June 17th, 2024

Mask mandates sparked by fear, not science


By Letter to the Editor on July 7, 2021.

Editor:
Re: Saturday, July 3, 2021, “Wearing a mask a choice to be respected” by the Lethbridge Herald Editorial Board
In this editorial, you state: “Mandated masks have caused enormous conflict between those who believe in science and those who feel their freedoms were trounced upon by government.”
It would be eminently useful to know what particular “science” your are referring to, especially considering that the real science patently does not support mask-wearing by healthy persons against COVID-19.
For confirmation of this you may refer to a recent review of the scientific literature on the matter by the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health – which is but one of many studies undertaken that confirm the same.
As well, to set up the ludicrous false dichotomy – “those who believe in science” against “those who feel their freedoms were trounced upon by government” – would be laughable if it weren’t such an egregious falsehood.
Practically the only thing that drives people to wear masks during this COVID situation is far from their having a solid understanding of the science; rather, it is from fear, a fear stoked incessantly and perniciously by governments, public health officials, and mainstream media outlets.
Russel Baiton
Lethbridge

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Fedup Conservative

Want to bet Russell is another ignorant senior . Who cares if it’s been sparked by fear or science we know it works. How does he think our doctors and nurses were able to avoid getting covid when they were dealing with it first hand on a daily bases?
My senior friends and I can’t believe how stupid a lot of these seniors are.

Dennis Bremner

Speaking of ignorant senior’s, its time to be schooled Fedup. First Medical staff wear N95s or rebreathable units at or near anything COVID. What you wear, if you wear the atypical blue mask is an ill fitting 2% effective mask.
If you understood the MASK Bylaw as it stood, it was at best a fabricated bit of “feel good”. What kept you safe was not the mask, what kept you safe is the 6 feet, washing hands, and generally staying away from anyone.
There is not a Doctor or Nurse whom in their right mind would enter a COVID ward with a 2% little blue mask. That was reserved for the idiot seniors, in this case those that believe the gov was protecting “you”! You could have purchased a K95 mask as I did for my family but most did not.
The mask bylaw was at best farcical in the way it was structured. The term “Mask” was never defined, and, that allowed wahoo’s and rednecks to wear scarfs, plastic shields that covered their mouth but stood about an inch from their faces, it even allowed tube scarfs which like all the above, were less than 2% efficient in protecting you or the wearer.
During the entire Pandemic, not one Health Professional said, Gee, we should try to protect the “peons” now! Once N95s became available you never heard a whisper from Tam, or ANY provincial health people on strengthening the Mask mandate. In fact they actually made it look like you were careless if you got COVID, when they knew what you were being told to wear was symbolic at best.
It was all feel good, mask bylaws, were a feeble attempt to pretend politicians cared what happened to their people. If there is ever a Wave 4, ask yourself if they upgraded your mask, or told you yours does not work. Bet they don’t, just as long as they have their N95s it will be a crap shoot for you.
PS I wear a mask, and will continue to wear a mask when needed. but it will always be an N95 or K95 not the bullcrap the Health Group handed us to placate us while they protected themselves.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Fedup Conservative

No I wear the exact same ones the doctors and nurses wear, thanks to family members who had worked in the health care system.

I had lunch today with ten of my senior friends and they are still talking about our fellow ignorant seniors who seem to think they are a hell of a lot smarter than the rest of us or the doctors and nurses.

Some of them were laughing about Shandro’s lame attempt at trying to claim he had nothing to do with doctors leaving. One of the guys doctor retired because of what Shandro was doing to us.

Dennis Bremner

Best to change topic then face the music. Nurses and Doctors that work with COVID patients do not wear the little blue masks. So if you are wearing the little blue mask, then it offers 2% protection in regards to COVID. It generally offers less than 2% because few know how to wear a mask properly.
So if you are talking about “General Healthcare workers” that wear the same mask as us, you neglect that they also had a plexiglass shield between the general public and hospital workers.
Slice it as you may, but if you are counting on the mask helping you, I would suggest something (security blanket) is better than nothing. If I was exposed to most Hospital Admin, during covid, I was ALWAYS confronted with Plexiglass. They never solely relied on the blue mask unless they could not get anything better. That is fact!
Ask yourself this. The Health Care Guru’s have known for over 9 months that the COVID virus can linger in the air in micromolecules of expelled air. They also have known that it can be circulated via HVAC systems. They also have known that the little blue masks STOPS NONE OF THAT. So whom is conning whom here?
I can absolutely guarantee you one thing for certain, you aren’t conning me!
Since you are into “Science and experts”
To date, research has shown that the COVID viruses that have been identified and isolated can range in diameter size from 20 nm to as large as 500 nm.

N95 masks stop about 40% of particles in the 20nm-40nm
Regular masks ie blue masks do not stop any 20nm-200nm

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Fedup Conservative

With you being such a genius when it comes to face masks I guess we should all ignore what the doctors and nurse have been telling us.
My sister is a retired Lab Technician from the Roy Alex Hospital in Edmonton. My next door neighbor is a retired nurse, yet her sister and daughter are still nursing. A nephew is a retired nurse. A best friends sister is a retired nurse and everyone of them wears the blue masks that you whine about.
To add to it, I was in three different hospitals in Edmonton in June 2020 and everyone of the doctors and nurses in the unit where I was wore blue masks. A friend just recently got out of a different hospital and I asked him yesterday what he saw and it was blue masks.
If you bothered to watch Dr. Hinshaw’s video she does not recommend using N95 mask and I agree They are for more serious medical procedures.
I have been wearing them since 1988 as protection from dust in my wood carving classes and know what a pain it would be wearing them outside.
Why don’t you google “Alberta Wildlife Carving Association and click on Covid Carvers. On the first page I have a Blue Gill Sunfish and Yellow Perch. On the second page a Mother and Calf Orca.
By the way my friends and I have never heard of anyone wearing a blue face mask catching covid , have you?

Southern Albertan

Again, would it be wished for one’s surgical team to not wear masks during one’s, for example, open abdominal surgery?
And, re: COVID, folks who are carriers of this virus, or, those who actually have COVID, but who are symptom free could appear to be healthy, but, could still spread it to others at risk, i.e.now, children, for example.
The health professions know, that masks are effective.

John P Nightingale

OK, here we go again.
There are two sides to this “debate” – as everyone following these pages over the last few weeks knows.
There are nay-sayers such as Plushie et al and those such as myself who believe they are an important component of this fight against COVID.
Both sides use source material to back them up. One can find anything confirming his or her thoughts on any matter under the sun (or beyond).
Here are three references countering the writer”s assertions:
SCIENCE: “Face masks effectively limit the probability of COVID exposure.”
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: “Most effective (against COVID) when compliance is high.”
JAMA: “There is compelling data…..that community mask wearing is an effective non-pharmalogical method reducing the spread.”
Others have confirmed that N95 masks are unquestionably best , followed by surgical masks in crowded settings. Cloth masks of any sort are useless. As has been pointed out many times , correct usage is essential, as is knowing that it is more about protecting others in high risk settings rather than the wearer.
The writer references the University of Illinois at the Chicago School of Pubic Health. “One of many studies” he states. In all likelihood , an astute observation. I guess it all depends on the source? Interestingly , the Centres for Infectious Disease Research and Policy updated the cited review with the following:

“The authors and CIDRAP have received requests in recent weeks to remove this article from the CIDRAP website. Reasons have included: (1) we don’t truly know that cloth masks (face coverings) are not effective, since the data are so limited, (2) wearing a cloth mask or face covering is better than doing nothing, (3) the article is being used by individuals and groups to support non-mask wearing where mandated and (4) there are now many modeling studies suggesting that cloth masks or face coverings could be effective at flattening the curve and preventing many cases of infection.”

If this is the same material Baiton references it should also be noted it refers mainly to cloth masks as opposed to surgical masks. (At least that is my take on the contents.) It is also over a year old, which in the realm of COVID science, is not “recent”. In conclusion, the article nonetheless states “Surgical masks have some role to play in preventing emissions from infected patients.” Their concern regarding correctly wearing masks is well taken but incorrect usage is hardly the fault of the mask itself, any more than seat belts being blamed when someone is injured because of them being improperly worn.
His suggestion that those advocating mask wearing (alongside the other “tools”) is fuelled by “fear” with no understanding of “the science” is regretful, incorrect and not useful .
In summary “real science” ( concerning masks) is supported by most respectable institutions. No one is saying they are fool proof – far from it . Now with vaccinations rising (hopefully, those considering vaccination will ignore the “science” of the anti-vaxxers), the need for mask wearing for all but indoor crowded public spaces will no longer be necessary.

Fedup Conservative

I spent 10 days in three different hospitals in Edmonton during June 2020 and I can assure you every health care worker wore a mask when looking after me. It was saving their lives.

My son caught covid at work when he used a computer alone in an office unmasked, a short while after his boss used it. Neither of them realized his boss was a carrier and he had become effected at home when his teenage son had brought it home from school. All in all his bosses family, three members, all became sick and four in their office did also. The remaining staff, who hadn’t used the computer didn’t.

It proved how deadly this virus is and how easy it is to catch it.

Guy Lethbridge

All the “alternative facts” aside. Consider what must be true for Russell’s warped conspiracy theory to also be true.
fear stoked incessantly and perniciously by governments, public health officials, and mainstream media”
So, governments all over the world, who have a lot of difficultly agreeing on anything, somehow all got together with the end goal of making Russel wear a mask. Why? It’s somehow in their combined best interest to quash Russel’s freedom…. (btw, he can still criticize the gov’t without fear of reprisal, go to any church he wants and can wave sign’s on Mayor Magrath Drive at will, knock yourself out buddy!).
It gets better, these cooperating gov’t’s are able to recruit all the credible Doctors, nurses, scientist’s, and “public Health officials” basically anyone with an advanced education who has dedicated their life to understanding all this.
And it even gets better! The “mainstream media” has also been recruited to smash Russel’s freedom. Yep , all of them.
I don’t pretend to understand the science, and I don’t see any point in spending time doing google searches to find articles that I can twist to my confirmation bias. What I will do, is respect expert opinion and respect the Law of the land. That’s what we do in a civilized country.
I don’t especially like wearing a mask, also , I don’t especially like driving the speed limit, wearing a seatbelt, letting a traffic signal tell me when I can walk across the street. I should be able to smoke by brains out in a aircraft or restaurant. gov’t conspiracy’s all !

This Red Neck Has No Neck

Quite right regarding the conflation of so-called common-sense views with the views expressed by subject-area specialists, many of whom have decades of training and on-the-job experience. It’s one thing to question authority, but to dismiss authority as a default response is something completely different. 
Clearly, the times we find ourselves in was a reference point for the Cohen Brothers’ movie “The Big Lebowski”, and nicely summed up in one of my favourite lines, so well delivered by The Dude: “That’s just your opinion man.”

h2ofield

Well done, Standing By, nailed it!

biff

what all govts agree on is money: and who is holding the purse strings is the multinational, and worse still, the ridiculous handful of greedy freaks that own the vast glut of the planet’s wealth. oh, and “they”, oligarchs that own facebook, twitter and the major media outlets etc also own/control the vast glut of the planet’s flow of information. not saying at all there is a conspiracy afoot with regard to covid, other than not coming clean and confirming that it was developed in a lab in china. what i am saying is that it is a poor basis upon which to suggest that because govts worldwide do not agree on many things, that their general agreement on covid makes it all truth. here is a truth: govts are corrupt; the multinational is corrupt; oligarchs are corrupt. there is a plethora of evidence to substantiate these claims – not only throughout history, but always.

biff

btw: still wearing my little blue mask, still covid free, and still not ready to get vaxed. it is good we each still have some choice; do your best to weigh evidence from all perspectives.

John P Nightingale

Of course , everyone has a choice. We live in a free society. In this case B, I have to disagree with you. I rarely do and respect your generally solid views and rebuttals. But not this time. As I have stated multiple times , masks are a preventative tool ,especially to those around an infected individual who may or may not know they have COVID. VACCINATIONS whilst also not perfect have demonstrably reduced the number of hospital admissions, ICU admittance and overall serious consequences. They also lessen the viral load from an infected individual that might otherwise cause considerable harm to a vulnerable person in addition to contributing to “herd immunity” , an important consideration and one that we have not yet reached and we most certainly have not “crushed” this virus , the new mantra of Msrs Shandro and Kenney.
I sincerely wish for you to remain healthy but also wish you could embrace the effectiveness of the current vaccines. (Your observations concerning animal welfare and the use of lab animals is understandable and one of which I too have concerns!)

biff

thank you, john. just to clarify…we agree on masks, but not on the vaxes. the vaxes do appear to demonstrate effectiveness in the immediate – that is helpful. however, it is all guesswork as to the long term effects because this is the first time mrna has been rolled out, and this is the first time we have used covid vaxes for a first time issue called covid. it is not enough to say they are safe because they have been working on similar things for a long time; the testing standards were greatly modified for these, and it further raises concerns that these cos each have been granted immunity from any liability should issues emerge. the optics are not so good.
i may come to regret my reticence; i wish no one harm and hope and the vaxes all prove safe in the long run; i have lost all trust in govt (for very obvious reasons…and now $420 mil of public money to algoma and without a fair equity in return); and i have no respect for big pharm nor the multinational. i am, therefore, likely to be wearing a mask for a long time, and not likely to take one of these vaxes for at least several years.
again i wish the very best for all, and especially thoughtful and caring people, like yourself. thank you for the time you take to share your thoughtful and intelligent perspectives.

h2ofield

Biff..respectfully, the time for waiting is over. One can be part of the solution or part of the problem. Vaccine hesitancy can and will destroy all that has been accomplished. This far outweighs any long term effects that may and very most likely may not be anything at all. I’m coming up on two weeks after my 2nd shot and have felt nothing but a mild tenderness for a day around the spot where the shot was administered. Nothing.

Fedup Conservative

You have nailed it and as our doctor friends point out the ones who refuse to get vaccinated are playing Russian roulette with their lives and anyone else who shares the same form of stupidity.

biff

i appreciate your concerns, and, you do well to echo the gist of the official narrative. however, no one, not even the purveyors of the vaxes, know with any acceptable level of certainty what are/will be the long term issues associated with these products. as well, for the the short term, those with vaxes will be protected based on the vaxes working (just as i do not care who has a measles vax, for example, as i have a measles vax); the vaxed do not need anyone else vaxed. i wish you well – for real 🙂

Fedup Conservative

My doctor friends think you are going to look foolish wearing your little blue mask for the rest of your life. They know this virus is going to be an on going thing and think we are going to need annual booster shots, like our flu shoots. I bet they’re right.

biff

i do not much care how foolish i look – most people that judge are fools, anyway 🙂 I do know this: throughout the last 1.5 years, most of it wearing a mask indoors in public, i have avoided covid issues, and the cold and the flu.