The Mayor of SF Says it's OK She Violated Her Own Mask Mandate Because She was at a Tony! Toni! Tone'! Show. She'll Get No Argument From Me.
When the mayor of San Francisco can't get CNN to back her up on something, we are truly living in the strangest of all timelines.
Look, I don't know this London Breed from London Bridge. (Odds that she's never heard that reference at least five times a day for her entire life: 0.01%. But even sometimes I get lazy and grab the low-hanging fruit.) But there's one thing that we can all agree on. A cause the nation can rally behind. No matter your political leanings. Whether you're afraid of Covid or not. Whether you're pro- or anti-vaccine. Whether you support lockdowns or not. Whether you think masks are effective or ineffective at stopping the spread. And that is this:
There is not one political leader who has supported and imposed restrictions who has not violated their own mandates. Not one.
The videos are everywhere and easy to find. Our betters from both ends of the political spectrum performing Pandemic Theater in front of cameras. But as soon as they're off, so are the masks. Let's even include Hollywood, since no one has been louder about the need to keep up the restrictions than Hollywood. Until it's time to go to the Met Gala or hand out awards. Then they get an exemption for themselves.
And before you say, "Well they were all vaccinated and so was everyone at the club Mayor Breed was," stop. One, ask yourself why then do the servers at the Emmys have to keep them on but, say, the cast of "Ted Lasso" doesn't? Does the virus only attack those who are working for tips and leave people alone if they've produced a funny and heartwarming piece of great art? Preferably ask yourself this as you see 6-year-olds getting on the school bus wearing masks they have to keep on all day.
And as far as the San Francisco club situation, here's how the San Francisco Gate explains the restrictions and the mayor's violations:
As currently written, the city's health order — which applies to vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals alike — only allows for masks to be removed "while actively eating or drinking." It states, "People are urged to be seated at a table or positioned at a stationary counter or place while eating or drinking."
A video shows a maskless Breed — neither seated at a table nor positioned at a stationary counter — standing and dancing at the nightclub without any food or drinks in her hand. She also posed for photos while not wearing a mask and defended her actions by stating, "At the end of the day, everyone who comes in here has to show proof of vaccination. That gives me a lot of reassurance.”
The city's mask mandate does not contain an exemption for businesses requiring proof of vaccination for entry.
OK, I'll admit that looks bad. But then again, like with everything in these complex times, there is another side of the story. Yes, the person in charge of running the city may have blatantly violated her own rules that everyone else has to live by. And sure, it sounds like she's trying to excuse it away as nothing. Until you dig deeper. And let her further explain. Then it all makes sense. In fact, her rule-breaking seems damned near unavoidable:
"The fact is, there was something really monumental that occurred. And that it is, Tony! Toni! Tone'!, the original members, the brothers Raphael Saadiq and D'wayne Wiggins, who have not performed in public for I believe at least over 20 years, they are really, just, some of the most incredible artists in the history of this country and of the Bay Area in particular. And the fact that that is getting lost here is really unfortunate."
Wow. When you put it that way, it really puts everything in perspective.
Yes, the virus is a real threat. Of course, we should all take precautions. We need to make sacrifices because lives depend on it. But when one of the great dance bands from the late-1980s through the early '90s does a 2/3 reunion concert? Well, what choice does anyone have?
By the time Tony! Toni! Tone'! hit it big, I'd long since traded in the dance clubs for dives with the owner's name on a Pabst Blue Ribbon sign above the door, brick walls, a jukebox, and a jar of pickled eggs behind the bar. But I'll be damned if I didn't enjoy their smooth, melodic blend of soulful R&B and uptempo dance rhythms as it came through the FM dial in my two-door Subaru. I defy anyone to worry about dangerously blowing their droplets all over the joint when bangers like this are being played live for the first time in decades by 67% of the original band:
And if that means lives are put at risk, so be it. Is life really worth living without this type of irresistible, upbeat mix of Pop and Soul? I say no.
So you can get all the way off Mayor Breed's back on this one. Or any other government (or entertainment) official out there laying down the law and breaking it. It's not hypocrisy. It's simply them not worrying about getting or spreading the disease as much as they want you to worry about getting or spreading it. Just do what you're told and let them enjoy themselves in a consequence-free environment. And be patient because maybe the day will soon come where they'll allow the rest of us to enjoy great music without having to go through the hassle of getting elected.