Masks, the righteous flags of virtue signaling

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Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

This summer, no matter wherever you are, roll down your windows and let your neighborhood hear rap superstar Future’s hit single “Mask Off.”

The other day I saw half a dozen bicycle riders near 395 in liberal blue Northern Virginia. It was 90 degrees. They were not wearing helmets. But they were all wearing masks.

Why were they wearing masks? What good does it do to wear a mask when you’re on a bike? I know what a helmet does for you, but a mask? Lunacy has run amok.

Their odds of getting run over by someone driving like a bat out of hell on our empty highways are a lot higher than getting or giving the coronavirus while riding a bicycle. Bike riding tends to come with social distancing built in. Bike riders are outside exercising and building up their immune system, which decreases the odds of getting the virus. And the sun’s UV light is a proven virus killer.

So tell me again why anyone outside in 90-degree heat riding a bicycle should wear a mask?

Have you seen this when you’re out making your Mad Max run to the grocery store: People wearing masks while they’re alone driving their cars? What’s that about? Should you do that too?

Or maybe you’ve seen this one. A friend of mine went out for lunch. Because it’s a big city restaurant, it had covered its windows with signs screaming that all its staff and customers must wear masks. No mask, no service.

From Irish Need Not Apply, to No Mask Need Not Apply.

A couple of guys were sitting at tables on the patio out front, all dutifully complying with the mask mandate.

My friend asked one of the men a question, and the man reached up to his face, pulled the mask down below his mouth, and answered. He was making sure my friend could hear his answer, since masks make communication more difficult. But when he slipped the mask, he destroyed the entire purpose of wearing one. Whatever viruses he had, or probably didn’t have, went spewing all over the place.

But shouldn’t we all wear masks now? Isn’t that what a good person of upright character does?

Wearing a cloth mask is close to pointless. A tiny virus can slip through your average bandana face covering like a mosquito flying through a chain link fence.

But that’s not the point anymore, is it? The science doesn’t matter. Wearing a mask was once frowned on by the very same CDC and progressive lockdown absolutists who now say you must wear masks to be good little citizens. It’s one more way the progressive minded social follower can convince themselves and their friends that they’re so much better and smarter than the ogres in red state counties and the Trump administration. So they comply even when it makes no sense. Riding a bike. Driving a car. Maybe even in the shower?

Vice President Mike Pence smoked this out recently. He visited the Mayo Clinic and attended a coronavirus roundtable. He chose not to wear a mask. Media and the virtue signal corps could have interpreted his choice as a sign of confidence. Had Barack Obama done the exact same thing, that’s just how they would have played it.

But because it’s Mike Pence, the mask shamers slammed him. Never mind that Pence is tested for the virus constantly. He’s one of the most virus tested people in the world. He’s a rebel without a mask now.

But maybe the army of masked Karens are right. We should all demonstrate compliance to set an example. If you’re on a Zoom call with colleagues miles away from you, you know what you should do. Put that mask on. Does it matter that no one can understand you?

When Major League Baseball resumes, all players must wear masks even though they’re all about 90 feet apart when they’re on the field, and they’re healthy athletes out playing their game in the summer sun. None of that matters as much as the example they will set.

NASCAR drivers sit all alone in their cars wearing crash helmets, but they have to wear masks too. No exceptions. Sand volleyball players must wear masks too, even though they’re in the sun and they stand far apart.

This Fourth of July The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest must be conducted with masks on by all participants. It’s hard to chomp a sausage with cloth on your face, but that’s less important than setting the right tone.

The mask police have made the mask the woke championship flag for all things right and compliant. It’s the virtual signal seen ‘round the world.

Put that mask on and never take it off, not even when you shower or sleep. You’re no longer free to declare “It’s my face, my choice.”



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A.J. Rice
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