A Journo Who Was Shut Down By Dan Andrews Over Her Questions About Masks Has Become A Huge Meme
“What’s the issue, Rachel? Seriously. What’s the issue? Why is it such a massive issue to have to wear a mask?"
Just a few months ago, ABC journalist Andrew Probyn became a huge meme after Scott Morrison told him to stop asking so many damn questions during a press conference.
Now, another journo is facing the same issue, with Dan Andrews shutting down Rachel Baxendale, The Australian‘s Victorian political reporter for asking all the wrong questions during yesterday’s press conference regarding the current state of Victoria’s coronavirus pandemic.
While addressing MP Bill Tilley’s Facebook post calling for an ease on mask restrictions following a drop in COVID-19 cases, the Victorian premier explained that he was aware that while masks can be “not pleasant to wear”, the feeling was nothing compared to people being locked in their homes or needing machines to breathe.
In response, Rachel Baxendale immediately posed the very specific, hypothetical question: “If someone was by themselves in regional Victoria going for a walk, and there’s no one else in the same square kilometre as them, it’s a bit silly for them to have to wear a mask, isn’t it?”
But instead of answering the question and entertaining the scenario, Dan Andrews just immediately shut The Australian journalist down. “What’s the issue, Rachel? Seriously. What’s the issue? Why is it such a massive issue to have to wear a mask?,” the Premier asked.
“The fact that it serves no health purpose if they’re not in contact with another human being,” Rachel Baxendale responded. Continuing to quash Rachel’s anti-mask tangent, Dan Andrews stated that it was currently irrelevant as it’s an esoteric debate, that the majority of Victoria could only hope to one day be able to have if COVID-19 got under control.
Dan "But what's the issue Rachel … seriously"
Rachel "y'know" Baxendale with the ridiculously specific question. Again.
— Squizz (@SquizzSTK) September 28, 2020
While there are probably hundreds of random scenarios that one could think of where a mask isn’t exactly necessary, it does seem like a waste of time to bring them up during a press conference about a pandemic plaguing a state.
Sure, you may think a mask might not be necessary in certain situations, but it literally doesn’t hurt anyone to put on a mask just to be safe. However, Rachel Baxendale believes that her question was reasonable and not esoteric at all.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in regional Vic who wound't regard it as an "esoteric" question. Particularly in parts of the state where they either haven't had a COVID case for weeks, or have never had one.
— Rachel Baxendale (@rachelbaxendale) September 28, 2020
But the #WhatsTheIssueRachel meme proves that Rachel is pretty alone in this thought. Quickly after the press conference aired, #WhatsTheIssueRachel started to trend as people begun to share their own obscure hypothetical questions to see whether they too, could find a loophole to somehow get out of Victoria’s compulsory mask mandate.
Taking the absolute piss out of Rachel’s original question, people begun to make up their own bonkers scenarios to highlight the ridiculousness of Rachel Baxendale’s original hyper-specific question.
If I'm Parachuting into Victoria and I'm the only one jumping out of the plane, do I need to have a mask on the whole way down, when I get 5km from the surface or just before landing… #WhatstheissueRachel
— Pauly D (@DK_Flipper) September 28, 2020
If Venus is in retrograde but a crescent moon is waxing gibbous, should I wear a mask while looking through my telescope if I have my left leg raised in the air? #WhatstheissueRachel
— I am AntiFa (@RichardTuffin) September 29, 2020
If I wake up tomorrow in regional Victoria and I am a mask, will I be fined if I'm not wearing a person, and when will you apologise for this? #WhatsTheIssueRachel
— PRGuy (@PRGuy17) September 28, 2020
— Uniballer (@AKatsonis) September 28, 2020
If I'm wearing a beige cardigan on a Tuesday morning, standing on one leg and there are ducks in the nearest body of water to my great-grandfather's grave and I am wearing red sneakers and there are more than 7 trees, do I still have to wear a mask?#WhatsTheIssueRachel
— Matt (@realmattslager) September 28, 2020
— They said (@TheySaid01) September 28, 2020
If I'm alone in the outback and a camel walks by, followed by 3 wombats, and if the lights from a road train hurt my eyes…
Should I still wear my mask 🤔
— Michelle🧙♀️FromTheWest (@MichelleOC13) September 28, 2020
If nobody is around within 1km, why can't I walk the streets naked?#WhatstheissueRachel
— sdimsim (@officialdimsim) September 28, 2020
One person likened the hypothetical to if someone was driving and no one else was around, with Rachel’s same argument there would be no need for someone to obey traffic lights. Similarly, the idea that just because no one else is on the road and you’ve not had an accident before doesn’t mean we should get rid of seatbelts all together.
Masks, like stop lights and seatbelts, are there as an added safety measure. Sure, we might not need them all the time but they sure do make things a hell of a lot safer.
So just wear a mask for the sake of yourself and others. It really isn’t that hard.