Friday, May 21, 2021


At Pharyngula, PZ Myers writes:
I’m keeping my mask

Everywhere I go now, people are running around without a mask, like all our concerns about public health have evaporated. Not me. I’m keeping mine for when I’m out and about.
He cites some statisitics:
According to Scientific American, influenza cases all over the globe have dropped to “minuscule levels.” ...

The publication reports approximately 600 deaths attributed to influenza during the 2020-2021 flu season in the United States, which typically peaks between December and February. Compared to previous years, where the numbers in the 2019-2020 season saw roughly 22,000 deaths, and the 2018-2019 season had more at 34,000 deaths, 600 is a 97 percent drop....

Because of the measures in place for COVID, including increased handwashing, wearing masks, and staying home when sick, no one is out there spreading the flu either.
Myers writes:
The real question is, why are people so eager to return to living in filth? I didn’t have a single day last year where I was too sick to get out of bed, and I didn’t even have the prolonged snotty sniffles of a cold. I don’t miss that.
This sentiment is fairly common. I'm sure quite a few people will want to wear masks routinely, at least in the winter, long after the pandemic is over.

But I wonder if it will be legal.

Maybe this is too extreme a move, even for "How do we own the libs today?" governors like Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, but as the pandemic wanes, I believe there'll be efforts not merely to ban public and private mask mandates -- that's happening already -- but to prevent individuals from choosing to wear masks in public. And if Republican governors and legislators conclude that they can't get away with preventing mask usage on the streets, they might at least ban masks in public buildings, just for the vengeful satisfaction, as well as the positive coverage on Fox News.

Republicans who propose such laws will probably invoke the anti-mask ordinances that already exist in more than a dozen states; these were passed in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in response to Ku Klux Klan demonstrations. Last June, some Republicans in the North Carolina legislature tried to prevent the state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, from instituting a mask mandate by blocking an extension of the health exemption to the state's 1950s-era anti-mask law. I expect this kind of thing to happen again, and if there's no longer a public health crisis, the anti-maskers could win.

Suuch laws probably wouldn't be constitutional. But who cares if the libs and mask-wearers get owned, at least temporarily?

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