Three liberal outlets broke ranks with the consensus that people should wear a mask all the time – even while they are alone – over the weekend, and a mob accused all three of trying to get people killed.
Liberal outlet Slate broke ranks first, declaring in a Sunday article that people should stop wearing masks while they are outside because the outdoors is “very, very safe.” The New Republic followed suit, then a staff writer at The Atlantic agreed.
Despite the evidence that the articles cited, the resulting response was predictable: A digital mob descended on them, going so far as to accuse the three outlets of trying to get people killed.
When Slate posted a tweet linking to their article, they were quickly hit by a flood of angry comments. (RELATED: University Of California, Berkeley Bans Solitary Outdoor Exercise As Part Of New COVID-19 Restrictions)
“Deaths are increasing again due to the spread of variants partly BECAUSE so many people refused to wear masks all along but this op-ed is definitely smart and a good idea,” one user wrote. Another user said that the article was “irresponsible and not helping,” and one comment simply read, “this is unhelpful.”
Deaths are increasing again due to the spread of variants partly BECAUSE so many people refused to wear masks all along but this op-ed is definitely smart and a good idea
— what did you expect (@Mad_Ruskie) April 17, 2021
*files this under irresponsible and not helping*
— Jonathan Sexton (@BlueGhostSkater) April 17, 2021
This is unhelpful.
— analyzeit (@analyzeit1) April 17, 2021
“We don’t wear them to only protect ourselves, we wear them to help protect others,” someone responded. “What is wrong with you?” (RELATED: It’s Been Three Weeks, Where Are The COVID-19 Surges?)
We don’t wear them to only protect ourselves, we wear them to help protect others. What is wrong with you?
— Katiedid ???????????????? (@IrishNorsewoman) April 18, 2021
“I am astonished with what ease you’re spreading misinformation that will kill people. 566K is not enough?” another person asked. “Shameful!”
One Twitter user said that they reported the article to the social media site for “COVID misinformation.” Slate was also asked why they wanted “old people to die.”
Although many people in the more than 200 comments and more than 150 quote tweet replies agreed with the article, the angry replies seemed endless.
600,000 people are dead so maybe shut the fuck up with stupid shit like this https://t.co/cYhl4gCJeP
— Aram (unvеrified) (@rawfishandbeer) April 19, 2021
this is why NYC hasn’t left its “second” wave – y’all are so hellbent on not wearing masks outside that you’re willing to infect others. this is why 566k people have died. https://t.co/SoKCMxZEJb
— dizzy (@permanxiety) April 18, 2021
— mellokittyx4 (@riotgrrl2x) April 18, 2021
This is irresponsible reporting. Its about protecting yourself, your family, and others. It kills no one to wear a damn mask. It could kill someone by not wearing a mask. I do not want that on my conscious. https://t.co/kLF2J0Z4pE
— the oracle (@Jenazar) April 18, 2021
This is very irresponsible. I’ve watch people say “it’s fine, I’m outside” while maskless before catching the virus. Sure, sitting by yourself on the porch, go maskless if you want. But numbers are increasing and people are dying. Let people wear their masks to feel some peace https://t.co/aA5xKulQTK
— Rad Tasia, Is Staying Positive (@GroovyTasia) April 17, 2021
Natalie Shure, the columnist at The New Republic who argued for the end of outdoor mask mandates, was faced with a similar response after posting her article on Twitter.
Thanks for this dumbass take, Natalie.
— Croissant Roll (@CroissantRoll) April 19, 2021
I’m so relieved you all made it through the pandemic learning nothing about ableism or hygiene. I knew you could do it.
— Cosmic Cutie (@wearecosmicco) April 19, 2021
people are dying. Wear the fucking mask.
— KarlTwoCents | Livin’ La Vida Doomer. (@HotDamnTamale) April 19, 2021
Or — and hear me out — you can continue to give a shit about the people in your community who can’t get vaxxed yet, like, for instance, every single child under 16. https://t.co/gi4cDEjNX5
— Anarcatcommunism ???????????? (@SabrinaSpiher) April 19, 2021
The last 5 – 6 years have proven one thing, over and over and over again… You can’t trust strange white people. They’re just fine with possibly fucking you over, and often for no other reason then they think they might be slightly inconvenienced by something. https://t.co/zqJqliFe4E
— “The Unbannable” Jonathan Hansen (@HANSEN_SOGROOVY) April 19, 2021
This is a horrible take and it’s going to get people killed. https://t.co/UINaVdBvxm
— Mike???????? (COMMISSIONS CLOSED) (@MikeLovesTacos) April 19, 2021
Social media users also attacked Derek Thompson, a staff writer at The Atlantic, when he argued against outdoor mask mandates.
Sit down! The off ramp is when people aren’t dying.
— KikiD.Oakley (@KikidOakley) April 19, 2021
This is disgracefully irresponsible.
— Salome Strangelove (@salstrange) April 19, 2021
governments should probably be more concerned with keeping people from dying unnecessarily rather than giving people an “off-ramp” just because they feel like it. this absolutely sucks.
— ben (@beardyblue) April 19, 2021
— danny carbona (@wormwoodscrub) April 19, 2021
So, no real examination of current transmission, hospitalization, or mortality rates. Apparently you are just tired of wearing a mask, right? Young white guy has no patience for public trust actions people ask of him, and is more annoyed when mandated. Shocker.
— Suzanne C-J (@barefootswan) April 19, 2021
Do you stop at red lights and stop signs if there aren’t any other cars around? Bc the law says you must. Is that bc there’s a danger of getting killed if you don’t? No, it’s bc blanket rules save more lives than ones riddled with exceptions. This isn’t hard. ???? https://t.co/05fJj8zjDy
— Maggie the Nerdmom (@IgiturOne) April 19, 2021