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  1. Just once, I would like for one of you self-appointed mortal cash register ringers to throw up some more numbers, like normal US mortality rates, decreased mortality due to other causes for the same time period, decedent age ranges, percentage of decedents with other chronic/terminal conditions, jobs lost, lives disrupted, business closures, bankruptcies, bill delinquencies... Or for such an astute numbers guy such as yourself, is "data" really not your thing? (And your percentage calculation is a tad off, by the way.)
  2. If any of you are looking for any last-minute cheer-up ideas for me, I have one. I'd like @Hayduke1, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy summer slumber over there under the Sorlie Bridge with all the other degenerates--I mean, "true medical professionals"--and I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed germophobe he is! Hallelujah! Holy s#!t! Where's the Tylenol?
  3. Not if I'm wearing a mask. I prefer to continually adjust that ratty thing with filthy mitts before and after touching random items in the grocery store I have no intention of purchasing.
  4. You know what's selfish? Making me adjust my routine and my way of life to acquiesce to your borderline irrational fears of a risk that is laughably small and which you can minimize by making your own decisions. And f*** you, you judgmental prick.
  5. Here's the problem, though. In this country, we honor, cherish and respect notions such as due process of law and the fact that one is presumed innocent until proven guilty. To insist that I take steps to protect anyone from "my droplets" without so much as a shred of evidence that "my droplets" are harmful is tantamount to punishing me for a crime that not only have I not committed, but for which I have been neither charged nor tried. If someone wants to be safe from others' droplets, the onus is on THEM to don a mask. I don't think that's particularly revolutionary or obscene.
  6. Not "anti-mask" so much as "anti-mask mandate." Just like any other subset of the human race with whom you happen to disagree, we don't need your understanding. We just want your tolerance. Mandates and brow-beating are hardly the way forward. Let people decide for themselves, and rest easy knowing that pre-mandate, you already had upwards of 60% or more voluntary mask compliance. That significantly reduces the risk of spread. Why is that not good enough? Wear a mask. Shop at stores that require masks. If you see me coming, tighten your mask, cross the street. Whatever. Won't hurt my feelings a bit. Just stop the incessant nagging, admit that you have zero idea about me and my character or whether I take unnecessary risks with friends and loved ones, quit trying to flex your faux moral superiority, and mix in some basic human decency and respect for your fellow man.
  7. This didn't age too well, as the number of mask-optional choices is rapidly dwindling. I stand by my statement, though, and I would be curious to track store-specific sales and traffic if a chain like Hugo's designated one location as face-friendly. Makes for an interesting study in human behavior and economics.
  8. I'll live with that, because I know that others can wear masks if they choose to do so. And sharing the planet with other humans - and contagion - is part of the deal. Nobody is guaranteed not to get sick. For all this talk of "doing things for other people" or "having no concern for your fellow man," I defy anyone to know what is in my heart - and what good I have done - merely by seeing me in public with an uncovered face. And I don't drink and drive. So there you go.
  9. What I recognize is that masks have become a symbolic gesture, low-hanging fruit for politicians and policymakers, and a security blanket and rallying point for those who choose to wear them. I like my odds, I trust my immune system. If this is a global killer, so be it. I'm not going to go down cowering. If it's not, all the better. If I am medically compromised and thus, destined to die from COVID, I don't have a problem with that. I am comfortable with my own mortality. I submit that masks are now more about solidarity than science, as the collective harm to the psyche of early adopters if it is ultimately proven that masks were ineffective will alone ensure that mask mandates persist far longer than they ever should have. No one wants to feel like they sacrificed for nothing. And please don't get me started about the difference between 'wearing a mask because I have to' and 'proper utilization.' Wearing one improperly is enough to get you in the grocery store, but it does little or nothing to achieve its intended aim. I've said it before in this thread...life is about risks and choices. I would prefer to be left to make my own decisions.
  10. Just like the lockdowns, this is the question no one can, or will, answer. I think it pains most people greatly to admit that the people in charge are literally flying by the seat of their pants. But they are. If they weren't, they could point to the exact data point(s) that necessitated the measure, so that once we drop back below, the measure may be lifted. That's science. Objective, and pure. Waiting until so-and-so says so, or decides that it feels right, is most certainly NOT science. And it begs the next logical question...if masks are so important, why did Wal*Mart wait several days between announcement and implementation? Why is Target waiting more than 10 days? Why is Hugo's waiting 9 days? These questions burn yet no one seems willing to talk about them.
  11. Here's some basic mathematical analysis, lest anyone wonder why I feel the way I do about masks: CONSTANTS (per ND Dept of Health) POSITIVE TESTS = 5126/135978 = 0.0377 ACTIVE INFECTIONS = 907/5126 = .177 MASK UTILIZATION (theoretical) If XX percent of people wear a mask, your chances of encountering an unmasked individual at random are 100-XX in 100 i.e., 95% = 5 in 100 = 1 in 20 = .05, 85% = 15 in 100 = 1 in 6.67 = .15, and so on. ASSUMPTIONS 1. Anyone who is "active" is shedding virus (doubtful, but I'll err on the side of extreme caution) = 0.177 2. Contraction subsequent to exposure occurs 1 in 4 times (likely very high, but haven't seen data) = 0.25 3. If you contract the virus, your odds of getting sick are the same as the overall positive rate in ND = 0.0377 (Rate of encounter) X (ND positive rate) X (ND active case, i.e. shedding virus) X (Odds of getting infected) X (ND Positive rate) = your odds of getting sick I recently saw someone online say that 50% isn't 100%, but it's better than 0. I tend to agree. So, at 65%, which I think is fairly representative (if not conservative) of the number of people who are WILLINGLY (i.e., pre-mandates) wearing a mask in and around GF, your odds of getting sick from a random community encounter are about 1 in 45,000. Pretty low, right? And think, NO STRIFE over forcing anyone to do anything. Free will is a powerful tool. At 75% adoption, your odds are 1 in 63,000. Better, but honestly, how much? At 85%, 1 in 106,000. Again, better. But at what cost? Civil harmony? People just getting along? At 95%, which is a pipe dream, you're at 1 in 318,000. But you've divided friends, family, and neighbors, and burdened the community with enforcement to get to this point. My thesis is that FIGHTING ABOUT MASKS is doing more societal harm than the virus itself, and that the quantifiable benefit of imposing masks on others does not result in significantly reduced risk to any person. The variance in mask utilization from 65 to 95% is about the functional equivalent of adding or subtracting a ball (or a specific range of numbers) to the PowerBall drawing. Yes, it changes the odds mathematically, but it doesn't change the fact that you are still extremely unlikely to win the jackpot.
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