Freedumb Fighters

Anti-maskers and the cult of freedumb

Freedumb Fighters

Current projections indicate that by October 1, the COVID-19 pandemic will have killed almost 10,000 Canadians and 215,000 Americans. Despite health professionals in both countries advising that the use of facemasks in public places will help prevent the spread of the virus (and thereby reduce the death rate), there are those who, in the name of “freedom,” vehemently oppose wearing facemasks, despite the evidence that masks reduce the incidence of contagion.

Sometime in July, I saw an anti-mask demonstration in downtown Vancouver that snarled traffic for blocks. I marvelled at the signs. “Freedom is not free.” “My body-my choice.” “Masks Don’t Work and Are Harmful — Reduces Oxygen and Increases CO2.” “Keep Your Laws off My Face.” “COVID is a Conspiracy.” “Plandemic not Pandemic.” “A facemask is a symbol of tyranny.” But to really get a sense of the crowd, there was one woman talking on her cellphone carrying a sign that linked masks with mandatory vaccinations, 5G towers, state surveillance and Bill Gates; not realizing that the cellphone she was talking on could track her movements far more accurately than any government-sponsored Bill Gates conspiracy that involved vaccinations, Science Fiction B-Movie plots and 5G towers.

The most rabid anti-maskers unabashedly lie about the “dangers of facemasks.” Masks are “killing people” they say, because facemasks deprive the body of oxygen and increase CO2. Yet doctors, nurses and other health professionals always use medical facemasks during surgical procedures and aren’t dropping dead on top of their patients in the middle of surgery due to oxygen deprivation or inhaling too much CO2. Perhaps these anti-maskers should have their next surgery performed by doctors and nurses without facemasks, just so that their wackadoodle theories can be tested.

Other anti-maskers have brought God into it. In Florida a few months ago, angry anti-maskers protested a local government mandate to wear facemasks in public places, arguing that masks were the work of the devil and contrary to God’s wonderful breathing system. Some have linked the wearing of masks to the imposition of sharia law, because if facemasks are required today, then by 2024, the government will mandate chadors, niqabs and burqas for women (although they don’t deal with what men will be forced to wear).

Then there’s the constitutional argument predominantly used by American anti-maskers because mandatory facemasks deprive them of their constitutional right... to shop! I’ve watched dozens of videos filmed by other shoppers where anti-maskers have screaming fits or temper tantrums in front of extremely patient salesclerks, complaining that their constitutional right to shop is being infringed. Some anti-maskers are trying to use official looking “mask exemption certificates” off the Internet where the holder is exempt from any law requiring facemasks, and an offending business can be fined up to $150,000 for not serving them. It’s a total fraud of course, and retailers have caught on to the scam. They’re quite comfortable politely telling anti-maskers: “if you don’t want to wear a mask in our store, then don’t shop here.”

I keep hearing about “freedom” in this debate, but what this really is, is an exercise in “freedumb” by a cult of entitled brats who have never been told “no” in their lives. Freedumbers believe in rights without responsibilities and freedom without limits. Their freedom to buy a supersized bag of Doritos at Walmart without a mask is more important than my health or the health of my friends and family.

So, unless you suffer from COPD, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, or your face has been badly burned in a fire, there is no excuse for not wearing a mask in public during this pandemic. Stay home and use Amazon. Stop whining, pouting, screaming at employees or sobbing into your cellphone because a store won’t serve you. Stop spouting bubbleheaded conspiracy theories you read on Facebook. Shut up and wear the damn mask.

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