California Mask Mandates….Yet Again

Tomorrow begins yet another mask mandate for the state of California in an attempt to “control” the spread of COVID-19 during the winter months when the virus is particularly aggressive. This sounds great in theory, and on some level it makes sense that wearing a mask should help reduce the transmission of the virus amongst the population. However, the problem with that thought process is evident when you look at all the other states that refuse to impose these burdens on their citizens. States with lockdowns and mask mandates have no significant decrease in the number of cases as compared to states that advocate for freedom from these government impositions.

The issue isn’t and has never been about reducing cases or saving lives. People high up in government have been saying for years that the world was “woefully unprepared for a pandemic” and that we needed to implement sweeping changes to allow control over people in an effort to put in place limitations that would “slow the spread”. As with most motives, the overall goal is basically good, but the means by which these people want to achieve that goal is abhorrent in every way. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, but the ends many times do not justify the means.

California is the poster child for authoritarian control over the population. The people here are far too invested in the nice weather and gorgeous beaches and breathtaking ocean sunsets to pay attention to what’s really going on around them. The state has a legendary status as the place where you can go to make your dreams come true, and while the average person is busy toiling away toward realizing those dreams, the people in charge continually manipulate us into following their rules by making us afraid of losing what we came here for.

The problem is that we’ve already lost it and we just don’t realize it yet. The weather is nice, sure, but how much have you really enjoyed it over the last two years? You might be able to go out, but don’t you always have it in the back of your mind that you might be stopped by law enforcement for some rule you broke, or harassed by a drugged out homeless person on the street because he’s out of his mind and has nothing better to do, or have you even just avoided going to public places because you’re tired of having to worry about wearing a ridiculous piece of cloth on your face.

And what about those dreams you had? The cost of living here in California is so artificially high that only a very few people have the resources to truly live well here. I personally make much higher than the national average salary, yet I’ve never been able to afford to rent or buy a house here, even with a dual income when I had it. Some might argue that demand is driving those prices, and that’s true in a twisted sort of way: the crushing environmental regulations here make building anything here exorbitantly expensive, so construction companies focus on apartment buildings or commercial spaces rather than single family homes.

I’ve strayed from the titled topic of this article for a bit, but there is a purpose to this rambling. The point I’m trying to make here is that the government here has no qualms about forcing the average person to live a lesser life than they might be able to achieve because it either lines their own pockets or because they truly believe that the average person is too stupid to make rational decisions for themselves. California is rife with an class of people who believe they’re the “elite” of society simply because they got lucky with a business venture and made billions, or because they were shady and manipulative enough to convince people they aren’t shady and manipulative and got elected to public office.

If it were just the government here, it might be worth fighting for, but the root problem isn’t really the people in power…it’s the citizenry. The people here are just too self-absorbed to really pay attention to what’s going on around them, and their own personal dreams are far too important to risk standing up against the stain of authoritarianism. We are all too absorbed in those beautiful sunsets and proximity to Hollywood and the nearly year round perfect weather. California has always been a dream, and dreams help us to gloss over the rotten layers underneath.

It’s hard to see that the house is crumbling when it’s painted over with a fresh coat of paint, and it’s far easier to just paint over the defects rather than actually get in there and start really fixing the problems. The people of California aren’t willing to go through the hardships of fixing their government, and for them it is just easier to sit back and let the corrupt politicians do whatever they want, so long as we can still go to the beach or snowboard down the mountains or drive out to the desert occasionally.

California used to be the place where dreams came true and people came for opportunity. Now we’re living in exactly what the Eagle’s described in “Hotel California”, where the staff caters just enough to lure you in, and then you’re forced to watch in horror as they “stab the beasts with their steely knives”. If the politicians had their way, “you could check out any time you like, but you can never leave”.

The truth is that the state is much closer to that today than most of us are willing to admit. The state is actually trying to pass legislation that imposes an exit tax on wealthy people who leave the state. It seems their goal is to make leaving so hard that no one does it. If they feel it’s ok to discourage you from walking away, how much further of a stretch is it for them to simply start placing guards at the border to keep us from escaping the tyranny? Not much, if you ask me.

All I can say at this point is that I’m glad my intention has been to leave this socialist “utopia” for quite a while now. In a couple of months, I hope to be far away from this rotten state, living in a place where the ideals I believe in are truly held by others and with a state government that isn’t so blinded by its own greed that the average person has no chance for happiness in whatever form that means for him. I still have no idea where I will end up, but as long as it’s not in California, or another state like it, I’ll be better off that day than I have been the last twenty years.

It’s just a shame that such a beautiful land has been usurped by the undeserving and unappreciative. It truly is the jewel of the nation.

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