Compliance is Not the Way Out

Jacob Cassidy, Staff Reporter

As we move to enter the third year of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are once again reminded that our politicians have no intention of relinquishing the power they have accumulated. Just two weeks after Erie County decided to mandate masks, the State followed suit with its own mandate. The overwhelming consensus from the population has been “Just comply. If I just keep doing what they tell me, one day it will end.” In fact, it seems the majority of the readers will find themselves in this mindset. Unfortunately, this particular way of thinking is extremely flawed.

The politicians and public health officials keep repeating the same line: “Follow the science, so we can go back to normal,” much like dangling a carrot on a stick in front of us, with the sweet taste of freedom always out of reach. However, science and reason have never been the driving forces behind the restrictions. Mandates have proven themselves to be ineffective, and they are certainly not getting any more effective with time, yet they keep being implemented. For those tired of getting pushed around by the government, there is only one way out: non-compliance. 

Right now in New York State, 95% of the adult population has at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. In addition, the State has been under a renewed mask mandate for well over a month. Yet, cases are still on the rise. Completely disregarding these undeniable facts, our governor and our county executive continue to come before the media, behind their podium, and tell you to take the vaccine and wear a mask. Also of importance, recall a moment in time, not too long ago, when strapping a thin piece of cloth over your face was considered the most brilliant medical innovation since anesthesia? Well, that’s not even the case anymore. According to the CDC’s new statement, “The use of cloth masks during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic is under debate”. Under debate? I am old enough to remember when any attempt to debate the efficacy of cloth masks would make you a “science denier.” Read the CDC page yourself, you’ll find the language has changed from “does” work to “may” work. They think you are stupid; they think you are ignorant. Are you going to continue listening to these people? These are the people you put your trust into? They don’t have a clue about what they are talking about. Here is the truth, this will never end on its own. How many more years of this will you need to take before you come to this realization as well? 

Here’s what you can do to help: stop wearing a mask in public. I used to be like you, wearing a mask to keep the pressure off. I didn’t want to draw any attention, especially not any negative attention. I wanted to blend in, play it safe. I complied. After the second mask mandate was implemented, however, I emailed the county executive telling him that I “will not be complying with your illegitimate ‘emergency’ order, nor any that follow.” I am a man of my word, and since the mandate went into effect, I have been to Tops twice, Lowes twice, Kohls, a local pizzeria, the dentist’s office, the bowling alley, and a gun show at the fairgrounds. I have yet to put on a mask. I have not been jailed, fined, or anything of the sort.

Why would I do this? To embolden others, to build a movement, and to show the politicians we are indeed fed up. People on the fence about non-compliance are encouraged by the sight of other people not wearing a mask. They might think something along the lines of “Am I really going to let someone else take this fight for me?” If politicians know that no one is going to listen to them, they won’t bother issuing more mandates. I do it because the mandates need to come to an end. 

One parent on Twitter wrote that her daughter “told me she hopes that masks never go away at school because she likes that no one can see her face” The parent went on to write that she feels “like someone stabbed me in the heart” and that “we are killing the mental health of our kids.” Are you going to continue letting this happen? Are you going to stand idly by as our government abuses children on a level never seen before? 

At the very least, non-compliance is our best shot right now. So, I encourage you to join me. You can make a difference, and together, we can bring an end to the madness.