It is hard to create unity when calling a specific type of thinking Neanderthal thinking. That is what President Biden said of the recent move by Texas Governor Abbott to remove the mask mandate and open Texas up 100 percent.
Again, you can’t call for unification and then, right off the bat, state that a particular action is neanderthal thinking. Now is removing masks and opening up 100% incorrect?
Let’s take a look.
The Issues with COVID Messaging From Experts
A central issue that arose over the covid-19 era was distrust in governments, scientists, and other leaders and experts. Why? From issues of various messaging from the World Health Organization on COVID to understanding how covid deaths are counted to messaging from scientists on not wearing masks, then wearing masks and then wearing two masks seems confusing.
Talk of wearing two masks over one can make people wonder questions like “how effective is my one mask” and was I not protected going out over the course of these several months/year?
Or “if I can walk into a restaurant, wear a mask, sit down and take my mask off and breathe in the surrounding air, was I at significant risk? If the numbers disagreed, then that can foster distrust.
There are quite a few questions that linger in people’s minds on gatherings where one enters the hotel for a wedding, keeps the mask on, goes to the wedding reception room, takes the mask off, and interacts with people regularly.
This situation could occur at funeral receptions or after-funeral events, and other places such as sports activities that were allowed during mid-stages of lockdown.
Of course, it is hard to ignore the the various protests, gatherings, and other events where various people took masks down, wore them improperly,
At the same time, you have gone to grocery stores and other public places where people wore masks that didn’t cover their noses or maybe didn’t even cover their mouths either. The point being there were and still are endless chances of transmission, but covid numbers seem to be plateauing or declining across most parts the world.
Turning A Corner on COVID?
There has been more talk generally that the nation and much of the world is turning a corner on covid. Different initiatives ranging from vaccine efforts ramped up by the Trump Administration and the private sector have paved the way for distributing the vaccine.
There is not as much talk of hospitalization overload or other metrics that had a significant portion of coverage last year.
It further raises the question, when is the right time to open up the United States and return back to normal? The President of the United States and his advisors expect a return to normal by this time next year.
In Europe, one sees a decrease in COVID cases. Governments in Europe are taking different responses to the virus. More are relaxing measures as they see virus cases decreasing. Countries like Germany have already started easing and will continue to open up more public spaces as cases decline and stay within a certain range over the course of March.
If easing restrictions equals neanderthal thinking, then some critical American allies and other nations may still be stuck in 40,000-year-old thinking.
Fun Returned to Wuhan in 2020 and China is Aggressively Moving Back to Normal
China, where the virus originated, is now allowing foreign nationals with visas to travel back to China and roam around in China. It is preparing for the Winter Olympics in 2022 and is seeing a resurgence in social activity. It lets foreign nationals apply for a visa if they meet specific criteria and will open for general activity in late 2021.
But several cities in China, like, Wuhan have gone back to normal. One saw pictures of massive festival goers with no masks, no social distancing, or any precautions. Individuals were seen to hang out in pools together, stand next to each other as one would during a traditional concert.
Indeed, lockdowns in Wuhan were taken away in April 2020. The country slowly started to ease back into regular openings of malls, and other places by March 2020.
It still reports minimal numbers of covid cases regularly.
States Opening Up
There’s a slew of states that are opening up and relaxing government mandates that have affected society in several ways. These states will join others who were more relaxed and didn’t impose it initially or slowly repealed these mandates already.
These states are:
- South Dakota (it didn’t have a face mask mandate or across the board stay at home orders)
- North Dakota
Wearing a Mask or Implementing the Initiative Still Can Lie with Cities and Individuals
If the individual believes that masks are necessary and wants to wear masks in public in these states that are relaxing requirements, that is up to them. They can also choose to social distance, minimize travel outside the home, take precautions, wash hands, and take other actions to stay safe and secure.
Companies and business will have their respective policies for employees, customers and move forward with their guidelines over the course of this year as well.
The problem with stating that choosing a particular course of action is neanderthal thinking if you are the head of state is that its divisive, it makes it to where you are 100% confident that you are right while the other side is undoubtedly wrong. It implies that your way of thinking is light years ahead of others and much more superior. The issue here is that several experts can look at data and come to different conclusions. This was true in 2020 and remains true in 2021.