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Michelle Phillips

I have been wearing a mask since March, as I have stated before in this column. Furthermore, I have been calling for a mask mandate for months because I know that any variety of SARS, a classification COVID-19 falls under, is spread primarily through the respiratory system. Honestly, it seems like a no brainer.

We should never underestimate the ability of ignorance and stupidity to politicize something that is not political. Masks fall into this category. For weeks I have seen all sorts of nonsense on social media about “owning liberals” by not wearing a mask. Let me tell you, you aren’t owning a thing, except that ignorance and stupidity.

I want to be clear. I would have no problem with you all you anti-maskers going out and infecting yourselves if, in fact, you were only infecting yourselves. The problem is you are potentially infecting others. Dr. Anthony Fauci, who has gained fame for his presidential briefings on COVID-19 was quoted as saying, “I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care for other people.”

That lack of empathy, ignorance and stupidity was on full display Monday morning when I received a call, then photos and several emails concerning Helbachs Coffee, declaring their business a “No mask zone” and telling people to remove their masks when they come into the business. This is truly one of the most asinine things I have seen to date, though humans rarely disappoint in that arena.

I messaged the police chief to see what could be done. Sadly Public Health of Madison and Dane County (PHMDC) is supposed to be handling enforcement of the mandate, so there was little the police could do.

When I called PHMDC I got voicemail, encouraging me to email instead, which I had already done, to no avail. I find this to be concerning as well. What is the point of a mandate if there is no enforcement? I mean without enforcement, it is really just a suggestion, which is really no different than a week ago or a month ago. 

Unfortunately, Fauci is right, there is no way to explain to selfish ignorant people that they should do something for the greater good of society. Greater good seems to be lost completely on those that can’t not see the bigger picture, for those you simply don’t care if they are spreading a deadly diseases around.

Time and again I have read about people who have died because they thought the virus was a “hoax.” One notable case is a man who went to a COVID-19 party. This is a party in which someone who has tested positive, but doesn’t believe in the virus, invites others over to a party to see if they get infected. This in and of itself is stupid and ignorant. Anyway, several people have died or become critically ill due to this practice.

I am going to lay some more truth on you, the coronavirus doesn’t give a rat’s fat heinie if you believe in it or not. Viruses are indiscriminate–they can and do infect anyone. 

I love science and I have read as many scientific papers as I can find about COVID-19. Here are some startling things I have learned I the past week.

• COVID-19 affects many organs, not just lungs. You heart, brain and kidneys can also sustain long term damage, just like your lungs.

• Positive tests have skyrocketed from five percent about a month ago, to 20% in recent days.

• COVID-19 is a cardio-vascular disease as well as s respiratory disease, and blood clots are common in those infected.

• Children can get infected, and those numbers have been climbing after outbreaks at summer camps, preschools and daycares since businesses have reopened.

• Florida had 16,000 case in a single day. If Florida were a country, it would have the fourth highest infection rate in the world. 

• Infection does not mean immunity. In fact, most SARS virus antibodies disappear within two years, COVID-19 has been just weeks in cases studied.

• Blood type may be a determine factor when it comes to those severity of the virus when infected. In a study of patients from Italy and Spain, it was discovered that those with Type A blood have a 45% chance of severe COVID-19, while those with Type O had 35% less chance of severe symptoms.

Look, I know masks suck–I know this because I wear one every time I am in public–but don’t make this about politics or your perceived oppression. Being asked to wear a mask is simply about protecting others and yourself from an invisible virus. If you cannot be a responsible adult, stay home.

As for the mandate, PHMDC goes through a compliance process, which can be pretty slow. Step 1 is education for owners and staff. Step 2 gets a legal warning from an attorney, and Step 3 is a citation or lawsuit proceedings.

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