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Auchter's Art: The sport of public health decisions

John Auchter
Michigan Radio

Nearly two years into this pandemic, I remain mystified at the intense emotions around masks.

I mean, I get that people in general do not like to be told what to do, and when something is added that was previously not on the list, pushback is inevitable. It is somewhat comforting to know that 100 years ago there was over-the-top vitriol directed at mask-wearing in the last major flu event.

But it's also disheartening to realize that we haven't progressed beyond folks who thought prohibiting alcohol was a workable idea and giving women the right to vote was a difficult decision.

Mask mandates are quickly coming to an end at schools all across Michigan.

The happy news — the news we should all be focusing on — is that the omicron variant is quickly dissipating, which means FEWER infections and FEWER health issues. So there is less need for masks, especially for those who are vaccinated. Huzzah!

Instead, much of the news is framed as a pro- and anti-mask mandate issue. Who won? Who lost? Will this fire up the base? How will this affect the elections? How will we know who to scream at next time we're at Meijer?

It would be nice someday not to consider public health decisions as some sort of sport REQUIRING US to choose sides. But in the great flu pandemic of 2122, I suspect it will be exactly the same.

John Auchter is a freelance political cartoonist. His views are his own and do not necessarily reflect those of Michigan Radio, its management, or its license holder, the University of Michigan.

Since 1995 John has created Michigan-based editorial cartoons for the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the Grand Rapids Press, and MLive Newspapers. His cartoons are currently featured at MichiganRadio.org and are syndicated to newspapers through the Michigan Press Association. John is an active member of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. You can view an archive of his editorial work and other cartoons at Auchtoon.com.
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