Keeping Up With COVID Theatre to Be “Nice People”

 

I saw a patient today who I like very much – she is a little over 70-years-old but looks much younger.  Very pleasant and cheerful.  Her husband made a ton of money in petroleum engineering and retired at 52-years-old.  She spent her life playing tennis and doing volunteer work, and she is a very happy person.  She is also progressive, in a pleasant, non-confrontational way.  She’s just a nice person.  Impossible to dislike her.

She wore her mask into the exam room, as she’s supposed to (I think).  She told me that she really appreciated our efforts at patient safety, with my secretary checking forehead temps on anyone who walked in the door.  I thanked her for her kind words but pointed out that I’ve been checking forehead temps at the front desk for over a year now, and haven’t turned anyone away yet.  A dentist friend of mine has turned away one patient, out of over 3,000 forehead temps.  So I’m not sure how many lives we’ve saved with our heroic efforts.  But whatever, we’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

I told her that since we’ve both been vaccinated, we don’t need to wear our masks and she told me that she felt better with a mask on.  I pointed out that the whole point of getting a vaccine was to develop immunity to the virus; I haven’t seen COVID in months.  And the data on masks is uncertain; they might help… alittle bit… maybe.  I’m not sure.  But she said that she felt better with a mask on, regardless.  Good for her – she was cheerfully secure behind her mask.  So I kept mine on, too.  Which pleased her.  We’re both nice people.

Whatever.  We’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

I’m amazed at how comfortable Democrats are with risk.  Open borders don’t bother them.  Allowing the government to run Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac sounds reasonable.  We can sign treaties with Russia and China and sleep well at night.  Printing trillions of dollars of new money is sound monetary policy.  Defunding police will reduce crime.  We can shut down the economy with no consequences.

Whatever.  We’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

Taking huge risks is ok.  Democrats appear to be very comfortable with enormous risks.

I’ve taken risks in my life.  But not like this.  I need to sleep at night.  How do they tolerate such uncertainty?

It’s amazing.

But it also amazes me how Democrats are so easily comforted by imaginary security.  Imaginary temperature readings.  Ineffective masks.  Insane monetary policy.  Treaties that aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on.  Reducing crime by reducing law enforcement in high crime areas.

Things that scare me, comfort Democrats.  I don’t understand.

But whatever.  We’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

None of this makes any sense.  But my Democrat friends feel better.  I’m not sure why.

They fear white supremacist nationalist rednecks, without ever having met one.  But they are comforted by obviously meaningless gestures, which they see everyday, with no basis in reality.

These are very nice people.  Who mean well.  And they’re easy to please – just wear your mask and check their temperature.  That means you’re nice, too.  It’s impossible to dislike these people.  They’re nice people.  Completely harmless.  I want them to be harmless, and they intend to be harmless.

So they’re harmless.  Whatever.  We’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

But for some reason, I’m not sure that this is harmless.  It should be.  But maybe it’s not.

I wish it were.  It’s impossible to dislike such nice people.  Surely I’m being unreasonable.  Right?

Whatever.  We’re all nice people.  It’s the thought that counts.  Right?

Unless there’s more to it than that.

Eh, whatever.  She’s so nice.  And so am I.  She’s impossible to dislike.

We had a lovely visit…

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  1. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    They are not nice people.  Actually quite the opposite as we will continue to find out.

    • #1
  2. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    “Nice” has its origins in the Middle English word for stupid. I find that useful when I think someone or some idea is stupid but I find it impolitic or impolite to say so directly.  Instead I say “What a nice idea,” or “aren’t you nice.”

    • #2
  3. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior?  In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask. 

    • #3
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy) Thatcher
    Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Democracy)
    @GumbyMark

    Nice post.

    • #4
  5. Jan Coolidge
    Jan
    @ChileGirl

    I had a visit with my “concierge” doc yesterday.  Everyone in her practice was masked up, one person with a mask that looked high tech with filters…who knows what was going on there.  She came into the room and I asked if I could take my mask off, and saying that I was vaxxed and she probably was, too.  She said of course, and I took mine off, but she never did.  I laughed and said, “I wonder how long we are going  to play this game.” She didn’t really reply to that, but we went on and had a pleasant conversation. 
    I later related this to my spouse, and he gently rebuked me, pointing out that it was a business and she has to accommodate everyone.  I disagreed, saying that she should be an example of good science and sense, and unless she had specific information about a particular client, she should lead the way. I guess I am weary of having to accommodate all the CNN hypochondriacs out there. 

    • #5
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior? In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask.

    Speak for yourself. I am not happy to live and let live, in hundreds of ways. We are surrounded by necessary rules and laws. 

    You can probably think is a dozen laws that govern things as simple as driving or walking down the street.

    I find the whole live-and-let-live thing to be one of those naive cliches that substitute for thought or rational argument.  It’s a cheap one-liner.

    • #6
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    I’m afraid we’re creating mental illness. A small fraction of people will never give up their masks, and we will label them “mentally ill.”

    That’s kind of what happened with “germaphobes.” When my mother-in-law was bringing up her kids, which was a long time period because she had her first child at the age of 26 in 1934 and her fourth child (my husband) at the age of 42 in 1950, mothers were assigned the task of keeping germs away from their babies and their families. It was a lot of work.

    By the time my children came along in the seventies, doctors had relaxed considerably about the necessity of keeping the household germ free. First of all, it was impossible to do, and second, doctors had decided that germs were good for stimulating the immune system gently. :-) Those who continued with those practices were written up in the psychiatry journals and labeled “obsessive-compulsive.” :-)

    The work involved in living a germ-free life eventually helped to calm most people’s fears. The risk-versus-work equation informed their thinking. Mask wearing will go the same way eventually. But there will always be some people who can’t switch off the fear of going maskless.

    I think the local doctors will be the ones to get people to give up the masks. As soon as the CDC changes its advice and the doctors’ professional organizations give their blessing to going maskless, local doctors will explain the actual costs and benefits in such a way that people will accept that information. Most people will be okay with it. :-)

    I live in a mask-devoted state. I was really pleased to go to the local “recycling center” (what we used to call the “town dump”) today, and for the first time in a year, all of the signs that read “Masks Must Be Worn Per the Board of Health” in this outside setting were gone. Yay! There’s hope. This will end soon. :-)

    • #7
  8. Doctor Robert Member
    Doctor Robert
    @DoctorRobert

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior? In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask.

    I met a new patient today, a while after Saint Anthony intoned on vaccines and masks.  Everyone knew.  The office girls were running around without masks.  Good for them.

    This new patient was my typical new patient, a 66 year old slender white lady with newly-diagnosed osteoporosis.  She’s in the far corner chair, all drawn back.  She’s double masked.  She looks like a frightened kitten.

    “Hi, I’m Doc Robert.  Pleased to meet you,  And you should know, I am immunized against Covid, so you don’t need to wear the masks.”

    “Well, I like wearing them.  I’ve had the vaccines, both of them”

    So I took off my mask, and said, “Please, take off your mask. I can’t hurt you, and you can’t hurt me. We can communicate better if I can see your face”

    She took the masks off and we started the interview.

    After maybe two minutes, she put ONE of them back on and said “I just have to have it on. I feel safer.”

    I remained maskless, and we had a good visit.  A nice visit.  She checked out to one of the maskless office clerks and went on her way.

    I really pity these people.  I just wish so many of them did not have control over me and my life.

     

    • #8
  9. RushBabe49 Thatcher
    RushBabe49
    @RushBabe49

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior? In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask.

    Speak for yourself. I am not happy to live and let live, in hundreds of ways. We are surrounded by necessary rules and laws.

    You can probably think is a dozen laws that govern things as simple as driving or walking down the street.

    I find the whole live-and-let-live thing to be one of those naive cliches that substitute for thought or rational argument. It’s a cheap one-liner.

    Jerry, that verbal slap in the face was uncalled-for.  I was using “live and let live” to apply only to the mask-wearing situation, and nowhere else.  I choose not to wear a mask unless mandated, because I have been fully vaccinated and do not fear every single other person on earth.  I want the people I deal with in life to accept me without a mask, and I will accept their decision to wear one.  Neither of us controls the other’s behavior, and each of us agrees to bear the consequences of our decision.  I prefer to act like a free person, and not like a slave.

    • #9
  10. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Hey. Dat lady really don’t look 70.

    • #10
  11. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    The lack of immediate consequences makes most altruistic beliefs seem Good and Wise, particularly if the personal cost seems minimal.

    • #11
  12. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    “Nice” has its origins in the Middle English word for stupid. I find that useful when I think someone or some idea is stupid but I find it impolitic or impolite to say so directly. Instead I say “What a nice idea,” or “aren’t you nice.”

    Are you sure ?  I had heard it came from “Perfect” but got trivialized from overuse.    Will have to check the etymology for myself.

    • #12
  13. E. Kent Golding Member
    E. Kent Golding
    @EKentGolding

    The dust and dirt that my lawn mower stirs up really sets off my allergies.   I now wear a mask mowing the lawn,  about the only time I wear a mask when not required to by a business.    Was mowing the other day, and was gently rebuked by someone —  I was told that both Biden and the CDC said I didn’t have to wear my mask outside.    I thanked them for their concern and said it was about allergies, not COVID.

    • #13
  14. Guruforhire Member
    Guruforhire
    @Guruforhire

    I think COVID is the first time that liberals really ever grappled with all the things that go bump in the night, in more than the conceptual.  Bad things suddenly could happen to them.

    • #14
  15. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    I really can care less if somebody wants to wear a mask.  It is there business.  My issue is when they feel they need to force their will on me.   That I have to live their illusion or be destroyed, doxed, turned over to the gentle graces of the government or social media and removed from employment.  I do not know why we live in a world that enjoys destroying others so much.

    • #15
  16. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    I could, somewhat crudely, separate liberals and conservatives (already a crude formulation lol) into those who are ‘nice’ on the retail level and ‘mean’ on the wholesale level. 

    I know so many people who are unfailingly “nice” but they really aren’t in private. I have become afraid of these people – or I don’t trust them. Me, I am not at all nice. But I like people, but I guess I don’t really need them to like me. Especially not if they don’t like me because I’m not ‘nice’! 

    When it comes to politics, as in  rules for people, I want to be very ‘nice’ to accommodate as many people with different pursuits and ideas as possible while having order.

    I’m reminded of a new pet peeve I have that can illustrate part of this ‘nice’ thing. I have come to notice and loathe new customer service banter that is overly polite and extremely wordy. I’m sure most of you have experienced this endless politeness that is essentially a meaningless and a huge time-waster. It’s obviously scripted and empty. Ultimately making the interchange empty of humanity. All that’s left is this facade of cordiality,

    One question to ask is, Why does this person feel the need to be so nice and polite?

    Incidentally, Ellen “Be Kind” De Generes has had he show cancelled for essentially being rather unkind in private to her underlings.

    • #16
  17. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    E. Kent Golding (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    “Nice” has its origins in the Middle English word for stupid. I find that useful when I think someone or some idea is stupid but I find it impolitic or impolite to say so directly. Instead I say “What a nice idea,” or “aren’t you nice.”

    Are you sure ? I had heard it came from “Perfect” but got trivialized from overuse. Will have to check the etymology for myself.

    From the Oxford English Dictionary:

    nice/nīs/ Origin Middle English (in the sense ‘stupid’): from Old French, from Latin nescius ‘ignorant’, from nescire ‘not know’. Other early senses included ‘coy, reserved’, giving rise to ‘fastidious, scrupulous’: this led both to the sense ‘fine, subtle’ (regarded by some as the ‘correct’ sense), and to the main current senses.

    • #17
  18. JohnVonEcon Coolidge
    JohnVonEcon
    @John Scott

    The masks always reminded me of a scene in Kurt Vonnegut Jr’s Sirens of Titan. The Martians were going to invade Earth. They got into their spaceships, which had two buttons: “On” and “Off.”

    “On” closed the doors, started the spaceship, took it to Earth, landed it, and opened the doors. “Off” didn’t do anything. But no one would get into a spaceship without an “Off” button.

    Masks are a ritual that someone can do to give them the illusion that they have control. Yes, the disease is out there, but I can do this thing and fight against it. I am prepared. 

    I am almost 60 and, last week, I helped an older lady, probably 70+, find the club soda in Walmart. She was masked. I was not. As we were about to go our separate ways I said, probably needlessly, “Don’t worry. I’m vaccinated.”

    She said that she was not. She said that she didn’t trust a vaccination that was not well tested. I said that tens of thousands were in the controlled trials and hundreds of millions had already been vaccinated. She said that there were no long-term studies of the vaccination. I said that was right, but there could not be long term studies with a new medicine, and further, my doctor had likely prescribed medicines for me that were new, but I never even asked how long they had been in use, so I didn’t see that as a problem. She said that maybe after more time had passed, she would be vaccinated.

    The conversation could not have been more pleasant. But I found it sad that she was refusing a 90% solution in favor of a .0001% solution. I wish her only the best.

     

     

     

    • #18
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior? In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask.

    Speak for yourself. I am not happy to live and let live, in hundreds of ways. We are surrounded by necessary rules and laws.

    You can probably think is a dozen laws that govern things as simple as driving or walking down the street.

    I find the whole live-and-let-live thing to be one of those naive cliches that substitute for thought or rational argument. It’s a cheap one-liner.

    Jerry, that verbal slap in the face was uncalled-for. I was using “live and let live” to apply only to the mask-wearing situation, and nowhere else. I choose not to wear a mask unless mandated, because I have been fully vaccinated and do not fear every single other person on earth. I want the people I deal with in life to accept me without a mask, and I will accept their decision to wear one. Neither of us controls the other’s behavior, and each of us agrees to bear the consequences of our decision. I prefer to act like a free person, and not like a slave.

    “Live and let live” would bring this country back together if only leftists adopted it.  Instead, they take their twisted view of how a Utopian society should function and pass laws to force everyone to comply.  They form public school curricula to indoctrinate our children into their world, thus driving a wedge between parents and their offspring when the folks try to contradict what the teachers are teaching.  They make up facts in the name of “science” as an excuse to turn our way of life completely upside-down.

    As for masks, I believe the left wants to keep the mandates because eventually only leftists will be wearing them, and they don’t want to be thought of as weird or non-normal – which they are . . .

    • #19
  20. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    Jan (View Comment):
    she should be an example of good science and sense, and unless she had specific information about a particular client, she should lead the way.

    I understand your point.  But doctors really don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing right now.  And it’s hard to lead the way when we’re supposed to follow the rules.  Whatever they are.

    When it comes to infectious disease, this is an area that doctors should follow government guidance, and not just do whatever they want.  America’s response to a pandemic needs to be a coordinated effort.

    The problem, as you point out, is when the guidance coming from our government doesn’t make any sense.  What do you do then?

    I was sitting at a red light once, about 3rd in line, waiting for it to turn green.  It stayed red, apparently not working properly.  I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder how long we’d all sit here if it just stayed red?”  After a while, cars behind me started turning around and going the other way.  I eventually did, too.  Although not until others had done so.

    I don’t know what your doctor’s opinion of masks is.  But if she’s wearing one because she thinks she’s supposed to, I completely understand.

    • #20
  21. Seawriter Contributor
    Seawriter
    @Seawriter

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    I was sitting at a red light once, about 3rd in line, waiting for it to turn green.  It stayed red, apparently not working properly.  I remember thinking to myself, “I wonder how long we’d all sit here if it just stayed red?”  After a while, cars behind me started turning around and going the other way.  I eventually did, too.  Although not until others had done so.

    In those cases my solution is to take a right on red, make a left turn into the first available driveway, turn around there, head back to the intersection and make a right – allowing me to proceed down my original direction.

    • #21
  22. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    RushBabe49 (View Comment):

    We are happy to live and let live, while they insist on controlling the behavior of everyone. Did you notice how she controlled your behavior? In the same situation, I would have gently told her that I preferred not to wear a mask.

    Speak for yourself. I am not happy to live and let live, in hundreds of ways. We are surrounded by necessary rules and laws.

    You can probably think is a dozen laws that govern things as simple as driving or walking down the street.

    I find the whole live-and-let-live thing to be one of those naive cliches that substitute for thought or rational argument. It’s a cheap one-liner.

    Jerry, that verbal slap in the face was uncalled-for. I was using “live and let live” to apply only to the mask-wearing situation, and nowhere else. I choose not to wear a mask unless mandated, because I have been fully vaccinated and do not fear every single other person on earth. I want the people I deal with in life to accept me without a mask, and I will accept their decision to wear one. Neither of us controls the other’s behavior, and each of us agrees to bear the consequences of our decision. I prefer to act like a free person, and not like a slave.

    RushBabe, sorry for my overreaction. It wasn’t clear to me, from your comment, that you were limiting your argument to the mask issue.

    I do agree that, in some circumstances, live and let live is the correct rule to follow.  Sometimes not, though.

    I was never fond of masking, but thought that the pro-maskers had a plausible argument before the vaccines became widely available. Now that people can protect themselves with a vaccination, the argument in favor of masking has been undermined, so we’re in agreement.

    Again, I apologize for my overreaction. I’ve developed a negative reaction to extreme libertarian arguments that may be excessive at times.

    • #22
  23. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I find the whole live-and-let-live thing to be one of those naive cliches that substitute for thought or rational argument.  It’s a cheap one-liner.

     Im willing to let you live, even when you’re wrong. 

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    America’s response to a pandemic needs to be a coordinated effort.

    Why?

    • #24
  25. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat
    @drbastiat

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    America’s response to a pandemic needs to be a coordinated effort.

    Why?

    An infectious disease that is affecting millions of people is a public health matter. 

    Northern Ohio was once the malaria capital of the world.  We got rid of malaria there by draining the swamps.  Not one or two swamps, here and there.  It only works if we drain all of them.

    Vaccines work best when you give them to everybody.  Or at least, nearly everybody.  

    This needs to be a coordinated effort.

    Which is why competent leadership is so important.  Which, admittedly, we don’t have right now.

    But that doesn’t change the fact that widespread infectious disease requires a coordinated response.

    • #25
  26. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    MarciN (View Comment):

    I’m afraid we’re creating mental illness. A small fraction of people will never give up their masks, and we will label them “mentally ill.”

    I hope that you are right and that we will not have a new self-identifying category of mask-wearers who resent the tyranny of the unmasked disease-spreaders and demand concessions for their delusions.

    • #26
  27. Paul Stinchfield Member
    Paul Stinchfield
    @PaulStinchfield

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    “Nice” has its origins in the Middle English word for stupid. I find that useful when I think someone or some idea is stupid but I find it impolitic or impolite to say so directly. Instead I say “What a nice idea,” or “aren’t you nice.”

    Such shifts of meaning are not rare: “Villain” now means “evil person” but originally meant “peasant”.

    • #27
  28. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat (View Comment):
    America’s response to a pandemic needs to be a coordinated effort.

    Why?

    It works better when large numbers of organized people take action . . .

    • #28
  29. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Paul Stinchfield (View Comment):

    Seawriter (View Comment):

    “Nice” has its origins in the Middle English word for stupid. I find that useful when I think someone or some idea is stupid but I find it impolitic or impolite to say so directly. Instead I say “What a nice idea,” or “aren’t you nice.”

    Such shifts of meaning are not rare: “Villain” now means “evil person” but originally meant “peasant”.

    I don’t know … have you gotten a load of the peasants lately?

    • #29
  30. Doug Kimball Thatcher
    Doug Kimball
    @DougKimball

    Jan (View Comment):

    I had a visit with my “concierge” doc yesterday. Everyone in her practice was masked up, one person with a mask that looked high tech with filters…who knows what was going on there. She came into the room and I asked if I could take my mask off, and saying that I was vaxxed and she probably was, too. She said of course, and I took mine off, but she never did. I laughed and said, “I wonder how long we are going to play this game.” She didn’t really reply to that, but we went on and had a pleasant conversation.
    I later related this to my spouse, and he gently rebuked me, pointing out that it was a business and she has to accommodate everyone. I disagreed, saying that she should be an example of good science and sense, and unless she had specific information about a particular client, she should lead the way. I guess I am weary of having to accommodate all the CNN hypochondriacs out there.

    You may have said you were vaccinated, but were you really?  Since this is impossible to verify (for now) then it is best to continue to be vigilent and wear a mask.  As for whether the mask works or not, that is a matter of faith and of course she believes, thus it does.  End of discussion.  

     

    • #30