I had no issue with your general premise, and importantly, I actually agree with it.
My point was that the mask shortage at the beginning of the pandemic was on a global scale. Healthcare workers all around the world were dying at an alarming rate. Something had to be done on a global basis to insure front line workers had the protection they required -- otherwise all would have been lost. No doctors or nurses = no one survives.
Like other corona viruses, the transmission pathway is through the nose, mouth and eyes. There is no way that wearing a mask served no purpose, because if that were true, none of the healthcare workers would have been wearing masks. It was a fiction.
And at the risk of sounding like a conspiracy theorist, that fiction was a concerted effort to ensure those resources were available to hospitals and clinics. It also served as a buffer to prevent a global panic by individuals who could not get masks.
Again, I completely agree with your thesis that science evolves over time and is capable of changing direction with a different result. And yes, I also agree that is a fact.