Government mask obsession may prolong pandemic by years
Mask harassment continues at your national parks and wildlife refuges.
The federal government’s obsession with masks and its strict reliance on the CDC’s broken Community Level tool are likely to prolong the COVID-19 pandemic through at least President Biden’s first term, which ends over two years from now.
You may think that what the federal government is doing to its employees when it comes to forced masking doesn’t impact you, but if you visit national parks and wildlife refuges across the country, be prepared for non-sensical mask harassment.
The Department of the Interior (DOI), which oversees the National Park Service (NPS) and Fish and Wildlife Service, is obsessed with masking. Its policy is to take all CDC COVID-19 recommendations and turn them into requirements for all employees and visitors, which means that when a national park unit or wildlife refuge is located within a county with a high CDC community level, the park or refuge must require employees and visitors to wear masks indoors.
Take a deep dive into the broken CDC Community Level tool in my Aug. 20 Brownstone Institute article.
Liberty Journal is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
The DOI’s 47-page COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan (Version 4.0, Aug. 19, 2022) reads like COVID-19 is the greatest plague known to man, responsible for the end of human civilization. Meanwhile, the CDC’s COVID-19 Treatments and Medications webpage states that, “most people with COVID-19 have mild illness and can recover at home. You can treat symptoms with over-the-counter medicines, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), to help you feel better.”
Sept. 1, 2022 UPDATE: DOI released this week Version 5.0 of its COVID-19 Workplace Safety Plan. The plan doubles down on masks by banning visitors and employees from wearing cloth masks when a park is within a county with a high CDC Community Level designation. The mask obsessed National Park Service will only allow “high-quality, well-fitting masks like surgical masks and N95 respirators.
For a virus that can now be managed by several different vaccines and prescribed treatments, and which can also be treated, regardless of vaccination status, by over-the-counter medicines like Tylenol or Advil, the DOI, and many other federal government agencies, continue to act like it is the year 2020.
Besides the obvious concern about the mental health of federal employees who are forced by their employer to wear masks half of their waking hours when in a high CDC Community Level, taxpayers should be concerned about the amount of money being wasted on the purchase of masks for the vast majority of visitors that no longer carry or even own masks.
“Based on how much my small park is spending to equip our visitors with masks, it is not out of the realm of possibility to estimate that national park units are collectively spending tens of thousands of dollars a week on masks,” said an NPS employee who agreed to be interviewed anonymously. “In less than the last two months, management at my park has had to spend over $10,000 on masks to hand out to visitors, which is, in my opinion, gross mismanagement and a substantial waste of taxpayer funds by DOI and NPS,” she continued. The NPS employee also stated that the back-and-forth nature of the community levels, with masks for weeks straight, then no masks one week, followed by consecutive weeks in masks, all due to the broken database called the CDC COVID-19 Community Level tool, has her looking for other employment. “Regulating humans through the exclusive use of an uncaring database, which is likely not even monitored by a human being, is unacceptable to me,” she concluded in a recent email exchange.
Only time will tell how long the federal government will obsess over masks and ignore what the CDC considers to be an improved phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. For the sake of its employees and citizens, let’s hope the obsession ends sooner rather than later.