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Governor orders mandatory face coverings in stores and other public buildings starting May 6

WBUR reports that Gov. Baker said today that Massachusetts residents over the age of 2 will have to don masks or other face coverings when they go into a public place starting May 6.

People with medical reasons not to wear a mask are exempted, but otherwise, its faces covered in stores and on public transit, the governor said. He noted that several retail chains already require customers to wear face coverings. Baker also called on people to don coverings outside if they expect to find themselves in locations where they can't socially distance.

Several communities, including Cambridge and Somerville, have issued directives that mandate face covering at all times outside.

The goal is to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by people who may not realize they are infectious because they have no symptoms, Baker said at his daily press conference, about an hour after Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said too many people were still going outside without masks in potentially crowded areas such as the beaches of South Boston.

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Comments

Glad Baker is specific about keeping the "when social distancing isn't possible" clause in there, although I'm sure some of the BBQ Becky crowd will still lose it at people across the street or 30 feet off the trails in a park. That should address the concerns of the exercise crowd (the reasonable ones, anyway).

The application of fines will be important to keep an eye on going forward, though.

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Racist and making fun of poorer people than you.

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Where's the racism, or the making fun of poor people?

I see the opposite in the comment to which you replied, in which the commenter wrote:

I'm sure some of the BBQ Becky crowd will still lose it

Which seems to be a clear indictment of the racist actions of self-appointed public "guardians" who harass others and call the police on people of color simply going about their day-to-day lives.

And:

The application of fines will be important to keep an eye on going forward

Which to me reads (in context) as a concern that fines not be levied unevenly/unfairly against against any one group, particularly those least able to pay.

Did you and I read the same comment? Am I missing something here?

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Now this makes sense.

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I've said this before but people forget Charlie has a history in healthcare. Say what you want about his role, but regardless, he was good at it. Enough to become Secretary of HHS for the state in 1992. Then went on to become CEO of Harvard Pilgrim.

Sure you can say what you want about his tenure at both places, but regardless, he is a man of healthcare. You don't forget that all to well. Not when you started out doing that. You don't forget your roots.

I am sure many people who knew him back then called him personally. I know many of my medical friends have strong opinions about C19, Treatment, prevention, and such. When you put a personal touch on a situation, it changes your behavior.

It just shows Charlie is human, has a brain, and probably some compassion mixed in there.

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The mask-wearing doesn't bother me - I went to the workplace for the first time in six weeks to pick up some supplies and I wore my mask on the bus to and from work. Once I got off the bus, there was no one around, so I took my mask off and put it on again when I got to work.

It actually made me feel safer and freer, although my glasses kept on fogging up.

I do think there is a resistance/defiance streak among many people not to wear the masks, which caused the governor to impose the mask wearing statewide. Maybe it's because they feel invincible and they don't think the virus will hit them or they don't like the sudden killjoy/paternalistic streak the politicians have discovered, but as this is an unpredictable disease, the mask is a better tradeoff than a ICU stay with a ventilator (or worse)

I'm thinking that the mask wearing edict will be a condition of with opening some shops and businesses on or after May 18. This is what Gov. Baker should emphasize - if there's no spread or decline in cases because of constant mask wearing, there's a better chance of things opening up sooner.

I'll say this again - reason and measure is why Charlie Baker has been so good in this crisis. Dare I say, we'll end up better once we get out of this crisis because of his leadership.

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Will be the first to jog to the doctor’s office to push old ladies and kids out of the way so they can get the vaccine first.

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I didn’t vote for Baker either time. I will note for anyone supporting the party of Trump, McConnell, Kevin McCarthy, Hannity, MAGA, etc. The last 2 months excluded, I would certainly oppose a 3rd Baker term.

But he has done a great job. The PPE coup with the Pats’ jet was inspiring. I would have preferred that he be more aggressive on some COVID policies, but the easiest thing in the world is to armchair quarterback and do nothing to be part of the solution.

I am proud of Governor Baker. Thank you, Governor, for all your hard work on this. Some of us appreciate you.

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Queue all the “I find wearing a mask inconvenient, therefore I am going to pivot to a disingenuous debate about civil liberties and civil disobedience because I’m a patriot martyr!” arguments below.

Trump-supporting AR-15-toting armed invaders entering the Michigan Capitol yesterday seemed to have no problem wearing masks, so neither should you.

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As somebody who trends more toward the ACLU side of the political spectrum, I can tell you that one needn't hew to the far right to find some of this stuff a bit problematic. Note that I said "a bit"--I'm not suggesting that anybody get out the pitchforks here.

A while back, I saw and article (I think in The Atlantic) about dueling American impulses and which would predominate as this crisis unfolds: the rugged individualist frontiersman vs. the compliant middle manager. I think it's obvious which of those two has won out.

More recently, a Harvard Law professor co-wrote an article (also in The Atlantic) opining that government censorship of the internet--ala China--would be a positive good. He argued that our ad hoc system of private constraints on online speech was unable to rise to the challenges posed by the current crisis. Per the article:

In the great debate of the past two decades about freedom versus control of the network, China was largely right and the United States was largely wrong. Significant monitoring and speech control are inevitable components of a mature and flourishing internet, and governments must play a large role in these practices to ensure that the internet is compatible with a society’s norms and values.

I worry deeply that our handling of this crisis over the next few months will provide our system's bad actors with a pretext to do decades worth of damage to privacy and personal freedom. I worry about selling out the future in exchange for the feeling of increased safety in the present--the kicker is that we're only talking about marginally increased safety. A little healthy vigilance is required to make sure that this doesn't turn into our own Reichstag fire.

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China is now installing cameras to monitor compliance in private residences.

Oh, that's just China you say?

Israel's intelligence services used software designed to track terrorists to track private citizens for contact control without consent (and I believe without their knowledge).

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Anything concrete about those methods being implemented here, other than a Qanon message board?

I'd plow through your older posts but yeah ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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That we know of. They are trying to implement a voluntary system, and I think private companies already do that - which is why I often turn my GPS off (although that's probably the equivalent of pushing the close door button on the elevator or the cross button at an intersection).

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People are free to exercise free speech to criticize face covering ordinances. I support said right.

I find most opposition of face coverings that appeal to civil liberties to be thinly-veiled “Wahhh! I don’t wanna” arguments dressed up as “intellectual”, “principled” arguments used to signal political virtues.

It seems the conclusion is “face masks are too inconvenient” so then they search for any justification. They are free to argue such position, but it is only compelling to those with a confirmation bias looking for a supporting argument.

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I'm sure that some people are disingenuously leaning on civil liberties, but it's problematic to assume that everybody is. While it's been a while since my law school days, there are clear First Amendment issues raised by forcing people to wear masks. While a court may well rule that those considerations are outweighed by other factors, that doesn't mean that they aren't valid considerations that should be taken into account when determining public policy.

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Smallpox? Tuberculosis? Polio? Pandemic Flu?

Consider that there has been 2.5 centuries of case law about pandemics, epidemics, and contagion where all these arguments have been tested in court.

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These same folks who suddenly discover civil liberties when told to cover their faces to prevent virus spread cause they " dontwanna", freak out when a football player takes a knee, some asshat burns a flag, or a Pride banner flies over City Hall. You can't pick and choose, you're either for civil liberties or not, the ACLU (and I loathe the some of the causes they've taken up over the years, but I'm still a member) defends the Constitution on behalf of gay, straight, rich, poor, nazis, commies, everybody. My right to go about my business on the daily with minimal exposure to CV is more compelling than your right to show your goofy mug and shed virus goodies everywhere. First, stay home, but if you do HAVE to go out, wear the mask and gloves.

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We've way over shot the civil liberties mantra. Queers, Homosexuals, gay pride, all of these in the name of civil liberties. I rebuke all of them. Now comes face masks, I likewise rebuke. Society with no principles, deserves the full brunt of any plague. Take off the mask and face the music, don't get scared now after supporting deviant sexual, vile lifestyles in front of our youth. this is far more destructive and insidious than some whimsical Corona anything. We had it coming anyways!

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How the hell do you fit all of that on a sign for the Straight Pride Parade?

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What the fuck is this shit?

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I rebuke all of them.

The lady doth protest too much, methinks

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Odds matter.

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Or other nether bits? For mostly public health reasons?

Cover your nasty pie hole, too.

Note: this isn't the first epidemic in US history. Check out the case law for more details about how this stuff has been litigated before. The 21st century didn't invent pandemics and epidemics. The first major one was four years after the founding of the country.

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Why the bile? I wear a mask just like everybody else. I adhere to social distancing guidelines and, generally speaking, I agree with most of them. To indulge in ad hominem attacks just because I'm not doing cartwheels about having to do these things?

Is it forbidden to even express regret or concern about any of this?

Does lashing out like that make you feel better?

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Par for the course with my buddy Swirl... kindness abounds.

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My alternative reply:

You have to cover your balls, right?

I guess so. The people at Dunkin' Donuts keep telling me that...

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out of cowardice and fear and nothing else. You're not doing it for Science that's for sure, because Science has another thing for you. Be a coward by yourself. People like you, are encouragers with NO Science backing you up, JUST A BUNCH OF FEAR for the sake of INGRATIATING.

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Can't figure out if crazy or stupid?

The grownups discussing this have forgotten more science that you ever knew.

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And they aren't inhibiting free speech or expression.

They are a necessity for us to have the freedom to be out in public.

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Under the guise of fear, and protection, what will a obsequious cowardly racist like yourself not comply with? The only thing disingenuous here, is your warming to the idea of mandatory face masks, under the pretext/pretense of "safety to others."
For one to believe that you yourself are predisposed to this idea is disingenuous. You're only complying and encouraging others to do it, cuz you're a coward, not because you're a patriot, concerned about others, merely I need to ingratiate yourself.

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Magoo said it before and Magoo will say it again. Magoo remembers when Magoo was a wee laddie bicycle helmets did not look cool and no one including Magoo wore them. Now Magoo looks around, and to Magoo’s surprise everyone wears them. Magoo even took a bike ride just a few days ago and was ascared to go without a helmet. Magoo must have been a sight what with the face covering, quarantine beard and bicycle helmet. Magoo.

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Classic -- First most of what has been said about masks is Junk Science
Masks without a valve bypassing the filter material do a more or less credible job at stopping the emission of small, medium and large infected droplets. They do virtually nothing to stop you from inhaling infected air.

But even assuming that there was a reason to wear a mask outside -- No political figure has the authority to force such behavior.

Ask you -- of course, Cajole you if you don't -- Sure. But to require a mask and to be able to assess a legally enforceable fine if you should chose not to wear a mask -- Nyet, Nein, Non, Nie, Nne....

Now if the owner of say Market Basket -- said -- Thou can't enter the Market Basket without wearing a mask, boots and gloves -- well its within purview of the store owner, landlord or their designee.

Now of course all of the above would change if the Legislature or the Congress was to pass legislation which would be signed by the Governor or the President -- saying that everyone needed to wear a mask whenever "the moon was in the 7th House and Jupiter is aligned with Mars and Love ...."

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Obviously double majored in biology and engineering with a political science minor, before going on to get a JD.

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The supreme Court said that the governor cannot just make laws and take over the MBTA when an emergency occurs.

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I'm thinking you're not, either.

I looked up the case you're referring to, MBTA Advisory Board and others vs. MBTA and others, and, well, you should leave the pronouncin' of precedents to others.

The case involved the governor (the ever smilin' Ed King) taking over complete control of the T because the advisory board wouldn't agree to sign off on cost overruns (back when the T had such a board with budget powers).

King's fatal mistake with his executive order was in citing a civil-defense statute from 1950, as amended in 1958, that gave the governor the authority to declare an emergency "whenever because of absence of rainfall or other cause a condition whereby it may reasonably be anticipated that the health, safety or property of the citizens thereof will be endangered because of fire or shortage of water or food," specifically in the event of a serious drought.

The court ruled that the governor cannot use a law intended to deal with a drought to deal with a financial crisis at the T.

The court did NOT rule the governor could not declare a state of emergency.

The court did rule that the governor could not simply suspend laws in an emergency, that that is something the legislature can do. But ordering public face covering is not suspending a law.

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Nowy Liberté wrote:

Classic -- First most of what has been said about masks is Junk Science
Masks without a valve bypassing the filter material do a more or less credible job at stopping the emission of small, medium and large infected droplets. They do virtually nothing to stop you from inhaling infected air.

The point of requiring face coverings isn't to protect the wearer on inhalation, it's to protect those nearby from the wearer's exhalations, particularly in cases where the wearer may be an unknowing asymptomatic carrier of COVID-19.

People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19. A face covering may help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people.

- https://www.mass.gov/news/wear-a-mask-in-public

WHEREAS, public health experts have determined that it is possible for an infected individual to transmit COVID-19 even when the individual does not exhibit symptoms of the virus;

- "COVID-19 Order No. 31" (pdf available at https://www.mass.gov/doc/may-1-2020-masks-and-face-coverings)

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If the Transit police stops a passenger for not wearing a mask can they kick them out of the station or arrest them. If they arrest a passenger for refusing to leave a train or a bus for not wearing a mask will the Governor back them because the District Attorney will not. The SEPTA police in Philadelphia tried to enforce this order and the order was cancelled the next day after police dragged a man of color off a bus.

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What good does implementing it May 6 do? Why not effective immediately? Is the virus taking a few days off or something?

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Good question. I suppose it's to give people time to absorb the rule and obtain/make masks.

Also weird is the exemption for people under 2 years of age. While small children tend not to get seriously ill from the virus, is there anything saying that they're not potential vectors? If it boils down to "have you tried to put a mask on a one-year-old?!", that sounds an awful lot like "we can't do it because it's inconvenient." I'm genuinely curious about that one.

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From the CDC guidance: Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth...

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So it's an ability-to-breathe issue. That makes total sense. Thank you for sharing that.

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As long as we're having a theoretical discussion of liberty and the limits of government power, where do those of you on the "They have no right to order the wearing of masks" stand on the legitimacy of those existing laws of long standing that require us to cover our genitals when out and about in public?

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Being lewd and lascivious vs. complying with overreaching powers, with no real end in sight, and needless to say no empirical evidence of harm to the common man walking down the street, sound like two different things to me. Bunch of fear-mongering going on. maybe we should turn to righteousness instead of promoting all type of sexual deviant lifestyles, than making a mask company, millions hand over fist.

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What is the basis of government's authority to compel you to cover your genitals in public?

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The Old Testament, when you get right down to it. Talk about problematic.

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If you want your genitals seen, get a girl and get a room. Otherwise it's called lewd and lascivious. In a civil society, this is acceptable only to "sexual deviance" for they are predisposed to actually want to see your genitals. But for those who didn't ask, and don't want to see to begin with, it is the government's job to enforce this. let's talk like we have some principles here.

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Waving your arms and calling it "lewd and lascivious" doesn't answer the question.

If the best statement of principle you can come up with is "people don't want to see other people's junk," then that principle opens the door to all sorts of restriction of unpopular behavior, unpopular styles of dress, etc.

Either the government has some basis of authority to regulate what people wear in public, in which case requiring masks is every bit as OK as requiring people to wear pants, or it doesn't.

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Whenever I ask a lawyer if a=b and b=c why doesn't a=c under the law, they cite me some "principle" of legal theory. I don't know the answer but guessing it comes down to your junk and your boobs are neither a nor b nor c under some general exception. The common denominator being body parts below your face that naturally emit stuff (thus the distinction of male and female nipples). Only a hypothesis trying to entice some first year law student to weigh in.

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It's right there in MGL c.151b : "The nether regions and naughty bits are icky and must be covered, but the pie hole is exempt."

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Take this ruling (please!) from 2008. In Massachusetts, at least, you CAN shake your mamma gave you in public, as long as you take steps to ensure nobody would be "shocked and alarmed." So that's why strip clubs are allowed, as expression of the First Amendment, behind closed doors with bouncers and stuff that ensure nobody who would be "shocked and alarmed" would be allowed inside, but that if you wanted to do the same in, oh, Harvard Square (the location of the activity at the center of the decision), you need to some how alert people what's coming and give them a way out.

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It's an interesting question. As a general rule, I would personally prefer that people not run around nude, but I can definitely see situations where nudity could be a component of legit political protests (PETA did/does this, I think), religious exercises (it's a big wide world), or other protected speech. I'm reminded of the activists behind the "Free the Nipple" campaign: women who go topless to object to the fact that men are allowed to go topless in public all the time (parks, beaches, etc.). They've been accused of being salacious publicity hounds but they have a point.

The other part of this is that covering one's genitals in public has been, since the close of the classical era, conventional wisdom. A lot of that has to do with religious/social concerns more than public health, but leaving those issues aside, we've had centuries to digest the public health implications of people not covering their junk. What's concerning to me is that this has all happened so quickly that the mask orders, from both a scientific and a public policy perspective, are up for debate. I mean, I acknowledge that the powers that be are making the best decisions they can under tremendous pressure, but they're very much still figuring these things out.

I'll follow the rules as long as they are the rules, but I think we all have the right to respectfully wonder if they make sense.

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The key distinction:

Your elected representatives passed a bill and it was signed into law -- which restricts your freedom to walk about au naturel as well as your freedom to perform specific acts of display and stimulation in public accommodations, restaurants, the T, etc.

You are free to challenge these in court and see if you can overturn these laws -- But they are the Law

The Face Mask thing is not a Law of the Land or any part there-of -- its really just a strong suggestion from the Governor and Mayor as neither is provided any legal framework to enforce such.

That is the fundamental difference -- that's why Capt'n Parker and Crew stood on the Green in front of His Majesty's Troops that early morning in April almost 250 years ago.

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Does anyone remember when our beloved WHO told us for 1-2 months that masks are useless for the public in general, until they became useful? Didn’t see any studies referenced in the new strategy either.

I’ve been wearing one the whole time just in case..but it’s funny how that works.

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You only need to wear a mask in public if you are sick with a respiratory infection, to protect others. BUT now we know possibly 25-50% of the people who are infected and can readily spread the virus will never experience symptoms, and we have no way to test everyone who isn't showing any symptoms, so we need to assume EVERYONE is sick, to stop the spread. Now refer back to my first sentence.

This is consistent with public health guidance regarding respiratory diseases, which has existed long before this disease emerged, if you take into account the reason we appear to have reversed course 180 degrees.

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You remind me of a State Rep in New Hampshire who, during the same-sex marriage hearings, kept asking testifiers what their take on marrying a goat was. The best answer was another Rep who said simply, "I'm testifying here today on the same-sex marriage bill. If you'd like to debate marrying goats, Representative, bring a bill and we can discuss it then."

He did not submit such a bill.

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I've never wore masks for my safety or anyone else's, because the Lord is my refuge, as he should be yours. The Gov. can jump out his 2d-story window, unless he himself wears one! Obey the powers-that-be, so long as they don't infringe on how you breathe, with no Science to back it up, as if that means anything anyways.

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... but he appreciates your doing your part to help.

A fellow was stuck on his rooftop in a flood. He was praying to God for help.

Soon a man in a rowboat came by and the fellow shouted to the man on the roof, "Jump in, I can save you."

The stranded fellow shouted back, "No, it's OK, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me."

So the rowboat went on.

Then a motorboat came by. "The fellow in the motorboat shouted, "Jump in, I can save you."

To this the stranded man said, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."

So the motorboat went on.

Then a helicopter came by and the pilot shouted down, "Grab this rope and I will lift you to safety."

To this the stranded man again replied, "No thanks, I'm praying to God and he is going to save me. I have faith."

So the helicopter reluctantly flew away.

Soon the water rose above the rooftop and the man drowned. He went to Heaven. He finally got his chance to discuss this whole situation with God, at which point he exclaimed, "I had faith in you but you didn't save me, you let me drown. I don't understand why!"

To this God replied, "I sent you a rowboat and a motorboat and a helicopter, what more did you expect?"

https://truthbook.com/stories/funny-god/the-drowning-man

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In all cases he was clearly putting the Lord to a foolish test. However when you have something so elusive that it can very well be called a spirit, the Lord is my refuge, not a dollar 50 cent mask

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.... as has been explained ad nauseam is not to protect you, it is to protect others from you.

"Why should I put a solid roof over the sidewalk at the construction site where I am working above; that roof doesn't do shit to protect me?"

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Does the Lord only protect certain people who put their health care exclusively in His hands?

https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/14/us/bishop-gerald-glenn-god-larger-coronav...

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Just watch, before you know you're going to hear "we don't accept cash here!" How convenient that will be for all you encourages of the 'Don a mask' fear-mongering campaign.

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Isn't there a cloud you should be shouting at?

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No photo in the article. Was he wearing a mask?

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He's explained that: He doesn't want to sound muffled while giving potentially important information, so he takes it off.

But then he puts it back on when he leaves that room.

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are so freakin’ funny, they give me hope. I think I’ll get out of bed now, put on my mask and go walk outside in the sunshine.

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n/t

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