No mask mandates are not like seatbelt laws

These comparisons are stupid, with respect.

First of all, wearing a seatbelt has no real negative impacts on those do so. The inconvenience is either trivial or nil.

Being forced to wear a mask has significant negative impacts. A few:

  • Masks not cleaned properly can develop bacteria and fungi
  • Some masks have microfibres which can get into your lungs as foreign bodies
  • People with asthma or lung problems can find it hard to breathe well while wearing a mask
  • If you have glasses, they can fog up while wearing a mask making it hard to see
  • It is difficult to communicate clearly while wearing a mask
  • It is harder to recognise people when they are wearing a mask
  • Non-verbal communication such as smiling is lost when wearing a mask

These are not trivial things. Making it harder for people to breathe, to see, to hear and to communicate is significant.

Then we turn to the benefits. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of and/or serious injury in a car crash by around 50%,

Wearing a mask does reduce your chance of getting Covid-19 and spreading it, which is good. But Covid-19 is endemic, and almost everyone is going to catch it at least once, if not several times. A mask mandate at best may slow down the speed of infection, but it doesn’t save your life like a seat belt does in a car crash.

I personally still wear a mask at various indoor venues, even when not legally obliged to. But I (and most people) are not going to spent the next 30 years wearing face masks indoors.

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