According to our public health scolds, the big question going forward will be a matter of trust. Do you trust those not wearing a mask to have gotten vaccinated?
“You’re gonna be depending on people being honest enough to say whether they are vaccinated or not,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN.
Does it really matter? Whether it does or not is immaterial. The CDC directive says we can go maskless as long as we’re in a group or with a friend who is also vaccinated. And with no vaccine passports or any other way to determine at a glance if we’re vaccinated, is it somehow a problem that we can’t determine who is and who isn’t?
It’s a problem for those on the Left who see one of their levers of control disappearing. It will be replaced with the question of holding “trust” uppermost in our minds.
In an intensely polarized nation, many people have little faith that their maskless fellow Americans have actually been vaccinated. That lack of trust, fueled by the ongoing politicization of the pandemic, tears at the fabric of a public-health strategy built on the assumption that other people will do the right thing.
Just more than 1 in 3 people in the United States are fully inoculated, leaving most of the population among those instructed to keep their face coverings securely over their noses when indoors. But with federal officials repeatedly rejecting the possibility of vaccine passports, enforcement relies on an honor system.
Perhaps Fauci will suggest that those who are vaccinated should sew a large yellow “V” on their shirts. That would take care of the trust issue very quickly. Or maybe they could put a chemical in the next batch of vaccines that makes people glow in the dark. That would work fine at night but might be a problem during the day,
But the mask Nazis have done their work well. There are a lot of people who will “fear” maskless people.
The bigger problem for [New York City resident Wyatt] Hnatiw, he said, is what others will think of him if he doesn’t wear a mask. He knows people might correctly assume that he’s gotten his shots, but they also might think he’s simply unconcerned about others’ health. He said he’s been keeping a face covering around his wrist so that he can put it on near crowds for other people’s comfort.
“If they’re concerned themselves, then it’s a really low burden for me to put the mask on to make them feel safer, even if it’s not, strictly speaking, necessary,” Hnatiw said.
Lordy god amighty, have we really come to this? Now we have to recognize and cater to other people’s paranoia? MSNBC host Rachel Maddow said she will find it a challenge not to see maskless people as a “threat.”
“I feel like I’m going to have to rewire myself so that when I see someone out in the world who’s not wearing a mask, I don’t instantly think, ‘You are a threat,’” Maddow said. “Or you are selfish or you are a Covid denier and you definitely haven’t been vaccinated. I mean, we’re going to have to rewire the way that we look at each other.”
The fact that she “instantly” sees a maskless person as a “threat” says more about her paranoia than it does about anyone going maskless.
Being vaccinated, I don’t give a hoot whether someone is wearing a mask or not. When I wasn’t vaccinated and at the height of the pandemic, I didn’t worry about it, either, because I had chosen to wear a mask myself.
If the government had left people alone to make their own decisions, we wouldn’t have these ludicrous thoughts today. I don’t trust my neighbor when it comes to borrowing my lawnmower, much less when it comes to protecting me from disease. “Trust” has just become another means of control used by those who simply don’t want the pandemic to end.