The Unmasking Proceeds Apace

Here in Bradford, the local IGA, the Dollar General and the Rich gas station have taken down their “mask required” signs, and the staff in each have likewise demasked. At the Dollar General, there is a new sign saying that vaccinated people could come in unmasked but than non-vaccinated people should still be masked up unless they had a medical reason to do otherwise. This is of course ironic, because Bradford is the sort of place where the vaccinated were the ones wearing the masks and the unvaccinated were the ones who were not. I don’t imagine the unvaccinated here will suddenly change their behavior in these latter days of the pandemic.

The dropping of these signs may or may not be precipitate — Ohio still has a general order for mask wearing for the unvaccinated through June 3rd — but it seems extremely unlikely that if it is, anyone will come to enforce it, or that anyone here much cares. In Darke County, where half of Bradford lay, the most recent number of daily infections was one; for Miami County, where the other half of the village is platted, it was three. Neither county has recorded a COVID-related death in at least three weeks. The pandemic is not completely over here — there are still people in the hospital recovering — but it has certainly wound down.

What we will see, I suppose, is whether the end of the masking creates a spike of cases, and what that “spike” will be — if it’s a couple more daily cases than otherwise, or something rather more substantial. Or if nothing happens! As of today, 26% of Darke County is fully vaccinated and another ten percent were infected, recovered and presumably now have antibodies; Miami County is slightly higher in vaccination percentages and about equal in recovered infected. These are not, shall we say, great percentages for vaccinations and antibodies. This is what you get for being in Trump country. I’d prefer if people here don’t get sick. But a pretty large percentage of people here who could get a shot, but haven’t, are making it easier for the virus to stick around.

What did I do when I went to, respectively, the IGA, the Dollar General and the gas station? In each case I had my mask with me when I got out of my car to go the the store, but inasmuch as I’m vaccinated and I’m neither legally required to wear the mask nor are the businesses asking me to, I entered these businesses without it on. This was in keeping with my previous position on the matter, and after about the first three seconds in each case, it was fine and I didn’t think about it much further while I was in the store.

I’ll still be keeping a mask in my car and will wear it when asked (as again previously mentioned). But here in town, the mask-wearing moment is definitively over. Let’s hope it lasts, both in town and elsewhere.

— JS

67 Comments on “The Unmasking Proceeds Apace”

  1. I’m guessing that that 10% infected number is low. Best estimates have been that the reported cases are anywhere from 10-33% of the actual cases.

  2. Here in Massachusetts the mask mandate is still in place until May 29 (Saturday). People are still masked in stores, but not nearly as much on the street as a couple of weeks ago.

    I’m wondering whether there are going to be incidents at drug stores. They’re considered health care facilities so the mask mandate will remain in effect there even after Saturday, but whether people will understand that and comply remains to be seen. Masks are also still required at medical offices but I expect people will be more understanding in that setting.

  3. I’m continuing to wear my mask in public and when I deal with those unknown to me personally.

    I hope that there’s no spike in your area, John.

  4. I don’t trust my neighbors (500k in county) to not be incubating some vaccine resistant strain. I will continue to wear a mask indoors when around strangers for foreseeable future. Outdoors I will wear a mask until grass pollen levels die back down again. Not suffering from allergies is really nice.

  5. timeliebe – Central NY – Dreaded Spouse-Creature to bestselling fantasy author Tamora Pierce (SONG OF THE LIONESS, THE CIRCLE OPENS, BEKA COOPER: A TORTALL LEGEND series), a co-author of TORTALL: A SPY'S GUIDE, Co-author with Tamora Pierce of Marvel's WHITE TIGER: A HERO'S OBSESSION for Marvel Comics. Contributing Editor for VIDEO Magazine during the 1990s, Columnist for C/Net 1999 - 2002.
    timeliebe

    The first time I went unmasked to a public place was when I got a haircut yesterday. I called for an appointment and asked if I needed to wait outside to be let in, and they said “Nope, just come on in. If you’re vaccinated, you don’t even need to wear a mask!”

    So I did – a bit weird not having to worry about a mask in public. But Wegman’s up here is still “soft enforcing” masking up (the staff all wear them, and most of the shoppers, including me, still do too), so not that much has changed — including a bunch of people wearing their masks under their noses!

  6. Yeah. I hope the un-masking works more than I hope the un-masking lasts – if it doesn’t work, I really hope people go back to masks (…but kind of doubt it).

  7. My “guy,” whom I hire to do odd jobs for me (heavy lifting mostly) and to mow my rental property missed a mowing by two weeks and when I texted him to ask what’s going on, he wrote back that he had COVID and pneumonia for three weeks and was still feeling pretty bad and had no energy. I had seen him the day I had my second Pfizer shot and asked him if he’d been vaccinated yet, to which he mumbled some variety of no.

    When he said he had the virus my reply was something along the lines of “this could have easily been avoided” and that “only two kinds of people get it: people with wildly irrational political ideologies and stupid people, and that he never struck me as much of a political guy” (this is how you call someone stupid to their face).

    When I drove by the rental today he’d just finished loading up and although I know he saw me, he drove off as if he hadn’t. I’m going to hire a new guy. I really don’t feel like it’s in my best interest to employ the stupid. Especially when their stupidity is a risk to others.

  8. I just started to go out to a few more places besides the grocery at the crack of dawn when it’s me and the staff (been stay at home with an adult disabled son). My husband and other family mask and are very careful with work. We’re all vaccinated, but still don’t want to risk any illnesses for anyone.
    It was quite a shock to see the sign at the department store at the mall yesterday saying if you’re vaccinated, you don’t have to wear a mask! It’s Ohio! I thought a few more days, at least!
    And I agree—those who could and didn’t get a vaccine are not going to be ones to put a mask on.
    So I will continue to wear mine. And I will continue to limit my indoor outings. But we are enjoying some safe outdoor outings and places. With masks! And I’m hoping I win a million dollars for getting vaccinated!

  9. Being without masks is interesting. When I’m out walking on the sidewalk in uncrowded circumstances unmasked (I’m fully vaccinated) I get stinkeye because people think I’m a trumpite. When I wear a mask outside though some glare an me and mutter darkly to themselves because well, I’m obviously a sheepie. Can’t win.

  10. I’m fully vaccinated. I live in a county where 58% of the population – total population, not just eligible – is fully vaccinated, the third highest county in my state. I live in a state where nearly 42% of the total population is fully vaccinated, almost 59% have received at least one dose, and where the state legislature and state supreme court have repeatedly invalidated the governor’s attempts to establish a mask mandate over the past fifteen months.

    And I still wear a mask when I go out in public.

    I’m cautious, and I respect the concerns of others, and none of us vaccinated people get a tattoo or other identifying mark to show that we really ARE vaccinated. For all those reasons, the mask stays on. I expect to continue wearing one in public for the foreseeable future.

  11. I’m fully vaccinated but I take a medication that blunts my immune response. I live in a state where the vaccination rate sucks, although my county is around 40%. I’m wearing a mask when I’m inside a store or other business. I feel pretty confident I’m 80% protected but I don’t really trust people I don’t know.

  12. So I had to look at my neighborhood and we are at 87.1% have had one vaccine shot and 75.9% have had both… and everyone is still wearing masks for those who can’t be protected by vaccine.

  13. Down here in Jacksonville, the percentage is 37% vaccinated.

    What’s weird is that this is Florida, but this county is not a Trump county (or at least wasn’t in 2020- Biden won by four points). I was out tonight, and people are wearing masks in certain situations. I’m still wearing masks inside public places, but I’m vaccinated, and I’m not really going out that much. I still have a bit of fear in venturing out.

  14. We’re also vaccinated here and still masking, though my daughter hasn’t been (still says she needs to research, so I’m occasionally poking her about if she’s made up her mind yet).

  15. Mask requirements dropped but I keep one with me anyway. Seems like we’re around 50% vaccinated here, about the average. My father in law was one of the first to get it, he’s in his 80s and a Trumper. He had polio as a kid and has no problems getting vaccinations. Weirdly his sister doesn’t want it and she voted for Biden. I think there’s a fear factor at play with vaccine hesitancy regardless of politics.

  16. My county is 50% fully vaxxed, about 71% half vaxxed. I went grocery shopping yesterday, and everyone was masked, distancing at checkout still, barriers in place, sanitizer and gloves available, etc. The only people with nekkid faces were in their cars. Folks are even masked for evening walks and yardwork, out front of homes. We are also a major port city, and reported the first US case, so no one is keen on taking chances. Nope nope nope.

  17. Out here in redneck furthest Northeastern Oregon, we’re fully vaccinated and still masking/taking some precautions. While our vax rate is close to Portland in Wallowa County, neighboring counties are running about 20% lower and we are next to Idaho.

    Just got back from Yellowstone where maybe about 10% of people were masking in the crowds by Old Faithful, and a bunch of folks with Southern accents were loitering in the restroom facilities…unmasked, not observing social distance, and otherwise being classic National Park Tourist Jerks. Damn, I love the views at national parks but I get really tired of idiots.

    And yes, there were wildlife idiots visible. I had one incident where a bison bull started to approach me and I got into my car, sacrificing some photos as a result. Not a wildlife idiot, nor someone who climbs on slick stones on the edge of precipices. Or someone who parks and blocks another vehicle. All things I saw.

  18. I live in a blue county in a red state. Though fully vaccinated I intend to keep wearing a mask when indoors with strangers around me (in a store for example). That’s not to protect myself or others from me. But I want to protect those who need to wear a mask because they are unable to get vaccinated or have a poor immune response. It’s to send a message: wearing a mask is normal; it’s OK. I’ll stop once we get to near 0 community transmission—which depends on having effective surveillance and test/trace programs. So it WILL be a while longer thanks to the idiots in our state legislature and the so-called conservative media.

  19. In Idaho this week (work). It’s been interesting going from Seattle to here. Definitely a different mindset! Got razzed by the coworkers for showing up in a mask. I’m okay without one, thankfully fully vaccinated. My default is mask on public still…

  20. I have had the 2 Moderna shots, but will be masking up for the forseeable future, given that I’m in a number of risk groups. Also, given that flu incidence was greatly reduced last season, I’ll be wearing masks in the winter for the rest of my life.

  21. Where I live masks are still mandated for indoor public spaces, and no one seems to be defiant of that. I’m not even sure I could even remember what it’s like to go to a grocery store without a mask. Probably pretty yucky.

    However, the CDC really fucked up with that premature announcement. Though I still basically trust them, they are just such a political football in the current way that everything needs to taken with a grain of salt.

    I hope we are on track to becoming a reality-based society, but really, we never were.

  22. The whole unmasking thing has been interesting to watch from the UK, where over 1/3 are fully vaccinated and over half have had one dose, and the masking order – from last summer – hasn’t changed. We’re all still wearing them inside (and outside where asked). They’ve done some trial events w/o masks but everyone needed to get tested beforehand.

  23. I’m still going to be wearing masks until vaccine rates around here are a lot higher. I’m high risk and my mid-90s father is even higher risk. We’re both fully vaccinated but better safe than sorry.

  24. 26% vaccinated!? That sucks! That’s Mississippi levels.

    Here (Brooklyn) most stores still require masks, thankfully, and there has been no problem with enforcement that I’ve seen. Restaurants do not require masks but staff where we’ve eaten do still mask up and most are still using plastic or otherwise wrapped and sanitized utensils. We no longer wear masks outdoors or in our building’s elevator, but we always carry them and wear them inside stores.

  25. the CDC really fucked up with that premature announcement

    It looks to me like they got it just about right. We’re almost two weeks out from the announcement and (if it was really problematic) should be seeing a spike of cases. Instead, the US daily numbers have continued to plunge.

    We’re now basically at herd immunity (between the vaccinated and those who’ve had it), so I’m thinking that things will continue to decrease.

  26. I get my first jab tomorrow. Until I see a not-spike in cases, I’m still masking regardless of my vac status.

    I think the CDC’s optimism on ‘Murican compliance is quaint, but I don’t share it.

  27. Here in Reston Va, which is definitely NOT Trump country, the number of people wearing masks outdoors has declined from around 1/3 to close to 0 over the past two weeks. Last week after the signs came down at the Giant grocery store I was one of 3 people who weren’t masked, I suspect this week it will be most of us.

  28. Where I live in Dallas suburbs, the mask signs have come down most places, but people still are wearing them. I checked the rules online for Home Depot, and it said masks not required for fully vaccinated. I went in with my mask in my pocket, and I felt uncomfortable because I seemed to be the only one not wearing. 95% of customers in ALDI and Kroger are wearing masks.

  29. Colonel Snuggledorf, no we don’t get a tattoo, but my wife did buy 20 pins on Amazon saying “Covid-19 Vaccinated” or some variation of the same. We kept 6 for ourselves for variety and wear one each when we go out. The rest we sent to vaccinated family and friends.

  30. I’m not sure I’ll ever stop using the Harris Teeter and Target pick-up services where they put the groceries in my trunk. Mask or no mask, It’s safer, less stressful, and mostly works great!

    I’m very risk-averse, so even doing those pick-ups, I still wear a mask, though I’m fully vaccinated and usually don’t even have to roll down my window. So I was startled as heck on Tuesday when the Target guy bringing out drive-up orders wasn’t wearing a mask! LOL, this’ll take some getting used to. He was very young, but I presume vaccinated; Target’s order pick-up people have been 100% masked since masks were a thing here in Maryland.

  31. Still wearing a mask despite being fully vaccinated, but I’m 1) immunosuppressed, 2) have children too young to be vaccinated at home, and 3) have a laboratory job where we are still requiring mask usage so honestly I kind of forget that I’m wearing it anyway.

  32. If everyone who legally doesn’t have to mask up doesn’t wear one, the ones who legally still have to won’t either. Because no one wants to look like the odd one out.

    I’ve been fully vaxxed for weeks and I’m still wearing mine. The businesses around here are still requiring them, thank goodness. And this week I just got my first cold in a year, probably because people are going lots of places without masks now (and taking their kids with them).

    Normalize mask-wearing, please. It hurts nobody and it helps a lot, both for beating down the tail of the pandemic and for future cold/flu seasons.

  33. Normalize mask-wearing, please. It hurts nobody

    If people who are on the fence about getting vaccinated see no incentive to do it (“well, I’m still going to have to wear a mask”) and thus don’t do it, then yes, continued mask-wearing could actually be problematic.

  34. Like Susan B, I do not trust that the lovely folks that make up my too-conservative-for-my-blood-pressure-and-peace-of-mind California community intend to do their part jab wise, so the mask stays, particularly in crowded grocery stores.

    Honestly, I’ve grown to love Amazon Fresh and Instacart (even though the latter drives me nuts with the missing items and terrible substitutions for out-of-stock items), because it means not having to grapple with bare-faced “victims” whining like poorly socialized toddlers about cowardly liberal sheeple who mask up because they fear death and hate America.

    Self-preservation, emotional maturity/intelligence and empathy are all bantha fodder round these parts so, with the exception of small and intimate gatherings with vaccinated friends and family, the mask will still remain hard at work.

  35. @ Bob Dye:

    Good for you!

    so glad to know that you’ve decided to let the covidiot go.

    No one should put up with incuriosity or willful ignorance if they don’t have to, and they sure as hell shouldn’t have to give it money.

    I hope you find a reliable and emotionally mature/intelligent person who won’t make their problem your problem. .

  36. Fully vaccinated here. No longer wearing masks when I go for walks, but do avoid any crowding. Lots of older people unmasked too, but some of the outdoor group training sessions are wearing them. I’d guess maybe 20% tops still wearing masks outdoor, the county is at 71% of target population fully vaccinated and 91% at least one shot. This excludes people under 12, but you’d think we’d be close to herd immunity, down to 2.4 cases per 100k per day and dropping slowly. OK but not great.

    Went out to dinner for the first time in forever last week, all the waitstaff were masked, vast majority of customers masked when not seated.

    Not been to the grocery store in 9 months, so can’t comment as been in the fortunate position that the $3.95 delivery fee (plus tip) is not an issue.

    Fingers crossed there’s no spike – BIL is a doctor, he’s expecting one more bump in June, hopefully he’s wrong.

  37. Greatly @Charles S:

    Point taken, but I wouldn’t argue that vaccine hesitancy looks the same on both sides.

    There may be rabid anti-vaccers and folks with valid concerns on both sides, but I think it’s important that, in our rush to both-sides the issue, we don’t conflate vaccine hesitancy with vaccine refusal or pretend that vaccine refusal isn’t more prevalent on the right.

    We really don’t want to cite anecdotal evidence to support the argument that vaccine refusal as a political statement is at home on both sides.

    It’s important to remember who has been fed to bursting on a steady diet of misinformation and fearmongering and to think about who has and continues to fill and feed from that trough.

  38. Amazon Fresh and Instacart

    Just remember that ordering grocery deliveries means that you’re asking someone to take on risks you’re not willing to.

  39. LOL!

    No, taking advantage of safe and effective delivery services that employ millions of people across the country is convenient and safe for me, a totally blind person who A, would rather not stumble around a grocery store, endangering myself and any others who might be in my path and B, risk my or my family’s safety by putting myself in contact with potentially infectious, status anxious, entitled “muricans” who feel laws and store policies shouldn’t apply to them.

    By that logic, anyone who engages the services of someone who is willing (last I checked, slavery and indentured servitude are *mostly* frowned upon in this country) and able to perform a service or function is a pampered, privileged snowflake and bad person.

    By that “logic,” civilians who are perfectly capable of apprehending armed and dangerous criminals should avoid calling in the authorities lest others be required to take risks they won’t.

    I have every right not to enter into a dangerous situation, and it’s lovely that there are millions of people who get paid to do what I don’t have to.

    I have more of a right to take full advantage of any and all conveniences than covidiots do to pose a risk to me and mine because politics.

    What an interesting brand of virtue signaling and chest thumping that is, painting users of Instacart and Amazon fresh as selfish and/or cowardly for engaging a service.

    What’s up with this national effort to valorize covidiot Darwin award winners in the name of social justice?

    It’s not unlike the anti-antiracism partisans who only get concerned about offensive phenomena and terminology when it’s convenient for their tribe.

    The same conservatives and libertarians who agree with keeping the minimum wage at well below a living one are just as quick to point fingers at others for engaging the services that make workers necessary.

    Thanks for playing.

  40. The local mask mandate ended earlier this week, but I’m keeping one in my purse and checking doors for signage before going inside. The other day, I stopped at one of the local gaming stores for the new Ravenloft sourcebook and they still had their sign up.

    My county is just under 44% of total population vaccinated, but if you limit the count to age 16 and up it jumps to nearly 57%. I assume someone will redo the website now that both Pfizer and Moderna have been tested for the 12-16 age range.

  41. I have every right not to enter into a dangerous situation, and it’s lovely that there are millions of people who get paid to do what I don’t have to.

    Oh, of course. Did the people working for Amazon and Instacart take their job knowing that it would be one where they were risking their lives for someone exercising their right not to enter a “dangerous situation”?

    You hired someone to risk their lives in a situation where you weren’t willing to. You might have had a good or even excellent reason to do so, but that doesn’t change that the people you hired were at risk of death.

    risk my or my family’s safety by putting myself in contact with potentially infectious, status anxious, entitled “muricans” who feel laws and store policies shouldn’t apply to them.

    Yes. Instead, you hired people to put themselves into contact with potentially infectious, etc, etc.

    How was their family’s safety, do you imagine?

  42. The ones who took their jobs pre-pandemic certainly did not, but the ones who choose to do this work in the midst of a pandemic and in close proximity to murderous anti-maskers certainly did.

    They take risks just as other frontline workers do.

    Again, by your “logic,” families living through this pandemic should grow their own food so as not to risk the lives of the humans who enable the supply chain to function.

    By this same “logic,” having a pizza delivered is amoral because delivery drivers have been mugged and killed before. LOL!

    Amazon Fresh and Instacart employees are certainly free to do as millions of other frontline workers have done and find safer employment.

    Those who deal every day with the profound and far-reaching consequences of rampant covidiocy certainly have.

    How many nurses and doctors have either burned out or quit altogether because they were emotionally drained from caring for covidiots’ victims?

    How many have walked away from lucrative work they love because helping covidiots and their victims survive the consequences of their actions became too overwhelming?

    How many have lost their lives providing that care?

    Keep in mind that frontline workers, be they grocery store employees or shoppers for Instacart and Amazon Fresh, would be much safer if it weren’t for covidiots spreading covid by going bare-faced and flouting social distancing guidelines at the store.

    And I’m still waiting to hear your argument for disabled and immunocompromised people braving covidiot infested warzones because morals/ethics/social justice.

    Can the same argument be made for teachers who don’t want to risk infection because parents are unable or unwilling to supervise their kids’ education?

    Sure, these parents have good reasons for wanting their children back in school, but don’t they have a moral, ethical and social responsibility to consider the potential risk to teachers and other staff?

    Are the “Open the schools or else! “crowd amoral for their insistence that teachers have a patriotic duty to America’s children to risk their lives so that parents don’t have to supervise or manage childcare or homework assignments?

    Aren’t these parents’ problematic people for delegating the responsibility for their kids’ mental and emotional wellbeing to those frontline workers?

    Bottom line, I have a choice and the right not to take that risk, just as the employees of Instacart and Amazon have the choice and right to either do or quit risky jobs.

    My guilt free engagement of their services will remain guilt free, no matter what desperate-to-paint the -smarter -party-as-hypocrites covidiocy advocates have to say about it.

    If they want to wag their fingers, they ought to be wagging them for the murderous anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers they agree with.

    In truth, the only villains in this situation are those exercising their right to infect others with a potentially deadly virus.

    Nearly as guilty are those who defend the choice to do so.

    Trotting out whataboutism, both-siderism and fallacious Guilt trips because you are butthurt that covidiots are being dragged , shamed and avoided won’t change that, just as the knowing complicity of Trump voters in most of the madness that has gripped this nation doesn’t disappear because the victims of Obama’s drone strikes think poorly of all Americans.

    Yeah; I recognize your post-election trolling, David.

    The logic was faulty then, and it is now.

    But again, thanks for playing.

    There is no moral or ethical equivalence between covidiots and Instacart/Amazon Fresh customers, just as there is no moral equivalence between Obama voters who may or may not have agreed with Obama’s atrocities in the Middle east and the Trump supporters who have and continue to advocate and justify this nation’s transformation into a genocidal, white supremacist state.

    Covidiocy is bad, avoiding it is not.

    And as I unpack my Instacart and Amazon Fresh orders to night, I will celebrate the existance of such services.

    After that, I will sleep soundly knowing that there are people out there willing to risk their lives to provide this service, whether that risk come in the form of murderous and incurious anti-maskers or cracked and rabid gun-nuts with an axe to grind.

    If that makes me an amoral or unethical person, I’ll still be better than and safer from the best covidiot.

  43. I live in the one seriously blue county in Idaho and we have very high vaccination rates, the highest in the state by a good bit. Today I went to the grocery store after work and as it was a quick trip decided to try it sans mask as I’m fully vaccinated and the store isn’t requiring them now – it felt really weird, but I’d say about 2/3 were and 1/3 weren’t I may go back to the mask for a bit but I’m also sure that most of the masked people were vaccinated and uncomfortable going without. I understand that; it’s been a year wearing them!

    I’ll still play it by ear for the time being. And I’m required to wear one at work which is fine by me, if annoying though no more annoying than it has been for the past year.

  44. Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, everyone who goes into a store looks masked. I do not share anyone’s optimism about being able to become and remain mask free.

    From what I understand, the vaccines are generally about 80-90% effective and only last at their full strength for 3-6 months. To remain effective, a booster is needed at least twice a year.

    This last is merely of random change, but there a number of variants both overseas and in the States that could possibly mutate into something more lethal or infectious, or can evade the current vaccines. The more sick people there are, the more likely that a variant of COVID that is one or more of the above will appear. Having more sick people means more rolls of the dice.

    Since we are ruled by a hellish oligarchic combination of a corporatocracy, a kleptocracy, and a kakistocracy regardless of political party, with only differences is in the details, I do not believe that it will truly get better, but that it will get worse when Fall or Winter comes. (I will grant that the Democrats seem slightly less evil and the Republicans definitely crazier. However. Greed, corruption, and incompetence are still greed, corruption, and incompetence, which both have much of.)

    I don’t expect to see my Mom anytime soon. So, I would be really glad personally to be wrong. Writing her more letters will have to do for now.

  45. Two of the best places I know to look up key COVID metrics for any US County is
    covidactnow dot org and ckelly17 dot github dot io

    I am in Johnson County, Iowa, where 61% of the population have had at least one vaccine dose and 93% of those age 65 and over are fully vaccinated. The Statewide mask requirement ended a while back, and even our local mask law is no longer in effect, but most of the businesses I frequent are still requiring masks. My wife and I are fully vaccinated, as are nearly all of our social circle, so we feel safe indoors without masks among people we know. But we’re still masking at places like the grocery store, as are the vast majority of other shoppers.

    I have been taking daily unmasked outdoor walks throughout the pandemic. I happen to have expertise in Virology (I’m a pharmaceutical researcher who helped put five antiviral drugs on the market), so I have known since April 2020 that indoor aerosol transmission is by far the most important means by which this virus has been transmitted.

    VENTILATION matters.
    Sanitizing surfaces is Virology Theater.

  46. By this same “logic,” having a pizza delivered is amoral because delivery drivers have been mugged and killed before. LOL!

    Well, yes: when you hire someone to do a job with risk associated with it, you are putting them at risk. Dominos used to have a “30 minute delivery or less” guarantee and they got rid of it because it incentivized their delivery drivers to speed and adopt risky behaviors.

    The pandemic added a massive extra layer of risk because hiring someone to gather and deliver your groceries now came with the risk of fatal disease.

    In both cases, a moral person recognizes what they’re doing, even if it’s unavoidable. They don’t hand wave it away.

    Amazon Fresh and Instacart employees are certainly free to do as millions of other frontline workers have done and find safer employment…just as the employees of Instacart and Amazon have the choice and right to either do or quit risky jobs

    In the middle of the worst economic crash in decades, your solution for essential workers is “get another job”?

    That’s a remarkably Republican thing to say. Don’t like your job because of the risk? Get another one! Don’t like your job because the pay is low? Get another one!

    It’s straight from the Mitch McConnell playbook.

  47. Well, actually, it’s more like the Ivanka Trump playbook.

    Seems you need to bone up on your conservabot sentiments.

    Bad conservative. No cookie!

    And yet, I still sleep like a baby, ever thankful that able-bodied adults with agency and free will get paid to deal with “murican” murderers so I don’t have to.

    At the end of that day and at the beginning of the next one, I am still better than and safe from the best covidiot, and whatever amorality of which I am guilty is dwarfed by that which is displayed by the hordes of deliberately infectious “muricans” that make grocery delivery services vital for so many people.

    And we can be republican-like together; I can advocate for freedom of choice and personal responsibility, defending both my right to protect myself and my choice to take advantage of the unearned privileges I enjoy.

    Likewise, you can projectile vomit your false equivalencies, whataboutism, both-siderism, tortured logic and faux outrage all over people who are critical of and right about covidiots and covidiocy, all in an effort to defend covidiocy and its adherents.

    And are you seriously arguing that eschewing these services will somehow improve these workers’ lives or make their jobs any safer?

    Again, there is a lot of troll-brand chaff in these posts, but where is the argument?

    Too bad you can’t get that via Amazon Fresh or Instacart.

    🤣🤣🤣

  48. I am still better than and safe from the best covidiot

    Ah, yes, the old “we’re better than the Nazis” logic. I mean, it’s great that you’re better than them, but it’s kind of a low bar to step over. And now you’re invoking the Bush Administration’s defense of torture. Bush, Cheney, and McConnell in a single thread.

    my choice to take advantage of the unearned privileges I enjoy.

    Of course it’s your choice and your right. But rights and choices have consequences, and the consequence of this particular choice is to send someone to risk their lives in your stead.

    It’s good that you recognize just how privileged that is.

  49. “And now you’re invoking the Bush Administration’s defense of torture. Bush, Cheney, and McConnell in a single thread.”

    David, I’m sorry you’re too triggered to argue in good faith , really I am, but this is boring, and you very clearly aren’t planning on articulating a solid argument for disabled and immunocompromised people shopping alongside anti-maskers.

    You’re flailing now, and it’s getting a bit sad to see.

    Go home; you’re drunk.

    Now that I’m fresh out of troll-feed, here’s something interesting

    https://www.newsbreak.com/news/2264968226859/fox-guest-blames-mass-shootings-on-vaccines

    This has to be among the more hilarious anti-vaxxer talking points.

  50. fresh out of troll-feed

    Who knew that “actions have consequences and moral people accept those consequences” was so controversial?

    SM, I get that you don’t want to face it and so you’re throwing everything you can at the wall to avoid it (“chaff!” “trolling” “agency”), but the fundamental point is that you asked people to risk their lives for you. You certainly had the right to do so, and it sounds like you had good reasons, but that doesn’t change the fundamental fact. Dancing away from it by invoking Republican talking points only makes it even more clear how uncomfortable you are with the moral consequences of your actions.

  51. I’m in my sixties, disabled, and have a number of health conditions that place me at higher risk.

    It certainly has not felt like privilege to look at my meagre SSDI, and figure into the shopping bill the cost of Instacart’s fee and a good tip for the shopper–but I have done it because it’s the only thing that has made sense in the circumstances.

    And over this past year, I’ve noticed something Dav1d may have overlooked: Those shoppers are decades younger than I am, much healthier, often have kids at home they are supporting–and, yup, as referred to above, in the midst of the pandemic and the shutdowns, other jobs have not been thick on the ground.

    Though decades younger than me, these shoppers are adults, too, with responsibilities, and have made the same rational analysis of risks and benefits.

    They have decided they are not better off sitting at home, unemployed.

    It’s not a great situation, at all, for anyone, but most of us had no role in creating it originally, and are coping the best way we can.

    And those shoppers don’t shop just for one person. They do the shopping for one customer, make their delivery–and then take the next assignment, shopping for someone else.

    The result is to have fewer different individuals out there in the stores, and to lower the average age and risk profile of those doing the shopping.

    It’s not perfect, by any means. But we do our best.

  52. the only thing that has made sense in the circumstances

    Absolutely. As I’ve noted multiple times, everyone has the right to make the choice they want to, and it may well be the right choice. I’m just pointing out that choices — even right choices — have consequences and we should be aware of them.

    They have decided they are not better off sitting at home, unemployed

    This is kind of my point about the invocation of “agency” and “choice.” Many of the folks doing this wouldn’t have a home to sit at unless they risked their lives to work. Many of them are undocumented, so they can’t (or won’t risk) getting unemployment insurance. That’s much less of a free choice than I’m comfortable with.

    The result is to have fewer different individuals out there in the stores, and to lower the average age and risk profile of those doing the shopping.

    Possibly — though given the much worse medical results (and treatment) for communities of color from which essential workers are drawn, I’d be careful about assuming it. But in any case, that’s a statement about a general population level effect — I’m talking about an individual level one.

  53. (Sorry for the sequential post!)

    But we do our best

    Agreed, and part of that is being aware of who we’re asking to do work for us and what that means.

  54. Dav1d, yes, the choices should be better ones.

    But I vote for politicians who support a better social safety net, overall, and in specifics, such as health care not depending on how rich you are or having a “generous” employer whom you can’t leave because you’d lose your health care, and such things as an actual living wage for people at the bottom of the economic structure.

    Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I have the impression you vote against those people, and think that requiring a 60/40 vote on every bill of any significance in the Senate is just smart politics. And if that’s correct, you do not want to make things better; you just want to guilt-trip people making the best choices available to us in this current, more flawed than necessary, system we live in.

  55. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but I have the impression you vote against those people, and think that requiring a 60/40 vote on every bill of any significance in the Senate is just smart politics

    You’re absolutely wrong.

    I’m also struggling to see how being aware of the horrifyingly difficult and dangerous position the pandemic has put essential workers in has suddenly translated into being a person who must be voting against, eg, equitable and accessible health care. It’s because I’m aware of those difficulties and dangers that I vote for candidates who support a much larger and more comprehensive social safety net.

  56. Dav1d, most of us are aware.

    Assuming we’re not, and trying to guilt trip us, is not perhaps the effective strategy you imagine it is.

  57. “You do not want to make things better; you just want to guilt-trip people making the best choices available to us in this current, more flawed than necessary, system we live in.”

    Thing is, there is nothing about which to be guilty.

    The ones who need to feel guilty are the triggered, unserious types asserting that elderly, disabled and immunocompromised people make an amoral choice when they engage the services that enable them to safely access food and supplies.

    To do so in defense of the objectively terrible anti-maskers who have and continue to necessitate safe and “risky” alternatives to in-person food acquisition is beneath contempt, particularly when there is no real concern for the lives of essential workers (anyone truly concerned for the health and safety of essential workers would neither tacitly nor explicitly write in defense of anti-maskers) and the “argument” is in bad faith.

    I also appreciate the point about blaming customers rather than the “leaders” who create material conditions on the ground.

    A serious debater would address the consequences of those folks’ actions and inactions rather than passing judgment on some of the most innocent people in this crisis.

    A serious person would be working actively to change those conditions rather than getting triggered by jabs at covidiots while tacitly exculpating the architects of the problematic socioeconomic structures that negatively impact the quality of essential workers' lives.

  58. Dav1d, most of us are aware.

    Rather than acknowledging it and moving on, the people responding — you included — have come up with convoluted reasons why it doesn’t quite apply to them, so I’m less than convinced.

    is not perhaps the effective strategy you imagine it is

    My strategy at the moment is to post comments on a blog. It’s going quite effectively, thanks.

  59. My strategy at the moment is to post comments on a blog. It’s going quite effectively, thanks.

    Only if your goal is to have arguments on a blog that has nothing to do with actually making covid policy, public health policy, social safety net policy, or economic policy.

    If your goal is a better social safety net so that people aren’t faced with these kinds of choices, you need to adopt other strategies.

    If you want to encourage people to make better, overall safer, choices as individuals, defending anti-maskers and trying to guilt trip people who are doing the best they can in the circumstances that currently exist, with the pretense that they haven’t already thought through the imperfect choices and their complications, is not going to be effective.

    I’m not saying, as you claim, that it doesn’t apply to me, as you said, here:

    Rather than acknowledging it and moving on, the people responding — you included — have come up with convoluted reasons why it doesn’t quite apply to them, so I’m less than convinced.

    but that your reasoning is bad and your argument is faulty. Indeed, guilt tripping, and insult, whether veiled or open, are not arguments at all.

    I try to minimize risk to myself. I try to minimize the risk I present to others. I got vaccinated at the first opportunity available to me, and am now fully vaccinated.

    I now leave the mask at home when just out walking my dog, and won’t be getting closer than twenty feet to anyone at all.

    I continue to wear my mask whenever I need to be inside with other people [context: my household consists of me and my dog] because it’s respectful to others, because no vaccine is 100% effective, and to set an example.

    I recognize that my individual choices can’t change the systemic problems that we’re all confronting, so I don’t judge people for doing the best they can in the circumstances.

    I do, however, judge people for being willfully stupid, or actively obnoxious.

    Oh, and because it’s been rather nice, not having a cold or the flu, for an entire year. Which is why I don’t plan to give up my masks anytime soon, whether it hurts the fee-fees of covidiots, or not.

  60. I have lots of goals for lots of different context, and at the moment, in this thread, the goal is reminding people that their decisions have moral consequences that they don’t get to hand wave away with a blithe comparison to worse people. What they do with that reminder is up to them.

    I’m not saying, as you claim, that it doesn’t apply to me

    You’ve spent the entirety of your comments here finding ways to minimize the moral issue, either by trying to invoke larger issues or, now, by trying to do a version of tone-policing on me, where you can dismiss my point because you don’t like the way I’m making it. So, yes, you’re trying to avoid it as much as Sarah Marie is, if with less expressive violence.

  61. “Only if your goal is to have arguments on a blog that has nothing to do with actually making covid policy, public health policy, social safety net policy, or economic policy.

    If your goal is a better social safety net so that people aren’t faced with these kinds of choices, you need to adopt other strategies.

    If you want to encourage people to make better, overall safer, choices as individuals, defending anti-maskers and trying to guilt trip people who are doing the best they can in the circumstances that currently exist, with the pretense that they haven’t already thought through the imperfect choices and their complications, is not going to be effective.”

    And it certainly hasn’t been, hence the foot-stompery over no one having admitted that his highness is right.

    The goal is to strike a blow for anti-maskers and establish moral equivalence between their movement and its critics.

    And “the real problem is not genocidal, unapologetic super spreaders stomping barefaced into crowded stores but elderly, disabled and immunocompromised cowards endangering essential workers ” is perhaps the stickiest, greenest and most rancid of QTrumplican talking points I’ve heard since the covidiot movement took root in this country.

    And the outrage over the plight of essential workers (and again, let us not forget the ones responsible for creating then exacerbating the dangerous conditions under which they’ve chosen to work) would read more authentic if essential workers weren’t being mobalized in the fight for incurious covidiots who’ve gulped up lies about the virus and have come to equate masks with Yellow badges.

    Feeling and thinking the way Dav1d wants us to feel about covidiots and the essential workers that they, not Instacart and Amazon Fresh customers, pose to them does not make policy or improve anyone’s life.

    What it is is an attempt to establish moral and ethical equivalence between bad actors and the people trying to survive their behavior.
    There is none. Full stop.

  62. And there is nothing to “avoid” or “handwave.”
    There is not a single shred of amorality in having groceries delivered during a pandemic.

    No one who does it is responsible for what anti-maskers inflict on essential workers.

    Arguments to the contrary, no matter their tone, are ridiculous on their faces, no matter who would like them to be otherwise.

  63. Hey, Lis, sure doesn’t seem like Sarah Marie is “aware” of the issue. You want to reconsider your earlier remark?

  64. Hey, Lis.

    There is no need for you to retract anything you’ve said, no matter how Dav1d feels about what I’ve said.

    Dav1d is still wrong, as are his motives for making the argument.

    He can point and wagg his finger all day if that’s what does it for him, but at the end of that day, my stance on covidiots and grocery delivery will remain what it is, impotent outrage be damned.

    His argument is that the immunocompromised, elderly and disabled have a moral responsibility to eschew delivery services.

    That’s what’s underneath all of the moralizing and accusatory language.

    At this point, I’m just kicking back and cracking up at the emotion as I sip on one of the cans of thai tea I had delivered today.

    I will continue to judge covidiots and their advocates as harshly as I damn well please while avoiding them in whatever ways are available to my disabled, immunocompromised self.

    I will continue to show appreciation for essential workers’ choice to take risks for me in the way that I see fit while railing at their real enemies, one of whom is butthurt (and proud of it) over not having changed hearts or minds in a blog’s comments section.

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