October 18, 2020

"'Freedom' belongs almost wholly to the right. They talk about it incessantly and insist on a link between economic freedom and political freedom..."

"... positing that the latter is impossible without the former.... [T]he broad left in America has let all this go unchallenged for decades, to the point that today’s right wing — and it is important to call it that and not conservative, which it is not — can defend spreading disease, potentially killing other people, as freedom. It is madness. One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle. This has happened because they’ve been on the philosophical defensive since Ronald Reagan came along. Well, it’s high time they played some philosophical offense, especially on an issue, wearing masks, on which every poll shows broad majorities supporting their view. Say this: Freedom means the freedom not to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up."  

Does the "broad left in America" — to use Tomasky's interesting term — really value freedom? Or is he suggesting that they use it only because it may make an impact on right wingers — don't call them conservatives! — who value freedom and don't wear masks as much as it seems they should? Notice Tomasky says left-wingers ought to use the concept of freedom offensively. He seems to mean that they ought to make noise about the limits on freedom, defining "freedom" to exclude whatever hurts someone else's interests. That is showing enthusiasm for the limits on freedom, not for freedom itself. Alternatively, Tomasky might mean that left-liberals ought to use the word "freedom" when saying what they want for themselves — things like safety and peace of mind — as they limit the freedom of others. 

But I don't think left-wingers these days like to say "freedom." That's why Tomasky has to go out of his way to prod them into saying it.

By the way, I like that he's writing about masks when "mask" is part of his name — Tomasky.

And do wear your mask when you go to an indoor public places or you're in an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else. Do it to minimize harm to others! 

186 comments:

Iman said...

Tomasky is one of the writers I've chosen to ignore whenever I see his name associated with an article, Hell, even just a comment.

Thanks anyway...

I'm Not Sure said...

"Say this: Freedom means the freedom not to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up."

You have this freedom. If you're afraid of getting infected by somebody not wearing a mask, nobody is stopping you from staying away from people without them.

But that's not what you mean, is it, Mr. Tomasky? You want to force other people to do what you want, for your convenience. And you want to call this "freedom".

Go fuck yourself, Mr. Tomasky.

5M said...

In about 10 seconds the left will redefine the word freedom to fit their groupthink. And the right will be clueless that the word was redefined until a few decades later.

The divide is definitions. There are no longer conventional definitions.

The disparity is that Trump wants civilization to improve through jobs. That's it. that is fundamentally what Trump is. Everything else is filler.

The left wants to improve the world through higher taxation and a tightly government controlled populace.

One path is free. One is not.

doctrev said...

Freedom not to be infected, freedom not to be poor... yes, yes, we've seen this song and dance by globalists who wouldn't know freedom if it kicked them in the butt.

These clever word games eventually turn into Joe Biden outright lying about his non-existent endorsements from formerly reliable allies. No matter how cleverly or stupidly you use wizardry, it always runs the risk of failing. Which is how the Dems find themselves dealt a busted flush against what should have been an "easy" election.

https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2020/10/17/pennsylvania-boilermakers-union-calls-biden-we-support-trump/

Thistlerose said...

Do it to minimize harm to others!

It only minimizes harm to others if you have carona-19. The thing is that 99% of us do not have carona-19 so wearing a mask does nothing for 99 percent of the people being forced to wear one.

Matt Sablan said...

Kamala didn't press him because it would have been absurd. Because, when the party that refuses to stop riots and to allow the arrest of people who physically assault cops try to lecture me on "not using my freedom to cause harm to others," we're in utter absurdity.

gspencer said...

Psst, it's freedom FROM government that's the goal so that individual freedom is maximized.

But when your end goal is government control of everything, then freedom's not even on your radar scope.

Matt Sablan said...

Also: Given Tomasky's discussion, does this mean he thinks we should be masked up ALL the time? Even before and after the pandemic? There's no way to know if someone is sick; isn't the responsible thing to just always be masked up? What about driving fast? Or any number of other things? Yes. People should wear masks; the fetishization of it by people on the left (people who yell at me from across their speeding cars to put on a mask when I'm 20+ feet away from anyone, for example) is where the right thinks it is absurd.

Brad said...

Tomasky's definition of "freedom" is "The absolute right to drop his jackboot on the throat of his enemies."

Matt Sablan said...

“I view wearing this mask not so much protecting me, but as a patriotic responsibility. All the tough guys say, ‘Oh, I’m not wearing a mask, I’m not afraid.’ Well, be afraid for your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. That’s who you’re protecting having this mask on, and it should be viewed as a patriotic duty, to protect those around you.”

I wonder how much traction "I view carrying this firearm not so much protecting me, but as a patriotic responsibility [to protect others]. All the tough guys say, 'Oh, I'm not carrying a gun, I'm not afraid.' Well, be afraid for your husband, your wife, your son, your daughter, your neighbor, your co-worker. That's who you're protecting [by carrying that firearm,] and it should be viewed as a patriotic duty, to protect those around you."

It wouldn't, because it is absurd. The entire thing is more absurd the more I read it.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And do wear your mask when you go to an indoor public places or your in an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else. Do it to minimize harm to others!

I do wear a mask if/when the indoor place requires it. I do it because I want to get into and then OUT of their damned store without arguing with stupid people. I'm not wearing a mask in a restaurant inbetween bites like Governor Gruesome wants. I'm not wearing a mask in my own home.

There is no no need to wear a mask outdoors either since in 99% of the cases there is no one besides my husband with me outdoors. I don't stand close to other people in any case or ever have. I have a large personal space issue 😀. I also don't wear a mask riding around in MY car all by MYSELF or with my spouse. I see people doing this and think....what retards. Sheep.

The masks really don't work (follow the effing science about that) and I ONLY wear them right now, in limited circumstances (like at the Dr. Office) only for protection of myself. I present ZERO harm to anyone since I have been covid tested at least 4 times in the last 3 weeks. (I had some surgery). I don't have covid. No one I know has covid. There are ZERO covid cases in our immediate area.

Personally, I think that mask enforcement has been a bad idea. It gives people a false sense of security. They are wearing their 'magical' masks and feel safe. This false sense of security leads to laxity in other things that are actually more preventative: sanitation.

How many carts at super markets do you see being sanitized lately? Clerk stations being sanitized every time? ATM pads being cleaned each time? Doors being wiped down regularly? Chairs in the Dr's office being swiped after each person used them?

No?????....then they can take their masks and stuff them.

Unknown said...

There is scarcely an organized or "broad left" in the country at this time, and the major networks rarely have any left commenters who do exist appear on their programs to speak at length about their positions.

Matt Sablan said...

How has Tomasky never heard conservatives talk about what's fair (what's a fair tax for corporations?) That's absurd. Conservatives are very often trying to make sure people are fairly treated by the government and that the government does not pick winners and losers.

Matt Sablan said...

"But it is not true of Western democracies. If they were correct, the Scandinavian nations, statist on economic questions, would have jails filled with political prisoners."

-- The irony here is that this guy doesn't remember Flynn or the woman in Australia who posted an anti-mask rally.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

I'm as conservative as they come. Maybe even to the right of that. Covid is real. it harms and kills people indiscriminately. It's questionable whether masks work, but it's plausible that they do, and wearing one is a very, very, very small concession. I look at it as a question of manners. The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners. Going naked from the waist down wouldn't hurt anybody, but it would surely make them uncomfortable (especially at my age and decrepitude). Manners exist to ease living in the world with other people and they have largely been abandoned in 2020. Let's bring back manners.

pacwest said...

I think people are leary of contact tracing because they don't trust the government. Sad, because it would be a useful tool for pandemics (if you consider CV19 a pandemic). That being said, I don't trust the government. They've made it very clear I shouldn't.

Matt Sablan said...

Wait. Tomasky really thinks that Democrats have been... on the defense this whole time, philosophically speaking?

He's absurd. How did this utter garbage get printed?

I'm Not Sure said...

"And do wear your mask when you go to an indoor public places or your in an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else. Do it to minimize harm to others!"

If you're not sick, wearing a mask does nothing to minimize harm to others. And if you are sick, why aren't you staying home? Who's the selfish one here, anyway- the healthy person who refuses to wear a mask or the sick person who goes out in public, expecting a mask to protect others?

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He seems to mean that they ought to make noise about the limits on freedom, defining "freedom" to exclude whatever hurts someone else's interests.

Cool. Does this now mean that business owners can use pressure washers to wash the homeless and their shit off of the doorsteps of their businesses so that they can make a living?

Can I use similar tactics to prevent unwanted campers on my property trashing my interest in a clean garbage free land?.

Shoot the speakers out of loud cars with their ooompa oompa oompa amplifiers disturbing the interests of getting a good night's sleep when we are at a motel?

I like his definition.

daskol said...

How long before executive orders or state legislative action makes not wearing a mask illegal? I’m surprised this hasn’t already transpired in NY, but voluntary compliance is very high outside certain ethnoreligious enclaves, I’ve observed.

Kevin said...

But I don't think left-wingers these days like to say "freedom."

Left-wingers are about rights.

Rights that are given and taken away by the people in power.

zipity said...


Oh yes, Liberals are all about freedom.

Freedom to tell you what to eat. Freedom to tell you where to live. Freedom to tell you what to think. Freedom to tell you your faith is a fraud. Freedom to tell you what you can post on social media. Freedom to disarm you, and leave your family unprotected. Freedom to make you pay for every hare-brained program they can think of.

That is the freedom Liberals/Democrats are for.

Michael K said...

The only effect masks have is to limit the spread of the virus if YOU are infected. It has been shown again and again that masks do not protect you from others. And the cloth masks that so any wear do nothing at all.

Sebastian said...

"That is showing enthusiasm for the limits on freedom"

So, what else is new? Enthusiasm for the limits of freedom is in prog DNA.

Kate said...

"Freedom means the freedom not to get infected by the idiot who refuses to mask up." If I have reservations about masking I'm a simpleton who obstinately won't do something because I'm callous. Why would he want the Left to change a formula that works so well for them? They don't need philosophy. They have shaming and silencing.

David Begley said...

“Today’s right wing....defend spreading disease, potentially killing other people, as freedom.”

Strawman argument. Masks are worthless virtue signaling. That’s why I oppose them.

Richard Dolan said...

A lot depends on the preposition that comes after "freedom" -- to, from, of. I think lefties prefer "from."

Rabel said...

Read the column and the surprising thing is how weak Tomasky's argumentation is.

He wants to change the dictionary because his side is losing the argument. "Freedom is Slavery" is already taken, Michael

And this: "One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle."

You own every Philosophy department in the country, maybe that defense just isn't there.

RigelDog said...

Althouse exhorted: "And do wear your mask when you go to an indoor public places or your in an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else."

I do wear a mask in any indoor public area.
I refuse to voluntarily wear a mask out of doors, even where I can't be certain that I will always be more than 6 feet away from others. The science tells us that we are NOT going to pass a virus by coming within a few feet of another person for a few seconds, with cubic miles of fresh air all around. I walk forest paths almost every day and while I step off the path for others and face away, we are within maybe 4 feet of each other for 2 seconds. It's incredibly stupid and repressive to go against the clear science of this to mandate wearing masks outside in most circumstances.
Of course, if I am in a crowded outdoor area, I would wear a mask. Crowded, sustained contact out of doors can pass the virus, although it's still less likely than in an indoor situation. There's a little touristy town we like to visit that often has crowded sidewalks. We wear a mask then.

Bilwick said...

Wow . . . a "liberal" who dislikes freedom (so much so he needs to put the word in quotes to isolate himself from it). Shocker!

Mikey NTH said...

The Left values the collective, the group over the individual.

The Godfather said...

I am a conservative and Trump voter (today!). I wear a mask when I go out in public, until I am able to get into a situation where social distancing provides reasonable protection. I am annoyed by people who make a big deal about NOT wearing a mask when they should wear one. I'm also annoyed by people who make a big deal about WEARING a mask when it's not necessary. There's a lot of virtue signaling on both sides. But I'm on the side of those who "insist" on freedom, vs. those who resist fredom. As I understand it, that has made me a "right wing extremist", at least since 1980.

[Sorry if this is a repeat - not my fault]

Joe Smith said...

The left wing does not believe in freedom, they believe in control.

They crave it. It absolves them of responsibility.

They worship collectivism and the state.

YoungHegelian said...

This has happened because they’ve been on the philosophical defensive since Ronald Reagan came along. Well, it’s high time they played some philosophical offense

The Left has essentially given up on philosophical defenses because when they put a philosophy at the center of their endeavors they get remembered as 1) lunatics, like the Jacobins who turned Chatres & Notre Dame into Temples to Reason or mass murderers, like the followers of "scientific socialism" who murdered about 100 million of their own citizens in the 20th C.

There is, for some strange reason, a refusal on the moderate Left to see Post-Modernism for what it openly claims to be --- a rejection of the Enlightenment's claims on the possibility of Universal Reason. There was in 1980's France a philosophical movement called the End of Man. The movement was based on many things, but one of the foremost in a political sense was the failure of Marxism. To the French intelligentsia, all men & women of the Left, this was the failure of the last, best hope for philosophy, and with it died humanism & morality.

This is why, aside from old fashioned lefties like Habermas, the modern left doesn't see itself as in a philosophical struggle. There aren't any such things. There are only regnant discourses (for the Derridean/Deleuzians) or relations of power (for the Foucaultians). It is political power that shapes both of the above, if indeed mankind has any control over them. More likely, they shape mankind. But, Reason & Morality are simply one more means of control used by those in power to hold on to it.

Needless to say, in the political arena, this is the "secret teaching" of the Post-Modern Left that must be whispered only to The Elect. To let this cat out of the bag would be to destroy all chance of political advancement as the rest of the political spectrum would turn their guns, both figurative & literal, on the Post-Modern Left.

YoungHegelian said...

...can defend spreading disease, potentially killing other people, as freedom.

Now discuss that business about "killing people" as part of freedom, and discuss abortion.

William said...

Robespierre, in his interpretation of Rousseau, felt that people should be forced to be free. Rousseau felt that we were only truly free when they acted in accordance with the general will of the people. All other actions are more revelatory of our addiction to selfish desires than to true freedom. It is the general will of the people that people wear masks. This is because such mask wearing is done with the proper regard for the health of ourselves and our fellow citizens and not the amour propre of looking good or breathing easier.....If you follow this reasoning, you can see how liberating and freedom enhancing wearing a mask it. My own recommendation is that citizen's committees should be formed to cut off the nose of non mask wearers. I know this sounds draconian but after a few such manifest expressions of the people's general will, I expect we'll see much more mask wearing and much less mask flouting. The tree of liberty needs to be occasionally refreshed with the blood of mask flouters.

Biff said...

The professor said, But I don't think left-wingers these days like to say "freedom."

I think that is very true, though I think social class (admittedly often related to political views) also plays a role. I've occasionally used the word when in the company of some of my Ivy League colleagues and high-brow associates, and there almost always is a noticeable sense of discomfort and awkwardness that follows. It's even worse if you use the word "liberty" instead. Generally, they'd much rather speak about "rights" than freedom and liberty.

Spiros said...

I think the NYT is right. You are free only if the people around you are not (aggressively) destroying your life, liberty, good name or pursuit of happiness. So no murder, defamation of character, theft, libel, fraud, vio­lence or threat of violence. The NYT just includes spreading disease in the list of prohibited acts.

NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle. This has happened because they’ve been on the philosophical defensive since Ronald Reagan came along.

Poor Democrats; getting beat up by right-wingers for the past 30 years!

Hooo-boy! Their internal polling must've gone from the toilet to the septic tank to that truck that pumps out the septic tank and hauls the sewage away!

Lars Porsena said...

...but if the lion was eating a white Christian

n.n said...

Freedoms of... to what? The left needs to reevaluate their choices in order to mitigate progress.

an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else. Do it to minimize harm to others!

Without a greenhouse effect, air circulation minimizes the probability of infection more than a leaky, contaminated collector of viruses and bacteria. Be aware of the vector and source of forceful expulsions (i.e. coughing, sneezing, farting or aerosolized viruses). Wash your hands and be heedful of interaction with eyes, nose, mouth and open wounds to mitigate self and cross-contamination.

Jersey Fled said...

I heard a new term while watching the Eagles/Ravens game today:

Play area justice.

Apparently every kid in America is entitled to an outdoor area of an equivalent number of square feet, fully equiped, within a certain distance of their domicile. Apparently the Ravens have made this a cause. Or at least one player has made this a cause. I didn't get all of the details.

bagoh20 said...

This standard of safety versus freedom could be used to eliminate most, if not all, freedoms. We have two separate words freedom and safety for a reason, and I'm willing to bet no language in the world conflates and confuses them like that, but Democrats are in the endless business of destroying the real use of language for the political use of it. Pretty much how they treat everything.

Freedom creates a lot of other more risky trades than with Covid-19. I'm not willing to sacrifice a single freedom guaranteed in the Bill of Right to avoid Covid. Not even the ones that do not apply or benefit to me. The primary reason being the risk is extremely low (0.03%) and the cost is exceedingly high. From what I've seen people like Pelosi, Dr Fauci and many many others don't even think freedom from masks is worth it for them, and getting a haircut isn't even in the Bill of Rights.

tim in vermont said...

"Do it to minimize harm to others! “

Over Grandpa’s dead body! They would sooner lose the election. And it’s an important election. They talk about crawling over broken glass to help Trump, but wearing a mask? That’s going too far!

Wince said...

"Freedom" belongs almost wholly to the right. They talk about it incessantly and insist on a link between economic freedom and political freedom...

Economic freedom is based on property rights.

Why not let the owner of a premises decide the mask policy, and let visitors decide whether they wish to enter where everyone is subject to those rules?

n.n said...

the Scandinavian nations, statist on economic questions, would have jails filled with political prisoners."

No, that does not follow. The Scandinavian nations were homogeneous in principle, and had the good fortune of sufficiently self-moderating leaders. It will be interesting to observe what happens to their societies on a forward basis as they diversify in color and principle.

Clyde said...

Tomaskey is useful because he is like a compass that always points South. Doing the exact opposite of his recommendations almost always is the best way to go.

bagoh20 said...

"The Left has essentially given up on philosophical defenses..."

This. Besides, when your core philosophy is change for the sake of change itself, it's pretty shaky ground to be philosophizing on.

Matthew Heintz said...

Yup, I'm going to wear a warm, damp, dirty diaper on my face to keep from getting sick. Who knew?!? Well, I hain't wore one yit an I hain't about to start wearing one now.

Drago said...

"One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle.

Democraticals do not dare widely share what their true philosophical principles are, which is why they hide them behind evolving definitions and trojan horse candidates like Dementia Joe.

The democraticals want nothing less than a marxist economic revolution married to a maoist cultural revolution.

Anything any leftist and most liberals and ALL LLR-lefties say to the contrary is a lie.

chuck said...

The bright side of Tomasky's proposal is that it would require privileged people with guns to enforce the rules and secret police to sniff out any underground resistance. And, of course, great rulers to coordinate it all. Lot of career opportunities there.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

No mask when I'm outside.

The left doesn't use "freedom" because they don't believe in it. They're fascists. They want obedience to their cause. You are not allowed to object, that would be a hate crime. The same way they don't want "law and order" because that would keep their stormtroopers at home and said stormtroopers would not be available to crack head, light fires and kill anyone who objects to their agenda.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Generally, they'd much rather speak about "rights" than freedom and liberty."

Let me guess- they'd also much rather be the ones with the power to dispense those rights than be the ones hoping to be granted them.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

What the left wants is fascism: you belong to the state and you will be made to obey the state.

bagoh20 said...

"I do wear a mask in any indoor public area."

In Nevada we have been mostly open for a couple months now, and masks are worn by almost nobody inside or out unless it's required and enforced. In every restaurant and bar you can remove it once you sit down, but you have to wear it for the 30 seconds it takes to walk through the door to your seat, and that is is the only time 95% of the people do. When you walk in, the staff always looks to see if you are wearing a mask and will remind you, then you walk 10 feet to sit down and nobody is wearing one. We are not dying from this. It's unscientific hysteria forced by politics and pretentiousness.

n.n said...

“Today’s right wing....defend spreading disease, potentially killing other people, as freedom.”

Planned Parent (i.e. excess deaths), poor sanitation and hygienic habits, and immigration reform? Increasing risk through unproductive, counterproductive protocols? Improper judgment, labeling, and shaming of early treatments that have been shown globally to mitigate disease progression?

Lucien said...

Conformity does not minimize harm. Slavishly following the dictates of the "experts" maximizes harm. Forcing others to give up their freedom so you will feel "SAFE" maximizes harm. Becoming inured to following orders, whether they make sense or not maximizes harm.

In a few years, when we recognize that the world went crazy in its lockdowns, destroying trillions of dollars of wealth and millions of lives and livelihoods, the right-thinking mask-wearing sheeple will be saying "how were we to know?" -- when the answer is that you were to know by valuing liberty.

Don said...

RigelDog at 4:54 said it exactly correct.

Mike of Snoqualmie said...

The CDC says that 85% of those who got sick with the China Flu were wearing masks. Masks are ineffective. If they were effective, then infections would be trending down, not up. There's no slope break in the infection rate after mandatory mask wearing was imposed.

deepelemblues said...

There is no risk minimization to either catching or spreading disease from wearing a non-skintight mask made of cheap materials in any context.

As medical literature said multiple times in the last 20 years.

As Dr. Fauci said 15 years ago.

It's all theater. If you're so worried about it, wear an expensive skintight industrial-grade N95 (or better, go full on gas-mask with appropriate expensive filters) mask. Otherwise you are wasting your time.

D.D. Driver said...

Freedom is slavery.

Drago said...

By the way, more bad news for readering and other faux political prognosticators: Biden is supposedly up by gajillions nationally, but just today the democraticals have announced they need obambi himself to travel to Philadelphia to help get out the vote!!

Philadelphia!!

LOL

I wonder what the democraticals are seeing in their real internal polls? (not the moronic public polls that are designed only to fool the readerings of the world)

If it's Philly, it ain't good for Not-really-Scranton Joe and his wife, Not-really-a-Doctor Jill.

Mrs. X said...

"And do wear your mask when you go to an indoor public places or you're in an outdoor area where you can't be sure to keep more than 6 feet from everyone else. Do it to minimize harm to others!"

And when do we get to stop? And who decides when we get to stop? If whoever's in charge can't give me definitive answers to these questions, then I'll make my own, well informed, decisions about risk, including whether or not to wear a mask, thank you very much.

Patrick said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
"The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners."

That's it. Impossible to argue against. Well done.

Michael said...

6 feet. LOL. WHO say one meter.

Charlie Currie said...

The left really doesn't believe wearing a mask works in preventing the spread of the virus. If they did believe it, then they would also believe that wearing a mask should protect them from others who are not wearing a mask.

It's all virtue signaling or safetyism or TDS. Which/what ever it is, it's a psychological condition, like being obsessive compulsive, and they want all of us to play along.

I refuse.

n.n said...

but one of the foremost in a political sense was the failure of Marxism

The recurring failure and rejection of mortal gods/goddesses/philosophers and their secular theologies, especially those founded on class-based discrimination, and affirming a universal frame of reference in an extra-universal God, opened humankind to realize their humanity, individually as independent actors, and reconciled with families, communities, and nations. I don't know if this could have been realized without God. Libertarians have tried with varying degrees of success, but they still need to have a shared religious philosophy or axiomatic principles in order to mitigate factional, sectarian, and organized conflict and running amuck in the general population.

Lem said...

"Well, it’s high time they played some philosophical offense, especially on an issue, wearing masks, on which every poll shows broad majorities supporting their view."

About 8hrs ago @ScottAdamsSays said...

"What citizens are SAYING about coronavirus policy is different from what they are THINKING. Publicly, we say we want maximum safety. But in our private thoughts, we would sacrifice a lot of strangers to return to "normal." Advantage: Trump."

BTW, Scott Adams blocks people who pretend to know what he thinks...

n.n said...

"The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners."

Wearing pants is neither a positive nor negative risk factor. Although, wearing pants, with a proper liner, would mitigate pathogenic spread through fecal contamination and aerosolized spray. That said, people who hope to avoid infection should wear goggles. And, in the case of asymptomatic transmission, wash your hands and be heedful of interaction with eyes, nose, mouth, and open wounds.

bagoh20 said...

Nobody can argue that the Democrats are making the November decision harder.

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

If you think you can buy safety from Covid by hiding or masks, you really need to visit the available data and see how well that has worked. Most infections are caught at home, and the majority of infected people wore masks. We have been wearing masks for months and the thing is still spreading pretty readily, and killing very few.

brio said...

I am at a university that requires everyone to wear a mask whether indoors or outdoors. Even if you see no one on the mall at all, a mask is required. It is 100 degrees outside and the campus looks deserted but you are not allowed to breathe naturally. Social distancing isn’t even an issue or option. I have been alone and working outside in a 2500 sq. ft. fenced-in area but I am still required to wear a mask.

Rory said...

Has there been any polling about how old people feel about masks and lockdowns? In my county (including Pittsburgh) 83% of attributed deaths have been over 70, 94% over 60, 98% over 50, 99% over 40. One death each in 20-29 and 30-39.

I'm out every day. I see lots of old people out. Very few people wear masks in the open air, including few old people. Neighbors stop and talk, keep a little distance, but no masks. In stores, people wear masks.

I'm 61, at the bottom of the higher risk group. But I'm overweight, so I figure I'm probably 70ish for my effective risk. I don't have any expectation that young people should accommodate me by restricting their lives. I basically figure that I had my shot at life, and they should have theirs, too. From my observation, it seems like the old people around me agree with that. Is that right, or do 70 plus people more broadly believe in shutting it down till a vaccine comes?

n.n said...

"The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom

Carrying a gun, wielding a scalpel, hiding your identity, with social progress Planning in public spaces, Occupying neighborhoods, etc.

GingerBeer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GingerBeer said...

"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right to beat you with a bicycle lock if you say it."

Robert Cook said...

The right's conception of freedom is: "I demand the right to do whatever the fuck I want without any responsibility to or for anyone else, and fuck you!"

jim said...

Are you waiting for him to actually starting "locking them up" before you see what's right in front of you?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I became a conservative through the 80's and into the 90's because I recognised that liberals did not make many logical - Tomasky says "philosophical" - arguments for their ideas, preferring to sneer, insult, and let you know who the cool kids are instead. All this time, they could have made logical arguments if they wanted to. No one was stopping them. The idea that they have been on the defensive simply because conservatives have made some assertions is ludicrous. Even in this quote, notice that Tomasky cannot refrain from sneering and saying his opponents are not really conservative, but right-wing, and from framing their freedom argument dishonestly. They don't do it because that is less important to them. Maureen Dowd, SNL and the late-night comedians, Barack Obama, the New Yorker - what they really care about is who the cool kids are. And they think you should care too, and hate you when you don't.

So go right ahead and make those philosophical arguments, Michael. Any time now.

Lurker21 said...


There is scarcely an organized or "broad left" in the country at this time

"Broad left" doesn't refer to a real hard socialist left wing with broad appeal among the American public now. Indeed, there isn't one, not one with any broad appeal. The European model of left, center, and right doesn't really apply to the US. We haven't had a strong socialist movement. We have what we call a left and a right, but by historical standards, most of us aren't so far from the center. Tomasky uses the phrase "broad left" to refer to a range of opinions that are considered to be left of center - roughly Harris, Warren, Buttigieg and everyone to the left of them. Most Americans would understand what he means.

Does the left feel comfortable with the idea of freedom? Traditionally they favored "lifestyle liberalism," with sexual freedom high on the list. But now that everything is political, many of our lifestyle liberties have come into question among progressives. You can still hear talk about liberties on the broad left, in reference to abortion and LGBTQ issues and in the notion that Trump is some kind of autocrat, but for the most part equality is the main theme in the rhetoric, followed by talk of sustainability. How sincere that is that concern, though. Do upper-middle and upper class voters who vote Democrat really care about equality? Are they really okay with limits on their own liberty?

tim in vermont said...

"As medical literature said multiple times in the last 20 years. “

It’s doublethink on the right. First you have to imagine that treatments of the virus have advanced by leaps and bounds since early spring, but that knowledge of it’s transmission, an area of intense study this year, has not advanced at all.

Links are pointless to you guys, it’s obviously something emotional, but you can go to scholar.google.com and search away on the recent medical literature. JKLOL You are not going to find the stuff that reassures you thumbsuckers that masks don’t work, better to go over to Instantpundit and read one of those pajama boys’ opinion on the subject. Preferably get your info from the commenters there, that way you are even less likely to be discomfited by the answer.

tim in vermont said...

"That's it. Impossible to argue against. Well done.”

Why did I just hear a chorus, imagine Spock when that planet of Vulcans was dying, why did I just hear a silent chorus of “Hold my beeeeeerrrrr!"

Martin said...

Tomasky wants his tribe, the liberal Left, to have the "freedom" to impose its will on everyone else. Perhaps not as extreme, but the same kind of "freedom" that Lenin sought for the proletariat or Hitler for Aryan Germans.

Intellectually, it would make more sense for him to contrast Freedom (blending into License) with Order and Civic Responsibility, working toward the concept of "Ordered Liberty" which is what the Founders wanted. But that would mean saying something good about the Founders and part of American tradition, and even if he could see that, as a good liberal he knows that would never fly with his woke audience.

Robert Cook said...

"The Left values the collective, the group over the individual."

Unless you are stranded on a desert island (or living miles away anyone else anywhere else), you live in a "collective," also called, less ominously, a community or society.

For freedom to work in any society with a population of more than one, we have to have concern for and find ways to accommodate the other members of our society, in addition to valuing ourselves as individuals. This is built into our human nature as social creatures, (we are but pack animals).

bagoh20 said...

Nobody can argue that the Democrats are making the November decision harder.

"Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."

If you think you can buy safety from Covid by hiding or masks, you really need to visit the available data and see how well that has worked. Most infections are caught at home, and the majority of infected people wore masks. We have been wearing masks for months and the thing is still spreading pretty readily, and killing very few.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

“Tyrone Slothrop said...
"The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners."”

All well and good as long as there isn’t some fascist creep threatening you if you don’t wear pants. Or some Karen sneering loftily at you because you’re clad in shorts.

The notion that the Left cares about freedom has been so thoroughly debunked that it isn’t necessary to revisit it. What I do find interesting is that, in my part of the world, the mask has become a sort of Wooden Nickel of Liberation. Wearing a mask? No need to social distance. Doesn’t matter how flimsy or ill-fitted it is. Just carrying one visibly in your hand is good enough in most places. I was in a diner-style restaurant last night and it was completely full. Every patron no more than two or three feet from at least one other patron. Some people made a token gesture of wearing a mask in or out but most didn’t bother. Psychologically, it’s pretty clear that the China Flu’s grip is fading fast.

I'm Not Sure said...

"Over Grandpa’s dead body! They would sooner lose the election. And it’s an important election. They talk about crawling over broken glass to help Trump, but wearing a mask? That’s going too far!"

It is known that cloth masks are not 100% effective. If you're worried about Grandpa, you're not going out in public at all, ever.

Right?

frenchy said...

Tomasky is positing the freedom to be totalitarian whenever deemed appropriate.

n.n said...

Pro-Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. And a scientific, observable, reproducible orientation to risk management. Intuitive or cargo cult science, em-pathetic appeals, and diversity arguments don't cut it.

Yancey Ward said...

I am going to make this simple.

No. I will not be wearing a mask if the government mandates it- you can can literally go fuck yourself at this point- if it comes to that, then it is war- full stop.

There is no argument against wearing masks from now on if we bend to the argument now. 99.5% of the people who catch COVID will live. If we are going to mandate masks to protect against COVID, then why not mandate them to protect against influenza and other respiratory viruses that also kill people every fucking day of the year? We can see right now in Europe, where masks are mandated, they don't stop COVID, so why not mandate full body suits with respirators? You might think I am being ridiculous here, but it is on you to explain where the fucking line gets drawn in this insanity.

walter said...

Wow. Are they not wearing pants in Sweden? Offensive!

cacimbo said...

I don't know where in NYC Daskol lives, but at one of the parks in my borough frequented by blacks and browns it is very rare to see a mask.The bodega across the street from the park has a sign up asking for masks, but they sure are not demanding it when 90% of the customers enter mask free.Coney Island this summer was filled with every ethnicity and race - lots had masks dangling from ears or tucked below chins and noses. Not much proper masking. The beaches of Rockaway - the same.Sure the Hasidic Jews are flaunting their non-compliance but they are hardly the only ones not masking.When Juve night celebrations went against city orders, you didn't hear media talking about how the crowds that defied the city to celebrate Juve also mostly defied masking.At the Jersey Shore groups of karens frolicked without their masks to enjoy their claws and vino. Those same karens expect the landscaper to wear his mask while mowing in the hot sun least some of his poor man corona germs gently float on the breeze into the unmasked Karen's vino.
I know Republican mask fanatics and Democrat no-maskers. In the media this is political - on the ground it does not fall along such neat lines.Plus half the ones pushing masking are hypocrites on the issue, see C Cuomo, Faucci, Pelosi......

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

What Mrs. X said.

If you can’t give me any actual rational numbers based justification for why I must do this thing I don’t want to do and find useless, and you likewise have no idea of when you will allow me to stop, then you and your childlike, emotions-based “reasoning” can motherfucking die in a fire and I will fight you and your pointless attempt to guilt me into compliance with your funhouse worldview with everything I have.

Sidebar: Yeah masks are so helpful that we have had a statewide mandate here in Texas for three and a half months and have seen no effect at all. Don’t be stupid.

Yancey Ward said...

"and wearing one is a very, very, very small concession."

It is a small concession to you, Tyrone. Don't ever forget that.

J Melcher said...

Tyrone Slothrop said... It's questionable whether masks work, but it's plausible that they do, and wearing one is a very, very, very small concession. I look at it as a question of manners. The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners. Going naked from the waist down wouldn't hurt anybody, but it would surely make them uncomfortable ...

I almost exactly agree with that. I'd have argued about shirts rather than pants. Pants protect seat-surfaces from shed fecal matter. Shirts protect the public from viewing nipples. Pants therefore have some very minor public health benefit.

I'm old enough to remember the rising fears and commentary about AIDS. I note that none of the proposals about shutting down gatherings, contact tracing, name and shame and blame etc were permitted to be discussed when the at-risk demographic was, er, Haitian. It was shouted in media that most ordinary married couples would eventually succumb to the deadly disease unless a cure / vaccine was found immediately. As far as I know, there is still no vaccine. There are treatments which seem to sustain a load of the causative virus at less than symptomatic levels. Much the way quinine sustains sufferers through malaria infections. But HIV/AIDS is still with us 30 or 40 years after the initial panic and response. I wonder if Corona viruses will be around as long?

Megthered said...

I don't wear a mask anywhere. No one has ever challenged me. Why should I wear one if you are wearing one? Isn't yours supposed to protect you? Or is that another lie?

Lurker21 said...


This is why, aside from old fashioned lefties like Habermas, the modern left doesn't see itself as in a philosophical struggle. There aren't any such things. There are only regnant discourses (for the Derridean/Deleuzians) or relations of power (for the Foucaultians). It is political power that shapes both of the above, if indeed mankind has any control over them. More likely, they shape mankind. But, Reason & Morality are simply one more means of control used by those in power to hold on to it.

Your own view leaves open the idea that a philosophical struggle between postmodernist and their opponents is now going on. Plus it opens up to debate the question of just how philosophical past political conflicts over power really were and how they differed from today's conflicts. I'm inclined to think that debates over who holds power in society continue as in the past and the question of who should hold power and why continues to be a concern and to be in some sense philosophical -- or not much less philosophical than past debates between parties and factions.

Needless to say, in the political arena, this is the "secret teaching" of the Post-Modern Left that must be whispered only to The Elect. To let this cat out of the bag would be to destroy all chance of political advancement as the rest of the political spectrum would turn their guns, both figurative & literal, on the Post-Modern Left.

It's not a secret and not everyone's guns are turned on the Post-Modern Left. It seems like a lot of the young bloggers and media people who send me newsletters and such have taken up Foucault's view and nobody has started shooting them. If it's true that we don't live in a philosophical age, that means that people don't really take such views as seriously as they once might have. That's certainly true of the wider public, but it even applies to many who profess to believe. Five years out of college people people may keep the political beliefs they picked up at the university, but the theoretical rationale isn't something they concern themselves with anymore.

bagoh20 said...

BTW, in past epidemics the experts recommended 3 foot distancing. It's always been arbitrary, and not based on any hard science, but was decided because it didn't require damaging changes to human behavior, but the 6 foot thing was just pulled out of a European ass. Things like the masks and 6 ft distancing have limited value, but the people need something to make them "feel" safer. This has always been the case, all through history they were always given similar mostly imaginary prescriptions. It has the natural, but counter-effectual habit of making people "feel safer, which often makes their behavior less safe.

I wonder how the infection rate and epidemic progression would have compared if people were told the whole truth: that the infection spreads readily, especially in close contact and from respiratory droplets, is only really dangerous to the sick and old, and that masks offer very limited protection and add risks, instead of acting like they are the difference between safety and death. That status that masks are occupying is only possible because it's easy to signal your superiority - kinda like a sign, a compliant tweet, or attending a protest.

donald said...

I don’t wear one anywhere unless I want to go In a place that Just won’t let it pass, which has been once since June and that was in Ventura and I HAD to use that bathroom. Screw that mask crap. This (Panic) is the biggest fraud, ever perpetrated in this country And it’s all, 100 percent about this election. Assholes, the lot of ‘em.

n.n said...

And when do we get to stop?

Supposedly when we reach herd immunity (i.e. exponential suppression) in a closed community. In an open community, which with respect to disease progression, and, apparently, infection, too, depends on transmission modes (e.g. droplet, aerosol, fecal, injection).

Sweden

It looks like Sweden reached suppression some time in early spring. Their mistake was to expose their vulnerable population to infection and disease progression.

That said, the focus has shifted to focus on a minority where there may be persistent impairment from, with, and fragments of the virus. There was a similar apology that denied and stigmatized early treatments.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Oh for the days not long ago when condoms were mandatory for "minimizing harm to others" due to HIV/AIDS. No reporting to county health department for fear of "stigmatizing" those rump rangers. Did their moms buy them rubbers and pack them in their lunch boxes before sending them to school? Clorox wipes for the school bus? How is Mask defined? Face coverings is the same as masks in our state. As Michael K pointed out, those bandana rags do nothing to protect anybody. They allow the vector population to drool on your bread wrappers at the market. Don't touch your eyes! Goggles/shields a bridge too far? Don't touch your masks! Watch demented Joe at a speaking engagement lately? He fidgets like a 3 year old. Until a vaccine is developed? We have Flu vaccines and people still die/pass it through the biosphere. Quarantine the vulnerable, let freedom ring for the rest. It is the American Way. Lefties hate that, Fuck them.

Tom said...

I don’t mind wear a mask. We should have worn masks from then beginning and kept our businesses open. I instead the “progressive left” caused economic destruction. And they act as if that was the plan all along.

They should have disarmed us first.

Sally327 said...

I don't know if the premise here is accurate, that people who resist mask wearing are doing so because of some philosophical objection tied to a view of freedom. I certainly haven't heard of some big battle cry from the right / conservative side that we should not wear masks as a sign of freedom. Where is that message being peddled?

All the stores, doctor's offices, government offices (to the extent they're even open to the public) and most employers are requiring mask wearing. It's funny, someone can be wearing a mask, which for all we know hasn't been replaced in weeks, but not hand washing regularly, which is probably just as big of a risk but it's not visible.

Anyway, it is a bit laughable that someone on the left is harping that the left doesn't claim freedom for its own when I thought that was the reason for its push to liberalize cultural mores over the last 50+ years, Freedom!




bagoh20 said...

I don't want to wear pants either, but that's required to keep the womens from fainting like those weird little goats do.

tim in vermont said...

“Aluha Akbar” is just “something Arab people often shout before doing something or other” - Michael Tomasky in The Guardian.

Paul said...

In Communist ideology you have 'freedom' from having to find work (it is provided by the Communist Party.) You have 'freedom' from worry about where your next meal is coming from (it is provided by the Communist Party.) You have 'freedom' from having to find a place to live (it is provided by the Communist Party.)

Of course the work they give you is mental and at very low pay. Your next meal is gruel and quite tasteless. And your place to live is a one room 'apartment'.

And that is what you face if you want a socialist world. Their idea of utopia. The party heads have dachas ... you have the gulag.

Sebastian said...

"Covid is real. it harms and kills people indiscriminately."

Sorry, Tyrone. Yes, it is real, but it also discriminates. Public policy should discriminate accordingly.

Frail seniors should not be out and about among the young and healthy. We should help the former and let the latter lead a mostly normal life.

Masks can help a bit in particular situations, but have little impact on the overall course of transmission and sickness.

tim maguire said...

Megthered said... Why should I wear one if you are wearing one? Isn't yours supposed to protect you? Or is that another lie?

Yes, by you. Nobody has ever said the mask is to protect the wearer. That's what the whole controversy is about--the mask is to protect others. It takes virus particles that would have projected 15-20 feet or more and reduces the spread to about 5-8 feet. So you wearing a mask plus everyone distancing helps protect everyone around you.

On mask wearing, the don't be a dick rule is very much in play.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Immigration, brings the vulnerability way up. Medical care for illegal/legal immigrants from many regions of the world can be non-existent. Remember the respiratory illness Obama brought in with his immigrant tribes. Poor health and poor nutrition affect vulnerability. Homeless shitting and shooting on the streets, crackheads sharing pipes all affect mass transit and fast food establishments. Face coverings? Watch for a while in a parking lot at Costco or Target. Your flesh will crawl.

tim in vermont said...

Daily new cases are climbing rapidly in Sweden, per your own link n.n. Let’s see how the flu season pans out before declaring victory, since, as you well know, deaths lag cases by about a month and cases have only began their climb about a month ago.

Why don’t you look for comparison at a country where mask wearing is accepted as a common sense measure, like Japan, which, as you know, is home to Tokyo, a city on the scale of NYC with the concomitant mass transit systems. That looks a lot more what “suppression" should look like. One of the disappointments of this whole pandemic is to see how locked in you are to your beliefs and your steadfast refusal to examine evidence that doesn’t match your pre-conceived notions. You are no better than R/V or readering in this regard on this topic. You sort of remind me of gadfly talking about Trump.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Remember "Hate is not a family value"? Lefties turned that one inside out.

tim in vermont said...

In my real life, I notice that the difference between Democrats and Republicans on COVID measures is pretty minimal, except for the lip service paid.

Ambrose said...

It's a joke that the Left wants everything to be either prohibited or mandatory - but there is more than just a bit of truth in that. And that's not freedom.

tim in vermont said...

"And when do we get to stop?”

This is the stupidest objection. We get to stop when it makes sense to stop. When the treatments that Trump enjoyed have rolled out to all of us, when a vaccine is in place.

Mask wearing is a vastly superior alternative to shutdowns, but you little babies won’t even accept this low cost, effective (per the recent research all of your objections notwithstanding) measure. It’s almost as if you guys consider the virtue signaling of not wearing a mask more important than so much of the stuff you purport to care about.

Denmark has done a large scale study on mask wearing with thousands of participants either asked to never wear masks or always wear masks. Maybe they will come up with some new knowledge, but they haven’t released it yet. But since they performed the study, in April, they did require masks on mass transit (in july)

Based on a Japanese study of schoolchildren, which showed that by wearing facemasks, school children could reduce the risk of getting the flu by 15 percent, the Danish researchers work with the thesis that facemasks do make a difference and this is what they want to certify with the large scale scientific research project.

I think that maybe the real issue is “acting Asian."

bagoh20 said...

"They talk about crawling over broken glass to help Trump, but wearing a mask? That’s going too far!".

Of course, because the cost of a Trump loss is fare worse than catching Covid with the minuscule risk it presents to those who do, and at least my vote works as advertised, if I vote in person.

I would be willing to voluntarily be given Covid-19, if it would guarantee a Trump win in November. Hell, I'll accept infection just for the reimbursement of my financial losses of being quarantined for 2 weeks, but that ain't cheep. Two weeks paid vacation, and then immunity. Bring it.

Bunkypotatohead said...

Eventually mask wearing will be like the national speed limit of 55mph. A handful of Karens will keep them on and wag their fingers at the rest of us who use their own discretion.

I'm interested to see how long the lefties take to go from insisting on masks to insisting on burqas. You just know it's coming. They are important to give women freedom from ogling.

hombre said...

“...wearing masks, on which every poll shows broad majorities supporting their view.”

Let’s hear it for another journo who thinks polls define reality.

I choose to wear a mask, as appropriate, but it isn’t because it polls well among the nitwits who are willing to waste times answering pollsters.

boatbuilder said...

"One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle."

No shit, Sherlock. Ya think maybe there is a reason for that?

bagoh20 said...

Assume you are in an area with people actively infected - Covid in the air. The data suggests that ingesting a few viral particle will not make you sick, and your body will likely kill it off before it replicates enough to become an active infection.

If you spend any extended time in that environment with a mask on, your are vacuuming up the air through that filter which will stop most droplets (although not the viral particles). That would be great, except that you don't immediately discard the mask, do you? That's what the studies recommending masks assume. What you actually do is wear that ever increasing load of virus on your face touching and adjusting it and then rubbing your eyes and touching things that you take home or touch later. Most people now use that mask again and again. Does that REAL world behavior sound like it's preventing transmission. I know, I know, you have a link somewhere on the internet, but my question still needs your consideration.

Doug said...

Let's bring back manners It is bad manners to force me to inconvenience myself to calm your fears.

bagoh20 said...

"I don't know if the premise here is accurate, that people who resist mask wearing are doing so because of some philosophical objection tied to a view of freedom."

Not so far, but with the Karens demanding compliance, the urge to resists is only amplified, so this mask-shaming is also counter-productive if you want masks worn.

My belief, and that's all it is, is that we would have done better with honest information and respect for freedom, without the politics, and fear mongering. The places that did that seemed to have done quite well, and certainly no worse.

bagoh20 said...

Freedom does not "belong to the Right." It belongs to whoever values it and is willing to defend it. It rarely flourishes for long, but even the short seasons it gets now and then feeds our species the absolutely essential. The famines in between kill millions. The next time will too.

Meade said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
"The cultural norm of wearing pants in public infringes on my freedom, but I do it because it's good manners."

Right. And behaving with good manners is essentially all about caring for the comfort of others. That's why I traipse and twirl about in nothing but my kilt and birkenstocks if and only if I'm in the privacy of my own home. Otherwise, I'm careful to wear well-laundered pants with a belt, suspenders and a handsome stylish codpiece. Not for MY comfort. For YOURS.

I've been wearing a mask for 8 months. Not because I think it protects me or anyone else from wuhoo or any other bug but because it would be bad manners for me not to. I don't care. If the "good manners" of wearing a mask in every public place we go would provide everyone with a level of comfort that frees us all to get back to school and work and business, I'll wear a mask for another 8 months. And when this maniacal pandemical pandemonium is finally over, if it ever IS finally over, I'll repurpose my mask by turning it into a very fancy trendsetting MAGA codpiece. Win-win!

chuck said...

This is built into our human nature as social creatures,

So are war and genocide. Human nature is a mixed bag.

Michael said...

To people like Tomasky, anyone who isn't one of his sheep is "right-wing." The word Conservative does not have the same meaning in America as elsewhere. What American conservatives want to conserve is the liberal order and political, economic, and intellectual liberty - all things the Progressives (excuse me, left-wingers)abhor these days.

gilbar said...

One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle. This has happened because they do NOT believe, in EITHER Economic, OR Political freedom

fify!

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

It will never stop if it doesn’t stop now. Why would it?

Marcus Bressler said...

We shouldn't be wearing masks at all -- the flatten the curve period is over.

Leftists want everyone to wear the masks -- unless they are BLM or people with TDS marching.

And, lastly, I have read here in the comments about how we should just obey the owner/corporation of a business that requires masks IF we want to shop there. What about if I want them to bake a cake for my cousin's gay wedding? Do we obey them then when they say No, No gay cakes. You can't have your gay cake and eat it too, especially with a mask on.

THEOLDMAN

When the Left seizes control of all healthcare (God forbid and hope I'm dead by then), they'll be pulling surveillance tapes that show you going without a mask and deny you treatment. That's only one reason I enjoy the freedom to say, Fuck your mask mandate on the beaches like here in Florida early on. Idjits all around, top to bottom

tim in vermont said...

"Of course, because the cost of a Trump loss is fare worse than catching Covid with the minuscule risk it presents to those who do, and at least my vote works as advertised, if I vote in person.”

That’s not the point. The point is that people over 50 are at a higher risk from this virus, and they vote in numbers. To be honest, when I see somebody not wearing a mask in the grocery store, my first thought is “asshole Trump supporter.” and I like Trump. It’s bad P.R.

Francisco D said...

Meade said...And when this maniacal pandemical pandemonium is finally over, if it ever IS finally over, I'll repurpose my mask by turning it into a very fancy trendsetting MAGA codpiece.

That's the spirit. Put your money where your mouth is. Um, or something like that.

Paco Wové said...

I wear a mask in public indoor places when they request it. It now happens to be the law here, so there's also that – I'll generally not violate laws unless there's an extraordinarily good reason.

But – I seriously doubt that wearing a mask is anything but theater. Most people might as well be wearing heads of garlic to ward off vampires. I don't see any evidence that the ritualized, cargo cult-like mask wearing practices of the U.S. actually help reduce the spread of COVID, and eventually my good natured humoring of unreasoning hysterics will start to wear thin. I'm not wearing a mask forever.

DavidUW said...

Masks don’t work. I’ll wear them as a policy akin to no shoes no service in places of commerce on the rare occasion I still engage in personal commerce. Otherwise, I never. Never wear it outside as that’s just annoyingly stupid. I don’t wear them in my house and on the rare occasion I have a visitor, if the visitor doesn’t like that, he or she can leave or we go outside and sit across a 6 foot table. (Did this for signing off on the purchase of a property).

That’s my limited concession to mask.

If masks worked, we’d be done with this already. If they work, reopen everything. The fact is they don’t work and that’s why people haven’t reopened 100%.

tim in vermont said...

"that filter which will stop most droplets (although not the viral particles). “

This is false. Actual real world experiments have been done with coronaviruses linked to the common cold. I will post this one more time so you can ignore it one more time and persist in repeating your ignorant nonsense:

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0843-2/figures/1

By the way, they are talking about regular, disposable, 50 to the pack surgical masks, not N-95s. You are worse than R/V in your repeated denial of obvious facts.

Yancey Ward said...

Tim,

Again, for the last fucking time- masks have been mandated in all of Europe since Spring- reinforced several times in those countries since then- it didn't stop the second wave at all. You keep trying to point to the outliers as evidence that masks are the difference- you are just full of shit on this issue- the thing the outliers have in common is that they largely didn't have the first wave of the virus. That is the difference between Norway and Sweden, for example- it could be the effect of lockdowns actually slowing the spread, but the lockdowns as practiced won't extinguish the virus.

Countries like Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Singapore just didn't have the infusion of carriers on the same relative scale as Italy, France, the UK, Spain, or the coastal metropolises of the US. You can literally fucking see this effect in the US itself- states like Idaho, North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Montana, and Kansas didn't have large Spring outbreaks because they didn't import lots of carriers of the illness in the Spring- it took time for the disease to run up the left side of the bell curve in those states, and they are only now getting hit.

Deaths have declined for really only two reasons- neither of which has jack shit to do with masks. (1) The elderly who are most at risk are self-isolating with the help of their neighbors and family, so the people catching the disease right now have a much lower median age than was seen in the Spring pretty much everywhere in the world. And, (2), we really do have a much better grip on how to prevent the illness from progressing to a fatal state of inflammation- this was the same story seen with SARS in 2002-2003. I could add the third additional factor is that the most vulnerable were taken out in the first wave of the Spring- we might start getting some confirmation of that in the next few weeks as the disease continues to spread again in Europe and also in the norther tier of the US.

You cast aspersions on the question of when we can stop- your answer is fine, but you aren't the one in control of the matter. My stance is simple at this point- I won't comply so I don't have to depend on the world returning to sanity. My decision, you make your own decision about what to do- your mask ends at your nose.

Scott Patton said...

So the question is...
Tomasky or not Tomasky?

walter said...

Once you venture into "if it saves one life" territory, we could see masks for every cold & flu season as the "norm".
I bet some folks who consider it a handful of minutes inconvenience might view it differently if being forced to wear one 8hrs at a time.

Bilwick said...

Robert Cook: You live in a society. Therefore me and my gang can tell you what to do. Statist logic.

I'm Not Sure said...

"And when this maniacal pandemical pandemonium is finally over, if it ever IS finally over..."

If. Decided by whom? The people who are telling you that you need to wear a mask?

O-kay.

gilbar said...

Mike of Snoqualmie said...
The CDC says that 85% of those who got sick with the China Flu were wearing masks. Masks are ineffective. If they were effective, then infections would be trending down, not up. There's no slope break in the infection rate after mandatory mask wearing was imposed.


AGAIN, shhh!! not so loud! TiFnV is going to have ANOTHER tissy
there is NO ROOM for facts when TiFnV is around

speaking of which... TiFnV said... Links are pointless to you guys, it’s obviously something emotional, but you can go to his link, scholar.google.com, you get

Not Found
Error 404


I thought THAT was a nice touch Tim! Probably explains Why you don't like to post links; you're not computer literate. (you stuck a https://www.blogger.com in front of your url)
{don't take MY word for it, try it yourself!}

Birkel said...

Meade,
I don't celebrate, venerate, or otherwise elevate the misunderstandings and craziness of other people.

You do you.

But I don't give a single solitary fuck about the neuroses of idiots.

And Robert Cook remains a dimwitted fool.

gilbar said...

Serious question (for TiFnV, or Anyone else)...
Since MOST of the USA (and, in FACT; MOST of the World) now has mask mandates...
WHY are numbers STILL going up? Don't the masks do anything?

Bilwick said...

Remember, kids, if the Kung Flu had never existed, people like Tomaskey would be coming up with other excuses to coerce you.

Liberty haters gotta hate;
State-shtuppers gotta shtup State.

n.n said...

"One thing Democrats in general aren’t very good at is defending their positions on the level of philosophical principle."

Most Democrats share the Twilight faith, Pro-Choice fluid or quasi-religion, and liberal ideology of the Progressive Church.

Remember "Hate is not a family value"? Lefties turned that one inside out.

Diversity, adversity, chauvnism, and exclusion. #HateLovesAbortion

Tyrone Slothrop said...

Doug said...
Let's bring back manners It is bad manners to force me to inconvenience myself to calm your fears.


Do you wear pants in public? Why?

walter said...

Joe! is forging the path for multi-masking.
Pants..and underpants!
Da Fauch's previous endorsement of goggles has not caught on....

Lurker21 said...


I don't have a problem wearing a mask. I think most people would agree that masks aren't a foolproof prevention, but that they are better than shutdowns.

If there is a freedom uproar, is it a big thing and is it really about masks or is it about the shutdowns?

And if there is a controversy about masks is it about the mask or the messaging of governments and busybodies?

Big Mike said...

@Althouse, if you think about it, what you are seeing -- and Tamasky is lamenting -- is a perfectly natural response of ordinary American citizens to having passed their fed-up point.

"No need to wear masks, they do nothing." Remember that?

"We were lying to you. It is critically important that you wear masks unless you are eating." And do you remember that one? Talk about a flip-flop! Moreover, I can only presume that Madison and Washington, DC, are somewhere outside the United States because the people who live there don't seem to understand who pissed people get when they discover that they've been lied to even if it's "for our own good."

Now the World Health Organization says people shouldn't wear masks after all. Should be believe them? They've been caught playing fast and loose with the truth in the past, why not now? Oh, the reality is that my wearing a mask protects others from my coronavirus, but at the price of increasing the likelihood that I might catch the disease. So I am asked to increase my personal risk to lessen the risk of transmitting the disease to the likes of Tomasky.

Forget it.

MayBee said...

I wear a mask because it's what is asked of me.

But I am really sick of the mask evangelicals.

wildswan said...

I wear a mask wherever the social mores require it. But it's my opinion that many people are becoming hypocrites about masking - like Nancy Pelosi. For example, they are going to lefty demos and not masking. You can clearly see that in every demo video. Or they wear a mask on TV to make an announcement and tear it off as soon as the cameras shut off. It's just my opinion but I think masking and distancing is getting like Prohibition. It's turning into something that is still maintained in public but that is subverted in private or "out of sight" more and more often in many ways. Even, in the case of lefty demos, it's disregarded in public which is very telling. If the Dems thought their activists were all going to get infected and going to die, they wouldn't allow the unmasked demos.

The Godfather said...

Holy sh*t! The Voice of Reason appears on Althouse. Meade (7:57 pm) says he wears a mask "because it would be bad manners for me not to." Yes, me too! And I make it a point to keep 6' away from other people when I can (or 2 meters if I'm in Europe, because the coronovirus is a little more active over there, I guess). There are a lot of impositions on us that are a lot more burdensome and a lot less justified (like you can't go to a normal church service for God's sake!), but whining about masks detracts from legitimate complaints.

Thanks Meade.

James K said...

Tomasky begs the question by assuming the science is settled on masks. There's lots of evidence they don't make much or any difference, and may even cause harm. But he takes that debate off the table. Masks are the new climate "science."

LA_Bob said...

Robert Cook said, 'The right's conception of freedom is: "I demand the right to do whatever the fuck I want without any responsibility to or for anyone else, and fuck you!"'

A bit extreme, Mr Cook. My experience is that people on the right are a bit more concerned with responsibility regarding their actions. Not exclusively, but in the sexual sphere the left seems more libertine. The "mostly peaceful protestors" didn't seem to be thinking much of others either.

The left-and-freedom thing reminds me of the Robert Putnam post earlier in the day. Putnam was concerned about "the common good" (as defined by the left, of course), the "We" portion of the "I-We-I" curve.

By the way, freedom to speak freely is a freedom the left should truly embrace but doesn't.

MayBee said...

wildswan- I agree

Lurker21- I agree that a lot of the pushback is against the busy bodies. During the shut downs, we saw and heard people reporting on their neighbors and declaring how happy and simple it was to Just Stay Home! And the masks and the people who get on Facebook and report where they've seen people without masks just feels like more of the same. You just get sick of people constantly telling you what to do.

Michael said...


Blogger Bunkypotatohead said...
Eventually mask wearing will be like the national speed limit of 55mph. A handful of Karens will keep them on and wag their fingers at the rest of us who use their own discretion.

Good one. Plus they will stay in the fast lane with cruise control at 54 MPH from Miami to Seattle. And they will not change lanes.

Birkel said...

The Godfather,
You can suck my bung hole right after you cure the neuroses of the people you're hoping will quit being neurotic.
Fuck those people in their ear holes.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

I wonder where you “I do whatever makes people feel comfortable regardless of whether it’s irrational and meaningless” people would draw the line.

There are two kinds of people. Those who need to be in Kundera’s circle dance, and those who don’t. I don’t care about those of you who have that need, but leave me the fuck out of it.

n.n said...

This episode is reminiscent of the effort to normalize "rape... rape-rape culture" h/t Whoopi! to socially justify the Progressives' advocacy for the wicked solution, and, of course, a host of phobias, policies, and narratives to sustain the false premises of rackets and protests. This time, they offer an intuitive placebo effect, sustain civil rights violations, planned parent, stigmatize early treatments, and so it progresses. They think that they can abort the baby and have her, too. Perhaps they can.

Iman said...

Blogger GingerBeer said...
"I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death my right to beat you with a bicycle lock if you say it."


Good stuff, Ginger Beer... Hilarious!!!

n.n said...

a controversy about masks is it about the mask or the messaging of governments and busybodies

Both. They need to retreat from totalitarian impulses, and, for the sake of lives and wellbeing, they need to be honest about the advantages, disadvantages, limits, and changes required by their mitigation prescriptions. They weren't honest about early treatments. They weren't honest about public policies (e.g. Planned Parent) and social stigmas (e.g. early treatments) that drove excess deaths. They're likely wrong about transmission modes (i.e. droplet, aerosol, fecal) in all or most cases. They're not being honest about masks. Not about their variable effectiveness or the protocol people need to follow in order to realize their marginal value. This is a bad way to treat people and to manage risk.

Mrs. X said...

Actual real world experiments have been done with coronaviruses linked to the common cold.

I clicked through and read the article. As far as I can tell (it was confusingly written), the people in the study had respiratory infections and were symptomatic; the masks controlled the spread of droplets. This does not add up to everyone who's out in public should wear a mask. If you're sick and have symptoms, wear a mask or stay home.

Additionally, as far as when we get to stop, you talk as if it's just common sense, that of course, we'll know when it's time to stop. But we won't know. It's not that black and white. And no one in charge (including Trump whom I support) has behaved rationally and consistently up till now. No reason to think they're about to start. So, as Pants says, leave me the fuck alone.

Mrs. X said...

Actual real world experiments have been done with coronaviruses linked to the common cold.

I clicked through and read the article. As far as I can tell (it was confusingly written), the people in the study had respiratory infections and were symptomatic; the masks controlled the spread of droplets. This does not add up to everyone who's out in public should wear a mask. If you're sick and have symptoms, wear a mask or stay home.

Additionally, as far as when we get to stop, you talk as if it's just common sense, that of course, we'll know when it's time to stop. But we won't know. It's not that black and white. And no one in charge (including Trump whom I support) has behaved rationally and consistently up till now. No reason to think they're about to start. So, as Pants says, leave me the fuck alone.

cyrus83 said...

Masks are a small ask the same way that gun control originally started out as small asks. They are intended to be permanent power grabs that then become the baseline for the next power grab. Much the same way that the original ask for 2 weeks to flatten the curve has become a months-long shutdown in a lot of places.

If masks actually worked, Sweden should be doing the worst in Europe. They now have a lower number of cases per capita than Spain, Belgium, France, the UK, or the US. Similarly on deaths, they are doing better than Spain, Belgium, the UK, or the US, and I suspect they'll surpass France by year-end. They did that without masks, without lockdowns, and without trying to impose a medical police state. At some point, good science would look at Sweden and reconsider the approach taken to this point.

The problem is that bureaucrats can never admit their policies failed because that would destroy any rationale to obey them the next time out. Officials and politicians will sooner double down on failure theater forever to preserve the government's moral authority to boss us around regardless of how much people suffer rather than admit they got it wrong.

Remember we are still removing shoes in airports nearly 2 decades after a single incident that didn't even cause any deaths. The possibility of a sick grandma in the nursing home dying will be the poster child of this empathy blackmail, even as grandma wastes away in the nursing home from lack of social contact and doesn't feel like living.

The risk that someone somewhere might at some time give you something is permanent rationalization to control everyone's life forever once you admit the risk is the government's problem.

So no thank you, the petty tyrants in governors offices and health departments nationwide can take their mandates and shove them because it will never stop at just this simple ask.

alanc709 said...

Why do people still talk about wearing masks, as if wearing them poses no risk? Prolonged mask wear increases the risk of bacterial infection, among other things.

stevew said...

"I wear a mask because it's what is asked of me.

But I am really sick of the mask evangelicals."


What MayBee says at 9:31PM is how I behave and see it.

Have to say I'm sick of talking and reading about masks. I wouldn't be surprised if this Tomasky fella wrote this in an attempt to scare Democrats into voting early. One of my sisters - diehard lefty and Trump hater = put up a photo on instagram yesterday of herself dropping letters in the mail to other Democrats encouraging them to vote. Had a mask on, of course, even though there was no one within 20 feet or more. I stopped following her. That's the sort of shit that prompted me to quit Facebook.

Please leave me alone, I'll do the same for you. I'll wear my ineffective mask when I get within six feet of you and when I am required to do so. Don't thank me, don't scold me, just leave me the fuck alone.

Bart Hall said...

I disagree about masks for three primary reasons --

a) They reflect an efflorescence of the lamentable and completely unrealistic "zero risk" mentality so common these days.

b) They also reflect a serious distortion of normal epidemic management, which is to shelter the vulnerable and quarantine the sick.

c) Masks are largely virtue-signalling theatre. If C19 were truly dangerous there would be bio-hazard bins everywhere to receive used masks for proper incineration.

MayBee said...


I wonder where you “I do whatever makes people feel comfortable regardless of whether it’s irrational and meaningless” people would draw the line.


Pants-
I'm not sure and I have thought about it. I saw Ben Domenech say the thing that has disturbed him the most this year is to see how quickly Americans bow to overwhelming rules.
I mean, we still have people praising Whitmer because she's "keeping us safe" even though businesses they love are really struggling. As if there's no connection.

As for me, we are in business for ourselves and I teach fitness classes at a business that is still limited in capacity. If I don't wear a mask, my boss can't operate or I can't work. He's already lost one studio in the shutdowns. I don't want to be the one that makes him lose the second- either by spreading COVID (even if it isn't that bad, the repercussions of having to tell all the clients it's been in the studio are bad) or by being shut down.

But I don't know where my line is. I know I still saw family when it was "illegal".

Kai Akker said...

---they need obambi himself to travel to Philadelphia to help get out the vote!!
Philadelphia!! [Drago]

We's ready, yo. We got ballots, we got crayons. Some ballots even got Trump's name printed in em.

Philly will make our quota. What's that quota again? (Bobby, whatz the fuggin quota?)

Yeah, 2 mil. We got it bud. Make it 2-5 if you want.

Gimme another pile, Bobby. Truck out there?

tim in vermont said...

"and quarantine the sick.”

We have no fucking idea who is sick and who isn’t most of the time.

"were truly dangerous there would be bio-hazard bins everywhere to receive used masks for proper incineration.”

Using that money that grows on trees and the universal power of government to put out such a program in a matter of months, even if it had the resources, which it doesn’t. It was months before we could even get enough masks from the ChiComs, who we are forced to buy them from due to our own stupidity about strategic manufacturing.

But thanks for playing.

tim in vermont said...

"I clicked through and read the article. As far as I can tell (it was confusingly written),”

From the study text

We detected coronavirus in respiratory droplets and aerosols in 3 of 10 (30%) and 4 of 10 (40%) of the samples collected without face masks, respectively, but did not detect any virus in respiratory droplets OR AEROSOLS collected from participants wearing face masks, this difference was significant in aerosols and showed a trend toward reduced detection in respiratory droplets (Table 1b).

It’s kind of interesting that the masks worked for coronavirus, but didn’t work as well for the flu:

For influenza virus, we detected virus in 6 of 23 (26%) and 8 of 23 (35%) of the respiratory droplet and aerosol samples collected without face masks, respectively. There was a significant reduction by wearing face masks to 1 of 27 (4%) in detection of influenza virus in respiratory droplets, but no significant reduction in detection in aerosols

You know on a cold day when you can see your breath? That’s aerosols. They are coming out of you all the time as you breathe, you can onlly see them on cold days.

walter said...

"We have no fucking idea who is sick and who isn’t most of the time. "
That's why we need to ramp up misleading testing...that'll save us.
And we don't have a great handle on who's dying FROM wuflu.
But we know you get more of what you subsidize.

Truthavenger said...

So I need to strap a filthy cloth mask to my face in order to make someone else feel better. In other words, I need to endanger my health to safeguard (allegedly) the health of others.

Yeah, yeah, I know I can wash my mask or wear a new disposable one. But the reality is that most people wear the same cloth mask over and over again, washing it who knows how often.

Thus my question: Why should I endanger my health, so pretend that I am protecting your health?

It's not about public health. It's about control.

Paco Wové said...

"The Left"s conception of freedom seems to be: you and I are free to follow the will of the collective (as defined by me). I am free to force you if you disobey.

Birkel said...

tim in vermont had his panties all twisted up.

Maybe someday this dumb ass will talk about trade-offs.
I doubt it.
But maybe.

tim in vermont said...

The French have a saying that few things in life are as pleasurable as being called a “dumbass” by a moron. But anyway, here goes. What is the huge cost of wearing a mask, besides the irrational emotional one I mean, as balanced against the benefits of slowing the spread of COVID?

"That's why we need to ramp up misleading testing...that'll save us.”

I have always said that testing is close to worthless as a preventative measure. The reason we don’t know who is sick is because some people never get symptoms but still shed virus, and the people that do get sick start shedding virus three days before they get sick. If you test everybody you get false positives and false negatives. In the case of one person I know, they were tested because of contact tracing, tested negative, then were sick a few days later. The test was pointless.

tim in vermont said...

"So I need to strap a filthy cloth mask to my face in order to make someone else feel better. In other words, I need to endanger my health to safeguard (allegedly) the health of others.”

Morons can’t live forever.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Tim in Vermont asked:
What is the huge cost of wearing a mask

1: It decreases my air supply, and leaves me feeling choked

2: It accumulates infectious material on the outside, which means I'm carrying around an infection source, and every time I touch it, either I have to immediately wash my hands, or face a greater risk of getting sick

3: I read the Bejing paper you provided to "prove" that mask wearing was good. Did you read it?

It stated:
A: You have a 5% chance of catching Covid outside the home, and a 40% chance of catching it inside the home
B: That the only really useful place to wear one was inside the home
C: That it was useful to wear before people started showing symptoms
D: That regular hand washing does as good of a job of protecting you as does mask wearing

4: The mask doesn't protect me from getting sick. It only protects other people if I am sick. This means people aren't rewarded for using them well, and aren't punished / hurt for using them poorly. Hand washing, OTOH, protects you.

So, wear your mask at home, leave teh rest of us alone, or provide better papers

Greg The Class Traitor said...

tim in vermont said...
Morons can’t live forever.

Reality check time, Tim: no one can live forever. Death rate is still 1 to the customer

Known Unknown said...

"The CDC says that 85% of those who got sick with the China Flu were wearing masks. Masks are ineffective. If they were effective, then infections would be trending down, not up. There's no slope break in the infection rate after mandatory mask wearing was imposed."

Beware, Twitter will cancel you for such nonsense! Even if you're a licensed doctor.

SensibleCitizen said...

The mask no mask issue is a non-issue in my view. Most people wear them in public because we're told to by people we think might know what they're talking about. That's sound judgment.

Some people don't for a lot of reasons I suspect. Maybe they find it hard to breathe CO2 concentrations. Maybe they forgot to bring a mask. Maybe they've already had COVID. Maybe it is a matter of principle. So what?

If you wear a mask, and see someone who isn't, stay away from them. No big deal. If the masks work, then someone else not wearing a mask doesn't affect you -- only them -- especially if you stay away from them. If 90% of people weren't wearing masks, it might be an issue. But it's the other way around, so stop clutching pearls over masks is my advice.

Anne-I-Am said...

"Among the samples collected without a face mask, we found that the majority of participants with influenza virus and coronavirus infection did not shed detectable virus in respiratory droplets or aerosols, whereas for rhinovirus we detected virus in aerosols in 19 of 34 (56%) participants (compared to 4 of 10 (40%) for coronavirus and 8 of 23 (35%) for influenza). For those who did shed virus in respiratory droplets and aerosols, viral load in both tended to be low (Fig. 1). Given the high collection efficiency of the G-II (ref. 19) and given that each exhaled breath collection was conducted for 30 min, this might imply that prolonged close contact would be required for transmission to occur, even if transmission was primarily via aerosols, as has been described for rhinovirus colds."

So shut up, Tim.

And even in those that shed viruses, the amount shed may or may not be clinically significant.

And beyond that, studies like this don't address the question of whether it is worth the infringement of liberty in order to slightly minimize risk. The risk to those of us under 70 and/or in good health is so minimal as to render ludicrous the idea we all need to be protected by masks.

The idea that we must diminish risk to near zero at the cost of diminishing liberty much more than minimally is ludicrous--and dangerous.

Michael McNeil said...

You know on a cold day when you can see your breath? That’s aerosols. They are coming out of you all the time as you breathe, you can only see them on cold days.

False. Total garbage. You're not helping your general argument(s), tim, by blithely including nonsense like this. (Where's the link or reference to this supposed fact, by the way?)

Anyway, exhaled breath condenses as fog because when the near-100% humidity of air in the lungs (_not_ “aerosolized” already-liquid water) is suddenly cooled down so the air can no longer hold as much water vapor (generally about 50° F.), some of the vapor must necessarily condense out of the air as liquid water droplets — what we call cloud or fog.

One can easily check this for oneself — given below 50° temperatures outdoors or in a freezer. Exhale into the cold air and observe the generated fog. Then do the same thing, but activating one's vocal cords by singing or humming while exhaling. (The vocal cords aerosolize a far higher proportion of droplets in one's exhaled air by shaking water upon them into air droplets.)

Simply observe how much “fog” you get when breathing out quietly vs. loudly. If the thesis is correct the latter will exhale much more voluminous fog. But it doesn't.

Jim at said...

The masks don't do a damn thing to prevent the spread. We've been under a mask mandate since Fucking June and the numbers keep going up.

It's bullshit.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Pants-
I'm not sure and I have thought about it. I saw Ben Domenech say the thing that has disturbed him the most this year is to see how quickly Americans bow to overwhelming rules.
I mean, we still have people praising Whitmer because she's "keeping us safe" even though businesses they love are really struggling. As if there's no connection.

As for me, we are in business for ourselves and I teach fitness classes at a business that is still limited in capacity. If I don't wear a mask, my boss can't operate or I can't work. He's already lost one studio in the shutdowns. I don't want to be the one that makes him lose the second- either by spreading COVID (even if it isn't that bad, the repercussions of having to tell all the clients it's been in the studio are bad) or by being shut down.

But I don't know where my line is. I know I still saw family when it was "illegal".


It's complicated, isn't it? A lot of my "compliance" with covid "response" measures that I find pointless or counterproductive is because I don't want to cause discomfort or hassle to people who I care about and who are doing their best. I don't want anyone's life made more difficult. For example - we are going on vacation next week to one of the more open states. Super excited, and I want to talk about it on social media in order to make normal living more visible, but our two youngest kids' preschool just reopened, and I don't want a bunch of Karens bitching to our director who has been working her ass off trying to get the school open "oooooh did you see the Pantses went on a plane trip! You can't let them come back to school!" I mean she doesn't need that crap. So we're just laying low about it.

My book club has just begun meeting again and one of the women wants everyone in masks. So we're all going to wear masks, to make one person feel safe? I mean, I don't want to say "you're outvoted so you can't come." I mean, the kind thing to do is put someone else ahead of oneself. But what about everyone else's comfort and logic? Does that matter? Where does it end? Do we let the most neurotic among us manipulate us forever?

I'm not hearing anyone even try to define when we can make masks optional. No one is offering anything other than "When -- IF -- I feel it's ok, and not a minute sooner, and by the way you're a dick for asking." I'm sorry: aren't those who think that their feelings give them the right to make decisions for my body and actions the ones who are taking a very bizarre and aberrant position?

Also, I'm sure we've all noticed that everyone has reasons that THEIR bending the rules or expectations is ok, but everyone ELSE is a selfish asshole for doing what they want to do. We have lots of covid fanatic friends who are constantly judging everyone else but when it's something that's important to them: well, that's different. I don't care whether my friends take a vacation and don't quarantine when they get there or whatever -- I just want the hypocrisy to stop and I want people to stop pretending they are the rational ones when they are so clearly not, and stop telling me I'm some sociopathic monster because I object to wildly erratic, inconsistent and illogical restrictions on my life and choices.

tim in vermont said...

Finally some intelligent push back! I have been doing my best to provoke that for a while. Where have you guys been?

"this might imply that prolonged close contact would be required for transmission to occur, even if transmission was primarily via aerosols, as has been described for rhinovirus colds.”

Just remember that the study in question was done very early on and the state of knowledge of COVID was very preliminary at that time. There is also this study referenced in this sfgate story

The study has thus been able to assert with some degree of certainty that the infection in one family was able to spread to people dining at two adjacent tables in the restaurant, likely due to airflow, but not to 73 other people who were eating in the same room that day, or to any of the eight servers working that floor.

https://sfist.com/2020/04/22/study-restaurant-covid-19-outbreak-in-china/

People sitting at another table were infected based on the characteristics of the air handling, apparently, so the “low virus shedding” still infected people at a distance. Not to mention that the first study was done with common cold coronaviruses, not COVID-19, which appears to be extremely infectious compared to the cold viruses so the term “low viral load” may not apply.

But unlike Yancey Ward, you have given me something to think about. I have linked to that study a dozen times and I think this might be the first time anybody has actually read it and understood it and come up with meaningful objections.

Michael McNeil is right about the aerosols and water vapor. Still, contaminated aerosols were captured in the breath of people with coronaviruses, and still the masks stopped them. I don’t know if people were asked to talk during the test, that might have been interesting. It’s weird how, if it so hard to spread this virus, it runs through populations like wildfire though if left unchecked, even as symptomatic people largely stay home.

But I am going to stop responding to every nitwit who makes comments like this: "The masks don't do a damn thing to prevent the spread. We've been under a mask mandate since Fucking June and the numbers keep going up.”

I guess that Jim thinks that if the masks aren’t bulletproof, there is no point. What can you say to that? Nothing that he would understand.

Greg The Class Traitor said...

Gee, Tim, no response to my takedown of your Bejing study?

Guess you don't find that even remotely defensible any more?

KellyM said...

I wear a mask when going into shops here in the People's Republic of CA because I have no choice. Even the Chinese-owned/run corner shops near my house that were laissez-faire about it all spring and into the summer suddenly found God and now demand that masks are mandatory. I always feel breathless and distracted in them, and all I can think of is getting out of where I am so I can rip the damned thing off. And if you wear glasses you literally walk around in a fog with your hot breath clinging to the lenses. It doesn’t matter what the mask is made of – they all do it.

Of course the latest here is that Gov. Gruesome is keeping the state shut down until infection rates in low-income and predominantly minority communities match those in White and Asian communities. He implies that it must be some kind of "systemic racism", and Whites and Asians now have the equivalent of COVID privilege. It's been well documented that many in low-income and minority communities are at higher risk due to less than optimal living conditions (lots of people crammed into smallish dwellings) and the refusal to suspend mass socializing on a regular basis with extended family members, claiming cultural norms. This has been the case in LA where the County Health Department has crunched the numbers, comparing infection rates in East LA or Compton with those in West Hollywood or Santa Monica. It makes no sense to penalize the latter places for the sins of the former but here we are. Sigh.

Kirk Parker said...

tim,

Yancey Ward has given you plenty to think about. That you won't in fact do so is on you, not him.

And can you get more disingenuous than this? "I guess that Jim thinks that if the masks aren’t bulletproof, there is no point."