The pandemic has eased, but not the compulsion of many Americans to cover their faces. Fully vaccinated adults are still wearing masks on their solitary walks outdoors, and officials have been enforcing mask mandates on some city-dwellers and students. After obligating passengers to wear masks for nearly two years, some airlines and railroads have finally dropped their requirements in response to Monday’s ruling by US District Judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle declaring the Biden administration’s mask mandate for public transportation unlawful. It’s welcome news, though long overdue.
A simple remedy might help some maskaholics. It’s a graph that should be required viewing for everyone still wearing a mask and every public official and journalist who still insists that mask mandates “control the spread.” The black line on the graph shows the weekly rate of COVID cases in all the states with mask mandates that week, while the orange line shows the rate in all the states without mandates. Eleven states never mandated masks, while the other 39 states enforced mandates. The mandates typically began early in the pandemic in 2020 and remained until at least the summer of 2021, with some extending into 2022.
John Tierney, a contributing editor for City Journal, is the co-author of “The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.” Adapted from City Journal.
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