Dr. Anthony Fauci is sort of putting a pin in the idea of any more coronavirus lockdowns. He made the latest comments to ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos but didn’t necessarily paint a pretty picture on the rest of 2021.
“I think we have enough of the percentage of people in the country, not enough to crush the outbreak, but I believe enough to not allow us to get into the situation we were in last winter,” the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases said Sunday when specifically asked about things being shut back down again. “But things are going to get worse. If you look at the acceleration of the number of cases, the seven-day average has gone up substantially. You know, what we really need to do, Jon — we say it over and over again, and it’s the truth — we have 100 million people in this country who are eligible to be vaccinated who are not getting vaccinated.”
Great, although the jury remains out on whether last year’s lockdowns did anything to prevent the spread of COVID or perhaps helped increase its virulence and transmission among certain populations (see New York’s nursing homes). Politics and fear remain the driving factors in this pandemic regardless if you’re a member of Team Lockdown or Team Stay Open, so it’s unsurprising to see the bureaucrat Fauci – despite his medical bonafide – play the middle on the future.
One topic where he’s not straddling a line is masks, and his belief everyone needs to cover their faces in hopes of preventing COVID (emphasis mine).
Dr. Fauci on pushback against mask requirements, individual rights: "The fact is, if you get infected, even if you are without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable,.. So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights." pic.twitter.com/R7aSX0JUPh
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 1, 2021
“So although you want to respect a person’s individual right, when you’re dealing with a public health situation — and we are, in fact, in a very serious public health challenge here with a pandemic, with a virus that has an extraordinary capability of spreading rapidly and efficiently from person to person,” Fauci opined when asked about Texas, Arizona, and Florida’s no-mask mandates. “So a person’s individual, individual, decision to not wear a mask, not only impacts them, because if they get infected — even though they say it’s my decision if I get infected, I’ll worry about that. But the fact is if you get infected, even if you are without symptoms, you very well may infect another person who may be vulnerable, who may get seriously ill. So in essence, you are encroaching on their individual rights because you’re making them vulnerable. So you could argue that situation both ways.”
The last three sentences appear to be the biggest sticking point for those who promote individual liberty versus those who believe in the greater good. It’s one where both sides make salient points, once you get through the emotional crap within their arguments. It’s just getting through said emotional crap that causes the problem.
Mask proponents cite recommendations from government entities or hospitals on their effectiveness. Part of the issue with these recommendations is the political aspect of it. Bureaucrats (and politicians) desire to keep their jobs and hospital rely on public health recommendations to put in place their own policies. They’ll cite certain stories looking at the lack of COVID transmission on flights if people are masked up, or studies looking at community spread. The problem with one study in particular is it appears to focus more on the N95 masks versus medical and cloth covers. A Japanese supercomputer also suggested double-masking didn’t help as much as the CDC believes. The new masking suggestions appear more to be a public campaign to get the unvaccinated to wear masks since it’s impossible to tell if someone not wearing a mask is vaccinated or not. Let’s not forget the hypocrisy of politicians who promote mask mandates while then not covering their faces at certain events.
Mask opponents cite studies suggesting the face coverings do nothing to prevent COVID spread. They have their own studies on mask mandates along with personal experience. The problem with the cited studies is they either have nothing to do with the actual virus or have yet to be peer-reviewed to look for potential flaws. The Danish study cited by many in the anti-mask camp contained multiple issues including missing data and inconclusive test results. Take everything with a health amount of salt.
One thing both sides run into is this ridiculous “holier than thou” attitude found within politicians and plebeians. Everyone seems to have some sort of axe to grind in showing how better they are from everyone else. For the mask advocates it’s shaming people for not masking up even if the non-masked are by themselves or not even close to others. For the freedom crowd it’s not respecting the wishes of individual businesses which put in place their own mask mandates. Take everything with a healthy amount of salt.
One thing both sides run into is this ridiculous “holier than thou” attitude found within politicians and plebeians. Everyone seems to have some sort of axe to grind in showing how better they are than everyone else. For the mask advocates, it’s shaming people for not masking up even if the non-masked are by themselves or not even close to others. For the freedom crowd, it’s not respecting the wishes of individual businesses which put in place their own mask mandates. After all, businesses are private property and its ownership can do whatever it wants when it comes to requiring face coverings.
The best solution? Respecting the viewpoints of others. There’s nothing illegal or wrong for businesses or individuals to set their own rules regarding masks. I certainly don’t mind wearing a mask if asked by businesses, friends, or family members – regardless of whether I believe they help or not. I certainly don’t mind if someone decides to wear a mask or not wear a mask around me if they come to visit or are in my presence. I do mind governments and politicians attempting to make cheap political points by requiring or banning masks. It’s also infuriating when bureaucrats refuse to update their policies when new data is revealed (see social distancing in schools).
We’re all adults, after all. If only we’d start behaving like them.