To Mask Or Not To Mask?

Doctors recommend that anyone experiencing COVID-19 symptoms go to a drive-thru testing station, such as this one in New York in March, rather than to a hospital. (Photo by The National Gaurd/Flickr Creative Commons)

The race is on to emulate some great heroes, like Batman/Robin, and the Lone Ranger. Cities are tripping all over themselves to see who is first to inflict universal masking on its population. Therefore, some questions are in order.

This is not a trick question: What is the major way any virus enters someone’s body?

Answer: Primarily through three openings, mouth, nose, and eyes.

That being the case, to be protected, the mask should cover all three. Think of it this way, if you have a boat with three holes in its hull, and plug only two, the boat is still going to sink. Yes, but plugging those two holes will slow down the sinking, one may retort. Good point, but if COVID-19 is as virulent as we are led to believe, then ANY opening left unprotected will lead to disaster.

The bottom line is that if anyone wants to be truly protected, they must be dressed as shown in the accompanying photo. Wearing in public any attire short of that, will only constitute a fashion fad, a political statement, a desire to be intimidated by fear mongers, or a woeful lack of knowledge.

However, proponents of masking everyone concede that wearing those silly masks is highly ineffective as a defense tool, but argue that the purpose of the mask is not to protect those who are well, it cannot, but to keep sick people from spreading the disease. Another good point. Let us look at the numbers and see how this argument holds up.

According to the ADHS, the current total of confirmed cases in Arizona is at 43,443. According to the U. S. Census Bureau, Arizona’s population is 7,279,000.

But before doing any arithmetic, let us look more closely at that 43,4443 number of confirmed cases. We could subtract from that number, those who have died, those that have recovered, those who are hospitalized, and those who have chosen to stay home, but we will not. We will use the 43,443 number without those common sense downward adjustments.

In addition to assuming that all 43,443 cases are out there without a mask, we will further assume that every healthy person, masked or not, that comes in contact with a sick, unmasked person will get infected. In other words, we are cheating as much as we can in favor of the argument in favor of universal masking.

Now we are ready for the arithmetic. We simply divide the admittedly inflated number of net confirmed cases by the population, and we come up with 0.597 %. Since we assumed that everyone who is exposed gets infected, the odds of being infected are a whopping one half of one percent. In order to remove that idiotically inflated one half of one percent risk, we are mandating that 7,279,000 people wear an admittedly nearly useless mask. Does that make sense? You decide.