Why I’m pro-choice (when it comes to masks)

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I’m going to out myself here: I am a Bad Masker.

By that I mean I wear them when I’m forced to do so by some misguided governmental fiat, but when I do, I don’t wear them well.

I was on Amtrak this week, heading to an asylum hearing in Newark, and because Mayor Pete and the Department of Transportation have decided that all federal facilities and organizations must require masking, I had to have an ineffective piece of cloth on my nose, over my mouth and around my chin.

I can promise you that during my almost two hour train ride, that mask did as much traveling as I did. It shifted around, it sank below my lips, it got tangled in my eyeglasses and my earphones, and generally showed just how useless it really is in preventing the next plague.

That being said, when there is no mask mandate, I am not wearing one. My respiratory system, my choice. Apparently, that is a huge problem for some parents in Pennsylvania school districts, who are faced with the horrific prospect that their fragile, tender, susceptible children will be exposed to folks like me.

Recently, after two years of complying with a lot of questionable governmental regulations that changed with the “science,” we have decided to allow adults to make some decisions for themselves. The CDC has admitted that cloth masks, the ones most widely used, are ineffective against the virus, particularly the omicron variant. This has outraged the type of person most invested in the mask industry, people like public school teachers, virtue signaling baristas and employees at CNN.

So two years after the fact, some school districts are beginning to issue “Mask-Optional” policies, which allow adults to make their own decisions about whether to mummify their children, or keep them in a perpetual cocoon of anxiety. The amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution that slapped down Gov. Tom Wolf severely limited his executive emergency authority.

And so the places that have been the petri dishes for this horrific experiment in social engineering by the “Believe the Science Except When We Tell You Not To” crowd, the schools, have started to react. Yay, choice for thee, and for me. Let’s allow the kids who want to wear masks to wear them, and those who really like looking at the bottom halves of their classmates’ faces, to do that too.

Alas, the triggered parents, aided and abetted by their totalitarian cohorts on local school boards in Pennsylvania, have decided to take a different tack in trying to keep us masked forever, until the lambs are separated from the lions, or the rapture, or whatever.

Some anonymous parents have filed suit against the districts who have issued mask-optional policies. They want to force these schools to mandate masks, even on children whose parents have made a different choice. They don’t like losing the control they had, to make their neighbors “behave.”

Never mind the fact that their children are perfectly free to attend school bubble wrapped with a straw sticking out for a breathing apparatus. No one is telling them that they have to send their children into the plague-filled environment. Virtual schooling is an option too. I remember how many liberals wanted the schools to remain shut forever, and have the computer teach their little ones. What happened to that? Now they want the schools opened, but only according to their diktats.

I’m really sorry, but that’s not the way this country works. There is so little evidence that cloth masks work, the only way that you can justify an overall mask mandate is if you fit every child with a surgical mask glued to their tiny faces from 8 a.m. until dismissal time. Anything less is useless.

The Americans With Disabilities Act requires that you make “reasonable accommodations” to protect those who have illness or disability. Most schools have already done that, with filtering systems, hand-washing stations, social distancing and even plastic shields between seats. They’ve reduced the number of children in classrooms. They’ve canceled recess. They’ve made water drinking into a synchronized sport.

That’s reasonable enough. These lawsuits, on the other hand, are not.

This reminds me of when the abortion rights lobbyists decided to use RICO, the anti-racketeering statute developed to stop organized crime, to prevent pro-life protestors from picketing clinics. They treated grandmothers with rosaries as if they were John Gotti and his blood-splattered crew. It’s dangerous when you start misusing the law.

So, I’ll wear a mask on the train, and grumble about it. I’ll wear a mask on a plane, and do the same. I’ll wear a mask in stores that require it, or just choose not to shop there.

Kids don’t have these choices. They are dependent on the good will and common sense of adults. It’s time they started seeing some of it. These stupid, insulting and outrageous lawsuits need to be dismissed, now.

Copyright 2022 Christine Flowers, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Christine Flowers is an attorney and a columnist for the Delaware County Daily Times, and can be reached at [email protected]