Unmasking the Controversial, Exhausting, and Miserable Mask Mandate Controversy

THE DOCTOR IS IN-As mentioned in my last CityWatch article, let's make something clear: the biggest problem with COVID-19 are the competing messages and conflicting narratives that confuse virtually everyone. 

And we're tired. So very tired. We want our lives back. We are frustrated with those who both claim to "follow the science" and those who appear to be "refuting the science," and "experts" have their own agendas...but lack sufficient and universal credibility. 

But let's cut to the chase -- and screw Biden, Trump, Fauci, our political leaders, and all the overpaid "experts" who think we're all stupid: 

  • 96% of surveyed American physicians report having been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Let THAT be your overarching answer to the question of "should I consider getting vaccinated," because most doctors do "follow the science." Many are very conservative and/or very Republican, and others are very liberal and/or are very Democrat. . .but like their apolitical colleagues, they're ALL getting vaccinated!!! 

  • The greater the percentage of a population that is vaccinated, the more EVERYONE is protected. This is the "herd immunity" that prevents or slows the ability of a virus to bounce around from person to person because those people are immunized from either vaccination or prior infection. 

Also, with the increasing spread of variants, those of us vaccinated with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will enjoy the greatest likelihood of protection for the immediate future. Previous COVID-19 infection absolutely DOES protect against other, older variants, but less so entirely to the new Delta Variant. 

Therefore, only in Israel, where virtually EVERYONE is vaccinated, can the Delta Variant exist and increase dramatically in the incidence of infections, but yet society and mask mandates need not occur. 

Until the evening of Saturday, July 17, masks were no longer are needed in public places but were still required in medical settings, on public transport, and in large indoor gatherings. As of now, a new mask mandate exists for ALL indoor settings such as grocery stores, salons, and restaurants. 

There are NO business closures, however, so access to businesses and both private and public venues is unaffected. 

Is the new mask mandate a cynical way to twist the arms of the un-vaccinated to finally get vaccinated? 

Perhaps. But while I have personal concerns about the effects of the new mask mandate, I just don't want anyone to die...and hospitalizations and deaths ARE occurring. 

The stated purpose of the new mask mandate is to protect the un-vaccinated, because while some vaccinated have gotten sick from the Delta Variant of the COVID-19 that started in India several months ago, it is the un-vaccinated who are getting the most sick and dying because of this new and hyper-contagious outbreak. 

18,000 Americans died of COVID-19 in May 2021. Less than 1% of those who died (approximately 150 Americans who had comorbid conditions) were vaccinated. Let THAT number sink in, just like the 96% figure of all doctors getting vaccinated. 

  • Things likely will get tougher this fall and winter as the weather cools and people head back indoors and gather together. 

The CDC is conducting studies on the need for booster shots, because both COVID-19's older variants and the newer Delta Variant that started in India are on the rise. 

It is MY OWN OPINION ALONE that some who are immunocompromised, and who are around seniors and patients more than others, or who have certain illnesses that prevent a proper response to vaccination WILL need a booster shot at some point. 

Until then, we must all figure out how to stay safe and sane. Some political leaders need to be recalled, and others need our support. 

But ultimately, we all need to survive this. Don't let the political agendas and mixed messages get to you. Just do what's right and do so with the advice of a doctor. 

Because the confusion of dealing with this virus is being potentially made WORSE by the new mask mandate. . .despite the fact that there are plenty of good reasons to support this despised and wretched (yet necessary!) mandate.


(Kenneth S. Alpern, M.D, is a dermatologist who has served in clinics in Los Angeles, Orange, and Riverside Counties, and is a proud husband and father to two cherished children and a wonderful wife. He was termed out of the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) twice after two stints as a Board member for 8-9 years and is also a Board member of the Westside Village Homeowners Association. He previously co-chaired the MVCC Outreach, Planning, and Transportation/Infrastructure Committees. He was previously co-chair of the CD11 Transportation Advisory Committee, the grassroots Friends of the Green Line (which focused on a Green Line/LAX connection), and the nonprofit Transit Coalition, and can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in this article are solely those of Dr. Alpern.) Image: CBS. Prepped for CityWatch by Linda Abrams.