Saturday, May 15, 2021

Conservatives Win -- Now What?

So ... you'd think they'd be happy. All year pro-virus Americans have been complaining about how masks were an unconstitutional violation of their God-given liberty, a government imposition on their freedom. Waves of misinformation swept through the covidiot population as, first, they were sure there were government microchips in the vaccine to control our minds (Bill Gates may have put them there, this part was never clear), and then even worse, "vaccine passports" were going to allow the government to track you wherever you went, as Step One toward totalitarianism.

And don't forget, this is all Anthony Fauci's fault, for sumpn-sumpn in Wuhan, communist party etcetera.

For the past year Republicans have demanded the freedom to get sick and to make other people sick. Videos of maskless Karens coughing on customers at Walmart became a cliche, nobody wore masks to Trump rallies and Capitol insurrections -- state or federal -- or even to march around drunk tearing down BLM signs. They wanted to be free and they have been in a state of rebellion ever since the virus first reached the US and public health experts made their recommendations.

I think President Biden pulled off a beautiful political maneuver this week when he and the CDC announced victory over the pandemic in the US, and told people that if they were vaccinated they did not have to wear masks, except in a few situations. He did not impose a "vaccine passport" or tell anybody they needed to carry government-approved identification. He basically smiled at the camera and said, "Have a good time. You're welcome."

You'd think they'd be happy, wouldn't you? Fold up the mask and stick it in the hankie drawer, we're done with those old things. Freedom! We can go to the high-school game and cheer for our team and no libtards will tell us we have to cover our faces.

Of course they are not happy.

First of all, the CDC only said you could go without a mask if you were vaccinated. If you haven't had your shots you are supposed to keep wearing it.

These people had already printed up fake cards claiming to have a medical dispensation that exempts them from wearing a mask. They were already staging riots in the aisles of Costco to demand the rights our Founders gave them, guaranteeing them the freedom to spread disease far and wide. They were not wearing masks or getting vaccinated even when they were asked to. So let's just say there is "some possibility" that conservatives are now going to go around without masks, claiming to have been vaccinated when they are not.

The problem of course is that you can't tell who has been vaccinated and who hasn't. Sure, they give you a little card when you get the shot but one, Republicans are already counterfeiting those, and two, where did I put it again? You go to your kid's game and they ask you if you've been vaccinated, what do you do? You say yes, of course. You don't have to show no stinkin' ID.

According to the CDC, 35.8 percent of Americans have been vaccinated. I am no epidemiologist, but I am pretty sure that <does the math> 64.2 percent of the population is enough to keep a deadly pandemic going. As you know, vaccinated people can still get sick, so the percentage of potentially contagious people is actually higher than that, but let's say two-thirds of Americans are potentially carriers of the novel coronavirus. The point being, the threat is not actually over. The pandemic is wiping out some countries, and it has receded here largely due to vaccinations, but we are not out of the woods. Expect a new surge.

The difference now is that the only people who will get sick are those who wanted to. It's now a personal choice.

I'd say Biden gave the pro-virus Republicans exactly what they wanted. They will be going out without masks and mixing with vaccinated people, and there is no way to know, because Biden totally did not impose government surveillance -- either microchips or passports -- on people. So now Bubba doesn't have to take a shot -- which might, you know, hurt -- or wear a mask, and nobody can tell if he's teeming with viruses or not.

Now our state's Republican governor has even gone a step further. He has announced that as of today, people in the state of Maryland don't have to wear masks whether they are vaccinated or not. So our local Republicans don't even have to lie about being vaccinated (which might take some of the fun out of it).

I'm sure conservatives are cheering. They won. They got what they wanted. No masks, no social distancing, and at least in our state they don't even care if you get the vaccine or not. Just do your thing, man, breathe on your brother, share your microbes with your neighbors, everything's cool.

Actually, I'm sure they are not cheering, because that isn't what they do. They only complain.

And so today the Washington Post front page says: CDC’s mask guidance spurs confusion and criticism, as well as celebration.

Many, including President Biden, hailed the relaxation of restrictions by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a milestone in the nation’s return to normal. But with a majority of Americans unvaccinated, others questioned the sudden and blanket recommendation, worrying that the onus is now heavier on state and local governments, businesses and individuals to determine whether precautions are necessary.
So yep, the conservatives have what they wanted. Here you got state's rights, as fifty different states get to figure out how to sort these things out, and you also got the free market at work, because basically business owners are going to have to figure out who to let into their venues and who to keep out. The federal government is staying out of all that.

Now the MAGAs can cough on people at Walmart without getting thrown out, and spread disease freely just as the Founders intended.

“The guidance shifts all the burden onto individuals to be ‘on their honor’ and choose the appropriate actions when deciding whether to wear a mask,” said Lisa Maragakis, an infectious-disease epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “There is no way to know who is vaccinated and who is not in most scenarios. The likely result is that almost no one will wear a mask.”
Oh yeah, "honor" is a big Republican value. Uh huh. I'm sure they will be honest about this.

Those of us who stayed home, social distanced, wore masks and managed to stay healthy, those of us who got vaccinated, don't have much to worry about. There is a small chance that we will still get infected, and a tiny chance that the infection will be serious. There is an even smaller chance that a vaccinated person will infect someone else.

So really, I hate to say it, but it's not our problem now. The pandemic is raging, and with unvaccinated people going into crowds without masks you can be sure we will see a spike in infections, but mostly they will only be people who were too dumb to follow the rules. I think most people in nursing homes have had their shots, there are still some vulnerable populations -- ICE detainees, prisoners -- but now anyone can walk in and get vaccinated any day of the week. At this point nobody is telling you what to do, the virus needs hosts and you are free to volunteer to be one.