Increasing numbers of hospitals and other healthcare settings across the globe are dropping masks. Some folks are very concerned about what this means for public health, especially given that (a) rates of hospital acquired COVID in some areas are at higher levels than they have been since the start of the pandemic, and (b) research consistently shows that COVID is definitely not just a cold or flu. Despite all of the information we have about how destructive COVID can be on almost every bodily system, and despite the large numbers of people who are suffering from long COVID, some healthcare workers—like the ones featured in this video—are absolutely gleeful about ditching their masks. The Béziers Hospital Center, in Béziers, France recently created and posted this video of hospital staff looking almost creepily ecstatic as they hurl their masks to the floor. On their YouTube channel, they describe the video:
On May 8, 2020, the pandemic forced us to make wearing a mask compulsory everywhere and for everyone in the establishment. Three years later, to the day, we are lifting this obligation. Maybe it will have to win again in the future, but for now, let’s enjoy the pleasure of discovering or rediscovering each other again. To celebrate this event, our teams are happy to be able to remove it and prove it to you. in images, in pictures. We wish to pay tribute to them because they have remained mobilized and concerned for the good of all.
The Winslow Public Health Collective saw the video and tweeted their reply: “There are indeed 3 min 42 of scientific obscurantism in this video. The jovial denial of nosocomial infections by airborne contamination has nothing to envy to the antivax rhetoric, both are serious and culpable attacks on public health.” They also tweeted, “Endangering others. . . If you have any COVID risk disease (or if you want to stay healthy): avoid Béziers.” And they created a reaction video, explaining: “An error has crept into your video and we have taken the liberty of making a correction (thank you).” Enjoy this corrected video, which is just the original one played backward—everyone in the video is joyfully putting on their masks, looking thrilled to protect the health of folks visiting their hospital.
(NOTE: Please excuse any terrible translations of the original French from all of these posts. I used Google Translate, so blame that.)