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A VIEW FROM THE BRIDGE
The collective bellyaching and obstinacy in the face of a new mandate was laughable.
After all, wouldn’t this new measure ensure that fewer people would die horrible deaths?
The efficacy of a simple lifesaving measure, apparently, was subject to opinion. Everyone had a new theory about how and why this would or would not work, how the government was trying to impose restrictions on people’s freedom, how someone in Washington claimed to know better than the ordinary American who lived with danger every day; there were even people who had theories on how this measure would, in fact, cost more lives than it saved.
I’m talking about car seatbelts.
I had already moved to the United States when seatbelt use became law in all fifty states, and I watched with mild bemusement as people went out of their way to avoid wearing seatbelts, to find ways to make it look as though they were actually wearing a seatbelt, and thousands upon thousands ranted that this was too restrictive and that they knew better.
Blithering idiots, one and all.
I think my favorite worst argument was one to which I had no response at all… “If I think I’m going to have an accident, I can put this damn thing on in time.”
Well, it’s been over 35 years and, let’s be honest, some peoples’ attitudes toward safety measures haven’t changed much. Sure, they will put on a seatbelt nowadays, since they grew up in a world in which cars travel so much faster and highways are so much more crowded, and it’s the law… but they will in the same breath refuse to accept a mask mandate.
The facts are out there. There are plenty of them. You can choose which to study.
Seatbelts have saved lives. A seatbelt will greatly reduce the likelihood of your being ejected through a car window in a collision or suffering a life-threatening blow to your body if you are thrown into the steering wheel or dashboard. A seatbelt will do a lot to prevent you from hitting the windshield with your head and will probably save you from having to spend the rest of your life with a face looking like a pizza.
There is no longer any doubt that a simple mask will do a lot to prevent you from inhaling things that people near you have breathed out. It doesn’t even have to be a special or expensive mask. Any straightforward mask – not a scarf or a bandana or a stretchy neck warmer thing – can do enough to stop an aggressive virus from killing you.
Furthermore, a simple mask may prevent someone else from dying a horrible death after inhaling anything you may have breathed out.
Those of you who claim a mask stops your children from breathing can just shut up right now. It’s rubbish and you and I both know it. No one suffocates in a little elasticated mask. No one.
You may not know if you have the coronavirus. You may not know until it’s too late that you have infected someone.
You may have been vaccinated. Someone else may not. Even when vaccinated, you may still carry coronavirus and you may still kill someone with it.
It could happen in a grocery store, a classroom, an office, a tire repair shop, a shopping mall, a restaurant, or an airplane.
A car crash can happen anywhere. It can happen twenty feet beyond your front door at three miles per hour, and it can happen twenty miles from home at seventy miles per hour. It can happen at nine o’clock in the morning or eleven at night.
You just never know.
So you do everything to protect your loved ones from harm. Always. On every trip.
Why won’t you do the same today, when there is a virus out there that can still kill people in horrible ways?
When will you stop being a blithering idiot?