December 3rd, 2020

Protection needed from virus and ignorance

By Letter to the Editor on October 30, 2020.

We seem to be hearing and seeing the COVID mask deniers in the media too often. This is what I explained to a local media anchor. What they are not showing us is the stress these dopes are causing everyone in the retail industry as well as to those who think it’s the best we can do for now to stop potential spread.

People who know me know I usually speak my mind; however, up until recently I have kept my comments to myself. Not any more. The anti-maskers, I have said forever, are showing their lack of intelligence by advertising their ignorance in public places … places they have no business being without a mask. I also say they are just waiting for someone to say anything to them so they can then speak out about their ignorance and cause a disturbance.

There will be more of these disturbances because I, as many, have had enough of listening to the dysfunction of our community, especially after seeing the idiots that barged into city hall. Lock them up, they are spreading false information while infecting each other and others.

I can’t imagine how awful it is to put on a mask so someone can enter a gas bar for smokes and lottery tickets. The staff of these places are not paid to reinforce a bylaw. They have witnessed much aggression from these fools. They need protection from the virus and the ignorance.

The handling, or should I say mishandling, of this pandemic resembles somewhat of a rudderless ship.

Pat Berthelot

Lethbridge County

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Andrew Blair

Well Pat, I wonder if you are too quick to call anti-maskers “dopes”. By dismissing them out of hand perhaps you’ve gotten the wrong impression. I’ve encountered many anti-maskers, and not one of them appeared unintelligent to me. But perhaps you encounter different people.

Here’s a recent article that I think has a pretty good perspective on this: What do you think?


good article andrew, thank you.


^^^Here’s a couple idiots for ya, Pat!
Actually a couple of d-bags…Blair wants you to read his crap, but when confronted with facts, always needs ‘a little bit more’ info, because it doesn’t line up his crap.
phlushie is a jr. high dropout./..phlushie down the toilet/

Last edited 1 month ago by h2ofield
Andrew Blair

So can you give some reasons why you think that article is crap? Or are you just dismissing it because you think I’m an idiot? 

As for phlushie being a junior high dropout, so what? What’s your educational level, and why do you think it makes you more intelligent than phlushie?


Well Andrew, anything that remotely goes against what pros like Tam suggest are dismissed.
as for flushie, he quote “knows where I live” and calls me by first name, yet hides.

Last edited 1 month ago by h2ofield

As for your link, (some well written hot air), this just isn’t the time to look back at the social and economic implications, as so many are eager to do. Blaming the response doesn’t work right now. Doing what we can as individuals, including not passing on bullsh!t should be priority.

Last edited 1 month ago by h2ofield
old school

Since masking became mandatory in some large centres ,Covid
cases went up.So how effective are they?
In beginning ,when Hinshaw had no masks(coincidently),she said they don’t help.Now you ,Pat are an advocate because big brother now says it will s5op Covid.Seems you mite have blinders on along with yer mask!


“Since masking became mandatory in some large centres ,Covid
cases went up.So how effective are they?”
–it’s all about compliance and not how effective they are.

“In beginning ,when Hinshaw had no masks(coincidently),she said they don’t help.”
-everybody flip-flopped in this…7 months^t happens in an ongoing pandemic.

“Now you ,Pat are an advocate because big brother now says it will s5op Covid.Seems you mite have blinders on along with yer mask!”

  • ‘mite’? Big Brother? Now ‘yer’ just being an old school fool.
Last edited 1 month ago by h2ofield

Like it or not, there is a mask bylaw in Lethbridge. Argue all you want, write all the letters you want, post all the links you want, it won’t change the fact that there is a mask bylaw in Lethbridge. If you want to get the bylaw changed, go through the proper channels and good luck to you. Walking into a business without a mask because you think you are smarter than everyone else, or to prove a point, really only makes you look like an ignorant dope. And dope is too kind a word. This letter makes a good point that what you’re doing is only adding stress to the staff and the other customers. Nobody in the store cares about what you think or how many articles you can point to that agree with your way of thinking.

Andrew Blair

I’m not advocating walking into businesses without a mask. What I most object to in Pat’s letter is the claim that there is too much anti-masking content in the media. I think, on the contrary, that what we need is a healthy, high-quality democratic debate. You pro-maskers could help by engaging in a civil manner. 

I do not know whether a healthy democratic debate would help to change the law, but I do think that it would help the politicians make evidence-based decisions. If all the evidence points to mandatory masking I don’t mind being compliant. But, as it is, there is too much fear-based social pressure being placed on the law-makers. The effectiveness of masking in reducing the spread of the virus is scientifically questionable, but, in addition to that, there are a wide variety of harms. One of these is the stress and divisiveness caused by making masks mandatory. You place all the blame on what you call the “ignorant dopes”. But how do you know what are the harms that people are suffering if you are not prepared to listen to them? Sure, I get it, the stores have to follow the law, and get on with their business. I have no objection to that. But you say “nobody in the store cares about what you think”. Come on, can’t we work toward a more caring society than that? Have you read the article I linked to?


I just read the article. I’m not sure what response you expect. It’s a very well written opinion piece that basically says nothing important. It certainly doesn’t change my mind or open my eyes to anything new. For me it all boils down to the fact C-19 is contagious, and contagious in a way influenza is not. Sepsis? Sepsis is not contagious. Has the world over-reacted to C-19? Maybe, I’m not the one to say. It’s also foolish to say something like this needs democratic debate. Like it or not, we elect “regular” people to manage our society. They then hopefully will get the best advice they can to make decisions. We’re presently supposed to wear masks in public. Big deal. Wear them. I appreciate that you are willing to wear them if mandated. I just don’t understand expending time and energy taking it up as some kind of cause. And for the record, the people I’ve seen in stores not wearing masks and trying to defend themselves, have looked and sounded like complete dopes. And again, dopes is too nice a word.

Andrew Blair

Thank you for reading the article. I think there is more in it than you found, but let’s not get hung up on that. I’m appreciative of the fact that you were willing to read it.

I would like to give you three reasons for why it is not foolish for there to be democratic debate about issues such as this. This is a big topic, and much more could be said.

First, the politicians may indeed have made the best decision at the outset given the evidence available at the time. But without healthy democratic debate they get locked into their initial position. When public opinion gets cemented they cannot then turn around and say that their initial policy was mistaken because that would undermine their authority.  

Second, without debate it is psychologically damaging to those who do not agree with the policy. To be forced to comply with a policy in the absence of back and forth reasoning seems to those you call “complete dopes” as the rise of tyranny.

Third, history shows that sometimes those “complete dopes” were, in fact, actually sensing the rise of a real tyranny, which unfortunately they could not get others to see because they were viewed as stupid people, of bad character.


putting aside the issue of corona virus as a plague to be reckoned with, or not, a.b makes essential points around the necessity of honest and open discussion, non-politicisation of this and other significant issues so as to allow for honest and beneficial alterations, and how important it is to be on guard and alert to that which degrades freedom, such as: a ridiculous lack of transparency in govt; the ongoing and insidious erosion of the public’s right to utter privacy; and, the sundry other issues that have made a mockery of what we have come to still call democracy. moreover, kudos to a.b for remaining civil and intelligent with posts.


the article linked via a.b has some strong as well as weak thought points. Weak: “[The covid world] is no longer homely in the way it once was. Everything is shrouded in danger and distrust. A world that was once a theatre of possibilities is now suffused with an air of dread.” I just have to ask the writer: what friggin planet are you talking about?! certainly not planet earth. one would be hard pressed to find a profoundly idealistic teen that would agree the world was “homely” before covid, that it was not already saturated with danger and distrust…. get real.
strong: “But what would happen if we eliminated all of the inconsistency by taking the standards applied to Covid-19 and applying them to every other form of risk? The social world would come to present itself as an all-enveloping threat, a harsh realm within which life would be intolerable.” this, i believe, is a strong example of what a.b has tried to help people be open to. not only must one have the right to be able to question the official narrative on an issue but to see it as a duty to do so; one must be able to share thoughts and concerns and to be able to change viewpoints and paths based on best knowledge, so as to always be working to discover truth and uncover the lies, and to be able to do so without fear of censorship and retribution, and without fear of becoming the latest “it” victim.


the article referenced by a.b is also weak and well off base in its questioning why there has never been q world response to sepsis, but there has been a significant response to covid this year. while sepsis leads to many deaths annually, sepsis, unlike covid, is not a contagious illness. the comparison is without merit.

Andrew Blair

Hi Biff,

Your response has made me wonder if I hadn’t read the article carefully enough, so I went back and reread it.  I’m not sure whether you and I are interpreting it in the same way, and it seems to me that others have not understood it. The opening paragraph says:
“On 8 September, the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned of a deadly condition that is likely to kill around 11 million people worldwide every year. This includes 2.9 million deaths among children, most of which are preventable. Given these awful projections, it is surely clear that urgent action is needed: social distancing; facemasks; lockdowns; unprecedented investment in vaccine development.”

The deadly condition to which the authors refer is sepsis. But they are not making a serious recommendation. It is just a rhetorical device.

The comparison the authors make between sepsis and covid is not about what measures we should take to prevent either of them, but about the way in which they have affected our state of mind. Essentially, the point is that the ways in which our daily lives have been changed by covid has induced a kind of fear in most people that makes them fixate on the risk of covid which is disproportionate to other risks. This makes them less able to take a rational approach to the risk. Sepsis has not changed our daily lives in the same way, even though it poses a greater risk. But no claim is being made about what practical measures should be taken to avoid either covid or sepsis. It’s just about having a state of mind in which we can consider the possibility of whether our measures – whatever they are – are appropriate to the risk. 

Aside from the question of whether masks have a significant effect in reducing the spread of covid, one aspect of mandatory masking that needs to be considered is the inevitable bluntness of legal measures. Laws need to be applied to everyone. It is, of course, possible to write laws that have exceptions built into them. But for some things it is very difficult to cover all the desirable exceptions, and if there are too many exceptions the law becomes impossible to enforce.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x