Thursday, May 20, 2021

A Report From New York: People Are Still Wearing Masks (And a Lesson for Libertarians)

More than anything, the bizarre attempt to fight COVID-19 by government mandates to wear masks and the fact that many are still wearing masks, even those vaccinated, when the politicized CDC has given up on the charade, gives you a signal of how many people act on emotion even when logic suggests they should act otherwise. Many have been scared out of their minds others are to fearful to act without support from the crowds.

The number is large.

Gillian Tett of the Financial Times reports:

This would not have looked odd two weeks ago, as New York is one place where the population (eventually) embraced indoor and outdoor mask-wearing with fervour. But last week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) declared that fully vaccinated people could shed masks in any setting, as long as permitted by local laws. New York state then dropped its mask mandate for the vaccinated in most public spaces.

Almost everyone I know above the age of 16 is “double jabbed” and kids over the age of 12 are now getting shots too, though New York City says only 49 per cent of adults have had two shots so far.

Yet most people in the street are still voluntarily sporting masks. So too in shops and restaurants. And when I did a recent straw poll among friends at a Sunday brunch, there was only one guest who proudly declared that he had stopped wearing a mask outside...

There is a lesson here for libertarians. Mass movements are not about logic. They are about catching the wave and directing it. The central planners have done such a good job of catching the COVID-19 panic wave and intensifying it with scaremongering press conferences that the absurd government edicts about mask-wearing etc. are now running on auto-pilot for a large majority. 

The message that eventually must be delivered to the masses if we want freedom is that private property must be respected and that central power should never be supported.



  1. Get the leaders of the hurd going in 1 direction and the Hurd follows

  2. I walked into a Trader Joes maskless yesterday (as they have removed their restrictions). But I was literally the only person I saw withouta mask, even in the parking lot.

  3. Let the mask wearing needle drinkers enjoy their just deserts. God grants them their delusion and madness to destroy themselves. We must do our best to stay clear of the herd, and it looks like we have been given a way out for those who are looking for it. It is not our duty to save them from themselves. Only to stand clear while they discover the fruits of their ignorance.Our duty is to our friends and family, outside of that it becomes beyond our control.

  4. I guess that these idiots have dropped the "follow the science" nonsense now and have confirmed that we were right all along to use our brains to make decisions about what to do, and not just blindly follow technocrats.

  5. Lincoln Karim on yt has been filming NYC for over a year. Many of his videos of the "emergency" hospitals have been removed. He does many clips showing the masked madness. Worth a look at the dumbest city in the country.

  6. In coastal Virginia, I am seeing about 5-10% indoors unmasked. Used to be less than 1%. Outdoors now it's about 30% unmasked, up from about 1-2%.

    Some of the ones that were just going along are starting to pretend they are brave.

    And it's mostly men unmasked. Women don't want to be called the weaker sex, so they should examine how badly they were spooked over this.

    1. Interesting how many women won't give it up. Seems maybe the Muslims are on to something. I have noted most of the few women I see without masks are attractive. Not a scientific study, mind you.

    2. In the old days, if snake oil salesmen came to town and attemtped to scare the women, I hear the men would tar and feather the charlatans.

      Gotta protect the women from getting scared. Talking sense to them rarely works.

      A husband amd father of three daughters

    3. Amen, good sir!
      A husband and father of one daughter
      (Now, where did I put my tar bucket? I have the goosedown pillow...)

  7. Here in communist New Jersey they have dropped the outdoor mask mandate but just 45 minutes ago I passed by some outdoor gathering that had a few stands with small tents and there were about 50 people in the area. Around half still had masks on. Brainwashed!

  8. This destroys the "I wear my mask to protect you" narrative.

  9. This is not our first rodeo. Mass hysteria has occurred many times in the past. During the past 150 years they have become more frequent and widespread. This most recent panic seemed more alarming because it became clear that it was not so much imposed by power mongers using fear as it was embraced by many people. People who were quite willing to sacrifice their businesses, careers and even social lives. All in exchange for various benefits. Like the appearance of risk reduction. Or the appearance of virtuous action. Or the appearance of being taken care of by the "experts." Or maybe just relief from the massive theft of tax and regulation that is embedded in our society (and maybe get on the other side of the transaction). These and many other things the people demanded and it appears to some an act of incredible irrationality. But if the people expected these actions to benefit themselves, it wasn't irrational. Not even if the actions didn't benefit them. And since value is subjective how can one judge the cost/benefit to each person? What one person sees as a terrible price another may see as a bargain. Even if the bargain includes destroying other people's lives while posing as virtuous.

    Since these events (known as mass hysteria) have repeated throughout history no matter the prevailing ideology or social structure it seems a powerful part of human nature. Not necessarily something to be cured but more clearly understood. I am not convinced that an appeal to private property and decentralization of power (though personally appealing) will have much impact.

    1. interesting take, thanks!
      I would add the infantile-regression benefit for the many adult babies, "mommy and daddy will take care of me"

  10. Was at a wedding in the Texas Hill Country near Fredericksburg last weekend. 150 guests and about 20 or so assorted staff people in a normal sized hall not a mask in sight anywhere and did not participate in or overhear a conversation about the OMFGVIRUS the entire evening.
    Some people have better bullshit detectors I suppose.
    For the record just left NYC after 25 years. Was there when all this crap started and never wore a mask or changed my behavior in any way. Also never noticed any over run hospitals and only know a few folks who claim they “got it” and fewer than that actually got sick. Know no one who died. The day I went to rent the van I drove to Texas I met a college age guy and his mother from Texas coincidentally and the woman said her husband died from The Coof. He had COPD.
    NYC sometimes gets a bad rap. It is very saddening to watch it be destroyed as it has so many great aspects to it. The OMFGVIRUS is/was just sorta the last nail in the coffin. NYC has been on the decline for quite a while for many reasons. Ultimately I guess it is the responsibility of the people who live there. It seems to have lost its rebellious nature. But then the lion’s share of the country seems to have lost that as well.
    Anyway you put it the analyzation of this a mass hysteria is spot on. It cannot be dismissed that it was somehow coordinated for some larger reason or affect. The big question is to what end. I do not believe it can be anything good.