Now that Covid is no longer dangerous, shrieking hypochondriac and ScIEnCE-journalist-of-the-year Christina Berndt demands a continuation of mask mandates to combat RSV and influenza
They will never, ever, ever stop.
Germany’s foremost science journalist and canonical plague chronicle villain Christina Berndt warns against ending mask mandates in Germany, lest people get the flu or something:
The virus is at its weakest ebb: In the past few weeks, case numbers are lower than they’ve been in a year. So the desire to abolish mask mandates on buses and trains –one of the last remnants of this pandemic, which is seemingly over – is fully understandable. …. But … this is the worst possible moment…
Children's hospitals are overloaded. Influenza has returned with a vengeance. Nursing staff are at their limits. Rates of sick leave are higher than ever before.
It’s undeniable that the importance of Corona has decreased considerably. After a fierce wave in early autumn, which brought crisis conditions to our hospitals, the virus seems to have taken a break. But apart from the fact that its unlikely to remain at such low levels over the course of the winter, many other pathogens are taking advantage of the opportunity that our behaviour has offered them. Among them are influenza and RSV, both viruses that can be very dangerous to the young and the old of our society, and also to the vulnerable. Some people are dying, others are becoming seriously ill, even more are absent from work. And the hospitals are once again groaning under the load, with the consequence that not everyone is getting the treatment they need. Dropping mask mandates now shows that health policy has lost contact with reality….
Masking is a stupid, superstitious exercise that does nothing to stop virus infections, but that’s beside the point. Imagine, instead, that strapping these low-quality pseudomedical plastics to your face actually reduced your rate of respiratory infection. In this counterfactual scenario, it would follow that masks are at least partly responsible for the immunity deficit causing the unusually high rates of RSV and influenza infection that Berndt deplores. Continuing to mask would merely prolong our immunological naiveté for another season, potentially leading to long-term dependence on this ridiculous, antisocial ritual. It’s a blessing that masks actually do nothing.
I’m working on a longer piece which I hope to post soon, so I don’t have a lot else to say, except that the existence of stupid people like Berndt is in itself a reason to resist all pandemic measures, now and forever, whatever the threat may be. Three years of virus propaganda have consolidated these crazy people into small but durable political constituencies, and they pose a grave danger to human health, our economies and our society. They’ll support lockdowns to stop rhinovirus if given the chance, and should public health restrictions ever return, we’ll be fighting an uphill battle with them all over again to get our lives back.
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