By JC Dufresne
For the “Progressive Views,” Boerne Star, Friday July 17, 2020
Many of my Libertarian-leaning as well as some Trump following neighbors are up in arms over Gov. Abbott’s day-late-and-dollar-short executive order issued July 2, that “Every person in Texas shall wear a face covering over the nose and mouth when inside a commercial entity or other building or space open to the public, or when in an outdoor public space, wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household.” The order contains some reasonable exceptions and one that angers me, that being: “any person who is voting, assisting a voter, serving as a poll watcher, or actively administering an election, but wearing a face covering is strongly encouraged.” Why of all things is it OK to spread the virus to other voters and election staff?
One of the ridiculous reasons for the anger of the yahoos is based on a “personal liberty” argument. One wrote: “I think disease risk is an ever-present reality that comes with human contact and individuals should be left at their own discretion to what extent they want to leave the house and put themselves at risk during a pandemic.” They contend that public health concerns should not override their right to their own unsafe behavior. If this were a matter of whether or not the non-mask wearing buffoon contracted a potentially life-threatening disease, I’d be OK with that—after all the Darwinian principle of “survival of the fittest” would root out the idiots. Unfortunately for us, the requirement to wear a mask is to protect everyone else from the mask wearer who could unknowingly be infected and spreading the virus with every breath they exhale. They won’t say they would defend Typhoid Mary, but that’s what it amounts to. For those unfamiliar with the story—in the early 1900s, Mary Mallon was a New York cook who spread typhoid to her employers and their families, sickening over 50 and causing the deaths of 3 directly and perhaps hundreds more indirectly. When public health authorities finally caught up to her, the newspapers named her Typhoid Mary.
Another of my neighbors wrote “Until we know true numbers, it is all about control and fear. What are total deaths compared to last year? How many were due to the nursing home debacle in 5 states? Why did they switch from death count to case count?” In reality there is plenty of information available from federal and state public health agencies as well as the media that confirms the 130,000+ deaths due to COVID-19 which wouldn’t have occurred without it. Yes, many of those deaths occurred in nursing homes and killed those already in poor health but that doesn’t make those premature deaths any less significant. The naysayers also seem willing to ignore the high numbers of health care professionals who have succumbed to COVID-19 after being exposed to sick patients. My sister is a nurse at a hospital in Mississippi and was sickened by COVID-19 after she was exposed there. Fortunately, she had a mild case and was able to recover at home while quarantined from her family for two weeks. It’s a shame that not all health care providers have been so lucky.
The anti-mask crowd also seems to ignore the fact that roughly 20% of confirmed cases require hospitalization and oxygen; think about the whopping hospital bill. Of those requiring care in an intensive care unit, there is a high incidence of long-term lung damage and a possibly other organs as well. Consider those long-term costs.
WEAR A MASK!
JC Dufresne is a local Democrat