Happy Birthday to Biba!
The Fear of Freedom
by Sean Gangol
Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
Recently Gregg Abbot, the governor of my home state of Texas recently ordered the complete reopening of the state, which meant the end to all the statewide COVID restrictions. Among those restrictions was the mask mandate. For those of us who love freedom and were tired of having to wear a mask every time we need to make a trip to the store, we cheered wildly. Those who don‘t value individual freedom and were perfectly fine with having their breathing restricted, threw hissy fits that you wouldn‘t believe. Some of them whined about how it‘s too early to remove the mandates, as if they actually know the precise time to do away with them. As I have said several times in my previous articles, there really doesn‘t seem to be any actual evidence that any of the measures, whether it be masks, social distancing or complete lockdowns, have actually slowed the spread of the Corona virus. If they did, then you would think the states with the most draconian measures would have the fewest infection rates and fewest deaths than the states that were the laxest in their approach to COVID. That doesn‘t seem to be the case at all. Take a look at California, New York and Michigan, all of which have practically been turned into police states by their governors, and yet they still have outrageously high deaths contributed to the Corona virus.
That is why I am so amazed that people still have such a love affair with these measures, especially the mask mandates. You see all these PSA‘s telling us to mask up and act as if it is really saving lives. There are celebrities (I refuse to give these idiots more attention by naming them) who decided to make themselves public health experts and publicly shame those who refuse to wear masks. Sadly, the organizations behind the PSA‘s and the celebrities/public health experts were actually much more civil in their push for masks, unlike the fanatics who treat anybody who doesn ‘t wear a mask like he is Typhoid Mary. Before I start trashing the mask fanatics, I want to point out that while I believe masks are ineffective, I don‘t have a problem with people who choose to wear them on their own freewill. I never understood why people felt the need to wear a mask when they are outside in an empty parking lot or even when they are driving around in their own cars. Though, unlike those who want everybody to wear a mask, I haven‘t exactly lost sleep over those who choose to wear them to feel more secure. If wearing a cape and walking backwards, while calling yourself Batman makes you feel safe, do it. Just don‘t force it on me or anyone else.
To be fair there are also nutcases on anti-mask side too. I remember the idiots shown on YouTube throwing hissy fits in the middle of grocery stores because they were asked to mask-up before entering. What these fools don‘t seem to understand is that many of these stores are following mandates passed by the governments in the states that they happen to reside in. Even in cases where these stores have their own mask mandates, it‘s still unfair to give those poor low-level employees, who have no say in their company‘ s policies, trouble for doing their jobs. I also want to say that I am absolutely disgusted with the people who have taken it upon themselves to stab and shoot store clerks for trying to enforce policies created by the higher-ups. Even more recent, a Mexican restaurant in my hometown of Houston received death threats when they said that they will require their customers to wear masks when they enter their restaurants despite what the state mandates now says. As ridiculous as I think it is to have to wear a mask only to take it off once I am seated, I think threating the owners or their staff is even more ridiculous. If you hate wearing a mask that much, then buy your groceries or your margaritas somewhere else. There is no need to resort to hissy fits, idle threats or violence.
I could also say the same for the maskers who have taken upon themselves to pepper-spray unmasked people sitting in empty fields having picnics or spilling coffee on someone sitting on a park bench while trying to eat his burrito in peace. For people who claim that they have a better understanding of science than the anti-maskers, they don‘t seem to understand that you can‘t eat or drink through a mask. While we do have nutcases on the anti-mask side, for the most part they don ‘t care one way or another whether you choose to wear a mask. The issue stems from those who want to force masks on everyone else. I remember when the anti-maskers were told to stay home if they didn ‘t like wearing masks. Yet, the same thing doesn‘t seem to apply to maskers who are demanding retail stores keep their mask policies. I also think that it is interesting that anti-maskers were berated and called selfish, despite the apparent lack of evidence that showed that masks even work in preventing the spread of the virus. To me it seems obvious that these masks provide nothing but a false sense of security. This is what George Carline would call the “ illusion of security.” It begs the question of how the people who refuse to play into this illusion are considered selfish, while those who demanded it are considered noble.
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