SC Anti-Mask Protesters Think COVID-19 Wuz Fraaaamed
The United States is set to mark the grim and appalling milestone of 200,000 COVID-19 deaths. More than 3000 of those are in South Carolina, a 9/11-level death toll in a state with a little more than half the population of New York City.
This should be an occasion for somber reflection and mourning. Instead, though, about 100 maskless crusaders gathered on the South Carolina statehouse grounds Tuesday and demanded that the state "fully reopen." Confirmed COVID-19 cases have increased 19 percent in two weeks. I have relatives in South Carolina who run a funeral home but they don't need business this badly.
The United Patriots Alliance is so patriotic that it can't be bothered with minor inconveniences like wearing a mask during a pandemic. Personally, I think flag pins are more annoying (they pinch). The group's president and rally organizer Pressley Stutts concedes that the coronavirus is “real," which is big of him, but that the government “way overreacted in their response."
South Carolina's Republican Governor Henry McMaster didn't issue a stay-at-home order until April 7, weeks after other states, and started relaxing restrictions on May 4, weeks before other states. He refused to implement a statewide mask mandate because he thought it was too hard to enforce, so why bother? He did buckle down and require that people wear face coverings when inside restaurants, so the slow march to tyranny begins.
Stutts insists that South Carolinians focus more on the economy, whose longterm health actually matters.
STUTTS: You know what? People die every day.
You just know this sociopath has protested outside an abortion clinic. Now, he's all Being and Nothingness about human existence.
STUTTS: They die of car accidents, they die of flu, they die of all types of other diseases, but I'm not putting the economy above anybody's life. Everybody's life is sacred, but we don't know if all 3,000 of those lives that have been reported have actually died from COVID because we can't trust the numbers.
There we go. People like Stutts don't want to look like monsters or anything so they claim, with all the evidence they can pull from their asses, that the rising COVID-19 death toll is a big hoax designed to line the pockets of Big Mask. Maybe 3,000 more people than usual died in South Carolina over a period of six months, but did anyone actually see the coronavirus in the study with the candlestick?
Republican state Rep. Stewart Jones was at the rally and he also, as a responsible elected official, isn't sure he can “trust" the numbers coming from the Department of Health and Environmental Control or the governor's office. The governor, we repeat, is also a Republican.
Protesters came from a variety of grassroots groups, according to Stutts, and carried signs reading, "Let mask freedom ring," "Constitution not communism," and "Faith > Fear."
"I believe the science is not supporting masking mandated across the board for everyone," said attendee Shannon Trisler.
Trisler supports wearing masks around people with preexisting conditions but does not believe it should be mandatory for all.
The pre-existing condition for contracting COVID-19 is "human."
She said she wants "the right to make those medical choices for ourselves."
South Carolina lawmakers tried to ban almost all abortions this year.
Trisler brought her three sons to the event and said it was important to teach them to stand up for their rights. The sons said they feel like mask ordinances and restrictions on everyday life oppress them.
Wow, it's quite an achievement to raise white male children who think the world revolves around them. A grateful nation thanks Trisler for her service.
It was announced Monday that Lt. Gov. Pam Evette tested positive for COVID-19 after starting to feel crummy with a “mild headache and sore throat" on Thursday. This was a few days after attending the Southern 500 NASCAR race at Darlington Raceway with her husband, David. The governor and his wife, Peggy, were also present. The previous week, McMaster was seen at the Republican National Convention "without a face covering and in close proximity to more than 1,000 other people at an outdoor gathering that well-exceeded the 250-person limit he's imposed on his state's citizens and businesses."
EVETTE: As careful as I've been, this really does show how easily the virus is spread.
Careful, you say?
My husband David and I had a great time this past weekend at the Cook Out Southern 500. Thank you to… https://t.co/Zw6YeWOvug— Pamela Evette (@Pamela Evette)1599584642.0
It was my honor to attend @FLOTUS’s unveiling of #BuildingtheMovement: America’s Youth Celebrate 100 Years of Women… https://t.co/NZJDALb0sF— Pamela Evette (@Pamela Evette)1598294068.0
What a beautiful day and way to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage and so many strong women contri… https://t.co/ZPiORHT2sL— First Lady Peggy McMaster (@First Lady Peggy McMaster)1597771463.0
She's been bare-facing for weeks and the corona finally caught her.
EVETTE: Please continue to be diligent in keeping yourselves and your loved ones safe. If you're showing any symptoms at all, the best thing to do is to get tested right away!
No, the best thing to do is to practice social distancing and WEAR A DAMN MASK. Once you're showing symptoms, your dumb ass has likely infected dozens of other people.
Evette shared a tweet yesterday from McMaster urging legislators to reopen South Carolina schools for five-day in-person instruction. Demi Bannister, a school teacher from Columbia, South Carolina, died last week. She was 28. She's not a made-up statistic.
COVID-19 isn't Antifa. It's a real threat that my home state needs to take seriously.
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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).