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    • We’ve probably all seen the Karens and Chads freak out over mask wearing in the U.S. and abuse public health officials and docs. Is it this way in any other country? I’m told a mask is a sign of respect for friends & family elsewhere.


      Why? We did this over seat belts back in the day before Trump was president. I ask because I don’t know.

      I bought a T with this on it last night:

    • I don't understand the people who freak out about wearing a mask. It seems that any additional level of protection from this virus should be welcomed by everyone.

      And why are some trying to make this political (at least in the US)? This is about people, not political parties.

      I love the T design @Chris!

    • I think the institutions in charge did a poor job educating the masses from the start, and till today, when and where masks are efficient, for what purpose and why. And now that these appear to have become a fashion statement and market is inundated with all sorts of them, it may be also the confusing part is which ones are officially approved?

    • I think the institutions in charge did a poor job educating the masses from the start, and till today, when and where masks are efficient, for what purpose and why.

      You're right.

      Everything I have read says that masks with a valve allows unfiltered air to escape. Doesn't that remove the functionality of the mask - especially given that the cloth masks most of us are wearing are to protect other people?

    • The thoughts came as I was browsing Amazon to see what masks are available. I was shocked by the variety, and all the ad promoting there, but apparently de cartridge design prevails, aesthetical differences notwithstanding.

      And, to @Chris regarding Americans and Science, I believe a large majority have been and are being continuously conditioned so they can't tell science from advertising, or when science is used for bad. But that's by and large the fault of the "system", a society mainly based on promoting psychological, very subtle, bait.

    • I think everyone should read Judge Branick's letter to defend his mask ruling:

      I don't know what I did wrong so the link didn't show a preview, but I think it's okay to paste his letter here.

      JEFFERSON COUNTY — Letter from County Judge Jeff Branick to the Citizens and Media of Jefferson County:

      I recognized when I entered the mandatory mask order that there would be people who would not like it. What I didn’t expect was the level of pure hatred and profanity laden messages that would make a sailor blush.

      That’s okay, it comes with the territory. What has been most disappointing to me has been the level of insistence by many that my orders are a direct affront to their constitutional rights.

      The U.S. Supreme Court, since 1794, after the Whiskey Rebellion, and times since has repeatedly held that these types of orders are allowed in certain
      circumstances and are, in fact, constitutional. Those who say otherwise are misinformed or are depending on Natural law, not Constitutional law.

      I have not asked people to lay down their arms, surrender their right to free speech or to be subject to having soldiers quartered in their homes.

      I’ve asked them to suffer the inconvenience of placing a 4x6” piece of material over their mouth and nose when in a business to protect their friends and neighbors. Individuals who seem to have no
      problem with a restaurant requiring shoes and a shirt go ballistic over a business asking them to wear a mask.

      Eighty years ago, the greatest generation planted victory gardens, collected tin, rubber and steel, had food ration books and endured black outs, all
      to support the war effort. Their sacrifices were significantly more weighty than the inconvenience the present order requires.

      I want to thank a fellow county judge for reminding me of this. Today, a small minority is screaming that this is some kind of communist plot to overthrow the nation. When did it happen that we all became so focused on our rights and not our obligations to our fellow man and woman?

      Jesus said “Greater love has no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends”. I’m not directing anyone to lay down their life. Galatians 6:2 says “Carry each other’s burdens and in this way you will
      fulfill the Law of Christ”. I love you, because that is what Christ teaches us to do.

      I wear a mask not because I am afraid but because it is one way of showing that I care about my neighbors.

      There is a lot we don’t know about COVID-19 but all the evidence suggests that wearing a mask helps to prevent the spread of the virus. If wearing a mask prevents one person from dying, then isn’t it worth the minor inconvenience?

      If wearing a mask helps us get our country and economy back to normal, then isn’t it our patriotic duty to do so?”

      I received this in an email from an Orange County resident. It is a note he keeps in his pocket which he gives to people who make snide remarks about his wearing a mask in stores.

      Based on my conversations with numerous physicians, directives from the president of the Texas Medical Association, the thoughts of the head of the Department of state health services, and many others in the medical field, masks can prevent the spread of the virus.

      Might we find out next year after peer reviewed studies that such is not the case?

      Can I find a YouTube video from an OSHA inspector that supports the opposite view?

      Yes to both questions. But we are in the midst of the largest spread that we have seen thus far, and to prevent another shutdown of “nonessential” businesses and to keep our hospital system from becoming overwhelmed I am acting on the best available information.

      Those “nonessential” businesses have families to feed and mortgages to pay and I want them to be able to do that without having to worry if they are
      at some point going to have to depend on unemployment benefits, if they
      are even available to them.

      I will lift the order as soon as I possibly can, but in the meantime I pray for your cooperation.

      Jeff Branick

      County Judge

      Jefferson County Courthouse

      1149 Pearl St.

      Beaumont, Texas 77701

      Phone: (409)835-8466

      Fax: (409)839-2311

    • I don't think it happens in other countries. Maybe to a much smaller degree, but by and large the biggest anti-mask movements I've seen have all come from the US.

      I think it's because Americans have for the longest time been fed this idea of "freedom" and have grossly misinterpreted it to mean that nobody can tell them what to do, and being told what to do is a violation of their "freedom".

      No matter how much science and common sense is fed to them, they will still feel like wearing a mask is a sign of oppression.

      Here are a few tweets on mask-wearing that I want to share.

    • What some people don’t realize is wearing masks is a really common thing in Asia. Just as matter of staying healthy and common courtesy. People wear them without feeling threatened or anything. They just realize the society is what matters most.

    • I’m not sure the judge realizes many of the the anti-maskers are anti mask because masks poison the wearer. You can read all about it on Facebook.

    • Well, yes and if they were indeed aware of what values actually matter socially, the country would be a much better place. Not to say it's horrible, since I can still type this. But it's not quite that simple, yours is a limited view since you didn't visit or live here. After living here half my life, I can tell that it's not all what appears in the (social) media or the movies, far from it. And same entities that like to stir and agitate, will do it and make it look like it's generally valid for all citizens of this country. The problem here are the histrionics of politics prevail over calm and common sense majority of population lives by, and yet all the "world" "hears" and "sees" is the drama. Scandal pays, decency and sincerity, not so much.

    • I would add that things there are so political at least they appear to be particularly on social media. Why can’t people have debates rather than having to accept every view of the left or right? Sad to see our friends to the south go through this.

    • When we first started discussing COVID-19 on Cake, I mentioned, just watch what happens to the "national" conversation once politicians get involved.

      The narrative has nothing to do with freedom, patriotism, constitutionalism, or any other label, but rather, how can one political party (at the local, state and national level) take advantage of COVID-19 for political gain.

      And sadly, many governmental institutions are involved for political gain as well.

      I think Judge Branick is spot on in his letter to residents of Jefferson County.

      While studies remain inconclusive regarding wearing non-FFR (N95 Filtering Facepiece Respirators) prevent the spread of COVID-19, isn't doing so to prevent the possible transmission of the virus to another person worth a little inconvenience? Seems like a very EASY answer to me! Of course, please wear a mask in public.

      Some have mentioned "freedom" and the ability to do whatever one wishes...

      Since the founding of the Republic, the struggle has always been between States Rights and Federalism. Many people confuse States Rights with individual rights. And that is where the struggle to define one's individual "freedom(s)" begins. Many have incorrectly viewed that states rights were individual rights; not so.

      Further, today's historians would have one believe the Civil War was fought over slavery. Not quite. The Civil War was fought over the economics of slavery and states rights versus federalism.

      Thus, the struggle to define individual versus collective freedom and liberties remains elusive even today.

      And perhaps, why many see lockdowns and shut down of businesses based on the non-essential definition of a governor can easily been seen as economic sanctions. And humans enjoying liberties and freedom do not like to be sanctioned.

    • Unfortunately, America is not a culture that values or venerates its elders. And young people can experience Covid 19 without a great risk of dying, unlike their grand parents.

      It is easy for younger people to deny how significant this pandemic is, since it doesn't threaten them so much, only the older generations that preceeded them in America.

      In the opening chapter of his book "On the Plain of Snakes" Paul Theroux describes being an old man in the United States "Unregarded, shunned, snubbed, overlooked, taken for granted, belittled, mocked, faintly laughable, stereotypical, no longer interesting, parasitical, invisible to the young -- the old person in the United States" and decides to drive himself the length of Mexico. His friends all tell him "Don't go there!! You will die" and he decides to go there because the Mexican's respect and revere their elders, and finds that it is indeed true, age is a much lesser dis-advantage in Mexico. He is treated very nicely during his trip in Mexico.

      Unfortunately, in the USA the elderly know exactly what Mr Theroux was talking about...

      Apparently we are going to have at least >200,000 Americans succomb to Covid 19 before the pandemic is behind us. We have already passed 125,000 deaths, and this fall influenza will join Covid 19 to harvest many more when cold weather returns .

      I suspect that the second half of 2020 is going to be much worse than the first half, when a significant number of infected, but not ill, folks will be wandering about mask free.

      I mentioned in early June we might see cases rising as a result of the protests occurring across the US in the last week of June, and now the case numbers are definitely rising, mostly among the young.

      But we are told by the media, often, that the protests have not increased the infection rates for Covid 19....... That its due to other factors...

    • Thus, the struggle to define individual versus collective freedom and liberties remains elusive even today.
      ....humans enjoying liberties and freedom do not like to be sanctioned.

      This is at the core, the actual issue. As a nation of immigrants, some of quite several generations, most still recall and value the efforts to "make it" on their own here. As one saying went, "Came here because streets were paved with gold, yet found I'm the one supposed to pave them", they all learned hardship, what renouncing and starting life anew feels like. Many who never leave the familiarity, or perhaps in some cases indulgent tolerance of their native countries place idiosyncrasies, and never dealt with such rupturing experiences, will not be able to understand American individualism, but they may intentionally downplay it. And even though the corporate socio political machine is designed and continuously tunes itself to turn population into dumb, obedient, workers, the liberty of choosing stupid over obedient at times truly prevails, and not because of stupidity. But for lack of choice.

    • You know, the youth of the Vietnam era had the mantra ‘never trust anyone over 30.’

      Now I’m surprised at how youth embraced Bernie and Fauci. And there seems to be reverence for older rock stars like the Stones and Paul McCartney, which I don’t remember in the past. We adore Harrison Ford and Judi Dench. Is it changing?

    • Replying to @Chris

      It may be, I was quoting Paul Thoeroux because I thought it fitting, not because it is really my sentiments.

      But I think there may be some truth to it at that -

      OK, Boomers! and all.

    • PEW even did research on who wears them and who not:


      I thought the number of people who support them would be much higher. My local Costco enforces them, but I notice at other stores around here including Home Depot, the staff seems to have given up enforcing.

    • That woman should be informed that the store cannot restock their shelves with the merchandise she chose to throw on the floor, so she will be charged for each item, whether she departs with them, or leaves them on the floor.

      Or face prosecution for theft. They have her on video.

      She obviously didn't attend closely enough in manners class.

    • The grocery stores I go into all have signs at the door saying that masks are required and so far all of the shoppers I've seen are wearing them.

      Wearing a mask in public has been a requirement here in MA since early May.

      Governor Baker has issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Read the full DPH Guidance and find more detailed information in Frequently Asked Questions - Face Covering.