Punishing the Virtuous to Protect the Jerks

It's time for our political leaders to grow a spine.

Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention once again updated its “Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People” in response to the spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19. They’re rather extensive but the key changes they highlight are these:

  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people to wear a mask in public indoor settings in areas of substantial or high transmission.
  • Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.
  • Added a recommendation for fully vaccinated people who have a known exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 to be tested 3-5 days after exposure, and to wear a mask in public indoor settings for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to schools, regardless of vaccination status.

In response to this, the Defense Department yesterday issued Updated Mask Guidance for all DoD lnstallations and Other Facilities. The key changes:

  • In areas of substantial or high community transmission, DoD requires all Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask in an indoor setting in installations and other facilities owned, leased or otherwise controlled by DoD.
  • Service members, Federal employees, onsite contractor employees, and visitors who are not fully vaccinated also need to continue to physically distance consistent with applicable CDC and DoD Force Health Protection guidance.

Not surprisingly, a lot of people are bitching about this. Most of them are the jackasses who refused to wear masks and otherwise help stop the spread of the virus in the early days and now refuse to either get vaccinated or comply with the requirement to wear a mask if unvaccinated. But there’s also people like me, who have been responsible and are now frustrated at the prospect of having to bear further burdens because of said jackasses.

Both the county where I live and the adjacent county where I work are currently not in the danger category but, obviously, that could change. More importantly, while the six people in my household eligible for the vaccine, including my 12-year-old daughter, are fully vaccinated, my 10-year-old remains unprotected. And it’s because of the assholes who refuse to do their part.

Josh Marshall‘s reaction to the bitching was a post titled “Out of Patience with the CDC? Grow the F Up.” The essence of the titular argument:

Really people need to get the f*#$ over themselves.

COVID is an evolving pathogen. Our knowledge of it is evolving. We’re basically conducting, against our will, a live subject study with the entire human population. Science isn’t a book with all the answers. It’s an empirical process. By its nature it’s tentative and evolving. We are learning about the efficacy of the best vaccines. We’re learning about Delta COVID. And we’re trying to figure out how the two interact.

This isn’t a brief for anyone at CDC. Like I said, I think they’ve gotten some key decisions wrong, in ways I’ll describe in a moment. Mostly they are not clinical decisions but decisions which have sought to balance the available scientific knowledge with evolving public opinion. Or to be more specific, they are cases where they have sought to balance it with what we might call very understandable public exhaustion.

The fact is that we are living through an historic global pandemic. It’s complicated. We’re collectively having to make big decisions without anywhere near enough knowledge. It will continue to be bumpy. The problem isn’t that the CDC doesn’t have enough wizards to wave wands to make it disappear for you. The problem is the virus. And we are not done with it.

And, of course, I agree with all of that. But my frustration with the CDC here isn’t with their reassessment of the guidelines in light of new evidence. That’s what I want them to do! If the Moderna vaccine that I got back in March is no longer effective against the new strains of COVID, then I want to know that and will grudgingly suck it up and go back to masking and whatnot.

Rather, my frustration is that our policies are aimed at the wrong people. We need to put the burden on those who refuse to get vaccinated. That’s why I’ve been calling for vaccine passports for months. And why I think it’s high time that the President or Secretary of Defense make vaccination a requirement for employment as a uniformed member, civilian employee, or contractor.

And, it turns out, Marshall agrees:

As I suggested above, the real challenges now are balancing the the current scientific knowledge with the political realities of an exhausted population. Our biggest challenge is one of free ridership. The CDC is now asking the vaccinated to resume masking in areas of high transmission, which is now most but not all of the country. What that means is that we are again asking the vaccinated to take on the burdens of the decisions of the voluntarily unvaccinated. And that’s a big problem.

But before we get to that we need to back up and remember what the earlier de-masking guidance really was. The guidance was actually that the vaccinated could stop masking. It is generally remembered as an end to guidance to mask generally. It wasn’t. In practice though it was the unvaccinated who were quickest to stop masking if they’d ever been masking at all.

This I think was the heart of the error. The people who most benefited from masking were the least likely to follow the guidance. In the absence of a robust system of vaccine passports there was no way to distinguish one group from the other. Indeed, in much of Red State America passports have been banned even for private organizations and businesses. Basically no one payed attention to this distinction at all – and that is a problem with the initial guidance because that was fairly predictable. The emergence of the Delta variant – a new and unknown factor – just made the consequences much greater.

And this was obvious from the beginning. On literally the day the CDC green-lighted vaccinated folks, I observed,

Unless stores, restaurants, and whatnot are going to check to see who’s fully vaccinated—and they’re not—this effectively makes things worse for the kids. Now, I can take them places knowing everyone will be masked. But, now, everyone is going to be maskless, vaccinated or not. Aside from the immuno-compromised, who are at high risk and can’t get the vaccine, adults who are unvaccinated are mostly people who simply choose not to do so. And now they’ll have permission to go around infecting those who can’t get vaccinated.

Not surprisingly, they did. Because—I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this—they’re assholes.

Back to Marshall:

Today one of the most difficult things to make sense of is just how much we think the vaccinated themselves are at risk today from Delta – whether we’re defining that as infections generally or severe outcomes. One reason for the updated CDC guidance is increasing – but still tentative and uncertain – evidence that Delta COVID is spreading among the vaccinated themselves. But clearly the biggest beneficiaries of this new policy are the unvaccinated. It’s the unvaccinated among whom Delta COVID is spreading like wildfire. Infections among the vaccinated are largely spillover from that out of control situation. The unvaccinated are not only unvaccinated they are also disproportionately unmasked. (If you’re worried about COVID or trying to do your part for the larger community, let’s be honest: you’re going to get vaccinated.)

So we can see larger problem. Masking is coming back largely because of the actions of the unvaccinated and also largely for the benefit of the unvaccinated. The burden of non-vaccination is being placed on those who are vaccinated. That basic disconnect is our problem.

That disconnect places no effective pressure on the voluntarily unvaccinated while sowing demoralization and frustration and contempt with public authorities among those who’ve gotten the vaccine. No good comes of that combination.

That’s exactly right. And his proposed solution and mine are identical:

As I have been arguing, the cornerstone of our policy should focusing the burden of non-vaccination on those who are voluntarily unvaccinated. That is both the most equitable and fair approach and it is the approach most likely to increase the number of people getting vaccinated. We need to cut that cord of misplaced incentives and penalties. That’s why I think the more important and more positive developments in recent days are the moves toward mandates. We’re seeing a wave of mandates for various kinds of public employees and health care workers to get vaccinated. We’re also seeing the federal government clear the way for private organizations to do the same. That is the proper path forward. We do not need to see it as punitive. It is simply placing the burden of non-vaccination on the voluntarily unvaccinated. This is also why speeding formal FDA approval of the vaccine is so important. Despite federal court rulings that appear to give employers the right to mandate vaccines under the current emergency approval, it is clear that only that formal approval will move the mass of the employers in that direction.

His final point is more charitable than my view of the situation, however:

We don’t have one problem. We have two. These breakdowns [he references a chart] show clearly that we have a hesitancy problem in the Black and Hispanic communities and a resistance problem among white Republicans. Those are different issues.

In the former case that is in part the historic experience of the African-American community and the general issue that marginalized communities are usually the hardest to vaccinate across cultures – economic private, low trust in public authorities, tenuous connection to social networks that facilitate public health efforts. That can be worked over time. The latter issue is clearly political and ideological.

So, in fairness, not everyone who is eligible for the vaccine but hasn’t gotten it is a complete asshole. But, frankly, I don’t care at this point. Practically every Walmart, drug store, or grocery store in the country is giving out vaccines for free and no waiting. That’s been the case for weeks now. We’re well past the point where even the most stressed hourly employee can’t have managed to get the jab by sheer happenstance.

Regardless, the policy approach is the same:

But for all the reasons above the best approach is not endless public discussion about understanding hesitance and resistance or persuasion. It’s mandates for vaccination. We’re not going to mandate for the whole population, though we should certainly have them for public-facing public employees and all health care workers. But in every respect we should concentrate the burden of non-vaccination on the voluntarily unvaccinated. Want to engage in non-essential indoor public activities? Get vaccinated. This is both the most equitable and most effective way forward.

Given where we are now – largely because of the voluntarily unvaccinated – some move back to public masking probably makes sense. For what it’s worth, I continue to wear a mask in public indoor settings. But our whole policy should focus on putting as little of the burden of non-vaccination on those who’ve gotten vaccinated and as much as possible on those who have not.

Not to put too fine a point on it, our current policy is one of political cowardice. Our leaders, including President Biden, are imposing unnecessary burdens on virtuous citizens—and putting our under-12 population, the immunocompromised, and other vulnerable populations at increased risk of death—because they lack the courage to issue vaccine mandates and implement vaccine passports.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum, , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Cheryl Rofer says:

    There’s certainly an emotional part of me that agrees with you, James. But there’s another part that would like to reframe this frustration.

    Public health is a collective effort with collective effects. Over the past forty years – thank you Ronald Reagan and conservatives – we’ve privileged the individual over the collective. So we have virtuous individuals and assholes. That’s kind of a condition of life, and we need to find a collective way to deal with the assholes. Which would involve actions by everyone and yes, the expression of the collective, which is government.

    The virus won’t go away until we make it go away. That involves wearing masks in settings where we don’t know others’ status. That is true for all of us, including the vaccinated, for a variety of reasons, until we get the virus more under control. It is just a condition of existence, as using an umbrella in a rainstorm is.

    The easy solution is for everyone to mask up and get vaccinated. Two months of that, and we would have the virus under control. We are close, with half or more of the population vaccinated.

    And yes, we are getting to a point where pressure matters. Yesterday, vaccinations increased, particularly in places where illness has increased. Seeing relatives and friends die has some effect.

    The finer distinctions, like the qualifications you quote about local prevalence, don’t seem to be getting through, so I suspect that a vaccine passport would have some effect, but likely not enough. Everything contributes, but a vaccine passport probably won’t be a full answer.

    The pandemic will end. We can make it end sooner by masking up and getting vaccinated, and not freaking out about every damn twitch in what we know, like the current uproar over boosters. Next week it will be something else.

  2. charon says:

    I believe your analysis is biased by your lack of awareness of how dangerous this disease is now, even to fully vaccinated people.

    The lack of mandates derives from not just from the way this disease has been politicized but from some relevant legalities.

    (Politicized plus turned into a culture war issue, as illustrated by stories of people enforcing social conformity by yelling at or berating people for wearing masks).

    (I still mask up when I go to the supermarket which I do to protect me, my lifestyle and situation has me unlikely to be spreading the virus to anyone).

  3. MarkedMan says:

    James, I agree with your overall position, but just to make it clear, the CDC has no power to create vaccine passports or to mandate vaccines. I don’t think you were claiming otherwise, but given that you opened by expressing frustration with them, some may come away with the wrong impression.

    And, FWIW, I think that overall the CDC has done a solid job under extremely difficult circumstances. Many of the criticisms either involve harangues to get them to make iron clad statements about thinks we don’t know, or to take over FDA responsibilities and something stupid that even the FDA couldn’t do, such as brush aside all rules and just announce that the vaccine is approved for general, as opposed to emergency, use.

  4. MarkedMan says:

    @charon: James, I agree with Charon. I think you are going too far in minimizing the potential effects on the vaccinated. Here’s a number that struck me: roughly half of all the people in Great Britain who are both over fifty and hospitalized with COVID are vaccinated. It doesn’t mean that the vaccine is less effective than in the US, rather it reflects that 96% of over fifties in GB are fully vaccinated (yay, National Health!). Put another way, half of the hospitalizations are from the 4% who are unvaccinated. But it doesn’t change the fact that a significant number of vaccinated people still end up in the hospital.

  5. Scott says:

    Basically, the incentives to get vaccinated don’t work beyond a certain point. They’ve been all positive. Now we have a free rider (or free loader) problem where there is no immediate consequence to not taking action (i.e. vaccination). But you see the beginnings of a negative consequence: work vaccination requirements. If there is a no vaccination, no work policy, you’ll see a lot more vaccinations happen. It could be the positive side of an at will state like Texas.

  6. Scott says:

    @charon: I understand what your saying but, at some point, we may realize that this virus and its variants are not going to disappear. Even today, the vaccinated carry the COVID virus in our noses, just like we carry rhinoviruses, strep viruses, and a host of other pathogens. The key is that our bodies can defend against them and the risk is minimized. But not eliminated. But we will manage it, just like we manage measles, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, tetanus, etc. through vaccines and other public health measures.

  7. charon says:

    Some context:


    US coronavirus cases/day via

    Right now: 61,306 cases/day

    5 days ago: 43,746 cases/day

    10 days ago: 31,447 cases/day

    15 days ago: 23,346 cases/day

    20 days ago: 15,068 cases/day

    25 days ago: 13,562 cases/day

    30 days ago: 11,871 cases/day

  8. The problem is made worse by some states, such as my own, which have made asking for proof of vaccines illegal.

    The law does allow for requiring masks of the unvaccinated, but since you can’t ask anyone their status, the only choice is to go back to full mask mandates. UAB did so yesterday. Several school districts have also announced such.

    The insanity about this virus (such as making vaccine passports illegal–not to mention the things that people believe about the shot, such as that it all some kind of government plot) is just stunning, IMHO.

  9. charon says:

    At least part of the Government takes this seriously:


    House Republicans on Wednesday angrily criticized a new order from the Capitol Hill physician to wear masks inside the Capitol due to the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, leading Speaker Nancy Pelosi to call House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a “moron” over his argument that the decision was not based on science.

    Many House Republicans refused to wear masks on the House floor during a series of morning votes, before they called for the chamber to adjourn as GOP members rebuffed attempts by staff to get them to put on a mask.

  10. gVOR08 says:

    I keep being told I should respect the other side. The CDC did. They thought the hesitant GOPs would make a rational decision to get vaccinated rather than wear masks. OK, you knew they wouldn’t and I knew they wouldn’t, but the CDC fucked up, they trusted them.

  11. charon says:


    Democrats shot back at Republican complaints, noting that the Capitol physician was following the advice of public health officials.

    “We always just follow the guidance of the Capitol physician. There is no discussion about should we do it, should we not for one reason or another,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) told reporters. “It’s the decision of the Capitol physician, who is following the guidance of the CDC about the masks.”

  12. charon says:


    “Research has found that the biggest predictor of whether Americans view Covid-19 as a threat is not their scientific literacy or demographics, but whether they trust Fox News and Breitbart over CNN and The New York Times”

  13. DaveD says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I moved down to Alabama in February and the only place I was required to wear a mask was in uber. Most places I walked into with a mask on people would be like you know you don’t need that in here. It’s funny how the gas station has a sign that say masks not required if fully vaccinated but I haven’s seen masks on anyone since the CDC dropped their mandate. Only 34% of this state is fully vaccinated but close to zero percent of people wear one in public. It is insanity down here. I work at a higher education institute and only 65% of our employees are vaccinated through what seems to me like sheer apathy. And when HR gave us that 65% number I noticed that I don’t see anyone wearing masks at work and I have a hard time believing that the entirety of the unvaccinated work from home. Lifting the mandate was dumb because it didn’t move the needle or persuade enough people to get jabbed. It created conditions for the outbreak we’re seeing now.

  14. KM says:

    The point of vaccination wasn’t to 100% promise you wouldn’t get sick or infected. Its to keep you from sickening to the point you are hospitalized, permanently damaged or die. You get something but it’s NBD – the sharp fangs worn down to harmless nubs to gum at you. We speak of vaccines in terms of disease prevention instead of mitigation but in truth, they prevent the disease by mitigating the risk of you have a bad reaction to it. You can and do catch diseases you are vaxxed against but if enough people are vaxxed, it has no foothold and can’t really spread. That is it’s secondary function however, a byproduct of it’s first duty to bolster the immune system to take out the infection and keep you as healthy as possible.

    Right now we’re seeing this main function in action with infected vaxxed people still catching it but suffering far, far effects. Do you know how many viruses are in your body right now that aren’t causing you any problems? A lot because your immune system’s on it like nature intended. The shots are getting the vaxxed to the Meh stage where getting COVID sucks but it’s not likely to hurt or kill you – the entire damn point of this venture. We’re never getting rid of this thing (MAGAts saw to that) so the best we can do is get it to cold and flu status.

    HOWEVER, this doesn’t mean its safe for vaxxed souls yet. Viruses mutate and the more the anti-vaxxers act stupid, the more at risk sane people are of losing what protection we have. It absolutely sucks we have to still mask because they’re stupid. Hell, I’m FL bound in a month and I’m not looking forward to heading towards the new epicenter of the plague, wearing a mask during humid hurricane season. In fact, I’m extremely pissed about it as it’s not fair to me and mine who got the shot as soon as we could. But we live in the Land of the Morons where we all selfish people to ruin things for the rest of us. At this point, it’s protect yourself and your loved ones so you’re only inconvenienced and not sickened because a mask is better than an ambulance.

  15. Kathy says:


    Lifting the mandate was dumb because it didn’t move the needle or persuade enough people to get jabbed.

    Agreed. It’s easy to get the vaccine and stop wearing a mask, but it’s even easier to say you got the vaccine and stop wearing a mask.

    When you pit reality against belief, reality always wins. Therefore it’s a big problem when people chose belief, however mistaken or unfounded, over reality.

    I chanced upon a reference to Theresa May’s efforts to negotiate the brexit deal some years a go, and I recalled something I said, I think here at OTB, regarding the impasse she had with Parliament and the electorate: They don’t want no deal, they don’t want a good deal, and they don’t want to remain. What’s left?

    It’s the same issue with COVID: they don’t want vaccines, they don’t want masks and distancing, and they don’t want COVID to be dangerous. reality says otherwise.

  16. charon says:


    Most places I walked into with a mask on people would be like you know you don’t need that in here.

    Social pressure to enforce social conformity, they discourage people from looking like they might be (shudder!) liberal.

  17. charon says:



    No available pediatric hospital beds in the entire State of Oklahoma at times this last week. We need a State Health Emergency declared so we can expand capacity. Some of our sick #Oklahoma children have been sent to out of State hospitals because we have no capacity. #vaxforgood

  18. CSK says:

    They don’t believe Covid is dangerous. They believe it’s a hoax.
    This is exactly right. If you wear a mask, you’re demonstrating that you’re a libtard.

  19. charon says:


    75% of hospital #COVID19 admissions were unvaccinated, 9% were fully vaccinated without immune deficiencies, 5% were vaccinated with immune deficiencies, 11% `unknown’, for all #DeltaVariant-surge hospitalizations last week, says Dutch govt report. https://nos.nl/artikel/2391137-veruit-de-meeste-covidpatienten-in-ziekenhuis-zijn-niet-gevaccineerd

  20. Teve says:

    @KM: a lot of people have Cytomegalovirus. And the immune system keeps a boot on its thoat. But when the immune system gets a beatdown, CMV can rear up and attack your eyes, lungs, liver, esophagus, stomach, and intestines.

  21. KM says:

    Funny you mention that – I don’t have it and neither does most of my extended family. I donate blood regularly so that make me an extremely valuable resource, apparently – add in I’m O- and I get absolutely bombarded with requests non-stop. I’ve learned that I can keep up to 5 babies in a NICU alive on one pint and it’s imperative they bleed me dry as soon as that legal deadline is up. They’re lucky I can deal with my fear of needles and that I’m easy to guilt 🙂

    I think I’ve mention on the threads I had a family member get a double lung transplant recently. They were CMV- before but since the lungs had the virus, now so do they. It was *bad* – an extra 3 weeks in the hospital and more at home just dealing with keeping the viral load down and managing symptoms. They couldn’t wait any longer for non-infected lungs so we got an education on what a simple, extremely prevalent (80~ of adults) but mostly asymptomatic virus can do to you. When COVID started, we locked down early because we knew an “asymptotic” highly infectious virus people don’t take seriously lead to bad things……

  22. gVOR08 says:

    Here in FL Ron DeSantis thinks he can ride vaccine reluctance and COVID skepticism into the White House. He’s actively fighting any effort at mitigation, even to the point of overriding local officials. I have trouble seeing an obvious slimeball like him winning a national election, but he’s probably right about riding it to reelection as Gov and the GOP nomination. Which is really depressing.

    In the meantime he’s killing people by impeding vaccination and mitigation and it’s going to be very hard for the Biden administration to work around him.

  23. Andy says:


    Did you read my comment from the previous post on this topic? The TLDR version is that government imposed vaccine mandates are flatly illegal as long as the vaccines are not licensed by the FDA.


  24. charon says:


    A pretty extreme example of social pressure:


    Greg Locke announces that he’ll be hanging banners informing attendees that the wearing of masks is prohibited in his church: “We will not allow it. We’re a mask-free campus.”

    My guess this is unusual, but still …

  25. CSK says:

    Locke has been preaching for the past year that the pandemic is fake.

  26. Scott says:

    @charon: That could be turned into a real circus. Someone goes in, puts a mask on, refuses to take it off or leave and shouts: “Go ahead, throw me out of the temple in the name of Jesus”. All recorded on phones, of course. Could be glorious.

  27. EddieInCA says:

    After my trip to Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma two weeks ago, I’m over it.

    Seriously. Screw them. Drop the mask mandates. Drop the Social Distancing. Let Darwin do his thing.

    I’m fully vaxxed.
    I’m wearing my mask any time I’m around people. I take it off outdoors when I’m alone. Rest of the time when around anyone other than my wife, mask is on. I intend on doing that until the pandemic is actually over. I don’t find wearing a KN95 mask – even inside at the gym – to be a burden.
    I’m staying away from people as much as possible – indoors and out.
    I’m going to stay safe.

    The rest of these knobs can just F off. I don’t care anymore. I want them to catch covid and suffer to the point that they tell their knob friends to get vaxxed and to mask up.

    I don’t don’t have the energy to give a shit any more. F them.

  28. Gustopher says:

    Added information that fully vaccinated people might choose to wear a mask regardless of the level of transmission, particularly if they are immunocompromised or at increased risk for severe disease from COVID-19, or if they have someone in their household who is immunocompromised, at increased risk of severe disease or not fully vaccinated.

    Given that kids under 12 can’t be vaccinated, I wonder how many people aren’t in a household (or in regular contact) with people who aren’t vaccinated? And then add in the immunocompromised, and those at risk of severe outcomes…

    I think we are down to childless people in their 40s who hang out with other childless people in their 40s and who rarely interact with their parents.

  29. Teve says:


    I think we are down to childless people in their 40s who hang out with other childless people in their 40s and who rarely interact with their parents.

    Did somebody call me? 😀

  30. Mu Yixiao says:


    I think we are down to childless people in their 40s who hang out with other childless people in their 40s and who rarely interact with their parents.

    Jeez. Kids these days! No respect for childless 50-somethings who live like hermits.

  31. Brielle says:


    So, do any of you care how ignorant you are on this issue? Or do you think Donald Trump is just so amazingly popular with black and Latino Americans?

  32. charon says:


    Breakthrough cases: In rare cases, people experiencing Covid after being fully vaccinated may be at elevated risk for long Covid symptoms. That conclusion is from a small study of healthcare workers in Israel. Study is in the New England J of Medicine https://medpagetoday.com/infectiousdisease/covid19vaccine/93794

  33. Just nutha ignint cracker says:


    I don’t find wearing a KN95 mask – even inside at the gym – to be a burden.

    Chronic asthmatic with COPD added as I’ve aged. In the past 20 years, I’ve never had a spirometry test that measured my lung function at anything above about 50%. I wear a mask at the gym, and if I can do it anyone can do it.

    I also have seen a guy who wore a mask before Covid-19 when he worked out. My understanding is that some believe the resistance increases your lung function, but maybe it prevents hyperventilation. The point being that people who encounter oxygenation problems from wearing masks are unicorns, not the general population.

  34. EddieInCA says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    As a purely anecdotal matter, I’m going to continue wearing a mask around people even after Covid ends.


    Because in the 20 months since I’ve been wearing a mask in airports, on planes, at the grocerty store, at the mall, at work, etc, etc, I’ve not been sick once.

    Not once.

    Not one case of the sniffles.
    Not one head cold.
    Not one battle with strep.
    Not one battle with the flu.

    That’s reason enough for me. I used to get sick once a month, just from the exhaustion of my job, and the constant traveling. I’d get run down, and suddenly I’d be sick. Since masks, nope. Not once.

  35. inhumans99 says:

    @Mu Yixiao:
    Hey, I resemble that remark 🙂 Well, at least I will when I turn 50 in early September (of which I am actually looking forward to this milestone).

    However, to add to the subject of this post, yes…getting fed up with folks who are preventing this pandemic from being this much closer to being over with if they just stopped whining about having to wear a mask. However, Andy does have a good point…Biden can use the Bully Pulpit to try and shame folks into masking up but there are very real limits on his ability to enforce a mask mandate.

    Look, someone on this site a day or two back said the best we could do with some of the die-hard MAGA folks who refuse to think for themselves and exercise common sense (and I will toss in the non MAGA anti-vaxxer crowd into the mix) is to marginalize them, why threaten violence towards these folks when they can be marginalized?

    When certain states decide to force many Red State counties into a sort-of involuntary quarantine situation by not letting folks from certain states/counties cross into their borders then maybe the Governors in those high Covid incidence states will get the message to start using the stick instead of a carrot when it comes to getting folks to mask up and get the shots. It has been all stick no carrot for too many folks, that has to stop right now.

  36. inhumans99 says:

    The last line of my above post: It has been all stick no carrot for too many folks, that has to stop right now., oops…no edit button, I obviously meant to say it has been all carrot no stick, totally fumbled the high note I wanted to end on with my post.

  37. charon says:


    “Listen, you can’t just tell these folks to get vaccinated. They don’t like to be ordered around. Nor do they like to be begged or reasoned with. They want to be telepathically mind-controlled by aliens. Is that too much to ask?”

  38. gVOR08 says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: I wore a mask jogging one winter a few years ago. I was having asthma issues and my allergist thought the problem was triggered by my throat drying out from cold air. Turned out he was right. I had to back off half a minute or so per mile, otherwise no problem. And no icicles on my mustache. I would have kept it up, but the next winter I found a club with an indoor track. Warm and humid was nice, but the biggie was no ice or slush underfoot.

  39. gVOR08 says:

    @charon: Sounds like their attitude to welfare or health care. They want the help, but they don’t want any implication they’re receiving help.

  40. charon says:


    ‘The war has changed’: Internal CDC document urges new messaging, warns delta infections likely more severe

    The internal presentation shows that the agency thinks it is struggling to communicate on vaccine efficacy amid increased breakthrough infections

    The delta variant of the coronavirus appears to cause more severe illness than earlier variants and spreads as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal federal health document that argues officials must “acknowledge the war has changed.”

    The document is an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention slide presentation, shared within the CDC and obtained by The Washington Post. It captures the struggle of the nation’s top public health agency to persuade the public to embrace vaccination and prevention measures, including mask-wearing, as cases surge across the United States and new research suggests vaccinated people can spread the virus.

    The document strikes an urgent note, revealing the agency knows it must revamp its public messaging to emphasize vaccination as the best defense against a variant so contagious that it acts almost like a different novel virus, leaping from target to target more swiftly than Ebola or the common cold.

    etc., etc.

  41. Flat Earth Luddite says:

    Aside from my giggling at FINALLY being counted as virtuous*, am I the only person here who’s chuffed at being punished by the jerks…again?

    *truly a joke of cosmic proportions

  42. charon says:

    Just to pile on a wee bit,


    Now we are in it. Cases are exploding. Here in Alabama, the state with the lowest vaccination rate (less than 35 percent), rates of infection have risen from less than three cases per 100,000 people four weeks ago to more than 54 cases per 100,000 this week. Suzanne Judd at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health generated models that show, by Labor Day, cases will skyrocket to two to three times the peak we experienced in January. At our 1,157-bed hospital in Birmingham, Alabama’s largest, we have risen from three cases in-house in mid-June to more than 67 cases on Wednesday. Statewide, the rise exceeds 500 percent since July 4.

  43. Elliott says:

    So you want a police state in order to save yourself.

    let me help you out with something here. the rights that are recognized under the constitution are natural rights, not bestowed by the constitution but recognized by it.

    so when you attempt your enforcement of these insane mandates on people like me?

    well, you won’t have to worry about the virus killing you. I can promise you that.

  44. Ebenezer_Arvigenius says:

    @Elliott: Look sunnyboy. You’re clearly wrong here. This is a forum largely frequented by older professionals with quite a bit of life experience.

    I can positively assure you that nobody here is impressed by your tough guy act, and quite a few participants would likely flatten you without a second thought.

    Now run along back to the kiddypool and let the grown-ups talk shop. Perhaps you will find a teenager or two you can impress with your preening, although personally I doubt it.

  45. Elliott says:


    I don’t care if you’re impressed or not. you may try to “flatten me”. because that’s how you folks think

    you always think you can..so hows afganistan going for you? I’ve got a bit of life experience too. I can recognize when frightened people afraid to live decide to order others around.

    all it takes is you inventing a crisis. any crisis and then you get to suspend other people’s rights/

    bring it on, “older professional”. or you can send your young bachelors to do your dirty work.

    bottom line is that I don’t consent and I’ll be happy to take your challenge. me and about 70 million folks. 🙂
    lets see if you can take my rights because you’re frightened.

  46. Chris says:

    I agree with the Mr. Joyner’s sentiments on this issue. Furthermore, it would seem appropriate that those who choose not to be vaccinated and then caught COVID-19 should have to assume the full cost of their medical care resulting from such an infection. Why should those of us who did get vaccinated have to pay higher insurance rates or higher taxes due to their negligence or politically misguided inactions.