Karen’s Mask Report from Maskachusetts

In early June I posted “Karen’s Mask Law Compliance Update (Boston to Minneapolis and back)” (this trip plus a trip to the local supermarket would now be illegal under the new Maskachusetts rules!). Here’s an update based on a rare day out and about.

When not filled with arguments about how to pay for the most expensive (per student) school ever to be constructed in the United States, our righteous suburb (rich in BLM and Rainbow flags, if not in people who identify as persons of color or members of the LGBTQIA+ community) is filled with arguments about the best approach to coronapanic. The latest furor concerns the lethal Covid-19-spreading properties of Canis familiaris. Touched someone else’s dog? Dig yourself a grave. A proposed solution is that our town will one day see reason and pass a leash law to reduce the chance of human-canine encounters.

Thus, it was with some trepidation that I took Mindy the Crippler for her first post-plague visit to the grooming salon. If our neighbors are right, the groomers should all be dead. Folks in the salon apparently did not get the memo regarding the hazards of touching dogs and, remarkably, have failed to die on schedule. While Mindy was having her spa treatment, I met a couple of friends for a rare indoor dining experience at a Panera-style restaurant (order at counter; food delivered to table). They have failed to adapt to coronaplague by augmenting the handful of outdoor tables and it was super hot outside so we ate indoors.

We’re in Month 5 of shutdown here and Month 3 of the universal mask law. Everyone seemed to be attempting to wear masks, but, just as the Swedish MD/PhDs predicted, once they were masked they made little attempt to keep a 6′ social distance. There were a fair number of masks-under-noses as well. We’re spending $trillions on things like $600/week handouts to people who became unemployed after the License Raj made it illegal to operate restaurants. But there doesn’t seem to be any money for adaptions that would contribute to long-run plague reduction (like my pet idea for schools). For example, cruise ships usually have handwashing sinks near the entrance to restaurants. Not this restaurant. If we believe the W.H.O. guidance on mask usage (early June 2020 edition of “science”!), the restaurant should have had a sink outside near the outdoor tables and an indoor sink that didn’t require going into a restroom. After all, masks are effective only when combined with handwashing, so we were told by W.H.O. But, in fact, there were no sinks for customers other than ones in the restrooms.

I took Senior Management’s car for a state inspection on the way back to the groomer. None of the guys at the gas station were wearing masks when working in the bay or outdoors, but put them on (without washing hands!) when going inside the shop to run credit cards with customers.

Mindy wasn’t quite ready, so it was necessary to kill time at Dunkin’ Donuts. The women behind the counter were both wearing masks… underneath their noses. Then the hardware store to buy three bottles of drain cleaner to address a slow kitchen sink. “Why do you need three bottles?” asked the partially masked woman in the store? “One thing I have learned from our government is that when something doesn’t work, keep repeating it over and over.” (The grease clog and a small leak in the elbow were eventually solved by a plumber for $370, further evidence that owning property in the U.S. is stupid, except for the exceptionally capable who can do everything themselves.)

A Sunday trip via Cirrus to Martha’s Vineyard (one of the few places to which Maskachusetts residents can legally travel to/from) showed that the island is all-in on masks (“Wear a Mask, Make a Difference” says the sign, contradicting the W.H.O.’s advice through early June and the MD/PhDs in Sweden):

Note the mask directives for boarding the ferry to Chappaquiddick. Perhaps if Ted Kennedy had worn a mask, American politics would have gone in a different direction! (my Cape Cod photos include historical photos of the inn where Teddy K stayed and the motel room where Mary Jo Kopechne stayed).

Two miles away…

I still wonder if having customers inside retail stores makes sense in a country where the only goal is avoiding COVID-19. As noted in “Train Americans to use masks the way that surgeons do or restructure the physical environment?”, why can’t stores go back to their 18th century roots: Customer enters spacious front part of shop and asks for item. Shopkeeper goes into jammed back part shelves to retrieve requested item. (tweak so that customer never goes into the store itself, but stays outside and transacts business over a counter)

We’re afraid of getting Covid-19 from surfaces, right? (hence the constant sanitizing) We’re also afraid of getting Covid-19 from sharing air. How can it make sense to put the entire country at risk by continuing to operate retail stores as they were configured in the pre-Covid-19 age?


  • “Masks are pointless, says Sweden’s maverick chief medic” (Financial Review): “Because from a medical perspective there is no proven effectiveness of masks, the cabinet has decided that there will be no national obligation for wearing non-medical masks,” said Medical Care Minister Tamara van Ark. (Where is the respect for #Science?)

9 thoughts on “Karen’s Mask Report from Maskachusetts

  1. Pro tip: when using liquid drain clog remove, after letting the clog remover work for 15 minutes or so, flush the drain with water you’ve heated to about 180 F. Works MUCH BETTER than merely hot water from the faucet. That water usually doesn’t get hot until you’ve already effectively flushed the drain.

  2. Has sweden not jumped massively in your estimation.

    I seriously would consider moving there now based on their rationality and lack of hysteria.

  3. I haven’t been to the Vineyard or any Panera-style restaurants recently, and thanks for the report, but I have had my car inspected recently. No masks here, either. I hope Mindy enjoyed her spa treatment. Oh, and it’s just Dunkin’ now, although the website is still dunkindonuts.com.

    It was a trip. I take my cars to a little, independent gas station owned by a guy from the Middle East (I’m not exactly sure where in the ME he hails from, and I didn’t ask – I thought that would be gauche) and I drove up, put on my mask before exiting the vehicle and walked into the empty service area. He was unmasked and looked at me like I was Zaphod Beeblebrox for wearing mine.

    “Hello Joseph! [Not his real name, but he goes by an Americanized name]. I need an inspection on this car.”
    “OK, my friend. What year is it?”
    “How many miles?”
    “OK you drive in and leave it here, don’t turn it off.”
    So I did that…
    “OK it’s a hybrid so the key is on but the engine isn’t running, it’s in Park. EV Mode. The A/C is on, so the gas engine will probably go on by itself in a few minutes.”
    “Very good, my friend.”

    I moseyed on over to the “customer service” section of the garage, which consisted of a ramshackle booth for the register, hastily erected with plexiglass panels slapped around some very uneven fake wood paneling. Behind the plexiglass a young woman in a Taylor Swift t-shirt sat on a stool, without a mask, texting feverishly on her phone. She didn’t look up. I sat down in a plastic lawn chair and waited.

    No more than three minutes later, he walked over: “It’s done, my friend. All set. You pay Susan.”

    I have no idea what supernatural powers he possessed that allowed him to inspect my vehicle in that span of time. It’s supposed to be jacked up to look for play in the suspension, photographed with cameras, etc., etc., ( https://www.thedrive.com/news/19430/new-massachusetts-car-inspection-system-is-tough-but-honest ) but I didn’t worry — I know the car is 100%, perfectly maintained and running like new. And the inspection report says so, right there. I handed the girl my credit card and tipped them $10. So, no masks and the World’s Fastest MA Vehicle Inspection.

  4. The madness in increasing severity is NEVER going to end.
    They (normies) are meant to be driven insane; their children (if they even have any) are meant to suffer. It has been decided as part of the “new normal”.
    So they should wear the masks the rest of their lives as a symbol of their weakness and capitulation to the devilish beings who hate them (and their kind), along with the insanity of their unwitting followers.
    Some of us are not of this world, and the day will come when we have no choice but to fight or go where they are fated to go. We get what we deserve and all.

    • @Jim, the rest of the world too.

      I say this not as a joke or sarcasm, but as an expectation. In addition, I expect to see Biden will be awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and other prizes, for saving the world.

      You don’t have to look too for to see this. President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize just 5 months into his office.

Comments are closed.