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5 ideas for teens next time Ron DeSantis makes fun of masks | Column
Remain completely calm. Or find a garbage bag for your head.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to a group of students during a news conference Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at the University of South Florida Tampa. Prior to speaking Gov. DeSantis told the students that they didn’t need to wear masks.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to a group of students during a news conference Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at the University of South Florida Tampa. Prior to speaking Gov. DeSantis told the students that they didn’t need to wear masks. [ WTSP ]
Published Mar. 4|Updated Mar. 4

It felt like, for a minute, the public had arrived at a more reasonable juncture in our cross-party pouting. Didn’t it? With new Centers for Disease Control guidance and COVID-19 cases decreasing, though not yet gone, tempers had cooled. Feel secure without a mask? Carry on, with respect to your neighbors, please. Want to wear a mask? You go, Glen Coco.

But then Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis got all Animal House about it. By now, you’ve probably seen the footage of Florida’s top official talking to high school students visiting the University of South Florida on Wednesday like they were Kappa pledges.

“You don’t have to wear those masks,” he said. “Please take them off. Honestly, this is not doing anything. We’ve got to stop with this COVID theater. ... So if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”

Related: Readers are furious with how DeSantis treated masked-up high school students

The tone was very DO THE POUND SYRUP CHALLENGE, KYLE, OR YOU’RE OUT OF SPRING FLING. KAYLEE IS GOING, SO THINK HARD ABOUT IT. Then he made fun… of… France?

So, that was pretty weird!

While political gaffes usually blow over, we can never be too careful. Just when things seem calm, agitated politicians will grasp at any opportunity to divide us and pump up voter bases. They will lurk around the Faber College dorms to make freshmen run naked through the quad. Be prepared with these ideas:

1. Stare. This is a powerful tool. Have you ever been on the receiving end of someone’s tirade? Nothing makes a ragey person more upset than remaining completely calm. We’re talking Mariah Carey levels of unbothered, OK? The ragey person will eventually shout, “SAY SOMETHING!” and spittle might fly, but you are safely in a literal and metaphorical mask. You will hold your ground, smiling with your lips closed, and say, “Fury? I don’t know her.” Bonus tip: This approach also works splendidly with email.

2. Keep a spare garbage bag in your pocket. If someone, anyone, tells you to remove your mask and you don’t want to, simply reach for the Hefty bag and place it over your head. You can make eye holes, but it might be nice to just enjoy the darkness.

Related: DeSantis mischaracterizes the efficacy of face masks in comments to students

3. Say, “Oh, no, it’s the giant monsters from A Quiet Place, here for the slaughter!” Point and cause a distraction. In the kerfuffle, sneak out and head to the nearest campus Subway for a tasty Italian BMT sandwich, because you don’t have time for this foolishness.

4. Any song from Hamilton usually breaks tension!

5. Say, “Nah, I’m good.” Then smile under your mask, though no one can see it.

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