Here's an interesting article that attempts to establish a negative correlation between mask mandates and improvements in Covid-19 rates.
It seems to me the problem with articles like this is the same as most of the articles produced by journalists concerning any kind of quantitative phenomenon. The journalists just don't know much about anything.
I'm no fan of mask mandates. At all. And I'm thrilled that they revoked the mandates here and there and that case counts are still declining. I've never been convinced that masks help anything and even to the extent they did, I've never been convinced that what good they do isn't more than offset by harm in other ways. But that's just my own intuition.
The problem with this article is that it assumes that the current results demonstrate that masks weren't ever helping to reduce case counts. Maybe. But the timing of lifting the mandates coincides with seasonal declines in corona viruses as a general matter. It also coincides with explosive growth in a vaccinated population and on the heels of an extended period of time where people were building immunity on the basis of having had Covid. There are just too many variables to all of this to assert that masking or not masking explains current Covid results.
I still come down on the side of liberty. A government that was actually committed to liberty would let people act according to their own estimation of what constitutes their best interest. The government should stop treating grown adults like children. We seriously need to free ourselves from this abiding presumption that the government is the source of all solutions whenever something goes wrong.
Government compounds problems at least as often as it solves them. Our government's primary core competencies are breaking things, whether on purpose or accidentally, and enriching politicians.