Concerning COVID-1984 masks

For your Monday reflection…

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57 Responses to Concerning COVID-1984 masks

  1. Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday, the western world was agreed that women being forced to cover their faces in Islamic countries was dehumanizing?

  2. Lurker 59 says:

    Nice!

  3. Antonin says:

    I completely agree that the response to the entire Covid situation is completely over the top and most assuredly is. It about “science”. In my community alone, the newspaper reported that hospitalizationSo to the psychiatric ward of the hospital have increased 4x since the same time last year. I know doctors who are reporting that people in lover are not getting treatment they need in a timely and accessible way and this is going to lead to a greater health crisis. The UN is predicting famine and food shortages in Africa. Farmers have had to plow entire fields underground.

    That said, Covid is a real phenomenon but could be managed better. I am in favour of much more amped up testing and contact tracing. But we must remember that other countries have adoptee very different mitigation strategies. Sweden and even the Metherlamds for example have not imposed the kinds of draconian measures seen in Canada and the US.

    We should be learning from other countries in terms of appropriate response. Doing things to enhance personal immunity through diet and exercise is a good idea. And there has also been correlates between the level of are pollution and the intensity of the infection. Wuhan and Lomnardi were the worst hit and have high levels of air pollution.

    In short, people do need to speak up about public health responses and these need to be muched more common sense. I am not opposed to vaccines but it is not a oanacea it an excise for not thinking of much more reasonable precautions

  4. WVC says:

    Shallow gestures – anyone remember the ALS Ice Bucket challenge thing? They’ve been grooming folks for this behavior for some time now.

  5. LeeGilbert says:

    Here is a heartening example of medical professionals not meekly accepting the politically correct narrative out of cowardice. I am in no position to evaluate their counsel, which seems credible, but surely they are to be admired for standing up and offering a very contrary “second opinion”: https:americasfrontlinedoctorsummit.com

    In all likelihood you have not seen this: and for good reason: Google, Facebook and Twitter have all taken down the first clip these doctors put out and Square Space even took down Dr Simone Gold’s website where it was lodged. The crushing censorship itself says that their stuff is probably worth a look. Since when do we Americans need censors? Thanks, Google, but I’ll decide their credibility for myself thank you very much!

    This was very hard to find even with the url, for the Chrome (Google) browser would not access it.

  6. cblanch912 says:

    How many will watch this clip…and then keep wearing the mask?

  7. beelady says:

    I am a female, gun-toting Republican who lives in rural Michigan. Most people would assume that I am anti-mask too but I am not.
    I come from a family of health professionals and I believe that science supports mask wearing as a way to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
    I haven’t seen any evidence (beyond the opinions of random vloggers) that mask-wearing is harmful or that it makes you a mindless, virtue-signalling socialist. I am open to correction if someone wishes to supply evidence to the contrary.
    Medical professionals have been wearing masks for hours at a time for decades without ill effects. Wearing one while getting groceries or attending Mass is annoying but won’t do any long term harm.
    I feel the same way about the vaccine, it will be annoying to wait in a long line but no harm will be done by getting it.
    Please don’t make your health decisions based on the opinions of vloggers. Please talk to your doctor, do your own research, and prayerfully consider how to handle this difficult situation.

  8. LeeGilbert says:

    Antonin, you write “I am in favour of much more amped up testing and contact tracing”

    Karl Denninger at https://market-ticker.org/ makes the point that if you come down with the virus, you need medical intervention (pills) NOW, not twelve hours from now. He is not a doctor, but obviously knows what he is talking about. FWIW. Karl is a daytrader and on his site writes in the vulgar patois of daytraders. Sorry! But the following passage is atypically decent:

    Covid19 Testing: It Is Now A SCAM

    Let’s start with individual care decisions. Only a test that comes back within hours is useful to you as a person if you believe you may have Covid19.

    Why?

    Because without exception interventions (medications) you can take to interrupt or mitigate viral replication become useless once replication is complete. One example is hydroxychloroquine, a drug that in 2005 Anthony Fauci himself said was “the answer” to SARS. Ivermectin is another that may work on the same sort of mechanism. Both, despite the screaming in the press, are extremely safe and have been used for a long time. Ivermectin is so safe that we let non-medical people hand it out in third-world nations; it is a single-dose medication. HCQ is used by some three million Americans with RA or Lupus on a regular basis. While all drugs have risk these are two that have a long-established safety record.

    Once you show symptoms to a viral disease you are at or near the midpoint of viral replication. Within as little as a day — and perhaps in as little as 12 hours — any therapy intended to interrupt that process is a waste of time and money because viral replication in your body is exponential. Any therapy that cannot help you now has no benefits, but does have risks. It therefore is worse than useless; it can only do harm.

    There is no point in going to take a test if you do not get actionable information from the test. Within two days or so from the time you show symptoms you will either be improving or you will be in the hospital. If you cannot get results within hours after symptoms appear then the opportunity to intervene in viral replication is gone. In other words your state’s testing system is intentionally causing you to spend money, either directly or through an insurance arrangement (whether through your health insurance plan or by the state paying for it and taxing you for those funds) for no personal benefit whatsoever.

    Let me repeat that: ALL lab (not “10 minute result, point-of-care”) Covid19 tests that do not return results to you within a couple of hours are of no personal benefit to you of any kind because the results will come too late for you to do anything useful with the knowledge they impart. There is exactly zero reason for you to take a Covid19 test if you cannot wait for the results in the parking lot as it will not, with absolute scientific certainty, give you any actionable information.

  9. NOCatholic says:

    I don’t get where this is coming from. I don’t go out in public much because my wife is at risk, but when I do, I wear a mask. I don’t want to get the virus, nor to give it to her, or to others. I agree with Antonin there should be/should have been more testing and contract tracing, but that ship has probably sailed, at least in the US. So we’re stuck with mask wearing until we get a vaccine.

    And even President Trump has started to advocate wearing masks and has worn one in public himself.

    While the pandemic has been used as a pretext to limit religious freedom (in some states — mine has not had that problem), this is a different matter.

    Yes, masks are uncomfortable. But they are nothing more than that.

  10. beelady says:

    Lee Gilbert,
    Please research Stella Immanuel. She is the main doctor in the video you reference and she is the reason it was deleted from social media. It is easy to find videos and print articles attributed to her that speak of demon DNA and alien sperm as causes of disease. She may have a medical degree from Cameroon but she does not appear to be a reputable physician.

  11. beelady says:

    I hope everyone does! It would be foolish to make a medical decision based on a video posted by an un-named person with an obvious political bias.

  12. beelady says:

    I agree!

  13. LeeGilbert says:

    NOCatholic, you write: “So we’re stuck with mask wearing until we get a vaccine.” The doctors above argue that we’re stuck with Covid till HCQ is permitted. They argue this would solve our problem immediately. IF this is the case, then we are in the midst of a manufactured crisis. Cui bono? Can you think of any entities that would benefit from a crashing economy, that have no regard for human life, that want power? Also, if HCQ will solve the problem, how will big pharma make any money from a vaccine? No, no, this inexpensive solution must be suppressed, scorned, vilified together with the clinicians who plead for it.

    My understanding is that these viruses mutate rather quickly, so the vaccine will be chasing a moving target and never catching it. If we have found a vaccine for the common cold, then there is hope for a covid19 vaccine, otherwise no. The vaccine is a chimera.

    Beyond that, Denninger points to a couple of places where infections went UP after the mask was mandated. Why would this be? If the mask is doing its job and filtering out the virus, it is accumulating in the mask. When you take the mask off, you contaminate your hands and any surface you put it on. It is not only useless, but a concentrator of risk.

    Also, how healthy can it be to breathe in your own exhaled carbon dioxide breath after breath? It is manifestly unhealthy. That practice, in itself, has got to be a strain on our own immune systems. I don’t know about you, but my body quickly tells me to at least pull the mask off my nose ( a mask which I wear when I have to be, not politically correct, but religiously correct by obeying the Archbishop in church.)

    Then there are the many, many people out and about, taking walks or riding their bikes in the fresh air and sunshine . . . all in masks! It is completely nuts. I totally agree with the doctor who said that among other things, the Covid19 crisis is a national IQ test. We are corporately out of our gourds.

  14. MitisVis says:

    Mask may or may not help and certainly can’t hurt. Major proper studies were done by WHO and countless medical teams in 2015 and 2017 that showed even the surgical masks were not effective (that was the point of the studies back then). But that was not the point.

    “…research takes away from ME time…” was

    Now that we have been so easily brought to our knees, we may as well pray like never before
    and perhaps consider the phrase
    “We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”

    – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

  15. B says:

    cblanc912 commented “How many will watch this clip…and then keep wearing the mask?”

    I will. Too many of my Italian friends lost family members. I won’t politicize this.

  16. cblanch912 says:

    I’m not basing my decision to not wear a mask merely on the video posted above. If you had listened carefully, you may have heard this young woman make a point about doing *research* to make your decision. Have you personally looked into any scientific research on this topic? Here’s a link to some studies done prior to this current Covid outbreak:
    https://www.sott.net/article/434796-The-Science-is-Conclusive-Masks-and-Respirators-do-NOT-Prevent-Transmission-of-Viruses
    If these studies are somehow invalid, I’d love to hear another opinion!
    Reminder: If you are drawing a breath right now, you have a 100% chance of dying. Just sayin’…

  17. saintl says:

    As an OR nurse who has worn a mask daily for almost 40 years, I can tell you that it is almost useless. The reason is a little complicated. It has to do with the filtration abilities of the mask & how long it is worn. The surgical mask i wear daily is only good for about 15 minutes as far as filtering germs. Our respirations are moist & affects the filtering ability of any mask. The cloth masks you see everywhere are basically useless for stopping any virus. The only mask that is able to filter viruses is the N95 & only if it is fit-tested to the individual user. Not everyone can wear an N95. They must be very tight to the face to work. In reality the mask mandates are more about control & looking like something is being done than about actual prevention of illness.

  18. B says:

    Ha, seriously?…. You are going to use Denis Rancourt as an example of valid research? He is is a suspended & dismissed academic for things including academic dishonesty for grade inflation in his classes… I wouldn’t trust his “research” as far as I could throw it!! What a joke.

  19. The Masked Chicken says:

    Why bother going to medical school or studying aerosol physics? Suddenly, everybody is an expert on everything. I suppose the fact that the government mandates wearing helmets on space walks because of the “science” makes it a Commie plot.

    “Once you show symptoms to a viral disease you are at or near the midpoint of viral replication. Within as little as a day — and perhaps in as little as 12 hours — any therapy intended to interrupt that process is a waste of time and money because viral replication in your body is exponential.”

    Well, I guess everyone with HIV is going to die if they don’t get treatment within 12 hours of symptom manifestation. If viral replication were strictly exponential then everyone would be dead by the age of one. Virus response is a complicated process. It is not like compound interest. It is like a war.

    I do not decide the credibility of gauge theories of the weak nuclear force by myself, because I have no expertise in that area. It is supposed to be called peer review for a reason. It is not called political review or anybody-who-wants-to review. If scientists were really arguing about the merits of mask wearing, then, it should be a matter for them to settle among themselves because they have the relevant expertise. In fact, they are not arguing, except for a very small number, who have not offered good experiments to bolster their arguments. If there were good experiments against mask wearing most scientists would be persuaded by the evidence. The evidence for either side is not strong, but what there is of it vastly favors the wearing of masks.

    Most scientists are conscientious. Their reputation lives or dies by having a reputation for doing good research. That may not be how political science works, but that is how hard sciences works, generally. Even if a famous figure puts forth an incorrect value, such as in the case of Millikan and the charge of the electron, eventually, with more experiments, the value will lock on to the correct value. The cult of personality only goes so far.

    Yes, scientists can have hubris, but does this YouTuber really think that scientists want to get this wrong? Yes, 3 (not 2) Chinese boys died while running with a mask, but no autopsy was done on any of them to discover the cause. There are at least 10 million 14 year old boys in China, probably most of them running in mandatory gym classes. That’s 9,999,997 boys who didn’t die while wearing masks. How do you prove it was the mask that killed those 3 boys? There was no search for truth, just rash judgment.

    Also, no one has done ANY work on masks and socialization or self-esteem, but here we have another “expert” putting forth her opinion that mask wearing will, surely, do harm. Likewise, compliance does not equal cowardice, otherwise, everyone who drives on the right side of the street in the U. S. or the left side in England is a coward, by that logic. It must be a socialist plot.

    This video is nothing more than a string of non sequiturs set in a very narrow political viewpoint. Her claims of faux morality by standing up against an evil is insulting to the many dedicated medical people just trying to keep people from dying. If people want to disagree with mask wearing, let them prove it – run a definitive experiment that shuts down discussion. I guarantee that the truth or falsehood of these issues will not be decided by individuals on the basis of politics. Oh, actions may be decided on the basis of politics, but not truth.

    I don’t make sarcastic commentary on YouTube about the state of quantum gravity research or make the claim that the use of sieve techniques in prime number theory is a plot. Why do people suddenly think they can make intelligent comments about mask physics?

    I mean, many, many people grew up playing a woodwind instrument in junior high, high school, or college. Reeds are so common an object that everybody has an opinion on them and you would think that everyone’s opinion must be at least as valuable and correct as their opinion about mask wearing. I can tell them, as probably the world’s expert on woodwind reed biology, chemistry, and physics, that these layman opinions are just that, lay opinion. I didn’t just read a few articles and decide to have an opinion (which must be a good as the experts, right?). I spent years doing research out of 9 different laboratories ranging from physics to chemistry to material science to botany to medical imagine to agriculture. I, still, don’t have anywhere near all of the answers, but you know what – at least I paid my dues to have an opinion.

    This whole COVID mess in the U. S. will serve as a textbook bad example in the future – millions of people with an opinion, but only a handful with humility. This is bad theology meets bad science and how many people, especially the old, who have a right to be honored under the Fourth Commandment, will die unnecessarily because of the stubbornness on both sides? The problem is not just a viral infection raging through society. Pride is a disease, too. Sometimes, whole countries can forget that.

    The Chicken

  20. JOYfulmom says:

    Cblanch912, I agree with you. In the beginning my family took this very seriously, staying home and doing our part to “flatten the curve”, however as more information was released, the hypocrisy, and all the restrictions to go along with it-things just didn’t add up for me. I am no genius, but I do have common sense. My husband is a doctor, he has been seeing over 30 patients a day since May, most of which remove their masks and breath in his face in order for him to check them…when he comes home my six children 10 and under and myself greet him with hugs and kisses. Somehow this deadly, and vicious virus that spreads just referring to it by name has somehow bypassed us, all the doctors in his clinic, the staff, and other personnel. I find that very interesting. I have discerned this carefully for my family. We (my children and I) have yet to mask. Why? Because we aren’t afraid of death. Also, I tell my kids SMILE at everyone you make eye contact with-yours May be the only smile they see all day. I remind my kids to be the LIGHT Of CHRIST in this dark world. it’s a simple gesture, and it’s been profound. Are we reckless about our outings, no. Am I looking for trouble, of course not. But I also realize the spiritual warfare included in all of this. I am not a rebel by nature, this has been very difficult for me, however my conscious will not permit me to contribute to this “fake chaos”. God did not create us to live in fear. Nor did he create us to hide from one another, masked and alone, fearful to receive help from anyone on an outing. Is the virus real-yes! Is it as contagious as the common cold-most definitely! Have people died-yes. But we will all die at some point. Who are we that we think we can stop this virus from killing another human being? As has always been, the world will continue to go round. Why it takes some lives and not others, we may never know. There is no evidence to show children spread this virus, so open up schools. If we really want to take this virus serious, why aren’t we all wearing goggles? Any common person knows it’s through the eyes that these viruses can enter also, right? Funny how much división has been created over people who choose to mask and those who choose not to. That’s the work of the devil, and we continue to fall prey. “Love your neighbor and mask” they say. Yet, government officials nor this vicious virus has yet to stop any rioters. Where’s the love there? If you’re sick-stay home. If your scared-stay home. Why should the healthy and fearless suffer penalties. We are all mature adults-mask if you choose, and if you choose not to, ok! If you are masked, and I am not, are we still not protected from one another? Let that sink in…It’s a right we all should have, to mask or not. This is a slippery slope we are headed down…social distancing is a joke-there’s nothing social about it. We’ve been “social distancing” long before all this started. When was the last time you rubbed up against anyone in the grocery store, seriously? Washing hands, keeping them out of your mouth, and face is nothing new. When you have a fever or the flu you “quarantine” until you are well. Nothing new!! It’s all word play. “My body my choice” for the right to abortion, funny, not the case for the mask. No rights there. While most would rather stay safe, I would rather stay free.
    Again, this is something we each have to discern for our families and ourselves. But please, I ask you not to judge the one who does not wear a mask, and offers a smile..that person may just be trying to bring ‘the light of Christ into this dark world’…. Forgive me Fr. Z for my rant!…+JMJ+

  21. JOYfulmom says:

    “The world offers you comfort. But you were not made for comfort. You were made for Greatness.”-Pope Benedict XVI

  22. cblanch912 says:

    B- Rancourt compiles a list of studies with links…are those a joke? It is not his research.

    I’m asking seriously…if you can refute the findings in these studies (not done by Denis Rancourt), then I’d like to hear what you have to say.

  23. Ellen says:

    I wear a mask when I go into stores since the governor has said we have to. I wear one at Mass since the bishop said we have to. I will NOT wear one outside since I live in the south and with heat and humidity, it would be unbearable. I don’t wear a mask at adoration either. Next week, I will start up working full time and I the powers that be said we have to wear a mask at work unless we are in the office. I plan to spend a lot of time in the office. During this time, I have known 3 people who have gotten the covid. One was 20 and he recovered quickly with few problems. One was 35 and he had headaches and fever for a few days and then recovered quickly. The last was 80 and she had aches and pains and some congestion but no fever. She is fine. I am 69, in excellent health and I am not in the least bit afraid of the covid, but I work with people who are terrified. I have not shaken anyone’s hand but one since March. The governor has shut the bars and severely limited restaurants. We can’t even socialize after Mass. I know people like me who are dying of loneliness. This has got to stop.

  24. JonPatrick says:

    Getting really tired of the mask wars – if you wear one you are a lemming conditioning yourself to be compliant when the authoritarian government takes over, and if you don’t you obviously want Grandma to die. So I now wear one when I am in public which isn’t often, just to be on the safe side. Other than it causing my glasses to fog up sometimes, it hasn’t been that much of a problem. I try to use common sense and wash my hands a lot.

  25. Imrahil says:

    I haven’t seen the video.

    (I may yet, but then I think that arguments may as well be put in writing.)

    What I get from the combox is corroboration of one of my thoughts during this crisis: We’d have it so much easier if we hadn’t all forgotten a lot of obvious things. One of them is the following, but let me make one detour yet:

    Not long ago I talked with some, and somehow we got to the topic of compulsory military service. People apparently cannot understand how it is bearable that you have to follow orders. I said that the conscript feels freer than most because after 17 o’clock he doesn’ have to follow orders (exceptional circumstances set aside) and knows what this freedom feels like; also, he knows when he’s going to be discharged, and then he won’t have to follow orders any-more, and he knows what that feels like. I was right, but not as right as I could have been: The thing is that furthermore, even while following orders, the soldier has learnt, simply by having so much practice in following orders, that he is spared the greater part of unfreedom: he obeys, and thinks his part; he has learnt not to mistake an obeisance (to someone who may be stupid, or a bully, or power-hungry, but is one’s superior) for an act of submission. He has learnt that one of the best methods of showing one’s contempt for a flawed order is to obey it meticulously (while making sure not to overfulfil it by a millimeter), and with a superior [pun not int.] smile on one’s face.

    (Note: I am taking into account the common kind of flawed orders that will be given. “Slaughter the enemy civilians” is less usual than people might think, and the difference is easily recognizable.)

    Sounds like something rather self-evident even for civilians, but somehow, I guess with all the modern talk about freedom and self-determination, we as a society have forgotten how to be spiritually free and self-determined.

  26. Imrahil says:

    So we’re stuck with mask wearing until we get a vaccine.

    We’re (maybe) stuck with mask-wearing as long as the acute pandemic is running. But poliomyelitis ran for thousands of years, and in distinct form not obscured by other diseases for the greater part of the century, before Salk and Sabin gloriously found vaccines; and somehow, this time was not permanently a state of emergency.

    Let’s not forget, though: Sometimes, people have only the psychical strength to fulfil one measure at a time. Young Italians hug with their mask on, and one of the immediate effects of the rather late-introduced mask-duty at my supermarket was decrease in the spatial distance and the earnestness with which spatial distance was kept. Of course, this wasn’t quite the intention and is, merely epidemiologically considered, rather obviously worse than the reverse; but in the sense of “man’s life is more than mere vegetative existence”, I still welcome it as a partial return to normality.

  27. WVC says:

    For all the pro-maskers – don’t worry. Pretty soon we’ll have a Safety Goggle mandate, too! Because, hey, it will help protect you! (even though we kept insisting the masks were there to protect other folks, but, whatever). When the Babylon Bee writes that Fauci will soon endorse wrapping one’s entire self in bubble wrap to stay safe, one has to wonder if it’s satire or prophecy.

    The problem is not about science (which is inconclusive) but about trust. The people who have been watching this pandemic unfold can see that the numbers don’t reflect the hysteria. That, like some said at the beginning, it looks like COVID-19 is NOT much worse than a bad seasonal flu (the total death rate is about equal to the WHO’s average estimate for deaths for a bad seasonal flu). They see that countries like Sweden that didn’t totally lockdown appear to be doing okay. That HCQ looks like it IS safe and that it CAN help folks with the virus if given early on. And, most importantly, that many of the mayors and governors are UNTRUSTWORTHY and often do the OPPOSITE of what should be done (i.e. Cuomo and nursing homes). That people like Fauci and Birx contradict themselves without shame, and don’t appear to know what they’re talking about half the time. That Fauci and Birx are perfectly happy to proclaim edicts (wear a mask in public! cancel all baseball games) while doing whatever they want on their own time (Fauci takes his mask off while watching the baseball game, and, well, actually attended a baseball game!) That Bill Gates is NOT a health professional, even though he likes to call himself that. That folks allowing and encouraging riots by the thousands or political funerals and marches in support of specific causes are the same folks who ban Catholic Mass or choirs singing in praise of God.

    It’s about TRUST. WE do NOT TRUST THEM. So when they tell us we HAVE to wear a mask, our instinct is to say something I can’t write in a Fr. Z combox. If YOU personally feel safer wearing mask, then we’re perfectly happy for you to wear a mask. But if we think we’re just fine not wearing a mask, we’d like to be left the heck alone. The reason we’re making a stink over it is because we think allowing government this level of control over our bodies and faces and churches for the sake of something that looks to be no worse than a flu is tantamount to giving them carte blanche control over absolutely everything, and we value what liberty we have left too much to pretend like this is copacetic.

  28. Antonin says:

    @ Masked Chicken – you are describing a technocracy. Democracy means that public officials, informed by public decisions, need to take reasonable public policy measure informed by the impact of their decision by not only health officials, but also balance that with civil liberties, and also impact of democratic fabric of society. Added to that, the scientific literature is mixed in many of these issues.

    People are simply weighing in on public health measures that are being mandated by force of law. These people are weighing different cost benefit analyses and they are not wrong in doing so.

    Yes, we have laws and masking in stores and I comply with those. But it would be “compelled speech” and a violation of my freedom of speech if I was forced to say this is a good law. I prefer voluntary measures. And added to that, I am not sure the public health risk now necessitates such measures. The stated goal for removal of civil freedoms was “flatten the curve” not “reduce risk to zero”.

    No democracy should ever turn the levers of power to technocrats. Bad idea. The leader is the one who needs to consider all data points and weigh appropriately risk and benefits across a wide range of benefits public responses to any emergency

  29. Fr. Kelly says:

    Well said, WVC

  30. Semper Gumby says:

    Good points, WVC.

  31. Imrahil says:

    The thing is, though, that the term “state authority” (a somewhat defective translation for the word I am actually thinking of, Obrigkeit) could almost (this is a hyperbole; but still) be defined in the following manner:

    “Authority. Someone who cannot be trusted*, but must be obeyed anyway, not so much because it doing so is the thing that makes sense, but simply because God says so in Romans (and, as we know, God has the greater stock of ammo).[**]”

    (By the way, a good working definition-by-example of “naiveté” would be the assumption that this is by the slightest degree different if in the country in question, the partaker of this authority is designated by a voting process. If anything, is becomes more true because it adds dependency on mass-emotions, especially for reelections.)

    [* We can trust our leaders most of the time that they have a basically good intention (but not that they get their principles and perspectives right, to be silent of the relative weight of these). Also, we can trust them to be rather fond of micromanagement, and of forbidding things that make fun provided there is some additional security the rule can be excused with.]

    [** I said it was a hyperbole; of course, the right of the state to give laws is in itself natural-law because human community is a good thing, not merely-divine-positive-law because sinners deserve to be punished; my point was that it does so very often look like the latter.]

  32. JOYfulmom says:

    WVC, my thoughts exactly!!

    Beelady: you say, ‘Please research Stella Immanuel. She is the main doctor in the video you reference and she is the reason it was deleted from social media. It is easy to find videos and print articles attributed to her that speak of demon DNA and alien sperm as causes of disease. She may have a medical degree from Cameroon but she does not appear to be a reputable physician.’…

    You’re right, her background is shady. But so was Moses in the bible. So is Trump’s. So far, Moses-a murderer, proved to be worthy of God’s belief in him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and Trump is the most ProLife president we’ve had to date! These are just two examples of many. I’m not placing her in either category, all I’m saying is if we are going to start judging people on their past history or beliefs…we ought to look in the mirror first! Some might say the same of us..”They (Catholics) believe in the Virgin Mary, apparitions, mystics, ‘pray to people with bleeding hands (stigmata)’, believe in water that heals, eat bread and drink wine and say it’s Jesus’ body and blood”…etc. etc. You’re discrediting her medical expertise with her personal beliefs-which has nothing to do with the other. I was a public school teacher once upon a time, does that mean because I am Catholic who believes in the above stated I am not a good teacher, and should be discredited?…Your comment is an unfair attack on someone you don’t know, and the information you base it on is that of the media’s smear on her. Is it surprising the media worked so hard to smear The Frontline doctors at all? I don’ t think so; they do that to anything that is good, true, and beautiful…we should know, as Catholics were are always discredited by the media, therefore we should be the least to be so quick to judge…
    +JMJ+

  33. Antonin says:

    Imrahil

    The right of the state to give laws is part of natural law. However, the Modern period, especially since John Locke, has circumscribed that right to mean that the state cannot give laws that prohibit or thwart human freedom and liberty. Of course the liberal Lockean value found a home in the USA with the passage of the Bill of Rights and the Jeffersonian model of democracy. Since then, however, the idea has spread and it features prominently in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    Thus there are two poles in Modern political th0ught (and I think Catholic social thought, particularly post VII would concur). These poles are the legitimacy of the State but also the legitimacy of individual civil liberty. Whether more weight shojld be given to the former rather than the latter is a subject of much debate, but most of the Western world has gone with the Lockean liberal conception of the rights of individuals against State intrusion.

    I think a major sub-text in the entire Covid discussion hangs largely on the point. The State is claiming for itself national emergency (much like a war) when normal civil liberties can be suspended.

    As a classic liberal, and one very much invested in human and civil rights, I am concerned with this direction. I can consent to the intrusion but only for a time-limited manner and the State must provide logic for its continuation otherwise it become despotic and illegitimate. I am not saying we are at that time yet but I do think we should not go the way of China and other Asian countries who lack the same liberal Western tradition as we have in Modern Western democracies. And we are heading there if citizens do not ask very important questions and have very important debates around public policy.

    I am not saying that mask wearing is not a reasonable measure to impose in certain situations nor do I think that it imposes unreasonable burdens but it should be time limited and I think it is a symbolic issue. And there are some good points made in the posted video above which admittedly has satirical value and I don’t interpret it as reasoned public debate – but we should have reasoned public debate and that debate is being suppressed. Again, concerning.

  34. WVC says:

    Imrahil – I think you’re taking an overly generous (to the “state”) reading of Romans, and not giving enough due credit to the reality of Original Sin or to the doctrine of Subsidiarity. Or to the evils of bureaucracy. At any rate, no one is saying we shouldn’t pay our taxes. Nor, unlike some, are we trying to burn down federal courthouses. We’re pushing back against what we feel is an overreach of authority by folks who act increasingly like tyrants. Tyrants who now appear to claim powers strictly forbidden to them by the documents that establish their authority in the first place (i.e. Freedom of Religion). Yes, Christians have a duty to follow the laws laid out by the state, but even back in St. Paul’s day they had underground Masses against the State’s wishes. Obedience, a virtue I cherish, only goes so far with the current worldly authorities.

    Christ called us to be HIS sheep, not the State’s sheep. He also encouraged us to be clever as serpents and gave us the unjust steward as an example to consider.

  35. hicwat says:

    Besides someone being denied communion, and others being denied confession, this is the most commented-on article of Fr Z’s in the past several weeks. Just doing my part to bump it even higher.

  36. psalm 37:4-5 says:

    JOYfulmom – Thank you for saying things so well! I totally relate to your comments and agree! You worded how I’ve felt about all of this to a T! As a homeschooling mom of 4, I went through a similar thought process about this as you did. And I also started wondering why there weren’t all sorts of outbreaks and cases in all the “essential” businesses we all frequented early on… while washing our hands and staying away from people… there wasn’t a huge uptick in cases at Target, WalMart or the garden centers and grocery stores… all the same employees there still have jobs and the stores didn’t shut down due to employees being hospitalized or dying. And I also thought too, if the mask protects people, then if you wear one, and I don’t, how are you being harmed? I also agree with someone else above who said this is getting to be very lonely and heavy for people. We’re really on a slippery slope here (have been…this is just proof). I think that was the point of the video.

  37. IaninEngland says:

    JOYfulmom: Many thanks for your rant. I think you have the right take on these matters.

    Personally, I regard masking, anti-social distancing and giving my name and address when I go to hear Mass as sacrificing a pinch of incense to Caesar. It’s a little thing, but with huge ramifications … and it’s a bad idea.

  38. APX says:

    Doesn’t it seem like only yesterday, the western world was agreed that women being forced to cover their faces in Islamic countries was dehumanizing?

    This was my first thought as a woman in a city that recently instated a mandatory masking bylaw introduced by a mayor who is Muslim. To add insult to injury, someone came out with masks that have animal muzzles on them. Because having to cover up my smile, the thing that brings happiness to the people I see every day (I actually had an elderly veteran complain that he could no longer see my smile that used to brighten his day every day he came in), wasn’t dehumanizing enough, wearing a mask with a pig snout or cow muzzle is now being advertised.

    Furthermore, as a single young woman, how am I supposed to attract a man if I can’t show my interest by smiling at him? I never thought flashing someone a smile (literally) would become risque.

  39. seeker says:

    The idea behind the mask is that it mainly protects others more than the wearer. So if you have no concerns for yourself and don’t mask you are really making the decsion for others. A fellow homeschool mom got it and very nearly died. She will probably have issues going forward.
    I am not a medical or science person, so I follow those people, because I am not qualified to fully understand the research. Similarly, I take advice from my mechanic about car repairs. And as a former litigation attorney, I am pretty good at research, but it makes sense to be guided by experts here. There is conflicting info because we haven’t really dealt with this type of thing before. Getting angry because there is a lot we don’t know for sure is pretty stupid.
    I dealt with a child with cancer last year, chemo etc., and we had to be very careful of germs. I am only too happy to do that for other people.
    We just don’t know for sure what to do, and we will also never know if we have passed infection to another person out in public by not washing hands, masking, etc.
    Maybe we need to consider others more than ourselves, especially if we are healthy.

  40. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear Antonin,

    If I gave the impression that I were in favor of a technocracy, then I seem to have written badly. I am not in favor of a technocracy in any way, shape, or form, because such a form of government almost always becomes inhuman very quickly.

    What I was decrying was the idea that everyone is entitled to an opinion about everything and that all opinions should carry equal weight (phenomena that are clearly exacerbated by social media). Clearly, my opinion about a complicated legal issue about which I have done only a little study is nowhere near on par with a legal scholar’s opinion. Likewise, if a person falls down on the street, 20 people in the crowd may have their own opinions on what to do, but if there is a doctor or EMT among the twenty, their opinion should to have priority.

    My point was to ask the question: in what circumstances should people be humble enough to defer to the opinion of another? I defer to the opinion of a plumber when he fixes my pipes. I don’t tell him how to do his job. Would you tell an organ tuner how to do his job because you have heard a few organ concerts?

    Yes, politicians have to govern, but they are supposed to govern rationally and, under ordinary circumstances, citizens are to defer to their authority. The problem in the U. S. is that the governments at various levels do not seem to be governing rationally about different aspects relating to the pandemic, otherwise, there would not be this incredible level of discord. Those in positions of authority should be seeking the truth and trying to set policy by it, but Postmodern tendencies to equate truth with feelings, especially of the crowd, have so contaminated large swaths of people, even in government, that even charitable discussions on issues related to the pandemic quickly become vitriolic and any unity of purpose goes out the window.

    There is a sizable group, I would guess, that equates wearing a mask with the violation of their personal freedoms, but the same argument could be made with regards to driving on the right side of the road. People do a lot of things they don’t like for the common good. Why is mask wearing any different? Yes, the federal government has sent mixed messages on masks, but that seems to have been largely because early on there was a shortages of masks and a lack of understanding about asymptomatic transmission (which caught people by surprise).

    My point is nicely illustrated by the article linked to, above, by Denis Rancourt (The Science is Conclusive…). Ignoring the circumstances surrounding the author and focusing on the science, somebody who were anti-mask would read this collection of articles cited on the blog and Rancourt’s conclusions and feel vindicated in not wearing a mask, but here is where a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Rancourt does most of his work, as far I have seen (I did not do an exhaustive literature search, but hopefully, enough) in soil/environmental physics. He has no expertise in aerodynamics or statistical mechanics or virology. He lists a smattering of papers on the post (all supporting his conclusion, supposedly), posts a few graphs, and to many people this makes it sound like an authoritative opinion or review of the literature. It is not, but how would one know unless one has the experience to examine his cited literature. I went back and actually looked at one of the papers he cites and it has nothing to do with whether or not masks protect against viruses. It compares rates of influenza infections between N95 masks and surgical masks and finds no significant different. Nowhere in there does it say that mask wearing is not useful.

    This is what I am talking about. On the surface, Rancourt sounds like he is presenting a solid case, but it takes someone who knows the literature to make a true assessment of his claims. Notice that he is not making this sort of presentation at a scientific conference. He would torn to shreds.

    Likewise, all of his data references the influenza virus, which, first of all, does NOT have asymptomatic spread (or very little) and, secondly, primarily spreads by aerosol transmission, not droplet transmission. The statistical mechanics and aerodynamics are different for the different particle sizes. It has been known since 2007 that influenza particle suspension in room atmospheres is affected by humidity levels (lower humidity = higher virus density), but Rancourt presents this as if it were something new.

    He talks about the seasonality of influenza, without seeming to know that mathematical studies on the seasonality of measles, etc., have been done since the 1950’s. It is called seasonal forcing and many papers have been written on the subject (by many, I means hundreds). The forcing criteria in Vidoud’s model is humidity. Wow, who knew that air is drier in the winter months, thus, leading to cycling of influenza to higher infection rates in the winter!?

    I am not alone in reaching the conclusion that Rancourt’s opinion is useless. Psychology Today, did a similar study and came to the same conclusions:

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/logical-take/202007/yes-masks-work-debunking-the-pseudoscience

    Just because people read something on a website written in what seems like English or watch a video on YouTube, presented by someone speaking outside of their field, does not guarantee that they are a reliable sources of information. This is the sort of confusion that leads to the vitriol we are seeing between the mask/anti-mask crowd.

    If you want to read a good review about the state of mask science, with good references, here is one:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7293495/

    There is, obviously, a need for more research on mask science, but few in the scientific community with the relevant expertise hold any doubts that masks do at least some good, especially for droplet sized particles (depending on the mask type, less for aerosol sized particle). None of the “arguments” presented in the YouTube video do anything to contradict that underlying message.

    I just fail to see how, if you cannot even tell an organ tuner how to do his job without years of apprenticeship, that, suddenly, with regards to mask wearing, everyone has an opinion and everyone is an expert. That was my point.

    The Chicken

  41. The Masked Chicken says:

    psalm 37:4-5 wrote:

    “And I also thought too, if the mask protects people, then if you wear one, and I don’t, how are you being harmed?“

    Masks are not symmetric barriers. They protect against outward flow (from them to you) better than inward flow (from you to them). Yes, you can harm people.

    The Chicken

  42. DavidMichael says:

    What I find most horrible about universal masking is that it, and “social” distancing, forces people apart, requiring us to treat ourselves and everyone else as diseased and dangerous. Masks cover up one of the most important means of communication that we humans share – smiles, facial expressions, and visual means of recognition. It is dehumanizing. Sure, masks should be worn when in close contact with sick or vulnerable people, or when we ourselves are truly sick and must be out in public, such as going to a clinic for treatment, etc. But universal masking has NOT been proven effective or necessary. Yes, this disease is bad, but not bad enough to make us all “deface” ourselves – until when?

  43. WVC says:

    @DavidMichael – very well put.

  44. Antonin says:

    @MaskedChicken – “Yes, the federal government has sent mixed messages on masks, but that seems to have been largely because early on there was a shortages of masks”

    That precise question was posed to Dr. Fauci by Rep. Mackinley in a House Energy & Commerce Committee. Check out this Vlog by Viva Frei, Montreal Vlogger on the exchange and you will see clearly why the public is having issues with health authorities.

    Start at 1:20. The title of the video is “Dr. Fauci’s Admission is SCANDALOUS – Lawyer explains – Viva Frei Vlawg”

    https://youtu.be/GbfiqxDgOZ0

  45. WVC says:

    @The Chicken

    While I normally enjoy your comments, I’m afraid you’re off the mark on this topic. First, equating “driving on the right side of the road” with covering one’s face (and soon one’s eyes, if Fauci and Birx have their way) as equivalent examples of personal freedoms is so absurd I can only assume you wrote in haste without much reflection on that point.

    You say we should be humble and listen to the scientists who are better qualified on this topic, but my response is twofold. One, it is these scientists that many of us find untrustworthy. After decades of Global Warming alarmism and the political and financial underhanded things tied in with that alarmism, we find much of the scientific community’s credibility already spent. Ferguson’s Imperial model was absurdly constructed and amazingly wrong, but we were told to believe it. Fauci comes out and says, point blank, that we should NOT wear masks, that they’re not helpful, and that they might even increase one’s chance of contracting the disease, and we were told to believe it. There are super-spreaders who never show symptoms out there! We were told to believe it. You can catch it twice! And we were told to believe it. HCQ is dangerous and will kill you! And we were told to believe it. And the list goes on and on and on. . . How many things have been reversed? Is it really a 14-day incubation period? I’ve heard debate. Are there really asymptomatic folks? Even the WHO was questioning it at one point in time.

    It’s not just politicians we don’t trust. It’s your so-called experts. I can also point to many experts who contradict your experts. Holland just said no to masks – is their top medical officer just a know-nothing blogger? Sweden went a different path – do they not have medical experts? And, I repeat, it’s these so-called experts in America who say thousands of people protesting violently in cities won’t spread the virus, but going to Church will (just check out Fauci’s recent grilling on the Hill, where he squirmed and squirmed and refused to say protests could spread the virus, as if a protest isn’t made up of “crowds.”) These are the people who hold little credibility with those of us who are against mandatory mask mandates, especially for a disease whose death rate is so low and which dramatically impacts a small subset of the population (young healthy people have little to fear from COVID, random anecdotes aside – the vast majority of the data says it is NOT dangerous for young healthy people). When the disease was raging – when we were in the throes in February and March – there were no mask mandates then. It’s only now, AFTER the death rate has plummeted, AFTER wide-spread testing has shown the mortality rate is far lower than initially thought – it’s NOW that we are told to wear a mask or else. Not sure if my common sense holds a candle to all those experts, but from where I come from we’d say, “that dog don’t hunt.”

    That’s just my first point. The second point is you have left human dignity entirely out of your equation. It’s as if dignity holds no value. For the potential safety of the “other” I should throw my dignity as well as everyone else’s dignity out the window. And we’re not talking world-ending bubonic plague levels of disease – we’re talking about a flu. So, now that we’ve crossed this Rubicon, shall we just all agree to wear masks every year from November through March? I mean, elderly people and immune compromised people are just as susceptible if not more so from the regular flu, so why aren’t we wearing masks to protect them during flu season? This website is concerned with the dignity of the liturgy we offer Our Lord. But, to potentially save some folks shall we make the priest wear a mask while offering Mass? We’ll let him decorate it and personalize any way he likes! Because the experts, they now say we should wear goggles (Fauci). And masks inside our home (Birx). And all of this until they can force us to all take mandatory vaccines from companies that will make billions of dollars and are already been indemnified against any bad side effects or, you know, deaths caused by the vaccine. It’s okay – when asked about the side effects Bill Gates said, “It’s not really that bad, just super painful.” His words, not mine. (and, to head off the strawman before he’s stuffed – I’m not an anti-vaxxer, and all of my children are up-to-date on their vaccines).

    The line from Julius Caesar comes to mind. “Cowards die many times before their death.” My wife is in the last few months of her long, losing battle with cancer. We’ve faced death daily for five years. When it comes time for her funeral, I am not going to make my children wear a mask. I am not going to wear a mask. The priest will not wear a mask. And anyone who thinks that’s selfish can come say it to my face, but be prepared for what will follow.

  46. Fr. Kelly says:

    Prayers for your wife and family, WVC.

  47. NOCatholic says:

    WVC, I’m sorry for your wife, and I have prayed for her healing.

    Let me make a few points. First, some fields of expertise are more speculative than others. Clime science has a lot of speculation based on incomplete evidence, and is therefore suspectible to bias. Epidemiology is much better established. There are questions, to be sure, about COVID-19, which is a new disease, and that accounts for the confusion you mention. But the basics of respiratory virus spread are well known.

    Second, I don’t see how wearing a protective item like a facemask, diminishes our dignity. That’s like saying wearing., say, seat belts while in a car, diminishes our dignity. But wearing a facemask is an act of charity, to protect others as well as protecting ourselves from the virus. Facemasks are new to the US but they have been common in Japan for years.

    I will continue to hold up your wife and your family in prayer. But please, wear a mask in public indoor spaces.

  48. WVC says:

    @Fr. Kelly – thank you.

  49. WVC says:

    @NOCatholic

    Thank you for your prayers.

    Your points hold no water with me. If the basics of respiratory virus spread are well known, why did the experts provide contradictory guidance from the beginning? Why are some country’s health experts saying “No” to masks while others aren’t? Why did Fauci say one’s chance of catching the virus INCREASED with a mask before saying that we should wear a mask? Why haven’t we worn a mask during other respiratory disease outbreaks? The common cold is basically a Coronavirus – should we wear a mask to prevent the spread of the common cold (which can be just as deadly to elderly and folks with compromised immune systems)?

    If it was as simple as you say it is, then either the experts are idiots or they’re liars, in either case I’m inclined to not believe them. If it’s more complicated than what you say, then who knows? My belief, having dealt personally with the bowels of the medical system for the past five years, is that it’s a LOT more of a guessing game than most common folks realize. Regardless, the point is that COVID-19, based on all available data, is NOT a deadly disease to the vast majority of people and is little more than a bad flu. So whether a mask is effective or not is NOT the main issue. Whether we’re all willing to wear a mask for the rest of our public lives is the issue, because if COVID requires a mask, then the regular flu season requires a mask.

    Regarding your second point, if you honestly don’t see the difference between covering one’s face and putting a belt across one’s torso which is already clothed – then I can’t help you. You should read more Chesterton. Even Constantine figured out they should stop branding slaves on the face because Man is made in the image and likeness of God. My parish is currently praying the devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus for our country. The face is, pretty dang obviously, more significant than one’s torso.

    And they accept a LOT of things in Japan that I’m not kosher with, facemasks probably being some of the least objectionable.

    All I can say about me wearing a face mask is that I didn’t wear a face mask at the grocery store from January through March, while the virus was waxing strong, and then suddenly, as if by magic, I’m now supposed to wear a mask from June through forever (at least until Bill Gates gets his super painful vaccine ready) otherwise people WILL DIE even though the death rate for the virus has dropped like a stone and the dreaded ventilator shortage never materialized and the hospitals never overflowed and bodies never piled up in the streets. Seeing as how the infection rate, hospitalization, and death count in my county are very low and haven’t grown hardly at all over the past several months (before or after the Mask Mandate) and, even at their highest, didn’t make up more than a teeny, tiny fraction of a percent of the total population, I’m inclined to believe this mask nonsense is both superstitious and political. But then what do I know? I’m not an EXPERT. Meanwhile, I do things that make sense, like keep my distance in public and use copious amounts of hand sanitizer.

  50. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear WVC,

    My prayers for you wife (and if you give permission, I would like to put her on our prayer line).

    I am reluctant (hence the name, Masked Chicken) to create upset for other people. I can, at times, be tone deaf to how my remarks might be perceived and with this topic, discussions can be risky and likely to stir passion on all sides. I trust that you know that I mean you no personal harm.

    That being said, science is a messy business and often requires trial and error. The first blood transfusions in the 1820’s killed many people because blood typing was not understood. Still, the doctors of the day defended their practice stating that they were proceeding with the best light available. If they had given up at that point, literally millions of future people would have died from wounds in future generations. St. Terese of Liseaux died of tuberculosis, a disease which was to be easily treated by streptomycin in the mid-1940’s, only about 50 years after her death.

    In many ways, we are still in the dark about COVID-19. I wish it were otherwise, but facts are facts. We do know much more than in 1820 or 1896 about the disease process in general, but not specific enough for this disease, fast enough, to create a cure in time to prevent societal disruption.

    I can respond to some of your points, according to the best data I have available and, as always, I gratefully accept clarification and correction, where wrong. Yes, we have human dignity, and that dignity encompasses the right to dispute each other like civilized Christians. Such disputations are an act of charity and, if done correctly, mark us as worthy of respect before the world. Such is how the Apostles conducted things at the First Council of Jerusalem. There were different sides to the issue, but there was no rioting or name-calling or “cancelling.” There was an honest seeking for God’s will. I assume that is what everyone, here (certainly on this site) are aiming to do.

    So, some remarks:

    1. Driving on the right side of the road is a social compact. It is, necessarily, an arbitrary act of social engineering (we could have selected the left side of the road). There is no doubt about what happens if you don’t follow this rule. Mask wearing at this time is a social compact, as well, but the evidence is no where near as certain nor dramatic as a head-on collision that ignoring the rule will lead to calamity. Medicine has to deal with probabilities, not certainties, so there will always be exceptional cases. Still, at the moment, the best lights we have suggest that mask wearing is beneficial.

    2. You wrote: “ If the basics of respiratory virus spread are well known, why did the experts provide contradictory guidance from the beginning? Why are some country’s health experts saying “No” to masks while others aren’t? Why did Fauci say one’s chance of catching the virus INCREASED with a mask before saying that we should wear a mask? Why haven’t we worn a mask during other respiratory disease outbreaks?”

    Basically, the U. S. government was caught with their pants down early on because they didn’t have adequate stockpiles of PPE and masks, so, in my view, they soft-balled the risks to the general public in order to save the equipment for frontline workers. If they had been adequately preparing for a pandemic, they might have stressed mask wearing for everyone, from the beginning. Also, no one knew about asymptomatic spread in the early days, which made soft-balling the risks much easier. Still, it was negligence on the Federal government’s part, in my opinion.

    2. We have worn masks during other respiratory outbreaks. Masks were mandated during the 1918 Spanish Flu outbreak. Just like today, however, mask wearing was challenged and not universally adopted. We don’t wear masks for the common cold in 2020 because: 1) the virus has down-mutated to a much weaker version than when it was “novel,” back in the 1800s, 2) almost everybody has some residual immunity to the cold, today, because of the wide-spread exposure over the last 100 years (people, if I recall, did die from colds in the 180os).

    3. You do have a good argument that churches have been unfairly targeted vs. stores, bars, etc. This is something that makes me very upset, especially at what looks to me like complicitness from the Supreme Court, in siding with some governments over churches.

    4. COVID-19 is not like the flu in terms of its IRF (infection rate fatality). You are correct that the risk for young people is about the same a for the flu, but the risk has a steeper curve for old people than the flu. By the age of 70, the CFR (case fatality rate – not the best measure, but my battery is running out and I can’t find better data) is about 1.5 time higher than for the flu, but equally important, it’s Ro value, a measure of how communicable it is, is between 1.5 to 2 times as high, as well. Bring a novel virus, there are few pre-existing antibodies in most people (although some research indicates that having had the common cold recently might provide some protection).

    In any case, what we need is a uniform policy, mask or no mask. The countries that have lowest rates of infection, by and large, have the greatest unity. That is why the U. S. and Brazil are getting killed, in part. No national unity.

    Battery dying. Must go.

    The Chicken

  51. WVC says:

    @The Chicken
    Thank you for your prayers. We are thankful for all prayers.

    I can’t mount much more than a half-hearted response. I’m honestly exasperated with the topic. I still believe yours (and others) refusal to acknowledge the significance of one’s face is disingenuous. When you remember someone, when you think of someone, when you take a picture of someone – it’s the face that is significant. To pretend otherwise isn’t even worth debating – but, hey, let’s talk about seatbelts and driving again and say it’s comparable. *sigh*

    You seem to be spouting the common narrative, that the officials and experts LIED to the American Public out of concern for PPE availability for front line medical folks. It’s important to point out that they LIED, not soft-pedalled. Fauci said one’s chance of getting the virus INCREASED with the use of a mask – if what you claim is true, and masks are an absolute necessity to stop the spread of the disease, then this was a LIE. Especially when once considers that today I can just put a pair of underwear over my head and have that count as meeting the mask requirement, someone like me can’t help but suspect the line that they had to “save the PPE” is little more than balderdash.

    And, again, it’s not just that these experts are targeting churches – it’s that they are PROTECTING riots and protests. If the experts were serious about stopping the spread of the virus, they would decry THOUSANDS of folks marching and rioting in the streets. But they don’t. They even go as far out of their way as possible to claim that there’s no evidence that the protests and riots might spread the virus. As someone around here likes to say – B as in B and S as in S. This is not the sloppy, uncertain field of science – this is politics. When the experts decide to play politics, I’m not sure why I’m required to humble myself before them and obey, obey, obey.

    I don’t disagree with what you say about the virus itself. Is it more communicable? Yup. Is it more dangerous to elderly and the weak? Yup. Should we be more liberally using HCQ and Zinc to treat? – I think so. Especially when the anti-HCQ study published by the Lancet (experts! experts!) – the study that moved the WHO (experts! experts!) to stop all trials of HCQ across the globe had to be withdrawn after it was revealed it was a complete and entire fraud (the Guardian has a detailed article).

    The thing I find the most demonic and evil about this entire affair is that everyone on the pro-mask side seems to take it for granted that we can hold people morally and legally liable for spreading a disease. As if disease is under man’s control (it’s not). As if disease is not a part of nature and the human experience in every single age (it is). It’s not longer a burden we all share as a result of the Fall, but it is a wedge to drive apart communities, a stick with which to beat my neighbor, and a lever by which government can better control the people. That man believes he is the lord of Life and Death is a terrible evil, but I don’t have any scientific studies to support my position so what does it matter.

    But it doesn’t seem like anything I say really matters. To hell with dignity. To hell with suspicions. It seems that the overwhelming message is “We MUST do EVERYTHING required to STOP this disease!” So shut down the economy again! Shutter all the small businesses! Shut down all the schools! To hell with education, with making a living, with Religious services! Want to get married? Tough! Wear a mask! And you can’t invite more than 10 people. And stay 6 feet apart at all times! Who CARES if it’s the most important day in your life – your DIGNITY doesn’t matter – WEAR A MASK! Baptisms? Wear a mask! No more than 10 guests!! Is your spouse in the hospital from a serious injury? Tough! Wear a mask! Whether they get to see your face one last time doesn’t matter!! Hey – it’s better that we all be slaves to a Communist Atheist government than we let anybody anywhere ever catch this disease – and let us all pray for our savior, Billy Gates and his vaccine which we will force every single person to submit to down to the youngest babe – NO QUESTIONS ALLOWED. Perhaps I exaggerate in my wording, but I don’t feel that I exaggerate the intent.

    I give up. I don’t care anymore. I do not feel it is possible to communicate on this topic, not even on a place like Fr. Z’s blog (where the commenters are above internet average). If I can’t effectively communicate my point here, then obviously I can’t effectively communicate anything anywhere.

    I reiterate my previous statement, though, especially for all of those who say dignity is of little or no importance. I will not wear a mask at my wife’s funeral. I will not make my children wear a mask. The priest offering the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will not wear a mask. And if anyone is afraid of getting sick, then stay as far away from me as you can get. Suits me just fine.

    Thanks for the prayers. I’m done with this topic.

  52. Semper Gumby says:

    Masked Chicken: Sure, the Federal government isn’t perfect.

    Though, recall the wailing of “racism!” and gnashing of teeth by the usual journalists, scientists and professors after the President declared a travel ban; New York State in previous years spending funds elsewhere than on pandemic supplies, and improperly maintaining some of their inadequate stockpile; Mayor De Blasio and the NYC Health Department in March “go to parades, go to movies”; etc.;etc.; etc.

  53. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear WVC,

    I appreciate your comments. Believe me when I say that I respect your viewpoint. It is made with the best of Catholic sentiment. One of my best friends is against wearing masks and I am sure that she is as frustrated with me as I am with her, but we still love each other. I understand the dignity of the face. St. Therese of Liseaux’s full title is St. Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face. This was her name in religion given to her by the mother prioress. She had a few things to say about the face and how it communicates the interior of the heart.

    In the end, a certain conscience must be followed, even if it is in error, so, whether I am in error or you are in error or we both are in error with regards to wearing or not wearing a mask, I am content that we are following our consciences, which are well-formed, given how much time we each have put into doing diligence on the issue. That we have come to different conclusions is regrettable, but not sinful. It is my honor to discuss the matter with you. I hope that God will clarify the issues and do what he can to stop the game-playing by those who are supposed to be leading us, both in religion and in politics. We are sheep who need good shepherds, not posers seeking to look good in front of the crowd. I wish this were not an election year. There is blame to go around on both sides of the political aisle and in many rectories.

    Our job is to pray and seek holiness. Perhaps, this is the best defense against the virus. A mask of virtue is far better than a mask of cloth in defending against the evils of this world. I know we both agree on that proposition. While the world rushes about in a mad frenzy to squeeze the last drop of certainty out of the uncertainties of life, on this day when we celebrate the Transfiguration, the day when Christ, for an instant, dropped his earthly mask and revealed his glory, perhaps we need to be reminded that it is only in the light that was revealed that day that we may find true certainty and peace.

    The Chicken

  54. WVC says:

    @The Chicken.

    Amen.

  55. Mary Jane says:

    @WVC, @MaskedChicken, thank you both so much for your thoughts on this issue. My husband and I both appreciated your exchange, as well as your respect for one another.

    WVC, my husband and I agree with your very well-stated position. I was particularly struck by what you said about masks and dignity. I have often commented to my husband when I (am required to) put a mask on before entering the grocery store that I feel like my dignity is being taken away. Like I’m not a person anymore. Just the emotional impact of covering my face is, for me, anyway, quite significant.

    WVC, our family will offer our rosary this evening for your wife and you and your family.

  56. WVC says:

    @Mary Jane

    Thank you for your prayers. We are very much indebted to the many good people who have supported us with their prayers. I know there is little else that can explain the graces we have received through all of this except for the great Mercy of Our Lord and the pleas of many wonderful people on our behalf.

    Reading back over my comments I feel I was more rude than I intended, and leaned too heavily on invective and excitement. I can only say that increasingly feeling like the only sane person left in a world gone mad has started to take a toll on my stoic reserves. I’m thankful folks like The Chicken are patient with me as I vent my spleen.

    I will pass on, if you are interested, an article I read today from a doctor in Sweden. I thought it helpful to hear his perspective:
    https://sebastianrushworth.com/2020/08/04/how-bad-is-covid-really-a-swedish-doctors-perspective/

    God Bless you and yours, and thank you.

  57. Mary Jane says:

    @WVC, Thank you! That article was fascinating. It is very comforting to know that there are others out there who feel similarly to us.
    God bless you and your family!

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