Masks are the virtue signal du jour. It shows you care and probably shows you’re vaccinated (who else but a virtue signaler would still wear a mask after being vaccinated?). City Journal has a long article that picks apart the information the CDC and NIH use versus the full breadth of information and studies surrounding mask wearing and prevention of spreading viruses.
In short, masks offers less protection than just washing your hands. Why? Most likely because your mask accumulates pathogens on the surface, then you touch the mask, and then you touch your eyes, nose, or mouth.
In sum, of the 14 RCTs that have tested the effectiveness of masks in preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses, three suggest, but do not provide any statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis, that masks might be useful. The other eleven suggest that masks are either useless—whether compared with no masks or because they appear not to add to good hand hygiene alone—or actually counterproductive. Of the three studies that provided statistically significant evidence in intention-to-treat analysis that was not contradicted within the same study, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than hand hygiene alone, one found that the combination of surgical masks and hand hygiene was less effective than nothing, and one found that cloth masks were less effective than surgical masks.City Journal
So why do surgeons and operating room staff wear masks? First, it’s a highly controlled sterilized environment. Second, they never touch the mask with their hands because they wear gloves and take the mask and gloves off in a specific manner. The mask on surgical staff is to prevent someone from coughing, sneezing, or spitting into an open cavity. It’s not meant to protect the surgeon from anything.
It’s counter intuitive but if thinking logically wearing a mask exposes you to pathogens more than just washing your hands because pathogens collect on the mask and then you touch it before you wash your hands again. Also masks might prevent you from spewing crap into the world but will not prevent you from receiving crap from the world. You are then better off not wearing a mask and just turning your head away from people when coughing or sneezing.
Your body is equipped with it’s own natural mask. The hair in your nose and your boogars are there to keep crap out of your lungs. It’s your fist line of defense and it works most of the time for most things.