Anyone still wearing a face mask to protect himself from Covid probably has no intention of ever shedding it now. Residents may no longer even have a choice in Los Angeles, where local health officials pledge to reinstate mandates as soon as next week.
On Thursday, Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer threatened the return of an indoor mask mandate if rates of hospitalization attributed to Covid continue to climb.
“If both hospitalization indicators, new COVID-19 admissions and the proportion of staffed in-patient beds occupied by COVID patients, surpass the threshold for high, LA County will return to universal indoor masking,” Ferrer said.
According to a local Fox affiliate, the county’s transmission level is at “medium.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers community transmission “high” when there are more than 10 new Covid-19 admissions per 100,000 people and the county sees more than 200 new cases per 100,000 people over a seven-day period. The CDC’s threshold for “high” transmission could allegedly be met by next week, greeted by mandatory face coverings — no matter how useless even the CDC and other so-called health experts have admitted most of them are.
Whatever happens to community transmission, masks were always on the menu, whether people continued to wear them voluntarily or not. It doesn’t matter how many shots are on the market, how many therapeutics have been made available, or even how ineffective mandates have proved to be. The face mask has become a marker of political identity, a religious talisman remaining sacred in the most left-wing enclaves of the country. Local health officials steeped in leftism won’t give up on face masks — because they can’t.
Within a year of the pandemic’s inception, public masking became no different than the type of passive activism embedded in gender pronoun bios: pointless in reality, but central to the user’s identity. But while a refusal to list one’s obvious pronouns might spoil a promotion or sever relationships with colleagues, refusal to muzzle could cost thousands of dollars in government fines.
Like pronoun bios or pink genitalia hats, face coverings became the latest and most aggressive form of ritual symbolism adopted by activists who were too concerned about broadcasting their supposed virtue to care about masks’ utility. Even as the rest of the country moves on from the Faucian Covid regime that exploited public anxiety to lock people at home, California health officials aren’t ready for a post-pandemic future.
Los Angeles inaugurated the forever pandemic last year when local health officials began to reinstate mandates even after the introduction of therapeutics. It makes sense then that L.A. remains ground zero for routine Covid protocols with no end on the horizon.