As Mask Mandates Slip, A Preemptive Plea Against Jackassery

Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire and his writing website Yonder and Home. Andrew is the host of Heard Tell podcast.

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91 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    The big Safeway has two entrances. They’re both on the same side of the building but the big entrance is down by the produce section and the little entrance is up near the deli.

    When the lockdowns were announced, Safeway locked the doors near the deli and cordoned them off with police tape. Only one entrance! Due to the covid!

    I don’t know why they came to the conclusion that this would do a dang thing. The more we learn about the covid, it seems like part of the right answer is “the more ventilation, the better”.

    Locking the second door strikes me as a “we’re doing something, dang it!” response. Even if it doesn’t help, it communicates how seriously they’re taking the disease. They locked the door next to the deli.

    When they unlock the door next to the deli, I imagine that air circulation/ventilation will improve somewhat slightly but it will also communicate that “things are getting back to normal”.

    For the record, *I* don’t want the store doors to open because things are getting back to normal! Things will never be normal again! I just want the store doors to open because of ventilation.Report

    • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

      Maybe it did nothing.

      But if it turns out that people got COVID in your store, would you want the story to be “this store did nothing AND PEOPLE GOT THE DISEASE”, or “as you can see from these photos this store took every precaution that the government advised, the transmission must have happened because recalcitrant pointlessly-individualistic right-wing mouth-breathers snuck in without masks on!”Report

      • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

        I understand that you don’t want the headline that has your company’s name next to “Superspreader Event” and I suppose that I can understand locking those doors when we were still in “seven weeks to slow the spread”.

        But it’s been a year. And the doors are still locked.Report

        • Fish in reply to Jaybird says:

          The Sprouts near my house had one set of doors designated the “entrance” and the other set, the “exit,” and for a while they did have employees at each door counting people. The last time I was there, a few weeks ago, they’d gone back to just both doors being open and do as you will. Masks were still required, obvs.Report

    • Reformed Republican in reply to Jaybird says:

      It also seems that forcing more people into a single entrance is forcing more people into closer contact at they pass by one another to enter and exit. Our Home Depot had separate entrance and exit doors, but they closed the exit doors. It seems counterproductive to me.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Reformed Republican says:

        Easier to count the people coming in and out to meet capacity mandates.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

          Ain’t nobody counting people at the Safeway.Report

          • Pat in reply to Jaybird says:

            Perhaps we may consider that performative attempts to looking like you’re doing the right thing are the problem.

            Not the right thing, and not doing things, but, specifically, doing only part of the right thing so that you can say you’re doing something, but not all of the right thing because that’s (a) too much effort (b) not well understood (c) something people are complaining about.Report

            • Jaybird in reply to Pat says:

              It would have been nice to get guidance.

              I have told this story before. I will tell it again.

              Last autumn, it was time for some to get maintenance done on the car. I wore my mask, did the distancing thing with the guy as best I could (we were in an open-air garage) and, after I approved that work be done on my car, he told me that I could walk over to the Village Inn across the street and, if I told them that I was waiting on my car, they’d give me 10% off.

              Instead, I chose to go to the Sonic that was right next to the Village Inn.

              The Sonic had half of its outdoor picnic tables flipped up over onto the other half and they had a bike chain and padlock locking them so that some enterprising young person couldn’t flip them back over and eat at them. I wandered back to the dealership and there were no seats outside. I leaned against a retaining wall that was about waist height and used the top of the wall as a shelf to hold my food and drink while I ate.

              I could go inside and sit at a booth. I was encouraged to do so.
              I was discouraged from eating outside.

              This is 100% topsy-turvy.

              It was possible to provide the guidance that “eating outdoors is significantly less risky than eating indoors” but that guidance wasn’t making its way down to the level of the Sonic. The car dealership hid all of its outside picnic tables.

              And, even today, the Safeway has its little door next to the deli locked.

              I cannot believe, for a second, that information about how this is a bad policy was not known back in October.

              This is something that *I* knew back then. I cannot believe that the authorities didn’t also know it… certainly not when Fauci goes on camera and talks about how he was lying a couple of weeks before.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Jaybird says:

      the “DO SOMETHING” sense is big; early in this we were exhorted to either have the students clean the classroom desks, or WE do it between classes. They even monitored how fast the spray stuff and paper towels were getting used up! We got nastygrams if they weren’t getting used up fast enough!

      We were also required to make seating charts, insist students sat in the same seat every day, and mark down who was present on any given day – we were the front lines of contact tracing. Once I did have to submit my seating charts when someone tested positive. (Luckily, the other times someone did, they were either already tuning in from home, or it was after the class had finished for the semester).

      But there was very much a sense of You Will Do These Things And It Is Your Fault If This Fails, which made me paranoid… the point where now campus has dropped the mask mandate, I am going “no wait I think I need to stick with it a bit longer”

      The surrounding city, FWIW, was a lot less strict. Groceries had “please wear a mask” signs but on any given day, between 60% and 85% of the people did NOT, even at the height of the pandemic. (I just went at low volume times, masked up, moved fast, and avoided humans like the plague). I hear tell the JoAnn’s nearest me (next state over) was limiting capacity to 100 people but since I didn’t leave town for like 8 months, I can’t verify if that actually happened.

      it’s…..gonna take me a while to be comfortable being in public again, even if we don’t see some horrific resurgence of the pandemic (which I, as a card carrying pessimist, fully expect)Report

      • Pinky in reply to fillyjonk says:

        I’ve heard people say it’s going to take a while to readjust, but I’m guessing most people will forget about it in an hour. Maybe the occasional “hey I forgot my – oh, that’s right”.

        I remember a month after I got my new car, realizing that I hadn’t been going out as often, because I’d internalized how I couldn’t trust my old car. That was easy to shake off once I noticed it.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Jaybird says:

      I remember when ALL this first started, I was getting multiple emails every day from every major retailer I ever shopped with. And, hell, even some of the smaller ones that had an online presence. “Here is how we are keeping our stores clean and safe for you. Blah blah blah…” A colleague wondered why they were sending such emails. My response: “Let’s say you’re the kind of person worried about this. Are you more likely to goto the grocery store that proactively informed you off their new cleaning procedures in a thoughtful, well put together email? Or the store that hasn’t said anything?”Report

  2. Oscar Gordon says:

    My OrangeTheory studio just opened back up and is allowing the fully vaccinated to go maskless, but asks for no proof, and one employee even claimed that it was a violation of HIPAA to even ask (hint: it’s not a violation of anything to ask about vaccinations, they are a public health concern).

    For us, the most we are doing is making sure our 9-year old is not spending time in stores that are not mandating masks, since he can’t be vaccinated yet.Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Oscar Gordon says:

      Penny for your thoughts…

      What will you for yourself do if/when you need to take the small one into a store that doesn’t require masks? Will you have him don a mask while you go maskless?

      I’ve been thinking a lot about this. NJ hasn’t yet changed any mask requirements so it remains hypothetical. But we will probably be getting the 14-year-old stepdaughter vaccinated soon, which means “the children” will now being living by two different sets of rules vis a vis Covid. Which just feels weird. Do we all mask up if the two little ones have to as a sign of solidarity? Or treat masks like car seats: the folks who need them use them and the folks who don’t, don’t? My gut is to due the former but I may be projecting onto them my own feelings about masks and fairness and blahblahblah. They generally aren’t bothered by masks. Half the time I’ll look back after picking them up at school and they’re still wearing their masks halfway home.

      Just curious to hear from another parent in a similar-ish boat and who may be confronted with this situation sooner.Report

  3. JS says:

    My whole family is vaccinated. I finally had lunch with them (parents, brother, and my niece) last week. We say outside, wore masks whenever the waiter came by, but didn’t bother when it was “just us”.

    I haven’t been sick with ANYTHING in like 15 months. Two days later both my mother and I came down with the same illness, pretty directly sourced to my niece.

    What a lovely reunion gift. Sinus crap.

    In the meantime, I continue to wear a mask. I mean for starters, right now, I am actively sick (if not with COVID, thankfully). Second, while I trust the J&J shot I got to keep me out of the hospital, I’d still prefer not to risk a mild case of COVID since it’s still fluttering around.Report

  4. Saul Degraw says:

    I have largely stopped wearing my mask outside except in places that require it like the farmer’s market. The farmer’s markets in SF have decided to let people pick their own produce again instead of having the stall workers do it. Though now they have snaking lines through the bins. Even in SF, things are getting back to normalish.

    Meanwhile, Australia is sticking with plans to keep international travelers out until mid-2022. Singapore is going back down on lockdown because of increased cases but still something less than 200. Restaurants can only do take out again and it is back to mandatory work from home. I think Singapore has also increased its quarantine for people coming in from overseas from two weeks to three weeks.

    There are lots of issues going on with COVID-19. Most of which involve significant increases in negative partisanship. I disagree that the increase is only among the very online or a small portion of the population. Negative partisanship is increasing across the United States and is only going to get worse before it gets better, if it gets better.Report

  5. Philip H says:

    I’m fully vaccinated, as is my wife, my parents and my grown daughters. We will take the 12 year old for her first shot this week.

    Mississippi is 28% fully vaccinated as a proportion of total population. Our county is 24% fully vaccinated. Weekly statewide total does rate fell by nearly half just last week. None of this gives me confidence that we should be maskless. And yet we have been essentially since the beginning to the month, as schools are now the only places left here with mask mandates. We may make the summer OK, but the very false sense of security portends a bad winter.Report

  6. Walmart is requesting that customers who have yet to receive their vaccine continue to wear a mask

    Yeah, that’ll happen.Report

  7. CJColucci says:

    I have refrained from playing amateur epidemiologist throughout the pandemic and will not depart from that policy here. I’ll just tell you what I do without making any claim as to its medical necessity or efficacy. When outdoors, I keep my mask around my chin unless I am about to approach closely people whose vaccination status I do not know — which is most people on the street. Indoors, I keep a mask on except at a table with people whose vaccination status I know. After all this time, it’s simply no big deal. From what I’ve seen out in the world, a slight majority locally are doing roughly the same thing.Report

  8. Saul Degraw says:

    My general feeling is that the rest of the year and possibly into 2022 will be a very uneasy, make it up as we go along, advance and retreat version of going back to “normal” for a variety of reasons:

    1. There is no clear consensus between people who could on the benefits of working from home vs. going to the office. Some people really like working from home and find it more relaxing, less stressful, more productive. Other people really dislike it and want to go back soon. I’m kind of a hybrid kind of guy but I know people who are still really apprehensive about going back to the office and others who are chomping at the bit. There is a big question about what if these forces clash. What happens when Company A stays fully remote needs to coordinate with Company B which is all about back to the office?

    2. A lot of people are not sure about what is and is not safe now that they are vaccinated and seem freaked out about the stories of vaccinated people getting minor cases of COVID. This is entirely expected. the flu vaccine does not prevent all cases of the flu but it makes one immune to a severe flu and death from flu. I’ve hung out with fully vaccinated people inside like it was the pre-COVID era and also with vaccinated people who still insist on outside and some social distancing.

    3. The culture war aspect will make all of this worse.

    *One example I can think of is just from law. I know lots of lawyers who hate zoom depositions and zoom mediations, and trials but I think others might like them especially because costs are reduced and it sucks to travel for a 2-3 hour deposition and need to do an overnight.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      yeah, in some arms of academia we’ve been talking about “is there some way we could have a virtual option on conferences/conference presentations forever?” For some people, it actually worked as an accommodation: I know some people with chronic illnesses or disability for whom travel is difficult, and others who are caretakers for small children or aged parents who find traveling hard. (Also people like me who have essentially zero travel budget provided and have to do most of their conference stuff either off grants, or out of our own pocket).

      That said? In person conferences are much better if you’re on the job market, or looking for new collaborators; it’s very, very hard to socialize virtually, even with “Zoom mixers” and the like.

      I will say teaching in person with an online option was hard and a lot more work (we received v. little logistical support so all the extra stuff was on us) and I have decided I will ONLY offer online as an official accommodation with a doctor’s letter. And I won’t “record for later viewing,” in my experience, students SAID they’d watch it later but they DID NOT.Report

    • LeeEsq in reply to Saul Degraw says:

      Teachers seem to really like working from home.Report

      • fillyjonk in reply to LeeEsq says:

        Maybe K-12? I really loathed it. If I can’t be around my students in person it feels like “what’s even the point?” I felt like very little actual learning happened. (I teach mostly lab sciences)Report

  9. Anne says:

    First email in my in box this morning was jackassery. Blasting us for buying into the mask hoax and promising to share their displeasure with us on social media and that they would never patronize us EVER!

    I run a railway museum and we are an operating railroad subject to Federal Railroad Administration and TSA regulations. FRA just came out LAST month! With a regulation requiring masks on all train rides for crew and passengers. Subject to a fine that would bankrupt the museum.

    We allow people on the museum grounds to not wear masks but of course require them on all rides.Report

    • fillyjonk in reply to Anne says:

      I am taking Amtrak tomorrow; the mask mandate is still in place for Amtrak.

      I do not envy the conductors and car attendants in this. I have a roomette, meaning I can take it off when I’m in my room, but will def. comply with the request to wear one in public areas of the train.

      “I don’t envy the conductors’ – that said, they do have a pretty big stick, they are allowed to put people who refuse to mask off at the next station stop.

      But I’m glad I have a roomette so I won’t have to deal with any potential anti-mask complainers.

      Someday I gotta get up to your museum 🙂Report

  10. Michael Cain says:

    I had to run errands this morning, stopping at Target and the local Kroger chain. Both still have their mask mandate signs up. I am pleased to say that everyone was wearing their masks, and no one was making a fuss. Oh, and the liquor store had taken their sign down, but everyone inside was wearing a mask regardless, and no one was fussing.Report

  11. Douglas Hayden says:

    Already today I’ve seen a couple posts on the ol’ TL where there’s been declarations to the point of “Regardless of the science, I’ll still wear a mask to make the Trumpers mad / to show I’m not a Trumper.” A friend of mine has already admitted worrying that people would mistake her for MAGA if she didn’t wear a mask.

    Me, well, I’m enjoying the vaccinated life and not wearing the mask unless mandated. All the while I try to convince myself that you’re right, its nothing to worry about, and that we’re not making things even worse for if/when the next national emergency hits. I hope.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Douglas Hayden says:

      Masks should never have become politicized.Report

      • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

        Masks should never have become politicized? I’ll give you that they should never have become partisan. But they’re a centerpiece of a major policy change within a democracy, so I don’t know how you set parameters for legitimate policy debate that fence masks off.Report

        • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

          We never had a “legitimate” policy debate that included masks. Nice try.Report

        • Jesse in reply to Pinky says:

          I don’t know – somehow, in basically every other country outside of the US & Brazil, outside of the fringiest 10-15% all agreed on masks.Report

          • Pinky in reply to Jesse says:

            You can’t talk about masks as if they’re a single point. The type, the timeline, the level of government, the level of enforcement, the places where they’re required, the enforcement itself…the word “masks” masks a lot.Report

            • Jesse in reply to Pinky says:

              The word “masks” meant a lot specifically to people like you, conservative American’s.

              The rest of the world, again outside the weirdness of Brazil, including conservative voters in other countries, went, “yeah, that makes sense” to masks, including much harsher mask mandates from the central government.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Jesse says:

                I don’t know if you’re trying to dodge this point, but it’s an obvious one, and one that you can grant without losing any ground. Let’s face it, you’re wonderful and nothing’s going to change that. It’s also true that timetables, colored zones, crowd sizes, et cetera, were major decisions being made by administrations around the globe.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Pinky says:

              Also what level of violence it’s legitimate to use against retail employees trying to enforce store policy to wear them.Report

          • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

            From December:

            So many memories.Report

            • Jesse in reply to Jaybird says:

              Ah yes, another edition of Jaybird Tries to Act Above It All, While Using Right Wing Framing to Make Oblique Attacks, #534 in a Series

              “Vox said something off about masks in March, thus Both Sides Are Bad. Checkmate, SJW libs!,” is not the argument you think it is.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Jesse says:

                Would it help if I found other sources for the “masks don’t work” message?

                It wasn’t just Vox. Oh, no. Would that it was.

                It’s that there was a smug narrative about how people shouldn’t be paranoid and wear them.

                What’s crazy is that the smug assurance didn’t change an iota when the opposite thing was argued.

                Almost as if it was about arguing for a narrative instead of an argument.

                Should I bother finding you more evidence of the “masks don’t work” thing?Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                The tone of voice web sites employ is more important than the public health issue.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                What are you going for? Persuasion?

                The game is iterated. And it wasn’t merely “web sites”.

                It was the WHO. It was Fauci Himself.

                If you want to smugly quote the authorities, you’d best have authorities worth listening to… lest you come across as a parrot when we’re at war with Eastasia a couple months later.Report

              • Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird says:

                OK, I’ll start paying attention to Alex Berenson and Joe Rogan instead.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                Are they changing more minds than Vox?

                If so, you’d better.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Andrew, did the jackassery start earlier or later than you anticipated when you posted?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                “I know. I’ll engage in social shaming! My moral authority will *SHINE THROUGH*!”Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird says:

                Jaybird, when 51% of the country is on your side, you don’t need to care what those mouth-breathing dysgenic-breeding pointlessly-rebellious “muh freedums, muh jerbs, muh guns” okay-ers think of you.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Did it work when you tried it?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                Sometimes I can get people to talk about the topic instead of talking about me personally.

                Sometimes I can’t.

                So… sometimes.Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                Ever wonder why what you say so often leads to people talking about you? I mean besides all the times you make it about you.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to CJColucci says:

                In this particular case, I assume it’s because it’s easier to argue against me personally than, say, whether we should be arguing yet another freaking Team Evil vs. Team Good argument about how everybody (but America) agreed about Masks.

                Would you rather argue against me personally than discuss whether “the authorities” suffer from some serious credibility problems?Report

              • CJColucci in reply to Jaybird says:

                So no?Report

              • Pinky in reply to CJColucci says:

                Jesse’s personal attack, maybe?Report

              • JS in reply to CJColucci says:

                He really needs to learn to use a longer spoon when stirring.

                Sadly, even that has devolved as he’s outsourced his thinking to Twitter. If I wanted to see random Tweets, I’d use Twitter.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                “The tone of voice web sites employ is more important than the public health issue.”

                A tone-policing argument? In 2021?Report

              • Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck says:

                If you want High Collaboration, you need High Trust.

                If you merely have Medium Trust you will get Medium Collaboration.

                (For the record, this is why I am a big supporter of vaccine lotteries and a huge opponent of vaccine shaming.)Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                I can’t get to high trust with people who both shun the science and then call me a traitor to American values because I don’t happily follow them down some “freedom” based path where over a half million fellow Americans dies needlessly. If that’s your goal please take it elsewhere.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Philip, please don’t think that I’m asking you to act with High Collaboration if you don’t have High Trust.

                I absolutely understand why you would not.Report

              • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

                Let me give you and I guess Jesse a bit of advice.

                Let’s say there are two kinds of people in the world, those who have good arguments and those whose arguments boil down to “eff all y’all”. The proper way to reply to the first group is with equally good arguments, while if you’re going to reply to the second group, you don’t need anything more than “no, eff all *you* all”.

                Now, let’s say you’re a member of the first group, but you start to assume that everyone who disagrees with you is a member of the second group. You start saying “eff all you all” so often that it starts to sound like “eff all y’all”, and you become functionally no different than a member of the second group.Report

              • Jesse in reply to Pinky says:

                Except of course, over a period of years, you can determine when people say they’re part of group one, but continually act like they’re part of group two, then act very upset and insulted when you point that out.Report

              • Pat in reply to Jesse says:

                “It was the WHO. It was Fauci Himself.

                If you want to smugly quote the authorities, you’d best have authorities worth listening to… lest you come across as a parrot when we’re at war with Eastasia a couple months later.”

                Except that’s a retcon. Click through the links, watch the video that’s linked by the link to the thing you’re linking to.

                I really don’t know how we got *here*, from where we were back in April of last year, but the progression of the conversation about masks is being re-written.

                At the beginning, health officials said two things, very consistently:

                (a) We don’t know how well homemade masks work, and there’s good reason to believe that poorly made or poorly worn masks are little to no defense

                (b) The public is trying to buy N95 masks, which are in short supply and desperately needed by healthcare workers, and the public mostly doesn’t know how to wear N95 masks properly anyway, so please stop buying them.

                Both of those things were true. Pretty non-controversially.

                Somehow, “people need to stop buying this scarce resource that they don’t know how to use properly anyway and is desperately needed because our government didn’t replenish the national stockpile and our current President refuses to invoke the power of the government to procure sufficient masks, and they shouldn’t rely upon poorly made homemade masks when we don’t know that the major vector for the disease isn’t surface contamination” has become “the gubmit told us not to wear masks LOL those morons”.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pat says:

                I agree with both A and B. But let’s square that with:

                The word “masks” meant a lot specifically to people like you, conservative American’s.

                The rest of the world, again outside the weirdness of Brazil, including conservative voters in other countries, went, “yeah, that makes sense” to masks, including much harsher mask mandates from the central government.


              • Pat in reply to Pat says:

                Sure, there’s the problem that what was said on interview shows wasn’t exhaustively explained down to the detail, and that leads to where we are now, where people are pretending that folks in April were saying something broader than what they were actually saying. It’s still a comms failure.

                But it completely, utterly boggles my fucking mind that anyone who was actually paying attention to the information as it was coming out, who was following the level of uncertainty and updating what we knew and when now thinks that “God the experts were obviously horribly wrong and anybody and everybody could see it at the time how their certainty about how right they were is just another example of technocratic idiocy”.

                That’s some pretty awesome closure, I’ll admit.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Pat says:

                My argument is not “God the experts were obviously horribly wrong and anybody and everybody could see it at the time how their certainty about how right they were is just another example of technocratic idiocy”.

                It is “people who were paying attention at the time were confused by the mixed messaging and so it makes a lot of sense that the mixed messaging did nothing but confirm the priors of the audience that was most inclined to believe the fraction of the messaging that they liked… and so, thus, they ran with it.”

                Here’s from May 7th:

                The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states explicitly — in large, bold lettering — that airborne virus can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected individual. The new language, posted online, is a change from the agency’s previous position that most infections were acquired through “close contact, not airborne transmission.”

                We got a vaccine in less time than it took the CDC to change its position on how the virus was transmitted.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                It is “people who were paying attention at the time were confused by the mixed messaging and so it makes a lot of sense that the mixed messaging did nothing but confirm the priors of the audience that was most inclined to believe the fraction of the messaging that they liked… and so, thus, they ran with it.”

                Nope. those paying attention asked about what they saw as mixed messages and got clarity which they ran with. Those who dismissed the whole thing because it wasn’t perfect (and they were not inclined to pay attention to anyway because it violated their priors) are the ones we take issue with.Report

              • Patrick in reply to Philip H says:

                Some, if not much (if not most!) of the mixed messaging was actually part of an ongoing disinformation campaign to inject uncertainty and FUD into the conversation.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Patrick says:

                also true.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                The wonderful Zeynep Tufekci has a thread that touches on some of my concerns from the last 14 months or so.


              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                I agree with her that ventilation is a bigger deal then it has been given credit for. And everyone going back into offices that haven’t had ventilation redos may well be a bigger problem going forward. Ditto schools without adequate ventilation.

                But heh – FREEDOM!Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

                “But heh – FREEDOM!”

                you’re honestly going with “okay, so the government people whose job it was to understand and implement the science demonstrably failed to do so, and obviously failed, and failed right away, and continued to fail through the entire event, but, those rednecks? They’re REALLY dumb!”Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Philip, I am arguing for the freedom to eat outside at Sonic and to go into the Safeway through the smaller doors next to the deli.Report

              • Philip H in reply to Jaybird says:

                We’ve been eating outside at the Sonic since roughly August last year. You just don’t live in a red enough part of the country.Report

              • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

                Nope. I live in the part that effing loves science.Report

              • DensityDuck in reply to Philip H says:

                ” those paying attention asked about what they saw as mixed messages and got clarity which they ran with.”

                and the clarity you receive tomorrow may be different than the clarity you receive today but it shall be clarity nonetheless, and it is your duty as a Science-Follower to make sure that anyone who questions this clarity is shat upon, because, after all, the answer is obvious if only you listen to the government officials, and it’s quite clear that Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia.Report

              • Pinky in reply to DensityDuck says:

                You’re forgetting about the important reports that came out before the CDC changed its policy. The jobs report, the inflation report…Report

      • Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird says:

        I have convinced myself that there’s a back story that goes like this. The experts all knew that handwashing couldn’t hurt, and might help. Similarly they also knew that mask wearing couldn’t hurt, and might help. And they knew that if the public took to mask wearing on any scale, the supplies were wholly inadequate, the supply chains for PPE mostly led back to China where they could be cut off at the government’s whim (which did happen for a while), and the front line medical people would pay a serious price.

        Interesting read at Wired about how the medical profession got so wrong about aerosol spread, not just for Covid but in general.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain says:

          We engaged in religious handwashing for a few months and did the thing where we had a “decontamination room” for the mail. Packages, bills, whatever, they got to spend a day in decontamination.

          Go out for much more than a trip to the mailbox? Strip down the second you get home, kick your clothes down into the basement, then march upstairs for a shower.

          Groceries? Fuggitabowdit. Get them delivered, put the stuff that goes bad in the fridge/freezer and then put the dry goods off to the side for a bit to decontaminate.

          We did dang near everything perfect and budgeted our risk very carefully. I had a couple of gettogethers outside and only had long conversations with friends if we were able to socially distance (like, I’d sit on the deck and they’d sit at the bottom of the stairs and we’d shout up/down to each other).

          We followed the swiss cheese model, even as others were engaging in enthusiastic gettogethers downtown every g-darn night.

          We got our shots and followed the rules.

          And the little door down by the deli is still locked. The Sonic only recently unlocked the outdoor picnic tables.

          Lotta dead people who didn’t have to be.

          I am now doing what I can to try to convince my anti-vax (and anti-THIS-vax) friends and co-workers to get the shot. And their number one complaint is the confident wrongness of the last year.Report

  12. Slade the Leveller says:

    My answer to a question posed on FB about where and when to wear a mask, even after one is vaccinated (which I am):

    Where I wear one will now be:
    1. If requested to.
    2. Indoors in the more Trumpy areas of the country.
    3. Anywhere else I feel like wearing one.

    I went out to dinner with my in-laws this past Saturday, sitting down in a restaurant for the first time in over a year, and it was glorious. No mask required. The next day I went to play golf and the clubhouse had a mask required sign on it. I managed to survive the 5 masked minutes it took me to pay the greens fee.Report

  13. Jaybird says:

    Fauci discussing on Good Morning America why he talked about masks the way he did:


    • Pinky in reply to Jaybird says:

      I think Fauci did more damage to his reputation in the past week or so than any other time. He was just saying that we might be closer to normal next Mothers’ Day, a few days before the new CDC guidelines. I think that says more about the decision-making process than about him, but it sure doesn’t make him look good.Report

      • Philip H in reply to Pinky says:

        or it says NIH and CDC STILL don’t play well with each other, and Dr. Fauci gave his best scientific opinion based on what he knew. He doesn’t loose any respect points for that except to people who don’t respect him, or science anyway.Report

        • Pinky in reply to Philip H says:

          I didn’t say respect, I said reputation. And my comment about the decision-making process includes the communication between government entities.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to Philip H says:

          Dr. Fauci gave his best scientific opinion based on what he knew.

          He phrased “I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low.” exceptionally poorly, then.

          Because he could have communicated that being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of his getting infected in an indoor setting was extremely low.Report