Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Eventually We'll Be Forced To Do Something About Anti-Maskers


Having spent years in Asia and having adapted to mask wearing on airplanes decades ago, I was an early adapter to masks for dealing with the pandemic sometime in March when the government was still urging people to not wear masks. I detected the disconnect between, "masks won't help" and "we need masks for our frontline workers." My doctor is an internationally acclaimed cancer researcher who told me the N-99 I had from use in Nepal was perfect and would protect me but needed to be discarded if I came down with COVID-19 because it would increase the viral load. That was in early March.

Around that time I took great delight wearing my mask (plus wrap-around shades-- since replaced with surgical goggles-- and latex gloves) to the grocery store, while I stocked up on all the essentials for a 6 month siege. Everyone looked at me like I was crazy. The cashiers hadn't hear about a pandemic yet and no one was stocking up on pasta or toilet paper yet. People saw me coming down the aisle and ran away-- better yet. Roland was embarrassed to be seen with me. "You'll be wearing a mask soon too, I told him. "Everyone will." He laughed and said I was crazy. Today he still asks how I knew, even though I've told him over and over again exactly how I knew (months of this).

By April, the tide had turned. People in L.A. were masking up and stores will starting to observe social distancing strictures. In April I saw two guys refusing to wear masks get the crap kicked out of them in upscale Los Feliz within a week of each other. I'm not into vigilantism or violence but I have to admit I wasn't sorry to see each of the victims run away, one with a bloody face.

One of the unintended consequences of the internet is that everyone's brother-in-law is as stupid as mine-- and now thinks he knows better than experts. It's certainly why we have Trump in the White House and why we're likely to have more Trump-like figures elected to leadership roles. Conspiracy theories and ignorance rule!

Marc Fisher's Washington Post mask update yesterday, shows how fed up normal people are getting with the anti-masker lunatics, who are, after all, endangering society in a way anti-seat belt kooks never really did-- since they were mostly just killing themselves not, like the anti-maskers-- the rest of us. Fisher pointed out that not only are masks effective weapons against the spread of the contagion but that "Three-quarters of Americans favor requiring people to wear face coverings in public to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus, including 89% of Democrats and 58% of Republicans, according to an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll in July. So far, 34 states and Washington D.C. have adopted mask requirements. Now, mask advocates want police to enforce those orders, a move some police chiefs have said they are reluctant to make. They are seeking legal protection for retail workers put in the awkward position of enforcing mask rules. And they are lobbying for a coordinated federal mask policy."
Politicians, most of them Democrats, have adopted increasingly sharp rhetoric to push for compliance with mask orders and recommendations. Masks were highly visible throughout the first night of the Democratic National Convention. The party showcased masked health workers risking all to save victims of covid-19, presented multiple images of Joe Biden wearing a mask, and topped off the evening with Michelle Obama’s lament that the nation’s children “see people shouting in grocery stores, unwilling to wear a mask to keep us all safe.”

Biden has said that, if elected, he would use his executive power to mandate mask-wearing nationally. Until then, Biden put the onus on the nation's governors, calling on them last week to require mask-wearing in public for at least the next three months.
Well it's good he used the phrase "at least," since hopes and wishes aren't determining the timetables; the cold hard reality of when we find and distribute an effective virus is what determines when we can stop wearing masks, eat in restaurants, travel safely, vote in person, stop tempting inflation, etc.

"The battle over masks," continued Fisher, "like earlier faceoffs over requiring seat belt use in cars or banning smoking in public places, pits defenders of science against defenders of personal liberty-- a classic American faceoff of the collective good against individual rights. But unlike those earlier debates, the mask battle has become politicized making masks one more weapon in a national tussle over values and factional power." He forgot the mention the word idiot:

Nor did he get into a discussion of the mental illness of the people refusing to wear masks, something that will launch papers and books for decades. Some people just have to be contrarians-- even if it endangers others. Some people are persuaded that their is no pandemic but that the Deep State and that guy from Microsoft want to inject a chip in everyone to control them but mass vaccinations. Maybe these folks, if they make it impossible to control the spread of the virus, will need to be, humanely, put down at some point. "[M]any of Trump’s fans," wrote Fisher, "have latched onto his objections. While 94 percent of Democrats said in a July Gallup poll that they’d worn a mask 'always' or 'very often' when outside their homes, only 46 percent of Republicans said the same."
[David] Canepa, who serves on the board of supervisors in northern California’s San Mateo County, said he has heard enough from science-deniers, especially in light of new evidence showing that masks appear to protect the wearer as well as people who might breathe in their exhalations.

“People need to rely on the science and not on their high school buddy who took science with them,” Canepa said. “I didn’t get into elective office to tell people what to do, but this is a health emergency, and we have a silent majority that’s doing the right thing. We’ve done the education, we’ve tried to work collaboratively. Now we need to enforce.”

Earlier this month, San Mateo’s board voted unanimously to fine anyone found in public places without a mask. Police, park rangers, building inspectors and other county workers will hand out both masks and summonses. Fines are $100 for a first offense and up to $500 for further transgressions.

“Small business owners don’t want to confront customers. I understand: We’ve all seen those ugly confrontations on YouTube,” Canepa said. “Now we’re giving them a way to say, ‘Hey, it’s the county making me do this. If I don’t enforce it, they’ll fine me.'”

Businesses and their employees have good reason to be wary of acting as mask enforcers. The most vehement mask opponents have occasionally turned violent.

In Lansing, Mich., when Sean Ruis entered a convenience store last month without a mask, a store employee asked him to cover his face. Ruis reacted angrily-- and stabbed a 77-year-old customer. A sheriff’s deputy shot and killed Ruis outside his home a half-hour later.

More often, though, anti-maskers pose a more prosaic threat.

In Caldwell, Idaho, when the local health board voted last month simply to recommend-- not require-- masks in public, bare-faced residents packed a local courtroom and loudly booed all mention of masks, infection tracing and virus hot spots.

That same week, hospitals in the area reported that their intensive care units were at capacity, filled almost entirely by patients suffering from covid-19.

On Tuesday, Idaho reported 384 new confirmed cases, bringing the state's total to 28,326, which seems pretty small. It isn't. Idaho now has 15,851 cases per million residents. That's worse than any of the dozen hardest hit western European countries, even the ones that are experiencing a second wave now:
Sweden- 8,431 cases per million residents
Spain- 8,218 cases per million residents
Belgium- 6,772 cases per million residents
Ireland- 5,561 cases per million
Portugal- 5,342 cases per million
U.K.- 4,715 cases per million
Switzerland- 4,438 cases per million
Italy- 4,212 cases per million
Netherlands- 3,732 cases per million
France- 3,389 cases per million
Denmark- 2,736 cases per million
Germany- 2,721 cases per million
Remember when we were all shuddering at the mere thought of getting into a situation as dire as Italy's or Spain's. On a per capita basis, Idaho-- a politically backward and primitive state loaded with Trump supporters, pandemic-deniers and anti-maskers-- now has it over three times worse than Italy.

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At 6:28 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Turn FL and GA into a giant penal colony and move all anti-maskers there to wait to die.

I might even dose them with covid just to speed the process along.

At 10:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need only to protect ourselves. The anti-maskers won't live long enough to put any policies or facilities into operation.

At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sadly, only about 1.5% of anti-maskers will die from covid. Maybe as many as 3% if there is a high correlation between being anti-mask and relevant co-morbidities.

I'd rather just get them all off the street where they and their particular brand of libertarian evil won't pollute society.

GA and FL are lovely. Millions of their white/Christian/idiot brothers/sisters are already there. In only 3 or 4 generations, it'll be a total feral retard Valhalla. Build a nice pretty wall to keep them in. It'll be cheaper by far in the long run than letting them run around here loose.

For entertainment, sneak in a few thousand rakes, lay them on the ground and put gopros nearby so we can watch the corn-fusion as they repeatedly step on them and knock themselves silly. Vegas could take bets on how many times until THAT guy can't get up any more.


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