Now These Patriots Won't Allow YOU In Their Stores WITH Masks, Because Oh F*ck It
The latest battle in our endless culture war is over masks. We never said it was a smart culture war. On the one side are people who agree with medical experts that face coverings greatly slow the spread of COVID-19 (by as much as 80 percent, according to some studies). On the other side are assholes.
It's tempting to say that if observant assholes don't want to wear a mask for some asshole-related reason, fuck them: Don't wear the mask for all I care. I've got enough problems right now. But masks aren't just for the individual wearer's protection, like seat belts. No, they are most effective at keeping your sick ass from infecting other people.
This is actually why a lot of conservatives don't want to wear masks. They feel their rights are infringed if society or worse the government asks them to care about people other than themselves. This shouldn't surprise you. This is their entire governing philosophy. If you're disappointed right now, you probably shouldn't have fallen for all that crap about “small government" or how Paul Ryan was some brilliant policy wonk.
The Washington Post had a story today about the mask resistance. One such patriot is Kevin Smith (not the cool filmmaker, who is a nice person). After two months, Smith has reopened his bar in Elgin, Texas, and he's forbidden anyone from wearing a mask inside because of his firm “no sissies" policy.
SMITH: If we're only allowed to be at 25 percent capacity, I want them to be the 25 percent of people that aren't p-----, that aren't sheep ... Being scared all the time isn't good for your health. It suppresses your immune system.
The Post edited Smith's quote, but I presume the redacted word is “pussies." I don't want cats in bars, either, unless he's referring to something else. Fear probably does weaken your immune system, as well as lead to the Dark Side, but COVID-19 is a non-metaphorical threat.
He insists that the virus “doesn't pose a serious threat." (Someone should make him attend 100,000 funerals over Zoom, like the deceased's loved ones.) Besides, people who have the virus shouldn't come out to his bar anyway, but he's catering to a distinctly “non-pussy" clientele who aren't known for their sense of responsibility. The medical whiz also must assume the asymptomatic would stay home — you know, people with literally no symptoms who thus don't know they are spreading coronavirus everywhere.
(Can't watch the video below? Click the bird in the tweet!)
Laura Ingraham is now claiming that if Democrats win in November they will force all Americans to wear masks FOREVE… https://t.co/gOGzNk4UPr— Paul Waldman (@Paul Waldman)1590594135.0
Smith is not the only maskless crusader. A Kentucky gas station doesn't allow people inside its convenience store if they're wearing a mask. A Los Angeles flooring store prohibits masks but encourages hugs and handshakes. The common Amy Cooper running a rural Wisconsin campground declared that she'd treat any masked person she spotted on the premises as if they're robbing the place, which she obviously knows they aren't because she has access to cable news.
Harmeet Dhillon, former chair of the California Republican Party and founder of the Center for American Liberty, is
making bank off fools leading a legal charge against stay-at-home orders and has her sights set on mask guidelines. She argued her case on Laura Ingraham's white power hour this week.
DHILLON: If it is true that maybe the masks don't work or they can't prove that they work.
The masks work.
DHILLON: Other challenges to masks have included that masks are an expressive form of communication. They communicate a message, in this case, “I'm scared." Or as the left would say, “I care about you."
No, wearing a mask during a pandemic only “communicates" that you follow recommendations from medical experts and not Fox News doctors (or lawyers) who got their degrees from a bubble gum machine.
DHILLON: Can the state compel us to carry that message forward. So I could see a cause of action where an individual going into a store says, “I don't wish to convey that message," and there's no rational basis for it.
Nudists probably don't like the “message" of clothing but they don't have much legal ground for entering pizzerias bare assed. Are we really fighting over this simple public health guidance? Krypton is so doomed. I don't care if my son gets to fly and shoot lasers from his eyes on his new home world. I want to live, damnit!
Ingraham warned that masks were just the beginning of the leftist dystopia where we don't all die from a highly infectious disease.
INGRAHAM: It's all for safety, then everyone should know this is not a temporary thing. They will ... if they get real power ... pass a rule ... mandating that masks from here on out, on public transportation, whether it's a plane or a bus, FOREVER. Not just now. You gotta wear it during flu season. FOREVER MASKED. It's not just during COVID. It's FOREVER.
The seasonal flu is significantly less deadly than COVID-19. We also have a vaccine. The incubation period for the coronavirus is at least five times longer than the flu, which increases the potential for asymptomatic spread. We also have flu vaccines. I just can't anymore with these people.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).