If You're Vaccinated, Stop Wearing Masks Outdoors
If we ever want to return to normal, people have to start behaving normally.
Nearly a year ago(!), I wrote about masks becoming another cog in the culture wars and that it was primarily something that took place on the right:
On the right, masks have become another form of tyranny. Private businesses such as Costco are requiring people to wear a mask inside the store. The property owners where I work are requiring (until further notice) people to wear masks in common areas of the building. You will not be allowed into the building without a mask.
For some on the right, it is a bridge too far. “How dare they infringe upon my rights?” Naturally, private companies cannot abrogate rights. For them, it is a business decision and without liability reform, it’s a smart one. Also, how is the requirement to wear a mask violate one’s rights, even in spirit? “No shirt, no shoes, no service” is an oldie but still apropos. But some have decided that a mask requirement is all about a big power grab to get people to submit to what they want, whatever that is. Fine, you stay home with your principles.
Unfortunately, we’ve now reached a point where it’s entirely reversed. Even though at least 30% of people in every state, mostly made up of those who are the most vulnerable to developing severe symptoms, have gotten at least one shot (or, in cases of those who took J&J, their only shot), people are continuing to walk around outdoors without a mask, and the main reason? Because they care or have concern about their community.
Meaning those of you who aren’t wearing a mask outdoors don’t care about anyone. Look at this tweet and scroll through the replies:
I don’t use the term virtue-signaling often. I think too many people mistake its use the same way they do gaslighting. But the entire “I am wearing my mask outdoors because I care about people” announcement is virtue signaling on steroids.
The problem I have with the public health officials (I say officials because many of them are not experts —L.A. county’s health director has a doctorate in social welfare, for example) is they are implementing policy from appointed, not elected positions. And they’re using their authority to manipulate human behavior and sometimes lying to achieve those ends.
Anthony Fauci was on Meet The Press this weekend and was asked about wearing masks despite having the vaccine. Look at what he said:
But currently the reason is that when you get vaccinated, you are clearly diminishing dramatically your risk of getting infected. That's one of the things we've got to make sure everybody understands. You dramatically diminish it. However, what happens is that you might get infected and get absolutely no symptoms, not know you're infected and then inadvertently go into a situation with vulnerable people. And if you don't have a mask, you might inadvertently infect them.
He vacillates between “dramatically diminish” to “might” in a few words. You know, when I walk out of my house, I might get hit by a car. I might fall down some stairs. I might have to run away from a sword-wielding clown.
The CDC’s data shows the possibility of getting the virus when fully vaccinated is infrequent. They looked at what they call “breakthrough cases” of people who contracted COVID despite being fully vaccinated and found a mere 5,800 people out of more than 66 million. As a percentage, that comes out to 0.008% of those who are fully vaccinated contracted COVID. That means you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of catching the virus if you’re fully vaccinated.
1 in 10,000.
What are your chances of…
Dying in a fall? 1 in 106
Dying in a car crash? 1 in 107 (Which makes the photos in this Twitter thread of people taking selfies wearing masks while in their cars all that more amusing)
Dying from drowning? 1 in 1,187
Dying in a fire? 1 in 1,547
Dying from choking on food? 1 in 2,535
Dying of sunstroke? 1 in 8,243
By the way, the 1 in 10,000 figure represents your chances of catching COVID. The chances that you’ll die or need hospitalization are dramatically lower.
Before the emails and comments start flying, my call for not wearing masks outdoors is not some “own the libs” take. I am merely talking about common sense and a return to some semblance of normalcy. I can’t say the motive of public health officials is to keep people perpetually afraid of the virus. Still, it certainly seems that way. When Fauci is out there saying, “I’m not eating indoors at restaurants or going to the movies, and I am wearing my mask outdoors,” what kind of message does that send to people, particularly those who haven’t taken the vaccine?
Remember the runoff elections in Georgia? Smart people warned that Trump’s constant rhetoric about the election getting stolen and massive fraud would impact turnout, and it did.
Isn’t it possible people might think, “Why bother getting the vaccine if I have to continue to live life the way I’ve lived it for the last year?”
I don’t think it’s an unreasonable point worth considering. Yes, there are anti-vaxxers and others who won’t take the vaccine no matter what. But if they choose to take a chance with social Darwinism, that’s their decision.
But there are other considerations as well. A lot of people are lonely and struggling to deal with it. Drug overdoses are increasing. People are spending way too much time indoors on their phones and their computers, and many of them are going down rabbit holes of misinformation and radicalism. We cannot maintain this madness throughout the summer and into the fall.
No matter what one thinks about Anthony Fauci, he still carries with him a whole lot of influence. Would it be so hard for him publicly say, “The risk of getting COVID when fully vaccinated is very rare and that risk is lower while outdoors. While we may have to wear masks indoors a little longer, if you’re outdoors, go ahead and take the mask off”?
Would that be so terrible?
Otherwise, we’ll live in a constant state of fear, always getting told the virus is right around the corner, just waiting to get us.
I can’t live like that anymore. Yes, I’ll continue to wear masks indoors where required. It’s not a big deal.
But outdoors? No. The mask comes off the moment I am outside. Whether I am walking the dog, headed to the grocery store, or walking for exercise. I’m not going to wear one on the roof of my building. I am not going to wear one when I want to shoot photos in Washington, DC.
I want a return to normal and so I am going to start acting like it.