Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: You can’t fix stupid

If you go into Walmart and defy the greeter and refuse to wear a mask; I know you think people are seeing you as a rugged individual who refuses to conform liberal norms.

But you are wrong.

People are looking at you as stupid.

Four million nine hundred thousand people have contracted the virus in seven months and 150,000 have died. The death toll will likely reach one quarter of a million by the end of this year.

You will wear a seat belt in your car; but you won’t wear a mask to protect yourself and others around you from a virus pandemic?

Unfortunately, we can’t fix stupid.

William Gilliland

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58 Responses »

  1. Honestly, I'd be willing to manage the facility where the non-compliant could be taught to act as part of a community. Given that this pandemic will put our federal debt at nearly $30 trillion before long this might not be a bad way for the government to do work it might not otherwise be able to afford. This isn't an impossible task either. In fact, I regularly organized working parties for Marines with similar problems.

  2. Oh, and Pure, if you don't think the non-compliant don't belong to the same party that would have taken us to war with Iran last year then you just haven't been paying attention. Our response to COVID-19 hasn't been adequate because Washington sought to appease this segment with a tough guy act rather than follow CDC guidance up front. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

  3. Scott Erb
    August 2, 2020 • 6:57 pm
    Pure, you seem to be retreating as you're faced with evidence that it's not just wrong, but rude and obnoxiously selfish for someone to refuse to mask because despite evidence and recommendations from experts world wide, somehow your standards for proof have not been met. If you think everyone else but you is crazy, well, you probably have it wrong.

    Scott Erb
    I mean no ill will to those who distrust masks

    I don't want anyone not to be kind to others due to this

    Sorry Scott, Not retreating and there are as many "Experts" Who do not believe masks do anything good whatsoever...You can pretend I am the only person in the world who feels PROOF is important before acting like something is a help and before mandating people wear a garmit because some say there is a POSSIBILITY it could help.

    Re-Read your comments Scott, Then say those two sentences again- Your calling anyone who doesn't fall in line with your opinion Selfish, Rude, Arrogant, Crazy, Bizarre, Selfish and Petty and probably some I missed.

    This is science and the party of reason huh...Here is a snippet of your 100% with out a doubt right science-

    "One category of evidence comes from laboratory studies of respiratory droplets and the ability of various masks to block them. An experiment using high-speed video found that hundreds of droplets ranging from 20 to 500 micrometers were generated when saying a simple phrase, but that nearly all these droplets were blocked when the mouth was covered by a damp washcloth. Another study of people who had influenza or the common cold found that wearing a surgical mask significantly reduced the amount of these respiratory viruses emitted in droplets and aerosols."

    So from this we know- Cloth Masks block Spit This is a definite, Fitted Surgical Masks in a clinical setting Significantly reduced viruses occurring in droplets and aerosol. Another definite.

    Then This...

    "But the strongest evidence in favor of masks come from studies of real-world scenarios. “The most important thing are the epidemiologic data,” said Rutherford. Because it would be unethical to assign people to not wear a mask during a pandemic, the epidemiological evidence has come from so-called “experiments of nature.”"

    This is where we get to the guessing game and this continues through the rest of your Pro-Mask Link.

    I cannot fathom how asking for Proof before mandating something is considered so terrible that it results in name calling and people pretending that the experts are all saying the same thing...WHEN They are not.

    August 3, 2020 • 6:33 am
    Honestly, I'd be willing to manage the facility where the non-compliant could be taught to act as part of a community..

    Wow...Just WOW, You would have been a perfect fit for working under Hitler in Germany.

    "And if all others accepted the lie which the Party imposed—if all records told the same tale—then the lie passed into history and became truth. ‘Who controls the past’ ran the Party slogan, ‘controls the future: who controls the present controls the past."

    August 3, 2020 • 6:58 am
    Oh, and Pure, if you don't think the non-compliant don't belong to the same party that would have taken us to war with Iran last year then you just haven't been paying attention. Our response to COVID-19 hasn't been adequate because Washington sought to appease this segment with a tough guy act rather than follow CDC guidance up front. If it looks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.

    You guys have jumped the shark, I think you really do believe that only Trump supporters would not wear a mask even in absence of proof that the masks help.

    Very sad man, very sad.

  4. Jay,

    Maine was locked down by our one term governor, no one else. She owns this. There was no reason to secure only “some” of the state businesses. She alone is responsible for deeming some Citizens worthy of a paycheck and others, not.

    New Yuk nursing home morbidity was a direct result of Cumo putting the sick back in nursing homes and staffing not be checked more closely. A Flag ranked officer losing that many troops because of an ill executed plan would have already be history. I.e, lack of confidence”.

    As Maines economy tanks, do the math because today’s shutdown is tomorrow’s tax hikes. Note the folks that get the nod to continue collecting your tax dollars as well as where they work and how much or little they do. Shut downs that are biased against any taxpayer should stand up to close scrutiny. Emergency services and law enforcement, sure. State supported tax exempt College employee types, on standby In an empty campus to make sandwiches or teach no show classes, not so much.

  5. Oh, and rather than leave the question of who is responsible for the debt I mention above open let's be clear that Washington followed the populist down this road too. Here's how that happened.

    In 2001 the federal debt was just $5.6 trillion and, since the government didn't spend as much as it took in that year, we had a surplus for the first time in years. Then two things happened. First, massive tax cuts which have since added $7 trillion to the debt were passed against the advice of economists and the Congressional Budget Office who both said this approach would not increase tax revenues as promised. Next, ignoring the advice of defense experts, Washington granted the populist the Middle Eastern wars they wanted which have also added about $7 trillion to the debt since. Of course these decisions had other consequences that many choose to ignore, such as triggering the 2008 recession that added another few trillion to the debt. Add spending on social programs and the cost of our response to COVID-19 and you reach the $26.5 trillion debt currently held.

    Our ability to invest in important projects is affected by debt. When it is low it's pretty easy to justify emergency spending. No one really bats an eye then. But when debt is high people start saying crazy things as they attempt to justify further spending, things like "we don't have to pay the debt". Nations who tried this approach in the past have learned the hard way that debt is not so easily forgiven. Those nations faced hardships none would choose to endure and few regained the status they held before.

    Where COVID-19 is concerned, the best way to stop the financial bleeding is to quickly contain and starve it of hosts because we will spend far more if we choose to manage it over time. Those nations who took the necessary precautions up front will only be impacted by a few months of relief spending. We could follow suit or repeat the process over and over again at far greater cost.

  6. Look, in an emergency situation lives come first. You wouldn't insist you had the right to drive through an accident scene against the advice of first responders because you understand that. Those who refuse to abide by restrictions put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19 are interfering with the work of first responders in a way they would not under other circumstances. I believe we should deal with them as we would if they chose to interfere with any other emergency response.

    If that doesn't change minds maybe this will. Many motorists who chose not to abide by the rules of the road and unintentionally killed someone in an accident as a result have been convicted of manslaughter. The charge requires negligence not intent and so has been applied to those who spread disease as a result of reckless behavior. The same could happen where COVID-19 is concerned. Short of that, I can't see why anyone would want to take the chance that they might be infected and transfer the virus to someone else who could die simply because they don't want to wear a mask anyway.

  7. Turns out even our friends at the DOJ are telling us that there’s no such thing as a blanket right to NOT wear masks:

    Why not? Because I and the rest of the general public have the right to be protected from you:

    “Even if a person could identify their disability and prove that not wearing a mask without any other precaution was a reasonable request, “the business could still turn that person away based on the direct threat” that they posed to others, according to Roberts.

    A “direct threat” under the ADA is any substantial risk to the health and safety a disabled person poses to others, which cannot be countered with reasonable accommodations.“ (

    Now, can we talk about how to get our kids safely through the next year while protecting everyone in our community and stop squabbling about who does and who doesn’t get to enter a private business or who is being a bigger drain on taxpayer resources?

  8. Peter, UMF draws people to the area who spend their money at local businesses.
    UMF hires staff who pay the same tax rate as everyone else and their tax dollars are a big contribution to the local budgets.

    There are no tax exempt College employee types. I assure you, the folks at UMF work just as hard as everyone else and probably, many of them are your neighbors who you like.

    At least get your facts correct before casting aspersions.

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