Friday, December 1, 2023
December 1, 2023

Letter: Contrary mask advice


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!


  1. With all due respect, it is not my decision whether or not to wear a mask in public spaces. My mask is not there to protect me but to protect (at least to some degree) you and others with whom I interact. Similarly, your mask is to protect, again in some degree, me and others from you, should you have contracted Covid-19. I also find the argument about inadequate ventilation leading to dizziness etc rather weak. How then do doctors, nurses, painters, and others get through the day?

    Will Cupples

  2. There has been a lack of transparency and honesty from the gov’t in its communications. When governments around the world first began advocating masks (some time between the first and second “wave” of COVID) we were initially told that masks are helpful only to prevent people from breathing directly on one another (Trudeau’s famous “speaking moistly” explanation) – i.e. direct face to face contact in close proximity. It would follow from this explanation that in any other context, masks do more harm than good – especially outdoors where masks prevent us from breathing fresh clean air which in itself is vital to health! If the government were more honest they would be a little bit clearer not only about when to wear masks, but when not to wear them. Unfortunately I believe there are conflicting agendas because widespread wearing of masks re-enforces a feeling of clear and present danger and feeds the constant fear and unease that is a big part of the problem in this pandemic.

  3. Thank you for this.

    I, myself, have had a full-blown anxiety attack in a store because of the inability to breathe in a mask. Humbling for sure, as i had to lay down in one of the aisles to calm my system.

    And to my absolute pleasure… everyone that walked by really, genuinely cared that I was ok. That is humanity. Beautiful humanity!

    Brothers and sisters. We are one people. What we do to others we ultimately do to ourselves. Be cautious with judgement.

    It’s very seducing.

    Much love to you and yours and this beautiful island that we get to live on.


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