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Behind the Mask

If you live in Michigan, than you, like I, probably jumped out of your seat when Governor Whitmer put out her latest order. If not from be startled, than probably just from sheer anger and a general sense of being at your wit’s end. Yes, masks are actually mandatory now.

Exactly one standard incubation period after Witmer turned a blind eye to destructive demonstrations and maskless breaches to her social-distancing decrees (joining them, on occasion), Michigan is now experiencing, to her supposed shock, a sudden bounce in Coronavirus cases. How odd. Surely, there must be a reason?

But fear not, citizens; for like the competent and steadfast leader that she is, Gretchen Witmer is here – not to round up and punish rioters, but to threaten to jail and fine just about anyone who isn’t one at whatever restaurants and retailers remain standing under her watch. Six months ago, you would probably have the police called on you for wearing a mask in a bank, now God help you if you don’t (at least we still have our cops, right?).

Many businesses – many of whom I wasn’t sure had made it through the initial lockdown or now – were just beginning to warm back up and come back to life until Gretchen decided she wasn’t done playing as Lysa Arryn yet; throwing people through her Moon Door and against the rocks if they fail to comply with the ever-shifting and poorly communicated settled science. Shortened hours and increased prices were and are a pain, but I was willing to deal with them if it meant getting things going again. But if people aren’t cowering in their homes and watching an entire year pass them by from their windows, then I guess she just doesn’t feel like she’s doing her job.

I’m about as much of a health expert as Whitmer is, but I do know this: Masks are only particularly effective in preventing the wearer from spreading the saliva droplets containing coronavirus. These masks are not gas masks, nor do they prevent people from instinctively rubbing their eyes which is one of them most common methods of contracting the virus.

I won’t tell you not to wear one, but people tend not to take kindly to being made to wear something they don’t want to especially during the hot summer months. If Whitmer really wanted to save those who are vulnerable and prevent the spread, it may have been prudent to invest in education and public safety announcements regarding general hygiene like the much less impacted Sweden had. Do you know how many people actually wash their hands regularly? You may not want to know.

In closing, you aren’t doing anyone any favors by criminalizing the act of not taking half-measures against a disease that seems to manage to infect people while they are literally quarantined in their houses. Last time I checked, poverty and malnutrition as a result of joblessness caused by unsound judgement, as well as spreading as much fear as viral bodies, is a pretty poor way to ensure the health and well-being of your constituents. But I guess nobody in Lansing is bothering to point this out.

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