Mask? What Mask? On Being Free to Infect You and Me

On this episode, we also discuss Tara Reade -- and no, not Tara Reid of drunken exploits and "American Pie" and "Sharknado."

"What do I care if hundreds of thousands of Americans die? I'm not dead."

Well, here we are, Week 7 of the Locked-Up-at-Home Marathon.

To mask, or not to mask, that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of the mask wearers,
Or to take arms against a sea of morons,
And by opposing, end them: to die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The virus.

As I walked through a park last Saturday, I wore my mask, like a good and unselfish citizen of this new world. But lo! On the narrow dirt trail came a parade of non-mask-wearing joggers, strollers, walkers and families, all with faces bare. The more I saw, the more enraged I became. How selfish, I thought. How thoughtless, I thought. So I went home to sleep, not to die.

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Two days later, as I discussed the decision by many states to reopen wide with my faithful compatriots here on the Burke’s Law podcast — CFR Executive Editor Leonard Jacobs and our fantastic editor, Michael Houk — I had to express how badly I fear this will turn out. We have all witnessed the screaming hordes of Trump supporters, loaded up with idiotic signs, toting their favorite guns and raging because they can’t get their roots dyed. I guess they’ll die for the right to buy lawn seed at Lowe’s.

Then there are the seemingly normal folk who gathered on the Hudson River in NYC to watch the Blue Angels, or gathered in DC to run around the National Mall, or swarmed on beaches elsewhere to worship the sun. All crowded and all unmasked in their right to be free — free, that is, to infect the rest of us, apparently.

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To pile on the awfulness of the weekend, our impeached president decided to commandeer the Lincoln Memorial for a Fox News town hall to air all his grievances and to ignore pleas for help from his own supporters as they face eviction. Our impeached president claimed that everyone would get much better jobs, make more money and golly-gosh-diddle-dee, everything is going to be great! Maybe third quarter, maybe fourth quarter — who knows? Sure, you’ll be homeless in a few weeks, but you’ll be raking in the cash in six months!

And now a current member of Congress, Republican-turned-Independent Justin Amash, is possibly throwing his fedora in the ring for President. I don’t have enough swear words for this — maybe WTAF, Justin? I fear that if Amash gets on the ballot in enough states, he’ll turn moderate Republicans who’d have voted for Biden (as many can’t stomach Trump) into voters for him, splitting the ticket and putting that Orange Mistake in office for four more years. I really need more swear words.

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On this episode, we also discuss Tara Reade — and no, not Tara Reid of drunken exploits and American Pie and Sharknado, but a former Biden staffer who claims that, in 1993, he either sexually assaulted or harassed her. There’s no clarity on this, but all of us agree that Reade should be heard and her claim should be vetted. Completely. Yes, let her speak, let’s investigate and let’s have transparency — which is something the Orange trash bag in the Oval never did for the 60-plus women also accusing him of assault. Then again, maybe it’s unnecessary, since we know that Trump loves to grab women by the pussy.

Thanks to Michael, we end our episode with a quote from that great Irish author, James Joyce. It sums up our feeling that our walls are closing in the longer we are quarantined:

The sea, the snotgreen sea, the scrotum tightening sea.


And now, a sincere note of appreciation to our 3.5 listeners for your half-brained support. If you enjoy this podcast, please leave us a review and share this episode on social media or wherever humans gather until the year 2105. On Twitter, follow Liz at @burkelawNYC and follow CFR at @TheCFReport. And again: stay safe.

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