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In multiple states across the U.S., such as Texas, mask mandates are ending in location after location due to changing thought about the nature of the pandemic.

At least in Texas, reporting states that "the omicron surge is subsiding". "Hospitalizations are declining statewide after omicron drove them to near-record labels," it seems. Thus, mask policies have been altered all over.

Context: https://www.texastribune.org/2022/03/04/texas-schools-drop-mask-mandate/

The fundamental question of whether or not mask mandates for both children and adults were a good public choice is still debated. What do you think? Was it legally justified for state and local governments to force individuals to wear masks whether they wanted to or not? Was it practically a good idea? Should children have been subject to different rules in contrast to adults? What do you feel now that such policies are ending?

As an end-note, what do you personally do, in your own life... if you don't mind disclosing?


>Was it legally justified for state and local governments to force individuals to wear masks whether they wanted to or not?
Absolutely. It makes complete sense for me to be legally required to take reasonable precautions to avoid causing harm to others, which I do not think is a breach of any sensible rights or personal freedoms; and what precautions are to be considered reasonable is something that does change depending on context and the severity of the situation, and it is the job of governments to determine exactly when and where that line shifts.

>Was it practically a good idea?
If we ignore the politics if it, then certainly; the cost/benefit ratio of this particular countermeasure is greater than any possible alternative pandemic-fighting response that could have been used. As for the consequences of this measure for the political sensitivities in the US, that is something I cannot judge.

>Should children have been subject to different rules in contrast to adults?
To a degree, yes. What is reasonable to demand from a child is not the same as what is reasonable to demand from an adult, and so the rules should not be quite the same -- reasonable precautions for a person vary with what the precaution costs that person, and what costs that person can bear, in addition to the societal conditions. I do think adults can be expected to suck it up and do what the situation demands without excuses to a greater degree than children. Obviously there is a gradient here that varies with age ranges.

>What do you feel now that such policies are ending?
I think that as the situation is changing, then so does the level of precaution you can demand from people, and that the situation is indeed changing for the better. I stand by the overall principle, though.


I'm somewhat uncertain about whether or not mass masking really helped that much, but I agree myself that the mandates basically appeared legally and practically justified. Seems to me like one of those basic matters of public safety and security that we just have to have a government for. Same principles as enforcing speed limits on roads plus stopping wildfires, monitoring volcanoes, reinforcing waterways in terms of floods, and whatnot, really? I believe so.


>I'm somewhat uncertain about whether or not mass masking really helped that much
I am fairly certain mass masking helps a lot, for a very low cost. What I am uncertain about is whether mass masking mandates were a good idea on the net in a culture where many are violently opposed to such mandates; cultural responses to the mandate can easily do more harm than all the good the masks could possibly do. But as said, this is something I cannot judge.


I think gross stuff comes out of people's mouth and nose and wearing a mask is a reasonable courtesy to everyone around you when you're sick.  And during a pandemic, the worry is that almost everyone might be sick.  With that in mind, mandating that people wear a mask seems like a fairly reasonable idea.  

In most places we mandate that people where a shirt and shoes, and those articles are way less utilitarian.  That so many people were willing to die on the hill of not wearing a mask, potentially literally, is absolutely boggling to me.  I don't know if I have ever seen such an aggressive angry response to something so inconsequential coming from the government, and I'm an anarchist.  No one steps up to the plate and refuses to pay income tax or anything, but wearing clothes in public?  That's the part they draw the line at?

That said, now that mandates are ending, yeah I'm taking the mask off.  If people didn't demand I wore a shirt and shoes those might come off, too.  Not my pants, that's how I carry all my stuff.


Given how the efficacy of masks repeatedly changed in narrative day to day, from no effect, to total effect, and middling on occasion between, it seems to have been f force on, at best, faulty information.
This alone ought be enough to say it shouldn't have been done, even aside from liberty aspects.

There seems to be no benefit at all, as far as I've seen, for children. That move seems to be a result of political fearmongering and uninformed paranoia.

For myself, I was skeptical from the start of such practices, both in terms of their efficacy as well as the power grab.
Time seems to have supported my disillusions. The state demonstrates why it shouldn't be trusted with such matters as health. Money and influence make way for truth, and fear becomes currency to buy power.


The distinction is that when I refuse my taxes, the state sends federal agents after me, and resistance to such agents has a long and extremely bloody history, with the bloodshed committed by the state not being particularly targeted to just those armed and willing to fight either.

Masks are, firstly, a newer policy, and secondly, far lesser in punishment and response.
Especially as the federal government doesn't tend to be involved in the enforcement thereof.

Consider it equivalent to being surprised a shop owner would fight off a shoplifter, yet doesn't face down the mafiossa demanding protection money each week.
They may well view both as wrong, but one man is hardly going to face down the mob, and even if they do, the consequences are far more severe.



Well that makes sense, I suppose.  I guess I'm just frustrated that I don't see more of this energy channeled into other topics.


I think you do, the trouble is there's rarely light shown on it.

Unfortunately we only really tend to hear about what the media tells us of.
I think the vehement portion of anti maskers, for instance, is not much greater than any other subject.  Anti mask more generally, and civilly, sure, but the "aggressive angry" response was, at least as I see it, rather limited.
In truth, I find this somewhat regrettable, rather than reassuring, but, it suffices to show what I'm getting at, at least.

The narrative makes up the numbers, more than the numbers themselves do.


The highly inconsistent and, really, haphazard commentary about masking from the U.S. federal government on down makes me rather uncertain and kind of skeptical about how well mass masking really changed things, myself. Common sense says that certain types of masks would help in some particular situations. Extremes such as forcing children to be masked even when separated from each other for hours on end... I'm not sure.

I suppose we won't really know the full scientific picture of what happened during the pandemic for multiple years? Probably? I guess so.

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