Masks work. There is widespread evidence from the field of occupational health, the SARS epidemic, and other outbreaks that wearing masks protects us from germs and interrupts the transmission of disease from sick to healthy people.
Why would a country like the UK even consider such a risky strategy, and why are other countries still following this approach? The reason is neoliberalism. Since the 1980s, we have been governed by the political paradigm of neoliberalism, which has replaced state-led social policy with privatization and deregulation of the market. Its belief in the inherent justice of the market has led to a political rationale, which literally puts profit before people. And it has colonized peoples’ minds by making them believe it is their fault if they are poor, precarious or unemployed.
According to AFP estimates, some 1.7 billion people across the world are now living under some form of lockdown as a result of the coronavirus. That’s almost a quarter of the world population. The world economy has seen nothing like this.