There have been mask mandates across the country over the last couple of months. Some follow and some don’t. I live in Texas and we have had one for entering all businesses, so I have only gone to the grocery store when necessary and try to keep it rare. Masks are not comfortable and they’re not clean unless you’re changing them daily, which almost nobody is. So, I try to avoid wearing it as much as possible.
Many will blame the virus’s existence one the fact that not everybody is wearing a mask. However, few places can actually make everyone wear a mask.
The military is one of those places. The military can actually make everyone, within its ranks, comply. They don’t just put their masks on for some pictures to post on TikTok or Instagram. No, they are wearing their masks everywhere and they’re strictly enforced and quarantined, when ordered. So that might provide for one of the most controlled studies on mask wearing and prevention of the COVID-19 spread.
In May, there was an outbreak at Fort Benning in Georgia.
About 640 recruits from the 30th AG Battalion and 2nd Battalion, 29th Infantry Regiment arrived at Fort Benning in May for training and were immediately tested for COVID-19. Four recruits tested positive and were removed from the group while the remaining soldiers were placed in isolation for 14 days without any training exercises. After the 14-day quarantine, they were all retested and every single one was negative.
Only then did the training commence – with the full panoply of obsessive social distancing measures, including mask wearing. You can imagine that there will never be greater compliance to these rules than during military training. Yet, just eight days later, after one recruit exhibited symptoms, 142 of the trainees tested positive. That is 22% of the entire group isolated and quarantined together. As they were young, none of them were hospitalized and most were asymptomatic.
If you remember back to one of the first big stories on this outbreak, it was on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. The population on that ship, what would be a petri dish for a viral infection, was infected at 17% and then it stopped.
As Daniel Horowitz notes, many esteemed physicians and epidemiologists have suggested that herd immunity starts around the 20% mark and, thus, once that mark is reached it starts to flatten out.
Another example given was the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier. Nowhere to go, nowhere to hide. Yet just over 20% tested positive and they had only one fatality from a ship of 6,000 sailors.
Then there's Japan..
One key rule in public health is never to blame the population. Anyway, the spread of #COVID19 is not just down to the population following 'the rules'. Japan with ~100% face mask adherence, and 'culturally ingrained social distancing' is on the cusp of a serious outbreak ... https://t.co/DJCUR69R3r pic.twitter.com/QAzckJCG2R
— Prof Francois Balloux (@BallouxFrancois) August 2, 2020
Then there's Hong Kong, Australia, Hawaii, and California.
Two things they have in common: They mandated masks and destroyed their economies.
Oh, and one more: They experienced a resurgence after mask mandates.
For more on this story go to Conservative Review.