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With liberty

December 17, 2020

One of the many things that has become increasingly clear to me over the past few years is that there are times my education, training and experience are sometimes at odds with my philosophical leanings. So it is with the ‘Rona and measures to combat it. Allow me to explain.

I am a registered nurse. While I have experience in a wide variety of clinical settings, I have spent more time in the OR than anywhere else. Infection prevention and control is a Big Deal among OR nurse, something for which all surgical patients should be grateful. Some of my other experience has been in Medical-Surgical nursing and in Community Health. What does all that mean as regards the ‘Rona? Simply this: While the single most effective thing one can do to slow or prevent infection is washing one’s hands, wearing a mask is also part of an effective strategy. There is a reason we wear masks in the OR (and no it is not solely to prevent the spread of bacterial contamination). Contrary to a currently popular meme, most people can wear a mask all day without experiencing any negative health effects. You, of course, may well be an exception (which means you are notable by virtue of being an exception), but most of us, by definition, are not.


In addition to being a registered nurse, I am also a big believer in and proponent of individual liberty. That means, in my case, that I think wearing a mask is, generally speaking, a damned fine idea…and that I am absolutely opposed to any efforts by government to mandate wearing a mask. Full stop.

As a nurse, when the ‘Rona thing first began I told people “wearing a mask when you’re around (certain) other people is a good idea.” Further, if a business owner wishes to tell me I must wear a mask to enter his or her business, I am more than okay with that. I’ll either wear one or do business elsewhere. Everything was good. Then, some power-hungry, perpetually woke, knows-what’s-good-for-everyone-and-isn’t-hesitant-to-tell-you-what-that-is jackass(es) chose to say “you have to wear a mask/practice social distancing/curtail your travel.” Well, f***. You just had to screw the pooch, didn’t you? No. I don’t have to do those things and you are in no position to tell me I do, or to enforce it. So now, I often find myself wearing a mask, not because of a mandate but in spite of it. Yeah. You see, in spite of my above mentioned “education, training and experience,” I happen to think the decision to wear or not wear a mask, or to travel or not travel, or to do or not do almost anyting, is best and most rightly left up to the individual.

I value liberty over safety. With liberty comes risk. Risk for you. Risk for me. Accepting that, understanding that, and still valuing liberty over safety is not an indication that someone “wants to kill granny.” It is, however, often an indication that someone would rather be free than safe. So, you might well see me in a mask. That said, I don’t care if you wear one or not.

Stop with the “we need to mandate” crap, already. We’re Americans. We don’t do “mandated safety” very well.

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  1. Gregory Taggaart permalink

    And I wish you were sitting in Congress.
    We need a few Congress-critters like you.

    • You’re very kind. Aside from the sorts of people we need in Congress, we need far more of them among the populace in general, I think.

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