One of the largest county governments in South Carolina can’t seem to shake its addiction to the New Orwellian orthodoxy, voting 7-3 this week to extend its current mask mandate for another two months.
Richland County extended its mandate through the end of April even though cases of the coronavirus pandemic – which never posed a significant threat to younger, healthier populations – are at a new nadir in South Carolina.
As of March 1, 2022, the moving, seven-day average of positive Covid-19 cases in the Palmetto State stood at 585 – dramatically below the omicron peak of 17,517 positive cases on January 16, according to data from the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC).
The omicron variant of Covid-19 caused a record number of infections and hospitalizations in South Carolina – and across the nation – earlier this year. But omicron cases weren’t nearly as severe as cases linked to previous variants … and much of the hospitalization surge was due to Covid-19 tests being administered to all hospital visitors (no matter their reason for seeking treatment).
Naturally a spike in infections – even asymptomatic ones – yielded a corresponding spike in positive cases among individuals who were admitted to hospitals. Those were not necessarily “Covid-19 hospitalizations,” though … just like the overwhelming majority of Covid-19 deaths have been attributed in large part to various co-morbidities, or other health conditions which resulted in people dying “with” Covid-19, not necessarily from it.
Unfortunately, none of that has stopped big government and its accomplices in the mainstream media (along with their social media censors) from engaging in all manner of fact-challenged fear-mongering.
While there was certainly a time for caution regarding this virus – which originated in a lab in Wuhan, China in the fall of 2019 – that time has clearly passed. In fact, it has been past.
At this point, there is absolutely no reason for any government – at any level – to continue imposing these ridiculous mandates on its citizens. Whether we are talking about masks, vaccines, social distancing or “quarantine” rules at government-run schools … enough is enough.
It is time for the mandates to stop.
In late January, I rebuked SCDHEC for its repressive quarantine guidelines – which forced parents to stay home with their children for days on end due to a Covid-19 “exposure.”
“These quarantine guidelines strike me as precisely such a ‘cure,’ forcing more parents into no-win situations at a time when they are already struggling to make ends meet due to escalating inflation from government’s costly response to the last round of lockdowns,” I wrote.
Before anyone attempts to frame this as a bunch of whack-job liberals clinging to a power trip … let’s not forget similar regulations remain in effect at the “Republican-controlled” South Carolina State House.
Well, for some …
Richland County’s decision to stick with its mask mandate purported to follow updated guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however there were questions about whether that was the case or not.
“Richland County council extended the mask mandate because they said we are at high Covid risk,” one frustrated resident noted. “The CDC shows us at medium risk. Another batch of lying politicians!”
Based on the latest county-level CDC data, this source is correct …
(Click to view)
One member of Richland County council who stood against the extension of this unnecessary mask mandate was Joe Walker III, a small businessman and Iraq War veteran who has consistently challenged corruption in county government.
“People should be able to choose whether they want to wear a mask or not,” Walker told reporter Nick Neville of WIS TV-10 (NBC – Columbia, S.C.). “We continue to mandate and mandate and mandate. What’s the sunset on this? Richland County still stands in a very aberrative position of continuing to mandate masks as opposed to making them optional.”
Aberrative … love it.
Again, regular readers of this news outlet know where I have been on this issue all along.
“They have over-hyped Covid-19 from the beginning,” I wrote back in December, referring to “government health officials and their mainstream media mouthpieces” who have spent the last two years peddling all manner of “fear porn.”
From the beginning of this viral panic, my refrain has remained unchanged: If you are younger and in relatively good health, this virus is not a serious threat to you. And even if it was, costly lockdowns are not the answer.
Nor, any longer, are repressive mandates …
Say it loud, say it proud. We are Done. With. Covid. Or to be more precise, we are done with politicians and bureaucrats at all levels of government who believe “science” somehow still entitles them to tell us how to live our lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that “Battleship Chains” Norfolk Tides’ lid pictured above).
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