Is This Who We Are?

Often, a crisis such as a pandemic brings people together as they fight a common enemy, however the current pandemic has done the exact opposite in the U.S.  The reason it has driven us even further apart, of course, is that the ‘man’ in the Oval Office, the ‘leader’ of this nation, told people not to worry, that the coronavirus would be gone soon with minimal damage.  He then went even further, calling it a ‘democratic hoax’ and telling people not to bother with such things as wearing masks or social distancing.  Half the people in this country listened, instead, to the scientists and medical experts, but the other half listened to Trump and are now putting everyone’s lives at risk.

What follows is from a column in The Washington Post, written by Amber Elliott, a county health director in St. Francois County, Missouri, about the abuse she has taken for simply trying to save lives. It is lengthy, and I initially intended to use only a few excerpts, but as I re-read it, every word seemed important.  Please take a few minutes to read her words and consider her query:  Is this who we are?


‘This is how we treat each other? This is who we are?’

Amber-ElliottI don’t really know if I should be talking about all of this. It makes me worried for my safety. I’ve had strange cars driving back and forth past my house. I get threatening messages from people saying they’re watching me. They followed my family to the park and took pictures of my kids. How insane is that? I know it’s my job to be out front talking about the importance of public health — educating people, keeping them safe. Now it kind of scares me.

But people need to know what’s going on. It’s happening all over the country, and it’s not acceptable. I know we can do better. We have to do better.

I don’t base our whole response to this pandemic on my own opinion. That’s what makes the backlash so confusing. This job is nonpartisan. I’m not political in any way. I go off of facts and evidence-based science, and right now, all the data in Missouri is scary bad. We only have about 70,000 people in St. Francois County, but we’ve had more than 900 new cases in the last few weeks. Our positivity rate is 25 percent and rising. The hospital is already at capacity. They’ve basically run out of staff. We can’t keep up. It’s an uncontrolled spread. I have these moments when it feels like I’m a nurse at the bedside, and my patient is dying, and I’m trying every possible intervention to save them. More social distancing. More masks. More contact tracing. Warnings and more warnings. What else can we try? But in the end, it doesn’t matter how much you do. Nothing will work, because it almost seems like the patient is resisting your help.

I get the same comments all the time over Facebook or email. “Oh, she’s blowing it out of proportion.” “She’s a communist.” “She’s a bitch.” “She’s pushing her agenda.”

Okay, fine. I do have an agenda. I want disease transmission to go down. I want to keep this community safe. I want fewer people to die. Why is that controversial?

We weren’t set up well to deal with this virus in Missouri. We have the worst funding in the country for public health, and a lot of the things we’ve needed to fight the spread of covid are things we should have had in place 10 years ago. We don’t have an emergency manager. We don’t have anyone to handle HR, public information, or IT, so that’s all been me. We didn’t get extra funding for covid until last month. I’m young and I’m motivated, and I took this job in January because public health is my absolute love. It doesn’t pay well, but would I rather be treating people who already have a disease or helping to prevent it? That’s what we do. We help take care of people. At one point this summer, I worked 90 days straight trying to hold this virus at bay, and my whole staff was basically like that.

We hired 10 contact tracers to track the spread, starting in August, but the real problem we keep running into is community cooperation. We call everyone that’s had a positive test and say: “Hey, this is your local health department. We’re trying to interrupt disease transmission, and we’d love your help.” It’s nothing new. We do the same thing for measles, mumps, and tick-borne diseases, and I’d say 99 percent of the time before covid, people were receptive. They wanted to stop an outbreak, but now it’s all politicized. Every time you get on the phone, you’re hoping you don’t get cussed at. Probably half of the people we call are skeptical or combative. They refuse to talk. They deny their own positive test results. They hang up. They say they’re going to hire a lawyer. They give you fake people they’ve spent time with and fake numbers. They lie and tell you they’re quarantining alone at home, but then in the background you can hear the beeping of a scanner at Walmart.

I’ve stayed up a lot of nights trying to understand where this whole disconnect comes from. I love living in this county. I know in my heart these are good people, but it’s like we’re living on different planets. I have people in my own family who believe covid is a conspiracy and our doctors are getting paid off. I’ve done press conferences and dozens of Facebook Live videos to talk about the real science. Even with all the other failures happening, that’s the one thing we should be celebrating: better treatments, nurses and doctors on the front lines, promising news about vaccines. But the more I talk about the facts, the more it seems to put a target on my back.

“We’re tracking your movements.” “Don’t do something you’ll regret.” “We’ll protest at your house.”

The police here have been really great. The elementary school says they’re watching over my kids and they’re on high alert. I have a security system now at my house. I locked down my email and took all my family photos off of Facebook, but you start wondering: Is this worth it? Could anything possibly be worth it?

And then it got worse this fall around the whole masking issue. Our hospital was filling up, and they asked if we could do more in terms of prevention and masking. We put out a press release. We went to businesses and did trainings. We kept encouraging people to mask up, but it wasn’t working. Only about 40 percent were wearing masks, so the health board decided to push for a mask mandate. Of course I was for the idea. Of course it is the scientific, smart thing to do. But at the same time, I kept thinking: Is this going to blow up my life?

We held a public meeting in the auditorium. I knew it was going to be a circus. I gave my kids an extra hug that night and said the things you never want to have to think about. I asked the city: “Are you requiring masks in this building? Because this is a public health meeting, and that’s important.” They said yes. But, of course, the first person that walks in the door says: “I go to church here in this same building, and they don’t make me wear a mask.” So that ended up being an ordeal, and they decided to allow him in. I asked him: “Can you please, please, please social distance?” He told me no. It wasn’t: “I can’t.” It was: “Hell, no. I won’t.” It went downhill from there.

We had more than 100 people show up, and most of them spoke in opposition. We do get a lot of thank-you’s and support for our work, but those aren’t the loudest voices, so sometimes they get drowned out. Our medical providers were at the meeting in their white coats, and three of them stood up to speak on behalf of masks. These are doctors and nurses who risk their lives to treat this virus. They are shouldering the burden of this, but the crowd wouldn’t even let them talk. They booed. They yelled. Some of them had come in with guns. They were so disrespectful. I was trying to take notes for our board, and my hands started shaking. Why aren’t you listening? Why do you refuse to hear from the people who actually know about this disease and how it spreads?

The board decided to go ahead with the mandate anyway, but part of the community revolted. We did a survey a few weeks later, and mask-wearing had actually gone down by six percent. We required it, and people became more likely to do the opposite. How do you even make sense of that? We like to believe we take good care of each other here. This is rural Missouri. We pride ourselves on being a down-home community that sticks together, and now this is how we treat each other? This is who we are?

I don’t go out in public very much anymore. It’s work and then back home. I don’t want to be recognized. I don’t want my kids to see any of that hate. The one place where I had to draw the line was that my son plays baseball, and honestly, his games are the most normal I’ve felt all year. But then, a little while ago, somebody took a photo at a game of me with my daughter. We were outside and social-distanced, so we weren’t wearing masks. The photo got posted all over social media, and it was the usual comments. “Bitch.” “Communist.” “Hypocrite.” My daughter has had some anxiety. My son said to me: “Mom, why does everybody hate you?”

I went in to work the next day, and one of my nurses came to see me. She’d just had one of those nasty interactions on the phone, and she said: “I’m struggling right now. I need one of your little pep talks.” I told her: “I’m sorry, but I just don’t have it. I’m tired of this. I’m so exhausted.”

I’ve been living with that steady hum of tension and fear for almost a year, and I just can’t do it anymore. I keep saying my family is my number-one priority, so at some point I have to keep my kids safe. I decided to put in my notice earlier this month. My last day is this Friday.

I’ve already accepted another nursing job. I’m not abandoning the community. I’m going to keep fighting this pandemic, but I’d rather not say anything much more specific. I don’t want that target on my back. I’m ready to be anonymous.

A Dangerous Psychopath … In Congress!

gohmertU.S. Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas first came onto my radar in May of 2016 for his insane proposal that in the event of an asteroid colliding with earth, we would need to establish a space colony and he patently said that LGBT would not be welcome on the new colony.  Gohmert proposed a …

“… space ship that can go, as Matt Damon did in the movie [The Martian], plant a colony somewhere, we can have humans survive this terrible disaster about to befall, if you could decide what 40 people you put on the spacecraft that would save humanity, how many of those would be same-sex couples? You’re wanting to save humankind for posterity, basically a modern-day Noah, you have that ability to be a modern-day Noah, you can preserve life. How many same-sex couples would you take from the animal kingdom and from humans to put on a spacecraft to perpetuate humanity and the wildlife kingdom?”

As I was researching Mr. Gohmert for that post, I found that in 2010, he put forth the theory that there was an insidious plot afoot involving so called “terror babies.” He claimed he had uncovered a plot involving terrorists sending pregnant women into the US to birth their ‘America-hating children’. The mothers and their kids then return home where, the congressman says, the children “could be raised and coddled as future terrorists”— and later, “twenty, thirty years down the road, they can be sent in to help destroy our way of life.”  It seems to me that it is the likes of Mr. Gohmert who are attempting to destroy our lives.

Then earlier this year (July), he came onto my radar again when he contracted the coronavirus and claimed to have gotten the virus from … wait for it … wearing a mask!  He eschewed the mask-wearing for several months, and claimed it was only once he gave in to the pressure and started wearing a mask that he contracted the virus.  Worse yet, after receiving his diagnosis, he went in person to his office, called his staff together in a room, and shared not only the news, but also his germs with them.

The very next day, I found out that the week before, he had introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives calling on the House to bar all Democrats from the chamber because of the party’s historical ties to slavery and racism unless the party is renamed.  Shouldn’t somebody point out to this fool that it is the republicans who are fighting to maintain their racist, homophobic, xenophobic way of life?

And today, ol’ Louie is once again blipping across my radar, causing me to grit my teeth and scratch my head.  According to the Dallas Morning News, Gohmert spoke to the Trump supporters gathered outside the White House on Saturday, parroting Trump’s claims that the election was “stolen”.  Nothing new here, for at least half the republicans in Congress are paying lip service to that false claim.  But Louie Gohmert took it a bit further, and in my view his speech was incitement to violence.

First, he claimed that Trump won the popular vote in 48 of the 50 states … so patently false as to be laughable.  Then he went on to say that only about 30% of the colonists supported the revolution in 1776, but then he moved on to the Egyptian revolution of 2011 when Egyptians demanded the overthrow of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  17 days later, it was announced that Mubarak resigned as president, turning power over to the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF).  Gohmert said …

“They rose up though all over Egypt … if they can do that there, think of what we can do here.”

Take a look for yourself at the conspiracy theorist/lunatic in action …

In my 2016 post, I ended  by begging the people of Texas not to re-elect this nutcase … but they didn’t listen to me and they re-elected him in 2016, again in 2018, and again this month, thus he has served thus far for fifteen years, and short of the unforeseeable, will serve for at least another two years.  Perhaps it is time that we make a mental health assessment requisite for all members of Congress?  I have to ask … how can anybody think it is a good idea to have this lunacy running our government?  Oh wait … it’s the same people who thought electing a television clown to the presidency was a good idea.  Our nation is beginning to feel more like a freakshow than a democratic republic.  R.I.P. United States?

Quit crying about things you cause

Blogging friend Brosephus “tells it like it is”, to use the trumpeters’ lingo, in a no-holds-barred assessment of how some of the people in the U.S. have caused their own grief with their selfishness. The line, “We have met the enemy, and he is us” comes to mind. Ignorance and arrogance carry a price tag, sometimes a hefty one. Thank you for this post, Brosephus … you are spot on!

The Mind of Brosephus

Today is the 163rd day since the first death from CoVID-19 was initially recognized. Since February 29th, at least 163,000 Americans have died from CoVID-19 related illness. There have been more than 5 million confirmed cases here in the US which is millions ahead of the second most infected country.

As glaring as these numbers are, they are not a true reflection of the true toll CoVID-19 has taken on the US. As we’re gearing up for back to school, we are getting news that just under 100,000 kids have been diagnosed with coronavirus in the past two weeks alone. Even with all we see and know, there are parents still demanding their children be allowed to become vectors by attending school in person this fall.

Now, today’s buzz is surrounding the cancelation of college football. Many smaller schools and conferences have already come to terms with reality, and now…

View original post 583 more words

We’re Better Than This … Or Are We?

More and more these days I am disgusted by the behaviour of some of my fellow humans in this country.  Okay, so we have fools in our government who believe it is okay to denigrate people, to tell lies and issue meaningless threats, but do we really need to emulate them?  I realize there have always been people for whom violence, or the threat of violence, was a way of life, an answer to all their problems, but today I’m seeing more and more of it.  How many times have we read in the past 7 months about someone threatening a store employee for merely doing his or her job, enforcing a store policy to wear a mask while inside the store?  So many that I’ve lost count.

Just last week, a man in Pennsylvania shot a clerk at a cigar store for being told he must wear a mask inside the store.  Then when police went to the man’s home to arrest him, he pulled an AK-47 automatic rifle and fired at police.  The man’s attorney, attempting to justify his actions, said he was “just not handling the pandemic well.”  And this is just one of many such incidents.  Is this, then, to become our new ‘norm’?  Come on, people … surely we’re better than this???


Kill the messenger?

The cruelty of humans never ceases to amaze me.  Dr. Anthony Fauci … you all know the name by now … is probably the most reliable source for information about the coronavirus pandemic.  He is, as I recently noted in another post, highly qualified and a top expert in the field of such things as infectious diseases and pandemics.  Those who respect science and the opinions of experts, listen to him.  Others listen to Donald Trump and his minions who have repeatedly and consistently denied that the pandemic is a big problem … nothing to see here folks, it’s all going away soon … and turned their backs on the recommendations of the experts, much to our detriment.  Okay, fine, but …

fauci“Getting death threats for me and my family and harassing my daughters to the point where I have to get security is just amazing. I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that people who object to things that are purely public health principles are so set against it and don’t like what you and I say, namely in the word of science, that they actually threaten you. That to me is just strange… I wish we did not have to go through that.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci

Yes, my friends, people are actually threatening not only Fauci, but his family as well … threatening to kill them!  WHY???  Apparently because they don’t like his recommendations and/or predictions.  He recommends wearing masks, recommends certain areas of the country need to remain shut down, recommends schools stay closed, and predicts that the virus isn’t going to magically disappear as Trump claims it will.  So … if you don’t like what someone says, the answer is to threaten to kill them?  This is a sad, sad statement about the values, or lack thereof, of some people in this nation.  No, I don’t believe the majority, or even a significant number of people would do such a thing, but the fact that there are some people who would is appalling.


He didn’t like masks, so …

A Florida man, James Copenhaver, was dining at Ricky T’s Bar and Grille in Treasure Island, Florida, when he spotted a young boy wearing a mask, sitting at a nearby table.  Copenhaver himself was not wearing a mask, and apparently took umbrage at the young boy wearing one.  He walked over to the boy and told him to remove his mask.  He then asked the child to shake his hand, and the boy refused.  What he did next is yet another example of the cruelty of which humans are capable.  He grabbed the boy’s arm, leaned in close to his face and spat in the boy’s face, saying, “You now have the coronavirus.”

He wasn’t, however, content with that, but walked over to the nearest restaurant employee and attempted twice to punch the man … for what reason remains a mystery, other than that Mr. Copenhaver had apparently had a few too many drinks.

CopenhaverThe employee Mr. Copenhaver tried to punch managed to get Mr. Copenhaver outside, wrestle him to the ground and hold him until the police arrived, at which time he was arrested on charges of simple battery and disorderly conduct.

Who does this to a child???  Frankly, if somebody did what he did to my child, he would likely be lying in a hospital bed or a morgue right now.  Again, no I don’t think this is representative behaviour for the vast majority of people in this country, but … I do see it happening more and more frequently and I find it highly disturbing.


I repeat what I said in the beginning … this is no way to solve the many problems facing the people in this nation.  I really want to believe that we are better than this, but it gets harder by the day.

A Bit Of Un-Masked History

Comparisons have been made more than a few times between today’s coronavirus pandemic and the pandemic of 1918 known as the Spanish Flu.  Turns out that one of the issues we are grappling with today, mask-wearing, was a big issue back then, too.  I thought this bit of history from the New York Times was quite interesting!


The Mask Slackers of 1918

As the influenza pandemic swept across the United States in 1918 and 1919, masks took a role in political and cultural wars.

christine-hauserBy Christine Hauser

Aug. 3, 2020

Updated 12:29 p.m. ET

flu-1The masks were called muzzles, germ shields and dirt traps. They gave people a “pig-like snout.” Some people snipped holes in their masks to smoke cigars. Others fastened them to dogs in mockery. Bandits used them to rob banks.

More than a century ago, as the 1918 influenza pandemic raged in the United States, masks of gauze and cheesecloth became the facial front lines in the battle against the virus. But as they have now, the masks also stoked political division. Then, as now, medical authorities urged the wearing of masks to help slow the spread of disease. And then, as now, some people resisted.

In 1918 and 1919, as bars, saloons, restaurants, theaters and schools were closed, masks became a scapegoat, a symbol of government overreach, inspiring protests, petitions and defiant bare-face gatherings. All the while, thousands of Americans were dying in a deadly pandemic.

1918: The infection spreads.

The first infections were identified in March, at an Army base in Kansas, where 100 soldiers were infected. Within a week, the number of flu cases grew fivefold, and soon the disease was taking hold across the country, prompting some cities to impose quarantines and mask orders to contain it.

By the fall of 1918, seven cities — San Francisco, Seattle, Oakland, Sacramento, Denver, Indianapolis and Pasadena, Calif. — had put in effect mandatory face mask laws, said Dr. Howard Markel, a historian of epidemics and the author of “Quarantine!”

Organized resistance to mask wearing was not common, Dr. Markel said, but it was present. “There were flare-ups, there were scuffles and there were occasional groups, like the Anti-Mask League,” he said, “but that is the exception rather than the rule.”

At the forefront of the safety measures was San Francisco, where a man returning from a trip to Chicago apparently carried the virus home, research archives show.

By the end of October, there were more than 60,000 cases statewide, with 7,000 of them in San Francisco. It soon became known as the “masked city.”flu-2“The Mask Ordinance,” signed by Mayor James Rolph on Oct. 22, made San Francisco the first American city to require face coverings, which had to be four layers thick.

A ‘pig-like extension of the snout’

Resisters complained about appearance, comfort and freedom, even after the flu killed an estimated 195,000 Americans in October alone.

Alma Whitaker, writing in The Los Angeles Times on Oct. 22, 1918, reviewed masks’ impact on society and celebrity, saying famous people shunned them because it was “so horrid” to go unrecognized.

“The big restaurants are the funniest sights, with all the waiters and diners masked, the latter just raising their screen to pop in a mouthful of food,” she wrote.

When Ms. Whitaker herself declined to wear one, she was “forcibly taken” to the Red Cross as a “slacker,” and ordered to make one and put it on.flu-3The San Francisco Chronicle said the simplest type of mask was of folded gauze affixed with elastic or tape. The police went for gauze masks, which resembled an unflattering “nine ordinary slabs of ravioli arranged in a square.”

There was room for creativity. Some of the coverings were “fearsome looking machines” that lent a “pig-like aspect” to the wearer’s face.

Mask court

The penalty for violators was $5 to $10, or 10 days’ imprisonment.

On Nov. 9, 1,000 people were arrested, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. City prisons swelled to standing room only; police shifts and court sessions were added to help manage.

“Where is your mask?” Judge Mathew Brady asked offenders at the Hall of Justice, where sessions dragged into night. Some gave fake names, said they just wanted to light a cigar or that they hated following laws.

Jail terms of 8 hours to 10 days were given out. Those who could not pay $5 were jailed for 48 hours.flu-4The ‘mask slacker’ of San Francisco is shot.

On Oct. 28, a blacksmith named James Wisser stood on Powell and Market streets in front of a drugstore, urging a crowd to dispose of their masks, which he described as “bunk.”

A health inspector, Henry D. Miller, led him to the drugstore to buy a mask.

At the door, Mr. Wisser struck Mr. Miller with a sack of silver dollars and knocked him to the ground, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. While being “pummeled,” Mr. Miller, 62, fired four times with a revolver. Passers-by “scurried for cover,” The Associated Press said.

Mr. Wisser was injured, as were two bystanders. He was charged with disturbing the peace, resisting an officer and assault. The inspector was charged with assault with a deadly weapon.

In Los Angeles, ‘To Mask or Not to Mask.’

That was the headline for a report published in The Los Angeles Times when city officials met in November to decide whether to require residents to wear “germ scarers” or “flu-scarers.”

Public feedback was invited. Some supported masks so theaters, churches and schools could operate. Opponents said masks were “mere dirt and dust traps and do more harm than good.”

“I have seen some persons wearing their masks for a while hanging about their necks, and then apply them to their faces, forgetting that they might have picked up germs while dangling about their clothes,” Dr. E.W. Fleming said in a Los Angeles Times report.

An ear, nose and throat specialist, Dr. John J. Kyle, said: “I saw a woman in a restaurant today with a mask on. She was in ordinary street clothes, and every now and then she raised her hand to her face and fussed with the mask.”

In Illinois, the right to choose, and to reject.

Suffragists fighting for the right to vote made a gesture that rejected covering their mouths at a time when their voices were crucial.

At the annual convention of the Illinois Equal Suffrage Association, in October 1918, they set chairs four feet apart, closed doors to the public and limited attendance to 100 delegates, the Chicago Daily Tribune reported.flu-5But the women “showed their scorn” for masks, it said. It’s unclear why.

Allison K. Lange, an associate history professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology, said one reason could have been that they wanted to keep a highly visible profile.

“Suffragists wanted to make sure their leaders were familiar political figures,” Dr. Lange said.

‘Four weeks of muzzled misery’

San Francisco’s mask ordinance expired after four weeks at noon on Nov. 21. The city celebrated, and church bells tolled.

A “delinquent” bent on blowing his nose tore his mask off so quickly that it “nearly ruptured his ear,” The San Francisco Chronicle reported. He and others stomped on their masks in the street. As a police officer watched, it dawned on him that “his vigil over the masks was done.”

Waiters, barkeeps and others bared their faces. Drinks were on the house. Ice cream shops handed out treats. The sidewalks were strewn with gauze, the “relics of a torturous month,” The Chronicle said.

The spread had been halted. But a second wave was on the horizon.

By December, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors was again proposing a mask requirement, meeting with testy opposition.flu-6Around the end of the year, a bomb was defused outside the office of San Francisco’s chief health officer, Dr. William C. Hassler. “Things were violent and aggressive, but it was because people were losing money,” said Brian Dolan, a medical historian at the University of California, San Francisco. “It wasn’t about a constitutional issue; it was a money issue.”

By the end of 1918, the death toll from influenza had reached at least 244,681, mostly in the last four months, according to government statistics.

1919: A new year

In January, Pasadena’s city commission passed a mask ordinance. The police grudgingly enforced it, cracking down on cigar smokers and passengers in cars. Sixty people were arrested on the first day, The Los Angeles Times reported on Jan. 22, in an article titled “Pasadena Snorts Under Masks.”

“It is the most unpopular law ever placed on the Pasadena records,” W.S. McIntyre, the chief of police, told the paper. “We are cursed from all sides.”

Some mocked the rule by stretching gauze across car vents or dog snouts. Cigar vendors said they lost customers, though enterprising aficionados cut a hole in the cloth. (They were still arrested.) Barbers lost shaving business. Merchants complained traffic dropped as more people stayed home.

Petitions were circulated at cigar stands. Arrests rose, even of the powerful. Ernest May, the president of Security National Bank of Pasadena, and five “prominent” guests were rounded up at the Maryland Hotel one Sunday.

They had masks on, but not covering their faces.

The Anti-Mask League.

As the contagion moved into its second year, so did the skepticism.

On Dec. 17, 1918, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors reinstituted the mask ordinance after deaths started to climb, a trend that spilled over into the new year with 1,800 flu cases and 101 deaths reported there in the first five days of January.

That board’s decision led to the creation of the Anti-Mask League, a sign that resistance to masks was resurfacing as cities tried to reimpose orders to wear them when infections returned.

The league was led by a woman, E.J. Harrington, a lawyer, social activist and political opponent of the mayor. About a half-dozen other women filled its top ranks. Eight men also joined, some of them representing unions, along with two members of the board of supervisors who had voted against masks.

“The masks turned into a political symbol,” Dr. Dolan said.flu-7On Jan. 25, the league held its first organizational meeting, open to the public at the Dreamland Rink, where they united behind demands for the repeal of the mask ordinance and for the resignations of the mayor and health officials.

Their objections included lack of scientific evidence that masks worked and the idea that forcing people to wear the coverings was unconstitutional.

On Jan. 27, the league protested at a Board of Supervisors meeting, but the mayor held his ground. There were hisses and cries of “freedom and liberty,” Dr. Dolan wrote in his paper on the epidemic.

Repeal came a few days later on Feb. 1, when Mayor Rolph cited a downturn in infections.

But a third wave of flu rolled in late that year. The final death toll reached an estimated 675,000 nationwide, or 30 for every 1,000 people in San Francisco, making it one of the worst-hit cities in America.

Dr. Dolan said the story of the Anti-Mask League, which has drawn renewed interest now in 2020, demonstrates the disconnect between individual choice and universal compliance.

That sentiment echoes through the century from the voice of a San Francisco railway worker named Frank Cocciniglia.

Arrested on Kearny Street in January, Mr. Cocciniglia told the judge that he “was not disposed to do anything not in harmony with his feelings,” according to a Los Angeles Times report.

He was sentenced to five days in jail.

“That suits me,” Mr. Cocciniglia said as he left the stand. “I won’t have to wear a mask there.”

Only Two Snippets Of Snark …

Just a couple of short snippets tonight …


Laws and rules are in place for a reason.  Granted, some of them are ridiculous or outdated and most of us only laugh about those.  But, for the most part, we obey the laws and expect others to do the same.  This era of populism, this reign of Trumpism, however, seems to have given some the idea that it is okay to disobey the laws that are inconvenient for them.

Yesterday, the governor of my state, Mike DeWine, put into place a mandate that everyone must wear a mask covering mouth and nose when in a public venue.  Numerous other governors, in lieu of a federal mandate, have imposed similar ones.  So, everyone in those states is either wearing a mask or staying home, right?  Wrong.  Not only are about a third of the people simply refusing to wear a mask, but local authorities are, in many cases, refusing to enforce the ruling.

In my own county, the virus has spiked significantly in the past two weeks as a result of businesses opening back up and people being exposed more and more.  Yet, the county sheriff, one Richard Jones, has said …

“I am not going to enforce any mask-wearing. That is not my responsibility, that is not my job. People should be able to make that choice themselves.”

Sheriff-Jones

County Sheriff or Cowboy Bob???

Why hasn’t he been fired?  Enforcing the law is, after all, his job.  This scenario has played out all around the country.  Businesses are far more likely to enforce the rules of mask-wearing than local law enforcement.  But worse yet, people who choose not to wear a mask are getting violent over it … there is simply no excuse for this!  I cannot wear a mask, so I stay home!  Period.  I no longer even go into the grocery to buy my weekly groceries, but order online and pay $5 to have them picked, bagged, and I can drive by and pick them up.

This nation has many problems to solve, but until we act responsibly and with respect for others, we aren’t going to even be able to begin to solve them.  I am disgusted with those who care not one whit about the lives of their own families, let alone the rest of the world.  You want to risk your life, fine … go parachute jumping, or join the army and ask for duty in Afghanistan.  But nobody has the right to willfully and maliciously put others at risk for their own pleasure.


Typically, I would have no problem with the president of the nation weighing in on when schools should re-open.  But these are not typical times and we have no real president, just a fake who has only his own self-interest in mind.  And Trump is not merely ‘weighing in’, but is attempting to bully, browbeat, and dominate the conversation, as he does with most everything.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had issued strict guidelines that should be observed in re-opening schools this fall.  We should all listen, for the lives of our children are the single most important thing in the world to us.  But keep in mind that our children’s lives do not matter to Donald Trump.

Trump wants schools to re-open in full asap.  Why?  Because, he wants businesses to re-open and be booming long before election day on November 3rd, so he can point to a thriving economy.  Businesses need employees in order to be fully functional.  Employees have young children who cannot be left alone while mummy and daddy go to work.  Hence, the schools must reopen, in the mind (such as it is) of Donald Trump.  Just one more example of this nation’s narrative to put profit over people. And so …

trump-cdc

Why the heck are one hundred and twenty-seven thousand people wasting their time ‘liking’ this post???  Do people really have nothing better to do with their time than like and re-tweet such ignorant, malicious tweets?

Now, there was a time when the president could bluster and bully all he wanted, but the CDC had integrity and would stand by what was right.  That was then, this is now.  There was a time we had a president who was intelligent and caring.  There was a time we had a functional Congress.  There was a time when we had an independent Judicial branch.  None of that applies today.

A few hours after the tweet, a press briefing was held during which Mike Pence said the CDC will issue new guidance on re-opening schools next week.  Meanwhile, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said that his earlier recommendations shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not returning children to classrooms.  What a cop out.  I would have resigned (in a very public manner) before I would have capitulated on such a critical issue.

There is nothing more valuable to this nation than our children … not industry, not entertainment, and for damn sure not Donald Trump’s re-election!  Our children are our hope for the future … they are our tomorrow.  I would like to think that states and school districts will make their decisions on whether or not to re-open based on the situation in their area, but … Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from any state or district that doesn’t re-open, saying …

“We hope that most schools are going to be open. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed.  No way.  We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open.”

Never mind that in nearly every state in the nation, the number of new cases has surged.  Never mind that re-opening bars, restaurants, beaches and hair salons was a stupid thing to do, but this … opening schools while the virus is raging … is beyond stupid.  I don’t have school-age children, but if I did, and if I were forced to send my child back to school, I would either homeschool or move.  I hope every other parent feels as strongly about this as I do.


Okay, friends, I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives.  Smile.  😖