It seems like choosing not to comply is our only way out of this mess.

It started with a few whispered predictions. Conspiracy theories, if you will. They’re bringing mask mandates back. They’re going to lock us down again. We won’t be able to work without the latest booster. You watch. It’s coming.

I’m not going to lie; I didn’t believe the rumors at first. In fact, I might have laughed at the thought of COVID 2.0. Don’t get me wrong; I knew they were working on something miserable to inflict on us — an alien invasion, nuclear war, a new and suddenly overwhelming climate emergency involving tea kettles or mitten warmers, some Directed Energy Weapons attacks on prime American real estate, a global head lice epidemic, a hurricane-earthquake combo in California (oh, wait!). But COVID again? They wouldn’t. They couldn’t! That would be like hiring the shipyard that built the Titanic to design your new yacht or inviting Milli Vanilli to compete on America’s Got Talent.

Are We Really Doing This Again?

And then, amid “an uptick in COVID cases” reported by (who else?) the CDC, Lionsgate Studios in L.A. and hospitals including United Health Services in New York and Kaiser Permanente in California declared masks were back and they were nonnegotiable, despite overwhelming evidence that even professional-grade models are wildly ineffective at preventing the transmission of respiratory viruses. “The new policy is in effect immediately for all patients, visitors, employees, medical staff, volunteers, students and vendors,” UHS wrote in a statement.

If it were just masks, we could roll our eyes and laugh at the foolish “maskholes” who were bound to comply. We might point out the recent German study that found just a few minutes of daily mask-wearing can cause anxiety, impaired learning, neuron damage, and diminished fertility, among other unpleasant side effects. (And that’s whether you’re sporting a medical-grade muzzle or that scrap of bedazzled cotton you bought on Amazon, incidentally.) We may even throw up the fact that it’s been revealed that the hallowed N95 masks we were told were the gold standard actually expose users to dangerous levels of toxic compounds linked to headaches, organ damage, and cancer. Whoops! But, you know, it’s still a free country. Whatever makes you feel virtuous safe.

But it’s not just masks. Last week my niece started nursing school after years of studying and praying and busting her ass to get into an uber-competitive program. She had been enrolled for all of a week when the hospital hosting clinical rotations dropped the hammer: Due to a minuscule rise in cases (not deaths, by the way) of what for most will be a mild cold, all nursing students had until Friday to get COVID vaxxed or boosted or be booted from the program.

The hospital, you see, needed to prepare for a surge in critically ill COVID patients — by jabbing their staff and students with a chemical cocktail that unequivocally doesn’t prevent infection or transmission. Even a little bit. So while the injected wouldn’t actually be protecting themselves or anyone else from anything, and they might suffer any number of side effects ranging from a sore arm to death, the hospital wouldn’t be liable… besides, do you have any idea what the medical system payout is for mass vaccine compliance? Cha-ching!

As if on cue, schools in Kentucky and Texas instituted temporary closures due to COVID hysteria, or massive bribes, or both. Biden woke up long enough to announce he had signed off on a proposal asking Congress for additional funding for a new vaccine “that is necessary, that works,” despite the fact that previous COVID shots have proven they aren’t and they don’t. If that weren’t asinine enough — and I certainly hope we can agree that it is — he added that it will likely be recommended th