American popular culture has many masked heroes. As things stand, even a good vigilante like Spider-Man would be barred from entering a few establishments in the United States.
The Governor of North Dakota calls for an end to this dispute because “a mask has no ideology”
It seems like a joke in a pandemic season, but it is not. The mask has become the key piece of a new chapter of what is known in this country as “culture war”.
In reality, it is just another way of describing the ideological and racial divide that exists between progressives and conservatives, a matter that President Donald Trump manages like few others.
More and more images and videos of stores, warehouses or restaurants appear on the social networks in which there has been a row over the refusal of some to put a mask on the mouth. There are even recordings in which it is clearly seen how the unmasked cough to those who wear that piece as a sign of protest in defense of “individual freedom”.
In New York, the Corona ward (Queens) read signs that not only call for masks, but even gloves are required.
Instead, Alvin’s, a business in Manchester, Kentucky, that includes a service station and shop, displays a poster with the petition totally opposite.
“Forbidden to enter with a mask. Lower your mask or go somewhere else,” says the text. Further, it adds: “Stop listening to Beshear, he is a bastard.” Andy Beshear, a Democrat, of course, is the state governor.
In California, the sign displayed at a building supply store encourages customers to hug and not wear a mask. Social distance? For what.
Meanwhile, in Peoria Heights (Illinois), a gas station employee assured the local press that she had been fired for fighting Governor JB Pritzker (Democrat) order to put on the mask. She also put up a sign to report that the mouth cap was not allowed. Despite the fact that in her text she attacked Pritzker, she explained that she acted in this way to follow the rules – “it prevents us from differentiating between adults and minors when selling alcohol” – and for security: “We have been robbed several times.
Wearing a mask or not has an obvious political meaning, encouraged by the president himself, who turns a deaf ear to his government’s recommendations. There are photos of Trump, on his visit this week to the Ford company, in Detroit, where he wears that piece. In private. As always, he avoided it in public. “I am not going to give the press the pleasure of seeing me,” he said as if it were something detrimental to his political projection.
Most of those who have gone out to protest in various states to demand the reopening of the economy have distinguished themselves by following the president’s example.
“I would like North Dakota to avoid what is happening in other parts of the nation regarding the mask versus non-mask,” Republican Governor Doug Burgum pleaded last Friday. “If someone takes it,” he said, “that does not indicate which party or which candidate they support. Maybe he uses it because he has a five-year-old child undergoing cancer treatment or because there are older people around him who are fighting Covid-19”.