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    • 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.

    • "Freedom" is an excuse to do whatever you want. Our society is spoiled and it's disgraceful. The law requires a seatbelt - is that a violation of freedom? People use sunscreen and wear helmets for protection - is that a violation of freedom? Americans need to stop being so selfish and do whatever is necessary until this pandemic is over.

    • My father and his friends lost their minds over seatbelts when I was a kid. He would cut them out with scissors and we weren’t allowed to wear them. The news ran stories about how scary they were because they trapped a lady in a burning car. Can you imagine a worse fate? And anyway they didn’t solve the real problem of head injuries.

      The big thing though was the government had no right.

      I’m surprised how it eventually faded. We were fine with vaccines then — they were considered a miracle — but seatbelts were scary. How things change.

    • I think that's normal skepticism. Similar to how most of us won't take today for granted some inventions that'll allow us living outside the atmosphere, and many would outright deny it.

    • I think it would help a lot if Trump started wearing a mask such that people could see he believed they were a good thing to wear under the circumstances.

    • From Mitchell D. Lingo, Ph.D. via Facebook

      <><><><>

      COVID:19 – Guilt and the Breaking Point of Teachers

      The rhetoric is ramping up as the beginning of the school year draws near, and we are seeing the tired method of society bending teachers to meet society’s needs through guilt.

      In my time as an educator and now working with educators, guilt works to get more from teachers. Guilt is used to cajole teachers into working extra hours to craft lesson plans, complete grading, or act as private tutors during breaks or after school. All of this is free of charge.

      Society undervalues teachers with entry level salaries that are painfully low compared to peers entering the workforce at similar education levels, only to couple it with pay raises that do not meet the consumer price index. Instead of providing the correct resources of classroom material, society relies on guilt to drive teachers to use their salaries to provide materials for their classrooms. Teachers do this because it is the RIGHT thing to do. Still, it appears this reliance on teachers to do “what society needs them to do” is finally hitting a breaking point.

      In the last course of my undergraduate degree in the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, the professor had five public education pillars. He would come to say that the first pillar was “child storage.” To some, this suggestion may be rather an uncouth pronouncement of our education system. But in March, this truth became apparent.

      The nation’s economy relies on public schools not only to create human capital but also to provide a place where children are cared for while parents work. To get schools back up and running for the fall, society had only one job to do. Slow the spread of COVID:19. Instead, we chose to go mask-less, eat out at our favorite restaurants or drinks at our favorite bars, send our children off to birthday parties and club sports, and go out to find our new favorite hazy IPA (for the record, IPAs are terrible).

      Society put itself in a precarious position where we now have higher COVID diagnoses than we did at its worst in April. A situation that now falls within the 30-day window for teachers to report back to school for the Fall semester.

      Instead of watching people get ready to button-down and buckle-up, I am witnessing more of the same.

      Guilt towards teachers.

      Who cares if you are a teacher worried about your health?

      What about the children needing socialization for their mental health?

      Are you a pregnant teacher that just was placed on the high-risk category? Well, what about children that have trouble learning online?

      Are you really going to deprive them of classroom experience?

      No. Teachers are not to blame in this. Society is to blame, along with the total lack of central national leadership in this process.

      Teachers are now at a breaking point in which many view returning to work as a potential detriment to their lives and the lives of their family members. I can see it in their posts.

      Though there is always a chance for a national teacher strike, we will watch five scenarios play out this fall if classroom teaching returns in August:

      (1) Anyone at or near retirement will probably take early retirement if we try to start school in the fall. Given the number of comorbidities that plague Americans’ health, this shouldn’t come as a surprise,

      (2) Those teachers with spouses that can afford to be a stay-at-home parent will stay at home,

      (3) Pregnant and those intending to get pregnant teachers will take a year off and potentially never return,

      (4) teacher’s education graduates and those in their first five years without the “golden handcuffs” will leave the teaching career path,And,

      (5) there will be a minimum number of substitutes.

      Most substitutes are retirees looking for extra income or recent graduates that couldn’t find a teaching job. Retirees will not come back to sub.

      The recent graduates willing to teach will be snatched up in a heartbeat to replace scenarios 1 through 4. Teachers will be pushed into substitute teaching within their buildings for other teachers during their free periods. The situation will hasten the exit from the classroom for those in scenario 4.

      In any of the cases, we as a society will face a severe loss of human capital in our teaching force and have the potential to devastate the teaching workforce for years to come.

      Finally, teachers should not feel guilty for refusing to show up in order to protect their health and the health of their loved ones.

      It is not your fault, and you should not feel guilty about any choice you make in the upcoming months.

      Unless you are avoiding Dr. Fauci’s rules, you have nothing to do with the situation we are heading towards.

    • he finally wore a mask. If he didn’t affect the lives of so many people I’d pity him.