In addition to being a global tragedy of historic proportions, the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be a litmus test of sorts, revealing the most unhinged elements in American society.
Emboldened by President Trump’s conspiracy theory peddling, there are people who still refuse to wear masks, convinced that the entire virus is some kind of hoax cooked up by the mainstream media. Years and years of consuming Fox News paranoia and misinformation has fried the brains of a non-negligible portion of this country’s citizenry and now we are reaping the consequences.
The anti-masker movement has numerous factions, ranging from people who simply think masks look stupid to those convinced that the masks are actively detrimental to one’s health. Now we can add a new, truly deranged excuse for opposing masks: the belief that they’re the work of the Devil.
Ahead of its reopening, Elmbrook School District in Wisconsin held a Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. At one point in the proceedings, a Christian mother voiced opposition to mask requirements for students in truly jaw-dropping fashion.
“Six-foot distance and masks are a pagan ritual of satanic worshipers,” said Heidi Anderson without a trace of irony. “Absorb that in. Six feet. Where did Six feet come from, people? Why is it not three? Why is it not five? Why is it not ten? Why is it not thirty? Why is it six?” she ranted to a room full of people. In the Bible, the number of the Devil is 666.
The woman was briefly interrupted from her ludicrous tirade but insisted she would soon be finished and continued on.
“We are Christians. Our children do not practice Satanic worship. We don’t have them stand six feet apart from each other with facial coverings. Facts and data have been suggested here but no logic,” said Anderson.
“These masks are not proven to stop the virus or any other and given the hygiene habits of children and teens it can cause them physical harm including staph, shingles, MRSA and all sorts of other things that are already beginning to happen as these children have gone back to athletics,” Anderson went on, spreading right-wing misinformation.
Again, someone interjected and again Anderson insisted that she be allowed to finish. She went on to toss around conspiracy theories about medical organizations profiting off the pandemic and argued COVID-19 is not really worth worrying about because more people die in car crashes.
It was a truly ignorant, disturbing performance and a peek at the kind of nonsense that has taken root in some parts of this country. People like this are actively endangering the rest of us and their insane theories need to be mocked and confronted every time they pop up.
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