Sometimes, people really don't want to wear a mask. While it's understandable that masks can be uncomfortable, the rants, tantrums, public meltdowns and armed threats from anti-maskers are also borne out of willful ignorance at this point.
At a Utah County commission meeting held in Provo, Utah last week, parents and protesters made their disdain for mask mandates known. And it turned out the whole event was organized by one of the commissioners.
It was canceled after the other commissioners saw what was going on.
Utah hearing on masks canceled as residents without masks fill the room l GMA www.youtube.com
Utah Governor, Gary Herbert issued a mandate requiring all students wear a mask in school as classes gear up to return for the fall semester. However, Utah County residents hoped to ask the Utah County Health Department to grant them "compassionate exemptions."
The commission meeting was called by County Commissioner Bill Lee, who has voiced his opposition to masks. Before the meeting, protesters outside vocalized their own opposition to the mandate.
Many filed into the room for the meeting, ignoring the signs and placement of tape for masks and social distancing. This led Commissioner Tanner Ainge to call off the meeting due to the unsafe conditions.
"This is the exact opposite of what we're supposed to be doing. We are supposed to be physically distancing, wearing masks."
All the effort of this meeting turned into just a publicity stunt for anti-maskers.
@NBCNews What is wrong with people? It’s a mask. And it this case, it is also an example. Here, not a very good one.— Michael Friedman (@Michael Friedman)1594909681.0
This is why we will never go back to normal in this country. This type of fanaticism by anti-science pro trump peop… https://t.co/01rw2Qgp0d— Tom Rhodes (@Tom Rhodes)1594993088.0
Thanks to Utah for setting back common sense 150 years. #WearAMask ‘Jesus gives us a choice!’ https://t.co/QxNY3Rlgoz #SmartNews— Tyler Henderson (@Tyler Henderson)1595094616.0
Ainge made a motion to continue the meeting at a later date, which was passed by the other commissioners in a 2-1 vote. While he criticized Commissioner Lee for setting up the meeting, he also went further and claimed these meetings aren't the right place for the discussion.
According to Ainge, the county can't undo an order by the governor.
"The fact that we had it on our agenda, we had nothing to do with it. That would be like the school board holding a meeting to discuss the appropriate level of funding for the county sheriff's department."
After the dismissal of the meeting, Ainge left, but the other commissioners stayed and heard arguments from the protesters anyway. Many floated pseudoscience from conspiracy theories they found in Google searches as their expert opinions while others argued that masks work, but their children shouldn't have to wear one because "Jesus."
@NBCNews Well in 72 hours this is going to be the next outbreak in UT. Contact tracers are going to have their hands full with this one 🙄— SusieQ70🍑🌊 (@SusieQ70🍑🌊)1594909471.0
If this place were on fire 100% of these people would let it burn down rather than admit they left the stove on. Al… https://t.co/yNRJnQXSHE— Brendon (@Brendon)1594989689.0
@NBCNews I teach in this school district. I'm going to die because these sociopaths will insist on sending their li… https://t.co/Lt9lxIeumC— Trinity Michaels 🇺🇸 (@Trinity Michaels 🇺🇸)1594969047.0
The CDC, the WHO, and other actual medical experts have called on people to wear masks in public to prevent a rapid wildfire spread of the disease. Anti-maskers may argue they changed their position, since earlier this year they did not advise masks as a way to avoid ever getting the virus so people would not think it was OK to not quarantine, socially distance or shelter in place as long as they wore a mask.
But now that the push has moved from isolation to reopening society....
While it's true wearing a cloth mask won't protect you directly like hazmat suit, the mask has been shown to help limit the spread of water particulates from your nose and mouth when you breathe, speak, sneeze or cough.
This in turn, limits the spread of the virus if you're unknowingly carrying it—an asymptomatic carrier.
Countries with mask mandates, and built-in cultural acceptance to wear a mask when sick have had significantly more success controlling the disease than the United States.
So please wear a mask even if you think Jesus said you don't need to.
Either be part of the solution, or be part of the problem like these individuals. Utah is one of the states that is… https://t.co/0vuhedRSMw— MightyTallDude 😷 (@MightyTallDude 😷)1595029833.0
@No_TreadChris @NBCNews It primarily protects the other people. That’s why it only works if everyone wears them. On… https://t.co/2MFvYuvRoJ— From the Home Office (@From the Home Office)1594917336.0
What's the common denominator with this Utah anti mask crowd? https://t.co/twiNRospS7— Michael Shepherd (@Michael Shepherd)1594989986.0
The Utah County commission meeting is to be rescheduled for this week. Ainge has said they will be considering a virtual meeting to avoid the issues of the last meeting.