Shortly after it all began on March 21, 2020, I made a pitch on this blog saying: “Were I in a position of power to do so, I’d prohibit any person going outside without a mask. You say we have a shortage of them. That’s not true. We can make our own. Let’s start doing it.”
A Trump supporter, objected: “Part of the joy of life is seeing human faces, . . . Masks give a false sense of security. . . . 2009 Swine Flu: “. . . 12,469 deaths . . . in the United States . . . due to the virus.” Even if coronavirus is ten times more lethal, expect 120,000 deaths. And for this, we shut down society, we shut down the economy? Compare that projected 120,000 with the annual 70,000 drug deaths.”
A little later the Trumper added: “To order Americans to wear masks is an order incapable of being complied with. You say people can make their own masks. How effective are they? Who has tested them?” He asked that we, “objectively assess the adverse effect on mental health and physical health caused by these closures. The adverse effects of putting millions out of work should also be assessed.” Then he said, “The hope is . . . this scourge passing within a few weeks.” He added: “supporting our president and vice president, AND FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT, ESPECIALLY AGAINST LIBERALS.”
Interesting to note that the idea of masks early on became a divisive force in our society. It was the liberals who were pushing for masks. The Trumpers worried about the economy and mental health and not the folks who would die. This Trumper who professes to be pro-life added that we should not be too concerned because: “The virus kills mainly the elderly.”
On March 25, 2020, I wrote: “The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has suggested we make our own masks. They won’t be as effective as a surgical mask which captures 97%, but a vacuum cleaner bag captures 95%, a dish cloth 83% cotton blend shirt (74%) and a 100% cotton shirt, 69%. A double layer dish towel is as effective as a surgical mask. This though is hard to breathe through. Recommended was a pillowcase or cotton T-shirts.
I would urge everyone to make homemade masks. If we all begin to wear them outside others will follow. We will be protecting ourselves and protecting others”
The Trumper set forth the other view: “CONCLUSION: IF YOU’RE SICK, STAY HOME; IF YOUR SICK (coughing) AND MUST GO OUTSIDE, WEAR A MASK. IF YOU’RE HEALTHY, YOU DON’T NEED TO WEAR A MASK, and we all should follow local health authorities and CDC recommendations. For now, and for the next two weeks in Massachusetts, we stay at home, except to shop for food and pharmaceuticals and to go for walks. Live. Respect life. Don’t worry. Act rationally, not fearfully.”
On March 27, 2020, I wrote: “We now have 101,657 cases and 1,581 deaths. . . . “I urge everyone to take a simple step. Please wear a mask outside. This should be a country mandated requirement. Why can’t this be done? The Asian countries do it; the Western don’t. Isn’t that why Asia is beating this.”
How little we knew back then. Fortunately, in many parts of the country we recognized that wearing masks along with other steps did increase the likelihood of not catching Covid 19. There were the naysayers who turned it into a political issue – Trump declaring he would not wear a mask – the Trumpers following him.
We will soon have 600,000 Americans who died from Covid -19, most because they blindly follow the Pied Trumpeter.