In another treat out of America’s most embarrassing state, a federal judge in Florida has overturned the CDC’s mask mandate enforced in federally regulated public transit centers such as airports, trains, and planes. The TSA has responded by saying that they will no longer enforce those rules.
While many have made the argument that the current wave is already over, or that omicron is not serious, for the last weekday that COVID death data is available (the CDC weekend numbers are persistently off as many Americans will wait for a weekday to visit a doctor rather than go to an emergency room), more than 500 Americans died of COVID, and if CDC tracking data is to believed, most of those cases were Omicron.
This amounts to three Oklahoma city bombings in a single day due to a disease that both the state and the media have discounted. The evidence is detailed and clear that masks are effective at reducing spread, or at the very least, descreasing viral load during spread and thus reducing severity of infections.
Still, Western fatalism regarding the ability of the state to impose rules, and society to exercise self-restraint, both to effectively deal with threats to the health and well being of its people have led to some commentators to welcome the ruling as purging an unenforcable rule from American society.
Following the same logic, perhaps traffic rules, gun laws, and rules on tax evasion should also be purged because so few people follow them.
Alarmingly, if making minor individual sacrifices to protect the national interest is truly beyond the capacity of America, this weakness poses far greater questions about the resilience of the nation and of contemporary civilization to even survive. This will be especially true when facing crisis that may existentially challenge us, such as a future war, and under which circumstances it seems that many would rather enjoy pursue their own goals and watch the world burn, than fight for something beyond the limits of their own limited self-interests.