Fellow New Yorkers: It’s time to move on — to unmask ourselves and our kids

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My fellow New Yorkers, you know what we are doing is crazy: Unmask. It’s time. It’s long past the time.

What happened to us? How are we entering summer 2021, with many of us still masked, despite all the evidence suggesting we should stop?

There was never any need to wear masks outdoors. Even Dr. Anthony Fauci admits that, yet on every street there are people, often alone, continuing to wear a mask.

Some stores continue to require masking, even as nearly 70 percent of New Yorkers are vaccinated.

And our kids suffer most of all, as the science-denying teachers union and a union-captive Department of Education demand children stay masked on 90-degree days, even during recess outdoors.

It’s a mass hysteria, and it’s terrifying.

It’s also very un-New Yorker to act this way — to not stand up for what is right, to go along to get along. Where are my tough, uncompromising, free-thinking New Yorkers to stand up and shout, “No, I won’t do this anymore”?

How are there not more people proclaiming loudly, “I’m vaccinated, and I believe in the vaccines, so I won’t be wearing a mask”? Or “kids should have never been masked in the first place, so mine won’t be wearing one”?

Why do I care if traumatized or virtue-signaling people continue to mask? Because it affects us all. Decisions are made for all of us, because so many people won’t move on.

Last weekend, I took my 8-year-old son to a birthday party in Prospect Park. It’s thrilling that children’s birthday parties are back. I can’t wait to get sick of them again. But in our jubilation, we shouldn’t accept public insanity.

It was a roller-skating party. You had to wear a mask to pick up the skates. You could remove the mask to put them on. But then the mask had to be back on to actually roller skate — outdoors. It was 93 degrees, and the masks were a disgusting, sweaty mess.

Yet when it came time for cake, attendees left the spacious rink and crowded into a tight area, where we ate, sang and blew our aerosols all over each other. It just makes no sense.

New Yorkers are trained in the art of spotting and avoiding scams from a young age. We know no one ever wins at three-card monte. We know never to take the “free” CD from the guy in Times Square. We know the guy claiming he just needs money for a bus ticket to Rochester will still be here a year from now.

Yet we continue to accept that safety lies in wearing a mask for the 3 feet to the restaurant hostess-stand but removing it for our meal. We pretend that masking while riding a bike or running makes an iota of difference.

Masking has become a religion, and like most new faiths, it isn’t very well thought-out — or humane.

In the aftermath of other tragedies, not least 9/11, we came together with courage and cohesion. But COVID has nearly destroyed us. Now we are fearful of each other. Angry. Doing stupid things and forcing others to do them, too.

I’ve lived in New York nearly my entire life. I remember the bad ’80s, the wild ’90s, the sterile 2000s. We had ups and downs. We suffered and we celebrated.

This is the worst New York I’ve ever known. It is suspicious and divided, broken and refusing to heal.

It would go a long way to see each other’s faces again. To smile at each other. To not see each other as disease vectors but as fellow citizens. To acknowledge what we collectively went through, process the trauma together and move on as the greatest city in the world.

We can do this. But it has to start with letting go of our security-blanket masks and acknowledging the mistakes we made. Let’s get back to who we were before the virus, before bad decisions by politicians and tyrannical “experts” broke us. Let’s be New Yorkers again.

Twitter: @Karol

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