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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.Published in Politics
CASES! CASES! CASES!
Are these positive cases really sick? I don’t know. The co-worker with a son said her son had something that she was thinking/hoping was just a cold. So I’m sure there are some level of symptoms. Our hospital is filling up with more Covid patients, too, and I heard the local health professionals were going to make a plea to the public.
It is a casedemic! Consider France now getting ready to impose utterly pointless nighttime lockdowns because of the case numbers:
But notice how little danger this poses by looking at deaths:
This is the global pattern. It means one or more of the following is true:
(a) The bug is no longer lethal
(b) It has already killed off most of its its preferred targets
(c) Only the healthy are getting the bug with few or no symptoms
(d) The testing cycle count being used is too high with huge % of false positives
But consider the logic in this: the lockdowns, masks etc did not actually stop the bug so we need to keep doing it. More leeches STAT! The beatings will continue until morale improves!
That is a huge spike. But nighttime. Why nighttime? I’ve never understood that.
It’s similar to the fact that it spreads when you walk into a restaurant, but stops spreading when you sit down.
You, sir, are being unfair to leeches. There are valid medical uses for leeches (e.g., taking down an eye so traumatized that it’s swollen shut). Still, I’m picking up what you’re putting down.
Our governor is taking the next step. I guess the pizza place will be reported for lack of enforcement:
I wonder why Montana, where we live spread out from each other, is seeing such an explosion of cases. The article says that the “White House task force” identified small, intimate gatherings of family and friends as a main spreader (having nothing to do with mask enforcement while picking up one’s pizza). I could see that. But how can you make rules that family can’t get together? Unless you had a fifty percent death rate for this thing, which would naturally make people stay away from each other, you can’t–you just can’t.
My work closed yesterday. But then in a reversal I was told I’d be taking my regular shift today. I think it’s that a number of my co-workers are quarantining due to specific exposure.
I think that’s what I’m hearing in Wisconsin, too. The sharp increase in cases happened when students returned to college this fall. (High-density living, lots of partying, quelle suprise!) But then they’d go home on the weekends and bring it to their families.
Nobody’s going to wear masks in their own homes with their own family members. And evidence suggests masks aren’t helping anyway. The only way out is through. Thankfully, the fatality rate is so low and continues to fall.
In California, you are technically not allowed to get together with extended family. I could see putting those gatherings on hold for a month or so to “flatten the curve.” But months and months on end? No way.
Nope, I misunderstood. We’re closed until Monday, when the handful of us still standing are going to be staffing it.
My wife is certain that we should cancel our annual Thanksgiving get-together this year. I’m not as certain.
This would be our family of four, my brother’s family of three, and two grandmas.
Our family regularly gets together with my mother. His family regularly gets together with his mother-in-law. Will it matter that the nine of us get together? The virus won’t spontaneously appear just because two family units that are COVID-free suddenly end up in the same room.
And yet . . . I will cater to my wife’s wishes.
(I think her main issue is getting together with my niece, who has been off at college — which are super-spreader events.)
Hopefully by late November we will be through this nonsense. (I’ve been saying “Hopefully next month . . .” since March.)
Maybe it’s a good thing that I have been disowned by my family! It will be just me and Ray this year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, we are still planning to have our chili party on the first Saturday in December, and everyone is invited! I will publish an invite here on Ricochet when we figure everything out. This year, more than ever, we need to celebrate our Liberty, and eat Ray’s Famous Chili.
I have zero doubt that Thanksgiving is going to be a super spreader event.
Just like the Sturgis bike rally, BLM demonstrations, all Trump rallies, the endless Antifa circus… Every predicted superspreader event has been a bust, epidemiology-wise.
This is completely different for reasons I have already stated.
Look at the chart – if there is one – that shows both positive tests and rates of testing. It is very likely that the two are directly related.
To be perfectly honest with you, covid is very much like the common cold, although a lot of people refuse to acknowledge that. It is going to spread much like the common cold, and where you look for it, you are likely to find it. I would suggest reading this article:
One more thing that I think is pretty important, with respect to “being frightened.” We are all too easily influenced by the attitudes and tones of those around us. If your newspapers start hyperventilating, if businesses start closing, if the governor imposes mask mandates and distance requirements … all of this creates the impression that something is dreadfully wrong, whether that is actually true or not, and it is very easy to get swept up in that. There is a massive element of groupthink with Covid, and that is something to keep in mind if you look around you and start to feel a bit frightened.
The article is about herd immunity, as there was a lot of (mostly political) pushback from the Great Barrington Declaration, but Professor Gupta points out that, although it has developed into a sort of “conventional wisdom” (based on assumption) that COVID is unique and uniquely deadly, the fact is that the 4 known coronaviruses that cause the common cold can also be quite deadly in very elderly (and other vulnerable) populations. The major difference is that CV19 has not been circulating as long, which means that populations lack immunity. This is pretty consistent with what we’ve seen (and obviously Professor Gupta is a highly credentialed epidemiologist, so I’d expect her opinion to be based on fact), and with the shape of these CV19 curves in all places where it has been measured. For the vast majority of people (some 99%), this is, quite literally, a cold. That we are reacting with masks/shutdowns/quarantine and treating it like the black death is one of the most unscientific episodes of groupthink that history has ever seen.
This needs to be injected (OK, figuratively) into everyone’s veins. But it won’t be.
“The biggest blunder in American history.”
Truth is, if we only tested people who were actually sick, guess what this thing would look like?
The indoor populations of offices and retail sites is on an entirely different plane of exposure probability than small gatherings of people most of whom were likely already in regular contact. The higher density cities now have fewer real positives than five months ago so I don’t see airports being higher risk as in April or May. I just don’t see any reason to expect a Thanksgiving surge.
We shall see.
I’ve never heard that, but it makes perfect sense.
How many people in this country have already had it? I don’t think it’s that big of a number.
This is relevant, @sawatdeeka: Worth a read.
I’m not frightened as much as concerned and uncertain about what this means for a chunk of my livelihood and what new restrictions are coming down the pike at us.
The only thing that the authorities should be doing is stay under medical resources and protect the vulnerable. If you do anything else it’s completely idiotic. Minnesota is terrible.
We have seen that we don’t need a big number. 70-80% of us may be resistant/immune apparently from past exposures to COVID variants. 80% of the Diamond Princess and Teddy Roosevelt groups tested negative despite definite enclosed spaces exposure. NYC has few cases and the count is now almost non-existent even though no more than 20% have the antibodies.
The weasel position is that there is no herd immunity unless 60% or more have the antibodies. If that were true, the case count would have continued to rise and not declined in April in NY, NJ, MA and Europe. Lots of pre-existing resistance added to a small but significant chunk of those with antibodies clearly provides the functional equivalent of herd immunity. Rand Paul is right, Fauci is wrong about the interpretation of the NY numbers.
They’ll think of something.
Mandatory goggles. Outdoors, too.
(I know – don’t give them ideas.)