Thank you Utah legislature for overturning mask mandates

Every once in a while, the news is quite good, and in this case I want to praise the Utah state legislature for finally standing up to the mask tyrants in Utah.

Yes, you can still wear a mask if you want to, but no government should force you. (And, you male and female Karens, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not in favor of government force — it is in favor of people voluntarily putting on masks out of kindness, which is very different, and if you can’t see the difference, you are part of the problem).

And by the way, as I have been writing since April 2020, the masks that most people wear are indeed completely useless against a virus. The CDC even admitted it. But it is true that wearing a mask provides comfort for many people who feel they need to do something to protect themselves during a pandemic. I personally and voluntarily wear a mask when visiting a family to whom I minister because the father is immunocompromised. But the point is that no government should force me to do this.

So, thank you Utah legislature for standing up for actual science and personal freedom. Now we only need about 2000 other legislatures around the world to do the same thing. (Did you see that the UK government has also ended mask mandates? Sometimes there really is good news in the world).

One of the most alarming trends of the pandemic has been executives and unelected bureaucrats taking upon themselves “emergency” powers to control the lives of the people. The fact that so few elected representatives stood up to these despots was an unfortunate signal to budding future dictators that all you have to do to become all-powerful is declare a fake emergency. And a very large percentage of the sheeple will fall in line and not question the official narrative. What we needed from the beginning were more legislatures standing up to the tyrants.

So, here is the good news story on the Utah legislature:

 — The Utah House of Representatives voted Friday to overturn mask mandates in Salt Lake and Summit counties.

The joint resolution to terminate the mask orders, including the student mask mandate in Salt Lake City, passed by a 45-29 vote.

SJR3 passed the Senate with a 22-5 vote on Tuesday, the first day of the Utah Legislature’s 2022 general session.

Because it’s a joint resolution, it does not need Gov. Spencer Cox’s signature to become law, and Cox does not have the power to veto it. The Utah Legislature gave itself the ability to overturn local health orders by joint resolution in SB195, also known as Utah’s COVID-19 “endgame” bill, which was signed into law last year.

House Speaker Brad Wilson confirmed to KSL NewsRadio that many members of the House Majority Caucus asked to have an opportunity to vote on this, and the House has been quietly working with the Salt Lake County Council to make this happen.

“They’re good people — they’re just having a hard time getting all on the same page,” Wilson told KSL Newsradio. “The widespread belief in our caucus is that masks make a lot of sense for people, but we believe it’s an individual choice if they want them.”

So, well done Utah state legislature, and well done to the people of Utah for electing politicians who have some knowledge of science and appreciation for personal liberty. I wish we had your legislature in Colorado, where I live.

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About Geoff B.

Geoff B graduated from Stanford University (class of 1985) and worked in journalism for several years until about 1992, when he took up his second career in telecommunications sales. He has held many callings in the Church, but his favorite calling is father and husband. Geoff is active in martial arts and loves hiking and skiing. Geoff has five children and lives in Colorado.

11 thoughts on “Thank you Utah legislature for overturning mask mandates

  1. Hashtag: things that the New Mexico legislature will never do.

    For those of you living in red states, free states, sensible states, please enjoy your freedom, open schools and each other’s faces. Here in the People’s Republic of New Mexico we’re regressing to March 2020 levels of fear and panic. Daily case counts have the Covidians panicking. Meanwhile, my family was gifted Covid by a masked and vaccinated classmate of one of my kids at school.

    My husband will be fitted with a heart monitor this week to see what damage the J&J vaccine did to his heart, and he will be doing some additional tests to discover this as well. The cardiologist agrees, the vaccine was not a good thing for him. She also let slip that Los Alamos National Lab directly asked the local doctors to not grant any medical exemptions for the vaccines. So nice when the main employer of the town’s population is strong arming & intimidating doctors from treating their own patients as they see fit. Not that I never doubted the vaccine push was political, but just another data point showing that the vaccine push has been political and harmful has been a tough pill to swallow.

    I’m thankful we’ve had Covid as a family, but dealing with society and people is difficult at this point. Especially with Omicron, you will get this, as it’s highly contagious, it’s a bad cold, and you will be miserable for a few days, but then quickly recover. It’s time for society to live with Covid, and stop trying to prevent people from getting Covid.

  2. Joyce, thanks for your comment, and I am so sorry about your husband’s adverse reaction to the vaccines. Our days are really quite sad in so many ways, and I literally weep for all of the suffering imposed on people by governments and shady forces around the world since the start of the pandemic. Secret combinations indeed.

  3. My Utah state rep sent out a survey about a week before the session began asking our opinions on a number of controversial issues. It was great and I’m so glad they listened!

  4. Regarding masks:

    New York Times: “Masks have encouraged anonymity and discouraged dialogue. “ ‘People don’t know how to communicate anymore,’ said Jazlyn Korpics, 18, a senior at Liberty. ‘Everybody’s a robot now — their minds are warped.’
    WSJ: “Facial expressions are integral to human connection, particularly for young children … Covering a child’s face mutes these nonverbal forms of communication and can result in robotic and emotionless interactions”
    Prof. Emily Oster: “The concerns here stem from the observation that the bottom half of the face is important for reading emotions, learning to speak, and learning to read. The theory behind this is compelling.” “Masks are not a friendship bracelet”
    Video: “Thank you for not reaching out to the students for asking how feel about masks, because if you did, the majority of students would say they hate masks … than you for allowing me to experience the anxiety of never seeing facial expressions.”
    Video: “I felt like my entire life was falling apart, because of what this government did to young people”
    Pro-mask advocate. “Don’t tell me 2 years of masking doesn’t impact kids.”
    New York Times: “Masks can impede communication”
    Boston Globe: “[Mask-free] students reported ‘happier hallways,’ ‘contagious smiling,’ and better class discussions. With fewer masks, English language learners and students learning foreign languages reported better communication.”
    TabletMag: “Fifty-nine percent of U.K. teachers in April 2021 stated that asking pupils to wear masks made understanding them a “lot more difficult.” We know that when someone conceals their lips it’s harder to comprehend what they’re saying.”
    SF Chronicle: “Every student is struggling with pronunciation/recognizing letter sounds. ‘I am often the only adult they interact w that can articulate the sounds, but they can’t see my mouth.’ It’s especially hard on autistic students.”
    German study: “Top German scientists have found that wearing certain types of face masks for long periods of time could result in potentially hazardous chemicals and harmful microplastics being inhaled deep into human lungs.”
    Rational Ground: “The resulting report found that five masks were contaminated with bacteria, parasites, and fungi, including three with dangerous pathogenic and pneumonia-causing bacteria.”

  5. It took too long. It doesn’t even matter if they work a little. The entire mask culture was built on presumption of guilt mingled with shame culture.

    There is no doubt that if you can convince nearly the entire world and most political and religious leaders to cover their face as though the natural function of their body was a threat to society, then you the secret combinations can carefully lead us down to hell in a way the 3rd reich or Stalin never appreciated.

    At some point we have to be willing to accept that our freedom and existence carries implicit dangers. That so many refused to shoulder this burden of life, but cowered from their neighbors, family, and strangers in fear shows how easily manipulated we are.

    Yes, if you’re entering an highly infected and truly
    novel virus in a caregiver situation and you don’t have effective ppe, an n95 mask and rigorous sanitation procedures makes sense. Trips to the grocery store, park, or church do not. As we can see, regardless of vaccine, at this point people are dying. I looked around church today, and so many vaccinated members were sniffling and coughing or absent.

    We can’t live lives where whenever we get the sniffles or a cough we isolate. Our bodies were designed to counter this. Yes, if you’re not functional and in real discomfort stay home. Otherwise, it’s just as likely as not that the casual exposure I get from your exhaled viral particles provides an effective aerosolized inoculation for the vast majority of people.

    There’s a reason the immune isolated natives didn’t fare well against the Europeans. Literally, we are bearing one anothers burdens when we share the same air.

  6. This opinion piece is absolutely correct. I am vaccinated, and urge everyone else to be vaccinated. But it is no beyond question that masks do not work.

    We must always keep in mind that when the government is allowed to force people to do good things, it will be that much easier to force them to do bad things next time.

  7. Good piece Geoff. I live in Western Canada where unfortunately the mask mandates are still enforced very strongly.

    What bothers me the most about forcing everybody to wear masks is that it negates all personal responsibility. If I choose not to wear a mask I will often be harassed by others in the public calling me selfish. If I ask why I am being selfish they usually respond by saying because I’m not protecting others. But why would others want to rely on me a complete stranger to keep them safe? And why can’t people protect be responsible enough to protect themselves?

    Also if Governments are going to mandate something such as a mask, the burden of proof is on that Government to show the net benefit of that thing. If they can’t show that the upside outweighs the downside risk they should never have even considered mandating it in the first place

    Good on Utah for doing this and I hope that Canada follows in the future

  8. Yes, the primary problem with the response to the pandemic is that it is about controlling other people and not relying on your own actions to protect you. If masks work (and almost none of them do, but apparently there are still many people who believe they do), then you are protected and you should not care if somebody else wears a mask. The are only four reasons you could care about somebody else wearing a mask: 1)you are super-immunocompromised 2)you have an emotional fear of unmasked people and want other people to wear a mask for emotional reasons 3)you are concerned about some person spreading a disease in the community and affecting other people and 4)you want to control the actions of somebody else because you are a petty tyrant. In the case of 1), it is your responsibility to protect yourself. You simply cannot go through life attacking everybody else who does not recognize your lack of immunity. In the case of 2)this should be obvious, but I am not responsible for your emotions, you are responsible for your own emotions. In the case of 3), the science has always been clear that masks do nothing to protect the community in the first place. In the case of 4), it should be obvious that petty tyrants should not get to run society (although they unfortunately do throughout the world). There simply is no logical reason to force other people to wear masks.

    Now, having said that, I agree with the Church position that there are certain circumstances where you would voluntarily choose to wear a mask. As I write above, I wear a mask when doing my ministering to a brother who is immunocompromised. He always thanks me for doing so. In the case of wearing a mask at Church, many people do not know this, but Church policy changes depending on GOVERNMENT policy. In my county in northern Colorado, about half of the people wear masks to the stores and about half of the people wear masks to church. This is because the government does not enforce mask wearing. I am sure that in SF and NY and LA everybody wears masks to church because of the dictatorial governments in those cities. If you doubt this is the case, consider that Church mask policy changed in many places in 2021 depending on local policies, and that this is certain to happen in 2022. So, as always the Church asks you to think for yourself and to be kind to people around you.

  9. These problems with masks (mentioned by Geoff above) are obvious to anyone looking at the situation with more than fear and complete belief in public health officials. These are the same things that have worried me about mask-wearing since the beginning. I don’t want to cover my face, or see others with covered faces. It feels like Sute said – other people = virus spreaders who are dangerous. You see suspicion in others’ eyes, and feel separated from them by more than just the fact that you’re strangers. Wearing a mask for this reason – not for trying to protect yourself from pollution, for example – makes fear or anxiety arise in a person, through the very act of putting it on. You only put it on through fear, and wearing it reminds you, every moment, of that fear. You feel the reminder on your face and see it on others’ faces.

    We know that we must see others’ faces in order to perceive their expressions. We know that covering your mouth makes it hard to understand and hear what you’re saying. We know that billions of people wearing disposable masks every time they go out is a terrible decision regarding waste. And if I, as an adult, feel anxious when I have to wear a mask, it must be obvious that a child having to wear one is going to feel as or more anxious. But these obvious, known things have been ignored and seem not to have entered into the equation at all when decisions are made about measures. And if mentioned, are met either with a shrug – ‘so annoying, I agree; but….’ because we’re good citizens, and it’s a foregone conclusion that it’s worth it – or the attitude that these are inconsequential issues beside such a deadly, terrible threat; or disappointment/judgement that the person raising them is irresponsible and selfish… or perhaps a conspiracy theorist.

    And yet, looked at with no bias, no emotional investment, no foregone conclusion of the level of threat, but assessed each in balance, these concerns are important and lead to effects no one actually wants.

    It’s an example of how out of balance the responses are to this virus. And the sensible concerns being raised aren’t being given the serious attention they should be – and should have been since the beginning. There *needs* to be risk-benefit analysis that goes beyond public health – and even includes more aspects of public health than just the results of a communicable illness. Such as the chemicals breathed in, the bacteria on masks, and the psychic and emotional effects on various people of all of the measures. These aren’t little concerns. And that demonstrates, too, the danger of relying on one type of expert – experts, necessarily, knowing a lot about a little – for public policy. Of messages which allow one type of reaction and one view of solutions.

    It’s a failure of perspective, and to me, it’s the same as Satan’s contention that people *shouldn’t* be left to choose for themselves – whether that’s through ‘mandating’ certain actions, or presenting only one way to view the situation, and therefore only one choice to make. It stops people being from being ‘agents unto themselves’ – learning how to make choices and become wise – and it causes suffering in many other, ignored ways – because the one goal is seen as so important. This isn’t about personal liberty only, but about living in a community; truly caring, beyond the surface appearance, about those you share it with.

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