This week, Alaska Airlines announced that an Alaskan state representative who refused to wear a mask on the plane will no longer be allowed to fly, turning her roughly two hour commute from the state capital to her district into a twenty hour ordeal (womp womp). This is notable because it’s one of the few instances where COVID-19 related stupidity actually has consequences for the purveyor of said stupidity. One reason is most people, one way or another, will survive their bouts of stupidity:
It’s tempting to claim they’ll get their comeuppance, but, as some asshole with a blog has been noting, they probably won’t, at least not the first time. Why?
The overall frequency of currently infected people is low….
To put this another way, if Ward 4 decided that there ain’t no party like a COVID party, and had a big shindig of 200 people, there still is a one-in-three chance no one infected shows up to the party (and, of course, even if someone shows up, that’s no guarantee of infection). In Ward 3, that 200 person party only has a thirteen percent chance of having one or more infected attendees. In many of the places where people are acting foolishly, my guess is that those locales are much more like Ward 3–or even lower. To be blunt, it’s conservative white areas, and many, though not all of those areas, just don’t have a lot of cases–and to the extent they do, segregation by class and race will mean that not everyone has the same risk.
So they’ll likely survive a bout of stupidity without any transmission, possibly many such bouts.
(wrote that in late May 2020 for context)
But then there’s something really stupid like the Miami, FL private school, whose owners believe that vaccination will cause geysers of menstruation (really, not making that up), and so have told their teachers if they get vaccinated, they will be fired. Nothing will happen to the owners. Florida Gov. DeSantis sure as hell won’t do anything, and due to vaccination in the larger community, these bozos probably won’t get COVID-19.
Meanwhile, White Christian supremacist Tucker Carlson’s recent admonition to tear the masks off of children* won’t result in his firing–and will probably increase his ratings.
I wish I had One Neat Trick to Stop This, but I don’t. But it does seem to be part of a larger pattern in which purveyors of bullshit, often lethal bullshit, are never accountable for their actions.
Almost makes one wish they could be, I don’t know, ‘cancelled’ or something….
*In the Before Times, there were children who wore masks because they were undergoing chemotherapy or had an immunological disease. I hope none of them get hurt by this.