Mask Mandates or Not, Show’s Over

Summer of joy, we hardly knew ye. Or we knew you for just a brief, all-too-short maskless burst.

The Fourth of July’s COVID-reprieve is over—canceled like a Rhodes Scholar who once mouthed along to Kanye’s “Gold Digger” on camera in middle school. Masks are coming back; capacity limits are being reimposed. Let joy be confined, demands immuno-overlord Fauci.

That surly, florid-faced, pulmonary-pummeling coronavirus just waltzed back into the bar. And he’s got an “I ❤️ Delta” tattoo freshly inked on his bicep and is ready to bruise up the first alveoli that looks at him skew-whiff. Now the bartender—aka blue-state imperious governors—is signaling last call before someone gets hurt.

COVID-19 was apparently juicing over its New Delhi holiday and has reemerged even stronger, prompting some states and localities to reimpose face-covering mandates. Private business owners and restaurateurs are implementing new occupant-volume protocols, some even asking for proof-of-vax before entry. The Biden Administration said it was taking renewed lockdown orders under consideration, but has since reversed itself. Hospitalizations are on the rise. It’s only August but there’s a new fearful chill in the air, driven mostly by hysteric headlines over the end of days.

So how worried should we be by a tougher, more hardened, more infectious, and more social cousin of the COVID virion?

Judging by our wise political leaders’ reaction to the new respiratory threat, not very. Unlike in March 2020, when uncertainty compelled even the most cynical into lockdown compliance, hardly an effort is being made by the political class to follow its own strictures. The “do as I say, not as I do” performance is causing two reactions: failure to take the new strain seriously, or failure to take lawmakers seriously. Either option, it would seem, is more sensible than another forced hibernation at this point.

When it comes to encumbrances on personal freedom, well, what can you say? Statists gonna state. Right on the heels of reinstating an indoor mask edict, Washington, D.C. mayor and infamous Super Mario villain Muriel Bowser was spotted unmasked at a wedding. Crescent City chief LaToya Cantrell was busted violating her own masking order as well. Then there’s Chicago’s cretinous commissar Lori Lightfoot (on your neck), who let her spittle fly at Lollapalooza not long after putting the city under a mask rule—Lightfoot was photographed outside, not necessarily in violation of her ordinance, but within a packed crowd nonetheless.

It’s in the jam-packed, liquor-soaked shindy where our power elite will find themselves most asymptotic with their own craw-covering injunctions. The need to be seen and celebrated is in a politician’s blood. There were plenty of lapses last COVID go-around, with progressive pols joining mass protests over police brutality or dining out with donors. The same is already happening with an ongoing mini-campout in front of the Capital featuring angry “Squad” gals chirping over the lapsed eviction moratorium.

And us plebeian onlookers shouldn’t dare question Edgartownians and their fête champêtres. Former President Obama is planning to host an intimate crowd of nearly one thousand at his Martha manse for his inauguration into sexagenarianism. COVID testing, inoculation confirmation, and indoor masking will all reportedly be in effect. How any of it is confirmed is anybody’s guess. No public-minded partyer or journo dare risks lifetime banishment from the Obama estate by tattling on someone sneaking to the john with their nostrils uncovered.

Why Obama has to have the equivalent of an Ivy League’s graduation class to his birthday is a question going unasked. Remember all the pleas to stay home? To consider grandma’s frail constitution before having dinner at Olive Garden? To put off life, delay social milestones, forego family vacations, until we’re all safe again?

Well, it’s Barack’s party, and he can super spread COVID if he wants to.

Of course, the chances of an outbreak among uppity Obamaigos is slim—especially among Scientia worshipers who would mainline a Pfizer vaccine weekly if possible. Just as the Provincetown ursine debauch resulted in zero deaths, nothing will come of Obama’s b-day bash. No breakouts, no lung failure, no hospital airlifts. Maybe a sniffle or two. But no fatalities.

The rest of the country should have such peace of mind. With half of all American adults jabbed up, and the other half taking their (pretty good) chances, COVID’s on its last legs. Those in danger at this point choose to be in danger. Contra teacher’s unions, children have little to fear from the virus.

Safety theater has gone on for too long—like O’Neill “Strange Interlude” long. It’s time to bring the curtain down. Unfortunately, this sequel will go on as leftist politicos keep playing brave leaders, demanding masks for all and gatherings for none while they keep wine and dining in their exclusive cliques, loud mouths free for foie gras on brioche.

You may not be able to get your money back for the poor theatrical. But, as Professor Wagstaff told the audience, “there’s no reason why you folks shouldn’t go out into the lobby until this thing blows over.” The pandemic’s all but over. Ignore the new decrees if you can.

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Taylor Lewis

Taylor Lewis writes from Virginia.

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