In this time of COVID madness, the power of one

Although Californians are living under Gov. Gavin Newsom's COVID totalitarian rule, each county has some decision-making latitude.  Even before Newsom's renewed mask mandate, which many Californians are ignoring, Orange County residents had more freedom than compatriots in Los Angeles County.  That's why many Angelenos come to The OC to shop and dine.  In some ways, the situation is like East and West Germany before the wall went up.

A few days before Newsom's latest, tyrannical, one-month mask mandate went into effect on December 15, I attended a Republican club holiday breakfast in a Los Angeles city not far from the Orange County border.  Inside the Christmas-decorated banquet room, an announcement was made that everyone had to don a mask.  Why?  The Los Angeles County Board of Health...

Sorry, but at that point I stopped listening.  Los Angeles authorities expend their time and energy going after maskless law-abiding Angelenos, but not maskless murderers and smash-and-dash burglars.  There's a reason why Detective Jamie McBride, head of the Los Angeles Police Department's union, recently said:

We're wondering how many times somebody has to be arrested here in L.A. before they stay in jail. It's sad to say, but it's almost safer to hang out with Alec Baldwin on a movie set than go shopping in Los Angeles right now. That's how crazy it is. It is so violent. We're telling people don't visit because we don't think we can keep you safe right now. And that's just sad to say.

Do COVID droplets know the difference between chatting and eating?

Droplet #1: Let's get those people talking by the window.

Droplet #2: Sounds great.  Oh, wait!  They just sat down to eat.

Droplet #1: Okay, we will get them when they've finished eating.

If Californians want to ridiculously cover half their face with a useless thin cloth, they can go right ahead.  But please, do not insist that I follow the same stupidity.  After explaining to the club president and vice president, two women I highly respect, that I couldn't stay under those circumstances, I left just as breakfast started.  I was not trading my principles for scrambled eggs.

Image: Throwing away the mask by Marco Verch.  CC BY 2.0.

What is the purpose of having convictions if they can be easily abandoned?  I might as well change my name to Lindsey Graham.

A few minutes later, my car phone rang.  It was the club president.  "Robin, please come back and join us.  We talked to the restaurant manager, and he said masks are optional."

It turned out that, when some members wanted to know why I had walked out, the club's leadership approached the manager, who said he didn't care if patrons wore masks.  Nearly everyone happily removed his face diaper.  Wow!  Isn't freedom wonderful?

My refusal to wear a mask set the ball in motion.  Instead of passive acceptance, people asked questions and learned that masks were optional.  If not for me, all the attendees would have sat there for two hours (minus eating) wearing silly masks and breathing in their own germs.

Breakfast was still being served when I returned.  To my surprise, it was a buffet, and there was no Plexiglas in sight.  How would masks have made a difference?

Droplet #1: Let's get them at the buffet line because they are all touching the same serving utensils!

Droplet #2: No, we can't because everyone is wearing a mask.

The good news is that not all Californians are sheep!  From business-owners to law enforcement to city mayors, many people are ignoring Newsom's latest mask mandate.  Coronado mayor Richard Bailey summed it up best when he told a local news station that if California can host the Super Bowl and Oscars in the next few weeks, "the emergency is already over."

The power of one person repeated by millions of patriots throughout this country is how we save the United States of America.  You can be that one person!

Robin Itzler can be reached at

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