Monday, March 22, 2021

Coronavirus Update 3-22-2021: Covidiots at Whole Foods

"I'm Jewish; I don't have to wear a mask." That's what the maskless woman (shopping with her maskless teenage daughter) in front of me in line yesterday at the Whole Food fish counter said to the employee who politely reminded her that the mask she was holding in her hand was required to be on her face while inside the store. 

Her statement was bad enough. As a Jew, I know of no tenet of my religion that says masks don't have to be worn. But it's what came next that caused my jaw to hit the floor.

"You're no better than the Nazis that sent the Jews to the concentration camps," she yelled at the employee as the exchange escalated.

So now I understand this loon's connection between mask mandates and her religion. She views rules that force her to don a mask in public akin to fascism, and since Nazis were fascists, mask rules become anti-Semitic dictates.

There is so much wrong with her statement that I don't quite know where to start to unpack it, but I'll try.

1/ I've already covered ad nauseum the idea that masks save lives, and I don't feel like rehashing it. Just type "masks" into the search bar and you'll find plenty of posts from the past year on point. Suffice it to say that the science is incontrovertible that masks severely minimize the transmissibility of COVID-19, and that it's the height to selfishness to refuse to wear a small piece of cloth over your mouth and nose when in public.

2/ The Jews who died in the Nazi concentration camps certainly didn't go there by choice. We absolutely shop at Whole Foods by personal choice. There is absolutely nothing remotely analogous about the two. To suggest that there is any comparison is insulting to the millions who died in the Holocaust and does a gross disserve to their memory.

3/ Exercising the personal choice to shop at any retailer means following its rules. E.g., "No shirt, no shoes, no service." Or, "You can't open a bag of chips, eat one, and leave the opened bag on the shelf." Or, "Don't pee in the aisle." No one debates the logic of these rules, or that Whole Foods (or any business) has the right to implement and enforce them as a condition of entering and remaining inside. "Masks required," is no different. If you don't want to comply, order delivery through Amazon Prime.

With vaccination rates increasing daily, we are staring at the end of the pandemic at some point in 2021. We just need to stay the mitigation course for a few more months. Mask up, keep your distance, wash your hands, stay home if you're sick, and get your vaccine when able to do so. If we do these things, we can and will relegate COVID-19 to the history books. And if you don't like it, skip all of the above steps, except for the "stay home" part. Those of us who are acting responsibly would really appreciate it.