I’m of the “It’s not a conspiracy when they tell you to your face what they’re doing”.
The push to suddenly drop mask mandates was not about science. Or rather it wasn’t about medical science, but about psychology.
Dropping mask mandates for the vaccinated was supposed to incentivize people to get vaccinated. Numerous politicians said variations of, “Get vaccinated or wear a mask” out loud.
At least if you count Twitter as being ‘loud’.
Multiple media stories echoed the same theme from a more game theory perspective.
When it gave permission to fully vaccinated Americans to shed their masks in many situations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made a tacit gamble: that easing mask rules will inspire more people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
This wasn’t science. It was an Obama-era’ nudge’.
To whatever extent it succeeded, its benefits have lapsed because fewer people are getting vaccinated. And so masks are being brought back.
Again this has little to do with science. Masks have been used all along as a ‘market signal’ to pressure people into doing one thing or another.
No one, from Fauci on down, takes masks particularly seriously as preventative tools. They’re a social signal meant to shape how people act.
This particular bait-and-switch will infuriate even true believers because all the freedom declarations were a completely insincere feint driven by the expectation that the public would react a particular way. Even though much of the public is vaccinated, masks are being brought back because this particular tactic, announcing a reopening, has outlived its usefulness. And this is how the pandemic has been mismanaged all along. There’s been a whole lot of gaslighting, a lot of claims of ‘science, but mostly it’s been all about managing the public.
Real science is unglamorous and was invented by dead white men. Manipulating people to achieve social goals is the essence of government.