The New York Times invented a new word on Wednesday as part of a growing call from health officials in major American cities to bring back widespread masking.
“It’s Time to Wear a Mask Again, Health Experts Say,” reads the headline.
“A high-quality, well-fitting mask is your best protection against infection from the coronavirus, influenza and R.S.V.,” says the subhed.
Influenza and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) have been around for a longtime, the former more than a century and the latter more than half a century. But only now are masks becoming the go-to trendy bandaid.
COVID-19 mortality rates having abated drastically, but the COVID-19 hysteria remains. And the familiar cast of characters who rose to prominence during the pandemic on the TV news, social media, and government briefings — the very same experts who assured the public that widespread vaccination would protect form COVID-19 — are once again jumping into the spot light to push masks.
CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told an audience on NPR: “You don’t need to wait for C.D.C.’s recommendation, certainly, to wear a mask.”
The neurotic New York Times even goes so far as to quote psychologists offering comforting counseling for those mask-wearers who feel uncomfortable being the only masked person in the room.
Gretchen Chapman, a professor of social and decision sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, told the Times: “I may feel that everyone’s staring at me because I’m wearing a mask, but chances are that’s like the 11th thing on their list to worry about… There are lots of situations in life where we do something that makes us feel awkward, but if we think it’s important enough, we do it anyway.”
As many of noted over the last two years, including podcaster Joe Rogan just recently, the mask has now become the left-wing version of a MAGA hat — a signifier of political attitudes and virtue.
The question remains whether government officials in Maine will seek to impose this symbolic gesture once again on Mainers, including school children.
In unrelated news, fentanyl overdose has now become the leading cause of death for American adults age 18-45. More Americans are dying from fentanyl overdose than COVID-19, cancer, heart disease, and traffic accidents.