Letter: Contrary mask advice

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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!

1 Comment
  1. WA Cupples says

    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

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