• Mask Mandate Struck Down

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by Gilbert B Norman
 
This is FLUID. Mr. Olsen to say the least.

JB has apparently now chosen to "follow the Feds".
  by eolesen
 
Yup, just saw that, but read the fine print -- their appeal is conditional. CDC has to determine that it's needed.

If they do, it will make for an interesting time hearing CDC and DOK explain how transit, trains and planes are somehow more of a risk than 100% capacity at sporting events, awards shows, movie theaters, etc. which have been maskless for months now...

This is about saving face. Not the "science" anymore.
  by rcthompson04
 
eolesen wrote: Tue Apr 19, 2022 6:26 pm Yup, just saw that, but read the fine print -- their appeal is conditional. CDC has to determine that it's needed.

If they do, it will make for an interesting time hearing CDC and DOK explain how transit, trains and planes are somehow more of a risk than 100% capacity at sporting events, awards shows, movie theaters, etc. which have been maskless for months now...

This is about saving face. Not the "science" anymore.
The rushed two week extension was inviting a challenge as well.
  by photobug56
 
If one is on a crowded subway car, platform, dense packed plane or commuter railway car, typically with lousy ventilation and filtering (MTA has explored improvements but I don't know if any were implemented), masks are the only protection you have against bugs. During the first year of the pandemic, when mask wearing was high, a lot fewer people got the flew. But hey, a federal judge appointed at what, age 33, based on her complete lack of viable experience or ethics, got to do what the hacks down there wanted her to do.
  by justalurker66
 
It is a shame that the mandate did not end before the court ruling. We are at a point where 77% of the US population have received at least one vaccination shot, 66% are "fully vaccinated" and 45% have received at least one booster. That helps reduce the fatality rate. Considering the way I have seen masks being "worn" by many still wearing them they have a much lower value than they served two years ago. 20-20 hindsight but letting the mandate expire before the ruling would have been better.

I do appreciate Metra's wording when lifting their mask rules and the South Shore (NICTD) is continuing to offer free masks to any rider who wants one.

As far as the science of why transit is more hazardous than maskless events I'd first question why those events were maskless (hard to control thousands of people in an arena?). Open air stadium events are better than closed recirculated spaces. One can limit one's exposure in a theater by moving away from other people ... transit is a confined space.

That being said, one of the local agencies was enforcing mask wearing on property. If you walked into a station building without a mask you would hear a PA announcement within a couple of minutes announcing the need for a mask. That seemed excessive.
  by photobug56
 
1. There are plenty of people out there who are immune compromised. Masks help.
2. Subway, commuter rail cars can be densely packed, platforms even worse. NYCTA has announced plans to CUT rush hour service, making this worse. Buses also can be very crowded.
3. Most airliners have pretty poor ventilation and filtering, with the exception of the Boeing 787's. Airlines reduce it as much as they can to save fuel. And in coach you are pretty much in each other's laps.
4. The flu was far less common when everyone was masked.
  by BandA
 
yes photobug! Airplanes in the Before Times were always a petri dish with 50% chance of catching some bug that would affect your vacation enjoyment. Remember before coronavirus we had cruise ships with norovirus that ripped through the entire population, leaving them with diarhia. There was a study of contact surfaces on the MBTA like 5? years ago which found railings, seats, etc were covered with germs but almost all of them were pretty benign, not anymore!
  by BandA
 
At the beginning of the epidemic, all the retailers, businesses, restaurants and transit agencies stepped up and cleaned everything all the time. Now, with people taking off their masks the cleaning has also stopped and there is a lot of superspreader potential, which will harm the immune compromised.
  by BandA
 
Got to agree with the arbitrary and capricious part of the ruling. Politicians and governments specialize in that.
  by STrRedWolf
 
Legal scholars and even some "on-the-ground" lawyers are going through the ruling... and see appeal potential as most agree the judge (who is reportedly "green" with no trial experience before being appointed) had badly interpreted public health and safety law, and also did not defer to the CDC for definitions. There's too many articles on the news sites on that, and one lawyer I know also went through it off Twitter.

If the CDC says "Yes, we need to appeal this" it's going to get appealed, and that's the possible avenue.

What it boils down to is keep your mask handy.
  by rcthompson04
 
Probably 90% wearing masks still on SEPTA 9590 (Thorndale local to Wayne express to Philadelphia) this morning.
  by STrRedWolf
 
It'll take a few days for it to shake out, although I won't be surprised if it's going to be a month or so.

NPR's report on legal experts going through the ruling.
"If one of my students turned in this opinion as their final exam, I don't know if I would agree that they had gotten the analysis correct," said Erin Fuse Brown, a law professor at Georgia State University.

"It reads like someone who had decided the case and then tried to dress it up as legal reasoning without actually doing the legal reasoning," she added.
  by eolesen
 
Ah yes, the "trash the judge" crowd is out in full force. Please do keep rehashing Democrat talking points about her qualifications, instead of realizing she was a trial lawyer at DOJ, clerked for Thomas at SCOTUS, and also clerked in the district and appeal courts... She's a more experienced lawyer than Obama and Biden combined.

Still doesn't explain why masks are suddenly effective on planes when they're not necessary in an Oscars telecast, sports arena, movie theater, or anywhere else where people are closer than 6 feet.

Oh, and modern aircraft (anything built 2000 onward) are doing air exchanges on average of every 2-5 minutes. That's better than most hospitals...

https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/a ... 665469001/
  by justalurker66
 
eolesen wrote: Wed Apr 20, 2022 3:25 pmStill doesn't explain why masks are suddenly effective on planes when they're not necessary in an Oscars telecast, sports arena, movie theater, or anywhere else where people are closer than 6 feet.
Already covered above, for those who can see past the Republican or even further right talking points. The masks are not "suddenly effective", they have been effective for years. Guidelines are a calculated risk. The calculation changes based on real numbers - confirmed case levels and death levels.

The appeal has been filed. I hope it succeeds. You should hope it succeeds as well unless you enjoy having one judge over one area setting national policy. Don't support the judge simply because you agree with her decision. Support the decision process if you believe one judge should be setting national policy (remembering every time in the past that some judge you disagreed with legislated from the bench and you didn't like the outcome).

(To be clear, my desire of "success" would not be reinstatement of the mask requirement. It would be confirmation that the CDC can make such recommendations and government entities can enforce recommendations for the safety of fellow travelers. I agree that it is time for the mandate to be suspended but if the numbers climb again I don't want the government's hands tied by either wing of politics.)
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Amtrak's usual "...just an Amtrak away" ten second spot aired at its usual time on Local NBC News still shows the actors on-board wearing masks.

Something tells me they overlooked making to "shoots" one with and another without masks.

Finally, Mr. Lurker, your immediate is a well thought expression of your opinion regarding a matter that I do not think is an "open and shut".