Category: coronavirus

Recrudescence: A Flashback

Two years ago today, when the coronavirus was emerging on the scene, I posted a commentary entitled Recrudescense. I sounded a lot of warnings and made some doom-and-gloom predictions in that post. Looking back, it seems some of those prophecies came true, and some (thank heavens) did not.

Lightness Traveling, at Luminous Aether, recently commented on this old post, after I’d forgotten all about it. Her comment inspired me to take the title literally, and repost it. I thought it might be fun to compare how things have turned out, to my predictions, so I hope you’ll enjoy the following flashback:

Recrudescence

Today, guidelines from our government for countering the coronavirus are increasingly becoming mandates. And they are stripping us of more and more freedoms. And we Americans are rising to the occasion and surrendering our freedoms without a whimper or complaint. It’s no surprise. When faced with a common enemy, we are accustomed to standing in solidarity and making sacrifices to defeat our adversary.

The problem is, when the government takes our freedoms away, it has historically been reluctant to give them back.

Trump recently promised the current guidelines will only be for 15 days. But then he let the cat out of the bag and said that this could stretch until August. I sense we’re being strung along down a path of ever tighter control over our lives.

But it’s all for a good cause, right? Maybe, but I feel skeptical. And I feel skeptical because of recrudescence. In medical terms, recrudescence is the recurrence of a disease.

I feel doubtful that enforced social distancing is going to defeat the coronavirus in a short time. It seems to me that the more successful we are at social distancing, the more prolonged our agony will be. And the more likely our sacrifices will exceed the benefits gained.

Sure, we’ll flatten the curve and avoid spikes of serious cases that overwhelm our hospitals. And that’s great. But in the meantime the coronavirus will linger and resurge. That’s because not enough of our population will have acquired the immunity we would otherwise obtain from contracting this disease.

And so recrudescence will occur, over and over. And we will experience a cycle of relaxed restrictions, then renewed restrictions, over and over. Or more likely, the government will just decide to keep the restrictions permanent, and never bother with relaxing them.

We now stand a very real likelihood of going for months, years, or perhaps forever, without the following things:

  • Classroom education.
  • Airline travel, bus travel, and other forms of mass transit.
  • Freedom to travel outside our communities or countries for “non-essential” reasons.
  • The manufacture, sale, or purchase of many goods and services deemed “non-essential” by the government.
  • Freedom of assembly.
  • Government deliberations that are open to the public, such as city council meetings, court trials, and legislative debates.

Millions of jobs may also disappear under a prolonged policy of social distancing.

A black market may emerge, similar to that which arose in the Soviet Union, and other authoritarian states that have had highly regulated economies. And with this black market will come widespread corruption, murders of innocents, and an economic system where only the most violent can rise from poverty.

Have we Americans thought this through? Or are we too afraid to speak out against this abrogation of our freedoms, for fear of being labeled thoughtless or selfish? Or have I just read too much George Orwell?

Perhaps it’s the latter, and I hope so. Nonetheless, I suggest you buckle your seat belt. We may have a very long and bumpy ride ahead of us.

And that scary, tough guy who lives down the street? You know, the one with the guns, criminal history, and scofflaw attitude. You better start waving and smiling at that motherfucker, and treating him nice. One day you may depend on him for getting the goods and services our government is making impossible to acquire.

In fact, one day, perhaps long after the coronavirus has become a memory, he may be the new disease. Because guys like him may have the run of our neighborhoods.

Recrudescence.

Damn! I’m Powerful!

This is a short follow-up to my post this morning. It seems just hours after my post about today being the 103rd anniversary of San Francisco rescinding their Spanish Flu-era mask mandate, the city of San Francisco has done it again.

Today, February 1st, 2022, San Francisco lifted their Covid-19 mask mandate. As of today, if you’ve been vaxxed and boosted, you are no longer required to wear a mask indoors, in San Francisco.

I’ll bet Mayor London Breed read my post, saw the light, and realized just how important it was to end the mask mandate. I never knew I had such an amazing power of influence over others. In fact a few minutes ago, I tried to put my hat on and it wouldn’t fit. It seems my head is struggling to accommodate all my brains.

What do you think, should I run for president?

Anti-Maskers Are Revolting!

San Francisco has endured mask mandate after mask mandate. In January the citizens had enough and started revolting. A protest began, with the formation of an anti-mask movement. Physicians, civil libertarians, and many distinguished citizens joined this revolution, including one member of the Board of Supervisors. Ugh! Such revolting people!

They held their first meeting on January 25th, and to the astonishment of many, 4,500 fed-up citizens swarmed to this rally. A huge debate emerged at this meeting, as to what to do about San Francisco’s hated ordinance requiring everyone to wear masks in public. Some favored a petition, while others pushed for recalling the city’s public health officer. And some issued angry calls for the mayor of San Francisco to resign.

Many argued that the mask mandate did not follow science, while others appealed to civil liberties, in the case they made against masks.

Two days later, on January 27th, the anti-maskers presented a petition to the city, demanding “speedy relief from the burdensome provisions” of the mask order.

But the mayor held firm. The mayor would only agree to end the law “when the doctors, the Board of Health, and common sense permit.” The mayor defended mask wearing by appealing to patriotic duty, and also claimed that 99.5% of all doctors supported mask wearing.

So the leaders of the movement planned another big, anti-mask rally for February 1st. Today is February 1st, and guess what? On February 1st, the city of San Francisco backed down. The mask mandate was repealed. It was repealed on February 1st, 1919.

That’s right, 1919, exactly 103 years ago, today.

It’s hard to imagine such a rebellious event happening in the super-liberal, and super-compliant San Francisco city of modern times. I guess back then their citizens were a lot more anti-authoritarian and independent-minded. They quickly figured out that the mask mandate was bullshit.

And the strange thing is, their mask mandates didn’t last nearly as long as the mandates of today. The first mandate, requiring all citizens to wear masks, was issued on October 25th, 1918, and rescinded a month later, on November 21st. It had been the first of it’s kind in the world. Europe never had any mask mandates, to speak of. And in cities across America, except San Francisco, only barbers, police officers, and a few other professionals were required to wear masks. Masks were recommended and strongly encouraged for everyone else, but only in Frisco did an actual order extend to all citizens.

New York City only required barbers to wear masks. But many others voluntarily wore them, including this traffic cop.

The mask mandate was in response to the Spanish Flu, which first entered the Golden Gate in September, 1918. By mid-October, case numbers in the city had risen to 2,000. The city’s Board of Health responded by banning gatherings, closing schools and theaters, and requiring any professional who served the public to wear a mask.

But then, on October 25th, they took the unprecedented step of requiring everyone to mask up. That made news across the world, because no other city in America or the world had ever done that before. Although afterward, some cities decided to emulate San Francisco.

Initially, most people complied. But as with any law, there’s always that contingent of rebels who dig in their heels. And so the city added teeth to the rule, and started issuing fines and jail time to violators of the mask order.

Soon the war between anti-maskers and the Board of Health heated up, and matters became highly contentious. In one crazy incident, a zealous special officer for the Board of Health took a shot at a man who refused to wear a mask, and his bullet struck two bystanders.

Then a picture appeared in the newspaper that stunned both the city and the world. It was a photo of a boxing match that was attended by the mayor, a few members of the Board of Supervisors, an admiral, a judge, and even the city’s health officer. And none of them were wearing masks.

A hue and cry was heard across the globe, concerning this unforgivable hypocrisy. In order to smooth over public relations, the health officer paid a $5.00 fine, and the mayor paid a $50.00 fine. But the damage had been done, and on November 21st, 1918, the mask ordinance was annulled. Thus, this first mask mandate of its kind lasted just 27 days.

Flu cases subsided, but in January 1919, a new surge of the flu pandemic hit the bay city. And it seems the city’s leaders forgot all the lessons from just two months prior. On January 17th, 1919, they issued a new mask mandate for the general public.

San Franciscans felt outraged and rose up en masse. An Anti-Mask League was formed, and held their initial meeting on January 25th, just one week after the new mask mandate went into effect. 4,500 pissed-off citizens attended. A petition was issued. Calls rang out for the mayor to resign. And by February 1st, 1919, just 15 days after the mandate went into effect, the city caved under the political pressure. The mask mandate was rescinded.

Thus, during the Spanish Flu pandemic, the citizens of San Francisco endured only 42 cumulative days of mask mandates. But these days, citizens all over our country, and all over the world, have endured far longer periods of mask mandates.

Just like in San Francisco 103 years ago, the leaders who order us to mask up, don’t mask up themselves. California governor Gavin Newsom has issued a mask mandate for all indoor public places, and for large outdoor events, such as sporting events. Yet just two days ago, Governor Newsom, San Francisco mayor London Breed, and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, were photographed maskless at the Rams/49ers NFC Championship game in Inglewood, California.

Newsom wasn’t just posing maskless for a quick photo, as he’s claimed. He was also unknowingly caught on the stadium’s FanCam, watching the game without a mask. But this isn’t his first offense. There was also the French Laundry incident that led to a recall election, and who knows how many other times where he hasn’t been caught? And Breed and Garcetti are also repeat offenders.

Where is the outrage in America over this kind of hypocrisy? Why don’t we take a cue from Canada’s Freedom Convoy, and have mass rallies against Covid restrictions, and against our leaders who order us to do what they, themselves, are not willing to do?

What has changed? Why are people so much more compliant these days than they were a hundred years ago? Are we afraid of being labeled as anti-maskers? If so, then it’s important to understand that we have nothing to fear. It appears the very leaders who order us to wear masks, are secret anti-maskers.

Apparently, they have the same doubts as so many of us, concerning the effectiveness of masks. The difference is, they preach mask wearing, while secretly harboring their doubts. They are part of the anti-mask revolution, even though they don’t want us to know it.

But these kinds of anti-maskers are hypocrites. These so-called “leaders” are actually pushing us from behind. They tell us to do things they’re not willing to do themselves.

I admire the courage of those brave San Franciscans a hundred years ago, who joined the anti-mask revolution. But it is the cowardly, anti-mask politicians who order us to mask up, then fail to do so themselves, that I find truly revolting.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Mask_League_of_San_Francisco

https://www.history.com/news/1918-spanish-flu-mask-wearing-resistance

https://abc7.com/gavin-newsom-eric-garcetti-maskless-magic-johnson-rams-game-photo/11525649/

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/newsom-breed-garcetti-rams-49ers-game-maskless-california-mandate

https://www.aol.com/news/newsom-garcetti-blowback-maskless-photos-163514646.html

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