Poor mask messaging harms public health

In the ongoing debate over masks and mask mandates, the common messages at both extremes lack substance. Empty slogans aren’t helping anybody. The civic bloodstream could use an injection of specifics, and a healthy dose of nuance could save lives.


A mandate-free month

What’s happening in Shelby County, now that restrictions have been lifted and a month has passed since the mask mandate was relaxed?

We’re at 53% of the Health Department’s vaccination goal, and we’re surrounded by Neanderthal thinking. It must be pandemonium, right?

Great question. I’m glad you asked.

The mask mandate was completely irrelevant.

The mandate did not stop cases from rising more than 700% in 2020.

Since the mandate was lifted, the new cases average has dropped 70%.

Even better, the warnings from experts could not have been less accurate.

We weren’t “growing the epidemic.”

The numbers did not “skyrocket.”

Instead of 6,000 active cases, we’re below 400.

Public health may never come to grips with how little control we have over an airborne virus.

But how did they get it so wrong? When will someone in media ask?


Hygiene theater is giving me a case of the Mondays

When a hypnotherapy session goes awry in the 1999 film Office Space, protagonist Peter Gibbons is released from the anxieties of his soul-sucking job. Returning to work the next week, Peter takes a power drill to his cubicle wall and pushes it open to reveal a clear view of the outside world.

That’s what all of us should be doing to every last vestige of hygiene theater.


How the virus spreads

Below is a brief timeline of news related to the belated acknowledgement that COVID-19 is an airborne virus and that aerosols are the dominant driver of spread, not larger droplets or surface contamination.

This admission by health officials is significant because it explains why hand washing, social distancing and masks did not work.

Updates from the Shelby County Commission

Education and race

Update: The county’s resolution was returned to the floor for reconsideration on June 7. Commissioner Mills and I voted no.

My no vote was for the sake of simplicity, because I don’t think most citizens are aware of the board’s public discussions, the amendment I made, or my summary and explanation of both (as follows in its original form below).

I remain opposed to the 14 concepts condemned by both the state and the county. And I am still hopeful that the state will wisely consider the implementation of this law.

The state should equip teachers with whatever is needed to confidently present a full and complete account of history, and it should provide students with access to a wide array of instructional materials containing both positive and negative concepts, and positive and negative historical events, that are essential to a robust education.