A friend writes:
So I was sitting outside with my neighbor last night, having a few beers and discussing the Soviet state of the US when this older man walks up in a hot pink shirt. I think, “who the hell is THIS guy?” He also has a mask on.
He hands us some print-outs and a card. He’s running for mayor of the little city where I live. He had a good sales pitch, Trump supporter, etc and so on. So I stopped him at one point and said (politely) “Sir, if you want to even have a prayer at my vote, you’ll take off the mask. You know like I do it’s symbolic. You handed us both papers that you touched without gloves. If there is contamination to be had, we’re contaminated.”
To my surprise he laughed, ripped off the mask and said, “Thank God. I hate that stupid thing.”
After 9-11, when we should have realized that diversity had wrecked our country since coming to power in the 1990s, people feared the terrorist epidemic, even though as far as we could tell, the most devastating attack was over.
The White House responded to the plaintive public cry to “do something” with a number of actions, one of which worked so well that no one will repeal it: the Patriot Act, which enables them to spy on digital communications and catch the portion of our diversity that is actually plotting terror attacks.
Another however proved to be nothing more than an enduring pain-in-the-neck because it was a jobs program at heart, and no politician will cut benefits or jobs programs unless he wants his current term to be his last term.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) does many things, including stealing your stuff and delaying your flights, but it added a highly visible extra layer of security. It is unclear if they have actually stopped any terror attacks, but their goal is to act as a deterrent against those who want to plan intricate nineteen-person hijackings.
For the most part, however, the TSA belongs to the category we call security theater, or that which gives the impression of security. This allows people to calm down and functional normally, which maximizes survival.
The masks are security theater. They will not actually stop this disease. Not living in large households, avoiding closed buildings with recirculating air, taking Vitamin D, and not having underlying conditions will help us.
In the long term, Sweden will turn out to be the model that everyone emulates. They lost a few people on the front of the epidemic, mostly because the immigrant labor who lived twenty to a house brought it into the elder care homes. Afterwards, however, everyone calmed down and normal life mostly resumed, resulting in strong economic confidence as the infection rate drops.
Currently, for American Leftists, the masks serve as a badge of obedience. If you wear one, you are tuned in to the mass media neurosis described in Michael Crichton’s State of Fear, and it means you are obediently conformist. If you do not? You are one of those dangerous ungoverned people, possibly a Right-winger.
Like all things leading up to this election, the mask debacle serves as a measurement of fear. They want to induce fear so that the electorate panics, drops the whole Trump and populism thing, and goes back to Clinton III with sleepy Joe Biden.