Opinion: Lose the Mask and Drop the Weight | Avi Gutfreund

Despite the largest vaccination campaign in history continuing to inoculate millions of people each day against the risks of COVID-19, there is still much debate over how best to deal with the virus. On the one hand, you have Democrats, liberals, and alarmists demanding that we basically mask forever – even once we are vaccinated – and maintain social distancing, etc. On the other hand, we have Republicans, conservatives, and others who say masks are not necessary and that the risk of COVID in young and healthy people is low and that if people want to be safe they should take some vitamins.

Who is right? Actually, neither side is.

Masking, social distancing, and all those other precautions have not been shown to help at all. Just take recent events as an example. When Texas dropped its mask mandate, President Biden called it a ‘Neanderthal’ move and Dr. Fauci warned that the state would “suffer” over it. But that hasn’t happened. Cases and hospitalizations continued dropping. But in Michigan, which has probably the strictest COVID restrictions in place, cases, hospitalizations, and deaths have been soaring. So there’s something in the science of all this that we clearly don’t understand. Moreover, a whole slew of recommendations from the medical experts, including maintaining 6 feet of distance from others and wiping down counters and other surfaces, have been shown to be worthless. It literally makes no difference if you social distance indoors and social distancing isn’t necessary outdoors, and there is only a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting infected from a surface. It was all garbage science.

As for those arguing that no restrictions should be in place and people should take vitamins to keep safe, I’m sorry, but that is ridiculous too. There has yet to be any conclusive evidence, outside of non-clinical, anecdotal evidence, that taking zinc and vitamin D and all the other recommended vitamins and minerals will save you from coronavirus. They won’t hurt you and could possibly provide some level of protection, but if they were the panacea some people claim they are, this pandemic would have been over a long time ago. And those who have said that nothing at all should be done to combat the pandemic and just let it run its course are likely contributors to the deaths of many, including those of many in our community who sadly succumbed to the virus.

So what is truth? Well, we can only focus on what we know. And here is what we know with absolute certainty: Nearly 80% of people hospitalized for COVID-19 were overweight or obese. But, for some reason, we never hear about this. That’s the key piece in the puzzle! Imagine if we had people pushing for a national campaign to lose weight – imagine how many lives could have been saved and how many more could be saved in the future as coronavirus becomes endemic.

We know obesity, besides perhaps for certain underlying conditions, is the greatest risk factor – by a mile – in becoming very ill with coronavirus. We know how to combat that – eat fewer calories, exercise, etc. – but everyone has ignored it. Left, right, and center, nobody has acknowledged this or attempted a campaign to fight the obesity epidemic.

Do you want to be protected against COVID (not to mention about a million other serious physical ailments)? Lose weight. You can drop your mask off in the nearest garbage and head to the gym. It’ll do you a lot of good.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 20,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp Community!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.


  1. I have been waiting for someone brave enough to come out and say this. But unfortunately in this liberal sodomite culture you can’t say anything about one group of people so instead everyone is made to suffer for the greater good while no one benefits.

  2. The irony of it all…my kids schools forcing them to mask while dosing them up on slurpees and soda to compensate….this isn’t about health unfortunately ☹️

  3. More than 70% of Americans are overweight or obese. Your 80% statistic is not so impressive. Many overweight people are unhealthy and many aren’t. Many thin people are unhealthy too. No one should ever focus on weight loss. Just on healthy behaviors. Eat well, sleep well, exercise and reduce stress. Those are actions you can control. Weight loss is an outcome. Outcomes can’t be controlled and the belief that they can leads to some very harmful behavior.

    • Excellent point! In fact, obese people are actually only over-represented in COVID deaths vs. the non-obese population by 15% or so.

      The base-rate neglect fallacy is just one of many common mathematical errors people make trying to be statisticians when second guessing health advice coming from ACTUAL doctors and scientists.

      Carry on.

  4. As you point out, in Texas where the mandates were lifted the numbers are going down. In Michigan where they are running the restrictions religiously the numbers are soaring. IMHO, the masks that people collect their germs on and touch and touch more and than go around and touch other things. And leave their masks all around town. AND SPREAD THE GERMS THEY ARE SO TRYING TO KEEP AWAY FROM!!!
    Who agrees?

    • Literally nobody. You don’t get to just decide a nonsensical sevara and ask for agreement. As quoted in the article, fomite transmission is very rare. The vast majority of COVID transmission occurs from person to person through the mouth and nose.

      This has been known to the broader scientific community for about a year or so.

      Wake up.

  5. Recent MIT study says 6 feet social distancing is worthless, but masks indoors are valuable. Outdoors nothing is really needed.

    Also, it has become well know that with the new variants, younger people have become susceptible to the virus. Although they recover fast or show few symptoms, about 30% will have after effects down the road as the internals are damaged with scarring to the arteries and heart which are initially not noticed, but lead to early heart attack or stroke. It is therefore very important for younger people to get the vaccine.
    The anti-vax crowd have successfully seeded the street with myths about infertility or other nonsense. It is no less a scam than the phone calls you get about your warranty, you social security and other scams.

    • I am provax, but you unfortunately do not have the real data about this experimental vaccine. A 12 year old girl named Maddie recently became paralyzed in a current vaccine trial being done on kids. You have no idea how risky these vaccines are and obviously did not research them well. All the kids have to do is take Ivermectin and it can cure their COVID. Seriously – why take a chance????????????

  6. To parents of children in school…tell the administrators that you do not appreciate them giving out cans of soda, and other junk food, as prices or incentives. There are many other non-food items that they can give out instead.

  7. The reason why losing weight hasn’t been pushed is because as every obese person knows, losing weight and getting to a healthy weight isn’t something that you simply easily do. If it was, we wouldn’t have an obesity problem. Masking and social distancing on the other hand is something every person can chose to do.
    As for the changing of direction of the medical community, there is a continuous learning process happening and our job is to do the hishtadluus necessary based on the most current information available. This changes as time goes on as scientists learn more and more about this disease.

  8. Your ridiculousness is not worthy of comment but your “fact” that Michigan has “strict COVID restrictions” is blatantly false. This recent wave is directly and proximately related to the easing of restrictions and general disregard of the restrictions by Michigan residents.

  9. Your ridiculousness is not worthy of comment but your “fact” that Michigan has “strict COVID restrictions” is blatantly false. This recent wave is directly and proximately related to the easing of restrictions and general disregard of the restrictions by Michigan residents.

  10. Funny how people could say “nothing helps” to wipe out their consciousness.

    Facts are… Baltimore had 2 covid-related deaths in the community. Lakewood had well over 100.

    Seems like Rabbi Heinemann and the greater community of Baltimore got it right and we got it dead wrong. We should do Teshuva on Retzicha. This is no light matter.

    • Lakewood got hit really bad really early on, before Baltimore got it, don’t forget.

      Also, it was going around pretty strongly in Lakewood before the masks and social distancing mandates were even a real thing.

      Also, you need to follow YOUR daas torah and do what he says, not follow someone else’s. And if your daas torah says to go back to sending your kids to school without masks, you are not following what Hashem wants you to do if you go against it.

  11. High levels of Vitamin D are not a cure-all. Nor are quercetin, zinc and vitiman C, but they help. If someone’s level of D is high and they get COVID, even with comorbidities, it has been proven in studies that their chance of surviving COVID is extremely high. High levels of vitamin D = High chance of surviving COVID (and flu). Its a fact. Look it up.

  12. Wuhan, where the virus was born, tackled the pandemic in short order with strict masking and social distancing measures.

    While obesity was a known risk factor of death from early in the pandemic, it is thought that the reason is that obese people’s oxygen requirements are greater in relation to their lung capacity. They simply have more cells to feed oxygen to. In addition, their bulky midsections exert pressure on their lungs, diminishing their capacity. In addition, obese people are more likely to suffer from heart conditions and diabetes.

    THe fact is though, that obesity was not shown to be a factor in catching the virus, just of dying in serious cases. So if we could have just avoided catching the virus in the first place it would not be factor.

    It has been proven that strict social distancing and masking reduces the spread of the virus significantly. But compliance would have to be near 100% for it to be effective. Something that is nearly impossible in our society.

  13. The mask picture is very informative! Now I can tell the difference between the inside and outside! I just saw several videos shot under a microscope that shows mysterious moving microbial worms on the inside of the mask that scientists in France declare to be as harmful or worse than the virus itself.

    Professor Michael Braungart, director at the Hamburg Environmental Institute, conducted tests on masks which had caused people to break out in rashes.

    ‘What we are breathing through our mouth and nose is actually hazardous waste,’ Professor Braungart said.

    These used masks were found to contain formaldehyde and other chemicals.

    85% of these masks come from China, are made in substandard conditions and are laced with toxic chemicals.

    The article entitled Exclusive: Chemical cocktail found in face masks reported that these kind of masks for COVID contain a chemical cocktail including but not limited to formaldehyde (a known carcinogen), aniline (a known carcinogen), acetaldehyde (a known genotoxin) and many other toxic compounds.

    The Canadian Government just put out a safety alert that face masks may contain graphene (Solum warned about graphene nanotech months ago), stating that “Health Canada’s preliminary assessment of available research identified that inhaled graphene particles had some potential to cause early lung toxicity in animals. However, the potential for people to inhale graphene particles from face masks and the related health risks are not yet known, and may vary based on mask design.” I have pointed out how masks are dangerous, hypoxic and dehumanizing.
    Formaldehyde is the chemical which gives the ‘clean’ smell when a new pack of masks is opened. He also found aniline, a known carcinogen.

    ‘We found formaldehyde and even aniline and noticed that unknown artificial fragrances were being applied to cover any unpleasant chemical smells from the mask,’ he said.

    ‘In the case of the blue-coloured surgical masks, we found cobalt – which can be used as a blue dye.

    ‘All in all, we have a chemical cocktail in front of our nose and mouth that has never been tested for either toxicity or any long-term effects on health.’

  14. I am obese, B”H I am healthy and haven’t got Covid (except for losing sense of smell and not getting it back entirely, but, tested negative for antibodies). I am against masking,, vaxxing and social distancing and I take lots of vitamins.

  15. Be careful when you accuse Yidden. The frum communities of NY and NJ were hit by the virus and had great losses before masking and social distancing restrictions were understood and put in place. BH it did not hit Baltimore that early, so the protective measures were helpful.

    • Assuming your facts are right – which they’re clearly not: local doctors and some Poskim had warned about the impeding catastrophe since before Purim; also the second waive came 6 months after the first – let’s adjust the numbers based on the general population, which was hit at the same times as the community more or less.

      Baltimore City (609k residents): Death per 100k: 170.7.
      Deaths in the community (approx 100K): 2

      Ocean County (607k residents): Death per 100k: 345.7 (double).
      Deaths in the community (approx 100K): >100 ( over fifty times)

      We have two choices:
      1) Ignore the facts, rationalize, be Dan Lkaf Zchus etc. This will not lead to Teshuva. Remember the Bais Hamikdash was destroyed – and is not yet rebuilt – in part because of Shfichus Damim.
      2) Face the facts and do Teshuva publicly (like per the Par Heelem Davar). This will ensure that medical advice from frum doctors will be followed in the future as per the Halacha, and prevent all kinds of catastrophes.

      I hope that most people choose #2, but I know I’m being optimistic.
      May we be Zoche to Mashiach and to the Bais Hamikdash very soon.

  16. To jaxonite: first, population of Lakewood is waaay larger than Baltimore. Second, in our out of town community, which is approximately the same size as Baltimore, we were not careful about masking and social distance, and had only two deaths (both cases had other complications). Chaim v’maves biyad Hashem.

  17. Just to be clear, I’m not accusing anyone of Shfichus Damim B’Mezid. Not even in dreams.

    However Shfichus Damim B’Shogeg (i.e: not heeding solid medical advice) also requires Teshuva. That may have been the type of Aveirah that caused the destruction of the the first Bais Hamikdash.

  18. See my numbers.

    Feel free to present us with the name and the numbers of your out of town community. Otherwise it’s like saying the moon was spared.

  19. Im quite confused. Yes obesity ia and was a big risk factor but do you think someone overweight can just lose their weight in seconds? Many people have a genetic makeup that they are obese by nature and even if super healthy and exercise all the time theres only so much weight and so skinny they will get. Hashem made all sizes but no it wasnt because of size that people died from covid, it was because Hashem handpicked every single person who died during this pandemic to be a korban for the rest of us. And i can say that as i lost a parent to the pandemic just recently.

  20. Lakewood has very bad hospitals. People taken there for COVID did not stand a chance if they were high risk. They also had (and maybe still do?) have doctors that don’t give early outpatient treatment for COVID. Both of these had a severe impact on the mortality of the town. In the town that I live in, there’s a doctor who gave HCQ to everyone from the beginning of the pandemic, and we have a good hospital nearby. In Hashems infinite kindness, we had a total of 3 covid deaths in our town. You can’t really compare towns, because there are so many factors to consider, but its important to realize some of the factors that come in to play.

Comments are closed.