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Local deli says it's time for Charlie Baker to stop being such a mask shmendrick

Mamaleh's Delicatessen, which has outlets in Cambridge and Brookline, is not at all happy that Gov. Baker is leaving it up to local towns - and individual businesses - to figure out whether to require indoor mask wearing at a time when Covid-19 cases are on the rise and increasingly angry people are taking out their aggression on restaurant workers.

In a pair of tweets tonight, Mamaleh's says it's time for the governor to stop hocking a chinik and issue an indoor mask mandate:

THIS IS SO UPSETTING …

SMALL BUSINESSES ARE BEING FORCED TO MAKE THE DECISIONS ABOUT REQUIRING MASKS AND POLICE THE SITUATION DURING A STAFFING CRISIS WHILE BARELY HANGING ON. PLEASE RECONSIDER @MassGovernor

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Comments

Gov. Baker should start acting like the governor we had at the beginning of the pandemic, who handled things so well. Hard to believe it's the same person.

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And living my life, still haven’t caught covid. Science is amazing.

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I believe he's leaving it up to individual businesses and cities/towns to decide based on localized numbers. Don't blame Baker for not using a 'wide stroke' option in this situation as the whole state does NOT have to be shut down, or placed on mask restrictions!

You have every right to close your business and not deal with the angry folks you are asking to mask up again after such a stressful and long year and a half we have all faced. Massachusetts is one of the leading vaccine states in the nation and beyond.

Why punish those who have committed to the plan to stop this horrific pandemic. Stop complaining and thank your lucky stars you are in one of the most vaccinated places in the world!

Stop looking for someone else to blame for a mask mandate!

Mark

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city recommendations for people to wear masks indoors, so on the local level Mamaleh's is already in places where some guidance is in place.

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You have every right to close your business

Weak.

and not deal with the angry folks you are asking to mask up again after such a stressful and long year and a half we have all faced.

And you're applauding their behavior? They are being childish beyond words. Their anger is the misplaced anger of a tantrumming toddler whose youth and ignorance make him incapable of understanding that his discomfort at wearing a mask is trivial compared to the burden that he wishes to place on others by exercising his "freedom", for which the correct term is "license".

Here's the grownup truth: shit happens. Covid is a shitstorm, and it lands on everyone. In situations like that, one of the most important things is to recognize that other people are getting shit on too -- maybe worse than you are. Being asked to wear a mask in a business is a small bit of fecal matter on your shoe; working in a business where entitled whiny toddlers disregard the sign telling them to wear a mask and then act like psychotic toddlers when they're told to wear a mask is an entire bucket of raw sewage to the face. In a shitstorm where everyone is getting shit on, NO ONE has sympathy for the putz who wants the world to stop and tend to the little bit of shit on his shoe.

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would be for the state to issue concrete guidance: If you have over X cases per capita any time in the past Y days, or a growth rate above Z, the mask mandate applies; and towns could be more strict if they wanted.

This would take the burden off of towns and businesses and allow them to redirect any anger to the state.

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If you have over X cases per capita any time in the past Y days, or a growth rate above Z, the mask mandate applies; and towns could be more strict if they wanted

I guess that might be technically correct (I'll take your word that such a formula would reliably predict when mask-wearing makes sense), but it seems burdensome for towns. Is good daily data available to them? How is the growth rate calculated? If the number of cases goes down, what triggers a reset/rescinding of the mandate? And how do towns disseminate this information to businesses, who are expected to require masks one day and not the next?

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I don't have the answers on hand, but these all seem like solved problems.

"Is good data available" is probably the hardest part. I'd like to say that anywhere with a positivity rate above 5% should be masking, since it means they're not testing enough as a baseline, but asymptomatic testing is on the wane. Which sucks all by itself, but also means that the data isn't great.

You'd want to use hysteresis for turning the mandate on/off, just like your thermostat would use. This avoids too-rapid flipping. Using some made-up numbers, the mandate goes into effect when growth rate is more than 1.5x week over week or cases exceed 2% of population, and is rescinded when growth rate is < 1x and cases < 1% for at least 3 weeks. Something like that.

For communication, I don't know. How does the city *usually* communicate business requirements?

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For communication, I don't know. How does the city *usually* communicate business requirements?

Unclear - and through whatever medium, a lot of business owners are just so busy that they're not going to see it. That's my concern.

I definitely get the danger of over-rapid flipping, but I'm also concerned in how much the disease can spread when the reaction is slowed down and you've got a variant like delta. I don't think Baker, or anyone, dares to be conservative given the hit that business took last year - and that could really end up costing us. There's just no way to know now.

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With hysteresis, you can have a more sensitive "on" trigger (starting the mask mandate), then pick the end condition to choose how "flippy" you want things to be.

The only thing that makes reaction time slow is your "on" trigger. From my experience in monitoring software services, this is a tradeoff we face all the time -- should we alert when the error rate exceeds 5% over 1 minute, or 1% over 5 minutes? If you choose the former, you might get spurious alerts from transient spikes, but if you choose the latter you will *always* be at least 5 minutes late in your response. :-)

For something with exponential growth, that's less of a concern -- if you get a big spike, it's probably going to keep going up, so might as well alert on a shorter interval anyhow.

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During the mask mandate last time we had daily stories of shitty people abusing staff at retail stores and restaurants so I'm not sure why bringing it back will be any different this time. In fact I think it will be worse this time around. I'm in the pro mask camp myself but even I'm exhausted and frustrated at the prospect of having to go back to wearing one everywhere. I'm sure the anti mask anti vaxx crowd is prepared to double down on thier awfulness.

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This puts the burden on people making minimum wage to enforce and business owners to balance the safety of their employees (who are hard to find now) and being open. If there's a mandate, it's there for everyone and enforceable by law. Without the mandate, people who will be jerks about masks (which includes vaccinated people whining about how they did everything right) will be jerks and blame the owner and the employee instead of it being LAW. We are still in a pandemic and the virus got worse (predictably) so suck it up and wear a damn mask.

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It might cause his hair to catch on fire.

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I still will never understand how he's the most popular Governor in the country.

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It is amazing, right? I don't know a single person who even voted for Charlie Baker...

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This speaks to you more than it speaks to others. Live in a bubble perhaps?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKOb-kmOgpI

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It shows that me and my friends are the cool kids!! We don't feel "left behind" or "unseen" or "looked down upon" or "condescended towards". We just get showered with honor and respect from modern society - it's pretty awesome

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... have always loved him (because a deal-making GOP governor is SO much easier to deal with than a Dem one who just gets in their way).

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but unironically, right?

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...unironic.

Dem leaders play ball much more happily with GOP governors (and do a lot of kneecapping of Dem governors -- and Dem gubernatorial candidates).

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I still will never understand how he's the most popular Governor in the country.

The definition of "popular" is absurdly fuzzy. I think in practice it ends up being "What governor has the lowest percentage of constituents who are actively wishing for his/her death".

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Beyond that, I do believe businesses had to police the state mask mandate a year ago.

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And not just for tweeting IN ALL CAPS. Regardless of whether they have a mask policy or government (local or state) issues a mask mandate, they are still going to have to "POLICE THE SITUATION DURING A STAFFING CRISIS WHILE BARELY HANGING ON." If you ask a patron to leave for not wearing a mask, the cops are only going to enforce if you call them -- and the offense just changes from trespassing to violating a public health order. Do they honestly think that someone who gets abusive over being told to wear a mask is going to be less so because the state requires it?

I am really, truly baffled as to why allowing municipalities and businesses to set their own policies is bad when, thanks to a high vaccination rate, the spread of the Delta variant hasn't become a public health crisis like it has in other states.

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Do they honestly think that someone who gets abusive over being told to wear a mask is going to be less so because the state requires it?

Are you asking if they will become a better person in their deepest heart? Probably not. But if every single business they go to has a big sign reading NO MASK, NO ENTRY, it will have an effect. If they act like a fool at one business and the cops get called, and the cops let them walk with a warning, and they walk down the block and do it again, or they do it again the next day, the consequences will accumulate. People who act like ferals over being told to wear a mask are antisocial, but they're not immune to pressure.

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Or is it the consideration that they will lose business thanks to their policy if customers choose to go elsewhere? I don't think that's the government's problem.

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Is it really that? Or is it the consideration that they will lose business thanks to their policy if customers choose to go elsewhere?

This has nothing to do with anything I said.

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They should be in the carpet business, cause they're laying it on thick.

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