WATERTOWN — How ironic that many people believe face coverings won’t thwart viruses but will impede oxygen flow!
Really? A piece of fabric specifically designed to stop one and allow the other actually functions in reverse?
This must be true because reputable personalities such as Alex Jones have stated it. And they wouldn’t just declare things that had no basis in truth, would they?
I hope medical personnel are aware of this alarming revelation. Doctors and nurses have been wearing masks for decades, allowing them to perform surgery for hours at a time.
Who knew this was such a hazardous practice for them and their patients? And why has it gone on for so long?
OK, enough kidding around. The reality is that having health care professionals cover their faces as they perform intricate procedures on individuals with portions of their anatomy exposed to the elements is not perilous. In fact, it’s saved countless lives.
If the conspiracy were true that masks had gaping holes when it came to viral particles as well impenetrable walls where oxygen is concerned, medical personnel would be passing out and spreading germs to their patients all the time. Numerous cases of this would be well documented.
But this simply isn’t true. Masks effectively block viruses while allowing oxygen to flow.
However, some people aren’t convinced. A resident recently sent an email to some Republican members of the Jefferson County Board of Legislators decrying the state’s mandate that everyone wear masks while in public. Here, in part, is what she wrote:
“Dear Republican Elected Officials:
“What are we doing about the mask situation? It’s getting hostile out there. I should be WELCOME at ANY AMERICAN ESTABLISHMENT, as long as I’m wearing clothes and shoes!
“Why aren’t my REPUBLICAN elected officials DOING SOMETHING ABOUT THIS?!
“Did you know that only a doctor can prescribe a mask for you? According to your vulnerabilities and facial structure? And a doctor would NEVER prescribe a mask to be worn by a healthy person!
“I am a relatively healthy person, but I have several issues that prevent me from wearing a mask! And I don’t have to explain them to anyone! Governor Cuomo is ruining my life! I feel like the enemy out there in a sea of Communism. That is what it looks like out there, and that is what it is! Are you even a bit outraged about this like so many people are?!
“There is absolutely no scientific evidence whatsoever that masks actually stop the spread of covid-19 — it actually states this fact on the box of masks itself!! Why isn’t anyone questioning it? I AM!!
“These useless masks are actually dangerous for some people, like me, to wear. They are not good for the natural flow of oxygen in ANYONE!! And they need to be made VOLUNTARY TO WEAR. So many people are just bending over and taking this nonsense, without ever questioning why.
“Psychologically, it is very mentally disturbing to see this sea of masks out there. We know that this is part of the plan. But some of us are not intimidated by it, and will not be censored and silenced.
“IT IS AGAINST MY CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO BE FORCED TO WEAR A MASK! Please use every authority you have to save the Constitutional Rights of Americans … before it’s too late! I refuse to believe that it is already too late! Please help us!”
The email goes on further, but readers get the gist of what this resident wanted to convey to legislators. And sadly, she’s misguided on just about everything she believes.
First of all, the U.S. Constitution does not necessarily shield citizens from mandates during health care crises. Here is some helpful information:
“The Supreme Court has had little to say about state power to override people’s liberty during epidemics. The most helpful case is from back in 1905 during the smallpox epidemic, Jacobson v. Massachusetts. In that case, a pastor argued that a mandatory smallpox vaccination violated his constitutional rights. The Supreme Court sided with Massachusetts but framed its decision carefully,” according to a March 25 story published by Forbes. “[The court] added: ‘in every well-ordered society … the rights of the individual in respect of his liberty may at times, under the pressure of great dangers, be subjected to such restraint, to be enforced by reasonable regulations, as the safety of the general public may demand.’ Even in our current situation, though, the power of the government is limited. The court warned that some restrictions may be so ‘arbitrary and oppressive in particular cases as to justify the interference of the courts to prevent wrong and oppression.’ The court added: ‘if a statute purporting to have been enacted to protect the public health, the public morals or the public safety has no real or substantial relation to those objects or is, beyond all question, a plain, palpable invasion of rights secured by the fundamental law, it is the duty of the courts to so adjudge and thereby give effect to the Constitution.’”
I found it amusing this woman initially acknowledged that companies and the government can compel her to wear clothes, which is done solely to adhere to the social practice of modesty. But then she argued they have no right to require her to wear a mask for the sake of public safety!
Face coverings have long been used by healthy people to prevent them from spreading germs to others in vulnerable circumstances. As I previously referenced, look at doctors and nurses.
I presume they’re very healthy when they report for duty to conduct surgery on patients. But even healthy people carry bugs that may infect someone else, and the consequences can be tragic.
And there’s growing evidence that masks reduce the chance of people breathing in respiratory droplets carrying the coronavirus. Here is a report on this from the New York Times on July 27:
“Researchers have long known that masks can prevent people from spreading airway germs to others — findings that have driven much of the conversation around these crucial accessories during the coronavirus pandemic. But now, as cases continue to rise across the country, experts are pointing to an array of evidence suggesting that masks also protect the people wearing them, lessening the severity of symptoms, or in some instances, staving off infection entirely. Different kinds of masks ‘block virus to a different degree, but they all block the virus from getting in,’ said Dr. Monica Gandhi, an infectious disease physician at the University of California, San Francisco. If any virus particles do breach these barriers, she said, the disease might still be milder.”
If the woman opposing wearing a face covering read something on a box of masks about the potential ineffectiveness of them preventing the spread of infection, this is for a very good reason: product liability. An associate of mine reminded me that companies need to protect themselves by advertising the fact that their product may not work all the time, and you’ll notice this through some statement they place on the items they’re selling.
Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said July 14 that we could get the coronavirus under control in a matter of weeks if everyone wore masks. This is a strong endorsement from someone who knows his business.
Yes, face coverings are uncomfortable and annoying. But wearing them helps prevent the spread of infection. It’s a minor inconvenience with a huge payoff, and who wouldn’t be in favor of that?
Jerry Moore is the editorial page editor for the Watertown Daily Times. Readers may call him at 315-661-2369 or send emails to email@example.com.