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Countdown to Freedom: 32 Days

by Kerry Dougherty

Republished by arrangement with Bacon’s Rebellion.

Gov-Elect Glenn Youngkin

Oh look.

California’s dopey governor is following New York’s crazy executive. They’re both re-instituting what didn’t work the last time that COVID cases began to rise: Sweeping mask mandates and more restrictions.


There, but for the wisdom of the electorate, goes Virginia.

Oh, I suppose lame duck Ralph Northam — in an explosive display of tyrannical behavior — could impose another mask mandate on the commonwealth or tell us to be home by midnight as he did last Christmas. He could close bars again, order us not to have more than five people in our homes over the holidays and close schools.

But even the Governor knows none of those measures made a bit of difference last time and they’d be wildly unpopular today.

Gov. Glenn Youngkin will be inaugurated on January 15th and Virginians will be safe from any more sudden and erratic mandates from Richmond.

In fact, according to my Youngkin Countdown to Freedom Calendar, there are just 32 days left in Northam’s term.

COVID restrictions weren’t at the top of every voter’s list of issues in November, but they topped mine. Shoot, I was horrified by 15 days to slow the spread in March of 2021, when I correctly predicted that the goalposts would be moved again and again.

Youngkin promised to scrap Virginia’s sweeping school mask mandates. Now is the time for parents to let school officials know that they want those soggy, bacteria-infested rags off their kids’ faces as soon as the law allows.

It’s heartening to realize it’s not just Republican governors resisting the urge to repeat the mistakes of the past two years.

The Democratic governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, told NPR a few days ago that the COVID emergency was over.

Reason Magazine praised Polis in a piece headlined, “Colorado Gov. Jared Polis: No More Mask Mandates Because ‘the Emergency Is Over’”:

“The emergency is over. You know, public health [officials] don’t get to tell people what to wear; that’s just not their job,” Polis said. “You don’t tell people what to wear. You don’t tell people to wear a jacket when they go out in winter and force them to [wear it]. If they get frostbite, it’s their own darn fault.”

When vaccines were not readily available to anyone who wanted one, Polis argued, mask mandates made sense as an alternative. But following the science means adjusting to changing circumstances, and vaccines are far more effective at mitigating COVID hospitalizations and deaths.

“At this point, if you haven’t been vaccinated, it’s really your own darn fault,” Polis said.

Reason called mask mandates and other restrictions, such as wearing a face covering into a restaurant, removing it to eat and then putting it back on to exit “pandemic theater.”

The cruelest forms of pandemic theater are found in blue state schools where kids are forced to wear masks all day, taking them off only for “silent lunches” where children are ordered to stare straight ahead like prisoners.

That amounts to cruel and unusual punishment for young people at very little risk of serious illness from COVID. The morons who forced this unnatural behavior on students have a sadistic streak and should be kept far away from children.

“As we head into another COVID winter, what Americans need now is not more hectoring from public health experts or another round of strong-armed mandates and misguided restrictions from elected officials — rules that those same leaders have been caught skirting or undermining all too often,” wrote Eric Boehm for Reason. “We need straight talk like what Polis delivered on Colorado Public Radio. Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself. Wearing a mask should be a personal choice.”

Especially in schools.

Virginia parents, start your engines.

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