A sea of smileless faces in New York

Author: Melissa Toro

It’s a beautiful sunny day here in NY, unusually spring-like for fall and yet I’m surrounded by a sea of smileless faces on adults and children cut off from the great outdoors. Fresh sea salt air at the beach, crisp earth smells on the bike paths, and smiles along the hiking trails in the local state parks are cut off by 99% of the passerby zombies packing their face pasties. 

One couple on this particular day is sitting on a bench at the bay front, taking in breathtaking views of the bay ironically, and sadly from behind N95 masks. Another couple walks the shoreline adorned in glasses, a face shield, masks, hats AND latex GLOVES without anyone near them for miles and a warm 74 degree sunshine. 
A family of three poses against the trees taking a selfie with a “say mask” look into the camera. In the field nearby with no one around, another mom played with her baby who sat in the grass as she danced around and cutely waved around her arms for a second I thought finally some normalcy but NOPE….big giant black deprivation device on her face as she turned her head. A face her child needs to see to mirror, learn, and bond with her mother. 
Top this off with plastic hugging contraptions for grandparents. Candy chutes for trick-or-treaters. Infants once said not to co-sleep or have a blanket are masked under plastic stroller canopies. And I think to myself what a NOT so wonderful world. I mean what would Neil Armstrong think about all of this wonder and beauty lost?
Living in NY under the Cuomo regime I’m fully aware of HOW we got here, but  still throughout each and every single day for hundreds of days now I can’t help but say “HOW did people like this really get here”? How did a state and country GET HERE mentally?  Cutting themselves off from nature, the outdoors, and humanity without an ounce of doubt in their mind about a piece of cloth or paper being necessary as their new appendage to connect to the outside world. 
I go through waves of sadness and anger, grief and despair on a daily basis. What adds to it is being able to attend the few restaurants that still welcome us without masks, with owners and wait staffs we’ve known for years,  suffering underneath theirs. They say how much they hate them but have to. How they wish they would go away already, but the harassment from the liquor authority haunting them almost on the daily. One waiter in particular wrenches my heart, he’s a veteran. He served tours for this country to return home to this tyranny and treason by the country he loves. 
Do you love your country? Is it tearing you apart knowing we face the possibility of a federal mandate being bragged about by one of the nominees and his selected VP? Ignoring our pleas for preserved freedom and bodily autonomy…our cries as parents for our children and their future as they’re surrounded by a world cut off from them faceless and emotionless. Have you seen the class that they’re offering to teach them expressions through masks. Is this really the world we want for them?
There’s a saying going around…”It stops when we all say NO”. We formed Bare Face is Legal to say NO-and to gather the ALL in saying no. In just a month or so we had over 36,000 Bare Face folks saying no, showing up physically saying NO donning their bare face. Spreading awareness and advocating in saying NO not just with words, but with action. Showing up everywhere, especially out in nature, without a MASK. Advocating in stores across the nation despite their signs, and despite their ignorance of the actual law.
Recently many of you already know that Facebook shut our group Bare Face Is Legal down after much censorship and back review of posts. Beyond setting up groups, and with the looming possibility of a presidential nominee whose first order of masks is to mandate them federally it’s come time that we communicate in other areas like our website www.BareFaceIsLegal.org and our new group Bare Face Is Legal 2.0
To keep showing our faces in places where like above, people have forgotten that this is a possibility for them too. Enjoying the fresh air as it was intended and expressing our freedoms in past times of peaceful and effective civil disobedience. Even if you’re the only one at the park, or the supermarket…and your heart is pumping a mile a minute as some people have expressed do it anyway. Because our future depends on this now more than ever. It’s time we all say NO.
As for places like New York and Arizona where the choke hold is only getting tighter, we are in dire need of taking action legally against the tyranny. Against the constitutional rights, our ADA rights, and our civil rights that are being violated each and every day while federal mandates are enticed across the nation. To take this action we need to come together financially as a community. We need to rebuild our community member numbers back up to 36,000 plus people and beyond. Where chipping in just a dollar will give us financial footing to hire attorneys.
Be sure to find our new places on the interwebs. And be sure to show us your Bare Faces. We’re very proud to be the largest anti-mask group in the nation and now the time has come to come together even stronger than before.