Refusing to wear a mask is drinking the kool-aid


Is there anything more ironic than refusing to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic?

While anti-maskers loudly insist that no one can tell them what to do, they are in fact doing exactly what President Trump has pressured them to do: risking their very lives to demonstrate political fealty.

We have an expression for that kind of behavior. It’s called “drinking the kool-aid.”

According to Wikipedia:

“Drinking the Kool-Aid” is an expression used to refer to a person who believes in a possibly doomed or dangerous idea because of perceived potential high rewards… In recent years it has evolved further to mean extreme dedication to a cause or purpose, so extreme that one would “drink the Kool-Aid” and die for the cause.

Refusing to wear a mask is risking death to demonstrate fealty to Donald Trump.

But why “drinking the Kool-Aid”?

The phrase originates from events in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18, 1978, in which over 900 members of the Peoples Temple movement died. The movement’s leader Jim Jones … proposed “revolutionary suicide” by way of ingesting a powdered drink mix lethally laced with cyanide and other drugs which had been prepared by his aides.

Followers demonstrated their fealty by literally committing suicide.

Refusing to wear a mask is no different. It’s risking suicide to demonstrate fealty to Donald Trump.

It isn’t a mark of independence; it’s a mark of utter, cult-like dependence.

It’s the ultimate “power lie.”

In her fascinating new book Surviving Autocracy, journalist Masha Gessen describes the importance of the “power lie” to a demagogue.

…It is the lie of the bigger kid who took your hat and is wearing it—while denying that he took it.

…[T]he point of the lie is to assert power, to show “I can say what I want when I want to.” The power lie conjures a different reality and demands that you choose between your experience and the bully’s demands: Are you going to insist that you are wet from the rain or give in and say that the sun is shining?

The purpose of the power lie isn’t to get you to believe something that’s untrue, as is the case with ordinary lies. The goal of a power lie is to demonstrate extraordinary power over others by insisting that denying what you know to be true is proof of political fealty.

Donald Trump has deployed the power lie from the very first moments of his presidency. Claims that his inaugural had many more attendees than what everyone could see was his first presidential power lie. By forcing his press secretary Sean Spicer to lie in such an obvious way, he didn’t change the minds of the press nor did he intend to. He was demonstrating his power over Spicer by forcing him to publicly declare something the Spicer and everyone else knew to be a bald faced lie.

Power lies are outlandish lies:

Trump’s lies are outlandish because they are not amendments or embellishments to the shared reality of Americans—they have nothing to do with it. When Trump claimed that millions of people voting illegally cost him the popular vote, he was not making easily disprovable factual claims: he was asserting control over reality itself…

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in an endless stream of Trump power lies:

When, in the winter and spring of 2020, Trump claimed that the United States was prepared for the coronavirus pandemic, when he promised quickly to triumph over the virus, when he said that hospitals had the necessary equipment and people had access to tests, when he promised health and wealth to people facing illness and precarity, he was claiming the power to lie to people about their own experience.

His followers’ refusal to wear masks marks them as willing to embrace the lie to show fealty to Trump.

It isn’t a victory over reality; it is a surrender to an autocrat.

Are you going to believe your own eyes or the headlines? This is the dilemma of people who live in totalitarian societies. Trusting one’s own perceptions is a lonely lot; believing one’s own eyes and being vocal about it is dangerous. Believing the propaganda—or, rather, accepting the propaganda as one’s reality—carries the promise of a less anxious existence, in harmony with the majority of one’s fellow citizens. The path to peace of mind lies in giving one’s mind over to the regime.

Are you going to wear a mask to protect yourself, or are you going to risk your life to demonstrate fealty to Donald Trump? Are you going to believe infectious disease and public health experts or are you going to grasp at peace of mind by believing outrageous lies?

Refusing to wear a mask is drinking the Kool-Aid. It’s not brave, bold or independent. It’s pathetic!

67 Responses to “Refusing to wear a mask is drinking the kool-aid”

  1. disqus_5HJszqLssX
    October 11, 2020 at 12:59 am #

    Masks are for Kool-Aid guzzlers, not the other way around. Those placebo masks are just giving people false security and now everyone is scared of everything. Turn off stupid CNN, it’s nothing more than melodramatic instruction for young adults wanting to get into drama performance. Germs and viruses are a fact of life…anyone who is going to hide in the basement for the rest of their lives or go out with these slave muzzles need to see a psychologist.

    • October 11, 2020 at 5:44 pm #

      Wow. You are an excellent example of right-wing science deniers. I think I would put this comment in a sociological paper, if I were still in school and writing papers.

      1. Not a single citation. Not one. Lots of claims, but nothing solid to back them up.

      2. Insults and emotional manipulation in place of arguments. “Kool-Aid guzzlers”, “liberal whack jobs”, intimations of youth to imply stupidity and cowardice to sting people’s pride.

      3. No interaction whatsoever with pro-mask arguments. No discussion of viral particle size, airborne transmission, different styles of masks and relative functionality. No discussion of the various highly-credible global institutions that are recommending wearing of masks (WHO, CDC, etc.).

      4. There’s also no nuance. All masks are bad and ineffective, forever, for everything. No discussion of other nations that have a culture of mask-wearing during various respiratory illnesses and it works well for that (cold, flu, etc.). No mention of the fact that surgeons and dentists wear masks specifically to avoid getting you sick when they are doing procedures on you. No investigation of why Covid would not be stopped by masks but other viruses would be.

      In sum, your comment has no meaningful content, but is an amalgamation of insults, emotional manipulation, and disinformation without a single redeeming quality.

      • disqus_5HJszqLssX
        October 11, 2020 at 7:01 pm #

        I can give you some some meaningful content even though news outlets like CNN provide plenty of emotional manipulation, disinformation, and insults as well.

        These people say masks are the best tool we have. No they are NOT. It makes me sick that these so called “experts” only push masks and social distancing on people. The best thing people can do is keep their immune systems healthy and active, so they can work like they were designed to. Products like Airborne can work wonders but even things like Vitamin C and Zinc on their own help. Eating healthy, exercise, and less stress will also ensure your body is in tip top shape.

        But nope. That’s not where “the money” is. The money is in the vaxxine that they’re creating because even if it is “free” to the end user, someone is still going to end up paying for it and someone is going to end up with that money. Despite what they want you to believe, wearing a mask is not letting your respiratory system work at it’s full capability. Combine that with doing everything in their power to keep people isolated so that their immune systems go to mush. The endless lockdowns and masks are also causing stress, people are stressing like never before, which is causes havoc to your immune system. But they just push the masks as a placeholder until their precious vaxxine can be finished.

        Also, talk about emotional manipulation, the radical left does a great job at that. They literally come out and tell those who don’t buy into this shit and wear masks that they’re selfish and don’t care about people. Don’t lecture me about not caring about people when I see these same people leaving their empty shopping cart next to someone’s car on a windy day when they’re too lazy to walk 10 extra steps. Or how people are selfish because they decide to have a family get-together for a holiday? They tell them to just do something over that stupid Zoom bullshit. Even telling you to have Thanksgiving over Zoom. Tomorrow is never guaranteed for anyone. A virus should not stop anyone from seeing family. Viruses are a fact of life and they’re not going away and so next year may not be an option, not while the liberals are screwing around with this stupidity of theirs.

        Anyone that thinks this virus was an accident is naive as anything. This was done on purpose but not just as an election infection, but there are just too many other things that point to the fact that this was created and released on purpose. People say that Dr. Fauxci really cares about people and just wants to keep them safe. I think he’s just as crooked as the next guy. He’s 80…what better way to retire famous and rich than to be part of the biggest pandemic of the millennium? He flip-flops more than someone’s feet in the summer. That’s because the money is telling him what to say. He’s most likely not the head one in this, but he’s in on it. In fact the World Integrated Trade System in 2017 had shown exports of Covid19 test kits in the millions, why would that have to be when the virus was apparently not even known about yet? And when some of us caught onto that little tidbit, the description was quietly changed to medical test kits. That in itself is suspicious. But how many “doctors” really care that much about your well being and not just making money off of you and your suffering? Why would a generic “top doctor” care about your health unless money wasn’t involved? He’s not doing this for nothing, that’s for sure. Just like the media continuously telling you to be afraid. The money is telling you what it wants you to hear. That’s why all your mainstream media is spoon feeding you all this nonsense and everyone believes the same shit.

        The virus is real, for sure. But there are a ton of things you can do to protect yourself. I haven’t worn a freakin’ mask since this started and I worked as an essential worker even during those bullshit lockdowns. I haven’t gotten sick and I keep my immune system working like it should. If any real doctor cared about you, why wouldn’t they push for stronger immune systems rather than just wearing a face diaper? That part makes no sense to me and I don’t understand how anyone could defend it. Covid19 shares a lot of the same DNA as the common cold, which is something they claimed they could “never cure”…so how is a magic vaxxine going to cure this Covid crap? Either way you slice it, we’ve been lied to. Most likely because people would stop buying that OTC crap that costs a lot out of pocket, not covered by any sort of insurance, and does next to nothing to help you. It’s almost like cancer treatments….you can’t tell me that they haven’t figured out a way to literally cure cancer. The big money wants you to spend more money on treatments because a cured patient…means a lost customer. It makes them a hell of a lot more money to have a person continuously go through chemo and radiation than it is to give them any sort of meaningful vaccine that is designed to really kill the cancer. So why in the world wouldn’t the same apply to the cold as well?

      • disqus_5HJszqLssX
        October 13, 2020 at 9:07 pm #

        Really? The only time science applies is when you can use it for your own narrative…yet the libtards still claim there are more than 2 genders in the world. So yeah…until libs can apply real science to everything, I’m still saying that masks are for Kool-Aid guzzlers.

        • October 13, 2020 at 10:24 pm #

          Love the lack of actual arguments, but sure, I’m still having fun with this.

          Why would you think there are only two genders in the world? Assuming we’re only talking about humans (because the whole of Kingdom Animalia gets reeeaaaally crazy), there are five biological sexes (at least). There are people who have male genitalia only and people who have female genitalia only. There are also multiple types of intersex people: people who have functional testes and nonfunctional ovaries, people who functional ovaries and nonfunctional testes, and people who have functional of both.

          Then, of course, genetics is never as simple as it sounds. XY and XX are the standard male/female chromosome pairings, but there are plenty of people who are XXY, XYY, XXXY, XYYY, and even XO. You have people who are XY but have androgen insensitivity so they present as women and develop female sexual characteristics such as breasts and widened hips. You have people whose genitals look like girls until they hit about 12, and then puberty hits and their balls drop.

          And that, of course, only talks about biological sex. Gender gets even more complicated because of how much that is mediated by culture and expectations. Man and woman are kind of the “basic two”, but I know people who are genderqueer, swap between genders depending on the day, and are neither (neutrois). Afghanistan has a special gender status for girls who are raised as boys and given the freedoms given to boys because there are no boys in the family, but they need a son, so one of the girls gets picked to be the son. India has hijra which is a third gender: men-who-dress-and-act-as-women, but they aren’t women. Many Native American tribes had a third gender designation for people who didn’t fit neatly into “man” or “woman”.

          Basically, if you think science supports a very strict sexual and gender dichotomy of humans, you need to learn a LOT more about science. I recommend studying evolutionary biology, sociology, anthropology, and microbiology to start with.

          • MaineJen
            October 14, 2020 at 10:10 am #

            Shhhh, Feminerd, that’s not the kind of science he likes.

          • October 14, 2020 at 5:57 pm #

            The real kind?

          • J. R.
            December 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm #

            I see this blog has gone completely down the rabbit hole of “only fake liberal science allowed”. It used to be good. What a pity.

          • December 31, 2020 at 4:46 pm #

            I wasn’t aware that slightly-above-basic-but-still-not-advanced biological concepts were fake liberal science now. What, exactly, do you take issue with? Where am I wrong?

    • MaineJen
      October 13, 2020 at 3:18 pm #

      Next time you’re having surgery, tell your surgeon not to bother wearing a mask. Wouldn’t want to give you a false sense of security or anything! Don’t worry, germs and viruses are a fact of life.

      • disqus_5HJszqLssX
        October 13, 2020 at 9:06 pm #

        LOL, you dumbass libtards say the same thing all the time. Guess what, MaineJen? Surgeons work with OPEN WOUNDS. Pull your head out of your ass! Did you wear a friggin’ mask out in public years and years prior to this “scamdemic”? No? Then sit down and shut up.

        • MaineJen
          October 14, 2020 at 10:08 am #

          I don’t think I will, thanks.

          • disqus_5HJszqLssX
            October 14, 2020 at 1:12 pm #

            Bwahaha, of course liberals like you would stand up and make lots of noise, it’s what they do best. I do listen to actual medical professionals, not your liberal doctors that just want to push their liberal agenda on the world. Like precious Dr. Fauxci. He’s a washed up old coot who changes his mind more than the polygrip holding in his dentures. And guess what? Covid is NOT deadly, not to everyone. If you have a problem with you, YOU take the precautions. I’m not wearing no friggin mask for you. If that makes you uncomfortable, then you can stay far away from me. But if that really makes you upset, you’ll be even more upset to know that I’m not getting the vaxxine either. My immune system works like it is supposed to because I take care of it. It’s almost kinda cute that you think this virus is just going to magically disappear someday…almost like after the elections. Wake me up when the cold and flu is also permanently eradicated so everyone knows when it is say to come out of the basement.

          • October 14, 2020 at 6:06 pm #

            Goodness, a deadly disease isn’t 100% fatal … well I guess we don’t have to worry then!

            I mean, there are basically no diseases that are 100% fatal. Hemorrhagic diseases like Ebola and Marburg top out at around 80% fatality rates, but it’s not 100% so I guess we shouldn’t worry about them at all.

            Covid seems to have around a 2-5% fatality rate, depending on where you live and how good and accessible the medical care is. Measles has about a 0.2% fatality rate in developed countries, in case you’re wondering how other deadly diseases stack up against Covid. And people did live their lives normally until a measles outbreak in their area, in which case schools closed and kids were kept inside and people were generally scared until the outbreak was over. Covid is not going to just disappear, but it can be contained and controlled. That’s all any of us have hoped for.

          • MaineJen
            October 15, 2020 at 4:20 pm #

            I’ll be more than happy to stay far away from you.

  2. September 7, 2020 at 1:39 am #

    Remember when Dr. Fauci himself said masks probably don’t work and that people shouldn’t be routinely wearing masks? Do you remember that? And do you remember WHY he said that? Well, now we are told he said it because there was a shortage of masks and he wanted to make sure health care workers had the masks they needed. Presumably, F everyone else. F the thousands of elderly and immune compromised who DIED when masks, presumably, would have prevented many of those deaths. What a sociopath.

    But, more fundamental to the entire mask question is this: There remains LIMITED evidence (research it yousrelf) to support the effectiveness of routine mask use by the general public in their day-to-day lives. Likewise, with so-called social distancing.

    What we are in fact doing is throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks. MAYBE if we destroy the economy, AND we require everyone to stay 6 feet apart, AND we require everyone to wear masks, AND we make plans to forcibly vaccinate everyone (New Zealand and U.S. State of Virginia, I believe it was), AND we do WHATEVER the scientists tell us we should do to “save lives” … then MAYBE …

    Unfortunately the author has not been able to detach from her Trump Derangement Syndrome to write a thoughtful, meaningful and accurate article on the subject of masks. It’s a psychological phenomena that, I am CERTAIN, will be historically recognized. It is, in effect, a form of mass hysteria.

    • MaineJen
      September 8, 2020 at 2:45 pm #

      Yes, it’s amazing how, as we learned more about this novel illness, the recommendations on how to combat it changed! Almost like scientists were observing and studying the virus and its behavior, and advising us accordingly.

      And…exactly who destroyed the economy? The scientists and doctors who advised lockdowns and mask wearing to decrease the spread? Or the Orange Shitgibbon and his brainless followers who pretended the virus was a hoax and purposely coughed on people in public?

  3. Nothanks
    August 18, 2020 at 6:14 pm #

    Thoughts on glasses wearers and sensory processing disorders? I don’t wear one because I touch my face 100x more adjusting, readjusting, clearing the fog off my glasses. Seems safer for me to not wear it.

    • MaineJen
      August 19, 2020 at 9:33 am #

      Seems safer just to stay home.

    • August 20, 2020 at 7:25 pm #

      Face shield? It doesn’t seem to be as good a barrier as masks, but it’s better than nothing.

    • AnnaPDE
      August 23, 2020 at 4:53 am #

      The point of a mask is less to protect the wearer and more to keep them from spreading their droplets. Which still works even if you touch the mask and your face all the time.
      But more importantly, most of the niggles you describe can be avoided by having a well-fitting mask with a cut that accommodates your nose without riding up on under the eyes. Those are a bit harder to find, but they do exist – my sister has one that is crocheted and lined, and it fits perfectly without prompting any touching.

  4. expat
    July 17, 2020 at 3:33 pm #

    I used to visit this site many years ago and wanted to drop in to contribute to your coronavirus discussion. I’ve been looking at the science of herbal treatments for colds and thought you might find it interesting:
    I mainly blog about the corruption of the scientific method in certain segments of the physics community — it is possible to be a scientist yet not at all scientific these days. I blame the newfound popularity of data scientists recruited from physics projects with a poor grasp of cause and effect. These folks turn up to analyze birth data, I’m sure.
    I believe it was on this site that I first encountered the dangers of garbage in-garbage out meta analysis, yet this is everywhere in physics today:
    I won’t post links to my space again (I don’t want to spam you!). In any case, it is nice to see that the site is still here. The Feminist Breeder is no longer an internet phenomenon, yet the SOB still is!

  5. Griffin
    July 2, 2020 at 5:52 am #

    So this is OT, but I wanted to share a dumbass article in The Economist (June 20th 2020 edition) called Ripe for Rebirth. I thought the Economist was better than this. I’m thinking to write them a letter (they publish selected letters from their readers) but maybe it would be best if it came from a professional in the field. Are you interested, Dr. Tuteur?

    “The pandemic is making America rethink its shunning of midwifery
    The quest for safe childbirth

    In a normal year, Robina Khalid might take on 70-80 clients at her midwifery practice in New York City. But 2020 has not been a normal year. She got around 150 calls in the first half of March alone. Some enquiring women were already late in their third trimester, she says, but were terrified of having their babies in a hospital for fear of contracting covid-19. Ms Khalid’s practice was not the only one inundated by calls from women entertaining the idea of a home birth. As the virus spread, so too did interest in alternative birthing options.

    Even in cities at first less hard-hit than New York, many expectant mothers avoided hospitals where they could. Nancy Gaba, chair of obstetrics and gynaecology at the George Washington University Hospital in Washington, dc, noticed an initial uptick in unplanned home births around the time the World Health Organisation (who) declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

    In the past, midwives have tended to be marginalised in America. Licensing rules vary across states, and insurance coverage for midwifery services is patchy. By contrast, Sweden has a 300-year-old tradition of professional midwifery. When a hospital in London recently went into partnership with a football stadium to give women a safe place for their prenatal check-ups during the pandemic, midwives were among the staff immediately brought in to help. In poorer countries, too, midwives are essential to maternal and public health.

    Beyond the pandemic, American women face two problems that licensed midwives can help with. First, America is one of only 13 countries where the maternal mortality rate increased between 2000 and 2017, putting it in the august company of Venezuela and Syria. The risk of dying during childbirth can be exacerbated by a lack of trust between patients and health workers. In America that is especially true for black women, who die from pregnancy-related complications at more than three times the rate that white women do. Midwives cannot perform complex surgery or deliver babies for women with certain chronic health problems. But they can support low-risk women through labour. That frees doctors to do the harder stuff.

    Second, because midwives’ calling-card is not intervening in labour, collaboration between midwives and obstetricians has been shown to lower the number of Caesarean sections. Nearly a third of babies born in America each year are delivered by c-section. But the who reckons that the necessary rate hovers between 10% and 15%. Caesarian deliveries can be life-saving for new-born babies and mothers, but they are major surgeries. They increase the risk of infection, haemorrhages and blood clots. George Washington University Hospital introduced midwifery services a decade ago, and has since seen its c-section rate drop by nearly 6%.

    Will the interest in midwifery outlast the pandemic? It seems likely. The practice was growing even before the virus started to spread. And collaboration between doctors and midwives can prove effective. “Our doctors were willing to learn from our midwife colleagues,” says Dr Gaba. “If other places could do something like that, I think women would really benefit.””

    • rational thinker
      July 2, 2020 at 4:19 pm #

      The thing about low-risk is you are until you aren’t, and most of the time that low risk status can change to high risk real fast like ten seconds fast. They should have been honest about that in this article. They also should be honest about the chances of catching covid in the hospital, because in any hospital the labor and delivery unit is isolated from all other departments and usually isolated to its own floor at that.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        July 13, 2020 at 10:49 am #

        I am rewatching Call the Midwife and one thing I liked was they showed the downside of delivering at home. And I understand that in that time and place,(just barely post WW2 Britain) community nurse/midwives were a great resource. And possibly could be still in some circumstances. But even with that said when something happened like retained placenta or eclampsia, the situations in the show could turn from joyous to tragic in minutes, sometimes after having called and while waiting for the OB Flying squad and a ambulance.

    • July 4, 2020 at 11:18 am #

      What they never talk about is if you lower the C-section rate, you have a higher infant mortality and morbidity rate. Now, to me, I’d rather see higher C-section rate and lower amount of deaths and injuries, but maybe The Economist isn’t on the same page?

      • rational thinker
        July 5, 2020 at 6:27 pm #

        If I ever got pregnant again and had a choice of 2 different hospitals (as an example), one of them having a 40% section rate and the other has a 20% section rate, I know which one I would be going to and which one I would run away from. I will happily take the 40%.
        The NCB industry has brainwashed women with lies about sections. They make it sound dangerous because they can’t do one only a real doctor can. If they can’t scare some women then they try to make them feel like they are not “real women”. Sadly that does work and these women are guilted into a vaginal birth even if it is dangerous for mom,baby or both.

        When I had my son they would not do one unless it was an emergency and it almost was. That hospital was shifting to some woo and trying to get the BFHI certification. i think my Ob was pressured by the hospital to push for more vaginal births because out of every Ob in town he actually had the most sections.

        My son should have been a section they knew how big he was too. After having 4th degree tears and my perenium is one big scar.

      • Griffin
        July 6, 2020 at 11:33 am #

        I read The Economist (a British weekly magazine) because it gives a really good overview on the politics of countries all over the world but this piece sucked. Here’s the letter I am going to send them (part of it was based on Dr. Tueur’s many posts on the subject 🙂 )


        Your recent article (“Ripe for rebirth”, June 20th) repeats the WHO edict that “the necessary caesarean section rates hovers between 10% and 15%”, insinuates that average caesarean section (CS) rates of 33% in the US are bad, and comments that CS is a perilous surgery that increases the risk of infection, haemorrhage, and blood clots.

        This poorly researched piece parrots the insidious demonization of CSs that has led to untold pain and suffering for many women and babies over the past few decades. The WHO has long been criticised for simply making up their “necessary” range on ideological grounds rather than on science: in 2009, it admitted that “there is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage”. By contrast, there is considerable evidence that CS rates below 20% associate with excess maternal and neonatal mortality whereas CS rates as high as 55% do not. Moreover, on comparing elective CS to attempted vaginal birth (a significant proportion of which turn into unexpected emergency CSs, which must be conducted under suboptimal conditions with at-risk patients), CS is actually much safer for babies; moreover, if long-term complications of (attempted) vaginal birth such as pelvic floor disorders, sexual dysfunction, and post-traumatic stress disorder are considered along with short-term complications, elective CS is just as safe (if not safer) for women.

        The ideology against CS is partly driven by midwives, who cannot perform CSs and thus lose market share. In addition, in the US, midwifery is often poorly regulated: many women have found to their cost (sometimes their lives and/or their babies’ lives) that midwives who have attended a mere 20 births along with a short ‘natural-birthing’ course cannot adequately replace extensively trained obstetricians in hospitals containing foetal heart monitors and operating tables.

        Until recently, the birthing model of the Netherlands was to shuffle all ‘low-risk’ women into midwife-led care and homebirth. This model has since been abandoned by large swathes of the population because they finally realized that the economics (let alone duty of care) don’t stack up: there is still no way to be 100% certain that a pregnant woman will not develop deadly complications while giving birth. Consequently, the hidden cost of the midwife-led homebirth model was grievously borne by the babies and mothers. In addition, childbirth is often agonisingly painful and midwives are not qualified to provide adequate pain relief. This societal realization has also contributed to the wholesale abandonment of the midwife-led homebirth model by the Dutch.

        There is a reason why the first most dangerous day in your life is the day of your birth (the next most dangerous day is when you enter your 90th year): childbirth is an inherently deadly process. CS is an essential tool that helps babies and mothers safely through this period. It should not be demonized. I hope that that The Economist will research this area more fully before it writes on this topic again.”

        • rational thinker
          July 6, 2020 at 3:54 pm #

          That is a great response letter, very informative.

          • Griffin
            July 7, 2020 at 6:02 am #

            Thank you! I changed it a bit, so I edited my previous post. It’s sent off now, lets see if they respond.

      • July 16, 2020 at 11:07 pm #

        I was more taken with the fact that opening a midwifery service may well drop C-section rates in a less painful way. A midwifery service may well be bringing in more patients who are younger, richer, or simply more healthy.

        I had a friend who was interested in having a home birth – but a family friend had a baby born in a hospital with an undetected birth defect who is alive and kicking because there was a trained neonatal intubation team right there. Oh, and my whole HELLP syndrome thing – that made her think a bit too.

        Instead, she’s had two easy enough births with a CNM at a hospital.

        As long as the midwife team is CNMs who are referring moms who need it to OB care before and during delivery when medical reasons present and are not preventing patients from receiving pain relief as needed/wanted, adding a different option for births may bring in enough patients to dilute the effects of high risk deliveries like mine.

  6. Stella
    June 28, 2020 at 7:49 pm #

    I really can’t understand what the argument is against having to wear a mask. Traditional Libertarian arguments against the Nanny State telling you to Eat Your Vegetables goes something like this:

    – If you’re not harming anyone else, you should be able to take whatever risks you like with your own body.
    – In cases where your actions *might* harm someone else (e.g. drink driving – though AFAIK only really hardcore Libertarians support repealing drink-drive laws) it should be down to individuals to balance risks and benefits of taking one course of action against those of the alternatives; should your actions harm a third party, said third party can always sue you for fair compensation.

    Option 1 is out since the point of wearing a mask is to stop you from spreading the virus, so this isn’t a case of “The only person I’m hurting is myself.” As for Option 2: I can think of circumstances where drink driving might be the lesser of a number of evils – it might be necessary to escape severe, immediate and unforeseeable danger to oneself. Of course it’s almost always a stupid and incredibly risky thing to do, but it’s possible that someone might find themselves in a situation where the risks of staying put and waiting for alternative transport or the police to arrive are greater.

    But I can’t think of any situation where the risks of not wearing a face mask are greater than the risks of wearing one – aside from breathing difficulties, which are already grounds for exemption (in the UK, don’t know about the US). So I don’t see what these people are basing their objections on.

    • Grey Sweater
      June 28, 2020 at 11:19 pm #

      If masks allow us to get back to some kind of normal, improve the economy and be able to see our families, it is absolutely unfathomable to me that anyone would resent something so simple.

      • EmbraceYourInnerCrone
        July 14, 2020 at 1:18 pm #

        Some people find any amount of discomfort or annoyance(that they did not choose) an untenable implication. I work just short of 8 hours a day Monday through Friday. Where I work we are required to wear a mask while we are in the building. If you have your own office you can be in there alone with out a mask but the minute someone comes to your office door or you leave your office, you HAVE to put the mask on. I work in a cube, currently there is usually no one else or just one other person in this 30 x 50 foot area. I still keep the mask on most of the time. I am almost 60. AT first it was a little claustrophobic but you get used to it, but apparently some people are such special unique individuals they can not put up with anything restricting them. My co-worker has COPD and he still tries to wear the mask as much as possible when he has to be in the office(half a day or so a week)

    • Alia
      June 29, 2020 at 11:36 am #

      I’m uncomfortable wearing a mask, so it must be a bad thing – at least that’s the attitude I see in people around me (my mother-in-law complains all the time about it). And some people add pseudo-scientific arguments of dangerous levels of carbon dioxide or risk of fungal infection in the lungs, because humidity (I kid you not!).

      • Stella
        June 30, 2020 at 7:17 am #

        CO2 poisoning? I’d still roll my eyes and facepalm, but I’d be able to forgive these people’s dumb and paranoid but understandable concern for the health of their lungs. I’m betting they’d claim that they’re more likely to contract a fungal infection from wearing a mask than they are to contract Covid-19 from *not* wearing one; I’d also be willing to leave the fact that this is wrong aside for a moment.

        But, when it comes to stuff that’ll damage your lungs, isn’t the dear orange-haired leader of these morons in favour of repealing bans on white asbestos because he’s fallen for the industry propaganda that “Chrysotile is OK, in fact the body can get rid of small amounts of chrysotile on its own. It’s the Amosite and Crocidolite that caused all those deaths and diseases.”

        • PeggySue
          July 12, 2020 at 2:21 pm #

          Some ever-so-superior being posted on Twitter a series of photos of people in masks, connected to a machine that showed huge numbers purporting to show lethal levels of CO2. That, the poster said, was proof of what the government wasn’t telling us. Many problems here, but the first was that all the masked people in the photos were bright, alert, awake, with no sign of illness. Which is not what people tend to look like when their CO2 level is lethal. I said, I don’t know what that machine is showing, but it isn’t what you say it is. Poster arrogantly responded that the photos came “from a professional,” and accused me of a “classic case of confirmation bias.” You can’t fix stupid.

          • rational thinker
            July 13, 2020 at 8:36 am #

            If this did come from a professional it was most likely a professional PHOTOGRAPHER. She is demonstrating appeal to authority to make it look credible which shows that it is not credible.

            You are absolutely right, you can’t fix stupid. If the poster was being truthful you would expect all the people in those photos to be some shade of gray/blue.

          • PeggySue
            July 13, 2020 at 4:24 pm #

            Yes, I was a hospice chaplain for ten years and saw plenty of gray/blue, and the patients weren’t sitting up looking all chipper either. Strange how that works. The humor in hospice can be very dark, and sometimes when going to ask a nurse to assess a patient, we who were not medical would say, “Could you assess the patient in room X, they look a little D-E-A-D to me.”

    • KeeperOfTheBooks
      July 7, 2020 at 11:40 am #

      Speaking as someone rather more than not inclined towards the libertarian bent, there’s also just plain common courtesy and respect.
      To preface, I wear a mask everywhere anyway. It’s the polite thing to do at this point, and needless to say, I don’t want to get anyone sick if I happen to be asymptomatic and therefore unaware that I’m caring the damn thing. However, if a business asks me to wear one to come in their business, you’d better believe I wear it, and would even if I didn’t otherwise. Why? Because their business, their building, their rules, and if I don’t like ’em, I’d shop elsewhere. Period.

    • J. R.
      December 30, 2020 at 10:33 pm #

      ” If you’re not harming anyone else, you should be able to take whatever risks you like with your own body.”

  7. June 26, 2020 at 10:46 am #

    A common complaint made of all political parties is that politicians motivate voters on various issues, then fail to do much of anything about that issue once in power.

    Trump seemed especially good at motivating various working-class white people while gutting various services that those constituents needed.

    Now he seems to be hell-bent on seeing how many of his potential voters he can kill off prior to the 2020 election. Cynical me can see how a politician can keep loyalty while screwing his voters over – but I feel like killing the voters may make reelection much harder……

  8. rational thinker
    June 25, 2020 at 7:55 pm #

    I have a friend that is constantly praising Trump and complains about having to wear a mask. She said one time that she wishes she would just catch corona virus already so she can just take Hydroxychloroquine for 3 days and get better then have a natural immunity. Why does she believe this? If you ask her she will say “cause Trump said so”. I told her that because a lot of people have been taking this drug in the hope that they will either prevent catching the virus themselves or cure themselves of the virus and because of this Lupus patients are having trouble getting their medication or not getting it all. Their lives depend on taking this drug. Her response “So? what, who cares about them,oh well”.

    This is that friend I post about on here sometimes. It’s funny how she will risk the lives and heath of her children but when she found out I never breastfed and only gave formula to my kids she said, ” Why did you have kids if you not breastfeed? If you are just going to neglect them like that then just don’t have them”.

    • June 25, 2020 at 9:46 pm #

      She probably won’t learn anything, but this is not a mild illness. People are sick for weeks or months and can have permanent lung damage. Houston, TX is up to 97% ICU occupancy because of this, with the pandemic just starting to really ramp up. Below are comments from people who’ve survived Covid-19 infections that range from moderate to severe; even the “moderate” cases sound horrific.

      • rational thinker
        June 26, 2020 at 5:42 am #

        You’re right she won’t learn anything until its too late. The thing that really scares me is that she is working in the homes of several elderly people. She said her kids will be fine because she gives them spinach and kale smoothies every morning. I don’t know if she is blissfully ignorant or just plain stupid.

        The other day she tried to “explain’ to me that there are not really over 100,000 people dead from the virus, and that the real number is about 3,000. She claimed that the democratic party is putting cause of death on death certificates as covid 19 to try to get Trump to lose the election. Clearly she doesn’t know shit about how death certificates work.

        • Sarah
          June 26, 2020 at 7:22 am #

          Or that the US isn’t the only country in the world. Maybe, just maybe the Democrats could somehow convince coroners in the US to falsely declare COVID as the cause of death, but that doesn’t explain the hundreds of thousands of deaths in other countries.

          • fiftyfifty1
            June 28, 2020 at 8:44 am #

            Exactly. 2020 is not an election year in Italy, for example.

          • Grey Sweater
            June 28, 2020 at 11:17 pm #

            I’m fascinated by these particular conspiracy theorists. Imagine the coordination, cooperation and cleverness it would take for leaders world over to pull off such a scam when many of them can’t even manage to get their citizens to wear masks.

          • StephanieJR
            June 29, 2020 at 10:10 am #

            Anyone who’s ever worked in a group project knows just how damn impossible it is to get anyone to work together on time.

        • June 26, 2020 at 4:22 pm #

          Yea, that’s right, all the MEs in the US, including in right-leaning states like TX, FL, and GA, are willing to commit fraud and professional misconduct that would cost them their licenses in order to … make the POTUS look bad? How the … ? What the … ? That just doesn’t even begin to make any sense.

        • Grey Sweater
          June 28, 2020 at 11:15 pm #

          I also have a friend who worships at the altar of healthy food and everything “natural”. Doesn’t vaccinate her five (!) kids because their lifestyles will protect them from wildly contagious and disfiguring viruses apparently. It’s impossible to break through sadly.

      • J. R.
        December 30, 2020 at 10:35 pm #

        That isn’t a mild case. A mild case is where you don’t need the hospital and recover at home in 2 weeks or less. That is most people.

    • Griffin
      June 26, 2020 at 9:57 am #

      Cripes, what a dreadful person! The only reason I’d be around such a person is anthropological curiosity!

      • rational thinker
        June 26, 2020 at 3:25 pm #

        LOL, I do have to admit I am always curious about what crazy shit she will say next. Lately I just keep getting more and more disgusted by her comments and her perceived superiority.

    • Ayr
      July 29, 2020 at 9:03 pm #

      What a piece of work! Sadly, I know a few people like her. They make no sense to me. I am a conservative, but I do not agree with Trump all the time, he is faulty like every other human being out there, I do not understand those who think he can do no wrong…it honestly boggles my mind. I wear my mask, I hate it, it aggravates my asthma, but I would rather wear it and be safe.

  9. Griffin
    June 25, 2020 at 1:18 pm #

    Honestly, whenever I read about people or communities refusing to wear masks, I send them a mental Darwin Award.

    • MaineJen
      June 30, 2020 at 1:11 pm #

      For real…sometimes these problems solve themselves

  10. EmbraceYourInnerCrone
    June 25, 2020 at 11:23 am #

    Sorry to derail the conversation but many of the victims at Jonestown were not suicides, they were murdered, also Jim Jones armed security people had the compound/people surrounded and had weapons.

    “The first news reports made it sound like those who died in Jonestown did so by mass suicide, drinking cyanide-laced drinks (hence the offensive expression). It’s not true. The first murdered at Jonestown were senior citizens, children and babies; the poison was squirted into their mouths. Others thought they were participating in a drill.”

    “Some ran into the jungle, others hid under beds, but most were intimidated into drinking the poison.”

    • KQ Not Signed In
      June 25, 2020 at 12:35 pm #

      Thanks for posting this, I was about to say the same. There are also audio recordings of that day, and they are utterly horrific.

      Also, it was Flavor-Aid. That one’s a nitpick though and doesn’t change the existent idiom.

      • Christine O'Hare
        June 25, 2020 at 4:07 pm #

        I was totally going to mention it being Flavor-Aid! Cuz lets face it, cults are known for their brand loyalty.

    • StephanieJR
      June 25, 2020 at 3:39 pm #

      In that case, I suppose the people who are vulnerable – the elderly, immune compromised, etc – are stand ins for these victims; the unwilling who die anyway because of the cult leader’s goals.

    • Grey Sweater
      June 28, 2020 at 11:13 pm #

      Thanks for adding this context. The real story is even more upsetting than what is commonly referenced.

    • June 29, 2020 at 10:36 pm #

      If my memory serves, they previously did drills with un-poisoned beverages.

      • MaineJen
        June 30, 2020 at 1:13 pm #

        Yes, they had been woken up in the early morning hours for these “drills” several times. Many did not realize it was actual poison this time until the children started dying…then it was a matter of, fight your way past the armed guards into a world in which you have killed your baby, or take the poison yourself. Horrific.

        • J. R.
          December 30, 2020 at 10:36 pm #

          Yes, and iirc they bullied them and possibly had armed guards about forcing them to drink it.

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