What does the data tell us about mask mandates vs. no mask mandates according to the NY Times?

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You should observe mask mandates because...   There are numerous narratives depending on your beliefs, some being political while others worrying about the what-if infection or disease. As I have spoken about in this blog, masks are a great barrier to whatever can infect us, but the larger data that has been collected has not shown that masking reduces disease in the general population according to a recent article in the NY Times. In NJ, our governor had been very conservative in his management of masking rules and hospitals continue to require masks when you walk in the door.   Many doctor's offices have varying rules or have gone masks optional which means wear one if you want to. Long-term use of masks apparently has affected our overall immunity, because it prevents us from micro-dosing or being exposed to the air around us fully.  The term immunity debt has been used to describe the phenomenon. Secondly, they affect how we breathe as we are breathing in what we exhale resulting in less energy.   I noticed when the masks finally came off, I had much more energy at the end of the day. If you are wondering if those who are immuno-compromised should wear a mask, the evidence supports breathing the air as we used to do but perhaps, being a little bit more careful in large crowds.   Truthfully, there is a lot we really do not understand regarding immunity, and one size does not fit all. If you are older and wondering if you should wear a mask, I think the same logic should be followed however, pre-pandemic, nobody in the US regularly wore masks for those reasons.   There are many things patients are told to do by experts who turn out to be wrong, so consider it your life, your body, and ultimately, micro exposure and healthy eating are better than masking, vaccines, and fear, although vaccines may help reduce the severity of diseases like covid19 as the data suggests. Scientists believe that social distancing and masking very early on will reduce the infection rate of a pathogen if this is employed for a short period of time early on.   This was discussed in Michael Lewis's book, The Premonition; A Pandemic Story which dissected what went wrong during the pandemic after he conducted interviews and did his research.   While he doesn't tell us what to think, he does show us why we made such a mess of the pandemic compared to some other western countries.   Other than early on in the development of a potential pandemic, I think masking unless you are ill and don't want to infect others serves any purpose for most people. Check out the latest evidence-based opinion report by the NY Times on masking

The Mask Mandates Did Nothing. Will Any Lessons Be Learned?

Feb. 21, 2023 By Bret Stephens “There is just no evidence that they” — masks — “make any difference,” he told the journalist Maryanne Demasi. “Full stop.” But, wait, hold on. What about N-95 masks, as opposed to lower-quality surgical or cloth masks? “Makes no difference — none of it,” said Jefferson. What about the studies that initially persuaded policymakers to impose mask mandates? Read more