Tuesday, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson sounded off on the rollback of mask mandates around the country, which has not been necessarily good news for many who have been mask proponents throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier this month, the CDC declared vaccinated individuals did not need to wear a mask in most situations, which acceptance of that guidance has come with a great deal of skepticism and reluctance by the media.
Transcript as follows:
CARLSON: So stand back for a minute, which we don’t do often enough. The science shows us very clearly that for young Americans, normal, healthy people, the risk of dying from corona is minuscule. For example, a typical 22-year-old in New York has about a 0.6% chance out of a million of dying from this virus. Your odds of drowning in a bathtub or being hit by lightning are significantly higher than that, so it is a very low risk. And that’s good news. You’d think all of us would be happy to hear it.
Well, a great unmasking is finally upon us, but not everyone is happy about it. Suddenly in neighborhoods littered with signs about BLM and climate change, we have a new public health emergency on our hands. It’s a mental health crisis.
Amazingly, many Americans in these neighborhoods do not want to stop wearing masks. They want to continue to hide behind paper. Why? There’s no science behind this. It’s a neurosis, just like obsessive handwashing, but it appears to be spreading fast, like its own virus.
Just this last Thursday, an anchor on “Good Morning, America” admitted that she, too, is suffering from debilitating anxiety at the thought of showing her face in public.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GAYLE KING, CBS NEWS HOST: Dr. Fauci, please help us with the mask situation. I know we’re told we can wear it out — we don’t have to wear it outside. But I’m telling you, I was in New York, where I live, walking down the street. I just stopped a random lady. And I said, “Have you been vaccinated?” She said, “Yes.” I said, “Me too. Why are we wearing our masks?” She goes, “I don’t know.” Because I think we all feel and I said, “Me too, ma’am. Me, too.” I think we all either feel guilty or we feel it’s not time or we see everybody else doing it. It is monkey see monkey do. Is it — do you really think it’s OK?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CARLSON: Sorry, we said it was “Good Morning, America.” It was just another dumb morning show. CBS, I guess.
But it’s not an isolated phenomenon. CNN just published a piece by a psychologist called John Duffy. He describes his patients, quote, “anxious nightmares over going maskless.” Some patients he reported, quote, “Feel obsessive or compulsive about mask-wearing and distance and are concern that obsession will not simply abate because of the CDC announcement.” The announcement telling them they don’t have to do this.
Duffy added that children are also suffering from this condition, it is the saddest part, quote, “Some of our youngest kids may not remember a time before we were all wearing masks and remaining far apart. It’s going to take them a bit of time to emotionally unravel this tangle of anxiety.”
Is there anything sadder than that?
Other outlets are noticing this phenomenon. The New York Times ran a piece on people who are refusing to get rid of their masks. The story began by focusing on a man called Joe Glickman. The newspaper said that Glickman wears quote, “N95 mask over his face and tugs a cloth mask on top of that whenever he goes to the store.” He then — and we’re quoting now, “Pulls on a pair of goggles.”
Joe Glickman, has been vaccinated. He’s also had the coronavirus, so he has natural antibodies, which are more effective than the vaccine. And yet, he still plans to wear his multiple face coverings for at least the next five years.
Now we’re not mocking him, obviously, our hearts go out to him. The problem is there are a lot of people like him in the country. And what do we do about it?
Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor