Long after some of the saner parts of the country had long since thrown in the towel on the idea of forcing children to wear face masks in school classrooms, New York Governor Kathy Hochul has finally seen the writing on the wall. Citing declining caseloads and hospitalizations (almost none of which involved school children), Hochul announced this weekend that the state’s school mask mandate would be ending on Wednesday, March 2nd. Of course, that doesn’t mean that every school will be ending its mandate. The mandates aren’t being banned. She’s simply saying that each school district will be “free to follow the new CDC guidelines.” So if you happen to live in a particularly authoritarian district, you may still need to go recall your school board members if you want to put an end to this nonsense. (NY Post)

New York’s mask mandate for public schools in the state and city will end this Wednesday, Gov. Kathy Hochul said on Sunday.

Speaking from Albany, Hochul said local governments would now be empowered to set their own school mask requirements in accordance with new CDC guidelines released on Friday that reclassified much of the state as “low risk” for COVID infection.

“Given the decline in our rates, our hospitalizations, strong vaccination rates and the CDC guidance, we, friends, the day has come,” Hochul said. “Today we are going to be announcing that would be lifting the statewide mask requirement in schools, and that’ll be effective this Wednesday, March 2.”

Anyone who has been following the local news around the Empire State for the past few months already knows that most of New York won’t be affected by this announcement. The majority of upstate counties began announcing they the were going to refuse to enforce the mandates back in December. Similarly, most of the various Sheriff’s Departments outside of New York City told reporters that they had no intention of acting as the “mask police” on behalf of the Governor. It was really just the ultra-liberal sections of New York City that were playing along at this point.

Speaking of the Big Apple, Mayor Eric Adams quickly jumped on the bandwagon (probably not by coincidence), though he will be waiting a few extra days until next Monday. And it won’t just be the school mask mandates that are being lifted. He will also eliminate the requirement for immunity passports for most indoor activities.

Vaccine passports will no longer be required in New York City starting March 7, Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday — and he plans on lifting school mask mandates then, too, barring “unforeseen spikes” in COVID cases.

Adams said he plans on following Gov. Kathy Hochul’s lead in nixing masks in schools but would make the final determination this Friday.

“At the end of this week, we will evaluate the numbers and make a final announcement on Friday. If we see no unforeseen spikes and our numbers continue to show a low level of risk, New York City will remove the indoor mask mandate for public school children,” Hizzoner said in a statement.

In case anyone is still naive enough to believe that the Governor and the Mayor are somehow basing these decisions on sound scientific information, you can cast those thoughts aside along with your masks and your CDC vaccination cards. For well over a year we were assured that the unvaccinated were a clear and present threat to the continued existence of society and they could not be allowed to go out into the streets with all of the decent people. Now, with a magical wave of a wand, that’s all being washed away and there’s nothing to see here, so everyone should just move on, right?

Far more likely is the suggestion that both of these elected officials know how to read their internal polling and they know that the numbers look like a dumpster fire when it comes to COVID mandates. Most of the people here are done with all of this mandate madness and they’ve been done with it for a while. They haven’t even been able to get law enforcement or local officials to go along with it. My wife and I went out to dinner a couple of weeks ago at one of our favorite restaurants and there were no longer any signs up in the windows, not one person was wearing a mask even upon entry (including the staff) and nobody even mentioned anyone’s vaccination status. It was as if we had hopped in a time machine and traveled back to December of 2019.

I am confident that history will not look back kindly upon the actions of the government through this period. The real question is whether we will have collectively learned anything from these experiences because this is going to happen again sooner or later. And when the Giant Murder Hornet Coronavirus arrives (and I’m copyrighting that name, by the way) we had better be smarter about how we handle it.

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