But will retailers and others still require us to wear indoor masks?

Walmart, Costco and a few others are dropping the mandate, but what about the many others?

Churches, doctors offices, big box stores, pharmacies, schools and universities, sports stadiums, theaters, post offices, government buildings and more independent and private retailers still are requiring masks be worn inside.

Two shoppers in face masks head into Costco as crowds wait to get into the store in Chicago on March 20, 2020. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

“How long” as Dr. Martin Luther King asked yearning for the day that freedom will rain down. “Not long,” he answered. No, mask wearing has not been as awful as Jim Crow, thank God. But it is a taste for the rest of us of what it’s like to be ordered around irrationally and even malevolently. .

For too long, much too long now, mandatory masking, even outdoors, has been an instrument of control by bureaucrats and the political left. Despite the scientific evidence that wearing an outdoor mask is nonsense. Or dangerous, as it is for masked kids.

The growing public outrage prompted the Biden administration to reverse its “guidance” in a matter of hours this week, declaring that fully vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks outside or indoors and the the six-foot social distancing rule no longer had to be observed.

‘Bout time. In Florida, going without masks outside has been the practice for a year or so, without it causing an uptick in infections, hospitalizations or deaths .

Yet, there appears to be no rush for retail and other private establishments to rip down the signs. I still see signs at the entrance that declares “Masks must be worn.” Some are saying they need to “re-evaluate” the new guidelines. I suspect most are consulting lawyers–them again–to get advice about their liability if a maskless person in their store comes down with COVID-19. Lawyers, of course, will tell them masks must be worn in perpetuity.

Conservatives in general have been criticizing President Joe Biden and his administration for the “timing” of the unmasking, as if it was entire their doing. The administration’s “political” motivation is alleged.


Here’s how I see it (just an opinion, jnorto and St. Thomas): Sure it was political, the good kind of politics. Biden had let the CDC take the lead (as I suspect he has allowed other “experts” to take the lead on domestic policy and foreign affairs.) Turned out, however, that the CDC “guidelines” were so confusing, so muddled, so contrary to science that public opinion was surging–to the point that if not Biden, but his political handlers, became concerned. Hence the CDC’s (re: the administration’s) neck-snapping turnaround.

Actually, that doesn’t bother me so much. Public officials sometimes need to respond to public opinion, when it makes so much sense. Here an elected official understands (hopefully) that the pure and inflexible views of epidemiologists should be only one consideration in making public policy. There are other very consequential implications that have sent the economy into a tumble, unemployed millions and shut down small businesses.

Maybe I’m giving Biden too much credit. More hopefully, perhaps this signals the end of last year’s nightmare when elected officials handed over public policy decisions to “experts” whose tunnel vision failed to comprehend the other deep and sweeping economic and societal consequences of their advice. After all, it is only advice.

Maybe we should declare another Independence Day–May 14, when we were unshackled from all-knowing bureaucrats.

Freedom Day! At last!

Filed under: Uncategorized

Tags: Biden, CDC, COVID-19, masks

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