At the start of this year, I took a flight from London to DC. For its duration, I wore a cloth mask that I had been given for free at a bookstore — the kind of mask that Most Experts now say does not meaningfully prevent viral spread.

At one point, shortly after I’d finished eating, a tall male flight attendant asked me to pull my mask up — I, of course, did as asked. A few hours later, while the lights were dimmed and I was drifting off for a nap, my mask slipped to...

At the start of this year, I took a flight from London to DC. For its duration, I wore a cloth mask that I had been given for free at a bookstore — the kind of mask that Most Experts now say does not meaningfully prevent viral spread.

At one point, shortly after I’d finished eating, a tall male flight attendant asked me to pull my mask up — I, of course, did as asked. A few hours later, while the lights were dimmed and I was drifting off for a nap, my mask slipped to just below my nose, the same flight attendant tapped me on the shoulder and handed me a pamphlet from the airline.

He said that it was the “second time” he’d had to warn me and told me that if I kept “refusing to comply” with the federal mask mandate, I could be fined up to $33,000 and banned from that airline for life.

I profusely apologized, said that it wasn’t my intention to be insubordinate and offered to change to a different, new mask which wouldn’t slip as much.

I’m telling this story to demonstrate one big reason that the CDC’s decision to extend the federal mask mandate on flights by another two weeks is so dumb: it places an undue burden on service workers and turns them into cops.

But that’s far from the only thing that’s crazy about extending the rule.

Consider how even America’s most progressive cities like New York, LA and DC have refused to reinstate mask mandates in the face of “rising infection rates.”

I could have gotten off that flight to Washington, headed to the Gridiron Club dinner, made out with a different person for fifteen minutes at a time for the whole night — and that would be fully in line with the city’s Covid rules. (CDC director Rochelle Walensky and White House Covid chief Anthony Fauci were both in attendance.)

Remember, too, how airlines made a big deal about their air filtration systems during the end of the first wave of the pandemic, in order to convince the Covid-cowed into flying again? As National Geographic put it, “Thanks to HEPA filters and efficient circulation on commercial aircrafts, the air you breathe in flight —though not necessarily entirely virus-free — is much cleaner than the air in restaurants, bars, stores, or your best friend’s living room.”

Of course, “The Science” is not settled and studies into the effectiveness of HEPA filters in preventing the spread of pathogens are ongoing.

As my colleague Karol Markowicz said a month ago, when the mandate was last extended: “The idea that a piece of cloth will protect you while you sit sandwiched between 200 other passengers inches away from you is an idea only our incompetent and compromised CDC could invent.”

Back on my flight, I posed no risk of giving Covid to my fellow passengers, or to my petulant flight attendant: I’d had three shots of Big Pharma’s finest and had recovered from a bout of Omicron a month previously.

If there was such a thing as “The Science,” it would acknowledge that the pandemic is not entirely over — but that the virus has evolved to a stage where it poses a tiny fraction of the threat it did this time two years ago. State and city health department policies reflect that reality, as do schools and individual businesses — and yet the federal government won’t?