This is going to be an unusual one. For this week’s Xcargo, I had originally thought about just posting a link to my newest little video venture, “Love In A Time Of Covid #3.” It’s currently on my Vimeo page, and you can see it here: https://vimeo.com/447978984
Love In A Time Of Covid #3, click here to play
The video is a statement about people who refuse to wear masks during our current pandemic, which is a behavior I cannot understand and which I believe to be both fantastically self-destructive and profoundly immoral.
It's no hoax
But, if I had waited a day or so before making the video, I’d have discovered a news story that would have been perfect for this topic, better than my own experience which is not nearly so dramatic. According to Buzzfeed, the CEO of a commercial real estate company in Houston is a conservative, an ardent anti-masker, and a pandemic denialist. He informed all his employees that they had two choices, either come to work without a mask…or be fired. So, not wanting to be out of a job in the midst of a serious economic downturn, they did as they were told.
And, surprise, surprise, his office is now experiencing a Covid outbreak.
When Buzzfeed contacted the boss in question, he responded somewhat defiantly, saying that Covid wasn’t nearly as awful as the press makes out, and that masks don’t work, and so on.
Needless to say, the same gentleman has a long history of right-wing activism. According to the Buzzfeed piece, he has used company emails to forward his employees materials from rather curious places, including “the pro-Trump, conspiracy-fueled newspaper the Epoch Times and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, an ultra-conservative fringe group that is anti-vaccination and anti-LGBTQ.”
Well, he has a perfect right to speak his mind. But, requiring his employees to be in place without masks, to run the risk of infection, and then to deny his role in the subsequent and inevitable outbreak of the disease…that seems, shall we say? More problematic. Indeed, maybe unconscionable — both in the moral sense, of being shockingly unethical, and also in the legal. At least as I understand it (and here I am quoting Wikipedia), “Unconscionability… is a doctrine in contract law that describes terms that are so extremely unjust, or overwhelmingly one-sided in favor of the party who has the superior bargaining power, that they are contrary to good conscience.”
That sounds an awful lot like the situation in this gentleman’s office.
It doesn't care how tough you are...
But, more, there is a much larger issue here. If the individual in the Buzzfeed article is uniquely gauche, he is not unique. All over America there are businesses risking their employees’ health. And, worse, Republicans in Congress are busily attempting to pass laws preventing employees from suing their employers if they get Covid on the job.
Unconscionable…and maybe very dangerous to the society as a whole.
For here is the thing. When this is all done and said, and Covid deaths number in the hundreds of thousands…maybe a million…
How will the working people of America ever again trust their employers…much less the wealthy and the powerful…?
And, more, what will they do the next time there is a crisis of any sort?
When they have already seen quite clearly that the nation’s elite will throw them to the wolves at the slightest excuse…
And without so much as a moment’s hesitation?
Anyway, that was the story in Buzzfeed.
So, be sure to check out my video at https://vimeo.com/447978984. Like I say it has a political bent, but it is also an experiment with Poser 11 Pro’s capacity to produce cartoon-like images.
See what you think.
Until next time,
Onward and upward.
“Their Conservative Boss Said “Take Off Your Mask Or You Can Go Home.” Now They’re Getting Sick,” Julia Reinstein, Buzzfeed, https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/juliareinstein/boss-wont-allow-masks-office-coronavirus
“Unconscionability,” Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconscionability