I had a serious horse-riding accident on a trail ride on July 5. I was able to get home but a few hours later decided I needed to see a doctor. In my mind, this was the worst thing that could happen to me. Horses are dangerous and all during this “pandemic” I thought, what would I do if I needed medical care and they try to force a mask on me? Well, I was about to find out.
I decided to start with urgent care – maybe it wasn’t a serious injury. I could still walk around although my back and hip hurt pretty badly. I checked their website and it indicated accommodation was allowed. I called to confirm this and was told I would wait in my car and they would call me. That was exactly how it was, I went in without a mask and was not bothered at all.
The doctor said my injuries were severe with possible internal bleeding. She told me to go to the ER. I told her I couldn’t wear a mask and could she help me get in without one. She said no. I was filled with anxiety as I knew there was little chance of getting out of mask wearing. But I had potentially life-threatening injuries and had no choice.
When I got to the ER my husband dropped me off, I was stopped by the ‘guard’ at front door and told I had to put on a mask. I said I couldn’t wear one and asked to speak to the head nurse. I was told to go to registration and make my request.
The registration desk called the head nurse and she asked me why I couldn’t wear a mask. I simply said I couldn’t. She said it was hospital policy that everyone wear a mask and I had to prove it was disrupting my breathing by putting it on and taking a test. I said the mask gave me anxiety and panic attacks. Her response was that if that happened, they would treat me for it. I said wouldn’t it be better if I didn’t have a panic attack? I was simply told again I had to wear it; also told they wouldn’t see me for the CAT scan I needed without it. I had to agree.
I still hadn’t put the mask on. I asked the nurse if I could wait outside for someone to call me. That was agreeable, she put me outside in a separate area. I talked with her as she was taking my information and she seem to soften a little bit. She said they would call me and took my phone number down.
I waited for about an hour and evidently, they had called me but my phone didn’t ring. The message said they had a bed for me but were going to give it to another patient if I didn’t call right back. I tried to call back but the number was voicemail. I got an operator and was transferred to registration desk and they didn’t know what I was talking about.
I went in to inquire and a woman in the registration area told me that I had to get out of the building if I didn’t put on a mask. I was intimidated and walked out, then walked back in because I still hadn’t spoken to reception. I was trying to talk to them and this woman kept interrupting, yelling at me to put on a mask or leave the building.
I had no idea if they were going to call me again or if it was my tough luck that I lost out on the bed. They were more concerned about my lack of mask then the fact that I could have serious internal injuries. I was so upset I decided to go home and take my chances. It was pretty clear that it was more important to them that I wear a mask, then get treated for my serious injuries.
When I got home the urgent care doctor, who I had initially seen, left me a message and told me my injuries were more severe than she originally thought and I absolutely needed to go to ER. I was so upset I couldn’t think, I was in severe pain and didn’t think I would find a solution. My husband called another ER that was farther away and said he was taking me there.
When we entered the second ER, I again requested to speak to head nurse. I was allowed in and went to reception. They handed me a mask and I explain the situation. My husband decided he would put on the mask to keep the focus on me. They said they would call the nurse and to go ahead and sit in the waiting area.
The nurse called me in, and it was the same situation, she said they wouldn’t take me back for treatment without a mask. I still didn’t have one on, and interestingly she didn’t seem to care. She was listening to me regarding the accident and my injuries. She then said that in her opinion I needed immediate admittance as a trauma patient. At this point the mask issue seem to have been forgotten. I heard her calling someone and explaining my situation.
I was taken in immediately and at no point was the mask issue brought up again.
I was in that hospital for 24 hours, seen by about 20 medical people and only one of them asked me to put a mask on. I refused and his response was ‘well as long as you feel comfortable without one that’s fine.’
The only time I became uncomfortable and did something I really didn’t want to do, was when they told me I had to take a COVID test or they wouldn’t admit me. I initially refuse the test but was told I had no choice. I was in severe pain and far too afraid to leave the hospital in my condition over a COVID test. So, I consented to it.
I was discharged from the hospital the next day and then called the primary care doctor for a follow up appointment. This was the same network as the ER hospital so I assumed the mask wouldn’t be an issue. I requested accommodation on the phone but they refused. I was told I had to wear a mask in the building. I initially took the appointment, then called back and canceled it because I didn’t want to be seen by a doctor that forced masks.
So once again, the mask issue was causing me anxiety and making me hesitant to seek care. My injuries were stable and I considered taking my chances that I would recover, and not to bother with the follow up. But my health is important to me so wanted to try and find another doctor.
I decided to bypass the primary care doctor and go directly to an orthopedic surgeon as that was who ultimately needed to do follow up. I called another doctor and requested accommodation. The woman I spoke to told me nobody had ever requested this before. I was shocked. She was very kind and said she would check for me.
I waited a day for a return call. She called and left a message, and I called right back but when I ask for her the person on the phone said they would pull up my chart and let me know what was going on. She read my chart and told me I was going to be referred to neurology. I got panicky and said that no, I had called for orthopedic, not neurology and somebody needed to explain this to me. She said the nurse would call me back.
For the next 10 minutes I was in total panic because I thought they found a neurologic problem I wasn’t aware of. Finally, the original person I spoke to phoned me and said they had made a mistake reading my chart and I got an appointment with an orthopedist. I repeated my request for accommodation, and it was allowed. This appointment is not for a few weeks but I don’t anticipate any issues. I can sense when I’m speaking with reasonable people.
My accident and injuries were traumatic to me, but I almost didn’t seek care due to all the hassle of getting out of the mask requirement. From the beginning of the ‘pandemic’, I knew I would never put on a mask. I knew it was evil. I knew it was wrong. And I knew it would lead to bad things.
Now, over a year after the start of this thing, I’m not sure why everyone continues to comply. I can’t believe I’m the only person to request accommodation from a doctor’s office. I’m not even able to articulate why it is so important not to comply. I feel in my core that it simply cannot be done. I survived this entire episode without ever putting on a mask. In a way I almost risk my life for it. It surprised me to have that kind of power within my being.
—Maskless in the Northwest
I want to say thank you for this note. You have fill me with inspiration. Countless other readers will be filled with the same by your example. Friends will share this with friends. Family with family. Children with parents. People who never thought it possible to go maskless in their lives will suddenly make it possible.
That’s what it all comes down to: resolving to make it so and then following through.
Your summary of motivation is well put “I’m not even able to articulate why it is so important not to comply. I feel in my core that it simply cannot be done.”
All excellence starts like you indicate: not from a want or a preference, but from a need, a demand, a value, an insistence, a thing impenetrable.
Until The Four-Minute-Mile Was Run…
Until the four-minute-mile was run, it was considered impossible in the eyes of so many. After the four-minute-mile was run, four-minute-miles became nearly commonplace. The only thing that truly changed was the belief that it was possible. For some, dear Maskless in the Northwest, you have run the four-minute-mile and will inspire others to do the same. Thank you. You really cannot imagine the reach and impact your words will have.
I wish this were not the case. This is the time we live in though. These small, symbolic shows of bravery mean so much. They mean much to those who oppose you. They mean much to you when you make them. So much of the weight of the trillion dollar media machine has fallen upon each person’s shoulders and has convinced people that to be demoralized is the most logical path, to be apathetic, to be inactive, to be convinced that resistance is futile, so why resist?
Exactly that, so many have been convinced, is the logical path.
The Key To Defeating Yourself, So Your Enemy Need Not Lift A Finger
That’s called defeating yourself. No enemy need even lift a finger once you have defeated yourself. You are the trained elephant who as a baby was chained to a peg he couldn’t move. The elephant, now grown to the size of a small house, he tells himself he still can’t move it.
Those who would be the mightiest lions too do exactly that. I’m sure there are ways in my life that I do that too. The moment I spot them, I stop. I love to root them out, my false suppositions. Rooting them out hurts in a good way, a familiar way, a way that precedes awesome growth.
Dear lion, you are stronger then the peg you are chained to. You are smarter. You are more resilient. If I could just convince you that greater is that which is in you, then maybe I could convince you to take everything promised to you.
Dear lions reading this, I need you to act, to stop the tyranny in every corner of your life, to give no quarter to lies or excuses, to put the tyrant below your feet, the only place he belongs.
Dear Maskless in the Northwest, I am not surprised that you have encountered an office that never heard this request. So many have avoided that conversation rather than pushing it. I suspect the majority of Americans agree with you that masks are unsafe, ineffective, and a twisted form of experimentation.
It is okay for a silent majority to remain silent, but when that happens, we must be mindful of how nature abhors a vacuum and how those empty spaces will be filled by someone’s voice. Let us focus not on the collective though. Let us focus on the individual. In your own life, those moments will be filled by someone’s voice, someone’s preferences, someone’s values. It can be your voice. It can be another’s. The choice is yours. But it will certainly be someone’s, and if it isn’t yours, you will live a most unfree life.
What It Takes To Shout Down A Lynch Mob
Mark Twain believed one brave man could shout down a lynch mob of ten thousand. That is the strength of one man. He need not be in the majority. He need only be brave and willing to defend what’s right in the face of a mob.
Mobs won’t form in your state to tell you that you are wrong. They aren’t allowed, in fact, since they violate lockdown and social distancing orders to gather 10,000 in one place.
Instead a psychological battle is waged to convince you of your wrongness, your inferiority, the unpopular nature of your beliefs, to convince you that you are outnumber ten thousand to one so why even bother.
That’s what they want to convince you of. And if you accept that narrative then they have won. That’s all it takes. Likewise, if you refuse that narrative then they have not won, that’s all it takes.
Everything about this war is psychological. Nothing is kinetic. It can cross that line any time. Where we now stand, the brave man who refuses the narrative wins each interaction. That’s all that is needed of you.
Thank you for being a hero, Maskless in the Northwest. May your heroism infinitely ripple out, may your courage be so very contagious, may your valor be plentiful among those who encounter you.
Some Will Call What You Did “Stupid”
Some will call what you did “stupid.” I can picture the individual faces of the long entourage of people in my own life who would say such a thing.
They are people of preferences: they try to do what they prefer. They are not people of values. People of values refuse to tread upon their values.
You were willing to die for your values, Maskless in the Northwest. Thank you for your willingness to do that.
Some people are wired to make it easier for them to walk into battle and die than to stand up to someone enforcing a nonsense policy by exercising the verbal acuity to say “No, I do not consent to that,” and to say “Now, how do we negotiate this scenario?”
And then you appear to have played a game of chicken with the hospital personnel in which you may not have said aloud “I will sooner die than put on that mask,” but in which hospital personnel saw that to be the case. No doubt many people called you a fool, a radical, an extremist that night in back room conversation after back room conversation, until finally someone from the legal team probably said “Just let her in before she passes out and we have a lawsuit on our hands because of this face mask policy.”
That might have happened, or your diligence may have moved the heart of someone. Maybe it was more than a game of chicken. Maybe someone looked at you and said “I will not follow this policy.”
We are told to have the faith that moves mountains. You moved mountains. You moved what looked unmovable. How? Because you resolved that you would not move. You had faith that you would stay firm and that all would be okay.
What Your Wrote Me That Was So Different Than What So Many Others Write Me
One hundred people write me to tell me how immovable the medical mountain is. You write me to tell me how immovable your faith is.
One hundred people write me to tell me how big their problems are. You write me to tell me how big that which is in you is.
One hundred people write me to tell me how much evil there is in the world. You write me to tell me how much good you have on your side.
Do you see the difference? Because I do.
Distracting You — Through Nonsense, Through Irrelevancy, & Through Fear — Is All That Is Needed To Get You To Quash Your Own Dreams & For The Tyrant To Accomplish So Much
I don’t want you to focus on your problems. That is fear. I want you to focus on your values. Your ideals. Your outcomes. Your vision for the future.
All that is needed to make your vision for the future a pipe dream is for you to be distracted in how much adversity stands against you, how bad the odds are, how ugly the fight will be of some other nonsense pumped into the airwaves. That is all distraction. Distraction is all that is needed for the enemy to win.
Focus on the vision, address the petty troubles you encounter, all the while staying focused on YOUR vision, YOUR values, not their vision, or their values. With faith you can move mountains. But faith and fear cannot inhabit the same space. Fear is all it takes to displace faith, to distract the visionary, to distract from values. That is why fear fills the air around us, not because there is anything to fear, but because that is the most effective way to distract.
And there are other ways to distract. So many. You didn’t distract. You stayed so focused.
It didn’t require an arrest. It didn’t require a gun being fired. It didn’t require threats, yelling, or dramatic protestations (at least not based on your email). All a moment like this requires is resolve and courage. It requires focus and valor. It requires certainty and honor. I’ve said the same thing three times.
ALL YOU NEED TO DO TO FIGHT A TYRANT IS TO STAND ON YOUR VALUES AND REFUSE TO DO OTHERWISE.
Stay Focused On Your Values & You Will Live Life Free
I recognize this can seem easier said than done. There is a non-zero number of healthcare workers who would have sooner let you die than bent the face mask policy.
The truth is they don’t matter. They don’t control you. They control themselves and what services they provide to you. Don’t be convinced to allow yourself to be controlled by them. Nor should you try to control them. Stand your ground, have a conversation with them. Find common ground.
It’s no surprise so many free men are so good at negotiation. If you honor your fellow man and force is not an available option to you, suddenly conversation becomes a talent you learn to cultivate to accomplish what you need from others more effectively than any man with a gun could ever do. It’s not about eloquence, though that helps. It’s not about having the gift of gab, or a salesman’s trained and practiced ability to convince others. It’s about resolving to live the life of a free man. I’ve seen the most tongue-tied person fumble through conversation to get what he needed. It comes down to resolving to follow your values.
Once you get the hang of it, you realize it isn’t that hard at all to follow your values. It’s really the only option, in fact, for a person who refuses to live life by low standards. As you describe, you’d sooner die than live otherwise.
That is the resolve that makes life free.
Live Free Or Die Is Not A Request, A Threat, Or A Command, But A Reality Of Life
Live free or die is not a request to government to let you live free. It is a life choice to follow the two options open to the free man. You either follow your values as a man of resolve, or you die making that happen. Turning your values into preferences is not a third option open to the free man. To make the third option open is a guarantee that such a man will not live free.
The live free or die quote goes on to say: “Live Free or Die. Death is not the worst of evils.” To some, death is a lesser evil than cowardice. Those who think otherwise, are those those who are unable to live freely. They live in fear of the penalty of their values, they live in fear of the risk of death. They do not live in the liberating faith that following their values is just.
Such a hold of fear is hard for some to release.
The Superpower You Used To Save The Day
In contrast, dear Maskless in the Northwest, you stared death in the face and said you were unafraid of it. You stared a giant medical machine in the face and said you were not afraid of it. You stared the modern day lynch mob on the face and said you were not afraid of it.
You used your super power. You used the greatest of super powers. You used your faith — that courageous, fearless, certainty.
The lynch mob reminded you that they get to dispense the “law” and “justice” and mandates with reckless caprice, that they get to dispense life and death as freely as a blink of the eye, that they get to determine who gets to be personed and depersoned without a moment of conscience for how it will harm you. You shrugged your shoulders, you stared them in the face and showed no fear, only faith.
You Didn’t Flinch At The Challenge, You Stayed Focused On Your Values, Your Ideals, Your Desired Outcome
What a run around you went through. You went through a run around not 1 in 10,000 people would have went through. Which is exactly why mark Twain writes that one man can shout down a lynch mob of ten thousand.
But it mattered not to you the run around. You knew that nothing they could do to you would be worse than what you do to yourself when you resolve to live a life anything but free, anything but courageous, anything but driven by those values of yours.
How Mark Twain Describes You
You are the one in ten thousand that Twain writes about. And to the rest of the readers — if you would have done the same as Maskless in the Northwest, you too are that one in ten thousand. I beg you read every word excerpted here from the 22nd Chapter of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, because in it, Mark Twain so aptly describes that thing inside of you that makes you so different from the other ten thousand, that thing in you that makes adversity move out of your way.
This isn’t the the first time that has happened in your life, dear woman of virtue, dear Maskless in the Northwest. About that, I have no question. Adversity moves out of your way constantly. Out of your way is exactly where it belongs. Adversity moves out of the way of roused lions. Let’s see what Twain has to say about you. When the except below starts, a mob has formed and Sherburn is standing up to that mob.
Then pretty soon Sherburn sort of laughed; not the pleasant kind, but the kind that makes you feel like when you are eating bread that’s got sand in it.
Then he says, slow and scornful:
“The idea of you lynching anybody! It’s amusing. The idea of you thinking you had pluck enough to lynch a man! Because you’re brave enough to tar and feather poor friendless cast-out women that come along here, did that make you think you had grit enough to lay your hands on a man? Why, a man’s safe in the hands of ten thousand of your kind—as long as it’s daytime and you’re not behind him.
“Do I know you? I know you clear through was born and raised in the South, and I’ve lived in the North; so I know the average all around. The average man’s a coward. In the North he lets anybody walk over him that wants to, and goes home and prays for a humble spirit to bear it. In the South one man all by himself, has stopped a stage full of men in the daytime, and robbed the lot. Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people—whereas you’re just as brave, and no braver. Why don’t your juries hang murderers? Because they’re afraid the man’s friends will shoot them in the back, in the dark—and it’s just what they would do.
“So they always acquit; and then a man goes in the night, with a hundred masked cowards at his back and lynches the rascal. Your mistake is, that you didn’t bring a man with you; that’s one mistake, and the other is that you didn’t come in the dark and fetch your masks. You brought part of a man—Buck Harkness, there—and if you hadn’t had him to start you, you’d a taken it out in blowing.
“You didn’t want to come. The average man don’t like trouble and danger. You don’t like trouble and danger. But if only half a man—like Buck Harkness, there—shouts ‘Lynch him! lynch him!’ you’re afraid to back down—afraid you’ll be found out to be what you are—cowards—and so you raise a yell, and hang yourselves on to that half-a-man’s coat-tail, and come raging up here, swearing what big things you’re going to do. The pitifulest thing out is a mob; that’s what an army is—a mob; they don’t fight with courage that’s born in them, but with courage that’s borrowed from their mass, and from their officers. But a mob without any man at the head of it is beneath pitifulness. Now the thing for you to do is to droop your tails and go home and crawl in a hole. If any real lynching’s going to be done it will be done in the dark, Southern fashion; and when they come they’ll bring their masks, and fetch a man along. Now leave—and take your half-a-man with you”—tossing his gun up across his left arm and cocking it when he says this.
The crowd washed back sudden, and then broke all apart, and went tearing off every which way, and Buck Harkness he heeled it after them, looking tolerable cheap. I could a stayed if I wanted to, but I didn’t want to.
Even More Reason That You Have Nothing To Fear, Even If You Stand Before A Mob
Dear reader, dear lion, you have nothing to fear. The average man is a coward. If you have an ounce more courage than the average man, all you need to do is stand on your values.
Identify your boundaries, communicate your boundaries, defend your boundaries; identify your values, communicate your values, defend your values. You have in that process everything it takes not to be half a man, but to be a full man. That’s it.
Not to be half a man like Buck Harkness in this chapter, but to be a full man, like Sherburn. How to be a man who is able to shout down a mob, though he be vastly outnumbered.
The Mob You “Stood” Before Was Unseen By You, But Every Bit As Vile As A Mob, If You Would Just Allow It To Be So
Dear Maskless in the Northwest, when you stood before that hospital unmasked and declined to mask, you stood before an unseen army of adversaries who have spent many long hours putting systems and defenses in place so that you would be stymied. The entire public health apparatus of your state, the entire healthcare apparatus of that hospital, the overwhelming majority of the people in your community rallied together in a mob to say that all people were to mask in certain situations, no questions asked.
The number you stood against that night at the hospital may have well been over ten thousand. Hundreds were called to active service that night, put on alert, as they were made aware that they had a person standing against their policy. Someone standing against their hive-mind. They might even have a word for someone like you, a special tone of derision for those who think they are special.
Dear Maskless in the Northwest, I have news for them. You don’t think you are special. You know that you are special and your every action speaks that. It speaks as a threat to those who refuse to step into their specialness.
People you couldn’t even dream of were involved that night. The chief administrator of the hospital may have heard about you. The local union representative may have been called for advice, advice that he called others to clarify. The local health department may have been contacted. The board members may have heard about you. Even the chief of police and sheriff may have been notified of what you were doing.
The Mob Is Led By Halves Of Men
You see so many of them are led by the half-a-man Fauci, the half-a-man news anchor, the half-a-man public health director of your community, and an array of other halves-of-men in their lives. And all it takes to stand up to a mob led by a half a man is to do exactly what you did — to be the “man” that they aren’t, to show the courage that they don’t, to stand on the values that they don’t have. What they call values are in fact mere preferences to them.
Some people prefer not to wear a mask. They will go through all kinds of contortions not to wear one. But when push comes to shove, they will acquiesce. You hold a value to not wear a mask. It will not go on your face. At all cost, you will not let that happen. That is a value, not a mere preference.
You did even more than hold true to your values.
You Took It A Step Further & You Didn’t Do What Most People Do In Response To Conflict
At a moment of great tension, you stepped back, took a deep breath and said “Let’s try something else, because this stand-off isn’t working.”
At a moment like that, many people say to themselves “How do I compromise my values to resolve this situation?” To those who stand on their values, that is not an option. Because it is not an option, they try other things until they work, just as you did, but they do not compromise their values. The mind gets creative, as long as the soul doesn’t get weak.
You kept trying and trying and trying. You can see in your retelling how you kept trying to work things out against a bureaucratic machine. The machine has no values. It has no preferences. It is a thing. It is a collective. It has instructions and flow charts and all you had to do was to sway the right decision maker. That you did.
Your Strength Gave Others A Gift
And all along the way, you could have had any number of people make trouble for you. They didn’t have the guts. They didn’t have the heart.
THE ADHERENTS OF ALL TOTALITARIAN REGIMES LOSE HEART BEFORE THOSE REGIMES CRUMBLE.
It is the moral decay that they witness that so disrupts their conscience. Even those who once thought themselves conscienceless sociopaths find conscience in the face of one who refuses to break. The fun of breaking people becomes less fun when people won’t break.
All that is needed of us is to press on. Press on in the face of resistance. Press on when your values are under attack. If you press on, you prove them to be not preferences but values. Press on. Do not give in. Do not give into evil, but proceed ever more boldly against it.
Beware Of The Advice Of Distracting Drama Queens, For Drama Is Often A Symptom Of Cowardice
Anyone who talks about the need for guns in a moment like this is a drama queen. Anyone who talks about the need for violence is a drama queen.
The drama covers up their cowardice and distracts from it.
All that is needed is for lions to awake and to behave just like Maskless in the Northwest behaves: resolute, driven by her values, unwilling to make her values preferences.
Exactly that is all that is needed to free yourself from tyranny and to let those around you live more free as well.
You may not be able to change the world, but it will change the world as you know it and experience it. And that is the world that matters.
You don’t need to save the United States. You don’t need to save the planet. You don’t need to march to battle. You don’t need to take up arms. These are almost always collectivist distractions.
You need to stand up. Stand up in resolute obedience to your values. Stand up in your own life — the place where it can truly be scary to stand up, and the only place it matters.
If the free man can be mired down and demoralized by collectivist distractions, half the work of defeating him is done. The collective doesn’t matter. The collective isn’t in your control. Rise to the occasion in your life, rise to the occasion in the world around you, never give up, live faithfully and not fearfully. Follow these and you will never know the depths of hopeless tyranny. It is for want of a single good man that entire cities are destroyed.
You perhaps do not realize the power you have if you resolve to be that single good man, regardless of what anyone else is doing.
Be that good man.
They don’t matter.
Be that good man.
That’s all that matters.
Focus on battles that matter. If you are looking for techniques that can help you do that. Read “Face Masks in One Lesson”, my LewRockwell.com writing, and sign up for my email newsletter at RealStevo.com for videos, classes, and activism opportunities.