Yesterday I offered 10 thoughts on the Star Tribune editorial decrying the court decision holding the federal mask mandate illegal (along with the Star Tribune editorial itself). The Star Tribune’s vacuous glop barely touches the decision. Rather, it disapproves of those of us who celebrated the end of the mandate (for the moment, anyway). Our friend Kevin Roche comments over at Healthy Skeptic (below the break):
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The editorial screeches about how outrageous it is to ignore the public safety. One of the tipoffs to a writer knowing they have an incredibly weak argument is the use of really dumb and inapt analogies, and the editorial starts out with several of those. Where it might more profitably have started was by asking if there was any evidence that masks actually stop transmission, is there any evidence that transmission occurred on airplanes with or without masks, and whether other measures adopted by the airlines, such as the incredibly high rates of air turnover, might not be adequate. And if we are going to have a battle of dumb analogies–should we not just strap everyone in hazmat suit so no one ever has to worry about contracting any pathogen on a plane.
Now the truth, as readers of this blog know, is that there is no evidence that masks made one damn bit of difference in the epidemic and you know why–they can’t stop the virus, in fact they collect and nurture it for later distribution. Whichever editor wrote this piece of dreck goes on to resurrect the paper’s strong suit–spreading unwarranted fear–cases are rising, there are new variants, blah, blah, blah. Apparently doesn’t recognize that the fear response in humans becomes exhausted after too many fake stimulations.
There are a few more cases, from a very low level, almost none are serious. The vast majority of deaths and hospitalizations reported at this point are in the vaccinated and/or are incidental to Covid-19. But to the editorial writer this isn’t over, it can’t be over, the Strib has made too much money off the epidemic for it to end. This is basically lying about the risk and the data, and trying to score a cheap political shot, and it is the exact opposite of what the paper should be dedicated to–telling the public the truth, in a measured and rational manner.
I have news for the paper–no one cares anymore. People have realized that for most of them this is a cold, that nothing that we were told we had to do–but only for two weeks, mind you, till we flattened that curve–including masks, lockdowns, social distancing, testing every hour, contact tracing and yes, even vaccines, made the slightest difference in the end result–almost everyone got infected, many got reinfected, more got breakthrough infections, people are still getting infected, people are going to get infected.
Where did I come in on this epidemic, over two years ago–I think it was saying that you can’t stop a respiratory virus. The paper was shocked that “some” people celebrated the end of the mandate with “glee.” Uhhh, the vast majority of people celebrated it because, unlike the dunces at the Strib, they knew it was political theater and made no difference to their safety.
The writer of course encourages readers to do the right thing and mask up forever [Ed.: They deny that this is their advice, but the rationale of the editorial says otherwise]. So if you take the Strib’s advice, and think you simply must wear a mask, may I suggest that you fashion one out of the Strib’s editorial page–it will work as well as any other mask, and really that part of the paper has no better use…
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Kevin adds: “[M]y advice is to do what almost all Americans have decided to do–live a normal life, make your own decisions about whether there really is any risk and what steps you might want to take to deal with that risk.” Whole thing here.
Reader FW adds another good point (below the break).
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The Star Tribune editorial contains a common fallacy that deserves follow up. Not surprisingly, it shows that the editors have idea how aircraft air-conditioning and pressurization systems work.
The editorial refers to smoking on board and says, “Sure, aircraft filter in-flight air.” The only way cigarette smoke could previously be filtered was through recirculated air. The recirculation system relies on recirculation fans. These fans draw in a percentage of air that is in the process of being vented overboard and mix it with fresh air coming from the aircraft “pacs” (pneumatic air controls). The recycled air is never more than 20 percent or so of the total, but this varies by aircraft and phase of flight.
The “ricirc fans” are controlled from the cockpit. The pilots can turn them on and off. Since Covid erupted, every airline has instructed pilots to leave recirc fans off. Thus, there is no recirculated air. Passengers are getting fresh air all the time. This means that any undesirable element being introduced in the cabin, be it smoke, Covid, or anything else is vented overboard and is never “filtered” to be reintroduced.
This is typical of clowns like the Star Tribune who try to feign expertise where they have none…