People are profoundly stupid. Pre-covid I had some vague sense about this, but post-covid I'm absolutely certain about it, and the proof of it that I'm going to take with me as a reminder is that most people are unable to accurately grasp the tiny size of a virus. This failing, I think, is why masks caught on in the first place.
As I've written, the filtration medium must be smaller than the thing being filtered. In a typical cloth mask, the medium is at least 1000 times larger than the airborn virus it seeks to filter, making filtration impossible. It is like trying to swat gnats, or even flies, with a tennis racket, or whatever filter metaphor you like, you can't filter out something if the medium is 1000 times bigger than the thing being filtered. It is physically impossible. Masks do not work because they cannot work. They never worked.
"Social Distancing" is a neologism that makes me want to ice-pick my ear drums every time I hear it. I was in line at Krispy Kream in June of 2020 when the morbidly obese manager scolded me for refusing to observe the retarded 6 feet between the dude in front of me. Hasn't that kind of been the story of all this, the tyranny of stupid people and to what degree can I put up with it? All the sudden, all hard-won conventional wisdom went right out the window, like everybody had fallen off the turnip truck some time yesterday afternoon.This walking tub of butter was scolding me about my distancing skills.
Morbidly obese manager of Krispy Kream: "Buh . . . six feet apart sir . . . buh . . . hurdur . . . "
Me: "Do you happen to have a tape measure back there? I want to get this right."
Morbidly obese manager of Krispy Kream, "Buh . . . it is marked on the ground with the stickers."
Me: "Well fuck me running!"
All the stupid shit became real. A couple of months later closer to school starting my department head wrote an email to everybody in the department about how he'd been through all the classrooms with a tape measure and stickered-off the six feet. Imagine being a Ph.D.'d professor who can ostensibly understand how small a virus is and how indoor ventilation works getting paid to ignore all that. Then, at my fall return-to-school department meeting, I realized that a Ph.D. absolutely does not correlate to understanding the size of a virus or how ventilation works. I found myself absolutely horrified, and I'm not using hyperbole here, I straight up lost sleep because several of my colleagues, Ph.D'd professors, were asking questions about how we can enforce six feet on students once they leave the building. Students, you see, had been spotted sitting together on the picnic tables and park benches, flouting the six-feet rule outside. OUTSIDE. Was it within our authority to separate them? Was it okay to call campus police on them? What do we do about "nosers"? (students who drop their masks over their noses SO THEY CAN FREELY BREATH. Don't you just adore how masks hampering breathing is just completely glossed over? Masks make it harder to breathe? What are you talking about? Hurdur).
I am not joking. All of that really happened. Ph.D'd people behaved that way. Who would have guessed that being awesome at applying queer theory to Battlestar Galactica doesn't necessarily translate to sense-making in other domains? I was as shocked as you are.
Conventional wisdom be damned. It is as if we elected a panel of outright retards, or scared English professors, to set the rules. Six feet. Wear a mask. Hurdur. Never mind that indoor ventilation systems makes standing six feet away from anyone useless, that the covid dude on the other side of Wal-Mart is spreading his covids to everyone via the air system. Hurdur. Buh. Buh.
You couldn't even aggressively comply to protest the stupid shit because they just out-stupid you by enacting Poe's law in reality. I considered wearing a hazmat suit to work, but then I thought better of it because what if that caught on? Excuse me, if one mask works, wouldn't two masks work better? Anthony Fauci agrees and starts wearing two masks. LOL. WTF? Let's see if we can get Fauci to start wearing a hazmat suit.
And what strikes me and makes me laugh is when my mind roams and I imagine an African tribe doing some voodoo rituals to ward off evil spirits. Here, Mutombo, wear this talisman on your face and the bad juju cannot touch you. Here, Kunta, spray this brew everywhere because that will definitely decrease the badness. Here, little Jimmy, wear this mask while I douse the universe in alcohol. Covid is bad juju!
I'm pretty sure my chances of dying from tripping and cracking my skull is greater than my chance of dying from Covid. I'm pretty sure it is. Can we require everyone to wear a helmet of some kind when out in public to mitigate tripping deaths? Why the fuck not? Why in the name of God aren't we making the speeding limit 35 across the board to save precious lives? Why the fuck not?
Suffice it to say, people are deeply and profoundly stupid and all the covid nonsense has been about being led by stupid people who don't understand how small a virus actually is, which, combined with lesson #1, that our leaders are cowards, and that's pretty much the covid year in a nutshell.