That’s What Freedom is all About


That’s What Freedom is all About

A couple of days ago I wrote a piece about “The New Normal” and in one prepositional phrase, mentioned rolling one’s eyes when the topic of masks came up. I pushed at least one button. My buddy Tony Jordan from Portland wrote a response and I thought it deserved the light of day. Here goes:

  • Tony Jordan says:

March 15, 2021 at 4:08 pm

“ How many people have told you or rolled their eyes when the topic of masks comes up?”

It’s one thing to be tired of the sacrifices we’ve made to try to save the lives of others. It’s another to be in direct contempt of basic and simple strategies we can take to make it over the finish line. Call it a bubble I’m in, but I don’t know many people who would “roll their eyes” when the topic of masks comes up.

Well, Tony, you pushed a button too. Here’s what Janie had to say in response:


  • Janie says:

March 15, 2021 at 4:39 pm

Very sad to see how people still live in a bubble and don’t see their freedoms infringed upon with the mask guideline and mandates in private businesses simply to carry on with their life’s necessities, which they all are to be frank. Are these people self centered psychopaths that want to feel some sort of power by dictating over someone elses choice?

Constitutionally, we have the right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. Life encompasses the ability to breath to live, to buy groceries, eat out, buy clothes, obtain medical attention, and to go to banks to access our personal savings to be able to purchase those items and our shelter. Humans have basic needs: food, water, shelter and safety. So why must anyone have to demonstrate or respond to anyone forcing them to wear a face covering to conduct those basic things to live?

Why are people thinking that it’s okay to deprive someone of their basic right to live because they should comply to a mask guideline since someone else made that choice? And if you choose to wear a face covering, why does it have to meet the someone elses standard? I’ve personally been exposed to discrimination while trying to resource basic human needs while wearing a face shield. At what point does this end?

I think these two responses make a very important point. We have been locked down for so long, that we live in state imposed bubbles and really find it difficult to live our lives. Tony seems to  believe that if the states says it, we should do it. Janie takes the diametrically opposed position. Just because the state tells us what to do, we should not simply follow blindly, but at a minimum question the process.

Wow. Strange how one little phrase in a blog can rub against so many grains. But then, that’s what freedom is all about.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

5 Responses

  1. John,

    I was wearing a mask before the state said I had to because I read the news and I determined that I was less likely to make someone else (like the grocery store clerk who was stocking shelves for me) sick if I was contagious. I’ll continue to wear a mask as long as there are vulnerable people around me and a contagious and deadly pathogen circulating in my community.

    To bring this back to transportation, if I was a mindless automaton I wouldn’t have taken public transit and walked to the Parking Today offices when we met a few years back, I’d have driven a car, because that’s that the state says I should do. Who’s really thinking for themselves here? Who is influencing Janie? Who influenced you all the last year?

  2. I suppose Janie feels that wearing a seat belt is an infringement of her rights. I’d rather see it as a public safety issue where lives are protected and saved, like wearing a mask.

  3. Excellent, both of you…Is it possible that folks can make up their own minds are are not necessarily influenced by one side or another. I yield to Tony on that count. Although I suspect that we are all influenced whether we like it or not. My guess is that Janie wears a seat belt because she knows it is a public safety issue, whereas the type of face covering she wears, shield vs mask, makes it difficult for her to see the difference.

  4. The seatbelt analogy doesn’t suffice here. The primary purpose of wearing a mask was always to reduce the likelihood that the mask wearer would spread the virus.

    It’s more like someone deciding that BAC limits for drunk driving are an infringement on their freedom.

    The reason letting everyone make up their mind didn’t work is that, clearly, lots of people were too self absorbed and/or duped by misinformation to do the right thing.

    It’s difficult to see the benefit when the mask is pulled up over your eyes.

  5. Just to clarify, seatbelts are a PERSONAL safely issue and a public health concern

    Mask wearing during an airborne pathogen pandemic is a PUBLIC safely issue as well as a public health concern.

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