A Shrink Thinks

Face masks and phylacteries

Face masks and phylacteries
Alan Thomas
Alan Thomas Professor and Consultant in Psychiatry. Elder at Newcastle Reformed Evangelical Church.
07 January, 2023 4 min read

‘Why are they still wearing them?’ I have kept asking myself, when seeing other doctors wandering around hospitals in face masks. After all, we knew from before Covid-19 that such masks were only for use in operations and similar procedures, and that elsewhere they are useless, not designed or able to stop airborne viral infections.  

The Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and others said as much back in March 2020, before political imperatives trumped him and the world went mad and we were all told to wear them all over the place. But why now, when we have finally accepted we have to live with Covid-19 along with the many other mutating viruses circulating in the world?

Like modern virtue signallers, the Pharisees of the New Testament period wanted people to know they were good people, righteous men. It wasn’t enough to live by the large and complex set of rules and regulations that had gradually accrued in their tradition. They needed to advertise their righteousness.

I can understand why some people in the general population have continued to do so. The indoctrination during the pandemic scared some people about Covid-19 and propagandised them into believing face masks have some value. So I understand why some of my patients still wear them (especially those who have severe illnesses) and in such circumstances I will too, for their sake.

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