Featured image by Alan Levine. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.
California has entered the Yellow Tier, and as of yesterday, has removed the mask mandates for the state. Per KCRA, fully vaccinated people can ditch the masks indoors, in line with current CDC recommendations. As with all things, there are exceptions to the rule.
It will also require proof (vaccine passport anyone?) for “mega events” of 5,000 people or more. Companies can still require customers to wear masks or ask for proof. And the Governor is keeping the “emergency powers given to him by a court in his back pocket.” According to the article, if, for example, there was a distribution problem with the vaccine, or a new variant, then Governor Newsome can reimpose restrictions. These powers were not given to him by the legislature, and he has zero incentive to remove the restrictions and give up his emergency powers.
I have talked before about incentive. When you want something from someone else, you have two options. The classic analogy is carrot and stick. Either you offer them something to drive them toward the desired behavior, or you apply force. What incentive do Californians have to remove their masks? What incentives do California businesses have to remove mask mandates from their stores? If, at any time, the Governor can decree that the mask mandates must return, citing “the science,” and wield the emergency powers given to him not by the people or the peoples’ legislature, but by a court, then what will stop him from re-implementing mask mandates after his recall election likely fails?
And aside from the governmental pressure, there are many in the state who are afraid that by removing the mask mandates and allowing the state to open back up, that there will be a huge spike in COVID-19 cases and deaths, justifying their fear. I for one am not on that train of thought. I’ve done my part, got my vaccines, and am set to live my life. But there will be people out there, the Karens of the world, who want me to live in their fear-fueled dystopia with them. And in California, there’s a whole hell of a lot of them.
In San Francisco, progressive policies have wrought unintended consequences. The homeless population is on the verge of doubling from 2005.
I will be unsurprised if and when the mask mandates return, when businesses are forced to shutter again because we’re seeing an “uptick” in the cases, likely centered around the large population centers (read mostly LA). It would be akin to the teacher punishing the entire class for the actions of one bad student. I will be unsurprised if and when people who were masked throughout the process win the public opinion war and demoralize everyone else into compliance because they use such hyperbolic arguments. I will be unsurprised if and when it comes out that those in the government don’t follow their own edicts again. We are a one party state in California. There is no meaningful opposition here. And it shows. High taxes, higher crime rates in the urban centers, homelessness run rampant because the help promised by the government goes into studies and panels to discuss the problem rather than to organizations that help alleviate the problems. We’re supposed to blindly trust that the people who decriminalized theft under $1,000 and who wish to defund and abolish policing know how their policies affect the common person. Just ask the people in San Francisco how that’s working out for them. 17 Walgreens closed in the last five years and counting. A poop department for the disposal of human waste.
When you have a department of sanitation specifically for human waste, wouldn’t you stop and consider why? For the issue to be so bad and so prolific that you have to pay people to scoop and spray human feces left on the sidewalk and in alleyways, shouldn’t you consider if the policies in place are curbing or exasperating the problem? San Francisco has some of the wealthiest people in the world living there. And they seem to be content having to avoid parts of the city to comport with their world view. Unfortunately, those people are the ones dominating twitter and engaging in the types of social justice warrior rhetoric that leads to such outcomes.
California has become a truly dystopian place, dominated by large multinational corporations who spend most of their money campaigning for the party that lets the run roughshod over the people of the state, with a few token bastions of mildly right leaning pockets. But don’t worry folks, the politicians in charge of things who accept the big money from the big corporations will certainly make sure they “pay their fair share” (add eye roll here).