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My Most Ridiculous Experience Yet With Mask Mandates

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

On Monday night, my wife and I went to a concert for a band she liked. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until after we purchased the tickets that we found out about the venue’s COVID policy.

The venue was in Buffalo, New York, in Erie County—which has a mask mandate—and the venue is mainly following recommendations from the county. Nevertheless, our experience going to the concert was proof of just how silly and pointless these mandates are.

According to the venue’s policy, ticket holders and attendees for all shows and events are required to “provide proof of a negative, lab-administered COVID-19 PCR or Rapid Test administered within 48 hours of entry” or have proof of vaccination. Despite the vaccination requirement, for the “safety” of their staff, ticket holders and attendees are “required to wear masks upon entering” the building and are then “strongly encouraged to be masked throughout the event.”

Curiously, children under twelve, who are more protected from COVID than even vaccinated adults, are not allowed to attend events there “for the immediate future.”

So, what happened? Before entering the building, security needed to see our ID and our proof of vaccination. We provided both, and then I was asked by security to put my mask on.

The security guard wasn’t even masked. I kid you not. You can imagine how difficult it was for me not to point out how absurd that was to him.

So, I put the stupid mask on and walked through the lobby with my wife, and then our tickets were scanned by another security guard, who was also… you guessed it… not masked!

Immediately after being allowed in, our masks were no longer required. We literally were required to wear our masks for the less than thirty seconds it took to get from the front door to the entry of the bar area. I swear, virtually everyone had taken their masks off immediately at this point. In the actual room where the entertainment was, almost nobody wore a mask. If there were 800-1000 people in the room, maybe one out of every sixty people kept their masks on. Not even the bartenders in the room wore masks. It was impossible to understand the point of the mask mandate if they weren’t required for the entire event. Not that I would want that, but at least that would make more sense, even if the venue thinks that it’s protecting people by having the policy in the first place.

It’s always nice to get back to doing things that were common in the pre-COVID era, but these mandates seem intent on proving they’re just for show and have nothing to do with protecting anybody. It was particularly insulting to be told to wear a mask by security personnel who weren’t even wearing masks. Can’t they at least pretend like their rules actually mean something? Policies like this are the reason why people scoff at mask requirements. When they’re implemented illogically, people get wise pretty quickly to the fact they’re being scammed.