Dudes. Living as I do on the Idaho border, I have first-hand, actual eyeball experience observing the pandemic progressing in both a good exemplar of a rigorous mandate/restriction state (WA, with dem Gov Inslee) and a more free state exemplar (Idaho, with R Gov Little).
We were just hiking over in Idaho, and stopped for a latte in one of the bigger local coffee shops: no masks, no mandate, inside sit down dining.
Less than 20 miles away, WA remains locked down, with restaurants closed for dining, and a mask in public mandate, even on walking, biking and running trails. The two sister cities couldn’t be further apart, again, both being good representatives of the two bi-polar partisan philosophies. I’ve been tracking this pandemic, hard, since Jan 22: like Omaha, Spokane was one of the first two cities to host a case off of the initial cruise ship outbreak.
Here’s the punchline: the spikes have mirrored each other across state lines, almost exactly. The two states look like those graphs.
At this point, I believe that masks can have a major impact in isolated circumstances (eg. As part of properly implemented hospital PPE protocols) but they make fuck-all difference out in the wider population of people who are just throwing one on to go shopping.