What exactly is the point of a mask mandate, anyway?

AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura

First things first: if you want to wear a mask, go ahead. Nobody is stopping you. If you believe they work, have at it.

Obviously, people who wear masks think they provide protection from infection. And it is hard to imagine that anybody wearing masks to protect against COVID in 2023 isn’t vaxxed to the max. A new booster is coming out soon, too.


You have your COVID armor, right?

So why the push to reinstate mask mandates?

It literally makes no sense if you believe that masks and vaccines work. And if you don’t believe they work, why push a mask mandate at all? If they work, you are protected. If they don’t, shut up about them. It is annoying and I am not wearing a mask to make you feel better.

Once the vaccines became available the rather thin argument for mask mandates evaporated. Before everybody who got pushed vaccines on us in government and public health started announcing they were once again infected with COVID they had been assuring us that it was impossible to get infected once you had the vaccine.

They always knew that was a lie, but let’s give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they were mistaken. Mask mandates were still in effect for months or, in some cases, over a year once the vaccines rolled out. So Fauci and the COVID crowd were wearing masks, surrounded by people wearing masks, and were vaccinated. Yet they still contracted COVID.

Still, let’s give them the presumption that COVID-19 vaccines work and that masks work. Then what?


Then you are confronted by the obvious question: if you are protected, why do you care whether other people are? If that COVID vax and your mask work so well, then my COVID means nothing to you. You are in your protected bubble, and I am no more a danger to you than a person in Africa with Ebola. Right?

Mask and vaccine mandates are implicit admission that neither masks nor vaccines work as advertised. It seems counterintuitive, but they truly are. If masks work and vaccines work then people who want protection already have access to it. What anybody else does is irrelevant, right?

That whole “You won’t get seriously ill if you take the vaccine” applies to you, right? If so, my action puts you in no greater danger. If not, neither your actions nor mine places us in any less danger.

A rational policy is much simpler: ask people with symptoms of illness–the cold, the flu, COVID, or anything else communicable to stay home, rest, and get better. We don’t want your crud.

I get the flu vaccine every year and every year I get told it isn’t all that effective (kinda like the COVID vaccine), so I take what precautions I can by avoiding sick people, I stay home if I get sick (this is common courtesy), and move on with my life.


There seems to be some magic COVID has in people’s minds, where the power of reason and the experience we all have with respiratory illnesses goes out the window. Holding two contradictory views at once seems to be required for some people.

They believe that the COVID-19 vaccine works and masks work. And yet they also believe you are putting everyone at risk if you don’t wear masks and get vaxxed.

Precisely how is not explained, nor need it be. We are just supposed to do what we are told.


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