Image: Marvel Comics
USA – In the past few weeks, five states have considered passing a modified version of the infamous Superhuman Registration Act (SHRA). The SHRA’s most infamous sections–the ones forcing mutants to register with the government–have been removed. Yet the unmasking requirements remain.
Texas governor Greg Abbott commented, “All these people wearing masks are a danger to society. We can’t tell if they’re American citizens or if they’re aliens, we can’t see what expression they make when people talk politics, and we don’t know where they stand on the issues. Plus, no one can smell barbecue through their masks. I’m pretty sure that last one is a human rights violation and just terrible for business.”
A prominent physicist strongly supported the decision. He requested anonymity, but argued that all the fears about the SHRA were a stretch, and in stark contrast he thought the government and the business community had an iron will to enforce it.
One prominent mask-wearer said that he initially favored the initiative, although grew to believe unmasking was leading the country into a sticky situation, creating a web of controversy before the COVID pandemic fully Peters out.
The rest of the country is polarized. While no one has resorted to violence, there are genuine worries that the split over the SHRA may devolve into a Civil War that kills everything that represents what it means to be American.