Airlines announced they were taking masks seriously, and that passengers could be banned from flying for non-compliance. American Airlines even added a conservative activist who videotaped his refusal to wear a mask to their no fly list, until the end of the mask requirement. But how real is this until airline employees – some of whom had to fight for the right to wear a mask – actually wear them consistently?
Sorry @united still do not feel safe flying with you, ramp and custodial personnel coming in contact with customers and not wearing face masks at @flyLAXairport. At ORD,it is even worst. Long time customer but will not fly again for long time. @nytimes @garyleff @LiveandLetsFly
— Felix Cervantes (@felixcervantes) June 20, 2020
Despite airline requirements, customers continue to flout the rules. And one passenger did so with enough of a flair for the dramatic that his flight actually diverted. Not only did he refuse to wear a mask, he sat back and lit up a cigarette. (HT: Live and Let’s Fly)
A WestJet flight from Vancouver to Toronto diverted to Winnipeg. The man’s lawyer now calls it all a misunderstanding, saying there was “a language barrier” apparently he couldn’t read the signs in the airport, understand the crewmember instructions, and thought he was ok to smoke on board as well.
“They were advised this male had lit up a cigarette on board and was also not listening to any of the directions from the flight crew which included to don his personal safety mask as well,” said Cpl. Julie Courchaine of the Manitoba RCMP.
Police say a 60-year-old man from Surrey B.C., Balvir Singh, was arrested and taken into custody. He’s been charged with several offences — including failing to comply with the flight crew’s instructions to wear a face mask. …[he] has also been charged with public mischief over $5,000 and two charges under Canadian Aviation Security regulations for smoking on board and failing to comply with the flight crew’s instructions.
I’d point out this happened on a Canadian domestic flight. You can’t blame Trump.
On June 14, a flight from Vancouver to Toronto was diverted to Wpg due to an unruly passenger. The male lit a cigarette & refused to wear his face mask. Balvir Singh has been charged with Mischief & Failing to comply with Flight crew x3 (fines of up to $13,000). #rcmpmb
— RCMP Manitoba (@rcmpmb) June 18, 2020
A week ago I asked readers to help me understand why there’s such an aversion some people feel towards mask-wearing. I really don’t think this is political, in the usual sense. There are mainstream Democrats on The Coasts who refuse.
There’s a huge distrust of institutions and experts, who have failed us. The CDC and Surgeon General recommended against masks, before they started recommending wearing them. The bureaucracy failed to properly implement the China travel ban and allowed the virus to enter the country and spread unchecked. They limited access to testing, produced test kits that didn’t work, and sent COVID patients from hospitals and into nursing homes where they infected others.
It seems natural to be skeptical of leaders that have failed us. So when they tell us to wear masks, after telling us not to, it’s frustrating and the only way we have to reclaim dominion over ourselves is to feel like we’re making decisions for ourselves. The overwhelming evidence, since early times when anti-mask recommendations came out (and may have even been noble lies) is that masks really do reduce spread. But now many people won’t listen.