Category Archives: Masks

A slo-mo anti-mask rebellion

I’m not the fiery rebellious type but, today, we mounted a quiet mask rebellion and — hot damn! — it felt wonderful.

I live in the Southeastern corridor that’s been affected by the ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline. And yes, I do think it was a real ransomware attack, not a Deep State trial run. However, I think the Deep State is sitting back and watching to see how it will work to deprive conservative red states of power.

Last night, at 11, we were at the corner Speedy gas station putting gas in the tank before there was any word of shortages, simply because I couldn’t bear to go to sleep without a full tank. This was the same spider-sense neuroticism that, last February, saw me go out and buy masks, hand sanitizer, bathroom cleaner, and toilet paper.

In case you’re wondering, I was not one of those crazy hoarders buying shopping carts and garages full of toilet paper. I just bought enough to get me through a short period of time. For the long hall, just in case, I also got a bidet attachment for my toilet. I think being raised by parents who saw WWII up close and personal left me with a very strong feeling that, once bad things start happening, you need to react fast.

All of this leads up to the fact that we went to the local Publix today to stock up on supplies. After all, if the gas shortage continues, the grocery store shelves will start being bare in about three or four days — and we were already running low on milk and eggs. We left the store with a week’s worth of food. As I saw it, the worst that could happen is that we won’t have to shop for a week.

I happen to like Publix. It’s very clean, the employees are polite and efficient, the products are good, the produce is nice, and the company is not a raving leftist company. If you check its corporate donations, they’re reasonable, with a slight conservative tilt. Because I like Publix, I had no intention of going in there and creating a ruckus.

However, we have had it with masks. We’re vaccinated (long story, won’t explain, rational choice for us) and we’re in a region with almost no COVID. We agreed that, while we would go into the store mask-free, if another customer or an employee politely asked us to mask up, we would politely acquiesce.

So we went in without masks and we stayed mask-free for our entire time in the store. There were a few other people without masks who smiled at us and we smiled back. It was wonderful. I never thought that I would enjoy the smell of a grocery store — but I did!

My current thinking is that masks will not end with some glorious Hollywood finale that sees everyone stripping off their masks and singing a song about liberty. Instead, I think it’s going to take incremental acts of rebellion. Maybe, after seeing us stroll down the aisle, smiling and free, others will slip their masks down, and then still others, until the masks are finally gone.

But gosh! I’d really love to have a Hollywood ending with a liberty dance. It makes me crazy that it’s the French who are doing it:

IMAGE: Rawpixel (modified).

The message in the cold that I caught

I believe that there’s a lesson about masks — and what they’re really good at in today’s world — in the bad cold I caught.

I have a cold, a nasty, snuffly, sore-throat, stuffy-nose, I-feel-sick kind of cold. The same kind of cold that I’ve probably had 200 times before over the course of my life. When my nose isn’t stopped up, my sense of smell is perfect; my blood oxygenation is a marvel of good health; and I’m not running a temperature, so I’m not worried that this is covert COVID. It’s just a cold.

What I find interesting is the fact that I caught a cold in the first place. After all, for the past year, I’ve been practicing good virus hygiene: I work from home so I limit my interactions with other people and, when I go out, I wear an N95 mask (which I bought in a moment of prescience last February). I also keep my hands to myself and disinfect them when I return to the house or the car, always making sure to keep my hands away from my face until I’ve disinfected them.

So how in the world did I catch a cold which, last I heard, is a virus? I have two theories:

Theory Number One: Even an N95 mask will not block viruses or, at least, it won’t block all the particles that come my way. As many have pointed out, when people who work with drywall or other particulate matter take off their N95 masks at the end of the day, their faces under the mask are still covered with fine particulate matter. The mask blocks a lot but not all of the particulates. So, maybe that’s how I got this cold and could be how I’ll still manage to catch COVID, assuming I don’t decide to get a vaccine (and that’s assuming vaccine supplies arrive in my community, which they haven’t yet).

Theory Number Two: The N95 mask gave me the cold. This is my preferred theory.

Masks are meant to be used only once. The reason for that is cross-contamination.

Tear your mind away from the mask for a minute and think in terms of surgical gloves. You’re preparing chicken for dinner and you hate to touch the germy meat (uncooked, chicken is the most germ-laden meat), so you put on some nice surgical-style rubber gloves. When you’re done prepping the chicken, you don’t take your gloves off. Instead, you keep them on as you make the salad, prepare the potatoes, take the chicken out of the oven, and plate the food. After that, you carelessly strip off your gloves and leave them lying by the sink. You pick them up again after dinner, put them on, and use them to wash and dry the dishes.

The next day, you and everyone else in the family is horrifically ill with food poisoning. Should anyone be surprised? All that the gloves did was keep that E. coli away from your hands. In all other ways, they were the perfect vector for spreading the E. coli from the raw chicken to every other raw surface in the kitchen or on your food. The gloves were theater, nothing more.

That is exactly the case with the masks people wear. Ideally, we should all be going through N95 masks at a ferocious rate, several times a day if we’re not home. The way it should work is that, in the car, you disinfect your hands. Then, you put on a brand new N95 mask. You go into the grocery store and do all your shopping. When you get near your car, you strip the mask off and throw it away. You then disinfect your hands before touching anything (e.g., your steering wheel, gear shift, face, etc.). And you do this every time you put on and take off that mask over the course of the day. That’s the only way to prevent cross-contamination.

Of course, that’s not what anyone does. We all have our one mask. We carry it around in our car, purse, or backpack. We put it on and take it off constantly. When we’re with other people, they’ve done the same with their masks. In addition, many people have poorly fitting masks or they feel claustrophobic, so the mask repeatedly ends up below their nose, and then they keep pulling it up over and over.

The cross-contamination is non-stop and renders the masks completely useless — except, perhaps, to contain the big, gloppy droplets when someone with a cold, flu, or allergy sneezes or coughs, and even then that person handles the mask over and over after the fact. Those gloppy particulates are why, if you have a cold, it’s probably polite for you to wear a mask, as the Japanese and South Koreans have done for years.

I discovered the secret of preventing colds a long time ago: Whenever I return to the car, I disinfect my hands. Long before disinfectant mania, I had pump bottles of disinfectant in my car and I used it religiously. That’s because I figured out that the three big cold vectors in my life were shopping cart handles, door handles, and credit card readers (along with those icky pens). If I kept my hands away from my face until I reached my car, and disinfected before I touched anything, I stayed healthy.

Now, though, because of the whole mask thing, despite my hand disinfecting ritual, I’ve still got that mask collecting bacteria and viruses, and following me wherever I go,  It’s a snare and a delusion, as it is for everyone else. Perhaps next time I go to Costco, I’ll buy that big box of generic masks so I can end the cross-contamination game — except, of course, I know that those masks do nothing to stop the free flow of viruses, not to mention the fact that they’ve become a major source of pollution.

In my humble opinion, masks are not the solution; they are one of the problems.

Bookworm Beat 6/18/20 — Idle thoughts of an irritated mind

I’m in a Festivus mood: My Airing of the Grievances has me saying “I got a lotta problems with you leftists, and now you’re going to hear about it!”

Sometimes victim-blaming is appropriate: I found the following statement circulating among my leftist friends on Facebook and it irritated me more than it ought to have:


No. Just no. Morally wrongful “blaming the victim” happens when someone is doing something safe, innocuous, and normal, and nevertheless falls afoul of an evil criminal, only to have people say “You shouldn’t have walked your dog in a safe neighborhood in broad daylight,” “You shouldn’t have worn clothes that are slightly form fitting without revealing any flesh,” “You shouldn’t have walked down a street in Atlanta because you’re black.” That’s victim-blaming.

It is not victim-blaming to say that, while the criminal actor must always be blamed, people are nevertheless responsible for their stupid choices. As I always told my daughter, “You don’t dance naked in a Hell’s Angels’ biker bar and then act surprised if you get raped.” Likewise, you don’t brutally attack the police, steal their taser, and try to shoot one of them with the taser, and then have people posthumously say that you weren’t a contributing factor to your own death. Brooks was a victim who deserved to be blamed.

One of the problems with America today is that we’ve told people they’re never responsible for their own choices. Here’s the standard for victim blaming: If any sane, reasonable person would’ve and could’ve known better, you should have too.

Too many American blacks have no father in Heaven or on earth: I’ve always liked The Lord’s Prayer, which I think is beautiful poetry. Lately, I’ve had the first line running through my head: “Our Father, who art in Heaven….”

One doesn’t have to be Christian to recognize the important message in that line; namely, that whether we’re talking about the Jewish God or the Christian God, there is a God out there who has sent us a moral code and who will, in this life or the next, judge us for running afoul of it. (And yes, I know that Judaism is a little squishy on Heaven, but I’m with Dennis Prager, who believes that God is too good to be cruel enough to deny his faithful a glorious afterlife given how much yucky stuff we deal with in this life.)

While blacks overall are still a religious people (although their churches have been taken over by leftism; see, i.e., Rev. Jeremiah Wright), I suspect that criminally-inclined black men do not believe that their lives are being overseen by a moral and, at the end of the day, judgmental God. For them, there is no divine presence keeping them on the path of righteousness.

Leftism killed God, their father.

Leftism also killed their actual fathers. Over 70% of black children have no biological father in their life. This means that they’re more likely to live in poverty. It means that they’re at greater risk of getting assaulted or killed by their mother’s boyfriends. And it means that girls are more likely to be promiscuous and boys are more likely to be criminals. Also, and this is my theory with no data to back it up, just a gut feeling, boys are more likely to be homosexuals or claim to be transgendered because they over-identify with their mothers.

Dad energy is different from mom energy. Moms nurture but dads guide. Dads tell their daughters how beautiful they are, so the daughter doesn’t go from one man to another seeking the affirmation all women need from a loving man. And dads tell their sons to be strong and loyal and hard-working.

Dads do important negative things as well. They scare predatory men away from their daughters. It’s unlikely that the Muslim rape and prostitution gangs in England would have fared as well as they did if the girls on whom they preyed had fathers who would have stood up for them. My understanding is that most of the girls didn’t.

Another “negative” thing dads do is scare the living daylights out of a boy when he commits some petty crime and his parents have to pick him up from the police station. Moms are sympathetic and might even blame the police. Dads, though, are punitive. A good dad will come down on his son like a ton of bricks, even while letting the boy know he still loves him.

In the black community, 70% of kids don’t have the loving, positive dad or the angry, negative dad in their lives. It’s just mom, and maybe a bunch of half-siblings. When these kids look up at the sky, they don’t imagine a Heaven in which there’s a loving, positive God or a moral, judgmental God. There’s just space. Nothing, absolutely nothing, constrains kids who feel unloved and unwatched.

This is what leftism has done to the black community with its hatred for faith and its relentless push to get black women on welfare, making dads extraneous. I’ve said before that, while President Trump’s crime bill might indeed put more criminals back on the street, its saving grace could be that it puts more dads back in the home, especially the black home.

I think John Roberts is being blackmailed. Some people think John Roberts hates Trump, which is why he consistently rules against Trump on things that matter to Democrats. I don’t think that’s what’s going on because he started this pattern early, long before Trump.

Roberts is either a really weak conservative or, as I believe, he’s being blackmailed (my feeling is that it’s about his children). That’s why he’s conservative on the edges but, whenever it really matters to the leftists, suddenly he comes out strong as an activist justice who has no time for the Constitution or the laws of this land.

And yes, of course I know that my claim that he’s being blackmailed about his adopted children is completely unfounded. I’m not arguing otherwise. This is a feeling, not a theory.

I’m running out of things not to buy and places not to go. Chick-fil-A’s CEO announced that I need to wash black people’s feet. No, they can wash their own feet.

I’m not surprised, though. Remember the kerfuffle when it turned out that the Chick-fil-A Foundation was run by a hard leftist? Management pretended to be surprised by that revelation, but they’re not that stupid. Chick-fil-A has figured out that, if it promotes a few overtly Christian behaviors, it can get away with leftist murder.

I won’t go to Chick-fil-A anymore.

I don’t ever want to shop from Amazon again, given that it refuses to support mainstream conservative causes and that Bezos doesn’t want customers who don’t support the Black Lives Matter movement. I support the civil rights of every individual in America. I do not support a hard-left group that’s using race in lieu of class as a way to impose Marxist ideology on America. Screw you, Bezos.

I’m grateful I’ve never used T-Mobil, which dumped Tucker Carlson because Carlson has said the same things about BLM that I believe.

I never buy Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, or Mrs. Butterworth, so I can’t stop buying them as a way to let their parent companies know that their cowardice is not appreciated.

I won’t stand in line to buy anything other than food or to exercise my Second Amendment rights. It enrages and disgusts me that stores are still meekly going along with edicts limiting the numbers of customers allowed, thereby risking their economic destruction, after the BLM and Antifa marches and riots. There’s no product I want enough to stand in line for other than life’s very basic necessities.

I’m staggered that, judging by my Facebook page, leftists in California are still going along with Gavin Newsom’s edicts. His latest is mandatory masks. I have friends speaking about their gratitude that their children sneaked into their houses to visit them. Again, how in the world can these sheep act that way in light of the marches and riots?

When I run errands I notice three classes of people wearing masks: The elderly, who clearly should; blacks, who probably should (although I do believe that they might need more Vitamin D); and young, affluent white people, who are at low risk and are either virtue-signaling or made totally paranoid by their daily consumption of the New York Times. The Times makes people paranoid and fills them with self-loathing.

Middle-class people risk the most in a cancel culture. We in the middle class have big chains around us. I noticed that in Marin with divorce. The very poor divorced because they were poor before and remained poor afterward. The very rich divorced because they were very rich before and remained very rich afterward. For the middle class, especially women with children, divorce could be an economic death sentence.

It’s the same with being open about our politics. The poor and the rich do not change status when they speak up. Today’s cancel culture means that we in the middle risk everything when we stand against the mob.

Grumble, grumble, grumble. Running errands today soured me.

America is killing itself with a political and cultural cytokine storm

An immune system overreaction (a cytokine storm) can be more deadly than the disease. America’s political immune system is overreacting, and it’s killing us.

An older friend of mine lives in Oregon, which has had 137 deaths from the Wuhan virus. In a population of 4,217,737, that means that 0.0032% of the Oregon population has been felled by the virus. Forty percent of the deaths have been in Multnomah County, which is home to Portland, Oregon’s largest city.

That 40% figure is misleading, though. Another county, Washington, has had 11% of the deaths – but Washington is part of the greater Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro Oregon and Washington Area. That means that greater Portland accounts for 51% of Oregon’s 137 deaths. The next most affected area is Marion county, home to Salem, the state capital, which has had 17% of the deaths.

My friend lives in Deschutes County, which has had a total of zero deaths. It’s also had 94 cases. With a population of 186,807, that means that only 0.05% of the county caught the virus – and, again, no one has died.

Despite these staggeringly low statistics, Oregon’s governor, Kate Brown, a Democrat, has announced that the entire state of Oregon will continue to be locked down until July 6. This is insane, whether we’re looking at insane paranoia or an insane lust for control.

Despite the lockdown, the governor has not made masks mandatory. Unfortunately for my older friend, the Costco in Bend, Oregon, is making everyone wear a mask. Again, keep in mind that all of Deschutes County has had zero deaths.

So my older friend dutifully dons her mask, goes to the Costco – and a short time later collapses from hypoxia (i.e., oxygen deprivation). Fortunately, since she has ongoing balance issues, she wears a helmet. Had she not worn a helmet, she could easily have struck her head, gotten a brain bleed, and died.

Did I mention that there have been zero deaths in Deschutes County?

Nor is my friend anomalous. Just after I got off the phone following her tear-filled call, I coincidentally read that a man who Wuhan who tried running while wearing a mask suffered a collapsed lung:

A man in China burst a lung after running for more than two miles in the coronavirus epicenter city of Wuhan while wearing a face mask, according to a report.

The 26-year-old jogger was rushed to Wuhan Central Hospital, where he underwent major surgery for the collapsed lung after he began having difficulty breathing, the UK’s Sun reported.


Health officials believe the man’s lung burst because he was wearing a mask while running.

Chen Baojun, head of thoracic surgery at the hospital, said the man was already susceptible to a spontaneous pneumothorax because of his tall and lanky frame.

In two other incidents involving physical activity, two Chinese boys dropped dead within a week of one another recently while wearing masks during gym class.

The above is not just the craziness of China’s socialized medicine system. While masks are as yet unproven when it comes to protecting against the Wuhan virus, a retired neurosurgeon warns that they can cause real health problems. In ordinary cases, the more stringently a mask protects against particulate matter, such as an N95 mask, which my friend was wearing, the more likely the mask is to cause headaches.

The reason for the headaches is hypoxia:

As to the cause of the headaches, while straps and pressure from the mask could be causative, the bulk of the evidence points toward hypoxia and/or hypercapnia as the cause. That is, a reduction in blood oxygenation (hypoxia) or an elevation in blood C02 (hypercapnia). It is known that the N95 mask, if worn for hours, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%, which can lead to a loss of consciousness, as happened to the hapless fellow driving around alone in his car wearing an N95 mask, causing him to pass out, and to crash his car and sustain injuries. I am sure that we have several cases of elderly individuals or any person with poor lung function passing out, hitting their head. This, of course, can lead to death. (Emphasis mine.)

And there you have my friend, saved only by the fact that she wears that helmet whenever she’s out of the house.

It gets worse. Cutting through the medical language, Dr. Blaylock explains that hypoxia can affect the blood oxygen level. You’re not just breathless; you’re fundamentally de-oxygenated. A significant drop in blood oxygen impairs immunity, meaning that people are more, not less, likely to get the Wuhan virus.

Low blood oxygen can also stop the body’s ability to fight cancer. So people in lockdown areas who are forced to wear masks are less likely to get their cancer diagnosed or treated and also less likely to have a robust immune system to fight it.

Oh, and one more thing, according to Dr. Blaylock: The most significant factor in the severity of a Wuhan virus infection appears to be viral load. If you catch a few free-floating virus particles while in a parking lot, you’ll probably have a mild case, But if you get a whomping big load on the subway or in a hospital setting, you’ll have a bad case.

People who have a mild or asymptomatic case, because of a low viral load can unwittingly increase their viral load by exhaling the virus into the mask and then inhaling it again. How’s that for an ironic kick in the pants?

The Western world is going to go down in history (assuming there’s anyone left to write a history), as the only civilization that died, not from the plague, but from its insane overresponse to the plague. We are engaged in the civilizational equivalent of a cytokine storm.

Here’s what I mean: The human body’s immune system can overreact, killing someone affected with a contagious illness that is not necessarily fatal. Cytokine storms were the reason that so many healthy young people died from the Spanish influence – it triggered a massive overreaction of their immune system. The Wuhan virus seems to do the same.

In America and other Western countries, our governments and media have responded to the virus with a massive overresponse of preventive measures. Whether it’s total lockdowns that kill the economy or masks that cause oxygen deprivation deaths, it’s not the Wuhan virus that’s destroying us. It’s our overwrought response to the virus.

If America is to survive the Wuhan virus, it needs to ratchet back on its political and culture cytokine storm. Otherwise, we will destroy ourselves before the Wuhan virus even gets its chance to try.

COVID-19: Behavior changes mean we’re not victims

Seeing COVID-19-related behavioral changes in Walmart, especially among African-Americans, told me that we can control our destinies and reopen America.

I’ve always been a rather fastidious person, but that went stratospheric in around 2003, which was the year that I stumbled non-stop from one cold to another for almost eight months. At about the same time, I read that shopping cart handles are among the filthiest things we touch. Those handles are especially high in fecal matter. That makes sense for two reasons: (1) A lot of people (at least back in the pre-COVID-19 era) weren’t good about washing their hands after using the bathroom and (2) toddlers sit in shopping carts. Toddlers are cute, but when I look at them, all I really see is a walking, talking, drooling, snot-dripping, sneezing, sniffling, licking Petri dish with hands.

For the last 17 years, I’ve always had hand sanitizer in the car. When I’m in a store, I never get my hands anywhere near my face. When I leave the store, before I even enter the car or, God forbid, touch the steering wheel or anything else, I bend down to the hand sanitizer stowed in my car door, use my wrist to pump some into my palm, and smear it all over my hands. If I used my phone before I disinfected my hands, it gets wiped down too. Thanks to that change, I reduced to an average of one or two the number of colds I get per year.

Over the past, oh, I don’t know, five years or so, grocery stores have started having sanitizing wipe stations near the shopping carts. I’ve always stopped to use that station. Before 2020, I noticed that few others did.

In the past six weeks, though, whenever I shopped, I was seeing more and more . . . and more people using the sanitizing wipes. Eventually, the stores ran out of wipes. In the last week, the stores where I live, near Charleston, have had employees stationed at the entrance wiping carts for customers.

The biggest change I’ve seen lately, though, has been masks. Two weeks ago, I saw about five people with masks at my local Walmart. Last week, I saw about 20% of people with masks (and I was one). Today, about 40% of the people at the store had masks. What really impressed me was that almost all the black customers wore masks. This matters because, as the media have been at pains to point out, the virus has attack minority communities with special virulence.

That blacks were masked makes me believe that the White House’s messaging has been very good. As you probably know, Yamiche Alcindor, PBS’s resident race hustler/”journalist”, accused Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, who is black, of racism for speaking directly to the black community and telling them that they had to change their behavior if they wanted to lower their COVID-19 risks. I think his message was right on the money — and it apparently was the same message he and Mike Pence had been sharing all last week with minority communities.

Adams began by explaining that, in some ways, blacks and other minorities are screwed. They have higher risks of co-morbidity factors, such as asthma, heart disease, and diabetes. In addition, they’re more likely to have lifestyles that increase the risk of the disease spreading. They live in more densely populated communities, have multi-generational households, and hold jobs that don’t allow telecommuting.

But here’s the important thing he said — every person has the power to control his or her own risks:

You are not helpless, and it’s even more important that in communities of color we adhere to the taskforce guidelines to slow the spread.

Stay at home, if possible. If you must go out, maintain six feet of distance between you and everyone else, and wear a mask if you’re going to be within six feet of others. Wash your hands more often than you ever dreamed possible. Avoid alcohol, tobacco, and drugs.

And call your friends on your family. Check in on your mother. She wants to hear from you right now. And speaking of mothers, we need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your Abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your Big Momma. Do it for your PopPop.

We need you to understand, especially in communities of color, we need you to step up and help stop the spread so we can protect those who are most vulnerable.

While the execrable Alcindor was playing “gotcha” about racism, the black community was apparently listening. At Walmart today, at least half the shoppers were black when I was there. When I got my cart, I saw every one of them use the disinfectant to wipe his or her cart. More than that, as I noted above, most of the black shoppers were wearing masks (as was I). That means that a higher percentage of black shoppers in the store were wearing masks than were white shoppers.

Regardless of color, people at the store were in high spirits. They had a sense, I believe, that they were taking control of their destiny. They weren’t just sitting there waiting to die. They were out and about, but they were making intelligent choices: cleaning objects that transfer disease, wearing masks, using social distancing. It’s huge to have sense of control.

I pity the people in places such as Michigan where they are mere pawns, not allowed to go anywhere or do anything. Knowing that you can affect your destiny is a mental and emotional game-changer. Dr. Adams told one of America’s hardest-hit communities that its members could affect their own destinies and, from where I sat (or stood), that community stepped up to the challenge.

Giving people control over their own lives and destinies is how we get America working again. (Although I’d be happy to see America’s institutions of higher indoctrination stay closed.) The government won’t save you. You will save you, and you’ll save your Abuela, granddaddy, Big Momma, Oma or Opa, Mama and Papa, Nana or whatever else you call your beloved parents and grandparents.

The best way to keep us from being victims is for the government to stop victimizing us — and for the race hustlers and Trump haters to stop trying to paint us as victims.

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