Even as vaccine numbers rise, Democrats double down on masks

Just as President Trump had promised, Americans are getting vaccinated with tremendous speed.  Nevertheless, in two of the same Democrat-run states that went to lockdown extremes last year, the governments are enforcing even harsher mask rules.  In the meantime, Slo-Joe Biden runs around in a double-mask despite having been vaccinated and spending time only in the company of other vaccinated people.  What's up with all this?

The continued obsession with masks could mean that the vaccinations are ineffective.  I don't believe that they are (and that's separate from any other risks they may carry) for a specific reason: in Israel, which vaccinated over 80% of its population, a new order went out: no more outdoor masks!  The reason Israel is doing this is that the vaccinations have been effective:

The positive virus test rate over the weekend stood at 0.8 percent, less than half than the rate a month ago.

More than 81 percent of Israel's population aged 16 and over had received the Pfizer vaccine.

In other words, in a country that does not have political reasons for a mask fetish, we can see that the Pfizer vaccine, at least, is indeed effective.

Here in America, though, masks have become symbols either of freedom or a willing subordination to the government.  Democrats are in the latter category, so they are insisting on masks despite the vaccines.  Then, when people worry that the vaccines are simultaneously dangerous and ineffective, Democrats can castigate them as science deniers and haters.

For that reason, it shouldn't come as a surprise that two of the states that were most extreme in their lockdowns — Michigan and Oregon — are becoming even more draconian in their commitment to masks.  Indeed, Michigan is becoming downright sadistic because it's requiring that two-year-olds wear masks:

The Michigan state government this week directed state residents as young as two years old to begin wearing masks in the hopes that doing so will help bring down the state's coronavirus numbers.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release on Friday that the state will expand its COVID-19 response — what the state DHHS calls "the strongest public health order in the Midwest" — to apply its masking requirement "to children ages 2 to 4" in order to "further protect the state's residents."

This is wrong on two levels.  First, there's extremely strong and consistent evidence that little children almost never give or get COVID.  Second, two-year-olds aren't really even in the child category yet.  They're still babies.  Forcing a two-year-old into a mask for a de minimis risk of catching or spreading a disease is just insanely cruel.  For both these reasons, the order is clearly more about the government's ability to control its citizens.

Oregon is no better.  Even as sane states are leaving off masks — without any spikes in numbers, perhaps because people are healthier without those face diapers — Oregon is planning to make masks permanent in the workplace:

A top health official is considering indefinitely extending rules requiring masks and social distancing in all businesses in the state.

The proposal would keep the rules in place until they are "no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace."

Michael Wood, administrator of the state's department of Occupational Safety and Health, said the move is necessary to address a technicality in state law that requires a "permanent" rule to keep current restrictions from expiring.

If masks are that important, why can't the state simply issue new restrictions to take over when the old ones expire?  What the plan sounds like is a permanent level of control over people's lives.  The only good news is that Oregonians are rebelling, with the state's OSHA having received calls in record numbers along with a petition that 60,000 people signed.

Meanwhile, in D.C., old Joe is still wearing double-masks.  If the vaccine works (and, as noted, I think it does), Joe should be walking around a mask-free man.  The key word in the preceding sentence is "free."  Freedom is the one thing that leftists never want to see again in America, and the masks are the best possible way to rub our noses in our new state of subordination.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this post implied that Israel had done away with masks entirely.  It has done away with outdoor masks entirely.  This post has been correct to make that clear.

Image: Child in mask by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash.

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