Mandates Lifted, Masking Madness Continues

Mandates Lifted, Masking Madness Continues

Mandates Lifted, Masking Madness Continues

The second day of March brought us the news of two states lifting their mask mandates. Mississippi governor, Tate Reeves and Texas governor, Greg Abbott will be the first of states lifting masking mandates since COVID-19 became our reality last year.

Tate cites plummeting hospitalizations and falling case numbers, stating that “case numbers have fallen to the point where no county meets the original criteria for a mask mandate.” Abbot states the new rules would take effect March 10 and that businesses of any type will be allowed to open 100%.

Ending, ending the mask mandate, say our friends at MSNBC. (Gasp!)

And of course, those who are immune to mandates and forced shutdowns, were quick to jump in. Enter California governor, Mr. “French Laundry“, himself, Gavin Newsom. Newsom called Abbott’s lifting of the mask mandate in Texas “absolutely reckless“.

Gavin has no room to talk. No, he should not even be talking, typing, whatever…Tweeting this nonsense. Seriously, stop, Mr. Newsom. This is a bad look for you. Not as bad as sitting down to a fancy Napa rendezvous completely unmasked. Mandate? What mandates in California? Newsom’s “mandate” didn’t seem to stop Nancy Pelosi, either.

And, of course, because our kids have not been out of schooling enough, apparently, Texas teachers’ unions are also chiming in.

Gov. Abbott needs to quit obeying his political impulses and listen to the health experts, who are warning that it is too soon to let our guard down without risking potentially disastrous consequences. The experts caution us to continue the safety practices that have worked against this disease, including widespread mask use and social distancing.”-Texas State Teacher’s Association President, Ovidia Molina

And this:

Abbott’s callous new orders throw our public schools, students, and teachers into chaos, because it leaves open the question of whether masks will be required in all schools. TEA guidance currently says: ‘Schools are required to comply with the governor’s executive order regarding the wearing of masks.”-Texas American Federation of Teachers President Zeph Cap

The “callous new orders” included this:

…individuals are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings over the nose and
mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face

Since when is lifting mandates throwing others into chaos? Since when is lifting mandates but encouraging individuals to do what they feel is right, “callous”?

Since it doesn’t follow along with the script. Since a (Republican) governor of a state is relying on independent individuals to be responsible. The lifting of the mask mandate leaves it all up to the school districts and their discretion of mask-wearing. Can a place of employment require individuals coming and going to wear a mask? Of course. Does a place of employment need to require it to stay afloat? No.

Some of us hearing the news of these mandates being lifted are experiencing some serious unmasking envy. We’ve spent about 10 months listening to some of our governors mumble like Charlie Brown’s English teacher through a mask, shaming us that we were going to kill our grandparents if we didn’t cover our mugs. We watched people walk in open air, far away from others, wearing these things in fear that COVID-19 will assault them from behind a tree. We watched people in their cars, by themselves, wearing masks. We’ve seen friends who, despite keeping their circles small, took Christmas photos with their families. In their masks! The mandate for some turned into mass virtue-signaling for others. Those of us who wanted to keep the peace with our family members, friends and co-workers (we also wanted to keep our jobs), suffered (and continue to do so) with face coverings because of mandates. Mandates have made our elderly loved ones fearful, paranoid, downright combative at times and, instead of enjoying their golden years, locked in their homes. There have even been mask-up mandates that have defied logic. A positive Coronavirus test may have you locked up for 14 days in a room, in your own home, away from your family members. But it’s cool to Tinder. You cannot sing at church or dance at a wedding but you can protest for days on end in the city streets so long as you “mask up”. Stores cannot open up every single grocery checkout aisle because “social distancing” but lines can back up into the crowded food aisles with individuals and their shopping carts standing “six feet apart”. And, let’s not forget one of my favorite mandates. You must wear a mask as you enter a restaurant and walk to your table where you can then unmask. For sure no ‘Rona droplets will get you there!

Will there be stupidity as these mandates are lifted? Of course, there will be. But mandates, for one, didn’t prevent me or my family from coming down with COVID-19. We’ve masked up. We didn’t want to but we did. We’ve gone over a year without seeing some family members. I still have to mask up for a job that requires some manual labor from time to time and on some days, I come home with a relentless headache-headaches that have been worse since I’ve had COVID-19. I’m tired of snotting all over a piece of cloth every day. I want to breathe again. I’m tired of the cartoon drawings, the signs, the commercials. I miss people’s smiles, I miss wearing lipstick. I miss seeing the bottom half of people’s faces in pictures. I miss shoes as someone’s main accessory. I miss handshakes and hugs. I miss independent thought. If that makes me selfish, so be it.

One plus side of the mask is my gaping mouth daily when I read headlines, hear the news or anything in the way that defies sensibility and logic and think, “is this our reality”? It is. People are complaining about mandates being lifted and getting their rights back. Yep. The madness continues. Jaw is hitting the floor and boy, do I need some more Ibuprofen.

Photo Credit: Chad Davis/FlickR/CC BY-SA 2.0/Cropped

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