Glenn K. Beaton is a writer and columnist living near Aspen. He has been a contributor to The Wall Street Journal, RealClearPolitics, Powerline, Instapundit, American Thinker and numerous other print, radio and television outlets.
I remember 9/11 well. People were shocked and angry, but also brave and compassionate. Police and firefighters ran into the burning World Trade Towers to save office workers. Many of those police and firefighters were still there trying to save lives when the buildings collapsed over and under them.
On a hijacked flight over Pennsylvania, passengers heard by telephone of the collapse of the Trade Towers and surmised that their hijackers planned a similar strike. Some of the passengers huddled, plotted and made a pact to overcome the terrorists.
The terrorists had already murdered the pilots, and so the passengers knew their actions would crash the plane and end their own lives. But they figured that by crashing the plane before reaching the building that the terrorists had targeted (we now know it was the Capitol Building) they could save people.
A passenger pictured above named Todd Beamer said the Lord’s Prayer. Others joined in. At the conclusion he said, “Let’s roll.” And they did. All aboard died, but thousands on the ground were saved.
Daily COVID deaths and new cases are down to pre-pandemic levels in America. Even the CDC says masks are no longer required for vaccinated people. Heck, even school teachers are returning to the classrooms – sans masks – now that their demands for more money and less work have been met.
Weirdly, however, many people are still wearing masks. In fact, I often see mask wearers driving around alone in their cars. What’s up with that?
A little historical context is necessary. Dr. Fauci originally told us that masks were not effective. It turned out that he never really believed that. He was lying in order to conserve the masks for people he thought deserved them.
Then when masks became plentiful, the good doctor said they are effective after all and so we should wear them. He himself took to wearing two at a time, both over his mouth. I rather wish he’d worn half a dozen.
Early in the pandemic, Dr. Fauci said, “there’s no reason to be walking around wearing a mask.” He said masks might cause more harm than good.
In the kind of pirouette for which he’s now famous, Fauci later told us all to wear masks indoors and out. Fauci himself starting wearing two at a time. (Why not three?) His baffled boss, Joe Biden, wears them for Zoom calls – even though he’s been fully vaccinated.
As it turned out, Fauci lied about his reason for initially telling us not to wear masks. The real reason was that he wanted to save them for doctors such as himself.
Fine, Fauci didn’t want to spark mask hoarding similar to the toilet paper hoarding we saw early on. (By the way, how’s that closet full of toilet paper working out for you hoarders?) In short, they lied to us to protect us.
But lying is not the way to manage grownups. Fauci should have explained that masks are probably effective to some degree, but that for a few weeks we needed to save them for front-line health workers who were in daily contact with the virus.
The bulk of seniors who are at risk from COVID have either died of the disease, survived the disease or been vaccinated against the disease. New cases are dropping quickly.
Over ten percent of the overall American population has been vaccinated – over 40 million of them – and that figure is increasing at the rate of about 11 million a week. It looks like nearly everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be vaccinated by late spring. Meanwhile, drug treatments have proved increasingly effective. Most recently, the FDA approved a drug cocktail from Eli Lilly.
There will come a time when COVID masks are no longer necessary.
The implicit assumption in that statement is that masks were necessary before. The science is not clear in that regard, but it seems logical that they helped to some degree. The virus seems to be transmitted by airborne particles like microdroplets of sputum. The virus is far too small to be intercepted by a mask, but many of those microdroplets are not.