Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Local Montanans Decide They’re Done Wearing Masks

 

I first noticed the pattern when picking up my cheese pizza at Little Caesar’s. Signs were everywhere: “Due to the Coronavirus, we are asking that you not wait in the lobby.” “Due to the governor’s order, masks are required for entry into this establishment.” With a little intake of breath, I realized I’d left my mask in the car. Then I saw that no one behind the counter was wearing a mask. Neither was the other customer, a man waiting casually in the lobby for his special order. The next time I got a hankering for pizza, I noticed the same thing. Montanans in our town are just finished with the mask mandate, and certain establishments and their clientele have tacitly agreed that going maskless is fine.

If I had a graph of mask compliance around here, it would show a steep, narrow curve. It’d start with about a third of locals in the stores wearing them, often older women and workers. Before the governor made the order, there were national guidelines, and probably some state and county recommendations, too, so we all had the feeling we were supposed to be wearing them. But the mask wearers stood out. And then the governor gave the order in July, some weeks after our re-opening, enforced through the businesses. Everyone was masked, and one of my friends told a story about being ordered out of a coffee shop after protesting she had a health condition, and told never to return. My graph shoots up to about 98%.

Then after some weeks, I noticed a trend of shoppers and workers wearing the masks right under their noses. They were wearing them just enough to avoid accusations of non-compliance. Not sure what that does to my graph. Enthusiasm was certainly falling. And now I go into places where almost no one is wearing a mask, or they’re doing it with the mouth-only compromise. They are only sort of wearing them. The line of my graph plummets down to 20% or so, except for in the number of stores that still strictly require them for entry.

The other night, upon entering a taco shop, I noticed that an older man and a younger one, presumably his son, had gone in right ahead of me. It was actually hard not to notice them, because before they strolled to the entrance, they were yelling back and forth, something about their car. It sounded like they were upset, but once in the restaurant, they appeared chummy and cheerful–Montanans do that sort of thing with their conversation decibels, and this public volume often has no correlation to feelings of anger. However, I also noted two other factors that had me tensed for some unpleasantness. First, there were signs pleading with customers to wear masks. One said: “Be kind. We are just trying to stay open.” I felt the pathos of the plea, and the resolution to uphold the requirement. Second, however, I saw that this vocal pair were not wearing masks, and neither were the required accessories anywhere near their persons.

But nothing unpleasant happened. The older man leaned up against the tall counter, behind which were both masked and sort-of-masked employees, and deliberated on his order. Near me stood another pair of customers who were not going to ruin their dinner out with face coverings, and a lady next to me who had her mask under her nose. “Do you want guacamole with that?” I could hear the server asking. The older man, after considering, said, “Yeah, go ahead and put all of the good stuff on it” in the same way a diner at a fine restaurant would order the hundred-dollar bottle of wine to go with the meal. He was already splurging on this pleasant fall evening, so he was going to go all out. Guacamole and everything. As they were ringing him up, the employees warmly wished him a great day. And they meant it.

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  1. Richard Easton Member

    Here’s a sign at a local restaurant in Dallas. No one was obeying it. The mask idiocy by the authorities keeps getting ramped up further.

    • #1
    • October 3, 2020, at 8:57 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  2. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeekaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Here’s a sign at a local restaurant in Dallas. No one was obeying it. The mask idiocy by the authorities keeps getting ramped up further.

    What a headache for businesses to enforce. 

    • #2
    • October 3, 2020, at 9:00 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  3. tigerlily Member

    Good for Montanans!

    • #3
    • October 3, 2020, at 9:01 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. sawatdeeka Member
    sawatdeekaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    tigerlily (View Comment):

    Good for Montanans!

    I’m somewhat skeptical of the efficacy of widespread mask-wearing, but I’m more of a spectator in this silent rebellion, since I’m a good girl who colors in the lines and always does what the big signs say. :-D

    • #4
    • October 3, 2020, at 9:03 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Washingtonians are almost to a person compliant. They are total sheep and obey all the dictator’s orders. We know that shops which let people in with no masks can face serious consequences. Some have had their utilities shut off, been fined, and lost licenses. Inslee is dead serious. 

    • #5
    • October 3, 2020, at 9:09 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  6. JennaStocker Member

    I have little hope of this happening in Minnesota-at least in the twin cities. I was thoroughly yelled at by the prototype Karen for not throwing out a customer for not wearing a mask. This mask less heathen was only in the store for about 1.7 minutes, mind you. What happened to the counter-culture generation who burned their bras in public defiance of “The Man”? I doubt they have the courage to do the same with the security theater masks that has become our official government COVID protocol. Our post mask mandates infection & death numbers are pretty much unchanged from before the mandate.

    • #6
    • October 3, 2020, at 9:26 PM PDT
    • 15 likes
  7. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor

    I tried to get thrown out of the George & Ellen McGovern Memorial Library and Museum for not wearing a mask but I wasn’t so lucky.

    • #7
    • October 3, 2020, at 10:12 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  8. Randy Webster Member

    I don’t even know if we have a mask mandate. I wear one when I go into a store that says I have to (most don’t). Otherwise not.

    • #8
    • October 3, 2020, at 10:13 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  9. HankRhody Freelance Philosopher Contributor

    We have a mask mandate in Wisconsin. I just looked up the exact definition. Technically speaking Groucho Marx glasses do not apply.

    Most businesses have a “masks required” sign on the door. A coffee shop I stop at has a “We’re not enforcing your mandate for you” sign on the door. 

    When I enter a place without a mask I’ve never once been hassled for it. Once a guy hinted at me, but being a guy I could pretend I didn’t understand the hint. I asked him about it a couple weeks later and no, it wasn’t actually a hint. He was oblivious to my maskless state and asking an unrelated question. Men.

    • #9
    • October 3, 2020, at 10:23 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  10. RushBabe49 Thatcher

    Trader Joe’s has an employee enforcer at the door to make sure you are masked correctly before letting you in. I have stopped shopping there. 

    • #10
    • October 3, 2020, at 10:43 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  11. Old Buckeye Member

    @Sawatdeeka, thanks for the report. I also notice more people wearing the mask below the nose. I put one on when I think I might get the stink eye for not wearing one, but the signs on the grocery stores around here saying masks are required are pretty small. But I’m outside Knox County (Knoxville), where the kahunas seem more concerned. If we go to the “big city,” we feel obliged to wear our masks. 

     

    • #11
    • October 4, 2020, at 2:59 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  12. Seawriter Contributor

    Old Buckeye (View Comment):
    I also notice more people wearing the mask below the nose.

    That’s what I do.

    • #12
    • October 4, 2020, at 5:13 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  13. Poindexter Member

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

     

    • #13
    • October 4, 2020, at 5:27 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  14. OldPhil Coolidge

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

    What’s the symptomatic percentage of those “cases?” How many tests are being performed? How about hospitalizations and deaths for the same periods? New case data means little without other measures.

    • #14
    • October 4, 2020, at 5:49 AM PDT
    • 16 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  15. Poindexter Member

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

    What’s the symptomatic percentage of those “cases?” How many tests are being performed? How about hospitalizations and deaths for the same periods? New case data means little without other measures.

    Question the data all you want. Be my guest, dig deeper. Cases are going up. There’s no downside to wearing a mask. I choose to do so to lessen my risk of getting sick, being out-of-action for days of weeks, or possibly dying.

    • #15
    • October 4, 2020, at 6:05 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  16. Stad Coolidge

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    What happened to the counter-culture generation who burned their bras in public defiance of “The Man”?

    I’m waiting for mask-burning bonfires to spring up in public parks all over the country . . .

    • #16
    • October 4, 2020, at 6:23 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  17. Old Bathos Moderator

    For those of us who have obsessively track COVID data, the NE US was hit first all with a pattern like that of Europe. Then the southern tier of the US with a pattern more similar to Mexico. The plains state and much of the west started to rise after other regions and their graphs all look the same. The bug does not notice much less respect spread-control policies.

    Montana is the 44th most dangerous state for COVID deaths. No young people have died and the “surge” in cases is partly an artifact of testing and reflects an increase in both testing and incidence in young people. Among the COVID-related fatalities, age range and incidence of co-morbidity is no different in Montana than anywhere else. 

    By this stage of the COVID-19 adventure in Montana, now that the bug is already in every county, if you are not metabolically or immunologically challenged nor live with someone who is, why isn’t it your civic duty is to accept the exceedingly low risk of serious illness to do your bit to spread and hasten immunity and end the pandemic? Why would you wear a mask to try to forestall or prevent what is best for society? Who exactly do you think you are protecting with a filthy, germ-encrusted highly porous cloth thing stuck on your face? Instead of a mask, why not just buy a Prius with Greenpeace and Biden bumper stickers to let the watchers know you are one of the good guys.

     

    • #17
    • October 4, 2020, at 6:29 AM PDT
    • 18 likes
  18. Bob Wainwright Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    For those of us who have obsessively track COVID data, the NE US was hit first all with a pattern like that of Europe. Then the southern tier of the US with a pattern more similar to Mexico. The plains state and much of the west started to rise after other regions and their graphs all look the same. The bug does not notice much less respect spread-control policies.

    Montana is the 44th most dangerous state for COVID deaths. No young people have died and the “surge” in cases is partly an artifact of testing and reflects an increase in both testing and incidence in young people. Among the COVID-related fatalities, age range and incidence of co-morbidity is no different in Montana than anywhere else.

    By this stage of the COVID-19 adventure in Montana, now that the bug is already in every county, if you are not metabolically or immunologically challenged nor live with someone who is, why isn’t it your civic duty is to accept the exceedingly low risk of serious illness to do your bit to spread and hasten immunity and end the pandemic? Why would you wear a mask to try to forestall or prevent what is best for society? Who exactly do you think you are protecting with a filthy, germ-encrusted highly porous cloth thing stuck on your face? Instead of a mask, why not just buy a Prius with Greenpeace and Biden bumper stickers to let the watchers know you are one of the good guys.

    Well I don’t wear a mask for any of those reasons. I wear it to protect myself, that’s it. I realize it will probably delay the end of the virus. But I’m just not willing to make that sacrifice for the team. Sorry.

    It’s not a crusty old cloth mask either. And my goggles protect my eyes from sneezed aerosols. I don’t enjoy looking like a freak in the grocery store, but then no one can recognize me anyway.

    There’s no doubt that the left will never willingly let masks go. Even when the virus is gone. They know mask mandates demoralize conservatives, and for that reason alone they will do everything they can to make them permanent, with influenza used to justify it. They’ll get a kick out of it, the way conservatives would if we had the power to require everyone to wear MAGA hats.

    • #18
    • October 4, 2020, at 6:59 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  19. Old Bathos Moderator

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    For those of us who have obsessively track COVID data, the NE US was hit first all with a pattern like that of Europe. Then the southern tier of the US with a pattern more similar to Mexico. The plains state and much of the west started to rise after other regions and their graphs all look the same. The bug does not notice much less respect spread-control policies.

    Montana is the 44th most dangerous state for COVID deaths. No young people have died and the “surge” in cases is partly an artifact of testing and reflects an increase in both testing and incidence in young people. Among the COVID-related fatalities, age range and incidence of co-morbidity is no different in Montana than anywhere else.

    By this stage of the COVID-19 adventure in Montana, now that the bug is already in every county, if you are not metabolically or immunologically challenged nor live with someone who is, why isn’t it your civic duty is to accept the exceedingly low risk of serious illness to do your bit to spread and hasten immunity and end the pandemic? Why would you wear a mask to try to forestall or prevent what is best for society? Who exactly do you think you are protecting with a filthy, germ-encrusted highly porous cloth thing stuck on your face? Instead of a mask, why not just buy a Prius with Greenpeace and Biden bumper stickers to let the watchers know you are one of the good guys.

    Well I don’t wear a mask for any of those reasons. I wear it to protect myself, that’s it. I realize it will probably delay the end of the virus. But I’m just not willing to make that sacrifice for the team. Sorry.

    It’s not a crusty old cloth mask either. And my goggles protect my eyes from sneezed aerosols. I don’t enjoy looking like a freak in the grocery store, but then no one can recognize me anyway.

    There’s no doubt that the left will never willingly let masks go. Even when the virus is gone. They know mask mandates demoralize conservatives, and for that reason alone they will do everything they can to make them permanent, with influenza used to justify it. They’ll get a kick out of it, the way conservatives would if we had the power to require everyone to wear MAGA hats.

    I have no problem with masks as a voluntary personal choice or as part of a family plan for the protection of the expressly vulnerable. As a universal mandated policy, however, they accomplish little and provide visual cover for an overriding policy approach that is wrongheaded.

    When you get home, do you have a protocol for mask removal? Decontamination of all exposed surfaces first? The CDC goes back and forth on surface transmission. As of last Friday they were still editing their latest “guidance” on COVID transmission.

    I was an NCO in charge of a support clinical lab in a facility with a wing designed for containment of super bugs. Serious spread control with serious decontamination is all or nothing. Gestures which provide only some limited improvement in the odds are not serious.

    • #19
    • October 4, 2020, at 7:40 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  20. Stad Coolidge

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):
    They know mask mandates demoralize conservatives, and for that reason alone they will do everything they can to make them permanent, with influenza used to justify it.

    I absolutely believe this. Sadly, many Republican governments buy into the continued hysteria and have extended mask mandates “just to be safe” . . .

    • #20
    • October 4, 2020, at 7:41 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  21. Bob Wainwright Member

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    Bob Wainwright (View Comment):

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

     

    why isn’t it your civic duty is to accept the exceedingly low risk of serious illness to do your bit to spread and hasten immunity and end the pandemic? Why would you wear a mask to try to forestall or prevent what is best for society? Who exactly do you think you are protecting with a filthy, germ-encrusted highly porous cloth thing stuck on your face? Instead of a mask, why not just buy a Prius with Greenpeace and Biden bumper stickers to let the watchers know you are one of the good guys.

    Well I don’t wear a mask for any of those reasons. I wear it to protect myself, that’s it. I realize it will probably delay the end of the virus. But I’m just not willing to make that sacrifice for the team. Sorry.

    It’s not a crusty old cloth mask either. And my goggles protect my eyes from sneezed aerosols. I don’t enjoy looking like a freak in the grocery store, but then no one can recognize me anyway.

    There’s no doubt that the left will never willingly let masks go. Even when the virus is gone. They know mask mandates demoralize conservatives, and for that reason alone they will do everything they can to make them permanent, with influenza used to justify it. They’ll get a kick out of it, the way conservatives would if we had the power to require everyone to wear MAGA hats.

    I have no problem with masks as a voluntary personal choice or as part of a family plan for the protection of the expressly vulnerable. As a universal mandated policy, however, they accomplish little and provide visual cover for an overriding policy approach that is wrongheaded.

    When you get home, do you have a protocol for mask removal? Decontamination of all exposed surfaces first? The CDC goes back and forth on surface transmission. As of last Friday they were still editing their latest “guidance” on COVID transmission.

    I was an NCO in charge of a support clinical lab in a facility with a wing designed for containment of super bugs. Serious spread control with serious decontamination is all or nothing. Gestures which provide only some limited improvement in the odds are not serious.

    Actually I don’t bother with all those procedures, other than to keep my hands from my face. I figure the grocery store isn’t like being in an ICU. The theory I follow is that viral dosage plays an important role in how sick you might get if you’re exposed. The precautions I take will likely reduce that dosage. The stats say I have a 1 in 200 chance of dying if I get it, which is too high, so I just want to reduce that even more.

     

     

    • #21
    • October 4, 2020, at 7:52 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  22. Buckpasser Member
    BuckpasserJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Here’s a sign at a local restaurant in Dallas. No one was obeying it. The mask idiocy by the authorities keeps getting ramped up further.

    How can you wear a mask and eat? If you take them off to eat, but not to just sit there in the same place without eating, what good is a mask? This is nothing more than the leftest governments forcing their power on regular people.

    • #22
    • October 4, 2020, at 8:14 AM PDT
    • 7 likes
  23. Linguaphile Member

    So interesting that that’s the case in Montana. Here in the San Diego area masks are everywhere–everyone wears them both employees of establishments (even Walmart) and customers. I think everyone is complying because they are afraid that Newsome will enact even more draconian measures if we don’t.

    • #23
    • October 4, 2020, at 8:28 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  24. Mark Camp Member

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

    Muzzlers and non-muzzlers have, for the most part, different systems of thinking. The former has never been documented; all we can say for sure about it is that it allows its practitioners to draw a random conclusion from a given fact, without the need for traditional syllogistic logic, which requires at least two logically connected premises to draw a conclusion.

    Me, I am of the conventional style of thinking that they used to teach in school. I also prefer not to self-muzzle.

    If my mind were of the modern, highly flexible design demonstrated so clearly in the above quote, here is how I would explain why I don’t voluntarily wear a mask.

    I would point to the exact same graph, and say, “Here is why I don’t wear a mask.”

    If you don’t need to provide a connection between your (single) fact and your conclusion, you can point to any fact and prove any conclusion.

    • #24
    • October 4, 2020, at 8:55 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  25. Full Size Tabby Member

    Poindexter (View Comment):
    There’s no downside to wearing a mask. I choose to do so to lessen my risk of getting sick, being out-of-action for days of weeks, or possibly dying.

    I understand the desire to lessen certain risks, but I see some downsides to the numerous barriers being inserted between people, one of those barriers being universal mask wearing. Downsides I consider substantial.

    I see before me most days diminished communication due to both reduced voice transmission and with masks, the near complete elimination of communication by facial expression, which for many people is a significant component of communication. Some hard-of-hearing friends of mine are having a terrible time.

    I see a significant transformation of American (Texas in particular in my case) society from open, friendly, and cooperative, to closed, restrained, and seeking to interact only to the minimal extent necessary to accomplish a necessary task. I am an introvert, yet even I become even more withdrawn and less inclined to try to communicate with others when I put on that state-required mask. Maybe not everybody’s personality is changed by covering their face, but some percentage of us are.

    And maybe universal mask wearing does reduce virus transmission by some amount, but it does so at significant cost to the personalities of many people, and at a significant cost (to me a downside) in changing the nature of American society. I’m not sure that, at a society level, the trade-offs are necessarily worth it. 

    • #25
    • October 4, 2020, at 9:18 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  26. OldPhil Coolidge

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    OldPhil (View Comment):

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

    What’s the symptomatic percentage of those “cases?” How many tests are being performed? How about hospitalizations and deaths for the same periods? New case data means little without other measures.

    Question the data all you want. Be my guest, dig deeper. Cases are going up. There’s no downside to wearing a mask. I choose to do so to lessen my risk of getting sick, being out-of-action for days of weeks, or possibly dying.

    Cases mean little without context, You have no answers.

    • #26
    • October 4, 2020, at 9:30 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  27. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    JennaStocker (View Comment):
    What happened to the counter-culture generation who burned their bras in public defiance of “The Man”?

    They have become “the Man” and they don’t even realize it.

    • #27
    • October 4, 2020, at 9:39 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  28. DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… Coolidge

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):
    I see a significant transformation of American (Texas in particular in my case) society from open, friendly, and cooperative, to closed, restrained, and seeking to interact only to the minimal extent necessary to accomplish a necessary task. I am an introvert, yet even I become even more withdrawn and less inclined to try to communicate with others when I put on that state-required mask. Maybe not everybody’s personality is changed by covering their face, but some percentage of us are.

    I feel humiliated every time I have to put on a mask.

    • #28
    • October 4, 2020, at 9:41 AM PDT
    • 9 likes
  29. Boss Mongo Member

    DrewInWisconsin, Man of Consta… (View Comment):
    I feel humiliated every time I have to put on a mask.

    Nope. Not an issue, brother.

    • #29
    • October 4, 2020, at 9:55 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  30. Stad Coolidge

    Mark Camp (View Comment):

    Poindexter (View Comment):

    Here’s why I wear my mask here in North Carolina:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/north-carolina/

    If I were in Montana, I’d wear a mask there also:

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/montana/

    Muzzlers and non-muzzlers have, for the most part, different systems of thinking. The former has never been documented; all we can say for sure about it is that it allows its practitioners to draw a random conclusion from a given fact, without the need for traditional syllogistic logic, which requires at least two logically connected premises to draw a conclusion.

    Me, I am of the conventional style of thinking that they used to teach in school. I also prefer not to self-muzzle.

    If my mind were of the modern, highly flexible design demonstrated so clearly in the above quote, here is how I would explain why I don’t voluntarily wear a mask.

    I would point to the exact same graph, and say, “Here is why I don’t wear a mask.”

    If you don’t need to provide a connection between your (single) fact and your conclusion, you can point to any fact and prove any conclusion.

    The problem with the new cases stat is that increased testing reveals more people have it, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the disease is spreading rapidly. In all likelihood testing is showing the true extent of the virus. Put another way, my belief is the virus has already spread fairly widely, which questions not only how effective safety prescautions are now, but way back in the spring when all this hit the fan . . .

    • #30
    • October 4, 2020, at 10:08 AM PDT
    • 5 likes