Across the country, anti-vaccine and anti-mask demonstrations are taking scary and violent turns, and educators, medical professionals and public figures have been stunned at the level at which they have been vilified for even stating their opinion. And they have been terrified over how far protesters will go in confronting leaders outside their homes and in their workplaces.
“The heat definitely got turned up this week,” said Shannon Portillo, a county commissioner in Kansas who was berated at a meeting [August 18] in which the board mandated masks indoors for unvaccinated children. “It got much more hostile than anything I had seen.”
In Kansas, commissioners in Douglas County in the Lawrence area were confronted with an angry, mostly unmasked crowd [August 18] before they mandated indoor public masks for 2- to- 12-year-olds who are too young to be vaccinated. During four hours of public comment, opponents invoked the Holocaust, the Taliban and Japanese internment camps.
As the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor, Portillo was outraged at the comparisons.
“It is really insulting to families all over who lost loved ones in genocides,” she said.