Update: the MTA got a LOT of pushback on its mask signage, and it looks like they replaced it with this:
So, I have to ask, why didn’t they figure this out in the first place? Wouldn’t you think we’ve got enough to contend with without spending energy on bone-headed nonsense? Nonetheless, I’m glad we don’t any longer (knock wood), have to put up with the first iteration (below).
Really, Governor Hochul? You let these signs go up on your watch?
As I hope readers here can readily see, the new MTA signs upon lifting of the mask mandate on public transportation in New York are truly terrible. As Gregg Gonsalves noted: “Hard to tell the satires apart from the real thing.” [cite] Gonsalves works at Yale “focusing on operations research/epidemiology for infectious disease. In the real world: been an AIDS activist for ~30 yrs.”
I used this as an occasion to call the Governor’s office, as well as my State Assemblyperson and Borough President. I hope the latter two will weigh in with the Governor also, as they have bigger megaphones than I.
Meanwhile, over on social media, Gregg Gonsalves spotted and circulated these parodies (caution: not for the faint of heart).
I think they make the point quite . . . graphically, don’t you?
Thank you also to Jonathan Reiner, Professor of Medicine and Surgery and Interventional Cardiologist at The George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences, for weighing in specifically on “you do you”:
You know, it’s not as if there aren’t a gazillion things wrong in our world today, but can’t we at least be smart about the simple things we should be able to get right?
Please, Governor Hochul, tear down those signs!
For a far more intelligent approach to Covid, here’s Bob Wachter, Chair of the Department of Medicine at USCF, and a member of my personal Covid A-Team, on what he is doing right now:
Update as of September 15, 2022:
Kudos to Assemblyperson Danny O’Donnell and his staff for responding and working to get the signage changed. His office is the only one that has responded to my request. The staff member (with whom I had an email exchange and who then called me to make sure I could get through the MTA comment labyrinth to do what she suggested) said that it would be helpful to their efforts if anyone who is concerned wrote to the MTA directly. I alerted a number of people on this. Several have written the MTA. One that I know of has received a response (I have not yet, though receipt was acknowledged). This is what the MTA wrote to that person:
“As you may be aware, we did have signage and a media campaign, as you suggested, showing the correct way to wear a mask circulating throughout the pandemic (attached); and they have not yet been entirely removed from system.
“However, effective September 7, 2022, New York State has lifted the mask requirement on public transit for customers as well as employees. Masks are now optional on all forms of public transportation, including subways, buses, commuter railroad, and paratransit services.
“To spread awareness of this change, we’ve rolled out a new campaign that encourages riders to do what they prefer. It was not the intention to be insensitive or flippant to a very real and dire situation. We apologize, and will consider your concerns in future campaigns. Please be assured that free masks will continue to be available at subway station booths upon request as well as on commuter railroad trains
“We do take the concerns of our customers very seriously. We hope that this information is helpful.”
It is a first, tiny step, but of course not sufficient. I do wonder how much of our taxpayer dollars were spent on this benighted campaign. I want a refund, as should we all!