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masking mandates

Mask Mandates in Healthcare Facilities are the Evilest of them All


Of all the odious evils prosecuted by the government and medical establishments throughout the pandemic, mask mandates remain the paradigmatic visual symbol of the senseless capital-‘S’ Science quackery so destructive to society that contributed nothing towards mitigating covid disease or transmission.

Thankfully, mask mandates have become so politically toxic that the mainstream media – however reluctantly – felt compelled to acknowledge this. Even in California, the zenith of untrammeled covid zealotry, public health officials were forced to backtrack from attempts to reinstate mask mandates in the face of public backlash.

Yet facemasks continue to be required in one area of public life: healthcare. To this day, many if not most hospitals and doctor’s offices require patients and staff alike to mask up from the moment they step foot inside.

Superficially, although reviled by most, mask mandates in healthcare settings nevertheless possess a patina of legitimacy not found in any other arena. Facemasks, especially the ubiquitous blue surgical masks, were indelibly etched upon the psyche as commonplace within medical facilities before the pandemic struck. It is doubtful that mask requirements in healthcare settings would have otherwise persisted far beyond their expiration date everywhere else without this prior cultural acclimatization to masks in healthcare settings.

This is devilishly ironic, in a perverse sense. Mask requirements in healthcare facilities are the most indefensible and unconscionable of them all. It is hard to find a practice more corrosive to patient welfare and the provision of medical care than mask mandates.

That mask mandates in healthcare settings were even contemplated, let alone enacted and enforced, is categorically insane. A medical institution is at its core an enterprise organized to advance the welfare of patients (at least in theory and rhetoric, which is not insignificant even though the practical implementation is sorely lacking). Forcibly masking patients imposes medical harm; causes patients physical and emotional distress; poisons the doctor-patient relationship; pits the patient against the medical staff now doubling as mask police; and, worst of all, dethrones individual patient welfare as the overarching priority in favor of the welfare of a nebulously characterized ‘everyone else’ – among other detrimental effects (to be fleshed out in more detail below).

Masking patients is a uniquely pernicious annulment of patient welfare as the North Star anchoring medical ethos. Masking patients is inherently a savagely violent desecration of “primum non nocere” – first, do no harm. Masking patients amounts to medical molestation, a depraved abuse of patients already suffering from medical maladies, one that also substantially interferes with and cripples patient care. Contrast mask requirements to vaccine mandates – as evil and deadly as those are – that at least in the abstract can be theoretically justified with [false] insinuations about the necessity and efficacy of a vaccine. Administering a vaccine is not an inherently harmful act by definition like masking a patient is.

Not to be outdone, the insulation of mainstream medicine from any factual or scientific predicate rivals its towering moral calumny. Mask requirements for healthcare facilities continue to be sustained in the face of an unrelenting flurry of fatal knockout blows struck by study after study finding that, as a purely scientific matter, masks of any kind are wholly inutile amulets bereft of any discernible impact on the transmission or epidemiology of respiratory viruses.

Indeed, never has so much been perpetrated by so few upon so many on the basis of so little.

Unfortunately, the inevitable consequence of societal desensitization to the unnaturalness of facemasks in healthcare settings is that people have been similarly desensitized and fail to notice the profound transformation of the fundamental character and orientation of healthcare and medicine. Conversely, the ferocious mauling of medical ethics shows no sign of abating despite covid receding from the forefront of political controversy.

If we are to reverse course, it is imperative that we eviscerate the veneer of normalcy shrouding the diabolical nature of the abhorrent pandemic policies the medical establishment stubbornly persists in maintaining. It is the aim of this article to convey a sense of the profoundly abusive nature of healthcare mask mandates – the lynchpin propping up the pandemic-minted Medical Reich.

A few pointers by way of introduction:

  • The following list is intended to highlight and flesh out a few of the more central and destructive harms caused by masks. Bear in mind that this list is neither complete nor are the individual examples fleshed out to the fullest degree possible.
  • There is a large amount of overlapping between the various things enumerated here.
  • These are general principles only. They are not true for every healthcare professional in every situation – people are different and are differently disposed or susceptible to various psychological dynamics. Likewise, different people experience different effects in varying degrees.

Why are healthcare mask mandates so corrosive to the practice of medicine?

Category #1: Masks directly inflict a variety of harms upon patients

I wrote a separate piece detailing many of the less easily cognizable harms inflicted by facemasks that are generally applicable here. However, there are unique harms caused by masking patients in healthcare settings not applicable generally.

Patients are in a uniquely vulnerable position. They come afflicted with an ailment. They are at the mercy of doctors and nurses to take care of their medical needs; and oftentimes, of their basic physical and emotional needs as well. They do not understand the technical details of their illness. They don’t understand how different treatments may or may not cure or affect their health. They are beholden to doctors, who fulfill a modern equivalent of medieval religious interlocution of priests as the channel between G-d and the illiterate peasants. They are often in a precarious position, where a slight nudge can topple them into an acute crisis or even death.

In other words, forcing masks on them is wantonly destructive and evil:

Masks cause patients physical discomfort

Masks can be very uncomfortable physically. Inflicting additional suffering upon patients who are already suffering is harmful to their health and just plain evil. Physical distress is known to lead to worse health outcomes in general.

Masks cause patients emotional distress

Emotional distress is perhaps an even greater threat to patient welfare and recovery than physical suffering. Forced masking can be emotionally devastating:

  • Being masked can make you feel dehumanized. And even if it doesn’t, it still dehumanizes you to others. Feeling perceived by others as even somewhat dehumanized is distressful.
  • Masking patients tends to make them feel isolated socially and emotionally, which is distressful. See the above linked article for a more fleshed-out explanation of the myriad ways that this is true.
  • Masking rules make patients feel uncared for, or at least that they are only cared for conditionally – it conveys a clear vibe that if you don’t mask you are inherently problematic, which can be psychologically devastating to a vulnerable patient, especially one for whom masking is very unpleasant to begin with.
  • Mask requirements make patients feel that the doctors and nurses see and relate to them adversarially (especially because they tend to be enforced by the very doctors and nurses who are providing their medical care and treatment).
  • Mask rules are inherently stressful because of the various harmful effects they have, plus patients can be constantly concerned and thinking about their masks.
  • Masking requirements inevitably lead to strained physician/nurse-patient interactions. For instance, when a patient isn’t wearing their mask properly when a doctor or nurse comes into their room, a tense interaction often ensues. Negative interactions are unhealthy.

There are plenty of other manifestations of deleterious emotional impact from masking, but the above hopefully is sufficient to convey a clear enough sense of this.

Masks interfere with doctor-patient communication

It is essential for medical staff to be able to communicate clearly with patients. Masks can be a big obstacle to this. Masks make physically communicating difficult and cumbersome. Masks also hurt communication by promoting a generally stressful atmosphere, which makes communicating burdensome.

People tend to avoid stressful or unpleasant situations, even sometimes to their clear detriment. If a patient feels that medical staff are inattentive to their needs, don’t respect them, or dislike them, they are less likely to report a new or worsening symptom to a doctor or nurse.

Masks can cause medical injuries

Mask wearing, especially prolonged use, can cause skin conditions, infections, and physical deformities (especially the ears). Furthermore, for patients who are already in poor health, introducing additional physiological stressors can make their health conditions significantly worse.

Category #2: Affecting the relationship paradigm of healthcare providers and patients

The doctor-patient relationship is a crucial indispensable component of medicine. Patients need to feel that their doctor – and other medical staff involved in their care – genuinely cares about them and will act in their best interests. Mask requirements transform the relationship paradigm of healthcare providers with patients from sympathetic allies to adversarial (and sometimes adversarial combatants):

Masks dehumanize patients

The face is the primary visible manifestation of a person’s humanity. Masking patients leads doctors to have less regard for patient welfare, simply because they are bereft of the routine exposures to the patients where they experience the patient’s humanity.

There is another, more odious detrimental impact of masking patients: Facial expressions are the primary window into a patient’s suffering (this is also true for a patient’s family). Seeing a patient’s suffering is an indispensable component of the doctor-patient relationship that helps to keep a doctor mentally and emotionally focused on a patient’s welfare. Doctors cannot thwart human nature even if they tried to be hypervigilant about this; it is inevitable that their emotional awareness and empathy for a patient’s suffering will be diminished by masking the patient.

Masks are destructive to feeling compassion for patients

One of the most important traits to anyone who treats patients is compassion.

Compassion for patients, and a patient’s suffering, is critical for the mental and emotional health of a patient. Patients treated without compassion typically feel helpless, isolated, afraid, and/or depressed – all of which are detrimental to a patient’s health.

Compassion is also equally critical for a physician’s ability to treat a patient properly. Patients can often be difficult to deal with (and often far more than merely difficult). Healthcare providers are also frequently, if not usually tired or stressed, mental states that predispose a person to have less pleasant social interactions and negatively affect the quality of a person’s performance or output. Feeling a sense of compassion towards a patient is a powerful counterforce that pushes a doctor to overcome the impulses of human nature to be less attentive or professionally lazier (and surely less combative with surly patients who can try one’s tolerance).

Mask requirements are antithetical to maintaining a healthy sense of compassion towards patients. Compassion for a patient brings a doctor to empathize with the patient, and puts the doctor in the frame of mind where they are focused on how to advance the patient’s health. Mask requirements train doctors to not only deprioritize patient welfare for a nebulous collective benefit, they actively force doctors to violate their sense of compassion by imposing harm upon patients. Nothing is as destructive to maintaining compassion as actively violating it every waking moment.

Additionally, the dehumanization of patients by masking them undermines one’s ability to feel compassion simply because compassion for someone emanates in large part from the recognition of their humanity.

A separate shocking manifestation of the erosive effects of masking on doctors’ compassion is the failure by medical personnel to exercise independent judgment for even the most outrageous applications of across-the-board masking on patients. The savagery and lunacy of forcing women to give birth while masked – often despite multiple negative covid tests – is an abomination that cannot be captured by mere words. Neither was any mercy was to be had for patients who had prior traumas, such as sexual abuse, that made it psychologically traumatic to wear a mask. There used to be a general sense that medical personnel could and would skirt rules a bit where the application of a rule would be obviously egregious. No more.

Masks condition doctors that patient preferences and choice are unimportant

One of the foundational principles enshrined in the Nuremberg Code and in subsequent charters of medical ethics is that patient choice and consent are sacred and inviolable.

As a practical matter, maintaining a sense of the sacred character of patient consent requires a few things:

  1. Seeing the patient as having their own best interests at heart
  2. Seeing the patient as having the capacity to make reasonable, rational choices
  3. Seeing the patient as possessing the unequivocal right to exercise their free will to give or refuse consent to any medical intervention

Absent even one of these, it becomes impossible to truly regard a patient’s autonomy as sacrosanct. Masking patients demolishes all three:

  1. By definition, mask requirements instill and reinforce a sense that left to their own devices, non-healthcare professionals would not take simple and obvious steps to save their own lives and the lives of others. If you regard someone as being careless with their own life, literally, you will not see them as having their best interests at heart. Rather, you are liable to fancy yourself and your fellow “elites” as a necessary paternalistic caretaker of the peasants who would be hopelessly lost without you to dictate to them how to live.
  2. Mandating masks in healthcare facilities is a powerful message – a message that doctors are unceasingly bombarded with at every turn inside a healthcare facility – that patients and non healthcare professionals are incapable of being rational. Otherwise, masking would not be an issue in the first place, let alone something that required a mandate with vigilant enforcement.
  3. Forced masking is a blatant violation of patient autonomy to refuse medical intervention. It is even a violation of their basic welfare, because masks inflict a variety of harms upon patients (see below). Someone whose welfare you can actively harm is definitely not someone whose autonomy is significant, let alone sacred.

Masks condition doctors that patients are troglodyte idiots

It is worth emphasizing this aspect by itself. A person treats someone far better if they regard them as intelligent and rational. Masking has been one of the focal points of dispute between the medical establishment and the half of society who essentially reject the medical establishment. Laypeople looking for something or someone that articulated their clear intuition that the medical community is fraudulent on an institutional level are wont to turn to spurious sources or theories in lieu of competent professionals (who were ruthlessly censored from the public square). Medical professionals see this and interpret it as “these people are irrational Luddites incapable of basic logical thinking.” Viewing your patients this way tends to make you belittle them in your mind, which is not conducive to providing top-notch care to say the least.

Mask requirements condition doctors that patients are morally inferior

Doctors and nurses, especially those who went all-in on the mask cult, can easily come to view patients as morally inferior on account of their reluctance to mask up all the time, or even for expressing “mask hesitancy.”

Fundamentally, the entire mask regime is a giant flexing of an elitist instinct that the medical community is the enlightened class of society that can mandate such transformational and devastating diktats on a whim. Keeping the masks inside of healthcare facilities reinforces this complex, sort of like “On our home turf we still can follow our enlightened superior knowledge and intellects.”

Masks negatively influence moral and ethical judgements about patient care

Masks devalue and dehumanize patients to doctors (e.g. all of the other points listed here). Patients and their families also sometimes cause doctors stress and aggravation because of their recalcitrance about masking. It is humanly impossible to have the same respect when it comes to moral questions for patients that you viscerally disparage, even a little, compared to patients you don’t – or before the doctor-patient dynamic was broken by the pandemic.

On a more basic level, the simple act of disparaging a patient’s welfare and autonomy is itself a fundamental rejiggering of moral imperatives regarding patient rights and welfare – and not in a good way.

Masking takes focus away from patient needs

Healthcare staff have a finite amount of energy and alacrity to expend. If they are mentally and emotionally concerned with worrying about or enforcing mask compliance, that is coming out of their focus and efforts to actually treat patients.

Masking elevates the baseline fear and neurosis of doctors

It is harder to take care of patients when you fear interacting with patients might kill you. Masking elevates the baseline level of fear about covid (and now other respiratory viruses too).

Masking makes it more difficult to think about patient cases

It is human nature that it is stressful to think about things that are unpleasant. If the doctor/nurse-patient relationship is burdened by various stressors as a result of mask requirements, medical staff will not be as engaged with the details of a patient’s particular case. The consequences of this are obvious.

Additionally, people tend not to exert themselves on behalf of someone they feel negatively towards, which forcibly masking patients definitely tends to lead to.

Healthcare workers become mask police instead of doctors whose primary objective is to help their patient

When you implement a mask requirement for a medical facility, the staff become enforcers of the mask rules (some healthcare staff embrace this role more zealously than others).

It is impossible for someone to relate to a patient as a genuine caretaker who puts the health and welfare of the patient as the top priority, while also enforcing masking upon the patient to their extreme detriment:

  • Masks inflict suffering upon patients who do not wish to wear them, sometimes very significant physical and mental discomfort.

Thus by enforcing mask compliance, a doctor or nurse is actively perpetrating harm to the patient. Actively harming your patients habituates and internalizes to you to not relate to patients as their friend and advocate who is unreservedly looking out for the patient’s welfare.

  • Conscription (or worse, voluntarily taking the initiative) to the hospital “mask police” internalizes to staff that there is a competing priority that can supersede a patient’s welfare – ensuring they’re wearing their masks, and in the right way too. This is different from routine hospital rules (which themselves are often ill-advised and undermine patient care to some degree) because masking is treated as a higher priority than almost anything else.
  • Imposition of mask requirements tend to instill in the minds of healthcare workers, even those who are initially resistant to the idea, that unmasked patients pose a mortal peril to their own health. It is impossible to relate to a patient as their caretaker who is 100 percent on their side if you feel the patient is potentially a threat to you. This is all the more true when dealing with a patient who resists masking, for then you also tend to feel that the patient is actively hurting you and being inconsiderate to the possibility they might literally kill you.
  • Masking dehumanizes people, including patients. This is exacerbated when you are an enforcer of the dehumanization. It is far more difficult to feel the proper doctor-patient relationship when the patient is dehumanized and you are an active participant.

Dehumanizing your patients is also by definition a major affront to the patient’s welfare. One’s complicity in enforcing this internalizes a fundamentally skewed notion of the primacy of patient welfare (or lack thereof).

  • The very act and disposition of enforcing a rule is itself an intrinsic act of putting something else above the patient’s well-being, which internalizes that the patient’s welfare is not the top priority. (To be fair, if this were the only issue, it would not necessarily be all that significant.)

Basically, conscripting staff to enforce a mask mandate is extremely corrosive to healthcare staff relating to themselves and to patients in anything resembling the sacred doctor-patient dynamic upon which the practice of medicine is predicated.

Masks can cause staff to regard patients as their enemy

Healthcare staff – especially those who have been brainwashed into ‘true believers’ – have been conditioned to regard masks as vitally important to save their lives, without which the patients pose a mortal peril to them. They have also been conditioned to think of masks as a trivial inconvenience at most.

When patients resist wearing their masks, or resist wearing them properly, healthcare staff relate to the patients as threats to their lives; and it’s not merely that they pose a mortal peril – in their minds, such patients are practically evil incarnate who are willing to risk the lives of staff and other patients because of a minor inconvenience.

Masks perpetuate profound subconscious emotional insecurity in healthcare professionals

Most of society by now regards the medical profession to some degree as having lost much of their prestige, if not outright being broken morally, scientifically and institutionally. And not merely broken, but complicit in ruthlessly pushing voodoo quackery while causing the needless deaths of millions and the horrific suffering of perhaps even billions.

This is true even for many people who are not ready to consciously admit this to themselves – they still have a sense, even if vague, that the above allegations are at least like shadows over the medical profession.

It is hard to understate how mentally and emotionally devastating it can be to feel ridiculed and scorned, held in low or no esteem, or regarded as evil by society or a segment of society. This is orders of magnitude worse when you recognize deep down that society is correct in their approbation.

Medical professionals strongly identify with the established medical institutions and culture. People are generally adept at maintaining a conscious state of being in denial while subconsciously suffering a maelstrom of dissonant emotions that comes from living in contradiction to what you know deep down is true.

Masks, as the most strongly associated totem of the pandemic, are a constant antagonist that confronts medical professionals every moment on the job with a visible reminder dredging up their internal dissonance. Masks represent not only the utter ineptitude of the medical profession, but also its profound moral and scientific fraud they were and still are complicit and partner to as members of the mainstream medical community. This can be a brutal challenge to their personal and professional identities that are in large part based upon their status as mainstream medical professionals with letters after their names.

Medical professionals (accurately) see many patients – or patients as a group – as their enemies whose mere existence is an indictment on their worldview and sense of self – “How can the conspiracy theorists be right and us the enlightened be wrong!?”

Continued mask requirements inside of healthcare facilities keeps these wounds raw. Festering emotional insecurities and resentment are broadly unhealthy and deleterious – and surely undermine the quality of care to patients by these medical professionals.

Category #3: Mask policies in healthcare corrupts the ethical foundations of medicine

Mask policies in healthcare settings divorce medicine of its ethical moorings:

Mask requirements fundamentally replace individual patient welfare as the overarching priority of medicine

This is not a light or transient breach of medical ethics. The corruption of medicine to serve something besides for the patient is one of the enduring scourges synonymous with the Nazis. Their success in conscripting doctors to commit some of the worst atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust stands as a warning and exhortation to be practically neurotic about ensuring medical practice does not ever again venture in that direction, even imperceptibly.

Masking patients – in other words, tormenting and abusing patients in ways severely harmful to their health and well-being – is an active evil committed anew each moment on each patient.

Mask requirements conditions doctors to embrace apartheid ideologically and in practice

Masking differentiates patients on a moral scale – those who comply are good, those who resist are deemed bad. Doctors and nurses relate to the “bad” patients with far more apathy and disregard. This also affects the ‘good’ patients, because once a doctor treats some patients poorly, it bleeds over into his interactions with all patients.

Masking leads to moral and emotional fatigue/burnout

One of the primary motivations and inspirations for most healthcare workers is the desire to help people. Helping people brings one a sense of deep satisfaction and contentment; something which is critical to help cope with the physical and mental exhaustion of long shifts and the often very difficult, stressful job it is to take care of patients.

Masking, by creating all the above mentioned negative dynamics, strips away much of the innate sense of personal satisfaction and achievement that comes from being there for and genuinely helping patients. This kicks off a vicious cycle where quality care is further impacted, leading to less satisfaction and more stress, et al. It also is one of the major drivers of a serious burnout problem in medical personnel (and is not something that can be sustained long-term).

Masking causes doctors to become [more] narcissistic

The whole dynamic of “We know better to such an extent that we can force you into deeply unpleasant and distressing behaviors that can be quite damaging because you’re not smart enough to make independent choices” is a massive narcissistic ego boost to anyone who identifies with the medical community.

The more narcissistic a person is, the less capacity they have to see the possibility of their own fallibility, which is disastrous when it comes to treating patients where mistakes are commonplace.

Masking makes it harder for doctors to admit error in general

Masking is a flashpoint between the mainstream medical community and a now-massive and still growing portion of society. Because their authority is implicated in a cosmic struggle over the pandemic-related policies, they instinctively feel that any admission of error undermines their authority in general.

This is true on a deeper level as well – mainstream doctors as individuals cannot escape the cacophonous internal dissonance of their personal identities bound up in the legitimacy of the medical institutions clashing with the profound failures that exposed the mainstream medical institutions as fraudulent and evil. They are also extra-sensitive to insults against medical authority, because a major lynchpin of the political wars fought over the pandemic policies was the contention that medical authority is largely fraudulent and illegitimate.

Never has so much been perpetrated by so few upon so many on the basis of so little.

Published under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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  • Aaron Hertzberg

    Aaron Hertzberg is a writer on all aspects of the pandemic response. You can find more of his writing at his Substack: Resisting the Intellectual Illiteratti.

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