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      A lot of mistakes come from assuming rationality means “thinks the same way I do” rather than “reasons from premises I might not share.” Left than 1/1000 economists predicted the financial collapse, because they reasoned from assumptions like “the market is self-correcting” or “housing prices never go down.” (Sometimes both at the same time, which is rarely […]
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Why Are All The Vaccine and Mask Mandates Ending?

I live in Los Angeles, where there are still indoor mask mandates, though I doubt that they will remain for very long. The rest of the state, except for L.A., and one other county, has ended them. Why? I would say that it is because of the unending pressure and threats from various forces which include anti-vax idiots, right-wing insurrectionists, and shadowy foreign groups, mostly run from Russia, which were found to be behind the so-called “truckers protest” in Canada.

That event shut down traffic, including on an important bridge where goods flow to and from the United States. These people honked their horns for hours, making it virtually impossible for people to work in adjacent businesses. It was estimated that the cost to revenue was an astounding $300 million dollars a day. The effects will still be felt, and there will also be damage to the American economy.

And that, along with generalized chaos, was surely the goal. Canada has a 90% vaccination rate. There scarcely would be imagined that there were actually all these Canadians who were angrily protesting vaccine mandates for businesses. This was something else, both an effort to damage Trudeau and Biden, and the two countries, but a test run for more such events.

I have not done all the research, but various “troll farms” in other countries have been found to be part of this. It is assumed that Russia is behind much of it, in their ongoing efforts to damage and destabilize the United States. And people like Steve Bannon, who is an ally of theirs, are also probably involved. There was some indication that there were plans to disrupt the Super Bowl, but nothing came of that. But we can expect more phony and dangerous “organic protests” which not only cause property and financial damage, but help them to try to oust leaders whom they want to get rid of.

And there are also of course various right-wing cult elements, including those whom Trump has mobilized to express their anger through violent actions. And then the real powers, the immensely rich people who have no compunction about doing anything to get their way, which is defined as no impediments to business making trillions of dollars.

Obviously, vaccine and mask mandates interfere with that. So do airlines trying to ban passengers who endanger the crew and the other passengers, by attacking them. When we see eight Republican senators arguing that it is wrong for the airlines to ban them, we can be certain that this is not coming from their own mentalities, such as they are; it is being told to them by their owners, who are the immensely rich people who fund them, get them re-elected, and give them their talking points.

These people have gone beyond their paying hundreds of millions of dollars to have their people elected, and the Supreme Court stacked with them. They want to control every element of national policy. And that includes getting rid of all of the health mandates.

It seems that many leading medical people do not believe that the mandates should be lifted, not until we get a higher vaccination rate, and more information about the infection rates. We all very much wish that the pandemic were over, but it doesn’t seem that it is. Yet suddenly we see virtually every state and municipality ending the mandates. It is very unsettling, because it seems to me that this is a caving under intense pressure, rather than something that medical professionals are in favor of. I have seen many comments from them which either are against the end of mandates, or at least concerned about it.

Yet, they are ending. And we are seeing such nonsensical things as the rules for the upcoming Academy Awards, which appear to be an effort to “compromise,” assuage various people, to act like they are trying to be safe, but not do anything effectual. Apparently some audience members should wear masks, but the presenters and performers do not have to. The audience members seated in the section of the Dolby Theatre nearest the stage will not be required to wear masks, but they will be seated further apart than usual. The audience seated in the mezzanine must wear masks. And the theatre is in Los Angeles, where the indoor mask mandate is supposed to remain, but somehow is being worked around for this event.

Meanwhile, many people are not following the mask mandates, and they were not three months ago. I have never yet seen any authority figure in an indoor space tell anyone to wear a mask. Many do responsibly wear them, but some don’t. And now all the mandates will end, and have in most cities; and I think it is simply due to the nonstop pressure, complaining, yelling, ignoring, that goes on, as well as less publicized threats being instigated by the ultra-rich corporate people.

Remember the furor over California governor Gavin Newsom being seen eating without a mask at a restaurant? This was made into a major scandal by those who wanted to have him removed via Recall, so they could put in Far Right talk show host Larry Elder. Recently they tried to concoct another such scandal with Newsom, and with Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti, but they both quickly explained that they took off their mask only very briefly.

But the question is who keeps trying to turn these things into scandals, and the answer is that it is those people who now are convinced that the country is theirs, and that they have the money and the power to get anything they want. What they want most of all is absolutely no restrictions on any aspect of business and corporations. Trump was on his way to giving them that, and they want him back, although they would settle for DeSantis, who essentially is Trump without the weirdness.

I do not like wearing a mask, who would? But I will continue to wear them, maybe for another year, unless I read that virtually all of the most respected epidemiologists believe that it is perfectly safe not to wear them. Right now, I do not see that being the case. Hopefully, wearing a good mask will be enough, even if most people are not doing that.

I am also worried about another variant, which we all hope will not arise. It has been over four months since I had a booster shot, and in Israel, they found that after four months, the protection goes down, and they were recommending a fourth shot. Here, nothing yet has been done about it, but I think that Dr. Fauci predicted that it would be recommended for certain groups. But of course there is pressure being exerted against all of that, by the same forces I am writing about.

I think that many of us have been astounded and upset at the angry resistance to vaccinations and masks. The pathetic perversion of concepts of “freedom” into the right not to follow health protocols which are designed to protect not just them, but everyone else. I think that we have declined in national intelligence and rationality.

But I am also thinking that this this idiocy is not just millions of people deciding that “the freedom not to be vaccinated, or to have to wear masks indoors” is the most important thing in their lives. It is something that they are being led into by those on the outside who want America to fall apart and be engaged in civil war; and by powerful people on the inside who want to get rid of Biden, have Far Right Republicans control everything, and thus be free to buy up whatever part of the country and its lawmaking that they do not yet own. Looking at it from that overarching perspective, all of this comes into focus.