Three women took their objection to face coverings to the streets this past weekend, but their efforts proved unpersuasive.

Tammy Jock of Lisbon, Nikki Rickett of Ogdensburg and Amber L. Williams of Heulveton held a protest Sunday outside Ogdensburg City Hall. They conveyed their opposition to the state requirement on wearing masks during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

New York mandates residents to wear protective coverings over their faces when in public. Businesses may be penalized if they don’t enforce this rule.

“Freedom of choice. I believe that we have a freedom to choose, and we’ve done research,” Ms. Williams, according to a story published Sunday by the Watertown Daily Times. “People should have the right to choose if they should wear a mask or not.”

“I don’t like to fully compare it to the flu, but that’s the closest thing we have to a comparison,” Ms. Rickett added. “People get the flu; they go home; they get sick; they come back.”

Both Ms. Rickett and Ms. Williams said they believe that wearing masks doesn’t do much of anything to stop the spread of infection. Neither of them wears a covering when they’re in public. Ms. Rickett said the state’s mask order violates the Health Insurance Privacy and Portability Act of 1996 as well as the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Ms. Jock said she has a rare heart condition that reduces her oxygen intake. Her doctors have urged her not to wear a mask, she added. Protests are effective ways of communicating viewpoints about an important issue. It helps if you have accurate information, however, and these women failed in this sense.

This coronavirus is not comparable to the flu. It’s formally named severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2); it’s similar to the virus that caused the deadly outbreak of SARS in 2003.

The coronavirus is very contagious and incredibly devastating to many people who develop COVID-19 as a result of becoming infected. More than 140,000 Americans have died so far.

To claim that wearing masks does little to prevent infection is to ignore the findings of health care experts worldwide. Face coverings offer significant protection against breathing in respiratory droplets that carry the virus.

HIPPA prohibits health care providers and insurance companies from revealing medical information about an individual. And the Fourth Amendment keeps the government from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures on citizens without due process. Neither of these has anything to do with being required to use face coverings in public.

People may obtain exemptions from wearing masks if doing so poses risks to them because of medical conditions they have. But doctors have said such people are likely to be more vulnerable to developing COVID-19 as a result of their medical conditions.

So while wearing masks would cause problems for them, going out in public less protected imperils their health as well. It would be better for these people to make arrangements with family members or friends to conduct business in public on their behalf whenever feasible.

We respect the right of these women to hold a demonstration to state their case. But they are not well informed about the seriousness of the coronavirus, and refusing to wear masks puts them and others in jeopardy.

Maintaining our liberties in a free society is vital. But this carries responsibilities. We are all responsible for understanding the facts about this health care crisis and doing what we can to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Wearing masks in public is one of the best safeguards against harming others.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(11) comments

rockloper

Let's face it, this is nothing more than the 'Don't Read To ME' crowd pretending they're true patriots.

zeitgeist

"Our struggle with this pandemic has convinced me that somewhere along the way, we went from celebrating individual liberty to fetishizing it, so that for too many Americans, all sense of civic obligation and communal good went out the window."

"Somewhere along the way, we also developed an immature definition of freedom, conflating it with selfishness, convenience and personal comfort. That's writ large in the freak-out over masks. In reality, they're 'a ticket to more freedom,' Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said a few days ago when he instituted a requirement that Coloradans wear them in many circumstances. 'It makes it less likely that businesses will be shuttered. It makes it less likely that people will die. It makes it more likely school will return.'"

"In other words, important freedoms for all sometimes require slight adjustments by individuals. That's not tyranny. It's responsibility."

"Somewhere along the way, we became impatient-- tragically so. ... If we're tyrannized by anything, it's our demand for immediate gratification. That mind-set has robbed us of the necessary discipline and endurance to fight this pandemic."

"And somewhere along the way, our materialism got the better of us."

"... the American mantra of 'the economy, the economy, the economy' has been too central, too loud, which I can say with confidence because it's going to wind up HURTING the economy in the end. There's no robust economic recovery without a baseline of physical safety. There's no wealth without health. We're learning that now, as the promise of that recovery recedes."

"Our challenge is greater than plotting a course to the far side of this pandemic. It's repairing the national character that plunged us so deep into it."

(Excerpts from Frank Bruni newsletter, July 22, 2020. Mr. Bruni is a New York Times editorialist.)

Holmes -- the real one

A resounding YES.

Not THAT is an editorial!

rockloper

[thumbup] Bingo!

rockloper

Pelosi's got the right idea regarding this virus. It should now be called the tRUMP/stefanik flu in this area.

Holmes

Thanks for the dissertation Professor HTRFO. As a side note, the CDC and Fauci haven’t been right since the beginning... As for your 2 + 2 analogy you’re wrong. I had a CFO tell me it’s what ever you want 2+ 2 to be...

Holmes -- the real one

LOL. Great lung exercise in the morning!

No doubt another colleague like yourself -- with "2 STEM degrees"!!

Eagle24

So...do they choose to wear a seat belt? Drive the speed limit.. pay taxes...follow other laws... They're not alone...and it's this thinking that's why Waddington lost the bass classic... it'll probably never go back.. sad

Kathryn

St Lawrence County was wise and smart to turn away the Bass Elite. Jefferson County was greedy and irresponsible. Numbers are climbing again everyday in the North Country. The economy WILL eventually recover. Dead is dead forever.

Holmes -- the real one

Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

Considerations for Wearing Cloth Face Coverings -- Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 Updated July 16, 2020

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

So, did you know that even just wearing your glasses (or sunglasses) protects you? We humans tend to touch our eyes, nose, and mouth frequently. All three are portals of entry for respiratory viruses. Glasses act as a barrier, and to an alert person, as a reminder not to touch the eyes without first washing your hands.

Wearing your glasses also protects others because if you don't get infected, it's less likely that you will infect others. Masks have additional safety features (which you can read about in the citations above)

There are evidently quite a number of people who do not understand just how diseases are transmitted. Nor do they seem to understand why hygiene is important.

Science is not a forum where personal opinions matter. That is because, to enter the discussion, one needs to understand that science is all about facts. Scientists look at information as to whether it is testable, and provable or disprovable. Scientific theory is based on observations and then the scientist works to find evidence that DISPROVES the theory, compiling evidence which suggests additional research and study.

Opinions and conspiracy theories operate in just the opposite way.

Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus

https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent

Considerations for Wearing Cloth Face Coverings -- Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 Updated July 16, 2020

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html

So, did you know that even just wearing your glasses (or sunglasses) protects you? We humans tend to touch our eyes, nose, and mouth rather frequently. All three are portals of entry for respiratory viruses. Glasses act as a barrier, and to an alert person, as a reminder not to touch the eyes without first washing your hands.

Wearing your glasses also protects others because if you don't get infected, it's less likely that you will infect others. Masks have additional safety features (which you can read about in the citations above)

There are evidently quite a number of people who do not understand just how diseases are transmitted. Nor do they seem to understand why hygiene is important. This is a glaring failure of our educational system.

Science is not a forum where personal opinions matter. That is because, to enter the discussion, one needs to understand that science is all about facts. Scientists look at information as to whether it is testable, and provable or disprovable. Scientific theory is based on observations and then the scientist works to find evidence that DISPROVES the theory, compiling evidence which suggests additional research and study.

Opinions and conspiracy theories operate in just the opposite way.

Imagine someone who has an “opinion” about math. Why should 2+2 equal 4? Why not let the outcome be anything you want? Maybe there should be no such thing as subtraction. Why not just eliminate equations completely and just “go with your gut”? It’s perfectly OK for people to muse about ideas like this and to speculate but it’s a different thing entirely to insist that math textbooks for kids include such ideas as valid math concepts. Why? Because math is part of science.

rockloper

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