It’s that time of year again. That time when a cool, crisp breeze greets you on the way to work. That time when our hopes and dreams are built to a peak and dashed to pieces in the span of four quarters of football. That time when the kitchen smells of harvest time — soups, casseroles and pies — permeate our homes. That time when you look over to see the person next to you wearing a mask … in his car … alone … again.  

Brace yourselves for fall. Here come the words and actions of poorly informed, politically motivated and superstitious people.

Recently, 1819 News reported that officials in Dallas County will be pushing mask mandates in their government buildings. You heard me. Mask mandates … again. I find myself asking the same question that runs through my head about the ancient Israelites disobeying God (and my two boys disobeying me): “Ain’t y’all learned nothing?”

Obviously, it’s not just parts of Alabama throwing their collective clown hat back into the circus ring, either. Multiple outlets have also reported that an elementary school in Montgomery County, Md., is reinstating mask mandates for some kids. Not just any mask either – the N95 mask. That’s right, Dallas County, Ala., you heard correctly. The D.C. area will see your whatever-you-got-in-your-pocket mask for adults and raise you a tight-fitting N95 for children. Take that!

Surely it’s because the D.C. area just knows better, right? I mean, after all, they are D.C. They’re nothing if not urbane, cosmopolitan … they represent the height of intellectual modernity. We’re just, well … Alabama. Surely they have it right and the majority of Alabama has it wrong about this whole masking thing?

Wrong.   

If common sense is a superpower (and it has arguably become so), then the majority of Alabama and places like us all over the U.S. are now the Fortress of Solitude. Masks never passed the sniff test for many people. I was one physician who called bull from the very beginning, stopping routine masking in my clinic just after welcoming the new year in 2021 (inciting anger from a few fellow physicians who called me “dangerous”).

There was no scientific data to support masking (especially in children) then, and there certainly is none now. The best data we have currently is a Cochrane review (a massive review of all available literature on a specific topic) which speaks against mask mandates. Masks are, as many of us suspected in the beginning, useless in terms of stopping community spread of COVID-19. They are nothing but magical face amulets on par with the ancient Greek tradition of bleeding out the evil humors as well as the use of Vick’s (magical) vapor rub. (I realize I’m stepping on toes here. Sorry, Mom.)  

While we’re on the topics of COVID-19, public health and data, let me remind everyone there is nearly no evidence to show our worry about kids contracting this virus is needed. Furthermore, there is zero evidence that reporting your COVID status to schools/employers, engaging in school closures/lockdowns, or receiving COVID boosters have helped to slow the spread. Just because something is bad doesn’t mean your intervention is good … and it could even lead to more harm.

If you desire some logical suggestions from a primary care physician who cares about the truth, try these on for size:

  • If you or your kid is sick, stay home. When everyone’s feeling better, go back to work and school. 

  • Don’t report your illness to the school or your employer. “I’m taking a sick day” has always been a good reason to stay home, and it’s just as valid a reason today. Just leave it at that. If the only thing a school system or employer is going to do with you reporting COVID is implement meaningless, harmful actions that don’t stop the spread of a virus – but do threaten your livelihood or your kid’s education – why fuel the fire of those measures? Take your sick day like a responsible adult/parent, then get back to life. 

  • Stop testing yourself at home for COVID; the doctor is just going to guide you to conservative therapy (Tylenol, hydration, rest, etc.). The data on Paxlovid is becoming increasingly bleak, and it’s nonexistent for people who received the original vaccination and/or have recovered from a prior COVID infection … which is basically everyone. Don’t delay care, though. If you feel sick enough to go to the doctor, then go to the doctor.

  • Don’t take another vaccination unless there is sufficient evidence that it will benefit someone in your age group. Hint: To date, there has been ZERO data that COVID boosters prevent infection or spread of the virus. Dr. Fauci had plenty of time and money to study viral spread, masking, vaccination, etc. He chose not to, yet the White House, the CDC, the FDA and that one purple-headed girl at Starbucks continue to say, “Masks and vaccinations for everyone.” 

It’s time to call a spade a spade. It’s time to stop living in fear. It’s time for us all to use the common sense and backbones God gave us and get back to exercising our individual liberties. Do not comply with mask mandates; do not be bullied into vaccinations; do NOT fear man. Fear God and proceed from there.

Andrew Hodges is an internal medicine physician in his hometown of Scottsboro, Alabama. He's blessed to have a wonderful wife and two knucklehead boys. When not with them, he enjoys running, boating, playing guitar, and studying Christian theology/apologetics.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected].

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