“Faces came back to life”


That’s how one correspondent describes moving from Virginia to Florida.

Until recently, I’ve been at school in Loudoun County, Virginia, where Gov. Ralph Northam has been busy inflicting harsher shutdown orders. Masks are required almost everywhere up there, and big gatherings are out of the question. Multiple friends had to cancel their wedding receptions this month due to the new restrictions.

I got so used to wearing a mask that every time I watched a movie it seemed odd for the actors to be bare-faced. Leaving a store, sometimes I’d make it all the way to the car before even realizing I still had my mask on.

It wasn’t until I came home to Florida — where COVID-19 restrictions are much freer and usually left to local government — that I noticed how different life was. On my flight home, I reached from my seat by the window to hand my snack wrapper to the flight attendant. The older gentleman next to me took it from my hand to pass it along. It caught me off guard: this stranger was willing to touch something that I had eaten from? He wasn’t afraid of my germs?

Thoughtful gestures that had always been normal suddenly seemed surprising — which made me realize how many of those everyday connections we’ve lost this year. Since I’ve spent some time in Florida, life has felt incredibly normal. It’s also revealed how abnormal the lifestyle I followed in Virginia really was.

For one, I didn’t realize how much I was missing by not seeing people’s faces. I don’t object to people wearing masks if they feel safer; it’s their personal health decision. But when I arrived at the airport to see my family for the first time since August (mid-semester breaks were another COVID casualty), I could actually see their faces.

I went to a café to study the other day and walked past a young pregnant mother with her toddler in tow. None of us were masked, and the toddler and I got to smile and wave at each other as we passed.

. . .

While the chain coffee shops like Starbucks and Dunkin’ are closed to indoor patrons, my favorite local coffeeshop is open and more popular than ever. (And why buy overpriced, mediocre chain coffee anyway?) Looking around, I only see one customer wearing a mask, and only one of the baristas.

There’s a sign taped to the door that says, “The city council feels it is at their best interest to infringe upon your personal constitutional right and feel they can manage your life better than you. We will not do this…we will not force you to wear a mask!”

“All are welcome and we appreciate your supporting local,” the sign adds. I went Saturday morning with my family and we had to wait for a table; we ran into an old friend while we were there. That same day, we went to the downtown farmers’ market. Vendors offered free samples and sold fresh produce, a live musician sang “Folsom Prison Blues,” and no one told me to wear a mask.

I’ve flown in and out of the Orlando airport all my life, and I’ve never seen it half as crowded as it was this month. I can only guess that people are coming down to Florida because it’s open here. People are taking precautions, sure, but they’re also continuing to live their lives.

There’s more at the link.

I guess those of us in “free states” don’t realize how bad things are in the “unfree states”.  Our local and state governments do their best to implement reasonable, common-sense measures against the pandemic, but they expect us to use our common sense, and don’t impose unreasonable, unjustifiable policies that will meet with widespread resistance.  (They know they’ll be out of office next election if they do!)  Those who have pre-existing health conditions that make wearing a mask difficult, like asthma, COPD, etc., are specifically exempted from the need to do so, which is both intelligent and very helpful.  Miss D. and I both fall into some of those categories, and we appreciate the consideration shown to us by our Governor.

In harder-hit cities, sure, the local authorities have implemented stricter measures, and they’re probably right to do so;  but in the “free states” those in charge recognize that there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach.  It has to be tailored to local needs.  In the “unfree states”, they long ago lost sight of that in favor of a “rule-by-diktat” approach – and it’s failing.  Look at the statistics for infection, recovery and death.  They’re far higher in the “unfree” states than in the others.  There’s a reason for that, and it’s not that the COVID-19 virus prefers them for some reason!



  1. Down here in Miami-Dade, masks are still a thing, but you don't get angry Karen looks or people running away from you if you are not wearing one. The "Social Distancing" is also very flexible or different people have different idea how much 6 feet may be even when marked on the floor.

    And shaking hands with somebody is back. No awkward hesitation, no "you may have Cooties-19" rejection.

  2. in va. too. i noticed everybody looking down, scurrying around being sure to not look anybody in the eye. the stores are deathly quite like a library. they used to be gathering places and reunion places where old friends ran into each other and caught up on the goings-on. nobody says hello anymore, looking more like muslim women than sovereign citizens. it angers and saddens me to see them submit so easily, maybe 10 percent of us refuse. we've had no problems and more people are rebelling but in some places local officials are enforcing the illegal ordinances more now trying to show their power. lord blackface has a reckoning coming. i figure by april he'll be "unavailable for comment". sic semper tyrannis.

  3. My wife and I just took a mini vacation to Phoenix, Az to get away from the Insane Wuhan Flu restrictions in Ca.

    It’s so refreshing to be able to eat at a restaurant. Ca right now only allows take out.

    Good news is the Covid vaccine should impact the reasoning behind the restrictions soon. 1 million vaccinated already. And seems the recommended test process is being revised to produce less false positives. And perhaps the death numbers will also become more truthful.

    My guess is once nursing home staff gets vaccinated it will drop the death rate a lot.

  4. Hey there. Some opinion about the COVIDS from far, far away.

    I frequently read the blogs of Peter, PawPaw, Larry Correia, Michel Z. Williamson and lots of other friends/writer colleagues of Peter. Including, of course, the comments sections. Those freak me out every single time.

    Some of these people simply fail to understand that low numbers of infections (equalling low numbers of death) have something to to with population density and climate, they also correlate to earlier or later stages of the whole pandemic process.

    Seems to me that most of the aforementioned live in rural areas or in states with a generally lower population density. Actually no big problem there, so it seems. Please do not think you will be spared in the long run if you get careless. It just takes longer.

    And this constant whining about inneffective masks and social distancing will only lead to a more careless attitude. Fail-safe method to have more suffering and death in the later stages. If you want to know how bad a Covid infection may get, just read Aesop (the blogger)- he has the personal experience. He wrote a lot about Covid, before he completely switched to "warmongering". 🙂

    "There is no glory in prevention". People will always say: "See, this wasn't so bad at all" – which they only will be able to say when a lot of masks will have been worn and a lot of distance will have been kept around them.

    The virus and the whole pandemic mechanism doesn't care about liberal or conservative, communist or capitalist. Just like math it is not political, and after all 2+2 is exactly the same result for a libertarian and a statist.

    We went through all these stages here in Germany. In the State of Saxonia (former East Germany) we had the highest percentage of people who disliked the safety measures or even thought Covid was a kind of hoax. During the last weeks they started dying in droves over there!

    I strongly dislike and positively do NOT share it, but the overall phenomenon called "German Angst" was truly a boon during the pandemy.

    Let's compare the numbers as of December 2020:

    Germany – Home of the Angst. Statism is their second nature.
    Neighboured by 9 countries, 8 thereof with open borders.
    Age median is 46 (You remember, old folks are the most endangered)
    Population density is 94 per square mile.

    USA – Home of the free.
    Only two neighbours.
    Age median is 38.
    Population density is 36 per square mile.
    And, hey, it has the world's greatest health care system, hasn't it?

    Covid deaths per million GERMANS have actually risen to 307

    Covid deaths per million AMERICANS are 997

    How come???

    And – please – spare me the discussion about how a Covid death is defined, it's the same problem here and there.

    Just look at the numbers of most Asian countries, which put Germany to shame.
    They never wear masks in Taiwan, or do they? 0,3 deaths per million there.

    OH! POINT! THREE!!!!

    I wish that e.g. Michael Z. Williamson, whose books I love to read, would get his ass out of his third point of contact. He numbered all the partys and meetings he attended without mask, and proudly boosted that they all were still alive. Even did a "scientific research" about the inefficiency of masks. Care to tell your story to the Taiwanese, Michael? Been there, done that. Got the T-Shirt. Half a year ago…

    Have a merry christmas, y'all. Please wear that goddam mask in public and – pretty, pretty please with sugar on top – stop bitchin'! Stop sowing doubts. This helps killing people. Just save some lives, will you? I would hate it if some of my most favoured bloggers would have to stop blogging because they didn't survive their artificial respiration….

  5. Hey Peter;

    Here in Georgia, I have noticed a lot of "Foreign" tags on cars, from New York, New Jersey and so forth, people have fled the lockdowns from their tyrannical state governors and headed to the "Red" states where the restrictions are more lax and more common sense and yet we have less "Kung-Flu" Deaths than New York especially since their governor shoved a bunch of their covid patients into their nursing homes and killed a bunch of them.

    Hdemand Part of the reason for our higher death rate was the aforementioned New York Governor shoving Covid Patients into the Nursing homes, New York accounts for 1/3 of all the deaths of memory serves. Also if you die of anything and you are on medicare or medicaid, they automatically classify you as a "Covid death" to get more money from the Federal governments so that inflates our numbers and this was used to beat the American President about the head during the election cycle and scare the crap out of people. The United States used a "Federal system, each state runs itself inside our system, comparable to the states in Germany, I remember Bavaria had its own relationship with the federal government compared to the other states, but the United States is much larger so there is more autonomy. I lived there for 5 years in the 80's and the Bavarians were proud of their independent status from the German federal system. You want to disparage us, that fine, We are used to being disparaged by Germans who have imported the seeds of their destruction by "Mutti Merkel" with the migrants.

  6. Up here in the Democratic People's Republic of Alachuacountystan, capital city of Gainesvillegrad (Home of the Florida Gator Felons…) we have a mandatory mask on in all businesses thanks to our political masters and mistresses who think for us because we're too stupid to think for ourselves. That, and both the city and the county enacted a mask fine that charges the business owners, not the maskless.

    Until our fearless Governor DeSantis said no to all of that fine garbage. But still, sadly, in this poor leftist hell-hole (Berkeley of the South!!!) people drive around in their cars with masks on, walk their dogs at midnight with their masks on, some even sit in their houses with their masks on.

    Though the Peasants' revolt is growing every day. Still see Trump signs around, though it's funny that after the election I am now seeing more Biden signs than before. Like I never saw any until the Monday after the election.

  7. Hdemand asked
    "Covid deaths per million GERMANS have actually risen to 307

    Covid deaths per million AMERICANS are 997

    How come???"

    New York and New Jersey. The US average pop density is lower we have higher peaks AND many other factors. Also you're making a single variant observation. The range of behaviora and lockdowns in europe are as varied as those are in the US.

    Also, vis a vis New York, look at the number of deaths in nursing homes. Folks I know in Sweden have pointed to similar issues there, but by no means as wide spread or deliberately and homicidally obtuse.

  8. Couple days ago, in Balingen, a small prosperous city in Swabia in the southwest of Germany. https://youtu.be/kpnkTt-lJQM

    A small group of citizens gathered to enjoy the evening air in the shopping district, play recorded music (the Prisoners' Choir from Verdi's Narbucco!), and peacefully protest draconian Covid restrictions.

    Police come, approach the organizer, demand to see his papers. He says, show me your official ID first and take off your mask, then I'll show you my ID. They refuse, brutally wrestle him to the ground, pull his pants off, charge him with resisting arrest. Bystanders shout SHAME at the police but do not intervene.

    Germany does have a constitution, but the civil liberties enshrined in it are just words on paper at this point. The Great Reset is in full swing everywhere.

  9. Peter,I just returned to work after a 10-day unpaid vacation, thanks to Covid-19. I'm lucky–it was a mild case. But it's no joke, and I've been wearing a mask, washing my hands, and keeping a distance. I'm healthy; my wife and her elderly patients are not. I spent the time away from her too.

    I face each day with as much bravery as I can muster, but if I were the reason someone sickened and died, it would end me, even if I still walked. I love my neighbor as myself. I respect the stranger. And I will continue to protect others from myself.

    Love thy neighbor. Is that too much to ask of Americans? And if so, why?

  10. Beans and Antibubba. When Covid is defeated, people may look back at posts like those two and decide…

    I was aware of the situation in Sweden. We had to learn from them. Our death toll in nursing homes is still unacceptable high.

    The US numbers per 100.000 tell a story: NJ and NY must have made a lot of mistakes. But if you scroll down the list, there are lots of southern red states (with much lower population density) where also big mistakes must have been made, judging by the death toll. All from nursing homes? Just being curious.


    Oh. I truly must have missed those "Draconian Covid measures". Are there two Germanys? Do you mean Italy or Spain? India comes to mind too.

    Germany, last summer: Tens of thousands of demonstrants had gathered in cities like Berlin and Leipzig. Police left them mostly alone, "deescalation policy". The people of Germany shook their collective heads seeing Nazis, "Reichsbuerger" (you have to look them up, if you want to have a good laugh)walking down the street hand in hand with Vegans, Esoteric Nutjobs, Tree Huggers and Antivaxxers. United and in peace – and of course close together and without masks. Hmmmm. Summer follies…

    Now our death toll has tripled, intensive care capacity reaches its limits, and a significant higher number of people called for stronger measures than for more liberties. The most criticism of Merkel you are hearing in public is that she leaves too much "wiggle room" to the states – as our constitution demands, I might add. If someone would ask the citizens of Balingen if they backed their police's actions, the vote would be clearly positive.

    You have many reasons to be proud of your Constitution, and we strongly stand behind our "Grundgesetz". But both were never meant as a suicide pact. Even the fathers of the constitution knew something about the nature of infectional deseases. Quarantine, e.g. for incoming ships, was a standard practice in 1776.

    So, I find your use of the words "Great Reset" demagogic, to say the least. We Germans had our share of demagogics, thank you very much!

  11. I apologize to our esteemed host for being blunt, but hdemand is flat out lying. All essential civil liberties — freedom of association, freedom to move about, freedom to worship, freedom to earn a living — have been unconstitutionally declared disposable by the state in Germany.

    Few Bayou readers are German speakers, but those who are can watch the German Youtube channels that have not yet been shut down (for example, the channel of Prof. Sucharit Bhakdi, who warns about the dangers of a rushed vaccine, has been nuked). I recommend Boris Reitschuster, Gunnar Kaiser, eigentümlich frei, Achse des Guten, MMNews.

    Especially in some of Reitschuster's videos, the brutal and criminal tactics of the police in Berlin are on full display, and what's especially absurd is the hypocritical support of the government for the opposition in Belarus, while working full steam ahead to suppress the right of the people to protest.

    The Great Reset is not a conspiracy theory, it is the openly declared intent of the self-proclaimed elites who meet at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland every year. "Welcome to 2030: I own nothing, I have no privacy, and life has never been better" was the headline of one of their articles.

    Stalin did not like that independent farmers were recalcitrant about becoming communists, so he decided to destroy them. These farmers were called kulaks, their destruction is therefore known as dekulakization.

    The German CEO of the WEF is a Mr. Klaus Schwab. Next to George Soros, this man is a Bond supervillain come alive in the real world: megalomaniac, ruthless, stone evil. The billionaires, from Gates to Bezos to Buffett, who are on board with the Great Reset and with destroying the middle class, have chosen dekulakization.

    The greatest wealth transfer in human history has impoverished millions of small businesspeople while enriching the billionaires by a trillion dollars in 2020 alone. And now with the stolen election in the U.S., the last major obstacle that stood in their way has been removed.

  12. Froginblender
    I will not continue any kind of discussion with people who are deeply delving in conspiracy myths. It might be more fruitful to discuss politics or covid issues with one of my dogs. Sorry, Peter, but we have our share of complete nutjobs here in Germany, no sense in searching the dialogue with those of other countries.

    My compliments again for YOUR achievements in helping people back in the apartheid times. Your blogging and writing is greatly appreciated, but it always seems to attract disturbed people like flies to honey.

    As I said before: the simplest way to debunk conspiracy myths is 1) just ignore them, 2) let some time go by and let time show what happens 3) then read their nonsense loud. Priceless. Good clean fun.

    Why do they always remind me of Gen. Jack D. Ripper?

    "Brutal and criminal tactics of the police in Berlin". That takes the cake. If the police leaders in Berlin deserve one single adjective, then it is "too reluctant".
    Covidiots may try the same stunts in Munich and see what happens…

    Anyway, a peaxeful christmas to all of you.

  13. My sister-in-law lives near Orlando, swears DeSantis is killing everybody… I can relate, even though Md. is now getting restrictive again, the fear merchants are in full howl… at 67, I'm about ready to lick doorknobs and catch the damn thing, go kiss the Gov. And be done with it! Land of the free? Where are the brave, all downrange?

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