Anti-mask advocates rallied over the weekend at a restaurant in Florida, the current covid-19 capital of the world, insisting that no one should wear a mask to fight the spread of the deadly disease. The rally proves yet again that no amount of infection or death will convince some people to do the right thing and just wear a damn mask, which has been shown to dramatically slow the spread of coronavirus.
The anti-mask rally took place on Saturday at 33 & Melt, a bar and restaurant in Windermere, Florida that’s owned by Carrie Hudson, an activist who believes the coronavirus pandemic is little more than media-driven hype. Reuters and Canada’s Global News both published videos of the demonstration on YouTube, which shows county officials speaking with Hudson about the county’s mandatory mask order.
Florida reported over 15,000 new cases of the disease on Sunday, the highest one-day total of any state in the country, surpassing New York’s record tally of over 12,000 infections in 24 hours, reached in April. The U.S. has identified more than 3.3 million cases and over 135,000 deaths since the pandemic began.
Hudson, who reportedly offered 100 free meals to people who visited the restaurant without a mask, was backed up by protesters who clearly savoured the publicity. They did not appear to be very smart, and echoed the same kind of arguments President Donald Trump has spouted about the pandemic since January.
Trump finally wore a mask in public over the weekend, arguably the lowest bar a world leader can pass as thousands still die in his country every week from a preventable disaster. But Trump has notably returned to retweeting anti-science bullshit, like a tweet from Chuck Woolery this morning that accuses the CDC and media of “lying” about the pandemic.
“This is America! This is not Communist China,” the demonstrators shouted at county officials as they leave the restaurant, which is not far from Orlando, Florida, the home of Disney World. Disney also opened up this past weekend with limited capacity, a surreal decision given the amount of disease currently circulating in the area.
The lead demonstrators, identified by Global News as Tara Hill and Chris Nelson, also harassed people living near the restaurant who questioned the anti-mask advocates about what kind of rights they had to be protected from the pandemic.
“Stay in your house!” the blathering idiots shouted, according to video obtained by Global News.
The restaurant’s owner appears to believe that no one would know about the coronavirus if the media didn’t mention it — something that’s hard for any normal person to wrap their head around.
“I will never back down and I love all my guests,” the restaurant said on its Facebook page Sunday. “If the media hadn’t mentioned Covid would have [sic] known is was [sic] even a thing?”
The protesters said many things during the rally that simply aren’t true, including a claim that the disease has a “99.6% recovery rate.” The mortality rate for the disease may indeed be below 1% at the moment, but the word “recovery” is misleading. Some people who contract covid-19 suffer for months and the long term effects of the virus, especially in children, are still unknown. There’s also evidence that some people are experiencing significant cognitive impairment from the coronavirus, including vivid hallucinations in some cases.
“This is a virus that is very well contained, this is a virus that the CDC is removing epidemic status from,” one of the unnamed protesters told Global News. Neither of those things are true, of course. The disease is running rampant through the U.S. with no end in sight and is far from “contained.”
“Everyone is responsible for their own health care decisions,” one of the protesters said, another idiotic talking point that is simply false on its face.
The logic of “personal responsibility” doesn’t work during a viral pandemic. There’s no such thing as a choice that only impacts you when there’s a virus that spreads easily from person to person, especially as many people have no choice but to return to work as the virus spreads uncontrollably.
At the end of the day, these protesters, who are admittedly in the minority of the U.S. population, prove that any action to stop the spread needs to be taken on the state and federal level. You can’t trust in individuals to wear a mask and socially distance because all it takes is a few arseholes like this to ruin everything.