By K. OTTO
I am writing in response to David Rapport’s letter in the July 15 paper on wearing masks in public, specifically at Country Grocer.
I find that the World Health Organization and leading health officials have given out rather contradictory information on masks and other COVID-related issues. Until June, the WHO advised against the wearing of masks by healthy individuals in public. Inexplicably, it changed course three months into a pandemic after the proverbial horse left the barn. This prompted most governments to follow suit, and this despite pre-COVID studies proving that medical masks do not prevent infection of influenza-type diseases.
As for cloth masks, I believe they can actually increase infection. They are frequently being used and re-used, put down on contaminated surfaces and used again, not washed, or not washed properly. Masks can act as petri dishes for pathogens, including mold, which are being re-inhaled instead of expelled.
The wearer can frequently experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue and occasional fainting, especially when the mask is worn for an extended period of time and/ or during physical exertion.
There should never be a mandate for the healthy public or employees not in a traditional medical setting to wear masks, given the many health risks that they pose, and I am thankful for Dr. Bonnie Henry’s calm, wise guidance throughout this whole ordeal. It’s an individual’s personal decision to weigh the risks/ benefits of wearing a mask; their view should not be imposed on others.
I would like to thank Country Grocer for navigating the COVID-19 regulation hurdles so well. The store is well-organized and not crowded. Despite new rules, shopping is still a pleasant experience. I enjoy exchanging a quick chat with the friendly employees and being able to see their smiles. Kudos to Country Grocer! And please — no mask requirement ever!