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Qi Hu Nan Xia
"Once you're riding a tiger, it's hard to get off." - Chinese proverb
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Masks Don’t Work
Back on Jan. 10th, I made mention of the extensive body of high quality science re the efficacy of masks conclusively showing that, as covid prophylactics, they do not prevent viral transmission in a highly controlled hospital setting where practitioners are trained on proper mask usage. It stands to reason that your 6 year-old and his penchant for exploring various orifices with wandering fingers will most likely not wear a mask better than a trained professional.
Below is an unmarked graph from Ian Miller’s new book, Unmasked, which uses data provided by The New York Times.1 Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi have mostly done their own thing as far as mask mandates go, and yet you wouldn’t be able to tell me which state is which on this graph. The right side is particularly illustrative. Louisiana reinstated a mask mandate in early August, while Arkansas and Mississippi did not. Which line represents Louisiana?
Here’s the Chicago area. The Chicago, IL counties of DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will are shown, along with nearby Lake County, Indiana. Notably, Indiana did not impose a state-wide mask mandate; Illinois, however, did. Which of the lines shows Lake County, IN?
I know some of you might be a little burned out on the whole mask farce. For what it’s worth, I’ve never wanted to talk about masks. I still don’t want to talk about masks. I blame the CDC. You should too. Especially after their most recent attempt to gaslight the public, and this time it was some Tony Fauci-style mendacity.
Alright folks, gather ‘round—it’s another tale of Lord Fauci the Liar.
Long ago on May 22, 2019, a prehistoric era when The Science™ was still just the science, our Lord and Savior Tony Fauci, keeper of the highest paid seat of the crown, noble nemesis and lifelong adversary of The Bad Orange Man with the Mean Tweets and patron saint of overly-neurotic liberals the world over, was featured on Bloomberg TV in an airing of The David Rubenstein Show, whereupon, at minute 17:15, he scoffed at the idea of wearing a mask to protect against the spread of a virus.
Not too many moons later, circa March 2020, our liege, never one to turn down a media appearance, partook in a 60 Minutes interview during which he explained why it was silly to think a mask would protect you against covid.
But nigh the first solstice (June 2020), Fauci reversed course and contradicted himself. Suddenly, masks were indispensable.
When asked about this flip-flop, Fauci averred that obviously he wasn’t suggesting on 60 Minutes wearing masks wasn't important. Rather, t’was a matter beyond the comprehension of we mere mortals; had he endorsed masks of any variety (including cloth), Fauci said, the peasants would’ve panicked, causing an N95 mask shortage detrimental to the bourgeois.
But one year later, emails from a Freedom of Information Act Request revealed that Fauci was not in fact engaging in a “noble lie.” Forsooth, in correspondence with other nobles, he said the very same thing: masks were ineffective and unnecessary.
Fauci’s camp explained that the discrepancy was because “the evidence had changed,” a spurious claim and an insult to the masses. Nobody was ever able to present evidence of a scientific “change” that occurred during this two-month span; no scientific literature was produced, nor was there anything in Fauci’s emails to substantiate this claim.
Thus it was: The Science™ was born.
Qi Hu Nan Xia
Is it possible that the mask buffoonery — which has had real, palpable, but entirely avoidable consequences that aren’t going to go over well (more on this anon) — was all for naught? That it really is as simple as this Chinese proverb?
Remember: The first instance of Fauci’s equivocation vis-à-vis masks occurred at the moment our social fabric was beginning to fray. His “reversal” led to the evolution of masks from a basic, precautionary mitigation strategy with very questionable efficacy to a badge of political allegiance and moral superiority that persists to this day.
It was also around this time when the media fixated on Trump’s reluctance to don a mask — the former president often referred back to Fauci’s 60 Minutes interview as justification, ironically — and it soon became apparent that Trump and Fauci weren’t especially fond of each other. An odd kind of “cold war” between the two commenced.
Don’t forget, too, just how pathologically obsessed liberals were about “resisting” Trump; the media was so desperate to paint the guy as a Third Reich-level threat to Democracy that they inadvertently gave him $2 billion in free coverage before he was even sworn in.
A tragicomic swath out there are still leasing considerable mental real estate to the man and he’s been out of office and off Twitter for well over a year now.
What am I getting at here?
Does it make me a conspiracy theorist or crank to wonder if what started as incompetence and the inception of Fickle Fauci was subsequently seized upon as a petty political cudgel to be used against Trump and his deplorables, at which point the issue in question took on disproportionate importance such that masks became a bizarre talisman appropriated by liberals with apostolic fervor on account of Trump being “anti-mask” (i.e. - Trump suggested the virus came from the Wuhan lab; the media and anti-Trump fanatics effectively banned any discussion of it; whatever Trump's for, they're against) but our Lord and Savior Tony Fauci indicating the opposite, and that from thereon Fauci and the CDC never found an off-ramp other than admitting they’d been wrong the whole time?
I mean, have they ever once acknowledged being incorrect about anything?2 Or have they resorted to manipulation, distortion, and dishonesty so often that gaslighting has practically become a quintessential characteristic of our public health institutions?
We’re tired; we’re exasperated with having to defer to propped up expert after propped up expert, all of whom end up erring in some way or another—and let's not even mention the exaggeration, the hyperbole to the nth degree nonsense.
A decade from now it'll be obvious that one of our (read: the MSM’s)3 biggest mistakes was operating under the impression that these “experts” were infallible. Our docility laid the groundwork for that insidious corollary still rearing its ugly head as we speak, the stifling of all debate and dissent in lieu of absolute adherence to The Narrative™.
The Kids Are Not Alright
Folks, when I wrote my screed about the ways in which the powers that be seem to intentionally impose as many unwarranted and unnecessary “precautions” and limitations on kids as possible, downplaying the deleterious impact these asinine policies have on a kid’s well-being when the truth of the matter is we should've made them a key priority without even having to think about it—when I wrote that post, it was because other folks (unlike you fine people, readers of this here letter of news), all of them existentially unmoored or floridly psychotic or perhaps even both, united in their obstinate refusal to apply a rational cost-benefit analysis framework to covid policies and their mutual desire to reconcile reality to the horse manure they gratefully accept from CNN and friends with remarkable regularity—these other folks, wretched souls all, have adopted Complete Risk-Aversion™ as the new American religion and Tony Fauci as their Lord and Savior, essentially guaranteeing many kids will grow up saddled with developmental challenges that won't exactly be a frolic in the psychic glade.
Foremost in my mind are the teachers’ unions. The eagerness with which they’ve submitted to the imperative of self-preservation, that most innate and tyrannical of all instincts, speaks volumes about what happens when those celebrated as selfless servants during times of sunshine are suddenly faced with storm clouds in the form of a pandemic requiring they actually step up — i.e. - put the kids first and stop cowering in the face of a shadow — as real selfless servants.
It really is unfortunate. We’ve long since passed the line of departure. Costs and consequences are beginning to manifest. And it would appear the CDC is aware.
CDC Quietly Changes the Standards for Speech in Early Childhood Development
Bottom line: The CDC surreptitiously lowered its bar for children’s speech development. The standard “communication milestones” — i.e. - a child under 2 years of age unable to say X number of words is indicative of a language problem — were lowered because too many children are no longer reaching the previously attainable benchmarks.
I’m not a language expert or therapist or pathologist. But I don’t mind spending my Friday and Saturday sifting through the internet and becoming familiar enough with some seriously esoteric stuff that yours truly will never use if it means I can shine the spotlight on some of the CDC’s unethical BS, as I believe this disregard for ethics is a key reason why America now finds itself on day 3 of land-nav during a monsoon in Dahlonega having lost its protractor, compass, and even the half-eaten bag of skittles being saved for later after a particularly nasty thorn bush thoroughly imposed its will.
In other words, the country is firmly bogged down in a shit show of epic proportion thanks to our “leaders.”
Now, I’m going to try explaining this in a way that’s easy to follow. Bear with me.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) is considered the best, most reliable source/purveyor of information for all things Speech/Language Pathologist. It states that for a 2 year old, “saying fewer than 50 words” is indicative of a possible language disorder:
Meanwhile, here’s the CDC’s benchmark for children at 2 years old before the pandemic vs. now: According to Wayback Machine, 2 year old children were supposed to be speaking in 2-4 word sentences before covid, repeating overheard words, and capable of knowing the names of things such as body parts and familiar faces. Today, after our mask charade and safety theatre, the CDC has altered those benchmarks; they now emphasize only pointing/gesturing; and the standard 2 year old is expected to put just two words together.
These changes doubtlessly seem minor. But if you think about it, the differences are probably akin to an 8th grader who can only read Cat in the Hat and has trouble remembering the names of his 30 classmates.
The CDC also created a new “30-month” milestone—a seemingly trivial thing, but not so.
Unlike ASHA, the CDC has never denoted a specific number of words with a particular benchmark; now, however, they say that at 30 months (2.5 years), a kid3 should say “about 50 words.”
The CDC has casually implemented a new benchmark that elides the fact that they've made a big change, presumably to avoid questions about whether or not it has anything to do with a marked influx of children unable to meet the previous baseline due to the adverse effects of masking—adverse effects that public health officials have always downplayed or dismissed.
Now, again, I’m not an expert on any of this. But our trusted and totally non-partisan arbiter of truth, Google, suggests that 2 years old is indeed a critical year as far as speech development goes. The estimable-sounding parents.com concurs, and the literary powerhouse scholastic.com goes so far as to say that the average 2 year old has a (auditory?) vocabulary of 150-300 words. But even more telling is the fact that the CDC used to have one of those “don’t wait until it’s too late; call your doctor now!” warnings adjacent to the milestones in questiob. Not anymore.
(N.b. - The two pictures below are not a side by side comparison; both used to be on the page but were recently removed.)
Using the Collective Well-being of Kids as a Political Pawn
The CDC, the NIH, the mainstream media, the Twitterati, the Democrats—all have argued that masks do not impede a kid’s development, just like they've said school closures and remote learning have done little to no harm on educational advancement and psychological well-being.
They pulled the same don’t-ask-questions-because-we-know-more-than-you shtick with lockdowns; vaccine efficacy; transmission of the virus ("You’re not going to get covid if you have these vaccinations"); dismissing the lab-leak theory as “conspiratorial” and “xenophobic”; mask efficacy; decrying “conservative” protests about the economy as “a cult of selfishness” and “super-spreader events” but rushing to perform affected displays of support for BLM protests; framing the unvaccinated as rubes who voted for Trump even though the majority of the unvaccinated are minorities;…it goes on and on and on. Add masking kids to the list.
Lastly, though it’s true that anecdotes are in no way definitive, I still think the tweets below should give you an idea4 of why the CDC would try to furtively change its speech milestones for early childhood development, and why we can no longer afford to be pseudo-scholarly observers to all of this.
I’m getting dangerously close to the point where, as a matter of rule, I treat everything from the NYT as a small step above deceitful agitprop. That being said, the paper still serves as a barometer of sorts to help gauge where the truth lies relative to what they’re imbibing in liberal lala land. Ergo, if even data blessed with the NYT's imprimatur indicates masks are a joke, perhaps a growing number of people in Los Angeles will stop wearing them outside, alone, as they jog.
I honestly don’t know. I’m sure Fauci probably made some concessions off the cuff on The View or something somewhere down the line.
Nation, I know I keep switching between “children” and “kids,” but frankly there are more important matters to attend to, so give your writer a break.
If you’re at all interested, I can always provide more information/examples.