18 August 2021


1. First, a personal statement that is less hypothetical than it seems.

Hi. My name is Mary, and I'd like to talk to you about the instrusive hand-washing mandate.

People just shouldn't be required to stop and wash their hands all the time. It takes time and attention away from other tasks. It's inconvenient. It requires use of extra towels. It uses extra water.

More importantly, requiring people to wash their hands while preparing food infringes on their liberties. I may be an immigrant, but I came here for Freedom. I deserve my Freedom, and that means no government mandates on my personal behavior. None. Especially when I can earn more money, and more media attention, as a cook than doing other jobs.

2. The next time I see a law professor display his ignorance by misusing technical terms in a public policy debate, I'm going to puke. And then wash my hands, but…

Professor Zywicki doesn't have natural immunity. He might have acquired immunity — and there's the misuse of technical terms and concepts, in a field outside of this professor's expertise but related to a public policy debate. He has egregiously misinterpreted the WHO report (and other sources) he relies upon, because he appears to lack the basic scientific knowledge to recognize and understand the assumptions inherent in that material. The tl;dr version is that all acquired immunity diminishes over time and/or is limited to specific expressions of viral activity without protection against others (thus the need for the shingles vaccine in those who have had chickenpox). Natural immunity is genetic (and thus doesn't diminish over time)… and the fact that Zywicki contracted COVID–19 indicates he didn't/doesn't have it. Further, there is no data whatsoever on how much any acquired immunity from the initially widespread strain of COVID–19 protects against other variants, whether the currently raging delta variant or potentially scarier ones like these.

This is not difficult or obscure material. It can be understood by anyone who has taken a single-semester-intended-for-majors introductory cell biology class, and indeed among them it is probably thoroughly internalized (except, perhaps, against willful rejection based on unrelated agendas). It can be at least grasped by anyone who occasionally reads a general-circulation periodical like Scientific American. If this sounds like contempt for insertions of side-agenda-based shibboleths by the undereducated into policy discussions, without bothering to understand how those side agendas relate in even a superficial manner to their undereducation — well, yeah. It is.

Next, we'll consider the "natural immunity" to penetrating skull fractures inherent in certain experienced motorcycle riders…

3. <SARCASM> Of course, objection to any mask mandate isn't really about Freedom and (thoughtful) libertarianism. If it was, every libertarian who is paying attention to the world (instead of their own navels) would not just embrace the present mask mandate, but trumpet it as the best protection against widespread (mis)use of facial recognition technology (whether by Big Brother or Big Tech that sells its data to Big Brother doesn't really matter). </SARCASM> Wearing a mask substantially complicates facial recognition, and possibly (given the relatively low resolution of current general-surveillance systems) blocks its effectiveness entirely. So there's something else going on here…