Opinion

Small Acts of Resistance (Part One)

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Posted: Feb 10, 2021 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Small Acts of Resistance (Part One)

Source: AP Photo/Julio Cortez

If you’re waiting for the government to tell you when it’s okay to go back to normal, you’re going to be waiting a long time. Increasingly, the position of the COVID Nazis seems to be that we won’t be “safe” until the virus is completely eradicated—in other words, as Dennis Prager has sagely observed, never. (I made a similar point, specifically in regards to reopening college campuses, here.)

No, if we ever want a return to anything resembling normalcy, we’re going to have to engineer it ourselves. In the words of Daniel Horowitz, citing one of the great conservative minds of the last century, “The most important thing that should motivate us vis-a-vis coronafascism headed into 2021 is the warning from C.S. Lewis: 'Those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.' It won't end until we MAKE it."

Perhaps, as a nation, we have not yet reached our Lexington-and-Concord moment, when we stand together in open defiance of a tyrannical government bent on depriving us of our liberties. Many good patriots have sound reasons for going along, or at least appearing to go along for now, with oppressive mask mandates and lockdown orders: they have families to feed, they don’t want to lose their jobs or get fined or arrested, they are willing to give our leaders the benefit of the doubt, they are, by nature, law-abiding citizens.

The time may well come when, if we wish to remain free, we must abandon all such inhibitions. However, even if you believe (as I do) that time has not yet arrived, there are still things you can do to signal your disapproval without placing yourself or your family fully in the crosshairs—small acts of resistance that, taken together, constitute a powerful statement.

In this first installment, I will focus primarily on mask mandates, which I find to be the most odious and intrusive of all the authoritarian COVID policies because they violate not just my free will but also my body. I will, however, propose several other “small acts” in Part II.

When it comes to masks, here is the bottom line for members of the #Resistance: Don’t wear one unless you have to.

I’m not going to take time to rehearse all the arguments against facemasks. This article by Horowitz sums them up nicely, as does this long but definitive piece from a Ph.D. chemist with many years’ experience in the pharmaceuticals industry who addresses the issue on a molecular level. Others on this site and elsewhere (like Scott Morefield) have also given those arguments ample treatment. If you’re still reading at this point, I’m going to assume you’re familiar with them.

The real question, though, is not whether masks work; it’s whether mask mandates are effective at stopping the spread of the virus. And once again, as Morefield and others have argued convincingly, the evidence shows overwhelmingly that they are not. If you’re still dubious, take a look at these graphs on RationalGround.com comparing infection rates in states with mandates to those without.

All of that said, depending on where you live, you might not have much choice in the matter. You may be required by law, or rather by diktat, to wear a mask almost everywhere. But even then, you still have some choices. For instance, you don’t have to wear a mask at home. Or in your car. Or when hiking in the forest or lounging under a tree at the park with no one around. Or while sitting on the toilet. (I know. TMI).

If you live in an area without government mask mandates, as I’m fortunate to do, you may still have to wear one when you enter stores or other businesses. Personally, I believe if a private retailer wishes to require face coverings, that is their right. I just don’t have to shop there. Thus I seek out establishments that either don’t require masks or have only nominal requirements that they intentionally don’t enforce.

If I walk into a store and see other people not wearing masks—even though there’s a “please wear a mask” sign on the front door—I immediately take mine off. That sign is essentially the equivalent of the 70 mph speed limit on the freeway.

My employer also has every right to require me to wear a facemask when I’m in the presence of others, and I will do so in those situations. But not when I’m alone in my office or sitting in some secluded nook in a virtually deserted building (as almost all our buildings have been since last March).

And, in my one exception to the “private businesses can require a mask” rule, I absolutely refuse to wear a mask in a restaurant. So I’m supposed to “mask up” while I walk 20 feet to my table, go maskless for the next half-hour as I eat, then replace my face diaper to walk out? That is patently absurd, and I decline to participate.