Listen to NPR, read Slate or HuffPo, or simply read Twitter and you might think that the issue of protesting masks is a problem unique to the United States and our ingrained sense of liberty and self-autonomy that supersedes any thoughts of the collective. But pictures from a recent British Airways flight demonstrate that inconsiderate behavior surrounding masks is hardly limited to the sons and daughters of liberty.
A Fight Over Masks On British Airways
A group of woman heading home from an anti-mask meeting in Berlin refused to wear masks on their British Airways flight to London. Citing medical exemptions, the women reportedly coughed “as a joke” around other customers, cackling about how the “sheeple” who mindlessly wear masks (and get vaccines).
We had a 10 Brit maskless stand off at Berlin airport…..police and authorities could not make us wear masks….our last protest on German soil
I love this cheeky photo pic.twitter.com/TuAzt2AuAJ
— Char (@Charbrevolution) October 14, 2020
As you can see above, this isn’t about a medical reason. This is about a protest.
And while protesting is a perfectly valid exercise in the right time and place, it is hardly appropriate on an airline, which is allowed to set its own rules for its own reasons concerning masks.
I’ve made this point before and I’ll make it again. The question is not whether masks are effective or not. It is not whether or how well they stop the transmission of virus. Instead, the issue is respect for a company’s absolute right to operate its business within the framework of the law.
British Airways doesn’t just mandate masks because the government compels it. It does so because it sees a business case in doing so. Demand for air travel is severely depressed and people are more likely to step onto an aircraft when others are wearing masks. Bottom line: British Airways, like its U.S. counterparts, compels masks because it is good for business.
I find it telling that the QAnon, anti-vaxxer crowd are so intertwined with this movement. Nuts love nuts.
So let’s cut to the chase, protestors. Your stupid little “I’ll take the whole flight to eat a bag of nuts or sip my coffee” exception or faux medical exceptions show a fundamental lack of respect for those around you and for the airline that is transporting you. By engaging in such puerile conduct, you actually exacerbate the problem, turn those who may otherwise be sympathetic to your wider cause against you, and thereby prolong the period in which masks will be compulsory.
I look with utter disdain on those who think they can walk into a store or board an airplane and deny the clear and unequivocal prerogative of a business to set polices that impact its profitability.
For those that coughed on other passengers as a joke…I can only wish that you will be spared from the virus. Trust me, it hurts…my own mother battled it for two weeks.
We need to find a way to get back to work…but acting in a cavalier and selfish matter is simply a foolish endeavor.
image: @Charbrevolution / Twitter
What a bunch of selfish inconsiderate a-holes.
You said it. These petulant, childish snowflakes deserve to be banned from flying for endangering everyone else.
Yes, but you are being far too kind…
I love these women
Personally I won’t fly until the sanitary towels over the face and nose ceases to exist.
I’m meant to be going on holiday, not into hospital for an operation.everyone knows this virus is massively overstated.
Mask up, b*tches!
How did these stupid women even get to Berlin? Were they wearing masks, were they abiding by Berlin rules while there? I doubt the second one and probably were masks just so they could fly and enter the country.
I really hope they are banned from flying and given many hours of community service delivering food to all those in isolation.
Shameful waste of space these idiots. I hope they don’t get sick but I hope they see the consequences of their actions.
Well now their faces are all over social media why isn’t anybody talking action. Sure the Germans won’t put up with these idiots. Absolutely pathetic. I just hope they fall I’ll and god forbid they haven’t infected anyone else. Probably very sad individuals who don’t have a life if travelling to another country to protest about a mask.
Stupid people with no respect for others they should be banned from existence let alone flying or anything else concerning general population
Your sourcing for this article is one tweet. What was the outcome? How can we determine from your writing if this even happened?
I looked…no formal articles on it…just tweets. But my understanding is these women all had “doctor’s notes” and were exempted…precisely why U.S. airlines tightened up on so-called, oft-abused medical exceptions.
So basically you are saying that a business should dictate your medical advice/care instead of one’s own doctor… sheesh.
No, I’m saying selfish people shouldn’t fake medical conditions while returning from an anti-mask conference.
I blame the Government. From the get go it was “don’t buy masks leave them for the medical staff” “masks don’t stop transmission” “wear a mask save lives” “unless the mask is flush against your face no gapping it’s useless” etc etc etc. Ergo you have made confusion and the uprising against masks. Who really knows if wearing a mask helps or not. Who really knows how safe travelling on an airplane is. Stay home!
I agree there was deliberate miscommunication on masks. But this issue here, as I see, it is not how viable masks are in offering protection to yourself or protection to others, but in the right of an airline to set its owns rules within the framework of the law (i.e., no shirts, no shoes, no service).
Your partisanship is becoming unbearable. It wasn’t “deliberate”. There were very many unknowns at the outset, and still are. Fauci even reversed course on masks. Dems called the shutdown of travel from China and then Europe an “overreaction”. There was an initial shortage of PPE and they wanted medical workers to have those. There is still a big question about how effective masks are. It’s not an immunity cloak, and might give you on the order of a 20% risk reduction.
At this point it is nothing more than virtue signalling, especially when you see idiots wearing masks while walking outside in a quiet neighborhood or park, 100 yards from anyone, or driving solo in their car. Yet somehow never any outrage from Dems when Antifa/BLM riot, lack social distance, violate large group directives, and often aren’t masked up.
Please stop being hypocritical, you boasted about using a completely not fit for purpose eye mask as a facemask on a flight, and blogged about it. How are you any better than these women?
Man, 11/3 is really going to hit you like a ton of bricks
(Oh, and for the umpteenth time, multiple studies have shown BLM protests didn’t lead to any increase in Covid cases…unlike say Rose Garden ceremonies)
@WR2, what partisanship is that? I go out of my way to point out this isn’t about how effective masks are, but whether a private corporation can mandate it. Isn’t that a CONSERVATIVE argument? Shouldn’t the “free market” decide whether an airline deems it a business interest to make masks compulsory? And if they do, shouldn’t people comply? That doesn’t make them sheep or slaves…
For the last time, I confessed I was wrong about the eye shade mask on my first post-COVID flight many months ago (even though it covered my nose and mouth). You’ve seen me post several trip reports since then wearing “proper” masks. Unlike some, I learn from my mistakes. You don’t have to make this personal.
He’s a classic Trump Sycophant, they don’t listen to reason, science, facts, etc. Nothing to see here, move along…
You have some valid points here about a business setting rules. However you also make an assumption that all people that don’t want to fly do so because they’re concerned about viral spread and prefer everybody wear masks. I actually am not concerned about viral spread, and I don’t want to wear a mask. It’s inconvenient, and there’s no solid evidence proven it makes a difference. Airlines now cite a 1 in 27 million chance of NOT getting Corona while flying.
Airlines removing alcohol and premium treatment for premium seats are a huge detractor for those who want that luxury.
Did most airlines survey their customers to see who would not fly due to all these restrictions?
@Matthew: I hope your mom is doing well
She is. She made a full recovery. Thanks for kind wishes.
Its hard enough without stupid idiots wanting exposure in there meaningless life. This virus can harm many not all but for respect for others they should be made to wear masks or kicked off and made to walk home. Aholes
If masks were that effective and actually did anything and we would be wearing them year round not just this year in years past to avoid the flu, colds, think about it, they don’t work as a virus deterrent
Um, have you ever visited East Asia?
Hmm I wonder how masks helped Wuhan. Oh right. They didn’t.
China was ground zero… but they’ve recovered. Trumpland, meanwhile, is buckling up for round 2.
It’s not just here, check what’s going on in the UK – from where I just returned.
Cities are arguing with the government, different types of restrictions depending on where you are and what it is you want to do. It is all quite confusing. And absolutely no leadership from Number 10.
Please explain how is it Trump’s fault? What specific policy did you disagree with?
Because he didn’t declare martial law? Masks are mandated by local and state govs and it’s miraculously still spreading, even in blue states. But because Trump didn’t wear one in public appearances he somehow causes the virus to spread? Based on the last 4 years, if Trump came out and mandated masks across the nation, the liberals would have said and done the opposite…just like they said the China/Europe travel shutdowns were an overreaction.
Jesus, where to start: the pathetic and confusing dithering on masks. hosting superspreader events in the middle of a pandemic. undermining and attacking apolitical scientific advisors because their message is no longer politically convenient. even the border stuff trumpers love to point to was a demonstration of complete chaos. remember when trump muttered about closing the borders, causing a mass rush at airports throughout the world. Immigration lines in ORD were packed. Only after the panic did the the administration sheepishly say they weren’t closing the borders.
this isn’t political. i don’t care if you’re right or left. this is about basic competence.
@Dan the issues you talk about are superficial optics and nitpicking in hindsight, and had no statistically significant impact on the overall infection rate, then and now. Dems criticized the travel shutdowns as an overreaction, but now you say it just wasn’t organized enough?
Ridiculous. Of course a move like that will be chaotic, no other way. This virus wasn’t our plan, you have to make quick decisions with limited information. The reason infection rate is slightly higher here than in Europe is because we have freedoms in this country. Trump doesn’t have the authority to act unilaterally, and when he tried to Dems prevented him.
Dem govs wanted to exert their own power. Do you blame Cuomo and Newsome for their state deaths? Why not? Cuomo made horrible nursing home decisions.
This virus is China’s fault, nobody else’s.
Masks aren’t about helping to reduce getting the disease, they’re about helping to reduce spreading diseases to others. I wish people would understand that. But, some people are just that selfish I guess.
215k dead isn’t optics. having the highest death rate of any country isn’t optics. watching our federal gov’t bungle around before eventually just punting to the states isn’t optics.
you know how you could have prevented a mass rush to airports in the middle of a pandemic? DON’T JUST TWEET EVERY LAST DAMN FOOL IDEA YOU HAVE. Work with the relevant parties and push out a coordinated, planned message. This isn’t complicated.
Actually, we are number 8 in deaths per million of population.
Horrible selfish people
Interesting that they were flying in Club Europe. Doubting that they flew the whole flight maskless. Looks more like a little attention thing where they took that photo quickly and then put their masks back on. I doubt that BA would have let them fly if they were being so cavalier/brazen as they promote.
Good for them. Another fake article about a fake pandemic.
I’ve come to the conclusion that people can just do whatever they want. However there are consequences to those actions. If and when they get sick they should be denied access to health care. Yes, it won’t happen but it bloody well should.
You are one sick puppy.
The challenge with this approach is when their behavior impacts others…like second hand smoke. Or, let’s say someone wants to drive their car 110 mph in a 35 mph zone. Okay, they crash and the onsite medics say, well, tough shit…going to fast. Even if we accept this as reasonable, do we not help the passenger in the car or the pedestrian hit in the accident as well? If their actions had consequences that only applied to themselves,….
Second hand smoke? You need an electrical socket put your finger in it!
Was there a meaning or point? Or are you just wishing harm? Don’t understand your blurb…but maybe this is not the forum for replies of your caliber. Perhaps you are much too wise for this group. Your reply suggests that yours is the level of wisdom we should all aspire to achieve.
Let’s apply that to other life choices. Have unprotected sex and get AIDS? Sorry, health insurance won’t cover that. Smoke and get lung cancer? Nope, sorry. Play football and tear ACL? Too bad.
You can’t argue for personal accountability and then at the same time argue for socialized medicine. They are incompatible when healthcare is a right.
Top 10 dumb post of the day? Too generous, make it top 5.
I’m sure no residents in the other industrialized countries in the world (all of which have some form of universal healthcare) have any sense of personal accountability and responsibility. None at all.
If a business is allowed to post a sign that reads, “No Shirt/ No Shoes/ No Service” and this is acceptable, then why can’t those who say they love letting business operate, within a few guidelines, as they see fit, understand that when an airline says you ain’t flying without wearing a mask, then that’s the deal. Imagine if AA states they are removing food/ beverages and their flights are 100% mask compulsory? I’d be on one of their flights in a heartbeat, especially if the other carriers are taking a more relaxed approach. It’s about safety. We can argue until the moon crashes into us whether or not masks are 100% effect or not, but for those who say they are not, would they be ok if they were sitting in front of someone that spent the whole flight sneezing and not covering their mouth? Masks work on some level and if wearing a mask gives another 30% protection to me or those around me, I wil wear the damn mask for the foreseeable future. We will not get out of this mess until people stop being so damn selfish. Gee, our trauma of having to “sacrifice” wearing a mask pales in comparison to the real sacrifices made by our grandparents. Bit a trivia…Brits still had to use ration cards into the early 50’s, a good 5 years or more after the end of WW II..
Better to live like a lion and die like a rat than live like a rat just to stay alive.
Trump supporters I support your choices and pray that you get your wish to die like a rat.
Oops. That came out wrong. I mean you get your choice to live like a lion.
After listening to Europeans sneer at the US all summer long about what a superior job they did battling the virus and how stupid and reckless we are as a nation, one can’t help but feel a bit of schadenfreude as the entire continent falls to pieces.
I’m flabbergasted by all the articles I’ve read in the last week about various EU countries beginning to require indoor mask-wearing. How were they not doing this before??? Numbers started creeping up in Europe in August, and they did literally nothing for two months – instead, everyone took their August holidays as though it were a normal year, and acted as though 5-6 weeks of lockdown in the spring was sufficient and they had “beaten” the virus.
As this photo shows, there are just as many backward morons in Europe as there are in the United States, and as European nations clamp down on social activities, look for more and more of them coming out of the woodwork.
Yet again the selfish idiots resurface! Have these moronic women got nothing else better to do? I suppose these three also think that Covid is one big conspiracy too? So the 43K+ deaths and the sky rocketing infection rates are all figures randomly made up then? These three assholes should’ve been fined and cautioned as they stepped off that plane, if nothing else for their sheer arrogance and selfish behaviour? Perhaps it would’ve done us all a favour if they had their masks on to be honest, that way we wouldn’t have been subjected to their stupid and probably staged expressions on their daft faces? Well ladies, just pray that your parents, grandparents or whoever in your family or friends circle ends up getting infected or worse still, becoming severely ill and dying, then your stupid and selfish actions won’t feel quite as good will they? Your stupidity and utter disregard for others is astounding!
I am all for private companies setting policies as they see fit, but you do realize your justification for airlines to enforce mask wearing could be used for all sorts of ostensibly odious policies, don’t you?
“It does so because it sees a business case in doing so. Demand for air travel is severely depressed and people are more likely to step onto an aircraft when blacks/MAGA hat wearers are not allowed on board. Bottom line: British Airways, like its U.S. counterparts, bans blacks/MAGA hat wearers because it is good for business.”
Someone who isn’t infected with SARS-CoV-2 can’t infect someone else, so what harm is caused if one does not wear a mask if one has very recently tested negative? Is there some sort of harm other than feelings hurt? Maybe airlines could set up maskless sections in the backs of planes and charge more those seats.
To your latter point, maybe.
To your point about banning BLM/MAGA hats…I think an airline has that right.
You sound just like the Republicans who suggested legalizing gay marriage would lead to polygamy, beastiality, etc.
Just wear an effing mask. It’s not that hard.
I wear a mask. I have told you repeatedly that I started wearing a mask in January. Masks are not the issue I care about. What matters to me is whether the state can mandate behaviors from citizens who have done nothing wrong and are no threat to others and to what extent private entities are free to choose how to operate or discriminate in going about their businesses.
I do not oppose gay marriage at all in principle. I oppose the ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges because it begs the question of the federal government regulating marriage and creates a novel “right.” You assume I oppose gay marriage because you are overcome with TDS and cannot apprehend any principle or nuance in an argument aside from “Orange Man Bad.” I assume you believe there is a constitutional right to abortion. Do you support the right to commit infanticide? As per Singer, the morality of both are similar.
They are a threat to others. Just look at the Dakotas since the Sturgis Rally.
I said blacks, not BLM. I realize discrimination on the basis of race is barred by US law in most cases, though BLM would like to reinstitute such policies.
Should a private business be forced to accommodate all customers? Fat customers could be a safety hazard in an emergency evacuation of a plane, for instance. Would admitting them on board not be a potential harm to other passengers?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the USA clearly would prohibit that sort of discrimination against black people. Cf. A baker who wishes to discriminate on the basis of sexual identity. SCOTUS has said that is permitted. Fat customers are not protected unless protected under ADA. But think of the outrage when airlines even dare to weigh passengers. There are sill social norms that limit the sort of behavior a corporation can get away it, especially in the age of social media. Not sure where you are going with this…
I am well aware of the Civil Rights Act and Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. I am inquiring about your opinion on whether the law should abrogate individual rights (what other kind is there, really?) in the name of desired social policies. Can private bigotry, ignorance or irresponsibility be legislated away? What about freedom of association? I recall you expressing support for BLM. Racist anti-racists like Kendi want to add a racist amendment to the Constitution stating that “[r]acial inequity is evidence of racist policy and the different racial groups are equals.” Where are all the white and Asian folx in the NBA? That’s racist! Leftists in your home state of California seek to enshrine racism in your constitution with Proposition 16. Racism is fine and good as long as the Democrats are administering it. The new social norms that promote open (anti-)racism also prohibit denouncing unhealthy behavior such as overeating that results in obesity.
Should law abrogate individual rights? Isn’t that a primary effect of law, which ideally is intended to solve a collective action problem since people have proven that they are not capable of caring for themselves in a way that protects the most vulnerable (physically, mentally, socially)? I don’t want a nation like the Philippines where you have to wade through hundreds of people sleeping on the street as you walk from your hotel to dinner.
There is this idea of majority rule with minority rights in our (U.S.) conception of government and with that comes a certain societal expectation that may be viewed as oppressive to those on the fringe. As we saw with LGTBQ rights, sometimes the Zeitgeist of a nation quickly transforms. As we see in the case of abortion, a slim majority may want to keep Roe, but it remains one of the most contentious issues of our age, even nearly 50 years after the decision, and certainly cannot be seen as settled law no matter your opinion on it.
The reasons for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 were sound…and based upon the 14th and 15th amendments, which frankly permit expansive government power if we take an “originalist” view of §5 of the 14th Amendment. The so-called “Radical Republicans” who passed the 14th Amendment intended, in a sense, a second revolution that may have ended after the Compromise of 1877 but is still authorized. How could a black man be called a citizen and yet have to consult a Green Book when traveling, overcome educational inequality deeply ingrained into American cities, and face social, political, religious, and economic ostracization for an intrinsic quality like the color of his skin? The majority, as they did with slavery, can choose to view certain issues as so important or so intolerable that taking a laissez faire approach is simply untenable.
My personal viewpoints probably overlap yours more than you might suspect. But I think the answer to your question is yes.
I sincerely hope they get sick
Such a stupid article… I can see that COVID people getting aggressive. Poor, brainwashed people, stop reading that kind of manipulative articles… no words… hope you all will take the vaccines. xx
Wow! I thought this level of arrogance, ignorance and sheer stupidity was reserved for Americans!
Maybe we’re not alone after all.
The question really is why BA let them on the plane. Kick them off, they can protest all they want in Berlin.
Get this load of selfish old cows off the plane sent them to a covid ward in a hospital without masks to change bed pans and if they get sick and need a bed well
Go elsewhere you miserable old scumbags
Ps you all look like crap in your picture ,to be in you gang is it a requirement to be ugly ? That’s why you should all where a mask allways never mind for covid
I would not have aloud them to board the plane. It is within the rights of the crew and captain to refuse them to board if they aren’t prepared to obey the commands, rules of flying.
The mask argument aside (I’m for masks), it’s time for airlines to bring back normal inflight service. A child bottle of water and a few Cheese It’s don’t cover it for a 5 hour flight.