Time To Defund the Forced Maskers
I’ve reviewed the science on mask wearing in several articles over the past nine months. So far, there’s not been a study showing a significant benefit. On the contrary, evidence is conspicuously piled on the side of the argument that they don’t protect the wearer or prevent the spread of infection in community settings.
Despite the lack of scientific basis, universal mask mandates continue to be pushed to ludicrous ends. Case in point: A family was recently booted off a United Airlines flight because the couple’s 2-year-old daughter refused to wear a face mask.1
Family Kicked Off Flight Over 2-Year-Old’s Mask Refusal
The father, Eliz Orban, spoke to Eyewitness News about the incident in their December 13, 2020, report. United Airlines issued a statement about the event, saying the company has “a multi-layered set of policies, including mandating that everyone onboard 2 and older wears a mask.”
United Airlines added that “These procedures are not only backed by guidance from the CDC and our partners at the Cleveland Clinic, but they’re also consistent across every major airline.” The Orban family were refunded for the flight, and contrary to the couple’s original video2 statement, they are not banned from future flights.
This is about as unreasonable as it can get. Not only do universal mask mandates have no scientific backing in general, but insisting that a 2-year-old wear a mask is also nonsensical for the fact that the only way to get what little benefit you can from a mask is by putting it on, wearing and removing properly.
Readers Digest published “11 Mistakes You’re Probably Making with Face Masks,”3 reviewing all the ways in which you might nullify the mask’s benefit. The idea that a young child would be able to comply with these detailed instructions is beyond unreasonable, seeing how a vast majority of adults cannot even follow them.
One key way by which you negate the benefit of a mask is by touching it. Yet people are constantly fiddling with their masks as they fall down or shift on their face as they talk or move around. A young child is even more likely to contaminate the mask beyond the point of it providing any benefit whatsoever.
Young Children Pose Extremely Low Risk to Others
Importantly though, young children are insignificant disease vectors,4, 5,6,7 meaning they rarely test positive or spread the infection. This makes kicking the family off the plane all the more egregious. In truth, the smartest person in this whole affair is the baby who refused to comply.
Interestingly enough, back in May 2020, United Airlines’ COVID-19 policy stressed the need to avoid confrontation. In a statement to CNN for a May 14, 2020, article on airline mask policies, United Airlines said:8
“If for some reason this policy causes a disturbance onboard, we’ve counseled our flight attendants to use their de-escalation skills, and they do have the flexibility to reseat customers on the aircraft as needed.”
Apparently, the flight attendant in this case disregarded such solutions and chose the most traumatic path in dealing with the Orbans instead. Incidentally, while the Orbans are apparently being allowed to fly United Airlines in the future, the company does have a policy that calls for the permanent suspension of noncompliant passengers, according to Forbes.9
Hundreds of Mask Refusers Placed on No-Fly List
The Orbans aren’t the first to be kicked off a flight over a mask dispute. According to Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian, nearly 700 people have been placed on the company’s no-fly list since May 2020 for refusing to wear a face mask.10 The Orbans also aren’t’ the first to be booted because of an uncompliant child.
September 14, 2020, CNN reported11 that Jodi Degyansky and her 2-year-old son were asked to de-board a Southwestern Airlines flight because her son had his mask pulled under his chin while eating some gummy bears. A flight attendant told Degyansky that families with small children shirk the company’s mask policy by eating throughout the entire flight.
Even though Degyansky’s son voluntarily put his mask back on, the plane taxied back to the gate and the pair were told to get off. “I feel horrible that my son had to endure that,” Degyansky told CNN.12 In August, Southwest Airlines also booted a passenger and her 3-year-old autistic son off a flight after the boy became upset by efforts to force a mask onto his face.13
Defund Forced Maskers
Forcing young children to wear masks for hours on end is ludicrous for all the reasons already mentioned. Even the idea that adults must wear them while flying flies in the face of scientific evidence. My sister recently took a flight during which she noted that first-class passengers were unmasked throughout the entire flight without repercussions. Meanwhile, flight attendants policed everyone else.
If we were really dealing with a lethal virus, wouldn’t first-class passengers be as prone to carry and contract it as those with cheaper tickets? And if masks really did work, wouldn’t first-class passengers be forced to wear them as well? Enforcement discrepancies alone point to the whole thing being part of a class war and little else.
So, what’s the answer? Probably the best strategy would be to “defund” companies that strictly enforce these unscientific rules. In short, don’t fly with airlines that boot children off for mask infractions.
What Risk Do Flights Pose?
Do flights pose an infection risk? Probably, yes, for the simple fact that you’re in a confined space with many individuals. At least two studies14,15 published in November 2020 have confirmed that infection can and does take place during flights.
Unfortunately, both looked at flights that took place in early March 2020, and neither specify whether passengers were wearing masks or not. Proximity to an infected person appears to be the key finding in these studies, which suggests that spacing out passengers and not filling flights to capacity is the right thing to do to limit transmission.
That said, experts who have looked at available flight data say your risk of catching COVID-19 during a flight is still pretty slim. According to an August 20, 2020, report by CNN:16
“If new scientific claims are borne out, the perceived heightened risk of boarding an airplane could be unfounded. In one case, about 328 passengers and crew members were tested for coronavirus after it was learned that a March 31 flight from the US to Taiwan had been carrying 12 passengers who were symptomatic at the time.
However, all the other passengers tested negative, as did the crew members. And while there have certainly been cases of infected passengers passing the virus on to an airplane’s crew or fellow travelers in recent months, the transmission rates are low …
[A] flight from the UK to Vietnam on March 2, in which one passenger seemingly spread the virus to around 14 other passengers, as well as a crew member, is so far believed to be the only known on-board transmission to multiple people.
One explanation for the apparently low risk level is that the air in modern aircraft cabins is replaced with new fresh air every two to three minutes, and most planes are fitted with air filters designed to trap 99.99% of particles …
Arnold Barnett, a professor of statistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, tried to quantify the odds of becoming infected with the virus while on board a short flight in a recent study that looked at the benefits of the empty middle seat policy.
According to his findings, based on short haul flights in the US on aircraft configured with three seats on either side of the aisle … the risk of catching the virus on a full flight is just 1 in 4,300. T
Article from LewRockwell