If you dig down, permanent masks make sense for a lot of people
I think there are a lot of people who are still confused about masks. I was confused as well, until I realized that masks weren't about stopping the spread of COVID or any other virus. Instead, they provide concrete advantages for various groups of Americans.
For months, I tried to figure out how people could be so ignorant. Using cloth masks to slow the trajectory of an airborne virus is the equivalent of using a chain-link fence for a flood wall. It's ridiculous to even consider. However, when I stopped assuming that masks were about a virus and started looking at the actual benefits of mass mask usage, it became pretty clear to me why they're still here.
Who benefits from everyone wearing masks? Masks are symbolic of COVID. With that being said, I'll continue.
Teachers benefit from masks. Most teachers get paid in accordance with a contract that's been negotiated with their school districts. Those contracts are typically for a three- or four-year period and will be re-negotiated when the contract comes to an end. COVID changed that.
I know from experience as both a union member and management that there's only one reason that an employee can refuse to do his job and not get terminated for insubordination. That reason is if the employee fears for his safety. Then termination is no longer an option. If employees refuse to do their jobs or threaten to refuse to do their jobs for safety reasons, then re-negotiation is possible.
As long as people wear masks, teachers can bargain for things they couldn't otherwise bargain for. I know that here, in my school district, if there's inclement weather, the schools switch to online learning, which makes the teachers happy for the time being. The poor kids can't even have snow days anymore, but at least they're in school.
This pattern basically applies to all union employees who get paid in accordance with a contract. They can refuse to do their jobs when they don't feel safe, and then they can negotiate for something to help them forget that they're scared for their lives.
Nurses and paramedics benefit from masks as well. In some places, they're getting hazard pay for their increased exposure to the deadly virus. Many hospitals have procedures in place that limit staff from going to different areas to help keep any potential outbreaks minimal. That requires more staff, meaning a decrease in each nurse's job requirements. Hazard pay plus less workload equals happy nurses. They love masks.
Doctors benefit from masks. Many doctors now see their patients on a computer screen in Zoom meetings. Thanks to masks, they don't even have to be in the same room as their patients. Imagine all that white paper that doesn't need replacing on examination tables. That adds up quicker than you think!
The unemployed enjoy the benefits of mask mandates. Provided that people continue to be scared of COVID — so scared they have to wear masks — unemployment benefits get extended and are $300 a week higher than without COVID being around. The unemployed don't want masks to go anywhere.
For obvious reasons, thieves like masks very much. Just the other day, while I was shopping, a woman winked at me as I noticed her putting something in her oversized purse that was reaching maximum capacity. She didn't even care that I saw her doing it. Masks keep her out of jail.
Big Tech benefits big-time. When people are scared, they stay home more than usual. Masks keep people scared. Jeff Bezos made 13 billion dollars in a single day thanks to masks.
The mainstream media have been raking in the money thanks to masks. If not for masks, people might not watch as much television and, instead, begin to live regular lives again. That would mean the media would lose advertising revenue. They want masks — and fear — to be permanent.
Too many people benefit in some way from keeping masks on every face and that's why masks are still here. It was never about a virus.
Image: Masks by Rawpixel.
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