When I first saw these headlines popping up over the past few days, I initially assumed it had to be some sort of mistake. Perhaps someone was looking to gin up a few extra cheap clicks using a provocative title. But it turns out to be legitimate. Out in Los Angeles County, health officials are issuing warnings that universal indoor facemask mandates may be making a comeback. This is taking place at the same time that the county is preparing to make vaccines available for children as young as six months of age this week. The first question that came to my mind upon hearing this news was fairly basic. Are these people intentionally trying to be thrown out of their jobs in the fall? (CBS Los Angeles)
COVID hospitalizations continue to move Los Angeles County closer to an indoor mask mandate.
The county reported an increase Saturday of 639 patients in hospitals for the coronavirus. In Orange County, there were 178 patients in Orange County for COVID, and in Riverside County, there were 99 patients hospitalized for COVID.
On Saturday, CDC advisors voted to recommend Pfizer and Moderna shots for infants as young as six months old. Experts say the protection outweighs the risk.
It seems that the county never canceled or modified its rules from the early days of the pandemic which base mandates on hospitalization rates. If the county enters a status that the CDC defines as a “high” transmission rate and remains there for two weeks, the mask mandates are reinstated until they record two weeks at a “medium” rate or lower. The “high” category is defined as 10 per 100,000 residents being hospitalized or more than 10% of hospital beds in the county being occupied by COVID patients.
L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer predicted this weekend that the county could move into the “high” category by the end of June. If it remains in that category for two weeks, the mandates should arrive just when people are taking vacations around the 4th of July celebrations. There are a couple of major issues with such a plan, of course. One of them is the fact that so many people in this country are simply done with all of the pandemic theater. Compliance with a renewed mandate would likely be spotty at best, and that’s putting it kindly.
The other major problem is that the rules being invoked were put in place before much of the medical community and even a significant portion of the liberal media were finally forced to admit one hard fact. Masks can work in some settings, assuming you have one of the highest-quality medical-grade masks and you wear it properly and consistently. (Both are big assumptions.) But mask mandates simply didn’t work or have any significant impact on the spread of COVID. Research experts from some of the nation’s top medical universities have reached that conclusion. Health officials in some of the bluest states have said the same thing this year. For Pete’s sake… even the New York Times was forced to admit it last month.
Even Saint Fauci himself isn’t beating the drum about mask mandates anymore, even as he continues to push for more and more vaccines to be produced. That in itself is interesting because Fauci has now been vaccinated four times and he still managed to contract COVID last week. To be fair, his symptoms seem to be mild thus far and we wish him a speedy recovery.
The bottom line in all of this is that Los Angeles County may want to move quickly to revisit its mask mandate policies. If they try to turn the clock back now, they could have a revolt on their hands before they know it.