By Steve Woodward
The war on personal liberty is escalating. Masks began as a suggestion. They have morphed into an iron hobnail boot on the necks of every American. Noncompliance is subject to one interpretation only. Unmasked individuals have no regard for fellow citizens who might die (cause irrelevant). Thus, said unmasked murders deserve to die because they choose to live in freedom as guaranteed by our sacred Constitution.
The North Carolina department of health and human services chief, smirking Dr. Mandy Cohen, an Obama-era relic, recently was honored as Tar Heel of the Year because she supports Gov. Roy Cooper’s numerous lockdowns and mandates. Could anyone have imagined a day when a bureaucrat who has been responsible for closing businesses, crushing liberty and destroying public education would be held up as a hero?
I suggest a group of Duke University researchers, all bearing titles as PhDs and department heads, would have been more deserving. They embarked on an extensive study in September to learn more about the masks so many are wearing without hesitation. These mask addicts are even forcing their children to wear them in defiance of widely held guidance that argues against it.
Here is one of many conclusions by the Duke team: “Determining mask efficacy is a complex topic that is still an active field of research (emphasis added), made even more complicated because the infection pathways for COVID-19 are not yet fully understood and are complicated by many factors such as the route of transmission, correct fit and usage of masks, and environmental variables.”
Seems that common sense is raging among a few university researchers. But they might well have written their death sentences by being honest. Common sense and honesty have no place in a hysterical society.
They certainly have no place in some sectors of the luxury travel industry. The author can attest, having escaped South Carolina just before Christmas. South Carolina’s governor, Henry McMaster, is a rock ribbed Republican. As recently as November, McMaster wisely said that a statewide mask mandate was not enforceable. But this has not stopped municipalities from imposing onerous mask mandates. One such location is Bluffton, SC, near Hilton Head.
We arrived at nearby Montage Palmetto Bluff on December 20. It is a sprawling resort that exudes tranquility and southern charm. Looks were deceiving in this case.
After around 24 hours of relative bliss, great service, delicious food and a memorable spa experience, the sound of hobnail boots on the march began to resonate in the dark of night. When we checked in after arriving, I remember feeling surprised to see guests and their children strolling the outdoors donning masks. Had we not crossed the border to escape the tyranny of Gov. Cooper in North Carolina? South Carolina’s state motto, ironically, is, “While I breathe, I hope.”
I was hoping to breathe during our getaway to Palmetto Bluff. The resort’s director of operations had something else in mind. Not one staff member commented on my decision to avoid mask wearing until we arrived at dinner on December 21. The hostess confirmed our reservation. She then directed us to cover our mouths and noses with masks. I said, “I decline.” She said, “You can not decline.” I shot back with a civics lesson about personal freedom and American liberties. Eventually, we were seated. Dinner was outstanding.
As we descended an outdoor staircase to depart, I was encountered by a young woman and two other men who were not identified. She introduced herself as an employee of the resort, then handed me a cell phone, indicating that Director of Operations Brent Gresham wished to speak to me.
When all was said and done, Gresham said he would call upon hotel security to detain us and local law enforcement to arrest us if we did not leave the property immediately. Our “crime” was that I refused to wear a mask to walk 10 steps to our table. I was flabbergasted by his hostility and lack of deference to a resort guest. I expressed incredulity that he would dare to threaten me and my family. He soon backed down but, addressing me like a child in the principal’s office, he made me give him my word that we would be obedient for the remainder of our stay. (I said we would because I wanted the phone call to end).
Moments later, the driver of a golf cart shuttle — undoubtedly a spy planted by Gresham — greeted us to drive us to our rooms. To keep what happened next in context, not one prior shuttle driver in the past 30 hours had requested that passengers wear masks. They were cordial and professional.
But the spy was on a mission. Although seated in an open-air golf cart, the driver insisted we all don masks, or she would not depart. I refused. I suggested she mind her own business and let us be on our way. My voice rose. I’d had quite enough. And she shouted, “I am human being being! You will not curse me.”
We exited the cart and walked back. It was a pleasant stroll. My blood pressure nearly returned to normal levels by the time we entered our rooms to retire for the evening. The phone rang. My wife answered. Commissar Gresham was on the line. Word has been dutifully sent along by the imbedded spy.
He advised my wife that we were required to leave the property immediately. Wisely, she allowed him to rant and ramble. He did not realize he was talking to an Iron Lady from the corporate world. He was outmatched.
We stayed overnight, ate breakfast and checked out on December 22. We had survived the Palmetto Bluff Ambush.