This means that students, faculty and staff will again have to bear with the masks during classes or other indoor activities this fall. And it's not even because of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). (Related: Berkeley orders all students who refuse to get vaccinated for the FLU to wear a mask.)
The university also hogged the spotlight in late 2020 for mandating flu vaccination for all students and staff, including remote workers. Berkeley mandated the flu shot for students through the 2021-2022 school year.
In its website, UC Berkely posted that masks "are strongly recommended, but not required, indoors – regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status."
This would have been acceptable, but then the institution went one step further. It stated that masks will go from being "strongly recommended" to "required during flu season" for anyone "not vaccinated for flu."
Being a bastion of higher learning, UC Berkely should have at least informed the public on how it arrived at such decisions. But it did not even bother to provide scientific proof to support its recommendation that employees and students mask up to guard against seasonal influenza.
On August 4, the university provided an update that stated it "is not currently requiring masks, but continues to strongly recommend that masks be worn indoors," directing the reader to a link stating "facial coverings are mandatory for those unvaccinated for the flu."
Another post, however, stated students were only required to vaccinate against the flu through April 2022, which would then make it an outdated requirement.
The wearing of masks, even if it is intended for COVID, is under scrutiny worldwide. Multiple studies show that cloth and surgical masks are ineffective in stopping the spread of contagious viruses like the flu.
In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has admitted that cloth mask has never been effective as a deterrent against such viruses. Also, 47 studies confirm the ineffectiveness of masks for COVID and 32 more confirm their negative health effects.
Wearing a mask can mess with your sight; can be uncomfortable; can cause glasses to fog; can force you to inadvertently draw closer during conversations; can foster a false sense of security; can spread disease if not washed; can hurt children under two; and can cause skin irritation.
Also, the flu seems to have disappeared with the spread of COVID. According to a Scientific American report in November 2020, the number of flu cases has dropped remarkably worldwide.
"There's just no flu circulating," said Greg Poland, who has extensively studied the flu at the Mayo Clinic. According to data, there were about 700 deaths from influenza during the 2020-2021 season. In comparison, the CDC estimates there were 22,000 U.S. deaths in 2019 and 34,000 deaths in 2018. On a larger scale, the CDC estimates that the flu has resulted in nine million to 41 million illnesses, 140,000 to 710,000 hospitalizations and 12,000 to 52,000 deaths annually between 2010 and 2020.
Meanwhile, a review conducted in May 2020 by researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that there had been no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks. The researchers dissected 10 studies published between 1946 and 2018.
These pieces of evidence, however, are unlikely to dissuade UC Berkeley from implementing its mask mandate in the fall.
Watch the video below about the pros and cons of wearing masks.
This video is from the Patriots on Fire channel on Brighteon.com.