago He said “”When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.”
Sorry for that bit of heterodoxy, but since I’m on that track, I was looking forward to writing a long, completely sarcastic piece about how The Fauci is responsible for future deaths by not recommending THREE masks. It seemed the obvious joke, but in a world gone mad, where fearfulness is now a virtue, another self-appointed expert beat me to it and obviated my joke. CNBC’s Contessa Brewer observed, ““But, you know, if other people aren’t wearing their masks, or they’re wearing them improperly, we need to protect ourselves. So experts say you can double up with a tight-weave fabric mask for added protection. Now, Virginia Tech researchers found that doubling up these cloth masks increases the efficacy from 50% to 75%,” she continued. “A three-layer mask could block up to 90% of the particles.”
So thanks for spoiling my joke Ms. Brewer, whose expertise is as unquestioned as The Fauci’s, without having wasted her time on all those fancy letters behind her name, or decades of building unassailable bureaucratic cred. While serious questions remain unanswered about the contagious risk of asymptomatic individuals (basically none according to University of Florida research Go Gators!), and about whether widespread public masking does any good at all, we are still running back to the same arbitrary, corrupt source for His dispensations on our acceptable behavior.
And I’d like to find those three young maskers to tell them it was all for naught, their signaled virtue invalidated by their callousness in only wearing single masks. Now I’m starting to think those were just for show.