I have spent considerable time studying research articles on or about the use of face masks to control the spread of COVID-19.
Government Actions Not Based in Reality
Before taking drastic measures to manage the personal, intimate bodily spaces of every person in a society, a rational government leader would determine whether the level of a threat justifying such drastic measures exists. Furthermore, a rational government leader would consider a sound tier of evidence to support the effectiveness of the measures taken to so manage personal, intimate bodily spaces. Finally, a rational government leader would observe real world patterns to determine whether such measures actually worked, if they were put into force.
I contend that government leaders have done none of this, as they plowed ahead making mandates to control the intimate facial regions and airway openings of every human being on the planet, in the name of controlling the spread of a deadly virus. These arguably grossly misguided leaders have put great unfounded faith in simple cloth face masks to control the spread of an entity, the SARS-CoV-2 virus, that moves as part of the very fluid air that human beings breathe and exchange with their surroundings.
No level of threat currently exists that would require trying to control the breathing passages of human beings on a mass scale. No laws of physics enable simple cloth barriers to regulate (with the degree of precision being claimed) the virus content of air exchange between human beings and their environment. No healthy state of mind allows a reasonable person to consider another person an extreme threat, where there is no outward indication of any threat or proof of any threat in that person in the moment of encounter.
Despite the non-existence of the claimed threat level, despite the non-existence of physics laws to explain the claimed regulatory effect of cloth masks on air exchange, despite the non-existence of any precedent to consider all individuals as disease threats by default, leaders around the world, nonetheless, have forced face masks on entire populations by legal decree.
What follows is visual evidence, in the form of graphs, showing that cloth face masks do not work on a mass scale, as these leaders so mistakenly believe.
International Case Numbers Rise at Same Rate Despite Face Mask Mandates
Figure 2 shows graphs of cumulative COVID-19 case growth over time, for four different countries. Notice that face mask mandates were imposed late in the upward trends of case growth curves. Notice also that the rate of case growth remained virtually unchanged, months after face mask mandates went into effect.
If masks were effective, then we would expect a change in the rate of case growth.
For Bulgaria, Venezuela, and Slovenia, however, steepness increased for case growth curves, months after mask mandates, which means that case numbers increased at a greater rate months after mask mandates. Vietnam showed a distinct leveling, only to grow more rapidly for a short interval and then level off at a slightly greater steepness than the first leveling, which says little for the effectiveness of face masks. The alleged virus appears to have been running its course, despite all human interventions.
Of course, each country has its own unique case-growth signature, and not all countries so blatantly illustrate the failure of face masks, but these four countries alone are enough to invalidate a simple, popular belief in masks.
France Has Shown Identical Case Growth Without and With Face Masks
France did not mandate face masks until the very end of a first wave of case growth, when the virus had already run its first course. Face masks apparently did not slow the growth of the second wave of case growth, as indicated by a very similar curve, showing a case-growth rate nearly the same as the first wave and continuing at the same rate two months after the face mask mandate went into effect.
In other words, face masks did not effect the second wave of case growth.
Philippines Death-Threat Pressure Offered Zero Boost to Face Mask Effectiveness
The Philippines has had one of the strictest face mask requirements in the world, where people who show aggression towards enforcing police officers are under threat of being shot dead, by order of the government. This order placed citizens in an uncompromising position to comply, because any resistance could easily be reported as aggressive, thus justifying lethal shootings.
With the fear of being shot dead looming over Philippine citizens for not wearing face masks, we can be confident that mask compliance in this part of the world has been high. Nonetheless, look at the graph in Figure 4 – cases did not start to rise steeply until almost three months after the face mask mandate went into effect.
Does this, in any way, justify lethal force against anybody who shows aggression about being forced to cover their faces? The reasonable answer is No. No, because face masks do not appear to have any effect on the growth of COVID-19 cases.
United States Case Growth Has Increased Despite Face Mask Mandates
Figure 5 shows cumulative case growth curves for seven US states. New Jersey showed cases still rising at the same rate, one month after the mask mandate. New York showed some leveling, but still increasing case growth two months after its mask mandate. Maryland’s rate of case growth remained virtually unchanged, two months after its mask mandate. Pennsylvania’s rate of case growth remained virtually unchanged, three months after its mask mandate. Connecticut showed some leveling but still rising case growth, two months after its mask mandate. Hawaii appears to have leveled for about a month and a half, but then abruptly rose steeply at the same rate of case growth as before its mask mandate. Delaware’s rate of case growth remained virtually unchanged over two and a half months after its mask mandate.
How does this, in any way, support the effectiveness of face masks on a mass scale? The reasonable answer is, It does not. Again, face masks do not appear to have any observable effect on COVID-19 case growth.
Two US States Suggest Dramatic Failure of Face Masks
California and Hawaii deserve a special focus, because of the vigor with which their government leaders endorsed what I have come to view as the face mask religion.
Figure 6 and Figure 7 speak for themselves.
I see zero evidence here in the real world for the functional effectiveness of mandatory face masks on a mass scale.
Sweden Confirms the Ineffectiveness of Face Masks
How much worse would case growth have been without face masks?
A reasonable answer, in my view, is that case growth would have been no worse overall – it might have been distributed differently. Consider Sweden.
Figure 8 compares daily, confirmed COVID-19 cases for the United States and Sweden over time. Sweden never had a mask mandate. By the end of June, however, all but two states of the United States had some sort of face mask requirement.
Notice, however, what happened near the end of June – cases in the USA skyrocketed, in comparison to Sweden, as cases in Sweden plummeted from an all-time high. This graph is an accurate comparison, because it measures cases per million people.
This graph, in conjunction with all other graphs that I have presented, illustrates the absurdity of trying to legalize simple cloth face coverings for regulating the viral composition of human exhaled breath.
A Final Nail in the Coffin
Responsible, informed leaders would do well to lay to rest the idea of mandatory face masks for controlling the spread of COVID-19. If the above graphs are not enough evidence, then consider a report from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
Fisher KA, Tenforde MW, Feldstein LR, et al (2020). Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020. MMWR (Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report), 69:1258–1264.
- In the 14 days before illness onset, 71% of case-patients and 74% of control participants reported always wearing cloth face coverings or other mask types when in public.
- Case-patients were symptomatic adults (persons aged ≥18 years) with SARS-CoV-2 infection confirmed by reverse transcription–polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing.
Read that again and understand: 71% (seventy-one percent) of adults with symptoms who tested positive for the virus causing COVID-19 reported always wearing cloth or other face coverings when in public.
This same report continues to recommend mass face masking, which I find illogical and unbelievable. When clear facts are blatantly ignored like this, and the same recommendations prevail, there is no other conclusion to be reached than a great number of people are collectively in denial of the truth.
There simply is no rational foundation to justify mandating mass face masks for controlling the spread of COVID-19.