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Covid mask mandates: To mask, or not to mask? And why?

Written By | Sep 5, 2021
Covid mask mandates, Twitterverse propaganda, phony Covid narrative

Cartoon by Garrison. Reproduced with permission and by arrangement with (See link following article.)

WASHINGTON – In case you’ve managed to avoid what passes for news these days, specifically, those Covid mask mandates. Or the lack thereof. They’re back. They have returned to America’s actual and virtual front pages again. And this time, they’ve returned with a vengeance. As always, what’s going on here is not “settled” medical science, re: Covid-19 in all its manifestations. Rather, questions on Covid mask mandates generally involve the politics involved with the issue. (We’ll deal with those politics in a follow-up article.)

With some regularity, I respond to a variety of questions posed on an online Q&A site. Unsurprisingly, many of these have involved those arbitrary but “mandatory” Covid masking requirements. Again, though sporadically, these are being imposed on even elementary school students for the fall semester, 2021.

The original question

Here’s a short version of one such question, posed around mid-August, 2021:

“The National Review wrote that Biden directed the Department of Education to act against states banning masks in schools. Shouldn’t local school districts make decisions for their own districts?”

I provided what I hope was a reasonable answer. A revised version appears below. I’ve updated it considerably here. That’s because court cases stemming from this issue have begun to fly to and fro. Let’s try to gain some clarity on the alleged reasoning behind these latest Covid mask mandates.

Also Read: Biden ineptitude, Covid nonsense, retail sales continue to hit US stocks


The problem is no longer Covid. The problem is the CDC

Even now, we’re getting interim answers to this question as the Federal government and others continue to attack Red State governors every time they try to hand back personal responsibilities to their increasingly exasperated constituents. But the medical focus, at least, has more to do with our Federal health agencies rather than with the Department of Education or the Educational Establishment.

The core problem we’re dealing with today is not so much the virus anymore. Instead, this issue fundamentally involves the wildly and almost daily conflicting Covid advice that the CDC and other Federal agencies provide not only to the White House, but to the public as well.

When it comes to Covid advice, the CDC, other Federal health-related agencies and the China owned and operated WHO all contradict each other nearly every day now. Highly variable  pronouncements from these agencies routinely address topics like the virus itself, its never-ending march of allegedly “deadly variants” and the efficacy of cheap, non-medically rated face masks and arbitrary Covid mask mandates in battling all the above.

These quarreling agencies and “authorities” have succeeded only in thoroughly confusing the general public on these issues. As a result, fewer and fewer individuals are listening to anything these alleged “authorities” say. And this, in a way, finesses the issue.

Why endure another one of those Covid mask mandates? 

As I’ve stated many times and in many ways here and in other columns and responses, our current reality is this: Covid is here to stay, forever, just like the flu. The original, politically incorrect “Spanish flu.” This nasty virus grabbed the world’s attention, big time, as the murderous 1917 flu pandemic rapidly engulfed an already war-battered globe. It was far worse and far more deadly, I might add, than the current Covid kerfuffle.

Like that 2017 flu pandemic, Covid-19, like virtually all viruses, will morph and shape-shift as many times as it wants to and whenever it wants to. We now have reasonably effective vaccines that seem highly (though not universally) effective. These vaccines, I suspect, will eventually evolve into a new tradition of annual Covid shots. We’ll be encouraged to get these new, annually adjusted shots every year, just like each year’s annual flu shots. A great many of us will make this an annual routine. And life will go on.

These NewFlu shots will vary in effectiveness from year to year, just like our existing annual flu shots. Again, these viruses constantly evolve, so each year’s new vaccines will be created based on what varieties of each virus are likely to show up in a given year. And some of these annual shots will work better than others. It will always be a crapshoot to some degree.

Like yearly flu shots, Covid-19 and Covid-19 variant shots will work. Sometimes…

Despite these vaccines, an unfortunate number of deaths each year will continue, particularly among the elderly and immuno-compromised. Forever. This has proved true even for now routine flu vaccines dispensed over the past many decades. As with investing in common stocks, there are no guarantees when it comes to these viruses. But the odds of these vaccines protecting you and your family over time are still considerably better than average. And probably better than getting no shot at all.

All of which means our government and our Federal health agencies need to get back to normal business and allow pharmaceutical companies to get back to theirs.

Better yet? In the process, given the shameful mess the Federal government establishment has created almost continuously for the past 20 months give or take, those amazingly Janus-faced officials currently running the CDC – and destroying, perhaps forever, its credibility among average Americans – need to take advantage of early retirement and leave the government. And let them take their fat, undeserved pensions with them. Better this than continuing to tell us different, ever less-believable Covid stories every day and week of the year to the point of institutionalizing confusion and disbelief among most US citizens.

Again, this could finally permit average American citizens — and our pre-Covid economy — to get on with normal life again. Which includes escaping from the terror that builds and rebuilds every time the media trumpets its latest Covid mask mandates and freak-outs based on the CDC’s latest revised “advice.” This, of course, inevitably involves issuing the exact opposite of their previous advice.

Let’s get back to that Department of Education issue, re: Covid mask mandates. And those pesky Red States

Perhaps more pertinent to your original question, we already have enough trouble believing, let alone following, the nonsensical, contradictory advisories the CDC and the FDA continue to issue and un-issue with alarming frequency. Including those on-again, off-again mask mandates.

So given the utter and continuous failures of these and other agencies allegedly involved in dealing with current and potential national and international health issues, I’d say that the Department of Education has no business getting involved in this at all. The Constitution doesn’t give them a role when it comes to healthcare.

Worse, we can see that the Department of Education is already working 24/7 to encourage the adoption of CRT propaganda as part of the nation’s core elementary and high school curricula. So why give any kind of “medical” authority at all to an agency currently and actively involved in educational malpractice, paralleling the medical malpractice delivered daily by the CDC to a weary and now highly suspicious populace?

Another comment

Surprisingly, I got little of the usual left-wing pushback I tend to get with my Covid answers. But interestingly, it appears that I may not be the only one who’s getting a bit fed up with the government’s Covid terrorism campaign, one that’s very likely meant to divert public attention to what the Uniparty is doing to limit the freedoms of our fellow citizens behind the scenes.

Here’s that interesting reply, which I present unedited:

“It’s funny how this was the predictable outcome and yet it’s taking so long for people to realize it. Your statement is very similar to what I made before we have our first case in America. We had so much data from Spain that our reaction to cv-19’s spread made no sense even for the time.

“Masks don’t slow a spread, in fact like blankets given to Indians it only made the virus spread faster. I don’t understand how anyone thinks wearing a warm moist cotton ball over their nose and mouth would stop a virus… but yet here we are…”

Covid mask mandates and Covid-variant terrorism are losing credibility. Because, it’s always something…

I’m not sure if I buy this individual’s analogy to what happened to the American Indians when they accepted those possibly smallpox-infected blankets from early European visitors to this then-new continent. Yet I am aware of a growing (and suppressed) body of Covid evidence. Evidence that discounts the protective value of masks and mask mandates and regards them as being counterproductive in deterring the spread of the virus.

But this individual’s response still illustrates that the CDC / Biden Administration / Deep State Covid terror narratives have lost credibility with the average American voter. And more quickly than any of us could have imagined.

Headline image link: This cartoon and others can be found at

Note: This article is not intended to be Medical Advice and is for information purposes only


Terry Ponick

Biographical Note: Dateline Award-winning music and theater critic for The Connection Newspapers and the Reston-Fairfax Times, Terry was the music critic for the Washington Times print edition (1994-2010) and online Communities (2010-2014). Since 2014, he has been the Senior Business and Entertainment Editor for Communities Digital News (CDN). A former stockbroker and a writer and editor with many interests, he served as editor under contract from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and continues to write on science and business topics. He is a graduate of Georgetown University (BA, MA) and the University of South Carolina where he was awarded a Ph.D. in English and American Literature and co-founded one of the earliest Writing Labs in the country. Twitter: @terryp17