Jack Kerwick, More proof that we’re living in the Age of the Great UnReason.
The Internment of 2020, otherwise known by the Orwellian nomenclature of “Social Distancing” and “Shelter-in-Place,” has always been nothing more or less than an exercise in social engineering unprecedented in American history for both the magnitude of its reach as well as the speed with which it’s been executed.
What we have witnessed over the span of the last two months or so is “the fundamental transformation” of the United States that has long been the prize on which the left has had its eye.
Whether the political and media elites who authored this dark chapter of our national life by stoking and exploiting the fears of tens of millions of American citizens will succeed in relegating forever to the dustbin of history the mode of existence we enjoyed just eight weeks ago is left to be seen.
Those fears, though—those wildly irrational, paralyzing, life-denying fears—have hurled the country into the Age of the Great UnReason.
And nothing illustrates the contradictions of the age more than the Establishment’s position(s) on the wearing of masks.
As recently as March, during an interview with 60 Minutes, none other than Dr. Anthony Fauci insisted that there is “no reason” whatsoever that anyone except for the health care providers who “really need” them should “be walking around with a mask.”
Fauci can be seen on video actually mocking the notion, already entertained by those who were making a run on them, that masks would protect them from contracting The Virus. Making the air quotes gesture with his hands, Fauci remarked that while “wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better,” and while it “may even block a droplet,” the bottom line is that “it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is.”
Beyond this, the mask is even counterproductive. There are often “unintended consequences” of wearing a mask, Fauci said, for “people keep fiddling with the mask, and they keep touching their face.”
In other words, masks, as they’re continually adjusted, can become breeding grounds for germs.
“When you think ‘masks,’” Fauci concluded, “you should think of health-care providers needing them and people who are ill” (all emphases added).
Upon that interview with Dr. Fauci, CBS News posted the following on its website: citing the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it noted that the only people who should be wearing masks are “health care providers,” “patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19,” and “healthy people…only when [they are] taking care of those who are sick or suspected of having the virus” (emphasis added).
Furthermore, and right below the video of this interview with Dr. Fauci, CBS shares the guidelines for those for whom it is “vital” to wear masks. They must: “put the mask on with clean hands; remove it from behind without touching the front; wash hands immediately after removing it; dispose of it properly; and never reuse a single-use mask” (emphases added).
On February 29, United States Surgeon General Jerome Adams tweeted: “Seriously people — STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus, but if health-care providers can’t get them to care for sick patients, it puts them and our communities at risk!”
Adams conveyed to Fox and Friends essentially the same point made by Fauci: “You can increase your risk of getting it [The Virus] by wearing a mask if you are not a health care provider.” He added: “Folks who don’t know how to wear them properly tend to touch their faces a lot and actually can increase the spread of the coronavirus” (emphases added).
But, of course, it wasn’t just Fauci and Adams who insisted that masks were, at best, ineffective in providing protection and, at worst, potentially counterproductive; so too did Vice President Mike Pence, whom the President entrusted to preside over his Coronavirus Task Force, as well as “the physicians” who were “up here” with him during a press conference from the end of February:
“Let me be very clear, and I’m sure the physicians who are up here will reflect this as well: the average American does not need to go out and buy a mask” (emphasis added).
Both the WHO and the CDC maintained that most people should not be wearing masks. According to the former:
“If you do not have respiratory symptoms, such as fever, cough, or runny nose, you do not need to wear a medical mask. Masks should only be used by health workers, caretakers, and by people with those symptoms” (emphases added).
“Do not use facemasks. CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks for the general public to prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV” (emphasis added).
On February 26, Business Insider ran with the following headline: “People are racing to buy face masks amid the coronavirus outbreak, but they probably won’t protect you from illness.”
In the article:
“Of the many preventative measures you can take to protect yourself from the new coronavirus, wearing a face mask is one of the most visible. But for members of the general public, health experts don’t think it’ll help much.”
Eric Toner, “a scientist at John Hopkins Center for Health Security,” is quoted:
“There’s little harm in it [wearing a facemask]. But it’s not likely to be very effective in preventing it [The Virus].”
Within mere weeks, the same aforementioned figures and agencies were singing, not just a different tune, but a radically contradictory one. Surgeon General Adams went so far as to make a video in which he supplied instruction for people who were interested in making their own masks!
The attempts of defenders of the Experts—those who, fascinatingly, even if perversely, seem to relish in both the notion that a deadly plague is sweeping through the land and the perpetual internment of the citizenry—to resolve the glaring contradictions would be comical if their folly didn’t adversely impact hundreds of millions of their fellow Americans. Their efforts are almost as illogical as the mutually contradictory relationship between the rapidly changing positions on masks taken by the Experts whom they defend.
The comments of Alex Mahadevan, at a site called Poynter, are representative of this line.
When Mahadevan realized that the video of Fauci’s March interview on 60 Minutes (in which he implores Americans not to wear masks and to which I linked above) had been uploaded to Youtube on May 9, he immediately dismissed this as but more instance of “bad coronavirus information.” Of the video, Mahadevan writes: “One glaring problem: the clip is from a March interview.”
Why is this the “glaring problem” that the author insists it is? Well, “in early April,” a whole four weeks or so later, the CDC “updated its guidelines to recommend Americans wear masks in public” (emphases added).
Ok. Now, those of us who lack that “curious, but quite authentic, inability to think” that Hannah Arendt observed in Adolph Eichmann, need to pose some questions to the Mahadevans of the world (and anyone else who seek to resist succumbing further to the Great UnReason):
(1) What new, groundbreaking information concerning COVID revealed itself during those four weeks that unanimously compelled the Experts to flagrantly contradict the very position that they unanimously assumed just four weeks earlier?
(2) If masks were ineffective and possibly hazardous at the beginning of March, why are they now effective?
(3) If the Experts were correct in prescribing the wearing of masks at the beginning of April, doesn’t this mean that they were incorrect in basically proscribing masks at the beginning of March?
(4) Whether the Experts were correct in April and incorrect in March or vice versa, were they not, then, wrong at some time? And if they were that wrong at any one juncture, why suppose that they are correct now?
(5) If, then, masks are, as the Experts now tell us, protection against spreading The Virus, then why does The Internment continue? Why not reopen everything and just require Americans to wear masks when out until The Virus disappears from the Earth?
(6) Why is it unnecessary and potentially harmful for people to wear masks at the beginning of March, that time to which Fauci, in his interview with 60 Minutes, referred as “the middle” of the “outbreak” of The Virus, but, today, after “the curve” has been “flattened” and the crescendo of The Virus is long behind us, masks are necessary?
The unwillingness of the True Believers in Virus Orthodoxy to so much as consider these questions, let alone answer them, proves the extent to which they are immersed in the Age of the Great UnReason.