Masks, Theater, and the New Awareness Ribbons

Awareness ribbons are popular fashion accessories among the elite, particularly Hollywood celebrities. They are meant to show support or raise awareness for a particular cause.

These ribbons are not a modern invention for they date back to the Middle Ages in Europe and the English Civil War. A yellow ribbon showed support for a family member abroad in military service as early as World War One. Tony Orlando had a number one hit tying “a yellow ribbon round the ole oak tree”.

At last count, over 1000 causes are represented by 65 different colors and combinations, identifying myriad chronic diseases, addictions, and disabilities. While these are all worthy causes, the ribbons are a form of virtue signaling, a way of showing others how much you care, that you are a good person or morally superior to those who don’t wear such a ribbon.

There are plenty of good and moral people who simply live their lives, helping others, supporting favorite causes, without the need for public recognition or an ego massage. Indeed, that’s most Americans.

Awareness ribbons are so yesterday. Today it’s the mask that demonstrates caring, scientific acumen, and virtue. It also represents the political left. Forget driving around with a Biden/Harris bumper sticker on your car. Just wear a mask while driving alone and everyone will know who you voted for.

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Masks have become medical theater, pomp and circumstance not to prevent an infectious disease but, instead, a form of virtue signaling with the added, more sinister motive of creating fear, leading to submission and control.

Senator Rand Paul, in a Senate hearing this past March, accused Dr. Anthony Fauci of being a thespian, playing theater with the American public.

“You’re telling everybody to wear a mask, whether they’ve had an infection or a vaccine,” Paul said to Fauci. “If people that have had the vaccine or have had the infection ... if we’re not spreading the infection, isn’t it just theater?” Paul asked.

The thespian, formerly known as the basketball player, was indignant.

“Here we go again with the theater. Let’s get down to the facts,” Fauci replied. “Let me just state for the record that masks are not theater. Masks are protective.”

That was in March. April was the intermission. In May, the thespian returned for the second act, revealing the plotline for his show, that masks were indeed theater.

I didn’t want to look like I was giving mixed signals but being a fully vaccinated person, the chances of my getting infected in an indoor setting is extremely low.

So, Dr. Fauci’s initial remarks were a charade, virtue signaling to divide Americans along battle lines of mask or no mask, obedient citizens versus insurrectionists, all to support the political agenda of him and his overlords.

Last year was more theater, beginning with Dr. Fauci’s recommendation,

There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask. When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.

A year later that movie ended with Dr. Fauci’s closing line, “So if you have a physical covering with one layer, you put another layer on, it just makes common sense that it likely would be more effective.”

It was nothing as memorable as the final line from Casablanca; instead, more like, “Joe and Kamala, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful con.” From no masks to two masks.

In just over a year, we’ve gone from none to two back to one mask. Now the CDC, playing the movie’s McGuffin, says ditch the masks, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing.”

Is anyone confused? I sure am. The “Three Maskateers,” Fauci, Biden, and Pelosi, can’t seem to get their lines straight in the mask movie. Dementia Joe has an excuse for flubbing his lines, something he does whenever he opens his mouth, but what about the other two?

Joe wears his unnecessary mask on a Zoom call with foreign leaders, the only one doing so, but when he needs to be wearing a mask, he can’t find it in his pocket.

Nancy recently attended a crowded White House ceremony without wearing a mask while at the same time threatening to fine House members, likely all of whom have been vaccinated, for choosing not to wear a mask.

We all remember Tony sitting in the bleachers at a baseball game, maskless and not socially distancing, last July during the height of the pandemic, despite his proclamations to do the opposite.

On camera, on script, with a mask. Off camera, off script, forget the mask. What a show! And that’s all it seems to be, a show of caring and superiority, the awareness ribbon replacement.

Liberal activist David Hogg acknowledges his sole reason for masking up, to signal his left-wing virtue.

I feel the need to continue wearing my mask outside even though I’m fully vaccinated because the inconvenience of having to wear a mask is more than worth it to have people not think I’m a conservative.

It’s mostly theater and virtue signaling, especially now that COVID numbers continue to decline. Between vaccinations and natural infections, America has most likely reached herd immunity.

But masks are more than harmless theatrics of celebrities wearing their ribbons. Masks carry their own medical risks and these ever-changing mandates, supplemented with daily doses of fear porn from cable news, have created a fearful and more compliant population. Was that the intention all along?

Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a physician and writer. He is on sabbatical from social media.

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