by Kerry Dougherty

Ever since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic I’ve been wondering what it would take for Americans to finally say they’d had enough.

Enough of absurd and ineffective regulations imposed on them by leaders hiding behind claims that they were simply “following the science.”

I was furious early in the spring of 2020, when Virginia’s governor — who was “following the science” — forbade SITTING ON THE BEACH. Remember that slice of crazy? It was OK to walk, run or fish on the beach, but no sitting.

That was followed by even more “follow the science “ idiocy: no football or volleyball on beaches. No loud music. No umbrellas. The constant wiping down of handrails to the beach with disinfectant, even though we knew the virus couldn’t survive in summer heat and direct sunlight.

Then came football season, and the governor ordered “crowds” at outdoor events be limited to 250 spectators, regardless of the size of the venue.

Hey, he was just following the science.

Next came curfews and restrictions on alcohol sales. One moronic, ineffective rule after another. All imposed on ordinary decent Virginians by a power-drunk governor who claimed to be following the science but who was clearly making it up as he went along.

It was the same around the country. Worse in places like New York, California and Michigan with governors even more terrible than ours, better in places like Florida, Texas and Tennessee with less imperious executives.

The White House did its part, too — including during the Trump administration — ordering lockdowns and masks on air and train travel.

On Monday, we may have hit the tipping point when a young mother and her 2-year-old asthmatic son were tossed from American Airlines flight 1284 from Dallas to Colorado Springs because the toddler couldn’t breathe and kept pulling his mask off.

Did I mention the tot was TWO YEARS OLD?

The grotesque event was captured on video.

Amanda Pendarvis said she worried her that her son — who, like other asthmatics, struggles for every breath — might not keep a mask on his face.

As a precaution, she claims she had him tested for COVID before the flight and presented the negative test to the flight crew before taking her seat.

Her son immediately began crying, hyperventilating, slashing with his little hands at the mask that was making it even more difficult to breathe.

A flight attendant made an announcement that take-off was being delayed by an “noncompliant passenger.” Next, the aircraft returned to the gate and the mother and child were escorted off the plane.

American Airlines confirmed that the family was removed for a mask violation, but denied that they knew about the child’s asthma.

Oh please. That shouldn’t even matter. The baby was TWO.

Look, no one on that aircraft was in any danger from that tot. This is just one more ugly example of an arbitrary rule intended to browbeat the youngest members of the public into obedience. Frankly, this case borders on child abuse.

Social media is littered with similar accounts of toddlers refusing to wear masks that ended with surly flight attendants barking orders at frazzled parents before ejecting them.

According to MarketWatch, “The president and co-founder of the consumer advocacy group Travelers Unite, Charles Leocha, told Business Insider: ‘Airlines that insist on having 2- and 3-year-old children wear masks at all times will always face problems. Treating a 2-year-old like a 30-year-old is foolish and unnatural’.”

Masking 2-year-olds is following the science? I don’t think so. Why not just let this mother soothe her baby and get him to calm down, maskless for the flight? When did we get to be such heartless, unthinking rule followers?

First we lost our common sense with these despotic regulations. Next we lost our humanity.

When George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin last year it was heartbreaking to hear him cry over and over, “I I can’t breathe.”

Likewise, the sight of a baby, gasping for breath while his frantic mother tries to cover his face with a mask ought to offend even the most fearful-mandate-loving American.

Frankly, if we’ve learned anything in the past 18 months, it’s that the most terrifying three words in the English language are “follow the science.”

This column is republished with permission from Kerry: Unemployed & Unedited.

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22 responses to “Follow the Science. Yeah, Right”

  1. Stephen Haner Avatar
    Stephen Haner

    It is all driven by the fear of lawsuits, the concern that some OTHER passenger would file a complaint or some airline employee would raise hell. Somebody does turn up sick a few days later and AA gets sued — you didn’t enforce your own rules! So the rules are enforced to the point of madness.

    Just hope somebody sues Amtrak over Terry the Maskless in those earlier shots…but rules don’t apply to rulers.

  2. how_it_works Avatar

    Just a bit of security theater.

  3. Matt Adams Avatar

    I’d presume that most people who are dictating that 2 and 3 year old’s wear masks, either don’t have children or left that part of parenting up to their partner.

  4. DJRippert Avatar

    First things first, Ralph Northam is a dimwit. That’s been obvious since the start of his regime. Remember when he advised that it was hard ti get shoe polish off skin and offered to breakdance when discussing the yearbook picture? Dim bulb. Why is anybody surprised that he instituted idiotic COVID restrictions?

    Put a good person in a uniform and you get a better person. Put an assclown in a uniform and you get a worse assclown. I have flown over 3 million commercial airline miles. There are too many “bigger assclowns” wearing flight attendant uniforms.

  5. Eric the half a troll Avatar
    Eric the half a troll

    “…better in places like Florida, Texas and Tennessee with less imperious executives…”

    You know what three states just happen to rank in the top ten in terms of Covid death rates? Florida, Texas, and Tennessee.

    As to your “tyranny” article, I discussed this very scenario with a colleague this week. He was traveling with a 2 year old who couldn’t wear a mask due to medical reasons. He knew he needed a doctor’s statement and when challenged he presented it to the agent and their supervisor. No problem whatsoever. So there are processes that need to be followed and he followed them. This mother appears to not have followed them. The airline reps are simply trying to do the best job they can. I am sure that your gnashing of teeth in your hit piece is the least of their worries. I bet you get a lot of promotion from your anti-vax gang though.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Do those papers have to be signed by a Reichsführer or can a Deputy Reichsführer authorize infants to go without masks?

      1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
        Eric the half a troll

        I don’t know if you have flown recently but I have, today in fact. Before you board you are told straight up that all passenger 2 years old and older must wear a mask at all times many, many times. Now if she was worried about her son’s asthma, she should have discussed it with the gate agent and supervisor before boarding as did my colleague, who again had no such problems. That is what a parent who actually had concerns about her child’s health would do. She didn’t, she just thought she didn’t have to follow the rules and that she was special… because… tyranny….

    2. Randy Huffman Avatar
      Randy Huffman

      Never mind Texas is being invaded at the border by largely unvaccinated people, and Florida has a highest percentage of Senior citizens than any other state. Details, details.

      1. Randy Huffman Avatar
        Randy Huffman

        So I should have looked before my last comment, but I found an NBC site which had COVID information by State, and deaths per thousand. It was not sorted so had to dig a little, but Florida stood at tenth, didn’t see Texas or Tennessee in the top ten. The top 4 which stood way out from the pack was Mississippi, New Jersey, Louisiana and New York.

        1. Eric the half a troll Avatar
          Eric the half a troll

          That is total death rate. This list is current death rate and is the one to which I was referring.

          1. killerhertz Avatar

            These are rigged numbers from the NYT, which lumps “probable deaths from COVID” in there.


            We already know that hospitals are over-reporting their COVID patients.

          2. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            The number you are citing are again TOTAL figures. It is clear that current running Covid death rates put these three states in the top ten. It is simply not debatable.

          3. killerhertz Avatar

            It IS debatable as rates are irrelevant in the long term. This is cherry picking a data point in the curve. If 100 die yesterday in one state and never again, but 1000 died in another, the latter state had it worse. Perhaps that’s above your head though. Ultimately there’s little evidence that actions by the leviathan have had any impact. One would also expect that deaths to be correlated with states having populations exhibiting comorbidities, such as obesity or age for that matter (Florida retirees).

          4. Eric the half a troll Avatar
            Eric the half a troll

            Nope. Current rates are the best measure of where the pandemic stands now as well as how effective each state’s policies are in controlling it. Total numbers are misleading as are rates to date. Trends are best measured in 7-daty moving averages and it is no coincidence that the states with the least controls and lowest vaccination rates are fairing the worst right now – and they are.

          5. LarrytheG Avatar

            I agree. Looking BACK does not tell you anything about NOW and NOW is what you need to know to go forward.

          6. Merchantseamen Avatar

            Says you.

    3. Merchantseamen Avatar

      I call B.S. on this guy.

  6. can’t fix stupid

  7. Lynne Westermeyer Avatar
    Lynne Westermeyer

    So Kerry, what is your recommendation as to erradicating the virus?

  8. LarrytheG Avatar

    I think some of this stuff that Kerry writes should probably be characterized as homilies.

  9. LarrytheG Avatar

    Interesting chart about Republicans – vaccinated and unvaccinated:

    Haven’t seen similar ones for Dems but suspect there is not near as much divide.

  10. William O'Keefe Avatar
    William O’Keefe

    Anecdotes like those cited in this blog make for interesting reading but the fact still remains that covid is deadly and no one has got a handle on how to bring it to an end. So, politicians make what look like dumb decisions to placate their base and claim that they are following the science, which is messy and hard to grasp, especially the epidemiology.

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