I don’t know if anyone remembers, but one of the first videos that went viral during the earliest days of the pandemic was from Staten Island. And it was a video of angry people in a supermarket chasing a woman out of the store FOR NOT WEARING A MASK! Yes, that was us.
Then came the fools. And the politics.
Here we were, on the front lines of the plague but we were also waist-deep in Trumpism. Once the twice-impeached, classified-document stealing, liar, fraud and FORMER NEW YORKER declared that the virus was a hoax and we could cure it with horse paste so that it would be gone by Easter because he cancelled some flights out of China, the mood in Staten Island started to shift. Bars decided they didn’t want to be closed. Restaurants-goers didn’t want to wear masks. They didn’t trust the vaccines that Trump claimed credit for discovering. It was a very confusing time. But Staten Islanders did want they do best; blame the mayor and the governor.
The new viral videos were now “protestors” invading food courts and declaring the pandemic over. Their new news outlets were more than willing to support that worldview. Masks were the new oppression and mandates their new obsession. People literally told me they didn’t get the vaccine because (and I quote) they didn’t like “being told what to do.” These were firefighters who are told to run into burning buildings, but the vaccine was where they drew the line.
So, in a land where traffic lights are ignored, stop signs are merely “suggestions” and turn signals are “none of your business” we can now add health mandates to the list of things that are oppressing us here in the county of COVID.