I have always thought that the mask thing was about allowing Antifa and BLM to wear disguises while destroying America. Many areas used to ban masks for the purpose of hiding your identity.
Here’s a funny/sad story. State liquor stores required face masks. I walk in wearing mine. Plus I forgot to take off my sunglasses. Clerk had a fit because I was wearing sunglasses.
That was a side benefit to the left.
I’m pretty sure you are correct. It was an added “benefit” of the masks.