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NYT writer David Leonhardt's approach to how we should 'be thinking about masks at this point in the pandemic' is refreshingly reasonable

Yesterday, Dr. Leana Wen revealed the shocking news that the highly restrictive policies set in place to protect Americans from COVID have actually had some pretty serious negative effects on a lot of people, leading to, among other things, an increase in the prevalence of alcoholism. Who could’ve foreseen a problem like that? Other than anyone with even a rudimentary grasp on the importance of good mental health?

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Anyway, it’s OK for Dr. Wen to point out that the pandemic has hurt people’s mental health because the Democrats are in charge (for now, at least) and because even people who were very gung-ho about the need for lockdowns and heavy restrictions at the outset of the pandemic have realized the damage those policies have caused.

And now people like New York Times senior writer David Leonhardt, who has written about the havoc that COVID mitigation efforts have wreaked on kids, can talk more about how attempts to stop the spread of COVID have a record of backfiring, without being terrified of as much blowback as they would’ve gotten before.

Now it can be said:

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Exactly. There doesn’t seem to be any real scientific logic behind the desire to force people to wear masks in public indefinitely.

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And even people who oppose perma-masking are fine with others who choose to wear masks. Even without a mandate, people are free to continue to wear their masks wherever and whenever they want. The problem is when the people who decide to continue to mask up expect everyone else to do the same, even if it’s not scientifically or medically necessary.

Like exceptions for athletes or celebrities or liberal politicians.

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Leonhardt’s thread takes a very reasonable and thoughtful approach to masking and mask mandates and COVID mitigation — so naturally it will still piss off hardcore pro-mask-mandate advocates. But if the government is even remotely interested in sound COVID policy going forward, they’ll take a long, hard look at what Leonhardt has said and take it to heart.

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