The wild unmasked territory of South Dakota

South Dakota’s governor Kristi Noem is infamous for failing to #FollowScience and order her subjects to wear masks (though she might argue that she was merely following World Health Organization’s science from January-June 2020 (“don’t wear a mask”)). Her “government can’t protect you from a respiratory virus” attitude is shocking to those who have faith in technocratic “leadership.”

We stopped overnight in Rapid City in mid-November, en route to Bend, Oregon. Compared to Massachusetts or Oregon, it turns out that the observed mask rituals on the ground are not that different in practice. Oregon has huge signs, for example, ordering people to wear masks when on trails. Only about 30 percent of folks out walking obey the order. South Dakota has no order, but about 30 percent of folks choose to wear masks.

Just as residents of South Dakota are free to live unmasked, businesses in South Dakota are free to require masks. Our hotel, for example, required masks in the lobby. A lot of shops had “masks required” signs out front. In a bagel shop that had no signs regarding mask use, nearly all of the customers came in wearing masks and did not remove them until seated at a table.

Just as in Maskachusetts, folks would rather use their limited budget for human interaction on adults in restaurants rather than children in schools. The Rapid City schools, for example, are on a “hybrid” schedule currently. (Contrast to Ireland, where everything is closed except schools!)

A few snapshots. Note that our Maximum Macho president Jimmy Carter is parked right in front of a bridal boutique. (Downtown Rapid City has statues of all of the legitimate presidents (i.e., everyone except Donald Trump).)

4 thoughts on “The wild unmasked territory of South Dakota

  1. It’s interesting to read about Martin van Buren.

    “Van Buren is largely regarded today as a leader in the formation of the two-party system in the United States.”

    “The president countered by proposing the establishment of an independent U.S. treasury, which he contended would take the politics out of the nation’s money supply. Under the plan, the government would hold all of its money balances in the form of gold or silver, and would be restricted from printing paper money at will; both measures were designed to prevent inflation.[155] The plan would permanently separate the government from private banks by storing government funds in government vaults rather than in private banks.[156] Van Buren announced his proposal in September 1837,[150] but an alliance of conservative Democrats and Whigs prevented it from becoming law until 1840.”

    He also thought slavery was awful, but constitutional. Facebook knows that too, I presume.

    • They should have a separate statue dedicated to the Petticoat Affair.

      That hussy!

      “She did not know her place; she forthrightly spoke up about anything that came to her mind, even topics of which women were supposed to be ignorant. She thrust herself into the world in a manner inappropriate for a woman. … Accept her, and society was in danger of disruption. Accept this uncouth, impure, forward, worldly woman, and the wall of virtue and morality would be breached and society would have no further defenses against the forces of frightening change. Margaret Eaton was not that important in herself; it was what she represented that constituted the threat. Proper women had no choice; they had to prevent her acceptance into society as part of their defense of that society’s morality.[12]”

      Get Married! (Now it would be Get Divorced!)

      “The Cabinet wives insisted that the interests and honor of all women were at stake. They believed a responsible woman should never accord a man sexual favors without the assurance that went with marriage. A woman who broke that code was dishonorable and unacceptable. Howe notes that this was the feminist spirit that in the next decade shaped the woman’s rights movement.”

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