Source: Brian C. Joondeph, M.D.

The world is approaching the two-year anniversary of COVID, a life-changing event for many of us. The virus caused death, disability, and permanent illness for some, closed businesses, interrupted education, and upended lives in myriad ways.

Much of what the medical establishment told us turned out to be wrong. Getting vaccinated was once the pathway to ending the coronavirus pandemic. Last April, President Joe Biden promised the country:

Getting together with friends, going to the park for a picnic without needing to mask up, we’re back to that place now as long as you get vaccinated. So go get the shot.

We did. Now America and much of the first world are vaccinated. In the U.S., among the 12-and-up population, 80 percent have had at least one vaccine dose. And still, COVID cases are rising, in the U.S. and abroad.

Gibraltar is over 100 percent vaccinated yet they are canceling Christmas gatherings due to surging cases. Ditto next door as Reuters reported, “Portugal, which has one of the world’s highest rates of vaccination against COVID-19, announced it would reimpose restrictions to stop a surge in cases.”

Vermont, the most vaccinated state in the U.S. is also seeing a plethora of cases. My home state of Colorado’s vaccination rate mirrors the national average and every day we hear about case spikes and overflowing ICUs.

Clearly, something is amiss when locations with the highest vaccination rates also have the highest number of new COVID cases and hospitalizations. What’s going on?

The vaccines do not appear to be stopping COVID, despite assurances that they would. Dr. Anthony Fauci acknowledged in a recent interview his new view of vaccines providing, “A waning of immunity not only against infection but against hospitalization and to some extent death, which is starting to now involve all age groups.”

Local officials are now reaching into their bag of tricks and have pulled out masks again as if masking up in public will magically reduce cases. We were masked up most of last year, yet here we are, déjà vu all over again with rising cases.

Metro Denver recently imposed another mask mandate for everyone over age two, even if fully vaccinated, requiring a face covering in all indoor public spaces. This will remain in place through the new year, how much longer is anyone’s guess. Lifting the mandate will be based on case numbers, hospital ICU capacity, and other metrics.

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The mask mandate is at the county, not the state level, incentivizing residents to travel to an adjacent county to shop or exercise maskless, hurting local businesses forced to live under these mandates.

Will this new mandate stop the current case surge? As for most COVID surges, cases rise then fall, as the Denver Post’s COVID tracker trendline suggests. The current surge will likely wane over the next few weeks or months with or without masks, just as summer COVID surges petered out in southern states.

Regardless of what is happening in Colorado, it can always be worse in California. In Santa Cruz, where the Beach Boys went “Surfin’ USA”, the mask mandate is even more draconian: “The health officer order even requires masks to be worn in private settings, including homes, when people who are not from the household are present.”

If your neighbor comes over for a slice of post-Thanksgiving pumpkin pie, even if you are both fully vaccinated and symptom-free, you are both required to mask up. Perhaps it is better to go surfing than visit friends or neighbors. Don’t think about heading south to L.A. as it’s no better there, “Masks are now required in all indoor public places in Los Angeles County.”

Are masks even helpful? Let’s ask the experts.

Early in the pandemic, Dr. Fauci was anti-mask, saying masks were ineffective at protecting against respiratory viruses. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams agreed. Fauci then changed his mind, recommending one, then two, masks.

The Copenhagen mask study found a minimal benefit to masks in stopping the Chinese coronavirus. Specifically, the study concluded:

The recommendation to wear surgical masks to supplement other public health measures did not reduce the SARS-CoV-2 infection rate among wearers by more than 50% in a community with modest infection rates, some degree of social distancing, and uncommon general mask use.

From a viral particle size perspective, masks also do little. The COVID virus is 50-140 nm, while the pore size in standard surgical masks is 300 nm to 10,000 nm. This is using a chain-link fence to stop mosquitoes.

Clearly, the science isn’t settled regarding the benefits, or lack of, for masking. And there are negatives too, including making breathing more difficult, particularly when exercising indoors. Developing communication and facial recognition skills in children may be hampered, based on studies. Then there is the pollution.

Billions of masks containing microplastics, non-biodegradable, and toxic will end up in landfills and oceans. We already see masks littering streets and parking lots. Sea birds and other aquatic life can become tangled in mask elastic straps. Animals may ingest masks and microplastics which enter the food chain. Ironically mask microplastics are petroleum-based, something Democrats want to ban.

As the weather turns cooler, northern state residents are mostly indoors, in closer proximity to each other, unlike in the summer where many are outdoors, hiking, walking, and playing sports. This will increase COVID numbers in Colorado and Michigan and explain the drop in cases in Florida.

Southern states are under the opposite effect of more residents venturing outside now due to more tolerable temperatures compared to the sweltering southern summer when many stay indoors.

As Breitbart reported,

Florida, which came under a constant wave of scrutiny from blue state leaders and the establishment media throughout the Chinese coronavirus pandemic, is reporting the lowest coronavirus cases per capita in the nation as other states are experiencing significant surges.

By the time mask mandates are implemented, case numbers will have peaked and be headed downward, masks being an innocent bystander rather than a factor in reducing cases and hospitalizations.

Do public health officials have new science or evidence that masks will be effective this time? Or is this simply “let’s do something, anything” to stop the expected and current transient surge in COVID cases in northern states just as we saw a few months ago in Southern states?

Will this simply be another rinse and repeat the cycle, endless booster shoots, masks, and social distancing in response to each new COVID variant or seasonal surge? We now have the South African or Omicron variant, described by scientists as “horrific” or “the worst variant they’d seen.” Travel restrictions are already popping up in Europe and will soon be implemented in the U.S., although with an inexplicable delay based on Dr. Fauci’s recommendation, despite this being called an emergency. There will be no criticism from corporate media claiming that travel bans are racist and xenophobic, unlike when President Trump instituted such bans.

Clearly, COVID isn’t going away any time soon and it’s time for an all hands on deck approach, not limited to vaccines and masks, but prophylaxis, early treatment, acknowledgment of natural immunity, and potential therapeutics, including the off-label medications mocked by the media and medical establishment. Playing politics while people get sick and die is not following science.

Will new mask mandates make any difference or simply add to everyone’s holiday angst over supply chain disruptions and runaway inflation? At least masks will hide the many sad faces of those just trying to live their lives under ever-increasing rules, restrictions, and mandates as we head into what traditionally has been a season of hope and joy.