Mask-tastic: Hair stylists who served 140 people while they had COVID-19 infected ... no one

I’ve been in the “everyone should wear a mask” camp, am headed towards the “everyone must wear a mask” camp, and am open to hearing out the “everyone should have a mask surgically grafted to their faces” camp.

One would think a hair salon would be a hive of infection, especially if the stylist is the one infected. It’s indoors, a lot of people are coming in and out, and the nature of the service necessarily involves close physical contact.

One hundred forty people. Zero infections.

“This is exciting news about the value of masking to prevent COVID-19,” Health Director Clay Goddard said in a news release. “We are studying more closely the details of these exposures, including what types of face coverings were worn and what other precautions were taken to lead to this encouraging result.”

A hairstylist at the Great Clips at 1864 S. Glenstone Ave. served 84 clients while symptomatic. The hairstylist infected a coworker, who worked with 56 clients.

Health officials said the hairstylists and all clients wore face masks during appointments, likely preventing spread of the disease. They credited Great Clips’ policies, including distancing salon chairs and staggering appointments.

A doctor told NPR today that, per the latest research, we could hammer down the epidemic if merely 60-75 percent of us wore masks around others. (They need to be quality masks, though, that are at least 60-75 percent effective.) It’s sort of a mask version of herd immunity. We don’t need everyone on board! Just a responsible majority.

Are there enough losers out there who’ll refuse to wear a mask on principle to make that responsible majority impossible? I would think so, sure. In Orange County, the local health director just resigned after her mandatory-mask order led to death threats and people doxxing her at public meetings.

During a county board of supervisors meeting last month, a woman who identified herself as an attorney disparaged [Dr. Nichole] Quick’s experience in the medical field and even read her home address out loud.

The woman threatened to take a group to Quick’s home and “do calisthenics in masks on her front doorstep” in an attempt to prove that face coverings are unsafe, according to the Times…

At another meeting, some attendees brought a poster with Quick’s photo on it, with a Hitler mustache on her face and swastikas.

Everyone remembers Hitler’s rants at Nuremberg demanding that the Jews wear facemasks. Quick’s successor immediately rescinded the mandate, a perfect way to celebrate on a day in which America recorded its two millionth confirmed case of COVID-19. That’s more than the next four countries with the highest case totals combined (not including China, whose true numbers are known only to Beijing).

The most ominous hot spot in the U.S. right now is Arizona, where some hospitals are already at capacity. A doctor and a nurse who work in the state separately told the Daily Beast that they’re not seeing much mask-wearing there. A scientist at the University of Arizona interviewed today on CNBC was asked why he thought the state was seeing a rise in infections. Uh, not enough masks, he answered:

“Most folks have been out and about in closed spaces, including nightclubs, bars, malls, restaurants, without any mask wearing, and I think that’s a big contributor to what’s going on,” Marvasti said. “This idea that we can just kind of go back to normal prematurely has been a big issue.”…

“The cost of staying open is for us to have to have more restrictions, and one of those restrictions that I think is going to be critical is mandatory masks by all employees,” he said. “And then really making it a very strong recommendation, if not a requirement, for folks going into closed settings such as restaurants and other venues like that to wear a mask.”

Hitler couldn’t have said it better, my man. Doug Ducey, the governor, is also taking flak from critics for not wearing a mask often (although he does on occasion). I take it that’s because Ducey’s probably planning to run for the GOP nomination in 2024 and, like so many other hopefuls, he feels obliged to vice-signal in certain ways. If Trump thinks masks show “weakness” or whatever then Ducey’s got to stay away from masks, whatever it means for a developing health catastrophe in his state.

Exit question: How the hell are masks not mandatory inside casinos? The LA Times reports that the Bellagio has done a relatively good job of making masks, hand sanitizer, etc, available since reopening, but at the Cosmopolitan it’s anything goes. I suppose it’s as true now as it’s always been: You didn’t really have fun in Vegas unless you came home with a disease.

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