Left-wing journalist Taylor Lorenz has spent her fourth Christmas in isolation because she still fears COVID-19 and believes people who don’t wear masks are murderers. “I very much judge anyone who participates in the social murder of disabled people just because it’s the holidays,” she tweeted.
Lorenz went on to announce that she would once again miss out on Christmas celebrations because “selfish people can’t be bothered to mask.”
The Washington Post writer has a history of lashing out about coronavirus restrictions, and in 2022, she reacted with fury when the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended relaxing its COVID guidelines. She described herself as “immunocompromised and medically vulnerable” and said people refusing to follow stringent restrictions were putting her life at risk.
The efficacy or otherwise of masking to combat COVID has been hotly disputed, and some experts believe it had little or no impact. Former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Antony Fauci, appeared to change his view as the pandemic wore on. In 2020, he said, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask,” but later expressed concern that people may not wear them if virus figures rose again.
The Cochrane Library produced a report in January 2023, written by several doctors, concluding that masking was likely ineffective. “Masks have become political,” said one of the authors. “I can’t tell you whether they work or don’t work. But it’s more likely than not that they don’t work,” the doctor added.
The National Library of Medicine has studied the politicization of masking and found that Republicans are more likely to oppose it and Democrats more likely to be in favor. The report attributed this to attitudes toward freedom, which differ between free market proponents and those with socialist leanings.
Conservative commentator John Feehery said adherence to masking is symbolic of authoritarianism and control, and so is popular on the left.