Photo of NY City Subway poster, shared on social media. This attempts to shame people using persuasion methods of emotion, fear, get on the bandwagon, and false dilemma.
Numerous studies have investigated mask wearing to stop Covid and the summary is:
- cloth facial coverings did not work at all,
- surgical masks in some situations had limited benefit,
- and N95 masks, properly fitted, properly warn everywhere and properly handled, disposed of and replaced frequently appear to have benefits.
The general public mostly used cloth mask or sometimes surgical masks demonstrating little to no benefit. Any benefit, if there was a benefit, was to delay, not eliminate disease. Further, most cases spread in the home and via close social contacts – times when no one is wearing a mask.
An individual N95 mask, used correctly, can help individuals, but a generic population wide mask mandate had little to no effect: a majority of the U.S. population and almost everyone in the U.K. are estimated to have had Covid which implies the mitigations had little impact. Most pandemics last 1-3 years and end on their own eventually.
Thus, if anyone sees this poster and thinks for a moment, they may be turned off by the messaging. Those who are not part of the mask religion have valid reasons to be skeptical but public health refuses to address those observations and questions.