Reading Time: 2 minutes

Mitigating the spread of COVID-19 is the objective of most governments. It is of utmost importance to understand how effective various public health measures are. We study the effectiveness of face masks. We employ public regional data about reported severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 infections for Germany. As face masks became mandatory at different points in time across German regions, we can compare the rise in infections in regions with masks and regions without masks. Weighing various estimates, we conclude that 20 d after becoming mandatory face masks have reduced the number of new infections by around 45%. As economic costs are close to zero compared to other public health measures, masks seem to be a cost-effective means to combat COVID-19.

Face masks considerably reduce COVID-19 cases in Germany

Ah, masks. Nothing like getting the Republican core riled and spitting daggers over science. I wrote about masks before (See “Mask Mayhem“) to show how problematic the scientific case against them was. And the scientific case for them has only got stronger and stronger; and since they do not affect the economy, they are being put right up there as one of the first things a government can and should mandate.

Well, Republicans and their supporters don’t like it one iota. “But our personal freedom!” they all whinge and cry, whine and rage.

Funny that, when there is this that they have hitherto remained silent on:

Oh, but that’s fine because it conserves human dignity.

Not so worried about conserving human lives, though… Can’t wear a mask…

It’s just about cherry-picking what to get upset about. “I’m okay with mandating clothes, with regulating restrooms, with this., with that, BUT MASKS!!!???”

A fellow Patheoser wrote a super article just now pointing out further inconsistencies centred around a remark by the dimwit Charlie Kirk:

Libby Anne, the author, writes:

3,000 people died on 9/11, and Congress completely upturned airport security—and Republicans led the charge! To date, nearly 300,000 people have died in the COVID-19 pandemic, and Republicans dither and talk about people’s freedoms—and personal choice!…

We gave up a massive amount of convenience to prevent another 9/11.

Mind you, I’m not necessarily saying that it’s wrong that we gave up all that convenience. I’m just noting that I don’t have the freedom to take my tween to the gate, or the personal choice to keep my shoes on or take my regular bottle of shampoo. And Republican lawmakers were okay with all of this—more than okay!

Roughly the same number of people who died on 9/11 died of COVID-19 yesterday. And yet, many states with Republican governors have still refused to mandate masks, or sufficiently limit gatherings.

The inconsistency and hypocrisy of Republicans are quite incredible to note.


Stay in touch! Like A Tippling Philosopher on Facebook:

A Tippling Philosopher

You can also buy me a cuppa. Or buy some of my awesome ATP merchandise! Please… It justifies me continuing to do this!

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...