Welcome to Oak Bluffs, masks are required

After a busy weekend that saw few masks and minimal social distancing, town develops action plans.

Scenes like this one on Saturday prompted a meeting of town leaders to create an action plan on mask-use and social distancing. - Lucas Thors

Oak Bluffs leaders are creating larger signage, developing a stronger police presence, and opening public bathrooms after a busy weekend saw crowds of people at the Oak Bluffs harbor without proper face coverings.

On May 6, Gov. Charlie Baker issued an order requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. The order applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces and is enforced by the police and the town health agent. Fines for not wearing a face covering can be up to $300 per violation and people can be refused entry to businesses for not adhering to the order.

Selectmen chair Brian Packish along with selectman Jason Balboni, health agent Meegan Lancaster, and Police Chief Erik Blake spoke Monday to develop action plans to better educate the public as crowds swell  throughout the summer.

Speaking to The Times by phone Wednesday, Packish said last Saturday was a “perfect storm” of issues with a limited number of stores and restaurants open, public bathrooms closed, and the police department still being in their COVID-19 staffing plan coupled with beautiful weather and calm waters.

“All of those things kind of aligned and turned into what we saw. What we saw is not something that could have been forecasted to that degree,” Packish said.

While town businesses have placed informational signs in their windows detailing proper mask and social distance protocols, Packish said it wasn’t quite enough. The town is now working on designs for banner-style signage to place around the downtown area that makes it clear masks need to be worn.

“Masks are required, end of conversation,” Packish said.

Blake also spoke to The Times Wednesday and said he will be assigning a full-time officer to the harbor and downtown area Friday through Sunday to support the board of health.

In addition to the designated officer, Blake said the town is looking at a holistic approach to educating the public such as having harbormaster Todd Alexander inform people arriving by boat and having the department’s community service officers inform people on the street that masks in town are required.

Restaurants are also required to designate a “person in charge” that oversees implementation of the state’s guidelines for restaurants.

“There’s some confusion. People think ‘Oh it’s merely a suggestion,’ well it’s not, especially if you’re outside on a three-foot sidewalk there’s no way to social distance so you have to wear your mask,” Blake said. 

While fines can be issued, Blake said that’s not the approach his department is going to take especially with the negative economic impact many people have been hit with.

“We don’t want it ever to get to the point where we’re just hammering people for $300,” Blake said. “We want to flood the message that you need to do it and you will be approached and you will be asked to wear a mask.”

Lancaster, who wrote to The Times in an email, is meeting with the entire police department Thursday to go over state orders and guidelines and to discuss enforcement strategies.

“Of course I am concerned about an increase in cases. The governor’s mask order has been in place since May 1st. I would have hoped that by now, with this information readily available in various media outlets and being talked about constantly, that people would be aware of the need to wear a mask when out and about. Mask usage doesn’t replace important social distancing measures, rather social distancing is meant to exist in concert with mask use and hand hygiene. To make an analogy, our vehicles have anti-lock brakes, seat belts and air bags. We don’t rely on any one safety feature in a vehicle to protect us. Rather, we rely on them working as a system to protect us. It is the same for masks, distancing and hand hygiene – they are meant to work in conjunction with each other as a system in order to protect individuals and the community.” 


  1. Regarding Wednesday’s The Minute lead – “the crowds of people who were seemingly thumbing their unexposed noses at the ongoing pandemic” – unexposed noses should be perfectly welcome. It’s al fresco proboscises that are the problem?
    Tom Pallas
    Vineyard Haven

  2. Glad to see this being taken more seriously. I don’t think they should hesitate to hand out fines. Not when people have had a couple of months to get the message. For some, money is the only thing that motivates.

  3. Looking forward to the first lawsuit regarding the $300 fine. Last I checked we do not live in a monarchy. There is no law requiring a mask for any reason.

    • It’s a state issue, not a monarchy issue. From mass.gov:

      “Is there a penalty for not complying [with the mask guideline]?

      The Department of Public Health and local boards of health are authorized to enforce the face covering order and, if necessary,with the assistance of State or municipal police. Violation may result in a civil fine of up to $300 per violation.”

      Civil fines are legal. They can be appealed, but that may not be too convenient for tourists. Suing would be ridiculous, which means someone is guaranteed to try it. Other Mass towns have already ticketed people and had it stick, though some police departments prefer to carry extra masks on them and give them out as a first step at resolution. Whatever works. I think if some see a few $300 tickets being written up, they’ll suddenly start caring and maybe pull a mask out of their pockets. But I tend to give people too much credit, as I’m learning from these discussions.

    • I think it will be interesting to see how this plays out and I am surprised nobody has brought any of the executive orders to court. I don’t want to make this political as others frequently do in the message boards here because it takes away from any salient argument/point they are making, but a frequent tactic was to bring numerous of the President’s executive orders to court to either delay or strike them down. From a purely academic perspective I think testing some of the orders in court would be interesting.

      • I remember when some people objected to wearing a seatbelt and getting a ticket if they didn’t. Did anyone try to sue? I don’t know. From a purely academic perspective, there are have always been knuckleheads. On this issue, sorry, but they tend to be Trump supporters.

    • The ‘Mask Law’ is just like law about you getting out of your car when a cop tells you to.
      Of course you don’t have to.
      If it is your first offense you will likely get off with a light fine.
      If you get violent about it it will be time.

  4. The $300 fine seems arbitrary. I don’t think the police are going to be be willing to hand out many of these tickets, based on the size of the fine — we have reasonable police officers here, after all. If it was a $20 ticket, the police could hand them out like parking tickets– you break the law, you pay a fine– but $300 bucks is a bit excessive– and people will argue a $300 ticket. Any establishment that allows you through the door without a mask until you are properly seated with the party you came in with, and can be seated at appropriate distances from other parties should be shut down for some period of time.
    How many Vineyard cops are going to wade into a crowd of hundreds of people and fine them all $300 ?
    We could have a riot–
    Now I know— i will get feedback on the dollar value of lives saved. But I think we have to deal with the reality of the situation– A $ 20 ticket will get the idea across– a $300 ticket will create resentment.
    As far as where these tickets could be handed out, well, the towns should clearly post that there a zones where masks are required. At the docks, a good place to start– state beach , not so much.
    if the so called leaders want to get a reasonable grip on this, they have to differentiate between the dockside area and public beaches or private properties. Yup, it’s more work, more thought, but come on– we elected the leaders to lead– Blanket proclamations and egregious fines are easy, but it won’t get us to where we want to be.

    • Or maybe a $300 fine will make cheap, maskless people do the right thing because then their wallets would actually feel it. I imagine that was the reasoning behind the number. $20 isn’t much of a deterrent. Normally I couldn’t care less about fines, but I’m not going to feel sorry for anyone who is willing to expose others to disease when they’ve had nearly two months to get a mask and some common sense. An American man was in ICU with COVID for 62 days. His bill before insurance is over $1 million. I know that’s not the average experience, but besides lives lost, we do have people going broke from being hospitalized. So yeah, they matter more than the 300 bucks, and I disagree that it’s unreasonable to say so or enforce it if the law allows.

    • You do not seem to know how good law enforcement works.
      It is not about wading into crowds.
      It is about enforcement education.
      Letting people know what the law is.
      By example.

      A good cop does not bust someone for doing 61 in a 60.
      A good cop does not hide the bushes.
      A good cop puts out one of those radar speed sign trailers.
      He busts everyone over 65.
      Cops should not be evaluated on the income from their tickets.
      That is a prescription for abuse.
      They should be evaluated on crime and traffic injury rates. .

  5. “What we saw is not something that could have been forecasted to that degree.” Ha! Anyone who reads the comments on this site has been predicting this for weeks.

  6. We’re a month into the re-opening and the state had 86 new cases reported yesterday. Out of a population of nearly 7 million I think we have little to worry about.

  7. This is a real shame as there was plenty of information given to all of our island leaders and us citizens with a major heads up and they blew it.
    The governor’s mask order has been in place since May 1st.
    Now is the time to take immediate serious action after the fact and forget about lame excuses why they had not developed action plans to better educate the public much earlier.
    Almost all people arrived via the Steamship Authority which had plenty of signs everywhere and that it was mandatory to wear a mask if you intended to get on the boat to MV!
    Our island’s social media was burning up with islanders expressing great concerns of what could happen if no enforcement was in effect and now look what is happening just what we were exactly concerned and afraid of!
    “BTW the fines can go up to $300.00”. Maybe a $20.00 ticket will get their attention?
    We will see if Blake will be really assigning a full-time officer to the harbor and downtown area Friday through Sunday to support the board of health and I sure hope the MV Times keeps this issue on the front page weekly and on their web site daily!
    At the end of the summer we will see exactly how many tickets have been given out and how big the CV-19 spike has risen!

    Good for you Mr. Packish but certainly a bit late – “Masks are required, end of conversation,” Packish said.

    • The boat is another joke. Mandatory masks? In the section I was in last right about half wore masks.

    • The real shame is the “I was born here” crowd continuously harping about anyone in a leadership position.
      The born here’s knows just how everything should be done.
      They so lack the testicular fortitude to step up and do it the right way.
      I wonder if it is genetics?

  8. BS I couldn’t agree with you more, why is everyone so paranoid and fearful? Are we going to chase everyone away by being the mask police? The same bunch of curmudgeons who have nothing better to do than sit in front of their computers all day thinking negative thoughts….they never get out from under their rock!
    C’mon man we are a tourist dependent seasonal economy….but these short minded over 65 retirees on a limited pension will never get it.
    When was the last time they smiled like the hundreds of visitors on the harbor this weekend having fun in the sun?
    Simple, afraid stay home but don’t deny the rest of us from enjoying our lives!!

    • “..but these short minded over 65 retirees on a limited pension will never get it.”

      Love it. They LIVE here. If you call that, “living“!!

      In my case, I have to wear a mask.


    • As opposed to you, sitting around writing maudlin fanfic about other commenters. Productive.

      Since your concern is for tourists, did it occur to you that a bunch of visitors being able to trace their infections back to MV, should that happen, may not be best for repeat business? I know of a movie with a premise like this if you need to do research.

      • “As opposed to you, sitting around writing maudlin fanfic about other commenters. Productive.”

        Wow. Other than the “limited pension“, I was referencing myself because I have been spending so much time, in my mind, in this forum.

        This place is wild!


      • “ I know of a movie with a premise like this if you need to do research.”

        Although I learn a little bit from you, when all else is stripped away, you are mean at heart. I misjudged you at first.

        Did you not tell me a few weeks ago to never comment to you again?

        • Barreled_sunshine,

          It was, I assumed, an obvious and cheesy Jaws joke. In reply to Save Our Summer’s tourism concern. Not meant to be mean. Not meant for you. SOS’s remarks were rife with odd insults, however, ones that don’t help us to focus on the important topic of public safety, and that comment you loved. Perhaps you can understand why I don’t think kindness is really the concern on your mind. Feel as you wish, but I have tried many, many times to be patient here. Finally being fed up with people risking others’ lives and disrespecting those who have already suffered from this pandemic is not the coldhearted and mean position on display. We’ve had posters literally point out that they don’t care about COVID. You didn’t single them out for a scolding. I make a throwaway reference to a movie of all things, and it gets your attention for its supposed cruelty? I just shrug at this point.


          Exactly. We don’t want to become the next Florida. There has been so much positive effort and sacrifice already. Let’s preserve it and each other. The last thing we need is illness or more closings.

        • sunshine– if you are going to directly question someone about a comment they made some time ago, could you please clarify to whom you are addressing ? It’s not difficult– just address the person in the first line— thanks.. If everyone could do that, it would help. Thanks to everyone—

          • Don, you are right. Sorry about that. I keep forgetting names when there are no other replies posted to a comment yet. Sometimes it can get confusing later or look like we’re agreeing/disagreeing with a different comment than we intend to. Will be more careful. ????

            Barreled_sunshine, not an issue. I should’ve addressed Save Our Summer by name.

        • My mistake. I thought you were replying to me, which I did not understand because you told me to never respond to you again. And I will heed your advice.


        • Again, my mistake. I thought you were replying to me, which I did not understand because you told me to never respond to you again. And I will heed your advice.


    • You mean like Florida? Bars and restaurants packed and very quickly the numbers of cases have surged.

    • Some people are saying that masks actually cut down on the transmission of this virus.
      Can it be true?

  9. It’s disheartening to me to see so many people so eager to have their fellow citizens fine such a significant amount. I guess I’m the only one who walks around with quarters in my pocket just to keep other people from getting parking tickets. I’ll gladly give you $0.25 before watching you get forced to give the government $25+.

    • You’re disheartened by support for fines but not by selfish people exposing others to disease? Seems you value money over health. Parking meters and a pandemic that’s claimed nearly 450,000 lives are not remotely comparable. I’d gladly stick a few quarters in a meter, too. Guessing most would. But that is not going to harm anyone’s health or the economic recovery like COVID. We can minimize multiple kinds of damage with simple precautions. How that became a goal that any sane person can object to, I dunno.

      • So, you’re making an assumption about a person you’ve never met, base solely on the fact that they’re not interested in the government using force to make people practice a certain behavior. And so we’re clear, fining someone for anything is using force. So unless you’re willing to put someone in jail if they don’t pay the fine, don’t impose a fine.

        As for what I actually value, let me do a quick run down. I served 7 years in the USCG, and the 8 years since I’ve gotten out I’ve been both a volunteer EMT and Firefighter. I think it’s pretty clear what I value, human life.

        • maybe if in your analogy you were handing out masks to keep them from being fined it would make any point or sense

        • I based my impression on your comment. Nothing else. That’s why I said it seems like…

          You brought up those who are more concerned about health than fines but not the horrible behavior the fines are meant to tackle. They are endangering health and businesses after months of being informed of best practices. It doesn’t matter to me if the police get everyone to comply with the order by using tickets or handing out masks, but I feel they may have taken the ticket option off the table prematurely. It was made available for good reason. If $100 or $300 will prevent someone from getting sick or causing another business to shut down, it’s a small price. Glad we agree human life should come first.

        • An anti-science bias is not patriotic or a way to prove anything about our freedoms. People must use seatbelts, motorcycle helmets, and baby car seats for similar safety reasons. Your mask helps protect me, not 100%, but better than nothing. The longer you carry on about not wanting to respect medical science, the more obvious it is that you are unwilling to care about those you claim to want to protect. Do think you should be able to drive drunk, too?

          • People are generally so self-absorbed about what they should be allowed to do, that some are still texting while driving, even though that’s illegal. Some people are so selfish they text while walking down the street and even crossing the street! There is no argument against masks that isn’t selfish and not smart when it comes to the necessity of enforcing mask-wearing in public. It shouldn’t be political, but it is. When the President and VP do not wear a mask in public, but require everyone who comes in contact with them to be tested, you see where the less intelligent among us get their (un)thinking. Signing a waiver to attend a rally where super spread is likely should be a red flag about why adherence to medical safety precautions is so important. Wearing your 300 dollar ticket around your neck will soon become a badge of honor among the selfish deniers of science. It’s also a signal of stubborn stupidity.

          • I’m getting the sense that many people agree, if you don’t wear a mask, you should potentially go to jail. It really is that simple. I never disagreed with the science, personally I have a mask with me at all times. I get tested regularly because, as a firefighter, I am going into strangers’ houses on a constant basis. This disease is not a joke. I just don’t think that’s a reasonable thing to put someone in jail over. I don’t want to see my fellow man needlessly incarcerated because they weren’t wearing a mask and could afford the fine. Additionally, I think you’d really be kidding yourself if you failed to consider that the segment of our population which will be most impacted by draconian measures like these are minorities and lower income brackets.

          • Edit: I don’t want to see my fellow man needlessly incarcerated because they weren’t wearing a mask and COULDN’T afford the fine.

          • CGVEt, don’t make things up. No one thinks you should go to jail for not wearing a mask. A fine? Yes. Never heard of anyone going to jail for not wearing a seatbelt, but if you are so concerned about the dopes who won’t wear a mask, you should be arguing in favor of them doing so, based on your history of serving and caring about the public. If they comply, you won’t have to worry so much about them going to jail.

          • CGVet, the order implies that police can choose the amount. They don’t have to write tickets for $300. That is the maximum. I still believe the lower end wouldn’t be as effective, and I agree that the most stubborn freedom fighters won’t care about being ticketed. Or worse, they will proudly try and take it to Ginsburg while remaining maskless. Those peeps are lost causes. But maybe there are others who do own masks and are just being lax about using them? Maybe they would wise up if word spread about fines? We don’t know yet. I only know that nobody deserves to lose more income to illness or closings because some couldn’t manage to be team players. Those are the financial hardships I’m most worried about.

            That’s partly why these convos have been so frustrating. We should all be united. Initially, the country seemed divided between Team Economy and Team Health, right? Masks help both issues to some degree. There is no downside. Some demanded we re-open. Cool. We are. Now the tools allowing us to do so are vilified. Huh?

    • CG Vet, you clearly do not understand the concept of metered parking in a shopping area.
      The idea is to discourage long term parking, to leave the spaces open for shoppers.
      You are doing the merchants a disservice by feeding meters.
      $25 is cheap for longer term parking.

  10. I don’t know what the big deal is about wearing a mask. Would you jump out an airplane without a parachute. No, because that would be a safety concern.

  11. Not totally a “law and order” guy myself same way as America’s top rotten cop is, but let me tell you, I disagree with chief Blake very strongly, once the word gets out that $300 fines are being handed out, you won’t see A single square foot of that boardwalk crowded, or rather a single square-foot space. It will be completely over. What does law enforcement not get about that? I understand it’s a hard decision to hand out tickets, but think about it this way chief Blake, has people have money to come over to Martha’s Vineyard, they have $300 to pay a fine for flouting health protocols that have the force of LAW. Serve and protect. We’ll see how it goes over the next couple weekends with your strategy. By then the hospital may be asking you to take a more aggressive approach.

    • Couple typos in there, a single 6 ft.² space is what I mean. Like I said, people who have money to come to Martha’s Vineyard definitely have $300, that’s a no brainer. I don’t want to add insult to injury, but we need more than one officer on this beat as well. We all know what it looks like over there.

      • Ahhh, I was waiting for it. Sorry not everyone who comes to MV is rich, in fact few are. But that is the island mentality that allows us to charge extra exorbitant fees to visitors, love it! Believe me the rich, for the most part, go to that other island or to the Caribbean, not here. Love our island but it’s not the playground of the rich, sorry. $300 fines are unrealistic, signage and refusal to allow patrons in without masks will work , no need to fine.

    • Dean, Blake seemed to have given into assigning a full-time officer to the harbor and downtown area Friday through Sunday – We will see but what about Monday thu Thursday?
      He didnt want to give out any tickets from what I understand but the fine is up to $300.00.
      Could issue $5 – $10 – $20 dollar tickets and $100.00 for wise guys and girls doesn’t have to be $300.00 a pop.

  12. It’s almost like people are hoping for an uptick. 17 days in a row without a symptomatic positive (1 asymptomatic Wednesday) across the state hospitalizations are down over 70% cases are down 90% mass.gov has the numbers. we can not control anyone and as for a 300 fine, wont happen. fine 1 person and others will all take off their masks if they have one on. don’t make it a revolution for tourists by issuing fines please stop

    • No one is hoping for an uptick by pointing out facts. There’s a lag between exposure and symptoms or testing. Some of us don’t want June’s boardwalk selfishness to become July’s widely reported illness, which could lead to killing August’s much-needed business. Especially when local companies only have a small window to make up for lost time. Did you think of that side of it? Some of us actually care about health and the economy at once. Why not do the smart and ethical thing now and enforce the governor’s order? He put it in place for a reason, not for fun. And it’s responsible for those numbers you’re bragging on, so let’s not get lazy and throw away what works.

  13. I didnt hear a peep out of the usual suspects on this post when the protesters and rioters and thugs occupied our major cities and were not wearing masks. There was no condemnation of the riots and pillage and certainly not about the lack of social distancing. I am sure someone will explain it to me.

    • A red herring argument that does touch on the cognitive dissonance that the country has been going through, in which a church service is seen as dangerous but a protest is not. Nevertheless, we have a front-and-center issue in terms of preventing a summer Covid outbreak that would do terrible damage to the already-diminished tourist season. The riots and protests are a separate, albeit legitimate, issue. What’s interesting is that the protests seem to have served as a giant lab test on the contagiousnss of coronavirus in outdoor spaces and the data seems to show that the contagion factor is lower than initially feared when there’s fresh air involved. Not a zero risk, but less of an issue than enclosed indoor spaces.

      • An indoor church service, where the choir is standing and spitting in each other’s face (singing) and the congregation is sitting shoulder to shoulder, singing and praying and coughing and doing their own droplet distribution, is far more risky than an outdoor, masked, socially distanced protest here on the island. I would agree, though, that high risk people should not go to big protests or restaurants or any other large gatherings, even if they are outside. It’s not new news that outdoors is safer than indoors. NYC has managed to contain the virus with many people walking, running, biking outdoors, less than 6 feet apart, because it’s impossible to be that distance, since the beginning, so there is plenty of evidence about outdoors being safer. At any rate, church services are nothing like protests. It also should be said that the systemic racism that is so apparent everytime someone brings up “thugs”, even when the discussion is about masks in OB, we’re not talking about a red herring. We’re talking about racism and a denial of what privileged and blind white people contribute to this continuing scourge. Leave it to Andrew to bring up “thugs”, “rioters”, and “pillaging” and wonder why no one is talking about it under a news article about wearing masks in OB. And there you have it, folks.

        • Jackie, I simply wanted to know why people with no authority are demanding we wear masks and are not asking the same of the protesters. Do you have an answer? Simple question or will you as your practice launch into an ad hominem attack and accuse me of all manner of mischief?

          • You make your own problems, Andrew, and you make them worse by not being honest after the fact. Can’t blame me that you don’t pay your debts and that you need to bring up “thugs and rioters” when discussing masks on MV. And yet you do. We’ve been asked to wear masks and the majority of people comply because it’s the right thing to do.

          • Andrew, of course we posters don’t have the authority to make anyone wear masks. The state of Massachusetts does when in public spaces, and they put that power in the hands of the police and Board of Health. We are vocally supporting its enforcement because we care about safety and economic recovery. That much is crystal. Masks serve both causes. These civil fines are a local matter, not federal. As George said, there was no looting by maskless protesters locally, so by law, the order we are discussing cannot be applied to citizens in other areas. So we didn’t bring them up. Yes, the broader picture is that no one in America should be gathering in large, unmasked groups right now. It’s been said. I didn’t want to rehash it here when we’re already scratched 45s. I am spent. Nor do I want to derail this topic with addressing racism in depth. Some of that talk is in recent archives and will probably blow up further under the Juneteenth article.

            The better question is why anyone would need the mask order enforced. Everyone should be self-motivated. Our priorities, even if they seem to differ on the surface, are universally best served by wearing masks and reducing COVID. So why the fuss from the very folks who wanted to re-open most? There is no good answer to that.

    • Yes, it’s already been explained. You must have been hiding in shame from your obligation to Don and you missed it. Also, we have no rioters here. The folks who bring up how upset they are over those conciliatory (between white people) plaques also had it explained. Say his name, Andrew. George Floyd. Everyone knows you’ve been in hiding because you can’t defend yourself without being dishonest. Admit it. No looters, just people who don’t pay their debts.

      • Jackie, just wanted to say that although I initially missed your reply in the thread about the plaques/so-called Black crime, I saw it later and appreciated what you had to offer. To be honest, I stepped away from that convo on purpose because the Civil War mentions were really bothersome and out of touch. Was trying to hold my tongue (fingers?) somewhat. There are so many angles to the racist rhetoric going around that it’s hard to get to it all, but at least the conversation is ongoing. I also agree with you that the Times has done a good job in letting us talk out these vital issues.

    • Andrew– let me explain something to you —–perhaps you didn’t hear a peep about the protestors not wearing masks was because the great majority of them were in fact wearing masks. You may have confused pictures of heavily armed non mask wearers demanding that the government open the economy back up. And while they were small in number, there was criticism of that in the liberal press.
      You also seem quite confused about the difference between protestors , rioters and pillagers.
      As for people with “no authority” ? Who are you talking about ?
      And since you seem to be doing your usual displacement about what the “others” are doing, let me explain to you that you are quite delighted to see a few people looting and pillaging, as it backs up your pre conceived notion of the protestors as lawless thugs. It’s pretty apparent to us that you disagree with the first amendment, unless you are exercising your second amendment right at the same time.
      And Jackie is not launching ad hominem attacks on you, she is simply pointing out some truth about your character. Not honoring your word and debts in this particular case.

      • dondondon, you are not in any position to explain anything to me. It is laughable to suggest as one looks at all the news and photos of protests and riots and vandalism—the complete absence of social distancing and masks and the wall to wall crowds. To deny that is manifest blindness. Once again you are conveniently side stepping the riots and vandalism and complete anarchy over many of our largest cities burned down by calling it all simply protesting. I have been in Minneapolis for the last three weeks doing some clandestine work.—the city is boarded up and burned down and you sheltered on MV would be horrified to see it. Protesters indeed. You need to be silent. Go now to Seattle and LA and Atlanta and see the destruction. It is not a ”few people’ looting and pillaging. I was in the thick of it. It is civilization versus barbarism and you want to hide behind peaceful protests. There is no confusion here and constant whining the same old mantra has worn thin 2 years ago. Yes this post is about masks. Is that all you got? What you are seeing before your very eyes is an agenda of reaching objectives by force and not by the ballot box and the country is on a precipitous decline.

        • Andrew– I actually am in a position to explain anything I want to you.
          I am a natural born citizen of this country– I did not grow up under some s******** country run by a bunch of communist thugs. Perhaps, since you did, you do not fully understand the value of free speech and the right of the people to protest injustice. Some people feel the need to protest with violence. I do not condone it, but it sure does get the attention of people who could care less about black lives.
          As for the decline of MY country, I think it pretty obvious that the 2016 election that was interfered with not only by an adversarial country, but by a dishonest con man and a large media machine, is responsible for that.
          The deplorable, racist rhetoric and illegal actions of this regime have pushed the people into a situation where they have no alternative but to take to the streets.
          And if you are worried about mask less people gathering in large groups, perhaps you should go to Tulsa to personally see willfully ignorant people expose an entire city to a deadly virus, to feed the insatiable ego a megalomaniac .
          Do you think there is no “dog whistle” associated with this location?
          It is you, Andrew, that is not in a position to explain things to me.

          • dondondon. Are you discriminating against me because I am not a natural born citizen? Your words above seem so. It is precisely because I was born in a communist country that I value free speech and plenty of it. What I dont value is suppression of speech when one doesnt agree and this country has reached that level. When you have some free time not riding bikes and ranting about climate please watch a movie called ”The Lives of Others” 2006. It will give you an idea of what happens when voices are shut out. As for Tulsa, since there was no discernible uptick in Corona from the lack of social distancing in all the protests in the last few weeks, I think Tulsa will be safe. Meanwhile your buddy Joe Biden and his incomprehensible talks give new meaning to the phrase ”anyone but Trump”. Your comment about a ”large media machine” helping Trump is laughable on its face.

      • I don’t wonder why Andrew doesn’t mention the government gassing the peaceful DC protestors to clear a path for his chosen one to have a photo op with an upside down bible.

        • Jackie– Andrew only gets his news from right wing sources. They didn’t report that, as they were too busy talking about “Obamagate” whatever that is. As close as I can tell, “obamagate” is the worst crime that has ever been committed in the history of our country, and we will get more details after the election.
          As for trump and the bible– well, what can you say ? He gassed peaceful protestors after hiding out in his bunker and then lying about the timing and reasons for his “visit” . So he needed a distraction.. But the fact that he was holding it upside down and backwards shows just how much respect this idiot has for that sacred (to some) book. Or perhaps it shows his advancing dementia.
          If I claimed to be a christian, such as Andrew does, I would be pretty upset.
          If I posted a photo of me disrespecting the bible, Andrew would be calling for me to be burned at the stake for heresy.
          Such is hypocrisy.

          • Andrew– wow– just wow– Jackie did not say “tear gas”.
            I have not used that term either, as right wingers who will spin anything we say and call us liars. You are correct. They used pepper spray, which is more of an irritant than tear gas.
            But, your assertion that pepper spray is not a gas is a ludicrous lie. Shame on you for such a blatant and obvious lie. Have you no shame at all ? I am disappointed that George would allow you to post such a distortion.
            I put the entire definition so you can’t say I was “cherry picking” and that the leftist are confused because they don’e have all the information.
            Here is the definition of the word “gas” as defined by Merriam Webster.
            Please note definition #2 sub definition “d”
            Definition of gas (Entry 1 of 2)
            1: a fluid (such as air) that has neither independent shape nor volume but tends to expand indefinitely
            2a: a combustible gas or gaseous mixture for fuel or lighting
            especially : NATURAL GAS
            b: a gaseous product of digestion
            also : discomfort from this
            c: a gas or gaseous mixture used to produce anesthesia
            d: a substance that can be used to produce a poisonous, suffocating, or physically irritating atmosphere.

  14. There have always been a lot of people who don’t care about anyone but themselves, and the refusal to wear a mask just makes it plain for all to see who they are!

  15. Aquinnah
    Your no one is hoping for an up tic post are some of the most sensible words we have seen in some time now.
    Well done

    • Thanks, BigT. ???? I believe the majority get it and have done an awesome job looking out. Just don’t want that to change now when we’ve made strides.

  16. I read a lot of emotion here, but not many facts. Go to ncbi.nlm.nih.gov Ventilation for Infection Control in Health Care Settings and read the information on Respiratory Droplets. You will not want to even be near anyone after reading that. This is serious business and I cannot conceive of anyone not wearing a mask. People, masks are with us for the future. You can play games with your own health, I prefer you do not do it with mine or my loved ones. Education is the key.

  17. For those who want facts about how the human body reacts to viruses, there is a brief, online course that is available – for free. “How The Body Reacts To Viruses: Learn with Harvard Medical School faculty about how the body fights disease.” (https://onlinelearning.hms.harvard.edu/hmx/immunity/) Yes, it might take a bit of patience, but if you really want to be up to speed on why SARS-CoV-2 or any other virus presents a frustrating challenge, this is a great way to get there.

  18. You do not understand ‘those’ people
    They think that Trump is a dude.
    Dudes don’t wear no stinkin’ masks.
    Wearing a mask is unmanly.

  19. If anyone here has any question about if the liberals or the conservatives are more concerned about the use of face masks, all you need to do is look at the pictures of trumpettes lining up to see him speak tonight.
    And compare that with the Juneteenth march to O.B
    The trump rally really is the classic example of kool aid drinking cultist.
    Whatever intelligence they might have had has given way to political stupidity.
    May the Flying Spaghetti Monster have mercy on them.
    After all, They’re not all people that have lots of problems. They’re not all bringing drugs, they’re are probably only a few of them that are rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.

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