This is Tim Benjamin’s article printed in the Evening Leader on Monday, Dec 13, 2021
Let’s learn a new vocabulary word: permanent. My understanding of the word permanent means “something put in place that never ends or goes away.” Websters dictionary seems to agree with me by defining the word as “not temporary or changing.” That is the idea of permanent, that there is no expiration date or end point.
I was scrolling through my Google newsfeed looking for something to share with you today and I found an article with the word permanent in the title. I clicked over to look and to my horror, the article was about a new mandate in the state of Oregon. They are looking at a new mandate that would require masks be worn indoors, permanently. Regardless of vaccination, regardless of prior infection, regardless of any statistics. If you are under a roof, you will have a mask on. I am assuming you could be in your home without a mask, although I can’t be sure that will be a legal exception.
This has gotten out of hand. There are no statistics that masks do anything to protect you from any illness out there. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence to say that the improper wearing of masks can actually be detrimental to your health because of the lack of air circulation. In order to have any health benefits at all, you have to be wearing an M-95 mask and you have to be wearing it properly. Almost no one wears an M-95 and even fewer wear it properly. If I can see your nose or any gaps around your face, that mask is doing nothing to protect anyone, not you and not anyone else.
If the mask makes you feel better, then by all means, wear it with my blessing. My problem is that there are no statistics to support mask mandates. Masks did nothing to prevent the spread of any infection and there seems to be no significant difference between populations that had extensive masking and those that did not. If you want protection from COVID, vaccination is your only option.
My issue with this is how does the government have the right to make such rules? Where does that authority come from? The State has the right to restrict my driving speed because there is plenty of evidence that excessive speed is a danger to the driver as well as anyone else on the road. There is no disputing that so as a community, we have a vested interest in setting speed limits based on evidence and experience.
But where is the line? Does the state also have the right to restrict how many Twinkies I eat? I believe that excessive Twinkie eating, while delicious, is not in your best interest. Does the government have the authority to limit Twinkie consumption? I think the vast majority of us would agree that how many Twinkies anyone eats is up to the individual. I could not care less how many Twinkies you eat in a day. That is your business and no one else’s.
But what about a permanent mask mandate? What is that based upon? Who granted that authority? How far of a step is it between mandating a mask with no real evidence that it does anything and limiting anything else that is deemed harmful? What if crowds are deemed unsafe? No more Church attendance? Then who gets to make that decision? I mean, it would never be legal to limit Church attendance while allowing other gatherings where businesses are burned, and property smashed. That would never happen, right?
When are we going to tell the government that we are not interested in their opinion on anything we do? They are there to support and protect the community, and laws are enacted to provide those safeguards. But the rules and laws that are put in place are ones that we enact, not them. They are public servants; they do what we want them to do, and we do not want this. No one is saying that you can’t wear a mask, but no one is saying you have to either. I hope and pray that the tyrants and bureaucracy in Oregon who are considering this permanent mask mandate will quickly learn that elections are also not permanent by design. Vote out the ones you can and fire the rest. That is how you deal with a permanent mask mandate.