Posted by: bkivey | 30 August 2021

Triskaidekaphobia

After 5 ½ weeks of mask-free existence, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has stroked the pen to once again mask Oregonians as of 13 August. Not because people are dying, but because unvaccinated individuals are filling hospitals with COVID-19 cases. And not exactly lining the halls, either. Some hospitals are reporting fewer than 5 (!) ICU beds available. No word on the room occupancy rate. There are different takes on the Governor’s comments available, with OPB giving the least controversial account. That’s not really a good thing, here.

It occurs to me that hospitals make money by filling beds. ICU occupancy pays a lot. Maybe hospitals are taking advantage here to make some money? Nothing wrong with that; and I bet if more serious cases came in, COVID patients would be moved to regular rooms. The Governor apparently doesn’t think that competent hospital administrators with a relevant education and a career of training can do their jobs.

The upshot is that the required masking isn’t due to any imminent danger, but to possibly maybe reduce the infection rate? Because we have no clue what we’re doing? But, hey, you’ve got to do what we say, or we’ll shut you down. By golly, we’ve got to Do Something! The pandemic isn’t really relevant anymore, but we have to maintain unease. ‘The Delta Varient’. Yeah, that sounds scary. “’Mask up!’, or the Children will suffer.” Because sooner or later, Progressives get around to using children as human shields.

Progressives also never seem to get around to hard metrics. There is no expiration date on the order, nor indicators for review. ‘Because I say so’ is OK as a parent; much less so as an elected official. It seems the Governor can’t tell the difference.

Or our state legislators, apparently. The Oregon Legislature has been remarkably silent the past two years. People whom are ostensibly elected to represent the people to government, have been doing a good imitation of the reverse. If not for membership in various trade groups, I would have no idea what the State Legislature has been up to. The activity doesn’t make the news feeds. Maybe time to generate some activity.

See, this is all adding up to bullshit. Remember Spring 2020? “Wear a mask, and we’ll be done with this by Fall.” Remember the mask-free, normal, care-free days of the Autumn of 2020? Well, OK. But vaccine was widely available by November 2020 in most of the US and the world, and that’s what we were waiting for. Reach social immunity (~70% vaccination/immunity rate), and boom! Done with COVID-19.

That goal has been long achieved, so riddle me this: why the continuing obsession?

Update 2108.30

The Governor has mandated that masks be worn outdoors effective 27 August: making Oregon the only State in the Union under such restrictions. As of today, I would say fewer people are wearing masks outdoors than previously. Although some have again taken to wearing masks in their cars. I have never understood this.


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