Daily Bread for 9.27.21: Good Public Health Policy is True Optimism

Good morning.

Monday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of 86.  Sunrise is 6:48 AM and sunset 6:41 PM for 11h 52m 56s of daytime.  The moon is a waning gibbous with 64.9% of its visible disk illuminated.

 The Whitewater Urban Forestry Commission meets at 4:30 PM, Downtown Whitewater’s Board of Directors meets at 6 PM, and the Whitewater School Board meets at 7 PM.

 On this day in 1777, Lancaster, Pennsylvania becomes the capital of the United States for one day after Congress evacuates Philadelphia.

 Andrea Salcedo reports A school photographer told a first-grader he could shed his mask. He politely declined: ‘My mommy told me not to’:

“Mason, 6, declined to remove his navy mask for his first-grade photos” (© Dorian Studio, 2021 via Washington Post)

On the day of his first-grade school photos, 6-year-old Mason told his mom he was excited to show the camera his new “big boy” smile. He recently lost four teeth.

But when the photographer asked Mason to take off his navy mask before snapping his picture, Mason politely declined, his mom Nicole Peoples told The Washington Post.

“My mommy told me not to take my mask off,” Mason replied.

“Are you sure you don’t want to take it off?” the photographer asked.

“No, my mommy seriously told me to keep it on unless I’m eating and far away from everybody,” Mason said.

Perhaps he could take it off for two seconds so she could snap a quick photo, the photographer suggested.

“No, I always listen to my mommy,” Mason said.

The Nevada first-grader said “cheese,” but he wore his mask through the entire photo shoot.

“He stood his ground,” Peoples, 33, told The Post.

Masks in schools have become a flash point across the country as the United States battles another surge in coronavirus cases amid the highly transmissible delta variant. Some schools have implemented mandatory mask policies, while others have said they are recommended but not required. (Masks are mandatory in Mason’s school, his mom said.)

Before this year’s in-person classes began, Peoples told her son about the covid safety measures she expected him to follow, she said. Mason, who lost his great-grandfather to covid earlier this year, agreed not to drink from the water fountain, to keep his mask on except when eating or drinking, and to regularly wash his hands, Peoples told The Post.

Well done.  Mason is a proper American gentleman, and looks suitably sharp.

The very mention of masks infuriates the conservative populists, who set aside their support for banning immigrants and caging children only long enough to complain that simple cloth masks are an infringement on their liberty.  No number of studies will deter this edgy and impulsive horde. They’re much for ‘hope over fear’ and ‘common sense’ until they so quickly lose their cool and start shouting. It’s a short distance for these populists to a destination of heads shaking, arms raised, and shouts of ‘what, what, what?!!’… Chilled Aryan blood proves neither chilled nor Aryan.

Personal responsibility should never be so hard. See Jane Jacobs with Useful Advice on Responsibility (for Whitewater, Richmond Township, Delavan, Etc.)

Officials in small rural communities like Whitewater go on at length about any subject except the pandemic and public health measures to control it.  They mean by this — or at least they insist that they mean — that it’s important to be positive.

Their positivity is merely a transparent evasion of responsibility.

There is, however, reason for a grounded, serious optimism. One finds it in Mason, and so many others, all across America.

See also Boosterism’s Cousin, Toxic Positivity and Tragic Optimism as an Alternative to Toxic Positivity (‘Indeed, much of FREE WHITEWATER is a critique of the boosterism — the accentuation of the positive without regard to real conditions — of some in Whitewater before, during, and after the Great Recession. As much as FREE WHITEWATER is a libertarian blog, it’s also the website of a tragic optimist with a mainline Protestant formation.’)

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