I had to laugh when I saw Erin Vogt’s headline to her story about the lifting of mask mandates in our schools:

“Murphy ends NJ school mask mandate March 7: Gets slammed from all sides”

Of course he’d get slammed from all sides. I mean, that’s the New Jersey way, right? I suppose one could argue that a just decision never leaves one party entirely happy. Yet in this case, I have to side with those calling Gov. Phil Murphy a jerk for not just dropping the mask mandate immediately.

Was it really necessary for Murphy to extend the public health emergency yet again that was scheduled to end this week? He himself has said of the COVID-19 omicron variant that it is leaving us just as swiftly as it found us. The metrics are good. If data determines dates, an old favorite catchphrase of his, then the time would be now.

And every good sitcom has to have a catchphrase, right? That’s exactly where we stand in a state as divided on the Covid issue as New Jersey still finding a way for both sides to hate this guy. We’ll call it “Everybody Hates Murphy.”

So why did I support masks in the beginning when this was a pandemic? Because the variants were different then. There was no vaccine then. In dozens of credible medical studies the consensus was settled science that masking helped to stop a lot of the microdroplets in people’s breath that the virus had to hitchhike on to get to its next host organism.

So why am I saying to end the masking now? Because the virus has mutated. Omicron, not nearly as deadly and far more contagious, was scientifically proven to be not be stopped very well by the masks that most school kids and teachers are wearing.

When it came to omicron, the cloth mask so many were wearing was doing virtually nothing and the much more serious grade, like a K-95 for example, was needed. Most people were never wearing those. So what was the point?

Our school kids now have to wait until March 7 to get rid of the masks. It’s true that omicron is not completely gone, but isn’t it looking like the virus that causes COVID-19 never will be now? When the pandemic began, about 10 times as many people were dying from COVID-19 than die from even a bad flu season. But Omicron changed that. And we never asked people to mask up for a flu season. Masks did make sense in the beginning. But they have not made sense for a long time now.

If I were writing the next episode of “Everybody Hates Murphy” it would be titled “Phil, Let’s Move On.”

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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