Essays

05/11/22

Did the Long Pandemic Spawn A New Kind of Right Wing Repression?

LA Progressive.png

May 12, 2022

For TomDispatch, LA Progressive, Alternet, Daily Kos

America Unmasked - Did the Long Pandemic Spawn a New Kind of Repression?

Last month, not long after Florida federal judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle ruled that the transportation mask mandate was illegal, I flew from New York City to Miami. Videos of airplane passengers in midflight ripping off their masks and cheering with joy had already gone viral following the judge's ruling.

I've traveled domestically and internationally many times since the start of the pandemic and I hate the mask as much as anyone. It makes me sneeze and it tickles. After 10 hours on long hauls, I can indeed feel like I'm suffocating. It can be almost unbearable. But after two years of obediently masking up to enter airports and planes around the world, I found my first unmasked travel experience jarring indeed, even though I kept mine on. I was not the only masked person on that American Airlines flight, but I was definitely in the minority.

Read the rest here.

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