Pandemic deniers, also known as science deniers, and in many cases reality deniers, have hit a new low. There's chatter about a planned maskless protest happening Saturday at Freehold Raceway Mall. Hopefully it will end up being hollow talk just like another insurrection happening on Inauguration Day or yet another insurrection on March 4. And there's a shared belief system between these groups, the pandemic deniers and those who support the Capitol riots.

They both mistakenly believe they're patriots.

Some hung as many American flags on their pickup trucks in between their homemade Trump signs as possible because, you know, one more American flag means you're somehow that much more of an American. Forget that the flag symbolizes the ideals of our nation. One of those ideals is democracy itself, which the rioters tried to put asunder by latching onto lies and conspiracy theories to pretend the election was stolen. Real Alex Jones crap. So they felt they were patriots to support that sort of cop-killing violence.

This other group falsely feels they too are patriots, and they want to show it by walking into Freehold Raceway Mall on Saturday all maskless. They think this will show they are "taking back" their state. But, taking it back from what?

As of 7am the morning that I'm writing this, 545,282 people have died from coronavirus in the United States. These mask deniers, science deniers, pandemic deniers are the same folks who said this was not a big deal a year ago and only a few people would die. They said it was a head cold. They said it was no worse than the seasonal flu. Well my friends, the fact is (remember those? Those things called facts?) more than 10 times the number of people have died in one year in the United States of COVID-19 than die in an average year here of seasonal flu.

10 times.

And keep in mind it was 10 times EVEN WITH so many parts of the country that shut down and wore masks and established social distancing protocol. Had we listened to the same people who are the types to show up at a maskless protest this Saturday the death toll would have been far greater. Wearing a mask during this pandemic is settled science. Sure you can find one occasional medical professional out of thousands who offers some half-baked theory or study to the contrary, but that's why science has things like peer review. That's why we look for consensus. Then you'll have irresponsible people in the media who latch on to a handful of discredited studies and thump those like a bible to prove they're right when they're wrong. They're not doing you or your families any favors and have actually cost people their lives.

Now let's think about this idea that by defiantly marching into Freehold Raceway Mall by the hundreds and not wearing masks makes you a patriot. So, what exactly IS a patriot?

By definition a patriot is one who loves and supports their country.

This has taken a wartime effort to combat COVID-19. All you're being asked to do at this point is wear a mask. You don't have to wear it at home. You don't have to wear it in your car. Or on a walk out in the fresh air when you're not in a huge packed crowd of people. And you can still go into your stores and your bars and your restaurants (and when you're seated you don't have to wear it), just wear a mask, just for now, just until enough people are vaccinated, just for a bit longer, and not forever. That's seriously a wartime sacrifice you're not willing to make to protect the lives of your fellow countrymen? You say you're a patriot because you think this simple measure is robbing you of all your freedom and all your rights? You think you have some constitutional right to not wear a mask in crowded places in the middle of a pandemic? Over half a million people are dead, and you're there whining about sometimes having to wear a mask while this is going on? This hasn't happened in a century. This is a once in a lifetime event, and when asked to be a patriot and step up and do what is necessary to slow the spread of this virus you failed miserably. You bitched and moaned and carried on like the 'libs' you deride in memes.

You're not a patriot. You're pathetic.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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