I agree there's a cult of scientism and a problem with modeling in soft sciences (including economics), which have led to the replication crisis. Moreover, I wouldn't put it past many medical doctors to favour patronizing solutions to problems as an indirect way of controlling people, because these doctors themselves suffer from God complexes.
You're talking about some anecdotes, though, which don't cast doubt on the basic science of wearing masks to prevent the spread of certain viruses. The data seem to show that mask-wearing helps lower the spread. So you wear the mask outside until the vaccine is ready.
The reason some Americans prefer not to wear the mask is mainly political or conspiratorial, not scientific. They prioritize their culture war over the realities of biology and established science.
Whether technocrats and liberals collaborate to create a new world order that uses the Covid pandemic as a pretext for curtailing people's freedom is another matter. They'd be following the likes of Bush, Cheney, and the neoconservatives who used 9/11 to bring in the Patriot Act, or like Reagan who used the Cold War to put the US on a permanent war footing even after the Soviet Union's collapse. Machiavellians use crises as opportunities for revolution.