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June 25, 2021

The Dripping Contempt in Remaining COVID-19 Restrictions [Joe Mannix]

I was recently looking at a website for a museum to review an exhibit and saw the bizarre mental gymnastics regarding their COVID restrictions. I will leave out the details to protect the guilty, but it was interesting in that they started with the rationale, then got to the policies afterward. The high points of the context setting start making a nasty picture:

1. The CDC has updated guidance to state that fully vaccinated people don’t need to wear masks.
2. The vaccines aren’t approved for children.
3. The vaccines have not been permitted for teenagers until recently, and most are not vaccinated.
4. Only around a third of residents in the museum’s primary service area are “fully vaccinated” per public health agencies.

After all the preamble, they get to the policy: masks are required for all people regardless of status. There are two reasons for this. One is clear and in black-and-white. The other requires reading between the lines a bit. The stated reason is that because the museum is a major family destination - yet children can’t get the vaccine and teenagers usually don’t - you have to mask up because of that. This stated reason has a gaping hole in it, though, and ties in to the fourth point in the list of contextualizing items they used to justify the policy.

According to the public health authorities in their area, a lot of folks - a significant majority - aren’t fully vaccinated despite availability. I looked up the museum’s resident county and surrounds, and indeed this is correct according to the public health agencies. But that has nothing to do with their final justification about children, does it? Since children don’t qualify for the vaccine at all, the museum could have simply reworked their mask mandate along those lines and left well enough alone. I’d have rolled my eyes about it and laughed at them, but that’s as far as it would have gone. So this begs a question: why bring up vaccination rates in the first place, since they aren’t part of the stated justification?

The answer to this is simple. The mask policy is being used a punishment. They’re using kids as an excuse, but the implications seem apparent:

You uppity residents aren’t getting the vaccine when we told you to get it. You’re also not wearing masks out in the larger community, which means you’re lying about your status and willfully breaking The Holy Writ of the CDC and violating Pontiff Fauci’s bulls. We’ll put you in your right place. No unmasking for you. Not until you comply. Your compliance is all we want.

Little kids basically don’t get COVID and when they do, it is only very rarely serious. Ditto for teenagers. This is very well known, even among the LIV crowd. Yet these people at this museum are more than happy to use kids and teenagers as an excuse to mete out the best punishment they can manage within their tiny area of authority.

The rationalization is absurd on its face and everyone knows it. This has nothing to do with the vaccine or kids. This has to do with the imposition of will. Until you comply, we not permit you the life you want.

This attitude – the contempt, the arrogance, the maximization of power however narrow the jurisdiction, the unearned righteousness – is what COVID has brought to the surface to a greater degree than anything else I have seen in my lifetime. It has shown who these people are, and what makes them tick. It has shown that there are a lot more aspiring HOA presidents than most of us ever considered. If we’re very, very lucky, HOA president will be as far as any of them can hope to rise.

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posted by Open Blogger at 04:33 PM

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