It is not good for man to be alone.

Genesis 2:18

By Dr. Jim Ferguson

And just when you thought it was safe to go out, Fauci and his minions scream No! I remember the Charles Schultz Peanuts column where Lucy would promise Charlie Brown that she would hold the football for him. And then at the last minute she would jerk the ball away and poor Charlie would come crashing down. I find myself identifying with Charlie, the kid with the moon shaped head. But this kid (myself) has lost trust in the government and experts of the CDC, “center of disease confusion.”

Communication is challenging. This topic is the focus of my new novel. Personally, I find the Elizabethan English of Shakespeare as difficult to understand as a child wearing a mask. And my communication difficulties cannot be totally blamed on a seventy-year-old man’s presbycusis, because my wife reports the same problem with masked children in her Sunday School class. However, communication is not the issue with the latest controversy. So, to paraphrase Hamlet in his famous soliloquy, “to mask or not to mask, that is the latest question.”

Are you like me and wake up to find a new confusing issue every day? Instead of raining cats and dogs it’s raining confusion such as, if vaccines don’t prevent Covid infections why are vaccinations and vaccination passes becoming required? If the Sturgis South Dakota biker rally and Florida Governor Ron Desantis’ Covid policies are tantamount to super spreader events, why isn’t Chicago’s Lollapalooza music festival, Obama’s birthday bash and Biden’s open border policy not deemed super spreader events? And why were churches closed, yet BLM social justice marches were deemed OK by our hypocritical and woke elites?

Since Fauci and the elites are so wise, I wish one of them could please explain to me how a garden hose becomes so easily kinked or why a set of earbuds placed in a drawer will tie themselves in a knot by the next morning? Yes, I know my questions do not have cosmic significance. And I realize hoses and earbuds have no mind of their own, but observation challenges that perspective.

Please excuse my digression because this week’s controversy is far more important than earbuds or my puzzlement regarding garden hoses. Not intending to be rhetorical, I have another conundrum. If masks are so effective, why haven’t they worked? Many have speculated that masking has reduced the spread of Covid. Perhaps they are right, but there is no science to prove that cloth masking prevents the sub-microscopic viral particles of Covid from spreading to others. Actually, scientific analysis shows that cloth and surgical masks do not prevent the movement of viral particles. Perhaps if the NIH spent more than 2% of its forty-two-billion-dollar research budget on Covid we might have some answers regarding masks.

I am not an anti-masker because I can demonstrate research which shows that surgeons wear masks to protect their patients during an operation. However, I am under no illusion that a surgical mask protects the surgeon from a patient’s respirations, unless he is wearing a properly fitted and uncomfortable N95 mask. These work because air is breathed in through the filtering mask rather than around the mask edges. Half the time I see masks on the chins of store personnel. And many times, I have observed my grandkids readjusting or toying with their bandana facial coverings. I will quote the once estimable Fauci who last year called masks “grand Kabuki theatre.” That is before he became fully woke and opined that everyone should wear at least two or three masks – aka facial diapers.

We do know that good hygiene, including hand washing, is beneficial. We also know that given the pandemic, staying out of crowds is wise because quarantine is a proven strategy in infectious diseases. In epidemics herd immunity from vaccinations or recovery from natural infection is also helpful. Like the annual influenza vaccination, we know that the Covid vaccinations lessen the risk of infection and/or the severity of illness. And we have learned that the vaccines may be less effective as the Covid virus mutates. We are now dealing with the Delta Covid variant, but the Lamba variant is around the corner. And there will be more. The CCP (Chinese communist party) virus is here to stay.

I’ve been thinking about the price of safety. Becky and I invested in a security system for our home and forfeited money. We wear seat belts in the car which restrict our freedom. And I consider it not worth the risk to go clubbing at two am. (My mother told me nothing good occurs after midnight.) The point is I give up some of my money, my freedom and perhaps my enjoyment for personal safety.

A controversial opinion piece by Marti Makary MD appeared in the Wall Street Journal August 9, 2021. The doctor has credentials equivalent to or better than any of those in Washington DC. He is concerned about putting masks back on children, and so am I. As I’ve said before, “You should read widely, think carefully and use common sense.” You should read the doctor’s column and another piece in the same issue called, “Confusion Reigns Over School Mask Policies.” Then make up your own mind rather than listening to the media and Fauci.

As I said in last week’s essay, social isolation is detrimental to human health and well-being. Masking kids causes isolation. Facial recognition is crucial to social adjustment and is impaired with masks. Masking impairs communication and learning. There are even scientific studies showing the accumulation of dangerous bacteria in children’s masks and a buildup of carbon dioxide levels in masked children, especially the youngest ones.

America has seen rises in suicide, depression and drug overdoses during the Covid pandemic and isolation. We have seen the economy and thousands of businesses destroyed. Lives have been ruined and there is no end in sight. Now the Fear Campaign wants to keep us isolated and afraid to live. Remember, they promised us we should “shelter in place” and shut down the country for two weeks to “bend the curve.” That was a lie.

I’ve taken the vaccine. I will remain careful, but I choose to “live free or die.” I will not be Charlie Brown again!