By Ian Aikens | September 24, 2020
Is this what we have to look forward to in the “New Normal” world – turning our neighbors in to the government so they can be properly “educated”?
Did you see the recent article in The Laconia Daily Sun entitled “Mask compliance varies by business”? It got my blood to boiling to read the reporter listing six different businesses by name where people serving the public were not wearing masks in violation of the governor’s latest edict. He showed enough concern about civil penalties and fines not being levied that he put in a call to the governor’s office to find out about enforcement. At the end of the article, he listed the state’s phone number and email address to report guideline violations.
The article noted that Associate Attorney General Anne Edwards has received 175 complaints about violations of state COVID-19 requirements since the governor started issuing the emergency orders, but none has progressed to the point of civil penalties because business owners tend to comply once they are “educated.” As always with bureaucrats, it starts with friendly reminders, but quickly turns to fines and penalties and eventually threats of violence and property confiscation if subjects don’t comply. Clearly the reporter felt the Attorney General’s office has been lax with “education.”
The article also mentioned that some store owners had specific reasons for not wearing masks. One shopkeeper said it didn’t make sense for him to wear a mask for hours at a time when customers were infrequent. He said that he always keeps a mask handy in case a customer wants him to put one on. Another business owner said he tries to be amenable to his customers. That seems reasonable enough.
But that’s not good enough for the mask police. Never mind that most people have been wearing masks inside stores for months now. And never mind that beginning around July 20, virtually all of the corporate chain stores required all of their employees and customers to wear masks inside their stores, so that pushed the mask-wearing percentage up to, in my estimation, 95% or more.
Earlier in the pandemic, it was all about flattening the curve, the daily death count, and hospital capacity. But as the number of daily deaths declined as the virus ran its course, suddenly it became all about “cases.” If you’ve looked at “the curve” lately, you will see the northeastern portion of the US is almost completely flat when it comes to daily deaths. So are virtually all the countries in Europe and also Canada. The southern portions of the US aren’t quite there yet, but they are all trending downward. Not to mention the fact that bureaucratic health departments are notorious for their delays in reporting, so often the death statistics are reported weeks after they actually occurred.
Since when did it become an acceptable social norm to turn in your neighbors who are providing goods and services to the public? It should be obvious that no one is forced to patronize a business where they feel their health is being compromised. Not one single shred of evidence is provided in the article that anyone’s safety was threatened at any time in the shops the reporter visited – or that any of the customers were upset or even concerned by the non-mask wearers.
Claiming that it was all about “public safety” a few months ago might have made sense, but it strikes a disingenuous note today. It’s all about compliance and control now. Never mind that grown adults can – and should – choose the risk factor that they’re comfortable with. Government bureaucrats – and busybody reporters – know better.
It’s a sad day in the “Live Free or Die” state where liberty and personal responsibility used to be celebrated that now corona hysteria has turned people into snitches.
Green, Rick. (2020, August 27). Mask Compliance Varies by Business. Retrieved from www.laconiadailysun.com/news/covid-19/businesses-vary-with-employee-mask-requirement-compliance/article_f196efac-e7de-11ea-a9e2-cf1665d0c00a.html
The COVID Tracking Project at The Atlantic. (2020, September). Regional Deaths. Retrieved from covidtracking.com/data/charts/regional-deaths
Worldometer. (2020, September). World/Countries/Canada. Retrieved from www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/canada/