Understanding why mask wearing is little more than virtue signaling

Pratt on Texas - copyright Pratt on Texas all rights reservedMy good friend, a doctor of mathematics, said to me: “Math is being abused and, I don’t like it!”

Specifically the discussion was about the latest virtue signaling fad of mask wearing and the people who go out of their way to tell you they are wearing the mask not for themselves but to protect you – often in a manner that seems to carry an expectation of prostrating oneself before them with ululations of gratitude.

Virtue signaling by Lubbock Councilman Randy Christian

My friend, himself a graduate of some of the most prestigious universities, had read the piece by Dr. John Lee, a former professor of pathology at a UK medical school, in which he makes a solid case that wearing masks does little in the case of viruses but reassure their wearers. Or as I put it “theater security much like TSA.”

“When a person is infectious with a virus it is estimated that they may shed one hundred billion virus particles a day – that works out to 10 million per breath,” Lee pointed out.

Given that the most common cloth masks in use by people have thousands of pores, holes between the fabric threads, several times larger than the width of a human hair and that a full thousand virus particles can fit through a space the size of a human hair side-by-side even laboratory controlled fit and use of a mask, conditions not present in actual life usage, does little to stop the spread of virus particles.

If just a breath contains 10 million virus particles, the pressurized large release associated with a sneeze or cough is reasonably likely to be much greater and will put millions of virus particles straight through a mask as well as much more out the side perimeters of such.

Virtue signal all you want with your face covering but science, math included, isn’t supportive. Even the “revered” Dr. Fauci says masks do not work.

Others point out that wearing masks actually create serious health risks for the otherwise healthy.

And more evidence that masks don’t do much to stop viruses: How few times, if ever, during of cold and flu season you have ever seen your doctor and his full staff masked-up to see patients?

Update in mid-November 2020:


  1. Precisely correct. (Again) And all this stuff about the lack of efficacy of masks was well known back when I was in residency in the late 1980s. I guess some people (Witless Gov Whitmer and Cuomo the Clueless come to mind) didn’t get the memo.

  2. THANK YOU! I live in the Seattle area but faithfully listen to you every day possible. I appreciate your fight against pseudo science as I have continually focused on how all that has been done around the Wuhan Virus has been based on fear not facts. This refusal to bend to the corporate fear has helped me become a persona non grata, oh well.
    If your interested, I just wrote a blog about opening up our country and how we should not be forced into fear.

    • Pratt on Texas says

      Thanks Julie, it’s good to be persona non grata with some. Who wants to be beloved by the stupid or by those who eschew freedom and Liberty. Isn’t there a great maxim about becoming like those we spend time around?

  3. Pratt on Texas says

    More: “To understand why it is still evolving further, you have to grasp just how small a virus is. Imagine a birthday balloon. A virus is smaller than this by roughly the same amount that the balloon is smaller than the earth (think about that for a moment: balloon, earth; virus, balloon). When a person is infectious with a virus, it is estimated that they may excrete 10-to-the-11th power [100,000,000,000 – 100 billion] virus particles a day. Even if 99.99 percent of the particles were destroyed on contact with the air, there are still a huge number of infectious ones left.” https://spectator.us/could-lockdown-side-effects-considered/

  4. Pratt on Texas says

    Even Dr. Anthony Fauci told media masks don’t work:

    “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 Minutes.
    “While masks may block some droplets, Fauci said, they do not provide the level of protection people think they do. Wearing a mask may also have unintended consequences: People who wear masks tend to touch their face more often to adjust them, which can spread germs from their hands.”

  5. Pratt on Texas says

    Neurosurgeon Says Face Masks Pose Serious Risk to Healthy People: https://www.technocracy.news/blaylock-face-masks-pose-serious-risks-to-the-healthy/

  6. Love all these folks sharing a clip from Fauci over two months ago and ignoring what he/experts have said since:


    • Pratt on Texas says

      There is nothing out of context about the clip. The nature of viruses and masks have not changed. Masks do not stop virus particles and there is nothing new discovered to change this. We already know about the coronavirus structure and its size has not changed. The science is not a matter of opinion.

  7. Pratt on Texas says

    And then there is this: Doctors admit: Masks are nothing more than “symbols”, do little https://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/points-of-information/doctors-admit-masks-are-nothing-more-than-symbols-do-little/

  8. Pratt on Texas says

    See: Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era | New England Journal of Medicine. https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2006372?query=TOC
    “Masks are visible reminders of an otherwise invisible yet widely prevalent pathogen and may remind people of the importance of social distancing and other infection-control measures. It is also clear that masks serve symbolic roles. …”

  9. This will all self-resolve after the election in November. Does ANYONE think folks will be wearing face masks for Thanksgiving Dinner? My money’s not on it!

    • Pratt on Texas says

      Our governor and many others are not on the ballot this year. Same for county judges and some mayors.

  10. Pratt on Texas says

    New study claims COVID-19 spreads airborne and wearing face masks significantly reduces spread

    Note the correlative-only study doesn’t actually test the actual efficacy of masks, it simply examines (questionable) data on spread in China, Italy and New York City and concludes such data supports the use of masks. Also, while researchers present the size of the aerosolized virus particles, they do not address the evidence that porous masks do not significantly reduce the transmission of said particles through masks – it is simply ignored.

    The study is solely correlative to infection rates and assumes that hard hit areas with swift peaks do not normally come down quickly after a peak.

    Correlative studies should always be highly suspect but in this case the one should be especially skeptical as the infection data used has already been subject to legitimate criticism (i.e. China lied, etc.)

    • This paper was not a clinical study. These atmospheric, chemistry and planetary scientists merely did computer simulation modeling and linear regressions, which, like all models, are riffe with bias, a million pre-assumptions, selectivity of data, and can be (and are) designed to reach any conclusion the author sets out to find. They are not science. The bias was clear in their focus on politics and government policies, rather than objective presentation of facts. The bottom line is that, not only is the medical literature filled with studies and real life data disproving their hypothesis, their graphs in Figure 3 actually disprove their own claims — the case curve is identical to those in countries and cities that didn’t implement social distancing, masks, etc. That’s because the virus runs its natural course regardless of what governments do. Sweden, for instance, has been widely condemned because it didn’t lock down bars, restaurants, schools, universities, violate human rights or destroy its economy. Yet, it has lower death rates than UK, Spain, Italy, NY and countless other states in the U.S. and the virus ran the identical natural pattern.

  11. Charles Odell says

    Masks certainly provide some protection to others, and refusing to wear them indicates you are exercising your constitutional right to transmit a fatal disease.

    • Pratt on Texas says

      That is a sophist statement if ever there was one. How significant, cite the actual data.

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