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Escaping the City During the COVID Scamdemic, Part 2
Political Polarization, the Mask, and the joys of Little League Baseball
This is part 2 of a series about my experience moving from a large metro area to a small rural town with my family, amidst the political and cultural chaos of the covid scamdemic. See part 1 here. See part 3 here. See part 4 here.
AGGRESSIVE “SWING DISTRICT” POLITICS
The north Atlanta suburban area where we lived from 2009 to 2021 was part of Georgia’s 6th congressional district. It briefly made the news in 2017 when a special election for our congressional seat shattered all records to become the most expensive one ever.
The somewhat infamous Handel-Ossoff race went to the Republicans, but narrowly; setting off an aggressive campaign to “flip the 6th” by any means necessary. Through the 2020 election, enormous amounts of money was spent, and propaganda disseminated, in order to “swing” our district leftward.
Just how much these efforts had advanced became clear at a popular annual local parade in September 2018. Joining the marching bands, fire trucks, Elks lodges, and girl scouts, was a group marching, all in red: Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Cobb County, Georgia was, until the day before yesterday, a place full of men from the south who love to hunt and fish, and use firearms. (And, to teach their sons and daughters gun safety from an early age.) The idea of a gun control group in our local parade made me briefly wonder about the safety of these anti-gun moms marching past. But, rather than boos and hate, many of my neighbors were cheering (even a few men.) Not one person in the crowd near me seemed offended in the least. Flip the 6th seemed to be winning. During our congressional election in November 2018, the 6th did indeed flip - to Lucy McBath, National Spokeswoman for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
When the scamdemic kicked off, our newly “flipped” district was all-in on containment measures. A newly ascendant group of Moms Demanding Things would militantly advocate for every draconian measure, but most of all the mask.
Let’s examine the pitch to mask up: Wear the mask because you might be infected without symptoms and unknowingly pass it to others. If I also wear the mask, then mine protects you and yours protects me.
Even if one allows that masks work in this fashion, as “source control,” the reasoning advanced as to why one should “mask up” would obviously apply forever. If you can feel well but be sick anyway, then when would you know not to wear the mask? The answer of course is you would know when the government told you.
Then there is the more obvious matter of whether and how a mask could work as “source control” at all…
But for me, the objection was always ideological: If I don’t believe masks serve any purpose, and I wear one because you force me, then you are forcing me to pretend to believe in a falsehood. My freedom of conscience, and yours, should be sacrosanct in all matters.
FALL INTO THE DARK WINTER
In the fall of 2020, baseball and soccer seasons began for two of my kids. This was my first opportunity to interact with other dads I knew since the lockdown. At my son’s little league, the “baseball people” had largely kept their heads. Most of them were frustrated as I was with the absurdity of everything. Over the course of the season, what few “rules” had been put in place to annoy the kids, coaches, and parents, were quickly forgotten. The baseball field would be remain a joyous place of refuge through the following spring season, right up until we left the city for good. (If you live in the north Atlanta area and are looking for a great little league, you won’t find better than East Side, it’s the best.)
At my daughter’s soccer field, things couldn’t have been more different; masks were required for parents, siblings, and coaches, at all times. (Players could breathe free) Keep in mind this is outdoors, in the sun. As I approached the field with my wife for the first time and saw the “mask required outdoors” sign, I really thought it was a joke. It wasn’t. There they were, dads I had been looking forward to seeing for months, all obediently wearing face diapers, and most glaring at me because I wasn’t… I realized, somewhat surprisingly, that while I had been grumbling and smoking too much weed during the lockdown, these guys had been locked down and genuinely scared of the virus with a 0.2% infection fatality rate. (Commuting to work in Atlanta is far more deadly.) It made me sick to my stomach. I knew that day we had to get out of the city before any of us caught whatever contagious version of “crazy” these people had… but there was a problem, one of us was already infected.
To Be Continued…