While many might look at the Governor Greg Abbott’s action in Texas ending the mandate for folks to wear masks and the accompanying order that all businesses can reopen 100% as orders that affect Abbott’s Texas only, some of us view it differently.
Wearing or not wearing a mask during a pandemic – A FREAKING PANDEMIC OF A PLAGUE THAT IS HIGHLY DEADLY – has been transformed from rather only the public health issue that it should and has instead become a symbol of the political diversion within this country. On one side now considered to be the right, decisions are often made not because they are logical or in the public interest, but because they ‘troll’ or essentially upset the political enemy.
During a pandemic, it is logical and in the best interest of EVERYONE within our society to wear a mask since masks have been shown over and over and over again to be a scientifically provable way to stop the spreading of the virus that is the cause of the pandemic. The opposite is also true, that not wearing masks is one of the leading reasons why the virus is spread.
Any logical person would therefore agree that the power of the state should be behind stopping the spread of the virus that is causing the disease that is killing people at a high rate. To do anything else is wrong and should be criminal. But it sure would troll the political opposition and create one more fissure in the body politic. No doubt, trolling the political rivals was much more in Governor Abbott’s mind than was any of the other reasons he claimed for ending the mask mandate and opening business.
In the long run, creating the environment in which customers get sick and lose trust in the business community will have to e very bad for business. But just for the short run, Abbott can claim feel victorious as his opposition screams about how wrong what he did is.
There are also long run consequences to what Abbott is doing. Oh, BTW, Governor Tate Reeves in Mississippi is also joining Abbott in this effort. First off, Abbott’s actions will cause the virus to continue to be spread across the country and the world. As people move in and out of Texas their chances of getting infected and passing the virus on are greatly increased. So ending the pandemic in the country and the world will be greatly slowed, possibly even halted depending on how many refuse to get vaccinated.
Secondly, there is a major amount of people who selfishly and unpatriotically will be refusing to be vaccinated. Couple these folks with Abbott’s ending the mask mandate and reopening businesses and a perfect laboratory for the vaccine to not only spread, but to mutate will be established.
Micro organisms like viruses are amazing creatures. They can reproduce quickly and like all creatures, their nature has them creating mutations to help them adapt so their own chances of survival are enhanced. Over several generations of viruses – which may take only a few weeks – they may mutate to a state where they are no longer affected by the current vaccines. Then we are back at square one.
What Abbott, Reeves others like them such as Kim Reynolds who has also rescinded a mask mandate in Iowa, have done is given the virus a huge helping hand in the lateral War that we are conducting against it. The reasoning behind aiding and abetting the virus is not to save people or end the pandemic, but to troll their political opposition.
This is unconscionable, yet it is a tactic to sow division in this country and keep any possibility of Americans actually working together to come to sensible solutions to mutual problems. Other mutual problems that those on the right are continuing to exploit for their divisiveness include voter suppression, the melding of state and religion and tax breaks for the rich that lead to economic break downs.
Political leaders on the right continue to pursue policies that actually hurt and kill Americans and lead to divisions rather than treat all Americans the same. They do so almost as initial skirmishes in what many on the extreme right believe some day will turn into a full blown Civil War.
Interestingly, the majority of folks on both sides have similar wish lists for their government such as universal health care, but the continual exhortations particularly from politicians and media on the right have blunted those desires and turned the current national divisions into a “my tribe versus your tribe” situation.
Much like the soldiers in the original Civil War, those enlisted as the soldiers in the current iteration are not those who have deep investments, but those who are being exploited and continually fed a “My Tribe above all else” propaganda. They are consuming such propaganda at great cost to themselves. They were the people who provided the bodies for Donald Trump’s insurrection January 6th. Many are now looking at ruined lives while the instigators look on from the safety and comfort of their homes.
Similarly as the soldiers in this skirmish catch and die of Covid-19, we see instigators like Donald Trump once again getting a vaccine in secret so the soldiers can’t see that he really couldn’t care less about them, but will not take the risks himself.
This is only starting.