03 August 2020

[Ellis Millsaps] - Who is That Masked Man, Pt II.

Read Part I here.

I've now taken a two-week break since I started writing this piece.
The day after I started Marshall went on his vacation, so since you
wouldn't  be seeing this for a while I decided to wait and see how
things developed in this crazy America.

Today as  I write I find myself on my daughter's porch in New
Orleans.This is the view from my daughter's porch of the banana tree
which shades it. See that cluster of bananas up there?

This is a view from the porch of the Mississippi River Bridge which we
have to cross to get here to the Westbank which is actually east of
the city, the bank having got his name up north where it was in fact
the west bank, but in Nola the river makes a big U-turn for a while
and heads north for a bit, but the Westbank still keeps its name even
though it's East. It took me a while to figure that out.

This is my granddaughter Talulah who's just turned four.

Meanwhile back at the ranch... Since I started on this piece several
states have issued mask mandates, notably Alabama, Louisiana and
Texas. In Alabama stores have signs saying you must wear a mask to
enter. Governor Ivey put this in place just in time for my passing
through and people in convenience stores where I stopped were abiding
by it. Same here in Louisiana, but in Mississippi where there is no
such mandate very few do.

In Texas the governor has instituted a mask order, but many people
aren't honoring it. The Texas law allows three exceptions: not while
eating or drinking, (duh) not while attending church services ( which
has no basis in science or any religion to support it) and,
nonsensically, not while voting.

More encouraging news is that Walmart, Kroger, Home Depot, Target and
others have instituted their own mask requirements. This will have
teeth. We can't feasibly make rednecks wear masks on the sidewalk, but
if they can't go to Walmart without one we can change their behavior
around the rest of us. We should give these businesses our business
and as much as possible refrain from patronizing stores without mask

In the past week the director of the CDC has said that if everyone
wore masks for four to six weeks we could turn this mess around.The
virus isn't hanging out there in the air; it lives in people who
spread it .If there are no infected people no one will get it. (Yeah I
know there's the thing about not touching stuff and we should still
wash our hands but I  little is spread that way anyway).

Nevertheless a quarter of the population will follow Trump over the
cliff maskless like lemmings to the sea. In the meanwhile the rest of
us should avoid them like, (I can’t stop myself,) the plague.

- Ellis Millsaps


In the interest of full disclosure I should say that the position I've
taken here is on the extreme end. A few scientists I’ve heard agree
with me, but the more common cautious appraisal is” Masks are
important, but they are not the silver bullet. We also need yada yada
yada.” We’ll probably never know for sure, it being likely a moot
point. Remember the lemmings.