“Mystery Masked Man got himself a Tonto
Cause Tonto did the dirty work for free”
–Lyle Lovett song, If I Had a boat
Clayton Moore played the Lone Ranger on radio and TV. He wore a mask over his eyes that made him look like a raccoon. He rode a horse named Silver, and shot silver bullets, which they say were less lethal. He and his side kick Tonto, who called him Ke-Mo-Sah-Be, rode around the West looking for trouble, and always finding it. They confronted bad guys, who were dressed in black, and The Ranger always came out on top. Which raises a couple of questions: why the mask, and what was in it for Tonto?
Now in 2021 we are told to wear a mask—not the raccoon Lone Ranger type—but one that covers our nose and mouth to prevent the spread of COVID, which has killed over a half million Americans. President Biden wants everyone to wear a mask for at least the first 100 days of his office. Somehow this has turned into a political issue, with more conservative and Republican states not complying. Governor Abbott in Texas has dropped the mask mandate, despite the high infection rate in his state. He’s the same guy that blamed renewable energy for the recent deep freeze, although in reality the cause was really the failure to weatherize the infrastructure, and the go it alone hell we don’t need no federals telling us what to do attitude. He also blames the Biden administration for spreading COVID by busing immigrants infected with the virus into his state. I guess these assertions pander to his base, notwithstanding how absurd.
In Idaho they held a mask burning event. The TV showed shots of adults and kids throwing masks into a burning barrel. Again, we don’t need no federals telling us what to do. It reminds me of the times when groups burned Beatle records and objectionable books. I guess that will show them.
At Walt Disney World in Florida a disgruntled patron spit in the face of a staff person who told him to wear a mask. These staffers should get hazard pay. My guess is they patron felt by gum he was an American and could do whatever the hell he wanted.
I think it all comes down to denial, which is not a river in Egypt. There is a significant number of people who don’t trust the science, who think that COVID is a hoax, and clutch to a belief that they have a fundamental right to do whatever they want. Unfortunately, there are politicians in Texas, Mississippi, and elsewhere who accommodate them.
Vaccines are rolling out, which is a good thing. But we are not out of the woods yet. So, wash your hands, practice social distancing, and wear a mask. As the Lone Ranger cried out at the end of every program: High Ho Silver Awaaay!