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Thursday, August 5, 2021

On Masks, We Are All Scarlett Johansson Now

If you think you are being kind, compassionate, or polite as a mask-wearer, please take note of this column. After the CDC and the Biden Administration again ignored science and recommended or re-imposed foolish mask mandates and the like, numerous municipalities and organizations eager to bow to—or afraid to ignore—left-wing dictates, went along with the latest round of Wuhan Virus absurdities. Walmart, Target, Publix, Chick-fil-A, and the like have again forced the unsanitary and unhealthy face diapers upon their employees.

Apple has gone a step further and is requiring customers in half of its stores—the ones in so-called “COVID hotspots” (apparently about half of Apple’s stores)—to wear the useless face masks again. Some schools—especially those in Democrat-run hell-holes, I mean large U.S. cities—are again forcing kids into masks.

School leadership making such decisions, along with the teacher unions, are the most foolish of all here. They are ignoring science and data on multiple fronts as the mask mandates, and perhaps even shutdowns, are re-imposed. Not only has science revealed the masks largely useless to prevent the spread of the Wuhan Virus, but the data have long revealed children to be at very little to no risk from the Wuhan Virus. In addition, schools the world over have long proven to be insignificant spreaders of the Wuhan Virus.

The mask mandates aren’t foolish and dangerous only because of their ineffective and unhealthy outcomes, but also because of the social and financial devastation that results. If widespread masking were really a necessary and effective means of stopping, or even slowing, the spread of the Wuhan Virus, there are countless human activities—as much of the past 18 months have well demonstrated—that simply cannot take place.

If we really need to wear masks, restaurants cannot be allowed to operate fully with indoor dining. Likewise with indoor gyms, bars, concerts, sporting events, movie theaters, churches, and the like. Thus, mask wearing means widespread lockdowns and shutdowns must occur. In other words, as ineffective as masks and lockdowns have been at stopping or slowing the spread of the Wuhan Virus, they have been just as effective at destroying lives and livelihoods.

At the end of 2020, we already knew that hundreds of thousands of U.S. small businesses were permanently shut down due to the lockdowns. More recent numbers indicate that this only continued into 2021. As the New York Post reported early last month,

The Biden administration recently projected that more than 400,000 small businesses have closed permanently, but that’s likely a massive underestimate: Already by June 2020, the Hamilton Project had counted 400,000 closures. Opportunity ­Insights data, meanwhile, show that by the end of May 2021, there were 38.9 percent fewer small businesses open ­nationwide than at the outset of 2020.

Small business forms the US economy’s backbone, accounting for more than 99 percent of all business entities, and before 2020, around half of growth domestic product and jobs. 

And these businesses bore the brunt of lockdowns. The Alignable report found that 37 percent of small businesses couldn’t pay their rent in full and on time.

There are many reasons to hate the masks, but this is perhaps the most important. For far too many of us, life simply can’t go on as it’s supposed to under mask mandates, and the results are devastating, particularly financially. Actress Scarlett Johansson provides a great example here. When she is political, Ms. Johansson is usually reliably left-wing—supporting the evil abortion industry and the perverse LGBT agenda. However, it seems she draws the line at leftist politics when it impacts her financial bottom line.

Ms. Johansson’s recent hit film, Black Widow, will likely soon be the top grossing U.S. film of the year so far, and at year’s end will almost certainly be one of the highest grossing films of 2021. However, it would have been even more of a financial hit if Disney had limited release of the film to theaters only. It sounds like Ms. Johansson thinks this was the agreement she had with Disney when she signed on to do the film.

Instead of a theatrical release only, Disney also made Black Widow available for streaming through Disney+ (for a $30 fee). Ms. Johansson is alleging breach of contract, and last week she and her legal team filed a lawsuit. Allowing viewers to stream the movie significantly reduces film revenues and thus also reduces Ms. Johansson’s overall compensation for starring in the film.

As is often the case with blockbuster films, the big name stars who lend their talents to such films receive a portion of the revenues. According to Fox Business, Disney’s move to simultaneously release Black Widow in theaters and on its streaming platform, “reportedly has cost Johansson more than $50 million.”

Fox Business also reports that “Disney released the movie on Disney+ because of the pandemic which caused theaters to limit in-person capacity.” In response to Johansson’s lawsuit, a Disney spokesman declared,

The lawsuit is especially sad and distressing in its callous disregard for the horrific and prolonged global effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Disney has fully complied with Ms. Johansson’s contract and furthermore, the release of ‘Black Widow’ on Disney+ with Premier Access has significantly enhanced her ability to earn additional compensation on top of the $20M she has received to date.

In other words, because many theaters across the U.S. remain in lockdown mode, Disney decided to allow streaming of the film, and it is “callous” for one to question such decisions. Lots of us who’ve questioned the lockdowns, the mask mandates, and the like have been called “callous” and worse. Yet, as the data well proves, the masks and lockdowns aren’t saving lives as much as they are destroying them.

Whatever the outcome of her lawsuit, Ms. Johansson will (or should) be just fine financially and professionally. However, that is not the case for countless Americans. This is why masks and lockdowns must be opposed at every opportunity. Like Ms. Johansson, parents in Gwinnett County, Georgia are suing (and protesting) to stop the largest school district in Georgia from imposing a newly announced mask mandate. This needs to happen throughout America.

Wearing a mask isn’t merely a polite, precautionary activity that is simply a slight inconvenience. The masks and corresponding lockdowns have wrought widespread devastation and should be opposed at most every turn. Good for you, Ms. Johansson! I hope more Americans follow your lead!

(See this column at American Thinker.)

Copyright 2021, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason.
Trevor is the author of the 
The Miracle and Magnificence of America

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