A couple weeks ago, I went to the Bloomington Farmer’s Market for the first time this season. I found out that it was mandatory to wear a mask at the market, despite the fact that the market is outdoors and everyone is social distancing from each other. I had my mask with me, so it was not a problem. I rolled my eyes and put my mask on. I did not make a scene and force the staff to call the police.
I assume most people have already seen the viral video of a woman getting hit with a Taser after refusing to leave a high school football game. She was asked to leave for not wearing a mask, and refused. Naturally I have a few thoughts about the video and what transpired.
First, we have to think about the context: Schools are under enormous pressure in some parts of the country to make sure people are following COVID-19 rules. If they do not do what the Health Department says, they will be shut down. If that happens, no one will be watching any games, and no one will be playing any organized sports either. I do not know if that is the case here, but it is certainly possible.
Regardless of what you think of the face covering rules, please just obey the rules and do not be belligerent when asked to follow the rules. The police officer in the video was trying to follow orders, and the woman did herself no favors by being rude and uncooperative. If she does not want to wear a mask, she should respect the school’s rules and leave the facility without resisting the police.
What exactly is the police officer supposed to do when someone refuses to wear a mask and then refuses to leave? Is he just supposed to give up and walk away? Obviously, that is not an option. I hear a lot from the Right about how we should “back the blue,” but that involves a lot more than posting memes on social media or criticizing Black Lives Matter. It also means not making police officers’ jobs more difficult, politely following instructions and refraining from being belligerent.
Look, folks. This is a difficult time for all of us. I do not agree with all of the rules, and some of them are pandemic theater instead of pandemic mitigation. But making a nuisance of yourself and forcing the police to get involved does not help your cause. Speak out publicly, write your elected officials, and support candidates who share your views. Do not be a jerk.