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Note, I am not taking a stance here one way or another.
Jackwraith wrote: Mask usage is still quite popular. It's just that mask resistance is overrepresented in American media: www.newsweek.com/most-americans-say-they...go-away-poll-1680654
Masking has turned into a sort of tribal signaling. Ironically it's taken on the same sort of life that gave birth to the anti-vax movement where a group of mothers caught up in the world of social media had to take more and more extreme stances to prove to the rest of the group that it was THEY who were the better mothers.
The truly bizarre thing is that science supports both everyone wearing a mask indefinitely as well as vaccinated people forgoing masks. If you take infectious disease science in a vacuum there is no scenario apart from herd immunity due to vaccination that suggests the mask ever coming off (and is bizarrely true even without COVID). If you include other branches of science, such as game theory and other social sciences, with no scenario where we can actually get mandates to work it becomes foolish for the vaccinated to wear masks (the little protection they would provide to the immuno-compromised becomes a rounding error unless they directly know of such an individual or work in healthcare) . And of course we had very early reached a point where mask wearing became a visible badge of which team you were on, well. . . we get to where we are.
It's only a form of tribal signaling because of the insistence of one political party on garnering the votes of people who are, quite literally, opposed to the science that you're citing. Yes, anti-vaxxers were present prior to COVID. They're also a public menace who should be banned from society in every way possible, since their ignorant views have created public health crises almost whenever their children have been allowed into public schools (most of which forbid students from attending unless they've been vaccinated.)
Yes, the risk percentage for the vulnerable is low but, given the long-term effects we've seen and the still significant morbidity rate for those vulnerable and the unvaccinated, there's no reasonable argument against slipping a piece of cloth over your mouth and nose for the periods when you're interacting with other people. All of the arguments against it have been utterly disingenuous ("lack of oxygen" and other horseshit; how do these people think hospital operating rooms function?) Any small percentage to help control the rates displayed in the image above is a net positive, IMO. The reason we don't hear any major COVID stories in places like South Korea is because the population willingly adopted the necessary measures to control its spread.
I wear a mask because I'm trying to protect others, not myself. It's unlikely that I've been infected, but even triple-vaxxed as I am, the possibility exists every time I go out. So I'm trying to reduce the risk to others as much as I can, for their direct benefit and that of society as a whole. It's a form of malignant narcissism in modern (mostly American) society (all rights and no responsibilities) that leads people to think that wearing a mask is a declaration of which "side" you're on and the negative response is often based in the absurdly selfish behavior that many of those people worried about "sides" don't want to admit to.
Jackwraith wrote: ibb.co/yy3yk7C
Yes, the risk percentage for the vulnerable is low but, given the long-term effects we've seen and the still significant morbidity rate for those vulnerable and the unvaccinated, there's no reasonable argument against slipping a piece of cloth over your mouth and nose for the periods when you're interacting with other people.
Of course, a properly fitting N95 mask is even more helpful. I wish I had time to carefully break down the post you are responding to and this post and think about them more. I live in the reddest county in the reddest state in the USA, and nobody at the college where I work wears a mask except for a few kids from Asia and a handful of others. My students alternate wearing and not wearing. I wear an N95 and all of the faculty mask up when we have a visiting job candidate, for health reasons and, I think, to atone for our guilt at making them travel to our campus. It can be both things at once. A mask can have a physical and symbolic function at the same time.
Frankly, the politicization of masks and vaccines feels like a war crime and one of the most horribly cynical things I can imagine right now, not that there aren't a lot to choose from.
I just don't understand who gets hurt when you wear a mask, or how that was turned into a symbol of illusory oppression.
Our campus has an ugly statue called the "statue of responsibility" because apparently liberals were taking the whole statue of liberty thing too far and eroding our society or something. Oddly, that sort of discussion about responsibility kind of faded when vaccines and masks were introduced as a way to keep society safe.
I was on date recently with a woman who is even more cautious about the pandemic than I am, so we took a walk around a nearly vacant park with her wearing a mask. The wind was brisk, so I soon put my mask on, though partly just to keep my face warm. Then we decided to go to dinner together. The nearest restaurant was a Thai place that was completely full except for one table for two, and nobody was wearing a mask. Neither of us felt like going back out in the cold right away, so we took the table and took off our masks. After ten minutes, I was able to relax and forget about the pandemic for a while.
We were at an AMC theater, and their individual theaters tend to be smaller and with stadium seating, so that in theory, everybody gets a good seat. In actual practice, only the last couple of rows are high enough to put viewers at eye-level with the center of the screen. Anybody sitting closer/lower must tile their head back to watch the movie. So at this particular movie, 95% of the seats were empty, and most people sat in the back rows. We were in the center of the back row, with groups of people sitting immediately adjacent to us on either side, without even the traditional one empty seat of separation. We didn't move, but my date put on her mask for the duration of the movie.
That's odd. Here in Spain assigned seats have been common for as long as I can remember. When the Pandemic hit, theaters simply made it so that reserving a group of seats automatically placed an one between them.
Shellhead wrote: A year or two before the pandemic, some movie theaters started selling specific seats. When purchasing your tickets, the theater employee would display a screen that showed you the available seats and you picked from those. Yesterday, I went to a movie for the first time since the start of the pandemic, and this practice continues. Unfortunately, this led to an uncomfortable situation yesterday [...] We were in the center of the back row, with groups of people sitting immediately adjacent to us on either side, without even the traditional one empty seat of separation.
Over here in the South I made the mistake of getting a burger at the newly opened ShakeShack in town last Friday. The burger was awful and if it was the first time I ate at a SS I'd never go back (too salty and the pickled peppers had too much vinegar). The thing is someone who worked at that mall had COVID. Since you scan a code everytime you enter a building my wife and I were pegged as being in that mall (although the kids don't have cell phones so were not, more on that later). So our codes turned yellow. My wife discovered this when she went grocery shopping and wasn't allowed in and had to wait in the parking lot until the bus returned an hour later. We also had to go to a specific testing site for people with yellow codes and stood in line for four hours for a test. If my wife didn't speak Cantonese it would have literally been impossible. We were handing over our phones constantly and asking strangers to help us fill out the online forms and make selections. The whole Saturday was spent on that single test, so no Journeys in Middle Earth on Saturday. Was also informed the gym was closed Sunday/Monday, but not the pool (there were kids there yesterday).
We informed the school and housing committee that we had a yellow code, and were told since the kids didn't have yellow codes they were still expected to go to school (a ha, I found the hole in their net). We were instructed to test again on day 3 and day 7, so we will pay out of pocket, have to schedule test and take half days today and Friday (won't have to use leave though).
Yesterday at 5PM the school informed us that classes will be in person today, then at 7:15 an update that classes will be closed all week. Today will be a day off while teacher prepare and the rest of the week will be online with the regular schedule. If it continues on it will move to half days (but the kids aren't really learning much online).
All this for what we are told is 10 cases in the city. If they authorize departure I'll send my family out of this mess and stay to hand over my stuff as best I can for the last seven weeks. Ugh.