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How many masks do you wear?

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2 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

My kind of people... the tender, thoughtful, meaningful, creative empaths are committing suicide.  Perhaps the self esteem that Objectivism bolsters is a kind of emotional inoculation, but I think America is losing a lot of the artists and musicians that are a source of the wealth of my consciousness.  Music concerts were my Sistine Chapel, they were better than church for most Americans.  It isn't hard to make a correlation that religious leaders were eager to shut concerts down out of jealousy.

I can imagine how emotionally painful it could be for some performers to not be able to perform. A number of successful performers have also died of the coronavirus, which is something like the public lights that were snuffed out by AIDS before the scientific rescue came through (still no vaccine). I wanted to mention also that regular churches and synagogues suffered greatly in religious feeling during the shutdowns. The getting together in person with their fellowship in a common faith and ceremony of worship is a really big part of many who are religious. Internet viewing would just not cut it.

After the first couple of months, I got bored of all discussions, often politicized, about covid-19 and the various approaches to suppressing infection, keeping ICU in enough supply, shutdowns, and so forth. Poltiticalization occurred also in connection with AIDS. At my sister's church (1984), in a discussion group, it came out that some members thought no research should be done on it because in the US the infection was associated with being gay, which God condemned (and they condemned), and the right way was to let them die as punishment. (For the first couple of centuries of European law in North America, the earthly punishment for homosexuality was execution. That was still the case and continued when "the land of the free" was born.) Then too, there was the flocking of libertarians to theses of the cell-researcher Peter Duesberg who denied that HIV was the cause of AIDS, that taking the one medication that had been developed against HIV to that point, together with too much nightlife and recreational drugs, was the cause of people losing the immune defenses in the syndrome called AIDS. I wrote to the editor at LIBERTY magazine, which had carried the Deusberg line on its pages, told them what I knew and had experienced first hand, that the concern of this libertarian flock was political (no research money for AIDS), not a concern for preservation of my life, and that I was going to continue to follow my doctor in his recommendation for anti-HIV medications as they came up for test. To his credit, the editor followed up with an expert writing against the Duesberg views.

During those first couple of months of the online discussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, I did a little digging and learned what all had happened during the 1957-58 pandemic of Asian Flu. Eisenhower had gotten some funds for ramping up production of the vaccine which had been developed before the infection hit America and swept across the country in spring of '57. The higher production rate was able to save lives in the fall of that year. The administration considered shutting the schools, because children were especially susceptible to this disease. But the government agencies assessed that it was going to spread so rapidly, that little if any good would be done. So decisions went to local administrators and individual families. Some school districts closed, often because attendance had stopped. Even if your child was not sick, you might call in the child as sick, in order to protect your child. At that time, the country overall, as I gather from the NY Times in those years, was very concerned that our armed forces personnel should not be knocked down with this communicable disease. Ike did not direct closure of businesses. That was correct in my view. Let the chips fall there, like in the schools. One problem in the recent pandemic with closing work places by the federal/state government is that having prevented people from working, you have something of an obligation to compensate them. If they lost work instead from individual decisions, well, then it would just be the usual deal that nature is a giant.


Edited by Boydstun
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2 hours ago, Tenderlysharp said:

My kind of people... the tender, thoughtful, meaningful, creative empaths are committing suicide.  Perhaps the self esteem that Objectivism bolsters is a kind of emotional inoculation, but I think America is losing a lot of the artists and musicians that are a source of the wealth of my consciousness.

Those who took their lives here, were often but not only, some actors, performers and musicians (some known personally) who had lost their incomes, social/family pursuits and more than anything, to alone creative types - their work.

Not directly as result of Covid, but the evil of the inessential and inhumane, universal lockdowns.

Edited by whYNOT
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21 hours ago, Boydstun said:

After the first couple of months, I got bored of all discussions, often politicized, about covid-19

It seems rational to get restless with repetition of the same arguments... It looks like humans digest and move past their trauma with words and stories, so each person tries to vent their frustration in a place where they can feel heard and understood.  It can be productive to get critical feedback from various sources to have more to add with personal intimate conversations.  It can be like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose, or as though someone is hammering a point into your head over and over again.  


21 hours ago, whYNOT said:

the evil of the inessential and inhumane, universal lockdowns.

I have watched many agnostic family members who give sincere deference to Christianity, Astrology, Buddhism and any other ideology that offers relief, become more vigorous in using irrational platitudes in the last couple years.  It seems to be, in part, an attempt to swing the teeter totter back after tragic losses of friends, family, freedom, and physical contact.  

It seems irrational doctrines thrive when there are so many conflicting ways humans play with the truth.  

I wonder what unifying principles are helping the stronger religions herd their flock through hard times?

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 8 months later...


If masks ‘worked’ for slowing the spread of influenza like illness , it would be a reasonable action. Evidence shows the belief that anything less than positive pressure suits or forced air circulation and or filtering actions mitigates casual viron spread to be misplaced.


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7 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Does this mean that in the operating room, they are using masks for no good reason?

Only if the reason for their use is to prevent influenza like illnesses, then it would not be an effective practice.

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"Given that there is no evidence that they cause any harm either, proponents would rather err on the side of caution and encourage their continued use, stressing that there is no room for complacency when it comes to ensuring patient safety.25 This opinion is similarly echoed by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence guidelines which assert that mask usage contributes towards ‘maintaining theatre discipline’.

Another unavoidable aspect of this debate is that of public perception. In the public psyche, facemasks have become so strongly associated with safe and proper surgical practice that their disposal could cause unnecessary patient distress. Indeed, the response on various medical forums following Mr Ahmed’s decision not to wear a mask during his broadcasted surgeries would reflect the prevalence of such a belief among the public.

It is clear that more studies are required before any absolute conclusions can be drawn regarding the effectiveness or, indeed, ineffectiveness of surgical masks. The published literature does suggest that it may be reasonable to further examine the need for masks in contemporary surgical practice given the interests of comfort, budget constraints and potential ease of communication, although any such study would undoubtedly have to be large and well controlled to prove causality given the low event frequency of surgical site infections. It is possible, if not probable, that if surgical facemasks were to be introduced today, without the historical impetus currently associated with their use, the experimental evidence would not be sufficiently compelling to incorporate facemasks into surgical practice."

This from a study in 2015 citing the Cochrane study(updated from original) I posted prior. So it could be that the reason we still use surgical masks is emotionally biased and not objectively necessary, historically performative.

If one of the most protective functions of masking in surgery is to protect the surgical staff from body fluid contamination from the patient, why do so many believe they confer protection against viron inhalation?

DM, still masking ?


Edited by tadmjones
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On 12/22/2020 at 12:15 PM, Tenderlysharp said:

How many masks do you wear?

I chose to present and ponder this topic as a Metaphysical and Epistemologcal exploration of identity.  

This thread is not so much to argue the benefits and safety of the mask.  Another thread seems to do a thorough job in favor of the mask: https://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/34048-rebloggedit-is-not-self-interest-to-take-illness-lightly/&tab=comments#comment-368272

. . .

This thread more appropriately belongs in the "Current Events" sector, and not as a continuing hegemony of political thought in the "Metaphysics and Epistemology" sector. It was fine in the beginning on the topic of personal identity, but look where it drifted: the usual.

Edited by Boydstun
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