Allan Stevo, LewRockwell.com
Good morning Allan,
I have been reading your posts on LewRockwell.com and have been trying to navigate the mask policy at work with your advice. I believe that I am in a unique situation regarding workplace masking.
I work for a government contractor but receive my paychecks from a much smaller subcontractor. In short, my employer, who is based out of state, sets different guidelines than the company that controls the facility at which I am located.
My employer has required that all employees receive the COVID-19 “vaccine” and prove that they have done so, but I have requested an exemption. The facility I work at has allowed those who have been vaccinated (with no proof) to unmask themselves. This has left me in a situation where I am one of only a handful of people who are still “required” to wear a face mask. I obliged for a couple of weeks, but just this past week I decided to start taking my mask off. At this point in time, no one has said a word to me about not wearing a mask.
To wrap this up, I guess my question is, do you think it is wise to continue flying under the radar? Or should I still request a face mask exemption from my employer? There does not seem to be an official facemask policy—at least from a legal document standpoint. I could be wrong, but I do not want to stir any pots that do not need stirring.
My hesitation is that my vaccine exemption has been sent to leadership, has been acknowledged, but has neither been approved nor denied. I’m assuming at this point that it is just going to be ignored, which is a good thing in my book, but on the off chance it does not get approved, I am concerned I may be pushing the envelope by sending any additional accomodations.
I am sure you are likely inundated with these types of emails, so if you can find the time to reply to this one it would be greatly appreciated!
An Unmasked Man
Dear Unmasked Man,
I would say that you are not only “trying” to navigate the mask policy at work, but you are succeeding at navigating the policy. Thank you for that. Trying matters little, ultimately succeeding matters a great deal. Short term, many battles can be lost, long term success can still be assured. The difference between the two is having the will to make sure success happens. Thank you for assuring that success. I am without a doubt certain that your success in such endeavors ripples out in ways neither of us can never imagine.
If You Can Let The Bureaucrat Check The Boxes, Rather Than Making Them Stick Their Necks Out, You’ll Have A Greater Chance Of Success
If you can protect your freedom while giving them a chance to check their bureaucratic boxes, you avoid conflict with people who are not willing to stick their necks out for your values, which is very important to realize. Only you have your values. We don’t need everyone to share our values, but we need people to leave us alone and allow us to live out our values. That allows us to live free even when we are not inside the safety of our own home.
Any time you expect others to stick their necks out for your values, you are asking too much. Any system that requires that is a system that promises to bring tyranny. For example, great effort right now is being taken to make the medical system the home of American tyranny. All that is needed for that to happen is to connect a medical exemption with a demand for a doctor’s note. Anyone who states “I am unable to do X safely,” must be allowed to do so with no other evidence, and be exempt from X, otherwise tyranny will surely spring from that policy.
Every Doctor Is Now Being Squeezed & To Some Extent, Doctor’s Are Doing What Is In Their Best Interest By Denying Your Exemption Requests & By Even Turning You Away As A Patient
Every doctor in this country is right now being squeezed with the threat of the loss of a license. That means, after spending $300,000+ on medical school, being up to their eyeballs in that and other debt, trying to be a good husband and father, trying to keep up on the latest research, trying to do the basics of being a doctor, trying to simply identify all the tyranny thrown at him, trying to push back on all the tyranny being thrown at him—in that environment, if he takes a stand he may be put out of work by having his license revoked, the only work he knows how to do, work he has put such effort into training for.
That’s what you are expecting from a doctor when you ask for a medical note. The doctor probably isn’t the enemy, but they sure act like one, because they cooperate with an awful policy. They don’t believe in your right to wear a face mask more than they believe in their desire to continue being a doctor. They don’t believe in your right to wear a face mask more than they believe in their desire to put food on the table for the kids. They don’t believe in your right to wear a face mask more than they believe in their desire to buy the wife a new car. I can’t blame them for that either. I have one level of dedication to liberty, because I know what a loss of liberty leads to.
They have another level of dedication to liberty, partly because they don’t realize what life could look like three years from now when it comes to food on the table, career, and new cars. They don’t get how quickly paradise can change, especially in a time like this in which we’ve ceded so much control in society over to unaccountable, well-insulated, virtually untouchable bureaucrats.
Even After Feeling The Sting Of Communism, Some People Will Never Oppose Communism
A lot of people don’t realize the ill of communism in their own life until it is too late to stop it. Most people don’t ever realize the ill of communism in their life. I say “most” intentionally, because it is entirely possible that the majority of people may not be able to ever see why communism is so bad. They just don’t have the capacity. That’s true in many times and places. That’s an important reason not to waste time on most people. Time is too short. Spend time on what matters as much as possible. There are people in the millions and likely in the billions who cannot string together a logical sentence on why communism is bad for them. Please avoid the urge to obsess over them. Your well-educated and generally rational doctor may be one of them.
Once you recognize you’ve encountered such a person, you must quickly evaluate if he plays any positive role in your life or if he needs to be removed from any position of influence in your life as quickly as possible. If you aren’t quick, he may bring you harm. Just wait until doctors are asked to help compile a database of patients that fit certain criteria. You’ll be grateful you were as far aware from such a doctor as you could be.
After Being Stung, Some Will Do The Exact Opposite You’d Expect, And Provide Obedience To A Tyrannical Regime
At least five provisions of the Air Carrier Access Act (Title 14 CFR Part 382), a duly passed federal law approved by both houses of Congress and signed by the President on October 2, 1986, that had been followed by airlines for decades was countermanded by the CDC with a single letter and the Department of Transportation quickly followed suit.
The Air Carrier Access Act says things like: you can’t require a medical test for a person to invoke a disability on a plane (such as a face mask exemption), you can’t require medical screenings to board a plane (such as with temperature checks, Delta’s “Clearance-To-Fly” Tele health visit, or the PCR test requirement for this who opt out of face masks on Alaska, United, or American), you can’t require advanced notice for a person with a disability to board a plane (such as the 3-day to 7-day waiting period to fly without a face mask on every major carrier). This inconvenient law was gutted when some group of tyrants determined it time to mask the population. This law is protection for anyone who wants to fly though they cannot safely wear a face mask. It has strict penalties built in.
If they can do that with a decades old established law, it will be even easier to do it to the relatively poor legal protections around medical privacy.
A professional with Stockholm Syndrome, burned by communism, can easily become one of your worst enemies in life as they seek to obtain full compliance with you and make an obsession with their handful of more liberty minded patients one of their hobbies that they endeavor upon out of some twisted sense of duty. Hardly can a bureaucrat be as dangerous to you in your life as a capable professional who wants to make your life miserable in a totalitarian regime.
All of this is to describe other countries of the present and past and theoretically what can happen in the US. Let’s focus our attention on what is actually happening.
Doctor’s Notes Are A Path To Tyranny, So Always Reject Such Requests
Any face mask mandate or other medical demand that requires a note from a doctor in order to invoke an exemption promises to bring about tyranny. It’s hard to be any more clear about that. Demands for a doctor’s note are really very bad, so much worse than can be realized.
There are policies I’ve encountered that require a doctor to take on liability for the impact of their note (until pushed back on by the exemption seeker), policies that require a doctor to be placed in a database (until pushed back on by the exemption seeker), companies that will not even consider a conversation until a doctor is involved (until pushed back on by the exemption seeker), companies contracted to build those databases to start identifying those doctors (until pushed back on by the exemption seeker). This is being done by government and by private business. “Private” business that wields or seeks to wield the force of law and seeks to end the ability for a doctor to practice medicine in every state is not acting in a private capacity. It is acting as a government agent.
Do you know what the solution to such nonsensical policies is dear exemption seeker? Push back. And then keep pushing back until they crumble.
Government Agents Seeking To Curtail Liberty Are Not “Private Business” And Are Fair Game, With No Technique Being Too Dastardly
State licensing boards often act as a government agent, or alternately enjoy special privileges from government, by enjoying monopoly status. They are in such close concert with the force of government that they are nearly indistinguishable from government. Anyone who advocates for industry regulatory bodies over governmental regulatory bodies, misses the point—it is the marketplace that is to regulate itself based on who pleases consumers and who doesn’t. No centralized body can accomplish that role better than the marketplace. A centralized body stepping in inevitably inflicts unneeded mass misery upon people.
Dear reader, dear Unmasked Man, because you do not mention a doctor, as many tend to do in this moment, it is my belief that you did not reach out to a doctor for a note. Thank you for pushing back on that front. Many allow an employer to say “Okay, get a doctor’s note and we will accommodate you,” the proper response is “Okay, I will not be getting a doctor’s note, and I still expect you to accommodate me,” said in your own kind way of course.
If you don’t say otherwise you will make this much more difficult on yourself. You will have to find a doctor, beg a doctor, make sure the note is just right. You will have taken on the responsibility of challenging an illegitimate policy, when it is the wielders of the illegitimate policy that should prove its justification for existence to you. Don’t accept that responsibility. Always try to say no as simply as you can, giving yourself as little work in the process as you can, and move on with other things in life, ideally other things that advance freedom.
If There Is No Lawsuit For Damages Then No Note Is Needed
You are not suing anyone for damages. A doctor’s note at such a moment should be expected. You don’t need to mention that to anyone, but that’s a good stance to take internally as you encounter resistance to you honoring your own boundaries and asking others to do the same.
Even in a lawsuit, it would be the duty of the opposing side to demand your doctor’s note, not the duty of a judge or an ADA officer, or the impartial arbiter that your Human Resources department is claiming to be when they say “we are just following orders.” Well, the orders are preposterous to begin with, and their experimental attempts to place added restrictions on you are all the more ridiculous.
Say “No!” Now During The Trial Phase
Say “No!” during the trial phase. Stop the ridiculous policy in its infancy, and the days ahead will be easier for you. Trial phases are set up for the purpose of collecting feedback. Good feedback can easily be ignored, but if you reach the right person during a trial of a new policy, with the right message, you will kill that policy.
By the time you let the policy grow and a “Doctor’s Note Compliance Lead” and a “Director of Pandemic Response Protocol” and a “Governmental Corona Liaison” are hired, this will all be so much harder.
As hard as it may seem, saying “No!” now is so much easier than saying “No!” tomorrow.
When you say “No!” you are letting your employer know that a new mandate doesn’t work for you. It wasn’t there when you signed your employment contract, but it is there now. If you don’t tell them so, how would they ever know it doesn’t work for you? The chance to express that should be taken and to do so clearly, however, no claim to show a doctor’s note to an employer should ever be accommodated.
Complying With Unreasonable Requests Like Doctor’s Notes Do Not Help Your Case & Merely Delay The Inevitable Honest Conversation That Must Occur
I have spoken to thousands of people about accommodations this past year. I have shown a doctor’s note in very isolated, contentious scenarios. I have never once seen a doctors note as the key to the equation that made everything else easier. Doctor’s note or not, the outcome would have been the same. What it does is open up a doctor to added liability.
A would-be tyrant will make you jump through as many hoops as you let them put in front of you, and you will only ever jump through the hoops you allow yourself to jump through.
As much as possible, that number should be zero.
Speak frankly with people. Be clear about your boundaries. Never let yourself show weakness around your boundaries. Through such behavior — showing weakness at your boundaries — is regret made.
Always step in the direction of the man you want to be. Always be the man that future you can look back on and sleep through the night proud of how he carries himself. Forgive yourself for the inconsistencies, make the inconsistencies less and less common. Be the man of virtues that you know you can be.
Eschew being the man of preferences that this world wants you to be.
There Are Two Important Aspects Of Face Masks You Have Accomplished
Two important reasons to demand the face mask exemption is to 1.) be unmasked and 2.) prepare you for bigger battles.
You sound like you are 1.) unmasked and 2.) prepped for bigger battles. Please keep fighting the bigger battles. Please keep growing those muscles.
Build Muscles By Helping Another
Many employees are struggling through the same, unable to safely wear a face mask, struggling to make that happen. Though moving a government policy may feel like work you are not called to do, perhaps there is a place or places that you frequent in which you can bring down their vaccine policy and unmask their employees.
That may be your grocery store or hardware store, as examples. You may be the perfect person who can help unmask those employees. Please keep your eyes open for those opportunities. If you speak to a decision maker and can get 2 or 3 people you know to do the same, you might be surprised by the impact you can have on the lives of those employees.
I Agree With You, This Pot Does Not Need Stirring
I agree with you, this pot in your own life does not need stirring. You have accomplished what needs to be accomplished. I would like to ask you to never put that mask on again. When they come at you to comply, that you be ready to not comply.
A Reservation I Have With What You Have Written
There is one reservation I have—it is on whether you are walking proudly through your day, instead of sneaking around. If you feel like a sneak by not wearing the mask, I think this is an important feeling to examine. You should not feel like a sneak for being a free man who does not bow to tyranny.
If the only way to get yourself to that place is to have clarification saying that you are welcome at work maskless, then that is a value that is to be considered in the equation, and one that I am unable to guide you on not knowing you so well.
I know in my own walk through life, when I internalize the idea that I’m pulling one over on someone, or sneaking around, I am significantly less pleased with the direction of my life short term and long term. I like lots of clarity in my life.
Some people need to live encapsulated in a lie. To try seeking clarity from such a person can be next to impossible. Government tends to be filled with people looking the other way at something that it’s better for them to just pretend they didn’t see.
For not wearing a mask, no one deserves a place in your psyche as if they are about to catch you for being a naughty boy.
In the scenario you describe, the ones enforcing the mask policy—those who have voluntarily made themselves government agents enforcing this awful policy—are the only ones who should feel any shame.
If Shame Ways Heavily On You
If that shame weighs heavily on you, please do away with your shame or get the clarity with your boss that allows you to. My experience is that clarity with someone who has done me wrong is not always needed for me to have clarity.
I don’t need someone else to get right in order for me to get right. Prayer can do the trick for me in such a moment in which shame is undeserved. Other ways work for other people. Everyone has their own methods of addressing shame.
You have done so much already. Thank you.
Please do not stop there. Please continue to build upon that foundation you have masterfully laid. You have done more than most, and this moment needs lions like you to do even more.
Thank you for sharing this story. Thank you for not wearing a mask.
This article, discovered here, is republished under a creative commons license.
Author Allan Stevo [send him mail] writes about international politics and culture from a free market perspective at 52 Weeks in Slovakia (www.52inSk.com). His new book, an individualized approach to health, medicine, and face masks, is now available.