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The memo went out, and now it’s apparently acceptable to question mask wearing and even, shockingly, whether people hesitant to get vaccines should be condemned. A recent “Saturday Night Live” skit has everyone talking as it discusses these topics and even outright asks, “Did any of us ever need the mask?”
The skit starring comedian John Mulaney, who’s known for poking fun at pretentious people, takes on lingering questions as most of the country moves on from the COVID-19 hysteria that’s dragged on for two years now. “COVID Dinner Discussion” does acknowledge that these topics are still taboo to discuss openly and makes that part of the bit.
It all opens with six friends, including Mulaney, dining in a restaurant and commenting on how nice it is to be out and about again. Then one of the diners brings up COVID-19 and things quickly turn tense.
After being reprimanded by her partner for bringing up a Bloomberg article questioning the efficacy of masks, the conversation plunges forward amid images of darkness and destruction for anyone daring to question the agreed-upon narrative. “It was just saying how mask mandates had, I don’t know, little to no effect on COVID …” comedian Heidi Gardner says in the skit.
“I am sorry! It’s not like I’m anti-mask or anything,” she continues with a laugh after each person at the table reacts dramatically by breaking a glass, making a face, or just hiding behind a cloth. “I just sometimes wonder if any of the things we did actually helped.”
“The science changed!” Aidy Bryant said later in the conversation as a way of defending the ever-changing stance of the CDC.
“How does science … change?” Kenan Thompson wonders. “When I make a mistake at work I don’t get to say the science changed.”
“Look, I went to a child’s birthday party, self-careful,” Kate McKinnon recalls, “and they did gymnastics in masks … (don’t) and then they went into another room and took off their masks to eat pizza — this is the end of me — so did they really need the mask or no? DID ANY OF US EVER NEED THE MASK?”
This utterance is met with the lights going out and people screaming. Because who could be so wrong about something so important for so long?
It’s a valid question that many of us have been asking for years. Then Mulaney starts in with even more dangerous observations about vaccines. Despite his friends pleading with him to stop talking, the comedian starts by acknowledging that vaccines “save lives” plus helped keep hospitals from being overrun. But then he asks if it was worth people losing their jobs due to vaccine hesitancy.
“Maybe sometimes we can be a little overzealous when we condemn,” Mulaney says. He finally concludes, “Did I have to dump my oldest friend because he didn’t get a booster?”
The skit coincides with some of the strictest states, including New York and California, lifting mask mandates amid plummeting polling numbers. It was also recently announced that attendees of President Biden’s State of the Union address Tuesday won’t need masks, either.
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