Keep physically distancing and wear masks

The geeks get it:

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, all 2600 meetings are canceled until further notice. Please do not meet with other people, regardless of where you are. We will get through this crisis together. Please stay safe.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “Keep physically distancing and wear masks”

  1. The North Carolina State Senate on Wednesday voted 30–15, along party lines, in favor of a Republican bill that would make it illegal for people in the state to wear a mask in public for health reasons. The bill is now moving to the House, where it could potentially see changes.

    The proposed ban on health-based masking is part of a larger bill otherwise aimed at increasing penalties for people wearing masks to conceal their identity while committing a crime or impeding traffic. The bill was largely spurred by recent protests on university and college campuses across the country, including North Carolina-based schools, against the war in Gaza. In recent months, there have been demonstrations in Raleigh and Durham that have blocked roadways, as well as clashes on the nearby campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Some demonstrators were seen wearing masks in those events.

    But the bill, House Bill 237, goes a step further by making it illegal to wear a mask in public for health and safety reasons, either to protect the wearer, those around them, or both. Specifically, the bill repeals a 2020 legal exemption enacted amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which allowed for public health-based masking for the first time in decades.

    Prior to 2020, laws dating back to 1953 largely prohibited public masking. The prohibition was part of a crackdown on “secret societies” at the time, or more specifically, an attempt to curtail the activities of the Ku Klux Clan in the state. Exemptions only existed for things like holiday costumes, theater productions, gas masks, and members of public parades or ceremonies that had obtained permits.

    On Wednesday, North Carolina residents with compromised immune systems spoke—while masked—during a public comment section. Simone Hetherington told lawmakers that masking was the only way to protect herself in public from illness and feared passage of the bill would prevent her from doing so, according to reporting by the Associated Press.

    But, according to The News & Observer, Republicans were dismissive of that possibility, arguing that in the decades prior to the pandemic, when public masking was largely illegal, they couldn’t recall anyone being prosecuted for wearing a mask for health reasons.

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