A Surprising Reaction to Relaxed Mask Mandates
It finally happened. What started as 15 days to slow the spread became over a year of restrictions, mandates, over-reaches, dictates, and decrees. We endured the breathless media coverage, nanny-state protectionism, panic porn chyrons of the current numbers of dead and infected, the droning press conferences that elevated some to the heights of daytime Emmy’s and denigrated others to the depths of public scorn. And we put up with the masks. Oh, how we strove with the useless Chinese face diapers that served to identify who was serious and who was not.
Finally, at long last, the CDC has recommended that at least those who are fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks in indoor and outdoor settings. Why now? Why not two months ago? We may never know. I wanted to share my reaction to the news; and my reaction to my reaction. It truly scared me about the state of our republic and the state of our citizens.
When I saw the news that the CDC was relaxing the masking recommendations, my first reaction was pure joy. It felt like a game-winning touchdown or a paycheck hitting your bank account. I was genuinely exuberant about the fact that many more people were going to be brave enough to venture out into the world without the life-sucking vapidness of facial coverings.
After the announcement, I made a trip to my local home improvement big-box retail store. To my surprise, I noticed that all of the informational signs and placards were nowhere to be found. I sensed only a faint glimmer of what it might have felt like when allied forces had swept through Auschwitz and Birkenau, freeing the beleaguered prisoners of Nazi Germany in 1945. I wanted to break into song! Thankfully, I restrained myself while entering the store, half expecting to see a Woodstock-style hippie party breaking out inside. To my dismay, I discovered as I wandered about on this busy Friday afternoon, picking out my desired items, that I might have been the only one feeling such enthusiasm since I was the only one in the whole store not wearing a mask. How sad. How disappointing that there were still hundreds of people volunteering to cover their faces for no reason, except that they didn’t want to be publicly scorned by some Fauci disciple. This setback did not dissuade me from finishing my shopping trip without incident.
Compare that to my experience yesterday at a local sandwich shop: Stopping to grab some lunch on a quick road trip, we entered the facility with masks in pockets, just in case. Though the mask signs were still on the door, I figured that we could test the waters anyway. Well, Karen wouldn’t even let us get both feet in the door before asking us if we had masks with us. We were the only ones in the shop besides three employees that I could see. The absurd rule in restaurants is, of course, that you must wear masks while standing, but as soon as you sit down to begin eating, you can remove the Chinese face diaper for the duration of your meal. I complied so I wouldn’t risk blowing up and causing a scene, but I heard something surprising after putting in my order. One worker said to another that he had heard our Governor loosening the mask mandates but planned on continuing to mask up for at least another year just in case. This dude was wearing a red bandana tied around his face, which we know does nothing to protect him or anyone around him. I just can’t even anymore. I decided then and there that I would leave blistering reviews of any establishment that force me to wear a mask. I’d recommend you do the same.
So, as I processed these thoughts, I came to a startling conclusion. Why was I so happy about the relaxed CDC recommendations? Because the government had caused such an inconvenience in my life for the last year. The government that can grant you a blessed reprieve from restrictions is also a government that can take anything it wants from you. I realized that my exuberance was a sure sign of the government’s over-reach in my own life.
Don’t Care: Obedience to useless mandates. I am smart enough to know what’s best for my own health. And so are you. I won’t complain if you want to limit your oxygen intake with a Chinese face diaper. That’s your prerogative.
Care: Living in a country where we no longer see one another primarily as vectors of infection instead of human beings. Where we can shake hands and look each other in the eyes again.
On this marvelous Monday, rejoice in the ability to decide for yourself what is best for your own health. Take the guidance into account and then make your own informed decision about how to live your own life. Maybe that’s how it should have been from the beginning.