Since so many in the crowd refused to wear masks, Wilson clearly attempted to convince the crowd to wear one very large, well-fitting mask, as he demonstrates here.
Since so many in the crowd refused to wear masks, Wilson clearly attempted to convince the crowd to wear one very large, well-fitting mask, as he demonstrates here. Steph Chambers / GETTY

As a whole, Jason Rantz's post, "Mask mandate ignored at Seahawks game, highlights progressive hypocrisy," is, predictably, incoherent.

Rantz, like much of the post-Trump/pandemic-era right, holds purely tactical political positions, and as such constantly shifts according to a shifting mediascape. Anti-vaxxers actually were on the fringes of the left (hippy-types). Now they are on the mainstream right for only one reason: Trump—the lord not only of white supremacists but also, and more importantly, of the business interest—is no longer president. Biden supports vaccines, which shifted the mediascape, and so the right made the appropriate adjustments even though there was nothing (by appearance) in right-wing logic that dictated a sound rejection of vaccines in general. But this is where Rantz is today, and where the GOP may not be tomorrow:


But Rantz got one thing right in his post, which concerns the brazen rejection of official and unofficial mask mandates by Seahawks fans during the sold-out 2021 home opener this Sunday at Lumen Field. Rantz:
It seems unlikely that Lumen Field will suffer any significant punishment for hosting thousands without masks. Perhaps that’s their privilege. Unfortunately, small businesses that flout county and state rules aren’t so lucky.

Flowers Restaurant in the University District did not follow COVID mandates. Among the rules the business rejected was the indoor mask mandate. Health inspectors went so far as to publicize photos of patrons forgoing masks. Consequently, its license was suspended.



The question here is not about fear-mongering but rather the possible impossibility of managing (or conducting safely) large pubic events during a pandemic. Can a stadium with 30,000 or so people really be controlled, particularly in a period of considerable pandemic exhaustion? From this perspective (rather from than Rantz's tactical one), one can see it was nothing but wildly optimistic to believe that widespread mask compliance remotely had chance on the day the Seahawks showed they were still the Seahawks by losing a very easy home game.

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When asked what Governor Inslee had to say about the rejection of his mandates at the home opener, this is what his press secretary, Mike Faulk, had to say: "We’re concerned about the images from Sunday’s game. Members of the governor’s staff have been reaching out to different partners in Seattle and King County today to learn more about what happened with mask adherence." So, they are still in the woods and the way forward is unclear.

But if what happened during the Seahawks game goes unpunished, then what has to be admitted is that we are entering the next stage of the too-long pandemic. The new dispensation will be characterized by the death of mandates of any kind and from any source (city, county, state, federal), because they are clearly not universalizable (or, put another way, not a law). Processes of this new and possibly permanent order will deform public safety into solely a matter of private safety. And this is how the right (the business interest) with indirection always finds direction—by the structuration of tactics into a strategy.

What we can expect to experience in the next pandemic movement, which we most certainly will enter at this point, is an individual decision to catch COVID or not. That is the post-mandate future of the human relationship with coronavirus. And entrepreneurs will swiftly gather around those who make one or the other decision and provide overpriced services, programs, plans.

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