Ignoring Them Is the Only Way Out

An usher holds a sign reminding spectators of mask mandates during an NBA playoff game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, Calif., June 6, 2021. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
When does COVID abnormalcy end? When we end it.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE W e can’t obey our way to normalcy. That shouldn’t surprise people as historically unruly as Americans. Obedience is often abnormal for us.

But it remains true in a pandemic. There is no guarantee of getting out of or beyond COVID-19–era mortifications on public life — masks on toddlers, socially distanced funerals — by compliance with public-health wishes. Nobody in the White House, CDC, or the public-health bureaucracy has put a number on shots in arms that get us back to normalcy. They don’t know. And now their minds are too rattled by the Delta-variant wave to speculate. As we’ve seen in

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