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After a night caring for Covid-19 patients, the last thing you need is a half-masked jerk on the Orange Line

Dr. Stephen Dorner, an emergency-room doctor at Mass. General, posts video taken by an MGH physician's assistant, on her way home after an overnight shift caring for Covid-19 patients, who asked a woman on the Orange Line to pull up her mask.

Of course, it didn't end there:

This passenger not only got in another passenger’s face while unmasked, but then followed this PA through the station where she got off, continuing to scream at and taunt her. @MBTA what are you doing to keep the public safe? This is completely unacceptable.

Violence against healthcare workers is at an all time high. We put our lives on the line caring for patients in this deadly pandemic. We should expect to have the ability to get home safely.

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Comments

...will be on a lot of cameras, I'm guessing.

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inevitable and foreseeable event, when the authorities declare a mandate with no plan or hope of enforcement beyond whether an exhausted bus driver or supermarket clerk decides it's worth the aggravation and the possible violence to remind you of the policy.

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What the hell is wrong with people that we (a) need a mandate to do an obviously decent and compassionate thing for our neighbors that costs us pretty much nothing, and (b) need the threat of force to enforce such a mandate.

We claim to be a civilization, not a pack of god damned savages.

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This (expletive) doesn't own the train, and was asked to wear a mask on the train, thus, you wear the (expletive) mask.

"Mask debate" is a fallacious premise. Walk to (expletive) JP if you have a problem with that, (expletive). Better yet, just never leave your shelter. Microhousing and UBI now. Both would fix so many problems.

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We cannot ensure your safety while underground on the MBTA as our heroic police officers are too busy writing parking tickets and traffic citations above ground. So far we have not issued one citation for failing to wear a mask while travelling underground on the MBTA.

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Filming her was an aggressive move.
She knows nothing about that woman or her medical and mental history.

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Seems the woman recording wanted to find out where this woman worked. Why? So she could share the video and have people call the employer demanding this person being recorded lose their job?

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Is now enough to be shamed, regardless of any risk. If your mask is not on all the time are you 100 percent going to infect everyone in your vicinity.?
Maks and Vaccines are absolutely the smart thing to do but we go overboard, at the airport they have people in line stand 6 feet apart and then everyone gets on an airplane and sits inches from each other.
The train wasn't packed and in my eyes this woman posed no risk if you just stayed away from her. The person filming just felt like publicly shaming her in my opinion.

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We have a process, in which we all have the right to participate. We decided to pool our money and buy something that we can all share (trains). We decided what the rules were going to be while using that thing we bought for ourselves (e.g., no spilling food and drink; no fouling the air with smoke; no playing loud music; no spitting, pissing, or shitting in the train; wear masks during respiratory pandemics, etc.)

You might personally agree with or disagree with any of these rules that we all worked out through a valid democratic process. They are certainly not infallible... you could argue that a given rule is excessively restrictive, or doesn't accomplish its intended purpose, that its costs outweigh its benefits, or make any of a number of other arguments.

But the time for making any of those arguments was when the rules were being established, not when you personally board the train. What you don't get to do is to unilaterally decide that a given rule doesn't apply to you.

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She pulled her mask down.

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You are ruining the narrative that most are following.

See some people don't know the difference between an advisory and a law.

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-mask-requirements#:~:text=Eff...).

So therefore, you are correct. No law was broken.

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Specifically, 42 USC 264, which allows the CDC to impose remedies to prevent the spread of communicable diseases through regulations (42 CFR 71.32) The current order was issued through Executive Order 13998.

That said, no punishment for noncompliance is mentioned.

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... to sovereign citizen bullshit there.

The law delegates to the T the authority to make rules. While you are correct that those rules are not laws, that's a technicality, a distinction without much difference, in that remaining on T property while breaking the T's rules constitutes trespassing, which is in fact a violation of the law.

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But the CDC did not give the T authority to make rules. They (or in reality the President) mandated the wearing of masks. Now, how airports, commercial aircraft, passenger railroads, public maritime vessels including ferries, intercity buses, and all forms of public transportation carry out the mandate is another issue. My gut is that they can remove those who refuse to comply from the modes of transportation and perhaps bar those who are non compliant from utilizing the services, but it's not like the T are empowered to arrest those who are not wearing masks.

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FTA issued an amendment to its Master Agreement to incorporate the requirements of the CDC mask order. FTA’s Master Agreement contains the standard terms and conditions that apply to every grant, cooperative agreement, and loan authorized by federal public transportation law or administered by FTA. The amendment includes enforcement actions FTA may take for non-compliance.

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The scare quotes don't help you here. Yes, neither MBTA rules nor CDC orders are technically laws themselves, but the law delegates to the MBTA and to the CDC the authority to make rules and issue public health orders, which then carry the force and effects of laws.

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Will you do that too?

Because, you know, they ordered you too. Right?

I mean it really isn't a law, but you submitted to the diktat, right?

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You might end up with some dude waxing his
shelaleigh in front of you because a little leg is exposed. :0

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That's a stupid hypothetical. In part because the rule-making process is multi-stakeholder, broadly participatory, and inherently biased away from making ridiculous rules that will not enjoy broad support.

If the T made wearing poodle skirts a condition of riding, I'd probably choose not to ride, while also lobbying my state government to wise the fuck up.

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All the people on UHub who yell out "Bootlicker" for anything to do with law enforcement all of suddenly turn into Dirty Harry meets Edward Exley meets Laurence Tribe when someone on a train pulls down her mask.

There were what 12 or 13 people in a 600 square foot space and this person is 10x more evil than the kids who beat the crap out of old person at Andrew the other night.

If this person was in a 600 square foot restaurant with 12 or 13 people sipping a beer, no one would say anything.

You people are daft. Go for a walk. A long walk.

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The MBTA doesn't have a monopoly on this person's movement. I don't love government, but they only run the trains. They don't own Uber or Lyft or bicycles or this (expletive's) legs.

The train is the property of the MBTA. The MBTA asked them to wear a mask on their property. I don't even need to make it a legal argument, it's a (expletive) moral one. The train isn't theirs, and they were asked nicely. (Expletive) off. I'm capable of wearing my mask when asked. Why isn't this person?

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But not wearing a mask is an aggressive move too. As is double and triple parking. Yelling at and threatening someone who is just doing their job. Bullies getting what they want is why they're increasing.

Sometimes you need to stand up for yourself or for what is right.

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That woman has had the vaccine and a booster and tested negative the day before and also has COPD? And was trying to breathe? What if shes mentally unstable?
I would just keep away and reduce my risk.
A lot of assumptions I know, but so is filming her without knowing anything.

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What if that woman has had the vaccine and a booster and tested negative the day before

She's still required to wear a mask on the T.

and also has COPD. And was trying to breathe?

Then the T is not a safe place for her to be and she should not be there.

What if she's mentally unstable?

If her mental instability poses a risk to herself of to others, then she does not belong on the T.

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So you support testing all T passengers for their own safety?

Got it.

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So you support testing all T passengers for their own safety?

No, I support people who are unable or unwilling to behave in reasonably civilized ways keeping themselves off the T or being kept off the T.

There's no "testing" involved other than the same testing that applies to any other behavior: if you are duly convicted of assault, you get a time out.

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It appears you support a mental "stop and frisk" policy to check people's behaviors.

The T is a public space no more different than walking down Columbus Avenue.

You appear to be supporting China's Social Credit System.

Get me a rulebook when you get a chance so I can comply to your mores.

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It appears you support a mental "stop and frisk" policy to check people's behaviors.

You're arguing disingenuously. I clearly stated that I support no such thing.

The T is a public space no more different than walking down Columbus Avenue.

And we have laws governing behavior walking down Columbus Avenue. For example, the law making assault a crime. And other, slightly more restrictive laws governing behavior on the T (for example, you can smoke a cigarette on Columbus Avenue but not on the T.)

You appear to be supporting China's Social Credit System.

Stop arguing disingenuously. I support no such thing.

Get me a rulebook when you get a chance so I can comply to your mores.

Here you go: https://malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws

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You said above you are for testing people to see if they are mentally able to take the T.

"If her mental instability poses a risk to herself of to others, then she does not belong on the T."

You said it. You did. OK Cop.

Here is a link for a selection of boat oars so you can row your statement back:

https://www.amazon.com/s?k=boat+oars&crid=3QK3WBFLVQNQ9&sprefix=boat+oar...

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Show me again where I got within 100 miles of supporting preemptive testing, or testing of any kind?

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Actually, people are given a no trespass directive on the T every day. Using public transportation is not actually an entitlement. Testing everybody everywhere would actually help us end this pandemic, but it is not feasible.

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Hey John, take a step back and read the thread again. You should find you're being unreasonable here.

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Apparently you don't ride the t.
I have breathing issues I'm fully vaccinated someone gets in my face and records me for pulling down my face mask on anything mbta related that isn't packed in like a sardine can then yeah I'm gonna pull it down so shut the. Fuck up

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I stand by my assertion that filming her was an aggressive act.
Just like you're required to wear a mask you're required to keep your dog on a leash,
I saw a guy at the park with his dog not leashed , I could have filmed him and made a scene, but I chose to mind my business for safety's sake.. I doubt he would have punched a woman in the face for filming him ,
but why risk it?

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I stand by my assertion that filming her was an aggressive act.

It was not.

Not everybody gets to "get places" in the manner of their choosing. Can't refrain from driving drunk? Then you shouldn't be able to drive. Can't comply with simple rules like wearing a mask, occupying not more than one seat, not smoking and not threatening other passengers? Then you shouldn't be able to use pubic transit.

but why risk it?

That's your choice and your judgment; it's not a requirement.

It's very simple: you may not do things that risk harm to others. It doesn't matter if you "know better" - you don't get to give someone else's heart a workout wondering if you are a nice fully vaxxed fully boosted person with COPD or a mental health issue.

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Just like the person filming her, if she was vaccinated and tested negative for covid she was no risk, filming a stranger on the T just sitting there is a risk..and she chose to film her. I originally said what I WOULD HAVE DONE.
Of course no one in this thread knows anything about the woman and I'm positive the person who pointed her phone at her also knew nothing, except her mask was down.

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I'm positive the person who pointed her phone at her also knew nothing, except her mask was down.

Do they need to know more?

This isn't an abstract philosophical debate. This is public behavior impacting others.

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if she was vaccinated and tested negative for covid she was no risk,

That's not true. What is true is that if she was vaccinated and tested negative for covid she was much lower risk than an unvaccinated and/or untested person would be. "much lower" and "no" aren't the same thing.

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Thank you, Lee, for making this obvious point. Masks do not obstruct breathing. If you don't believe me, test your O2 sats with a pulse oximeter with and without a mask on.

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Video-recording from ~12 feet away is not aggressive.
Going up to the person and yelling at them would be aggressive.

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Of course people with psychiatric disabilities are permitted to use the T. That's like 10% of the population. Most of these folks are causing absolutely no harm to anyone.

People who get up in people's faces and threaten bodily harm are not permitted to do that anywhere. There are laws about that sort of thing. People don't get to do that regardless of any supposed reason. People who are in fact completely unable to respect others' bodily integrity live in heavily staffed facilities and have multiple escorts when they need to get places.

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It's about the behavior, not the diagnosis.

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You are NOT a doctor. You are NOT a public health expert. You are not engaged with the disability or mental health communities.

Stop making excuses for stupid violent assholes like yourself and grow the fuck up.

Stay the fuck at home if you are too fucking much of a little snowflake to cover your fucking face.

Fucking get that?

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Wow.

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There was no immediate intervention by law enforcement, so it would be an investigation if anything upon complaint.

The nurse gathered and shared the evidence.

If you want people held accountable for their actions, the best thing you can do is make it easy for police to do their job.

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What if she has COPD. Well, I have a respiratory disease, and in fact don't have 2 complete lungs anymore, and I can breathe just fine through a mask. If your breathing is so labored or so impaired that a mask is actually a problem, you should probably be on oxygen. Which this woman wasn't.

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Is an aggressive move.

Pull your head out of your copspace = video is NOT a weapon, honey.

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Walk away from trouble. Move to the other end of the train. Don’t make eye contact. Never ever say anything to anyone.

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A woman with her mask pulled down? If she was sipping a coffee it would be fine but since she wasn't the person felt the need to Video her and take a risk of starting trouble, when she could just move away If she felt like she was going to catch something..
She felt like publicly shaming her.

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Suck.

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and the T's reply: "If we are made aware at the time, we will address the unmasked person"
-
"Made aware at the time"???!!!

Make who aware???

Motorman?
Conductor?
Transit cop conveniently on the beat on that train or the next platform?
A token booth clerk??!!

Pull the emergency brake and ruin everyone's night (more than the asshat not wearing a mask already is)?

Oh, I know! Talk to an ambassador! Where do I find them - East 42nd St, The Hague, or Geneva?

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What do you propose? The T can't have a mask enforcement agent walking up and down every subway car at all times.

If you want to report a problem and you can't find a T employee, you can call the Transit Police on your phone. If you don't have a phone, you can look for an emergency call box.

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I saw one hockey fan who was "gagging" (like sagging, but with the face butt hanging out) headed onto a train in Montreal and he was immediately stopped by Metro personnel and told to pull it up.

Of course it would help if Charlie would stop trying to drown the T in a bathtub.

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That's the point, genius - that those things can't work when they're not there.

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Oh, I almost forgot... Nice trivialization of assault. Maybe you should get some help?

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I took the Red Line yesterday in as long as I can remember. I went to the front car and there was only a few people.

One couple was not having a good day. One kept collapsing from the seat onto the floor whenever the train would leave the station. They had spilled a large iced coffee and subsequently fell into the large puddle, got up, and fell again. Their hat was soaking up the spilled coffee. The other was crying and trying to stabilize guy who couldn't balance himself in a seat.

They asked me what the next stop was and when I lookup up they weren't wearing masks.

I thought about the people are getting upset about maskless people on the T meanwhile people like this couple have things so much worse in life.

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Should not compare suffering. Maskless people put others at risk of death. This couple sound like they were high which is unfortunate.

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There's only so much empathy one can have. Every day, all day I see maskless addicts and mentally ill people on the T and in the stations. One was smoking at Bowdoin Station when I was there yesterday afternoon. When one smokes in an enclosed T station it can be perceived from one end to the other. Others urinate and vomit in the stations. There is no conceivable way on earth to get this population to wear masks on the T. None whatsoever. So "mandate" all you want, you're wasting your time.

There is also a separate, smug looking population who do not appear to be addicted or mentally ill but who simply do not wear masks. I see this group daily on the Blue Line. I would estimate it at about 30% of the ridership of the Blue Line.

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Whereas one unmasked person risks infecting an entire subway station with a very dangerous disease. I understand that this is the Internet and being a sanctimonious jerk is more important than being correct, but it baffles me that it's been two years since the pandemic started and we're still coming across arguments like yours.

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for the couple you describe is creditable; less so is your lack of it for someone who spends the night caring for Covid-19 patients, and then has to ride home with people who refuse to inconvenience themselves to avoid providing her with more of them.

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I thought about the people are getting upset about maskless people on the T meanwhile people like this couple have things so much worse in life.

No offense, but these false choices drive me nuts. I get that these people were in a bad state, but we're in a GLOBAL PANDEMIC. We don't let people get off of speeding tickets because they had something else happen in their lives. Why should we think this is permissible? I'm not saying riders should have to enforce. We need more transit officers at stations & on trains.

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Yes, fuck the fatboys and meatheads who think masks are for wimps.

But for people like this I don't see what giving them a hard time about masks would accomplish. The guy did have a mask around his chin so at some point he tried to wear one. Look, he couldn't even balence himself in a chair. They are about to go out into the cold with a coffee soaked hat. What is giving them a hard time about masks going to prove apart from figuratively kicking someone when they are down.

I suspect the risk of OD'ing is a whole lot more immediate than the risk of a COVID infection. They need real help, not a lecture about the importance of masks or someone keeping them off the train.

Believe me, I take COVID seriously myself. But I'm no so blind to know that for some people it's the least of their worries. I wear my own mask and count my blessings I'm doing OK in life, all things considered.

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Believe me, I take COVID seriously myself. But I'm no so blind to know that for some people it's the least of their worries.

It's the least of their worries, but perhaps not the least of someone else's. Wearing a mask isn't just for your own benefit.

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The idea that the theoretical COVID infection should outweigh the current agony of someone right in front of my eyes.

For me, or a cop, or anyone else to try to make these people wear a mask would be fruitless.

The only thing it would accomplish is keeping these people off the train so they can suffer on the street in Boston instead of wherever they were headed in Cambridge.

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The idea that the theoretical COVID infection should outweigh the current agony of someone right in front of my eyes.

Again, this is a false choice. Requiring someone to wear a mask in the middle of a very much non-theoretical pandemic is not subjecting them to agony.

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Did you not read what I wrote?

They don't even have full motor controls at the point in which I saw them! Keeping a mask on is out of the question.

The very much real choice is to give them shit for not wearing a mask and ignore the very bad circumstances they are currently in or just let them go on their way and hope their plight improves.

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The very much real choice is to give them shit for not wearing a mask and ignore the very bad circumstances they are currently in or just let them go on their way and hope their plight improves.

Will "hope" save those who are infected by those who do not wear masks?

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I guess I'm just a sympathetic bastard who sees every action as a balance of tradeoffs.

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You painted yourself as some sort of hero for having to watch this.

You aren't.

You are someone who reduces his entire world to tiny interactions, and cannot grasp the larger system or reality.

And if you can't figure out how wearing masks isn't about the individual wearing them, I seriously cannot help you understand it because your math skills suck so badly.

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If they're literally falling out of their seat, the cop should have taken them off the train and called an ambulance. Someone in that state is a danger to themselves, and could fall down the stairs or onto the tracks.

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Your couple = on drugs. Classic sign of opiate abuse or methadone + a benzi (i.e. Xanax). (the benzi removes the block from the methadone so you get high from it, as told to me by local PD)

If I had a dollar for every time I've seen that in the last 10 years... I wouldn't need to ride the T anymore cuz I'd own a Mercedes.

Its sad to watch, and yes it's drugs. This isn't tired, I've seen (and been) that tired, but to be sliding all over the seat like you're rubber.. that's not tired. That's drugs. When you can't even grip on your cell phone while you slide all over the place.. that's not tired. That's drugs.

And the thing is, I see this all the time so I know its drugs. Plus when I see them on the 111, a good chunk of the time they are 'en route' to their connection, and are usually in a phone call or texting frenzy in between nodding off. And when you're that messed up, discretion isn't your best attribute right then. (read: they are pretty obvious they are high & going to do a pick up by who they are talking to)

So yeah.. it was drugs. So thats probably why no masks either. I find most of these folks.. even if they do have one on, they are so out of it, they don't realize its been pushed up or down or even that its needed.

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Sounds like the person falling down might have needed medical help. Do MBTA police carry Narcan?

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Consider another example of a couple wasted on drugs engaging in a different behavior that increases the risk to others. Let's say that instead of sitting unmasked on a train they were stumbling around a parking lot trying to get into their car to drive home. Could one still make the argument that "giving them a hard time" (i.e., stopping them from getting into their car and driving), when, arguably, they had no other way to get home on a cold wet night, shows a lack of compassion?

Yes, the level of risk to the public is grossly different in the two scenarios. The point is that being wasted probably shouldn't give anyone a pass on public safety rules.

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When my grip on sanity slips a little bit, I think things like "Damnit! Things like this wouldn't happen if Chris Farley was still alive!"
Wouldn't you love motivational speaker Matt Foley riding around the subway yelling at people who don't wear masks?
Sure! Don't wear a mask! You'll just end up in an iron lung down by the river!!!

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This will be a hot topic during the inaguration dinner.

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The vaccination check and the rapid testing?

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I'm sure they have access to rapid tests, so maybe during?

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I'm going to say it and not care about what people think. Anyone who verbally or physically assaults healthcare workers...nurses, doctors, EMTs, first responders on any level, does NOT deserve help and deserves to get the wrath of Covid and suffer. These angels are here to save people's lives! Fire Dept, etc. And no. I'm not in these fields but experienced first hand how I would not have survived without them.

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The transit police should be in stations and riding the trains. The problem is they are driving around acting like Boston cops what a joke.

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I unfortunately have a smart mouth that nearly fifty years on this planet haven't completely quelled. I've started carrying extra masks with me and when I see someone with their mask hanging off, I offer the person one of my masks. This both satisfies my urge to stick my nose in someone else's business and 90% of the time results in a good social interaction. (One guy refused my mask but that was it.) People usually apologize and pull their mask up. I tell them that I am fine with them not wearing a mask (spoiler alert: I am not) but that I get masks free from work and am offering just in case they want extra.

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