By LINDA BOYLE
Recently, a federal appeals court in New Jersey shot down plaintiffs’ refusal to wear a mask during a school board meeting in 2022. New Jersey still had mandatory mask wearing in effect due to the “public health emergency” related to Covid-19. The plaintiffs’ position was they had a protected First Amendment right to decide whether to mask or not mask.
The suit involved two ordinary citizens attending a school board meeting, who stated they had been retaliated against by their school boards for refusing to wear the mandated face covering. Because they refused to mask, both were arrested for trespassing.
Was the court’s decision based on the fear of a non-masked person more than six feet away or made because it could—a power play to demonstrate you must comply.
The court’s decision stated, “A question shadowing suits such as these is whether there is a First Amendment right to refuse to wear a protective mask as required by valid health and safety orders put in place during a recognized public health emergency. Like all courts to address this issue, we conclude there is not.”
The gist of this is that a school board can mandate that people wear any FDA Class II medical device, which is what these surgical masks are, in order to attend its meetings.
Both plaintiffs are appealing the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.
I am not a lawyer. What I wonder about, however, was what scientific data were used to push the coercive and mandatory use of masks?
What scientific data were used to abridge the plaintiff’s First Amendment rights?
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Remember how at the beginning of this “pandemic,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, aka Dr. Science, said masks were not recommended?
Then Dr. Fauci reversed himself and believed masks were needed to help “flatten the curve.”
He said he changed his recommendation when he thought there was a sufficient supply for both the medical personnel and the public.
Then there was the debate over the N95 masks. As a nurse, I was amazed at how people with beards were running around with these type masks. I know N95 masks needed special fitting and if you have a beard, a different respirator is needed, (per Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA); April 21, 2020 Volume 323, Number 15)
If masks were the “be all and end all,” why is it we are always running around without them (save some diehards) during all seasons when other respiratory diseases could easily infect us?
How effective was this “you must mask strategy” in the U.S?
Why, with all the mask mandates and social distancing, not visiting family at holidays, not being able to visit dying family members in hospitals, and running away from the unvaxxed, did the U.S. have one of the highest percentages of Covid deaths in the world?
Statistics from April of 2023 showed more than 1.13 million people in the U.S. died from/with Covid-19 over a three-year period, and during much of that time, masks were required in many public places.
There have been all types of studies on both sides as to why masks are either important or not needed. Many of these studies showed the negative effects of masking — social awkwardness for kids who couldn’t see the facial expressions of teachers and fellow students, and decreased oxygen levels, to name a few. I cannot find any compelling data to show that this was an absolute necessity to save the world during this Covid-19 experience.
What I can find is a country divided. The masks wearers and non-mask wearers. I still see people wearing a mask while driving alone in their vehicle.
A mask should be your decision, especially since there is no solid data that state the efficacy of masks. And even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in retrospect, said they weren’t effective at stopping the spread of Covid-19.
With that said, I will tell you I did wear one on airplane travel because the mask Nazis were everywhere. My mask was plain cloth that was too big so I was able to breathe easily. And I always made sure to eat my meals on the planes so I could ‘legally’ take it off.
That mask did absolutely nothing to protect me. But it made all the crazies happy.
I’m dusting it off for the next round that I know is coming. Will the next “pandemic“ also require us to wear gloves because it the contaminant is caused through contact? Maybe we need a full biohazard suit.
They are looking for just how far they can push us with their fear agenda.
Linda Boyle, RN, MSN, DM, was formerly the chief nurse for the 3rd Medical Group, JBER, and was the interim director of the Alaska VA. Most recently, she served as Director for Central Alabama VA Healthcare System. She is the director of the Alaska Covid Alliance.