‘Iowa nice’ means getting the shots while crowing for liberty

Far-right French politicians march in Paris Saturday in a demonstration against the mandatory COVID-19 health pass to access most public spaces. Photo by Stephane de Sakutin, Agence France Presse

There are certain stories that have historically drawn Iowans’ interest.

We’ve all seen the headlines about neighbors who come together to ensure crops are harvested after a farmer’s premature death.

The numerous GoFundMe donations helping strangers pay for needed healthcare.

Schools holding service days in which students complete tasks for the elderly or disabled in the community.

Walking for important causes—Alzheimer’s, cancer, suicide–because we care about our friends and family members and want a world where tragic diseases and mental illnesses are preventable or treatable.

Cries for change and justice are standard when children die in foster care.

Outrage when pets are mistreated or abandoned is the norm.

It’s impossible for me to reconcile this kind of “Iowa nice” that’s demonstrated by Iowans — the support of friends, family and strangers with not only money but also time and physical and emotional support — with the opposition to a vaccine (or mask) that accomplishes the exact same goals that we see in the examples above of helping fellow Iowans thrive.

So many of the personal stories we love to be a part of, to read about or financially contribute to, have the goal of improving others’ health and safety — of finding cures, providing food, ensuring the safety of the young, the old, our pets, the stranger down the street or of taking on tasks to provide a helping hand.

Iowans make sacrifices to help others. Sometimes very big sacrifices. It’s our history. Our story.

And, yet, without having to move a combine out of the machine shed or withdraw money from our bank account or sacrifice significant chunks of our time or walk or run for miles or complete chores or repairs for others — we can accomplish the same goal. We can help others’ health and well-being.

Our past behaviors have clearly demonstrated that we value health.

And we can meet this goal with a simple shot in the arm (or by donning a simple mask).

It’s an easy extension of the Iowa nice we’ve all either given or gotten in the past.

Is wearing a mask or getting a shot truly too much to offer your fellow Iowans when you’ve already delivered homemade meals, combined corn, organized bake sales, made online donations and so much more?

I am not a fan of Iowans who come barreling into the road, oblivious to the yield sign. That is not Iowa nice. But do I want to be right or to be dead? Do I want to kill others as I take my defiant stand that I’m not the one with the yield sign?

I yield to drivers who ignore their yield sign. I also wear a mask indoors in crowds, and I got the shots.

Liberties are not maintained from a graveyard. You can continue your fight for liberty while vaccinated and/or masked. Neither stops the spread of your viewpoints, but both are “Iowa nice.”


  1. You operate under two false premises.

    False premise #1: Masks and other face coverings protect you and others from a respiratory virus because they prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

    Truth: They do not.

    Fauci on March 8, 2020 on CBS News…QUOTE: “There’s NO REASON to be walking around with masks on. They DO NOT provide the level of protection we think they do.”

    False premise #2: If you do not wear a mask or get the shot and are a healthy individual, you will asymptomatically spread the virus everywhere, essentially prolonging and exacerbating the respiratory viral outbreak.

    Truth: Asymptomatic spread is not a driver of respiratory outbreaks. SYMPTOMATIC PERSONS ARE.

    Fauci in January 2020 on NPR… QUOTE: “Asymptomatic spread has NEVER been a driver of respiratory infections. The driver of outbreaks has ALWAYS been a SYMPTOMATIC person.”

    So Fauci, the person I’m confident you listen to for “expert advice”; the person the CDC and the media work alongside with, told you back in January 2020 that asymptomatic spread is NOT a driver of respiratory outbreaks.

    That means asymptomatic healthy persons DO NOT need to wear a mask to ‘prevent asymptomatic spread’, the mask that Fauci himself stated, “Does not provide the level of protection you think it does.” The mask that Fauci and Fauci-followers now claim EVERYONE must wear, healthy or not.

    And the national media I’m confident you listen to on a nearly daily basis- a media that parrots each other with nearly exact information no matter which channel you turn to, which should not occur if media truly was the ‘independent, investigative press’ they are supposed to be- this media aired these FACTS in January and March 2020. Then these facts were ignored as if January and March 2020 never existed. Hmmm. Why is that?

    Listen carefully to how the media and the CDC and CDC-following health departments and Fauci and Fauci-followers suddenly changed course in mid-March 2020 and got around these inconvenient factual statements. They suddenly began saying and STILL SAY TODAY, “Asymptomatic persons CAN spread the virus to other people.” …CAN spread.

    Well, you CAN die from drowning if you jump off a boat in the middle of a lake with no life jacket on and swim.

    You CAN die in a car accident every time you turn the ignition key and start a vehicle.

    You CAN kill someone by driving 65-75 mph on highways and interstates. Speaking of this topic, why do we allow those speed limits? Do we not care about the health and safety of our fellow citizens? Why don’t we MANDATE and strictly enforce a 40 mph or less speed limit on all roads everywhere, because ‘just one death on the highway is one too many, and we must do everything in our power to prevent even one road death’. Never mind that mandates are UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Never mind that we have a CONSTITUTIONAL law-making process that MUST BE FOLLOWED.

    This word usage- asymptomatic persons CAN spread the virus- is done on purpose to keep you in this constant state of fear and panic. It’s like saying, “You CAN catch germs from people WHEN YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE BEING AROUND PEOPLE.”

    Why this word usage? So GOVERNMENT can rescue you. You know, like the “American Rescue Plan”. Notice how it was named? First you need convinced that you need rescued. Then, poof! More government to the rescue! Now you’re conditioned to LOSE YOUR LIBERTY for security- a fake security I might add.

    Why does the media trumpet ‘positive cases’ data and ‘raw number deaths’ data but never THE FATALITY RATE PER MILLION POPULATION data? Hmmm.

    Did you know Iowa had nearly twice as many cancer deaths than ‘death WITH covid’ in 2020? ~6000 cancer deaths vs ~3000 ‘deaths with covid’. Why are these statistics- number of positive cases of cancer; number of hospitalizations from cancer; daily cancer deaths- not listed on the TV screen ON A DAILY BASIS, but the daily ‘deaths with covid’ and related covid stats ARE listed DAILY?

    They have you and over half the country so hoodwinked
    over a virus that has a less than 1% death rate that you are now writing letters imploring Iowans to just be ‘Iowa nice’ and put the mask on! Just be ‘Iowa nice’ and get the shot!

    Just ignore the FACT that masks do not provide the level of protection we think they do…straight out of Fauci’s mouth.

    Just ignore the FACT that asymptomatic spread is not a driver of respiratory viral outbreaks…straight out of Fauci’s mouth!!

    One final note, which wasn’t a subject of your letter but needs stated. Let’s call the vaccine what it really is- a shot. Like the flu shot. This so-called vaccine does not ‘cure you from covid’. You can still get covid. Vaccinated people are still getting covid, and some vaccinated people are still being hospitalized from covid.

    So any comparison between mandating this shot and being required to get the polio vaccine or measles vaccine to go to school just doesn’t work. The covid SHOT does NOT inoculate you and prevent you from getting covid, EVEN IN THE SHORT-TERM!

    Vaccines such as the polio and measles vaccines DO inoculate you in a long-term manner from getting polio and measles.

    Also, kudos to Governor Reynolds and our state legislature for using a so-called ‘top-down’ approach to ensure that ALL individual citizens have a CHOICE about masks and THE SHOT.

    It is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ situation when you PASS LAWS MANDATING INDIVIDUAL CHOICE. It IS a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when you MANDATE THAT EVERYONE WEAR A MASK AND GET THE SHOT. If you want to wear a mask and get the shot, NO ONE IS STOPPING YOU- especially Governor Reynolds. That cannot be called ‘one-size-fits-all’.

    If a locality mandates that everyone wear a mask and get a shot, THAT IS A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACH. It doesn’t matter that it’s at the local level! It doesn’t matter that it’s ‘not at the State level’. It’s still ‘one-size-fits-all!

    Governor Reynolds is making sure that localities DO NOT MANDATE ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL APPROACHES- especially approaches involving masks and asymptomatic spread that the facts already refute.

    I’m being Iowa nice by telling the truth.

    I suggest you purchase The Faucian Bargain. You’ll actually get fed the truth.

    • Mr. Brix, since you appear in your lengthy comment to address in part the recent school board story as well as Ms. Stebbin’s column, I will make a few remarks in reply as the author of the former.

      You appear to labor under a common misunderstanding: You seem simplistically to think that if a face mask is not 100% effective in preventing viral transmission, then it must be 0% effective. Your reasoning is faulty. When combined with other precautions, masks are highly effective, which is why Dr. Fauci and the CDC continue strongly to recommend them and why many organizations require them in particular circumstances. This is so obvious as to be beyond dispute.

      Since you are not an immunologist or an infectious-disease doctor, and neither am I, there is not much point in trying to debate the science of symptomatic versus asymptomatic transmission. I would simply observe that you put all possible pressure on two statements from Dr. Fauci, made 18 and 20 month ago respectively, as if these were graven in stone and beyond any and all revision in light of fuller knowledge. Biblical language might work that way for simpleminded people, but scientific language does not. The pandemic was just beginning when Dr. Fauci made those statements — which, for argument’s sake, we will assume that you are not misrepresenting, although that would need confirming. Dr. Fauci has said many other things since he said those things. The reasonable course is to take all his statements into account, particularly his most recent statements because these are most fully informed, and to use these statements to guide our actions. This, too, is obvious.

      You appear compelled to deny these truisms for political purposes. I cannot quite make out what your political purpose is, but it is at any rate beside the point of these public-health questions. For instance, you mention the “national media” and the “word usage” that have “hoodwinked” us into a state of “fear and panic” in order, apparently, that we should “LOSE [OUR] LIBRERTY” through “UNCONSTITUTIONAL” means and so forth and so on. It seems to me that this is all of a piece, even down to the all-caps, with much Trump/QAnon/conspiracist rhetoric. You appear willing, like all the Trump/QAnon/conspiracist types, to deny the simplest and most patent realities, to call black white, to deceive and misinform, all for political purposes, as if your political enemies cooked up a virus hoax in order to deprive you of essential liberty. America’s liberties might well be at risk, but the danger lies elsewhere than in your lurid fables.

      Here is another of your untruths: “The covid SHOT does NOT inoculate you and prevent you from getting covid, EVEN IN THE SHORT-TERM!” Your claim is again patently false. I say this as a layman. As I understand it, the Pfizer vaccine, for instance, showed a 95% effectivity rate in clinical trials. In other words, it is very effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. In cases where infection does occur, the vaccine greatly reduces the likelihood of serious illness or death. Vaccination is by far our strongest prophylaxis. That is why all rational people are urging everyone to get the shots. That you deny these truisms is troubling. You might be Trump nice or Reynolds nice, but you are certainly not Iowa nice.


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