Should we wear masks?

Earlier today, the Trending-55 newsroom had an interview regarding masks in public spaces. You can find the link to that interview here. It was an interesting interview. The city had received a petition with a thousand signatures saying they wanted mask wearing to be mandatory in public spaces like grocery stores and places where social distancing is much more difficult. I think we can all agree that doing what we can to make sure the economy can continue, while still keeping as many people as healthy as possible so we don’t go into another lockdown, is probably a good thing, right? Especially when it’s something as simple and painless as wearing a mask when you’re going to be around a lot of other people. Right?

Well I probably wouldn’t be talking about this here if we could all agree. We posted about the interview on our Twitter page, and we received a… very “helpful” reply. Now originally I was going to put this person on blast here for being an idiot, using their name, and linking to their Twitter, but I’m not going to do that. Just know that this person is Big Mad about… keeping people healthy? In reply to that interview, they decided it would be helpful to share an image.

Oh look at that, they even included a helpful arrow, and circled a certain section for us. What does it say there? Oh the CDC doesn’t recommend wearing masks, huh? Weird, because last I checked, the CDC was definitely advocating for the use of masks. (that’s a link you can click to see the CDC Mask guidelines.) It’s a very convincing poster though, because actually a long long time ago, back in March, that WAS the guidelines. They WERE telling people not to buy tons of masks. But you know what else was the guidelines back then? “only one pack of toilet paper per person.” That’s right. Back then, people were going crazy because they thought the world was going to end, so they were buying as many supplies as possible, including flour, tp, and yes, masks. Which is a serious problem when the people that need masks regardless of when there’s a global pandemic; ie, medical professionals, are suddenly unable to get access to masks because people were buying all of them.

Back in March there also wasn’t clear evidence whether or not masks were helpful in slowing the spread. Now though, we have VERY clear evidence that yes indeed masks are incredibly important. If you have covid-19, you won’t show symptoms for about 2 weeks, but during that whole time, you’re still contagious. The main way that the disease spreads is by hitching a ride on the water particles in your breath. Masks, since March, have been proven to be incredibly effective at stopping those particles from moving very far at all. The debate here is whether or not Covid is still a big enough issue in Alberta to warrant us being required to wear masks, NOT whether or not masks are effective.

Besides that poster coming from March, there’s also a couple other funny things about it. First of all, I spent a half hour on Google trying to find the original, and I’m the kind of person who can find things on Google in less than 10 minutes most of the time. The reason it took me so long to find it? The people who made the poster have taken it off their website, and taken down all those posters in the real world too. Why? BECAUSE THE INFORMATION ON THERE IS OUT OF DATE! See, here’s the CURRENT version of that poster:

The website in question is also the government of Delaware. I’m not sure why this person has a picture of a poster from March. I’m not sure why they have a picture of a poster from Delaware. I’m not sure why they didn’t bother to look to see if maybe the CDC had changed it’s thoughts on Masks since you know, they’ve had 4 more months since then to study the disease. Mostly I just want to know one thing: Why are you so opposed to wearing a mask? There’s literally no valid excuse. The government says you should wear a seatbelt because they save lives. You wear a seatbelt, right? Is the difference here that seatbelts save your life, while wearing a mask saves other people’s lives? No, you couldn’t possibly be that selfish, right? You’re probably a good person, or at least you think you are.

Oh I know, you have trouble breathing in the mask, right? See that’s weird to me because medical professionals wear masks all the time; if they’re in surgery, if they’re a dentist, if they just in general have to spend time around sick people. My asthmatic mother wears a mask whenever she goes out into the garden. If my sister who has breathing issues goes for a jog, she wears a mask because that way she doesn’t have to worry about dust or other things making it hard for her. Most people have absolutely no issue breathing in a mask, and some people breathe BETTER in a mask, so why are you having that much trouble? Honestly if you are, maybe you SHOULD see a doctor. There’s clearly something wrong with you.

When I was younger I did have a time where I had to wear a mask like that when I worked at Staples. I was taking care of the ink and toner cartridge recycling, and had to protect myself from breathing that stuff in. Back then, I definitely felt like I had a lot of trouble breathing in the mask. Now… I’m not going to say this is the reason you’re having trouble breathing, but my reason was because I never brushed my teeth, so every time I breathed out of my mouth, and had to smell my own breath, it stunk, so I just held my breath as much as possible, and hardly ever talked at all. Now though, I brush regularly, and wearing a mask hasn’t been an issue for me at all.

This person’s Twitter page is full of contradictory opinions too. They were so upset that the economy was closed down, and everything got cancelled. And now that people are finding ways to ensure that the economy can continue, they’re opposed to THAT. You do realize that if everyone gets sick and dies, the economy is gonna stop right? You do realize that if even just a small percentage of people die, the economy is STILL going to take a hit from that, right? You do realize that if there’s another massive breakout of the virus, we’re going to have to close things down again to contain it, right?

I doubt any of the words I’ve typed here will have any impact on this person. They don’t actually care about what the government of Delaware says. They don’t care that the CDC changed their minds. All they care about is that they think masks are bad, and they found something which confirmed that. One person one time said one thing, and it’s something they agree with. So it doesn’t matter if that same person has changed their stance now that new information has come out. They said it once, and that’s all that matters.

At the end of the day, what this person said doesn’t matter. They’re just one person from La Crete with outdated information from talking about things going on in High Level. A thousand people were very happy to sign the petition, and one person isn’t happy about it. To paraphrase people like you who talk about people like me, “Cry me a river. Welcome to the real world. Sometimes you have to do things you don’t like. If you don’t like it, go back to your safe space at home and when you’re done complaining about it like a millenial, and being a snowflake and having a temper tantrum, you can come back out to where we’re all actually living.”

To everyone out there actually wearing your masks without being told to, you rock. To the people not wearing masks because they don’t have to, you’re fine too. To the people like this person complaining about potentially being told to do something slightly uncomfortable because you don’t care about the lives of other human beings… Well I can’t speak my true feelings here, but needless to say, I’m not thanking you.

~Donny

Resources:

Alberta Government talking about masks

Canadian Government talking about masks

World Health Organization talking about whether you should wear masks, and how to properly use them

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Recommendations and tips regarding masks

“How effective are masks” video

“Does wearing a mask keep toxins in, or carbon dioxide? and other myths debunked” video

“Why has the messaging on masks changed so much” video

Scientific paper showing how effective masks are at protecting others from the virus