Horowitz: How magical masks can achieve more than 100% efficacy

Masks are so effective that they work even when they don’t. You see, most non-pharmaceutical interventions are either effective or ineffective against this virus and can be judged based on the results. But when it comes to the unassailable majestic masks, they work so well that even when they don’t work, they create more need to wear them, precisely because they don’t work and there is still more work to be done. Confused?

In nearly every state and certainly every major city, we have seen the most dramatic social change of our lifetime with people walking around like mummies and bandits. It’s unmistakable. Even violent criminals are complying with the mask mandate while committing crimes. I have not seen a single human being indoors in any store or institution in my state of Maryland without a mask since April. According to Carnegie Mellon’s survey, there is 97% compliance statewide, yet it has not slowed the fall wave of coronavirus spread one iota.

This is true of most places, according to surveys done on mask compliance. On June 24, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said, “When at least 80% of a population adopts universal masking, it results in a substantial reduction of infection.” What are the results with 93% compliance statewide and 95% in Las Vegas?

During the Sept. 29 presidential debate, Joe Biden said, “If we just wear a mask, we can save half those numbers. Just a mask.” To that end, he plans to implement a 100-day mask mandate. But, this has already been going on for longer than 100 days, and cases exploded rather than dropping by half.

One would expect that seven months later, we would no longer need to speculate about efficacy, calculate intangible projection models, or blow particles through a simulator or mannequins in a lab. We could just look at the actual real-life results we are supposedly trying to affect.

The problem with such an overview is that it would reveal that masks have failed to stop the spread one iota. By the very admission of those most fervently supporting lockdown policies, this fall has brought about the most widespread transmission of the virus to date. In fact, they are so frantic that in places like California, they are pushing new ideas … such as lockdowns and masks.

Well, actually, they are not such new ideas. Indeed, they have been wearing masks for over 150 days and have never fully come out of the original lockdown. Yet after cases have been relatively low there for months, they are now skyrocketing. The masks have been caught red-handed, just like in the Czech Republic and every other place that had a good result until they didn’t!

The spread is so strong in Los Angeles County that it now has nearly twice as many cases per capita as Florida.


Florida already had a stronger wave in the summer, so there was more immune resistance among the population to the heavy fall wave of the virus. Whereas precisely because California had relatively few cases until recently, it is getting hit with a rapid transmission. But that is the broader point. This is all about regional seasonality and built-up immunity – 100% natural phenomena. The “virus is gonna virus” regardless of what we do. We can throw cloths on our faces as medieval superstitious sacraments to the gods of the masks, but that won’t change the fact that the virus has its own natural trajectory.

The sophomoric and ephemeral COVID observations contrasting different states and countries are getting old. The media jumps on a specific area for having a lot of cases … until that area no longer does. The media lauds an area for having few cases … until that area gets slammed. Numerous states and countries went months without problems, despite limited non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as mask-wearing. Yet nobody used that fact against the mask cult. Then when it finally spread, the transmission is blamed on not wearing masks. Conversely, all the places that were wearing masks and did well initially were touted as displays of mask magic. Then, when the cases began to soar and they clamored for lockdowns and mask mandates, they suddenly forget those places already had mandates in place.

It doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to realize that masks and lockdowns are not driving this ship. The areas that do worse later on are precisely the ones that fared better before. For reasons that are still unknown in some cases, it is simply their time to spread, but once their turns came, the fact that they had less built-up immunity made the subsequent spread even worse.

Population density also plays a big role in the timing, because the states out west with lower density got hit long after the denser eastern areas, so naturally the western states will get hit the hardest after the eastern states built up resistance for seven months while the western ones initially dodged the bullet.

One of my friends at gave an eye-opening analysis on Twitter showing the near-perfect mechanical seasonal and geographic spread patterns of the virus since the spring, which demonstrates that time and place are the active ingredients even when individual states within the same region employed very divergent policies.


Rather than having the humility to acknowledge their fallibility in the face of this virus, California officials are doubling down on blaming people for not being compliant. But have you ever seen anyone in L.A. without a mask? According to Carnegie Mellon’s daily tracking surveys through social media, 95% of people in California report wearing masks. That average includes the rural areas, so it’s likely that in places like L.A. the compliance is closer to 100%. For people who would be most responsible for spread — those working indoors for hours at a time — there is almost no establishment that would allow the individual to work without a mask. It simply doesn’t exist.

The simple fact is that the virus is spreading in California exponentially more than it did in March when nobody was wearing a mask. Does this mean masks are responsible for the spread? Not necessarily. It likely means now is a time for the virus to spread. It’s all natural. But masks are not helping. However, they continue to accept the advice of Dr. Fauci to double down on a policy that has already failed to stop the sharpest spread.

The compliance for something this draconian is actually astounding. The mask cultists have gotten everything they wanted. And like everything made in China, the masks are not working. Now it’s time for them to own the results.

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