Tell Me Honestly, Why Are Masks On Planes So Controversial?

There are reports across social media of flights where the majority of passengers aren’t wearing masks, even though masks are ostensibly required by nearly all U.S. airlines. It isn’t just people forgetting, or not bothering, there are many people voicing strong objection online to be required to don a mask. And I’d like to better understand the reasons why.

The evidence for masks is increasingly strong. With little testing and only modest distancing masks may be the biggest reason Japan has kept the virus under control (though, speculatively, it’s also possible more people there are naturally immune).

British researchers recently found that everyone wearing 50% effective masks is enough to slow the spread of the virus (homemade masks are probably more than 50% effective). A German study found masks reduce the growth rate of infections by 40%.

  • And use of quality masks by half the population does the same thing. Wearing masks also encourages social distancing based on a study out of Italy – seeing the masks reminds us to stay away.

    I get that the messaging from the government has been a failure here, that the U.S. started out recommending against masks. This was a failure on the science, a noble lie that bought the government time to secure masks for itself and health care workers before the public went out and bought their own.

    Airlines won’t enforce their mask rules because otherwise there’d be conflict in the skies. People can just claim they have a medical condition (even an emotional one) and they’re not required to wear masks anyway. And by the way neither the FAA nor TSA have the legal authority to mandate mask wearing.

    On Friday American Airlines reminded people across their social media accounts about the mask requirement. Promoting that other passengers will be wearing masks makes many consumers more comfortable traveling, they feel safer so they’re more willing to purchase tickets.

    However the mask requirement also brings out heated passions on the opposite side. Now, some people are criticizing American for (1) marketing in their pictures like they’re blocking middle seats, when they aren’t blocking all middle seats, and (2) for failing to enforce the mask rule.

    But there are plenty of people who won’t wear masks on board, and who take to the comments to criticize mask-wearing.

    I genuinely don’t understand this and I haven’t seen anyone in the comments that’s opposed to masks articulate exactly why.

    I actually like this last comment from Todd Stamm who says he’ll vote with his wallet and fly Allegiant, though the route networks between Allegiant and American are hardly comparable. But even he doesn’t explain why.

    I’ve seen some notional references to freedom, but:

    • The inflight mask policy is an airline one, and not a government requirement. Why would you have freedom to violate the rules laid out by a private business, wouldn’t they have the right to impose conditions on providing their service [within certain bounds, such as non-discrimination rules]?

    • Even WHO which suggested they hadn’t seen asymptomatic spread of the virus (and which didn’t release their data but suggested they were relying on a small number of contract tracing instances) had to clarify that they only meant they weren’t finding people who never showed symptoms as the source of spread — they weren’t disputing pre-symptomatic spread meaning people spreading the virus in the days prior to showing symptoms, when they wouldn’t know they were sick.

    • Masks contribute both towards reduction in spreading the virus by the wearer, and also afford some level of protection for the wearer. What freedom is there to infect others with a virus (and there’s a chance any of us are pre-symptomatic)? And why not take some measure of protection?

    I understand forgetting masks at home, though this is pretty top of mind at this point – but airlines are giving away masks and now the federal government is distributing 100 million of them to travelers too.

    You’re going to take the mask off to eat and drink, but why not put it back on when you aren’t doing those things? What’s the actual reason, and why is that reason more compelling than potentially reducing the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus?

    I genuinely want to know, and appreciate comments, especially from those who are opposed to mask wearing on planes.

  • About Gary Leff

    Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

    More articles by Gary Leff »



    1. So depressing. Just some common sense by wearing a mask along with some physical distancing would beat this virus by cutting down transmission opportunities enough to drive the R0 below 1. Very small price to pay to save even a few thousand beloved lives of our fellow Americans. But collectively we’re too selfish to do it.

    2. Well, most of the people refusing to wear masks just aren’t very bright. So not wearing one in public places to help protect public help not demonstrating independence or free thinking, it is demonstrating a weak mind. Here’s why: wearing a mask is a chance to counter facial recognition software and privacy invasive cameras we are all surrounded by all the time. Now you can avoid having your image captured all day every day everywhere you go by wearing a mask! You can protect your privacy and deny others the right to take your image and correlate it to your other personal information just by wearing a mask. I’m really surprised all god loving, gun owning,, constitution reading (books on tape count too) freedom loving people haven’t taken to wearing masks a long time ago. It is our right to wear a mask and just being around out in public doesn’t give others, including big corporations and stores, and sports teams etc the right to film us and store our images in their massive super computers with our personal information like names addresses phone and email , credit card numbers etc. Wearing a mask protects us from this and saves our personal privacy. Also is good practice for annoying relatives who might be mouth breathers and intolerable even just for holidays. So lets get those masks on and avoid big brother’s prying eyes.

    3. A few obvious observations:
      1. I don’t want my flight disrupted by a “mask fight.” If the rules say “wear masks,” people should wear masks. But do I want the police boarded or a intra-passenger fight to break out over this? No, I do not.
      2. One of the reasons why some people may not want to wear masks is that they’re not used to it. If you live in NYC, you’re used to it. If you live in most of the heartland, you’re not. It can be uncomfortable wearing a mask for several hours — especially if you’re not used to it. Like anything else, some find it easier to wear than others.
      3. There could be some good that comes out of people not wearing masks — just like there was good coming out of the protests/riots. There is ZERO scientific evidence that masks do anything on airplanes, and there are good reasons to believe they’re actually necessary. The current policy exists to make people more comfortable and, heck, better safe than sorry. But if people don’t wear masks and don’t get sick — which is highly likely — we can do away with this annoying custom faster than if we have no evidence of their uselessness.

    4. I do not understand the “maskholes” either… I fly approx. 120K per year, and am an AA ExecPlat member. Masks have been proven to cut transmission of the disease, medical professionals wear them for a reason, I just do not get it.

      I remember my first visit to Japan during January, and I asked why so many people were wearing masks in public. Our local contact said “it is because they are sick, and do not want to infect others”. ‘Nuff said.

      P.S. I have 5 friends in NYC that have contracted Covid-19, and 3 of them had a hell of a time clearing it. Also had a family member in Houston die from it. Stop being selfish people.

    5. I am pro mask, I wear a mask when out and will wear on the plane, but I’m also claustrophobic. I’ll live. In general, most people probably don’t wear one for a very long time period, so a flight would be different. But mostly I think some people don’t like being told what to do, even it is for the good of all.

    6. Wearing a mask can actually increase the allergy issues for some people. I take two allergy shots per week for airborne pollens and have had my face and eyes turn red when wearing a mask for more than a few minutes. The masks trap some of the pollens against the skin. Then add in the warm moist environment and presto. And with the knee jerk reaction by so many people to someone who “looks” sick it is better for me to just not wear a mask.

      Thankfully my allergist gave me a letter which I now carry along with a short video he had me record on my phone saying the same thing as his letter. It is kinda fun to watch some people climb up on their high horse and preach when they are just assuming and have no idea. That’s when I pull out the video and letter.

    7. Masks are controversial because those who seek to Make America Great Again have stupidly embraced the idea that masks are antithetical to that goal. Until these morons stand down, America will be hostage to their insane demands.

    8. 12 – 36 months from now will be following post:
      “Tell Me Honestly, Why Is Getting a Covid-19 Vaccine So Controversial?”

      And, the same group of non-experts will reappear as “anti-vaxxers”……confidently posting their Junior Varsity ignorance of epidemiology, infectious diseases, microbiology and statistics.

      That’s why by mid-summer, the United States will be the only major wealthy nation in the world where large numbers of people are still dying from Covid-19. And, that’s why this trend will continue into the future.

    9. I’m a doctor (a surgical specialist). A few terms from medicine are revealing.

      Adherence – many people just do not adhere (comply) with their recommended treatment regimen. I can explain to patients why I am recommending a treatment, but many simply are unwilling to follow through on the advice. And over time, adherence frequently declines. Currently, I’m seeing what I call “mask fatigue.” That is, adherence is declining and fewer people seem to be wearing masks.

      Risk/benefit ratio – the benefit of a treatment needs to significantly outweigh the risks. I wear a mask when I leave the house and I would definitely wear one if flying. I see zero risk but potential benefit both for myself and others. I just don’t understand how one could argue otherwise.

      As a physician, I can assure you that there’s a lot of really bad health stuff out there. It’s foolish to take unnecessary risks.

    10. @farnorthtrader

      Fair data, but you miss my point.

      I’m *not complaining about the USA*
      I live here, I have my main business here.
      I like it here!
      I feel free here.

      I am telling people who complain about my attitude, and the attitude in America, to leave if THEY don’t like it.

      You provided some interesting data I can look at, as I want the US to be #1 on that list.
      But, you’re answering a question no one asked (nor do I particularly care).

      If you don’t like America, my point is, you can leave.
      Canada, Djibouti, China, wherever. But, don’t complain about American’s and then do nothing.
      We’re pretty nice.

    11. Brainwashing by politicians that somehow taking actions that hurt others is enshrined in the Constitution and that regulations are always nothing but bad is my #1 hypothesis. Neither, of course, is true.

      What’s certain is that the US is no longer seen as a leader around the world, but apparently very few Americans have come to grips with this.

    12. @Kacee. Democrats began politicizing things very early on. They called Trump racist for shutting down travel from China. They even took to calling Americans racist unless we rushed to Chinese restaurants. Did you eat in a Chinese restaurant in March? If not, you’re a racist according to Democrats.

    13. Hey @George,
      I don’t like your attitude, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave. I love America, and I am wishing that you and your like-minded allies would leave. The truth is that there are more people here who think like me than think like you, so just leave please.

    14. Dear leader refuses to wear one and 37% of the country would follow him off a cliff.

      I have a flight coming up and chose to connect in SFO instead of Phoenix or Dallas for this very reason. Less chance of running into one of these idiots.

    15. Fauci didn’t help on this. Besides the earlier statement that they don’t help. He also said in a recent interview that he wears it as a symbol.

      So it is that symbol of authoritarian compliance some people want to avoid, particularly as an earlier poster said, the dumacrats so politicized this.

      Some people believe this whole shut down has done more to destroy lives than the virus ever would. That smaller measures should have been taken, and loosened earlier. Others believe there should be more stringent controls. Right or wrong, we don’t know. But people who even question the actions are villified. So people rebel against it.

      I wonder what the avg IQ is of a dumacrat? Have you looked at IQ by red and blue states? Yet people here calling maga stupid. Do you realize how ironic that is? Lower IQ dumacrats calling pubs stupid.

      Personally I wear a mask. But I understand the revulsion to wearing one has a symbol.

    16. There is a certain amount of attention seeking obstinate dumbassery in the population. If the airlines can’t get this under control I ain’t flying them.

    17. I think one reason people resist is based on the crossroads of changing info that, each tome, is presented as fact. Once you pivot, it’s difficult to appear trustworthy.

      Another issue is math. The infection rate is about 3% and the mortality rate 3% of that so there’s this giant inconvenience to prevent something roughly as deadly than the flu while we don’t see all the hullabaloo every flu season.

      Finally there’s the “masks prevent you from spreading it, not from getting it” line. A rather headstrong population (literally, it’s in our DNA) doesn’t like to be treated according to the lowest common denominator. Conservatives don’t want to be told how many guns or bank accounts they can have just because some people misuse them, liberals don’t want to be told how many hours they should have to work to qualify for food stamps, etc etc.

      Brings us back to math – policy created on 3% of the population is going to bring some resistance.

    18. @ George,
      We have complaining and we have complaining: one can complain with the sole purpose of putting someone (or something) down. This is complaining for the sake of complaining and has no actual value.

      Then we have ‘complaining’ in order to highlight shortcomings/flaws with a view to address/improve things. This is analogous to ‘feedback loops’ in engineering; one of the most basic and fundamentals aspects of classic engineering.

      You might believe the US is the greater country on earth, and you are entitled to your opinion. What we talked about what constitute ‘greatness’, but this is not the point of my post here. My points is, I argue there is no country on earth, ever, that is the greatest in can be. Any country (anything for that matter actually) can be improved upon. That in indeed how societies move forward.

      Whatever the state of the US (or any other country) in the ‘greatness’ scale is, if pointing out flaws is done with the the view to enable addressing the said flaw, it should be warmly welcomed.

      So, don’t dismiss all complaining; some might actually be good for you 🙂

      Also, your assertion that “if you don’t like it, get out” is as non-American as it gets: as an American, I would have expected, you would be eager to roll up your sleeves and try to fix something if you don’t like it. Isn’t that the duty of every decent citizen in any democracy?

    19. * …US is the *greatest* country on earth…

      *…We can talk about what constitute ‘greatness’…

      *… is the greatest *it* can be…

      P.S: I hate that this site does not allow editing of posts!

    20. It really is a tough question. The general concept of wearing masks has been discussed to death, and the arguments against – all of which have been refuted – people just can’t let go of. Sort of a weird confirmation bias I guess. And let’s not forget Americans HATE being told what to do, even if it’s the right thing to do. And like most people who refuse to do the right thing, they’ll only do it once someone close to them dies.

      Where I live we wear masks during flu season. Right now people even wear masks when jogging or doing other light exercise. Kids of all ages wear them. We wear them on airplanes. A lot of people even wear them in their own private cars. And the government has issued guidelines on how to deal with masks in hot weather, common sense guidelines that are aimed to insure disease prevention while avoiding heat stroke which is a real problem when the temperatures get up to 100F as they do here in the summer.

    21. @Ben let’s do that math using your numbers. You used a 3% infection rate and 3% mortality rate. Leaving the mortality rate the same, what happens when the infection rate goes to 30%? That math says ~3,000,000 dead Americans.

      The point of wearing masks and distancing is to keep the infection rate down. Is it really that difficult to wear a mask for your fellow Americans?

    22. If you’re that worried about the Corona Virus, then perhaps you just shouldn’t be traveling on an airplane. Mask or not.

      I look at masks the same way I look at the TSA. Safety Theater, and Security Theater. Both give the illusion of safety and security.

    23. @mangar
      100 pct right
      And now every coty and country and hotel chain is coming up with their own protocols and “medals” to pat themselves in the back and giving it catchy names
      “Clean plus” “clean extra” “purple seal” which is basically doing the same they have been doing but now paying money to a “consultant” so they get a seal
      All so the average sheep “thinks” they are safer than before
      All in the name of the sacred illusion
      Very sad

    24. I live in the worst state in the union, AZ. Between the conspiracy nit wits and the blind, ignorant and oh so self assured Dump voters we are truly screwed in this state as well as the most of the U.S. Americans are the most obnoxious idiots on planet earth.

    25. The anti-mask crowd aren’t rationale. You have people who are incredibly selfish and ignorant. Its that simple. The science is there. We know masks make a difference. Some people rather put the lives of strangers at risk vs experiencing some slight discomfort from wearing a mask its that simple. Then you got the subset brainwashed masses who believe whatever Trump says. The blundering of the CDC and WHO early on re: this issue has resulted in people thinking not wearing a mask is a legitimate stance. In summary there are a number of selfish and/or stupid people in this country. What needs to happen is a facemask rule being imposed on all airlines with fines for airlines who refuse to enforce it and action taken against passengers that do not comply. Its a matter of time before there is a violent confrontation between a no mask and masked person on an airplane and it could be avoided if they made a clear rule and enforced it. Most of this crisis has been the fault of the government and their failure to properly and consistently message.

    26. My friend was raped and bound by her father repeatedly. She is doing a lot better and has had years of therapy, but when anything is over her face, it all comes back to her. There are things many of us don’t know or understand, sometimes. She has to fly for work, and my heart breaks for her because it’s the choice between trauma, nightmares, and so much more, or the pain of dirty looks and insults (like some of these comments). She has a note from her psychiatrist, takes medication, etc. She was doing great until the mask mandate. Now she’s dealing with it all over again. She’s not a whiny Karen, either. Rather, she’s a very successful Texas business woman. We can’t always help what’s happened to us.

    27. @Been There : I’m talking about published data. Alarmist comments like “what happens when it goes to 30%” are just intended to scare people. Actually, the overall infection rate of pandemics tends to DECREASE over time as more reliable data are available.

      Whatever it is that is dear to you, personally, has anyone in the world ever misused it? Because of that should that thing be banned or regulated?

      Gary asked for comments on why people are or aren’t wearing masks on planes. I submitted a thesis. If your thoughts differ, that fine. Please do not attack me for having an opinion. As I said before (at least I think I did): although I don’t like wearing a mask, I do. It’s the contract I make with the airline (and my employer and many clients).

    28. I think Belinda has identified the issue. Americans do not like being told what to do. It’s a cultural thing. Messaging in American culture needs to explain the request and touch on our desire to help our neighbors. Messaging in East Asian culture needs to focus on how individual’s actions impact society. We’ve largely borrowed the East Asian narrative and unsurprisingly there has been resistance from those who view this style of marketing as an assault against individual freedom. Consequently, this has been politicized by those who care more about advancing partisan agendas than saving the nation from a pandemic. The anti-vaccine crowd shows how “it’s about science, stupid” does not resonate with a sizable and vocal minority; leaders need to universally embrace “it’s about grandma, stupid.”

    29. We all have to put up with lots more cases of COVID and a lots more restrictions for a longer time due to the selfish ones who won’t take a few simple steps to control the disease. I watched the first pro rugby game from a packed stadium in New Zealand the other day. No masks, no social distancing. The last new case of coronavirus there was several weeks ago and due to everyone following directions for a couple of months the country is now COVID-free, and all the joys and opportunities of life are back. Yes, New Zealand is made up islands and it is easier to control who is there, but if we could get serious about stopping the disease, we could get to an R significantly less than one, and then the curve goes down rapidly. We are too stupid and self centered for that, however. In the case of an airline, like any private business, they should have the option and the cojones to say if you don’t follow directions we will not do business with you again, ever.

      I have not seen people trying to smoke on a plane for a long, long time, even though there were howls about restriction of freedoms when the rules came in. In this case, it does not have to be a matter of turning the plane around or calling the cops; just ask passengers to follow the rules and ban them if they refuse to comply.

    30. There is a quote that says something like, “When everyone thinks the same, no one is thinking.” The rabid pro mask, pro lockdown, pro shaming group needs to do a little math. If you leave out a few world hotspots, like NYC, the rate of infection versus the rate of death is somewhat higher than the common flu. BUT, the people that die of this are mostly over 50 WITH 1-3 co-morbidities. Example. In my hometown of San Diego, 75% of the deaths are over 60 and 97% are over 50. Of the deaths, 95 plus % had co-morbidities (overweight, hypertension, cancer, heart disease, etc). So if the older people (I am 63 and completely Unafraid of this flu) with Covid-co-morbidities would have simply isolated themselves we would not have to wear masks. And our businesses could have gone on, schools stayed open and jobs preserved. But because this VULNERABLE population insists on venturing out into the “deadly” world of Covid-19, bad things happen. But that is their choice. Before you insist on others following rules that isolate nearly invincible populations (those under 50 with no Co-morbidities) look up the following and educate yourself. Do some simple math. Look up Case Fatality Rate versus Infection Fatality Rate. Only the former matters yet the press (And CDC, WHO) informs us mainly of the latter. Never in history has the heathy been quarantined while the vulnerable set free. Those over 50s WITH Co-morbidities have been going to the store and pharmacy ALL ALONG and infecting themselves. It is called science and math. Try it.

    31. There was one holdout on my flight (even while boarding) and he was wearing a MAGA hat. So it seemed to be a political statement.

    32. I think an argument against a mask is akin to an argument against the Metric system. The position cannot be defended without using the word “America” or “freedom.” Dissenters are then inevitably told to “get out” if they don’t like it.

    33. It’s actually much simpler than people realize, especially those insulting people who don’t want to wear a mask.

      The data strongly supports the assertions that only the elderly, immuno-compromised, and younger people who are obese are truly at risk of serious illness or death. This is in stark contrast to the hysteria promulgated by the media and government. Many people thus feel that wearing a mask to protect themselves is no more essential than doing so to protect themselves from the flu while flying. As for protecting others, because the data indicates what it does, the number of individuals encountered on a plane who are high risk will be extremely low. In addition, these people KNOW they are at higher risk and should not rely on others to look out for their own safety. That is their own responsibility.

    34. @JOSEPH Leo I don’t disagree with your facts, however a huge amount of people who travel are over 50 and even over 60. And over 50% of Americans have risk factors. So in my mind a big the reason to wear a mask on the plane is to help get things back to normal by making people more comfortable. It’s to avoid the type of quarantines you are complaining about.

    35. One of our neighbors lost their 26 year old daughter to Covid last week. She had just opened a hair salon with her partner last year, She was lovely. Her parents are inconsolable. A nurse working at my wife’s doctor died from Covid about a month ago. She was 48, a mom and a wife. Her husband sleeps alone now.

      All you brave mid-westerners should meet these families, tell them about your freedom and what a pain it is to wear a mask out in public. Me, I will not get on a plane in the USA because, well,
      George. I would fly a non-US airline (most any Asian (non-Chinese) or Euro long haul carrier would do), but they will not have us for now, and, I suspect, for some time to come. But having to rub elbows with this crowd who cannot be bothered with something as simple and well understood as wearing a mask to combat the plague? Not a chance. I believe that there are more of us (middle of the road types who love to travel but are willing to pitch in when times are tough) than there are yahoos out there. But alas, it will be the yahoos who swarm the gates (speaking of gate lice) during these early days of opening.

      So George can have all the seats at all the Applebees in the mid-west. You go, proud boy. Hit every Waffle House in flyover country. If the US airlines can make a business out of these yahoos and the few who actually must fly, good on ’em. I will wait til I can go, safely, somewhere worth visiting. That ain’t Tulsa.

    36. I was on 7 DL flights this week and all people had on masks. Some had double masks and one woman had 2 long raincoats on with a hoodie and double masks! I was burning up looking at her as they warmed the aircraft! Not good at all

    37. Why not wear a mask? Simple. I don’t need to, and unless you are over 65 with co-morbidity factors neither do you. If you are over 65 with co-morbidity factors – stay home, stay safe, and let the rest of us get on with our lives. Your health is your responsibility.

      What is the Case Fatality Rate versus Infection Fatality Rate? Do you know, or even know the difference? Inform yourself and don’t listen to the hysteria promulgated by the media and government. They care only for their own interests, selling ads and maintaining power.

    38. For the mask enthusiasts, BEWARE.
      The following are peer-reviewed papers to prove that wearing masks is detrimental to health .

      Prolonged wearing of the surgical mask causes loss of intellect potential and cognitive performance due to a decrease in blood oxygen and subsequent brain hypoxia. Note – some changes may be irreversible.

      “Report on surgical mask induced deoxygenation during major surgery”
      “Seventy percent of the patients showed a reduction in partial pressure of oxygen (PaO2), and 19% developed various degrees of hypoxemia. Wearing an N95 mask significantly reduced the PaO2 level”

      “Wearing N95 masks results in hypooxygenemia and hypercapnia which reduce working efficiency and the ability to make correct decision.”

      “Medical staff are at increased risk of getting ‘Severe acute respiratory syndrome’ (SARS), and wearing N95 masks is highly recommended by experts worldwide. However, dizziness, headache, and short of breath are commonly experienced by the medical staff wearing N95 masks. The ability to make correct decision may be hampered, too.”…/7332926_Headaches_and_the_N9…

      “Chronic hypoxia-hypercapnia influences cognitive function”
      “Hypercapnia status has been shown to predict mild cognitive impairment

      Chronic hypoxia – hypercapnia has been seen as a cause of cognitive mpairment…/fu…/10.1164/ajrccm.186.12.1307


      This study is the first RCT of cloth masks, and the results caution against the use of cloth masks. This is an important finding to inform occupational health and safety. Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection. Further research is needed to inform the widespread use of cloth masks globally. However, as a precautionary measure, cloth masks should not be recommended for HCWs, particularly in high-risk situations, and guidelines need to be updated.

      In the USA Dr Fauci says on 60 minutes “ The masks are important for someone who is infected to prevent them from infecting someone else –right now in the United States people should not be walking around with masks – there is no reason to be walking around with a mask-it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think it is” – surgeons wear surgical masks to prevent them spreading into open wounds – The masks are for the protection of the patient not the surgeon- and virus particles are supposed to be nano sized which means it’s like putting a sieve on your face trying to stop a water hose the molecules of the mask are too large they don’t stop anything but spit-

      A medical mask is used to PREVENT MEDICAL STAFF BREATHING ON, SPITTING ON OR DROOLING INTO A WOUND DURING THEATRE PROCEDURES – (this means the masks are not for the protection of the wearer ) or when being close to a patient in ward that is at high risk from respiratory infection and they therefore do not wear these masks for extended periods of time. When medical staff are in a hazmat or bio-hazard environment, they use face shields full helmets with oxygen to avoid being infected because medical masks do not stop entry of anything …they stop the exit of particles from breath aerosol or droplets. Cloth masks are even more prone to causing hypoxia.

    39. I see lots of comments about how other people are just stupid or being duped which I’m certain makes people feel fairly superior.

      I’ll go against grain and tell you why I don’t want to wear a mask and why I avoid going to places I have to wear a mask. It’s simple really – its a constant reminder of how screwed up everything is. That being said, I wear a mask and have been wearing a mask since that become conventional wisdom as the right thing to do. But I avoid needing to mostly out of an (irrational) need to pretend things are getting better more than reality currently dictates.

      Most people aren’t rational – they back into justifications that confirm their mood affiliation or think raise their own status. So I think the full answer is that people do or don’t wear masks based on priors regardless of what any evidence states.

    40. I’d also point out that there is a collective action problem as well. The odds that any particular person catches the disease is very low and the odds of dying from it are even lower. When you add onto that the majority of American’s don’t know anyone with COVID-19 or have died from it, the odds likely appear even smaller than reality. Add in a general backlash against elites in general….

    41. @Todd,
      As a researcher to researcher, I thank you for bringing some logic into the discussion. But I am afraid you have taken those studies out of context.

      The papers show wearing a mask could have some negative side effects, but I am sure you already know that in many disciplines, especially human/social/behavioural sciences, any intervention may have negative side effects, and a decision to imply such intervention can only be made in the bigger context of perceived advantages versus negative side effects.

      As an example, taking Aspirin has been shown to negatively impact stomach lining (ulcer). But it has also been shown taking Aspirin can help in managing pain. So, I can safely say I can be excused if I take Aspirin for managing a headache.

      Based on the papers you have cited, wearing a surgical mask continuously over prolonged time could reduce cognitive function. But also note other (more recent) studies show wearing a mask has a material impact on reducing transfer rate COVID-19.

      I, personally, prefer to reduce my chances of catching COVID-19. I also like to reduce my chances of reduced cognitive function. So, I don’t wear a mask 24/7; I only wear one when I am in close proximity of others. You know, because I like to protect myself as well as others around me.

      Your milage, as they say, may vary.

    42. @Hossein and others

      Do you think that the only way you can catch Covid is through human to human transmission? Our bodies make thousands if not millions of viruses on a daily basis. We are breathing in lots of viruses just from the air alone. We don’t have to be near people to be exposed to bacteria and viruses. If you take a person and put him on a deserted island with no people, the person on that island will start to colonize with different organisms on that island. It won’t be because that person was near people.

      It is shocking we are using only contagiousness from one person to the next as our way of being exposed. Where are the scientist and doctors on mainstream who know very well that colonization of the body happens from a multitude of avenues. One of which is through people but not the major one. Exposure does not guarantee illness at all. Otherwise, our bodies would be taken over right away.

      If everyone was tested tomorrow I would imagine results would be positive. That doesn’t mean every one of those people are sick. They could have had it and didn’t even know. Body hasn’t expressed it out completely. We don’t know how long it lasts inside us. How many people walk around sick each year and don’t even notice. Our bodies are constantly fighting and defending itself.

      It’s not too much to reason that having people cooped up since March, eating poorly, no Vitamin D, C, and other supplements, mentally broken, many worrying about their job, paying bills, putting food on the table, not going to doctors for other existing conditions, etc….their immune systems are decimated. So I can clearly see some positive numbers going up after lockdowns, though it could simply be due to testing more people.

      The old and fragile are certainly more in need. I won’t even go into how poorly we treat them in nursing homes. It’s sickening what many whistleblowers are reporting. They don’t have a chance and they end up dying in loneliness and pain. What a sick country we are, in more ways than one…..

      Big pharma has done its job. Pulled the strings of political puppets, blasted their message on mainstream media which they control and defined the narrative in such a way that many, but certainly not all, people are spooked. They fear for their lives. They don’t research any other ways to harden their immune system nor listen to other doctors or scientists that are blocked from the masses with other points of views but easily can be found with social media.

      So next will be the many untested vaccines. That will inject poisons into willing arms. Good luck when you get seriously ill or die from that. As you know Pharma, doctors, nurses, drug stores, etc… are not liable to get sued from vaccine injury. That was passed in 1986.

      Tomorrow should bring a very interesting report. Could be a game-change from the number one neuroscientist in the world.

    43. The real reason is selfishness. As in: 3 year old, I can say no, you can’t make me, I know how to throw a fit, childish selfishness.
      These are the people that would go ballistic if a surgeon operated on them without a mask, or didn’t wash her hands before surgery, yet don’t give a damn about the possibility of infecting anyone else.
      The rationalizations are not reasons, they are only poor excuses.
      It’s possible that 1 in 10,000,000 anti maskers have a valid reason I don’t know of, but I am probably being too generous.

    44. It’s just a matter that many Americans actually ARE how viewed in the rest of the world. Stupid, spoiled, obnoxious, loud mouthed brats. It’s a shame it has come to this. All the excuses to justify not wearing a mask or invoking restrictions doesn’t negate the fact that we have 4% of the population and 20% of the deaths. Not wearing masks is spreading the disease by causing more rapid mutation creating variants resistant to our magical vaccines. Making claims that minute nano millimeter sized viruses that can easily pass through a mask mesh does not negate the fact that virus load is contained in water vapor droplets that ARE large enough to be blocked by a mask. For Americans to learn a hard lesson they need to be put in their place from time to time. The almighty COVID19 virus is doing a great job of this so far, but sadly there are a lot of slow learners.

    45. Boy, this article didn’t age well. Almost everything mention in the article has been proven false. This is the type of article that led to the pandemic nightmare.

    Comments are closed.