No shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service

Maine Governor Janet Mills -- indistinguishable from other Dem governors possessed by Covid-19 demons -- knows little about medical statistics, even less about economics, but her fashion credentials are swell.

Gov Mills’s mandatory requirement for Mainers to wear facemasks in public has zero medical evidentiary purpose, despite its sudden near universal appeal.

There isn’t a single clinical trial anywhere in the US, nor elsewhere -- beyond lab observations in a glass chamber --- that concludes wearing a facemask by the general public has any effect whatsoever on catching or transmitting the virus.

This is not to say there isn’t opinion -- more like dogmatic hunches -- from so-called public health experts.

Likewise, opinion from experts on the six-feet social distancing norm, as a Covid-19 public health prophylactic, is based upon folklore, purportedly inspired from a science fair project assembled by a fourteen-year-old daughter of an epidemiologist.

Abundance of opinion, even from a “lab study” with subjects spitting into a box, is not evidence from a clinical trial.  And therefore, the opinion of experts, Gov Mills, her cohorts, you or me, could be equally valid, and equally nonsense.

Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands say social distancing must be four+ feet.  Austria, France, Sweden, Finland, and Norway say three feet.  What would a dartboard in a pub say? Oh, pubs aren’t open yet in Maine.

Presumably a lone lobster boat three miles off from our low tide mark would be safe. High tide, not so much.  Just a hunch.

Yet in Maine, and in other blue states, mask wearing, despite its dubious origins and efficacy, is beyond sheepish conformity, now a fashion statement, and a socio-political identity.

Mainers wear masks when browsing at outdoor nursery/garden centers, and when pumping gas. Mainers wear masks when tossing off bags of trash at the dump. Mainers wear masks when dropping a letter into a curbside USPS mailbox. Mainers wear masks alone in their cars with the windows rolled up. Mainers wear masks at the car wash.

Death awaits us all at the car wash.

No mask, no service.  Be forewarned.

Mask wearing is medieval affectation, a sign of foreboding, dread, and doom. Of course, without the visuals of Covid-19 body bags delivered to NYC hospitals for deaths pre-ordained due to morbidity unrelated to Covid-19, masks are a perfect proxy to remind us that death is our companion, unbridled fear is the new normal.

Look, mask wearing has its place. A masked ball wouldn’t be a masked ball without one. Mask wearing enables an alter ego to exhibit a hidden personality, make entreaties, express love or loathing without attribution or retribution.

A mask can adorn a coy mistress or cover up a nefarious rogue.  A mask can accompany a dress code for entry into a nightclub, a private dining room, or a bank teller’s cash drawer.

But now embracing a facemask dress code shows you know how to obey, and you are not a troublemaker, not a Covid-19 denier.  Wear a mask to show how much you care, “we are all in this together.”  Wear a mask to prove you are virtuous.

Wear a mask as a companion scold to a bumper sticker, “mean people suck,” “love your neighbor,” or “coexist.” 

So, who shall wear a mask to stop opioid deaths, and depression/despair caused suicides -- 120,000 per year soon to be tripled from a prolonged lock down?

Who shall make a fashion statement about child and domestic abuse, provoked by stay-at-home orders, as schools are furloughed, and courts are closed and no restraining order petitions adjudicated?

Who shall wear a mask to show solidarity with the hundreds of thousands --perhaps millions -- of small business entrepreneurs who have see their futures crushed, lifetime savings scorched, aspirations swept away by mindless government edicts that will soon prove to have had zero effect in mitigating the virus.

And how shall mask wearers mourn the hundreds of thousands who will die or be consigned to lifelong disabilities from postponed essential medical procedures deemed “non-essential” and “elective.”

For centuries, mask wearing, donning a masque, was always an elaborate charade, a ruse.

The first Earth Day in 1970, borrowing themes as old as Boccaccio’s Decameron to as recent as Poe’s The Masque of the Red Death, boasted the most dramatic symbol -- the surgical mask; a barrier island saving us from the unrelenting gales spawned by man’s evil neglect of Mother Gaia, never abating.

Today, mask wearing is all the rage, designed as a cosmetic device to separate its wearer from the ravages of the world; instead mask wearers sport a porous foulard unable to filter commedia dell-arte from the cycles of life.

Photo crefit: Pixabay