Maine requires cone of shame for some restaurant staff who don't wear masks
One of the things that's increasingly disturbing in 2020 is that there is no longer a space between reality and satire. At the recently ended Democrat National Convention, it was reality, not satire, that saw a panelist for an LGBT forum self-identify as a "Black-Vietnamese, transgender nonbinary/gender transcendent mermaid Queen-King" and a "licensed minister in the Progressive National Baptist Church." Likewise, it is not satire that Governor Janet Mills of Maine is telling some restaurant staffers that they must wear the cone of shame.
Let's begin by defining terms. We are not talking about Maxwell Smart's "Cone of Silence." That was, in fact, a very funny bit of cold war satire, not an actual thing:
Instead, as every pet-owner knows, the cone of shame is what animals must wear when they need to be stopped from licking themselves. Although humans think of the cone as a way to protect the animal, the animals know, with certainty, that they are being shamed. Even Hollywood gets it:
Maine Public Radio reports that, to comply with ongoing emergency regulations, restaurants that wish to stay open must put cones of shame on those among their waitstaff who, whether for reasons of health or comfort, prefer face shields over masks. Again, to help define terms, this image shows the kind of face shield you will sometimes see people wear if they cannot or will not wear a mask:
For Governor Mills, the above mask is insufficient to keep her state safe from the scourge of the Wuhan Virus in her state (128 deaths to date). Therefore, her directive for restaurant safety in this time of the Wuhan virus is very specific and leaves no room for confusion. If you work in the front end of a restaurant, and you do not want to or cannot wear a mask, you must wear a cone of shame:
Require employees to wear cloth face coverings and practice good hand hygiene. It is acceptable for kitchen staff to wear face shields in lieu of masks when the kitchen or weather is warm. Front-of-house staff may wear a face shield in lieu of a face covering only if the shield is designed to be worn inverted, attaching below the face (e.g. as a collar) and open at the top of the shield, with the shield extending above the eyes and laterally to the ears. Face shields that are open at the bottom, directing breath downward, are not acceptable replacements for face coverings for front-of-house staff. (Updated 8/14/20) (Emphasis mine.)
Someone on Twitter thoughtfully provided an illustration:
Gov Janet Mills says - servers must now wear face shields upside down so that their breath is directed up, not down. Yes she wants you to wear a dog cone... peak insanity. I wish this was a joke.. its real 😆 #facecovering #faceshield pic.twitter.com/cnyojzTd3c— Dr Sherri Tenpenny (@BusyDrT) August 19, 2020
The jury is still out on whether these masks make any difference, with Joe (not a scientist) Biden insisting on a national mask mandate, while health experts in Holland and Denmark assert that masks, especially the useless masks that most people wear and mis-wear, may worsen the Wuhan virus. With masks' efficacy up in the air, it's still possible for people to go in any direction on the subject.
The real problem here is that, almost seven months after the Wuhan virus was identified as a pandemic problem, and six months after governors and mayors all over American enacted emergency rules, these governors and mayors are still unilaterally imposing rules controlling most aspects of daily life and business in America. The urgent emergency phase is over. Indeed, leftists insist that we're in this for the long haul. Political executives should no longer unilaterally issue draconian regulations, especially given the stiff penalties they invariably attach.
If governors and mayors can dictate every aspect of our lives, including whether we're wearing face shields or cones of shame, we no longer live in a representative democracy, whether at the local, state, or federal level. We are, instead, living in a multitude of dictatorships, places in which local politicians can use their police power to force citizens to do whatever the heck the politicians want, without a peep from state legislatures and assemblies or from Congress itself.
Image: Cone of Shame by MythicSeabass, CC BY 2.0.