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Mask shaming

 
pollinator
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Somehow we haven't had to wear masks. I work alone when I go into the office on Monday's. Otherwise we are home 98% of the time on our 40 acres with no people contact.

So the Church we go to is going to reopen but require masks. I mentioned that we didn't have any masks and there was shocked silence on the other end of the phone. Then some suggestions about where to get some.

My husband says he'd rather not go to church if it means wearing a mask.

I'm on the fence. I don't mind wearing one to make other people comfy but again, we don't have any. I can pretty much guarantee that my kids aren't going to keep their masks on for an hour though. Heck sometimes I discover my daughter isn't even wearing underpants.

Just wondering if there are any other maskless individuals out there and if you feel judged because of it. I rather do.

Edit:  Our mask stance isn't a rights thing. It isn't anything other than we've been home for months without needing a mask, at this point we don't have any. I can't sew. I don't know anywhere that's selling them. So what are we to do? Hubs has asthma and other breathing issues so he doesn't want to wear one. I don't know if my kids would wear one. They'd thoughtlessly take one off at some point. We love our church. I'm not out to kill anyone. Just saying, not owning a mask pretty much makes a person two headed at this point.

P.S. we did live in Japan for 4 years and masks were normal there during any illness a person had. Totally normal. So I do get it.
 
pollinator
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I think in the old testament bible if one was suspected of some contagious skin disease, the elder guy in the church would say you are contagious and then you would be shamed and sent away. Probably stoned if you came back. I think even if you got better folks would still say maybe he will get reinfected lets stay away.

If me not wearing any mask or headwear or being a male wearing a skirt when it isn't the norm, would make curious unbelievers uncomfortable and not come and get the good message. Then I would err on the side of caution and wear it.

I also look at it as me protecting the elders with super weak immune, even though I am as fit as a fiddle and possible just a carrier of covid. Or maybe just seeing me would stress them out until they had a heart attack, in this case I would avoid being a stumbling block.

That said I 100% support him not going. I don't think he is sinning or going to hell if he doesn't go, esp if stresses others other.

I also think that church is all about convincing/shaming/punishing/luckily no longer stoning folks to do the "right" thing. Church is like any other human groups, like workplaces/clubs/etc we give up some freedom and conform to the group rules (at work I have to wear a shirt and a mask).


 
pollinator
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When I went out on walks without a mask (because I did't expect to run into folks) other people without masks seemed to take that as a sign that I didn't care and they could come close, and even chat.

When I wear a mask, most of them keep their distance.

So I'm wearing a mask a lot more now.
 
pollinator
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Churches are especially dangerous for spreading covid, because they usually involve congregational singing. Such a setting has a known high risk for a super spreading incident - one infectious but asymptomatic person infected 57 in the event linked here:
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8335835/Superspreader-events-choir-practices-responsible-coronavirus-cases.html

Had that one person been wearing a mask there would have been far fewer infections, and in all likelihood lives would have been saved.

Masks protect other people, from you.
 
pollinator
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No one wears masks here, I've not even seen one not even the physio has them.
 
S Bengi
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Personally I dont think that mask are going to reduce the total overall amount of infection. But it does spread out how many people are infect at a given time
Without mask 10,000 hospitalized folks all in 1 week.
With mask 10,000 hospitalized folks over 50 weeks (aka 200 per week)

With 200/week, the doctors have time and supplies to stabilize folks and help them get better.
With 10,000 in 1 week. The hospital does not have enough beds, folks just die, even the cemetery just have to do mass grave or spread ash.

I think that ultimately just like the flu everyone will get expose to it sooner or later, but only some will get sick, even fewer will get hospitalize and very very few will die.
 
pollinator
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S Bengi wrote:
and very very few will die.



I guess very very few is relative when we are at 365,000+ deaths and counting.  Yes, I know that is a small percentage of the total population, but I disagree that 365,000 is very very few.
 
pollinator
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My take: forever we have covered a cough or sneeze, be it with a tissue, hand or more recently, elbow. Why did/do we do that - to decrease the spread of droplets that are infected with whatever ailment we suffer from. Did this protect the one sneezing or coughing, of course not, it is the decent, polite, respectful, caring thing to do.

A mask is just soooo much more efficient, eliminates hand to face contact, and is a significant improvement over the elbow, tissue or hand we are all so used to using.

The goal is to slow and to LIMIT the spread; to prevent the medical system from crashing due to a massive influx of the sick and dying.

A mask protects others, in the event you are asymptomatic, or unaware you are ill. This is not about "rights" or pseudo science or "manliness"; it is about being compassionate and considerate.  We are a community, not individual islands, unfortunately more now than ever, we must rely on, protect, and take care of each other.  So please wear a mask, it's not for you, it's for everyone else...and everyone else is wearing one for YOUR protection.  

PS: surgeons and other medical professionals wear them all day every day - no, they DO NOT interfere with oxygenation or cause a build up of Carbon monoxide or dioxide.

Pretty sure a neurosurgeon would neither risk nor be successful operating if they were "oxygen deprived"! Just saying....

 
pollinator
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Just out of curiosity, and no judgement- I want to understand your and your husband's position...
What is the reason that you don't want to wear a mask?
 
Lorinne Anderson
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As far as the kiddies go...it is new, it will take practice, like everything. Just like a car seat - they learn what is required and accepted, with experience see it as normal.

Here there are many folk making and selling cute (superhero's, animals, cartoon characters...) reusable, cloth masks. Let them choose what they love, and have them wear them whenever you are out, teach them the "new normal". Here it costs anywhere from $5-$15 for a lovely, fitted comfortable mask - a small price to pay for the safety, health and well being of the congregation. I, personally, applaud your place of worship for placing the well being of the entire congregation ahead of the discomfort of a few.

I work with kids, here are a few that I have purchased to supply my kiddo's.
IMG_20200529_155442.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200529_155442.jpg]
IMG_20200529_155455.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200529_155455.jpg]
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[Thumbnail for IMG_20200529_155425.jpg]
 
steward
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Around here, hardly anyone wears masks, except the employees of one grocery store. And they are wearing them so haphazardly, that they might as well not be wearing them. The use of masks by the employees and a few customers seems more like theater than protective.

My personal stance is that I will not spend my money or time at any establishment that requires masks.

If I feel any shame regarding mask wearing, it's putting on a mask to mow the lawn, or cultivate the garden. Because people might think that I'm wearing it due to hysteria about a remarkably average virus.



 
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Since all this started, I've done a lot of reading about how many different countries coped. Countries, and even just parts of countries, that responded aggressively from the get-go, particularly those that focused on the "be responsible to those around you - protect the vulnerable because you are a caring individual" message, have fared much better than other countries. I wish the simple message, "I wear a mask to protect you, you wear a mask to protect me" would catch on here in Canada. There are instructions on how to cut an old T-shirt to make a tie-on mask if you don't have the time, skill or materials to sew them.

If I was contemplating taking children to a crowded place such as Elle Sagenev is contemplating, I would explain it to the children and "practice" at home and if the child can't manage it, I wouldn't go. Children as well as adults have definitely been shown to carry and spread the virus while showing no symptoms. Most children over 5 could understand that concept if put in simple terms such as, "to protect our older church members, we all need to wear a mask". I think the biggest problem will be to fit a mask comfortably on a child - I am *very* fine-boned, so I totally get this factor. The masks I sewed fit me well and I can wear them without having to touch or adjust them for over an hour (I've never been able to do that with a commercial paper mask!) I often feel our culture puts too much emphasis on "human rights" without balancing those rights with "human responsibilities". Personally, I believe that part of rebuilding our communities to be self-supporting and self-sustaining will require us to put more emphasis on teaching community responsibility - it will be an expansion of teaching kids not to litter!

I admit that for community use, I have a preference for reusable masks - they may not be quite as effective, but from the environmental perspective I think they are a valid approach.
 
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This is a hot issue in Canada right now.  People are afraid and they cling to masks as being the single line of defence.  When really, it is a tiny measure of defence compared to the massive benefit of washing your hands, not touching your face, and staying 2 meters apart.  Do this and you are doing nearly 95% of the things that will prevent the spread of COVID and other respiratory illnesses like the flu.  The mask adds another 1 or 2 % protection.  That's not a bad thing, and I'm not going to scoff at 1% extra protection.

I love that people are wearing masks.  I love seeing all the creativity of the different cloth masks.  It's become a fashion accessory and I am grateful for that people are courteous enough to wear masks while shipping.  But I haven't worn a mask yet because I'm worried that wearing a mask increases risky behaviour - until we learn not to.  Today was shopping day and I saw maybe half the people wearing masks.  And most of them were touching their face frequently and ignored the hand sanitizer provided.  The two most risky behaviours (touching your face and not washing your hands) were rampant in mask wearers today.   I like that not wearing a mask makes me a little bit afraid because it reminds me to practice the behaviour that I KNOW will reduce the chances I catch the illness.

When we learn to wash our hands, not touch our face, and stay further apart, then I will embrace mask-wearing with all my heart.  But I won't shame others into wearing it if they cannot.

There are people who cannot wear a mask, even a cloth one.  The funny thing is, these people are some of the most at risk of COVID because their lungs are too weak to handle breathing through a layer of cloth.  They won't get enough oxygen.   I think it is a terrible thing to exclude these people and bully them because they cannot wear a mask.
 
gardener
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The best article I have found about risk factors is this one... I encourage people to read it and make decisions for themselves.

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them
 
I have an autoimmune disease, and a few other conditions, as do most of my family members. I am at risk from the regular flu, even with being vaccinated yearly, so the prospect of something currently conservatively calculated to be 20x as deadly, is very worrying.

I have been wearing a mask since early March in public, back when I was almost the only person I saw doing it. The research suggest they provide some limited protection to me but protect others from me. By wearing one, I give myself some slight protection, but also normalize the wearing of them, so others will feel more inclined to wear one, and thus protect ME.

The models I have seen suggest that if we slow the spread, instead of 90-100% of the population catching it, perhaps only 60%-70% catch it. That would be a good outcome to me at this point. This is, of course, assuming there is long term immunity to this thing, and the jury is still out on that.

Risk factors for this disease seem to be, ventilation (a shared building with recirculated air is bad!), duration of time of contact  and also(but less importantly) physical distancing.

I wouldn't attend a church service right now unless it was hosted outdoors with distance spacing, even with masks. I would also not attend if there was singing (my favourite part of a service), as that has been repeatedly shown to be a risk factor. Even standing near someone breathing without masks can be infectious. Dose also seems to matter- so breathing in 100 virus particles from a min of contact seems to cause a less severe infection than 10 000 particles from 100 min of contact. It makes sense that receiving fewer particles over your 100 min of contact because they are filtered by masks would also help. I saw some data that if everyone were homemade masks, it would reduce particles by about 80%. That would bring my hypothetical 10 000 particles for 100 min of contact down to 2 000.

It's looking like this thing has a 1% death rate if it goes through slowly, a 2-5% death rate if it goes through quickly. More concerning to me than dying is the risk of long term lung damage and illness. A friend caught it in March, and is still very ill, slowly recovering. She is in her mid twenties  and normally healthy as a horse, very fit, eats well, etc, etc. People who caught SARS-1, STILL have lung damage from it 10 years later. I cant afford to get lung damage on top of everything else in my life.

I think right now- wearing a mask is not a selfish thing. Its the biggest gesture of "I care about the community" you can make. All the data from the Spanish flu suggests communities where mask wearing was adopted faired far better than those that didnt.
About 1/3 of the people I see in my town are wearing them, and the number is increasing. I think this is a good thing. I have seen only one person touching their face or wearing it improperly. I think the arguement that no one should wear a mask because people cant be trusted to do it right is a bit insulting.

When I see someone wearing a mask, I quietly think - thank you. Thank you for helping make it safer for me and the people I love.

Elle- I dont think the masks need to be elaborate, just keep droplets in. There are tons of simple mask designs online that take a min or two to make, from a sock or a piece of tshirt, that should be plenty comfortable enough for your kids. I like stretchy tshirt fabric for around the ears or head as it's more comfortable. So long as I secure my homemade mask well enough, I genuinely dont notice it's there (except it is a bit hot), no other discomfort at all.  
 
elle sagenev
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:Just out of curiosity, and no judgement- I want to understand your and your husband's position...
What is the reason that you don't want to wear a mask?



Well we aren't ever around people not in our family. We are home on our acreage or I am at work, alone in a house converted to an office. We don't have any and at this point, is there a point getting one just for church? I don't know.
 
pollinator
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It's not my place to throw stones or judge the choices of others. I have quite enough to do managing my own choices, and they often come up as less than perfect.

So I can only speak for myself. For me, wearing a mask in these times is a potent symbol of caring about the welfare of others over my own convenience. Isn't that consistent with what going to church is all about? I guess it is for me, anyway, and I think it's a useful way to look at the issue.

Respectfully submitted,
-Douglas

 
Lorinne Anderson
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"CDC estimates that the burden of illness during the 2018–2019 season included an estimated 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths from influenza." https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/burden/2018-2019.html

I find referring to this as "...a remarkably average virus..." a very strange assessment of a virus that in just a few months has already killed more than 100,000 people in the USA.  Basic math suggests that this virus is at least (assuming no more Americans die) three times more deadly than the "average virus".

This is actually a NOVEL corona virus - the word novel means it has not previously been known, to humans, it's new.  This "novelty" is a very critical fact; most viruses, even those that have been "extinct" for eons, left their mark on our DNA - we have a built in blueprint of KNOWN viruses, a playbook, so to speak, a framework upon which to mount a defense.  Even when viruses mutate, there are still "markers" that allow the body to at least quickly identify a virus, even if the old playbook is out of date, or the pre-existing battle plan is not effective, we have the early warning to get our immunity soldiers in a row...it just might take some time before they know which weapon to use.  This explains why we get varying degree's of sickness from the same virus - one might get the sniffles, one might get a cough, another both, a fourth pneumonia.  The original virus left it's "fingerprint" so to speak - so that at least it raised a warning flag that something was wrong, and to call out the troops.  This is why, historically, in certain indigenous peoples something as minor as a cold brought by explorers or settlers could wipe out a native village - no historical data in their DNA, the virus was NOVEL to their race, they died before their bodies could figure out the proper defense.  This is also why, with most viruses, once you get them they confer immunity, it is now know, logged, and the defenses noted and rated as to most effective.  There is now an instant playbook for how to deal with said virus, when next encountered.  This is also why, in most cases, only when and if a virus mutates that one can contract it "a second time".  It is also why we already have two strains of this virus, the Chinese and the European - it mutated.  We can only hope this does not continue, as this will make herd immunity or the vaccine hunt, almost impossible, and certainly limit it's efficacy.

With this current corona virus, we have nothing, we are essentially naked; our bodies do not even know they are at war, or that it needs to suit up in protective armor.  This is why the reactions to the virus are so varied.  

80% of the population appear to have an immune system that disposes of the virus efficiently and effectively - their bodies initial attempts at quelling the virus is successful - these are the ones who are most likely to be asymptomatic carriers and spreaders.  This is the number one reason for wearing masks.  The truth is, many people never even realize they are sick with this very easily transmissible virus.  Covid 19 is hardy, it can hang in the air or on surfaces for many minutes, if not hours or days; then, healthy, innocent you walks by and takes a deep breath, or touch something and itch your eye, nose or mouth, and you have inoculated yourself with the virus.  Will you be "lucky" and only spread it, or will your body have difficulty figuring out which weapons to use and slowly slide into the abyss of not being able to breath, unassisted.

In 20% of the population their immune systems are either busy (cancer, diabetes, lung conditions...) or for whatever reason, choose the wrong weapons and/or strategies.  The virus continues to replicate, they get sicker, the virus continues to replicate, they get weird symptoms, loss of taste or smell...  This is why there are no hard and fast rules as to WHAT constitutes symptoms, it depends, in part, on exactly what defenses your particular body uses to try to combat this unknown, foreign body, and rid your system of it.  

What actually MAKES you sick, when you contract a virus, is the reaction of your body fighting the virus, and the toxic fallout of the immune systems response.  Most respiratory viruses do not cause serious illness; they are recognized quickly, and efficiently flushed out with nasal discharge, coughed up in the mucous that forms from your immune soldiers doing their work, or cooked with a fever.  Your body, ideally, recognizes the virus, attacks and defeats it, often before you even have symptoms, that is how trained your immune soldiers are, with KNOWN viruses.  This is also why, in some cases with Covid 19, young healthy people are affected - their body fails the multiple choice of which is the best weapon to use, how much of that weapon to use, and when to stop using a certain weapon and grab the next 'big gun' to fight with.  This is an unknown, novel, virus and the body has no blueprint to follow - the toxic fallout of a mismanaged response can and is fatal in some cases, when the body chooses the wrong defense, too strong a defense or does not change weapons when it needs to.  

Covid 19 is a remarkably clever, unusual and rare specimen of a virus - because our bodies immune systems are essentially blind to it.  It's not until we slam, sightless, into the wall that is the novel, Corona 19 virus, that we know what has hit us, literally.  This is why I implore you, if not for yourself, for your loved ones, your friends and neighbors, please wear a mask when out, especially when social distancing may be difficult to maintain.  Personally, I could not live with myself if I turned out to be an asymptomatic spreader who made the decision (for whatever reason) to not wear a mask, which led to an outbreak that wreaked havoc in my community.  To be the cause of infection amongst my unsuspecting friends, neighbors and loved ones with illness, medical bills or the loss of their life.  For them, I will proudly wear my mask, continue to wash my hands, practice social distancing, stay in my personal bubble as much as possible, and not let down my guard.

 
r ranson
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myself and my loved ones are unlikely to survive if we catch covid.  this frightens me, yes.

While I am happy to see people wearing cloth masks, I also remember the first line of the mantra for our provinces response to covid is to be kind.  It is a kindness to wear a mask, but is not kind to shame others into doing so.  

lead by example.  Kindness will help those who lag behind catch up faster.  
 
Douglas Alpenstock
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Again, with every respect to the sensitivities here, I suggest that there is a big difference between asking someone to wear a mask for the common welfare and deliberately shaming them for not wearing it.

Looking again at the OP, I honestly wonder: is it possible that there is a perception of shaming here when in fact there was no intent to do so? We are all on edge these days, trying our best to navigate the unknown. Miscommunications and misunderstandings occur very easily, even when there was no intent to injure. I ask that everyone consider this possibility.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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Do I find it disappointing that everyone has not jumped on the bandwagon of wearing masks, yes.  But, I also know that for months we were told NOT TO; masks were to be saved for those on the front lines, wearing masks was actively discouraged here, initially.  So, for me at least, it is not about shaming, but educating.  To that end, I went on a quest, bought homemade cloth masks from multiple home sewers in my home town...all different styles, colors, patterns.  Some cost $35, others $5, but I consistently found myself going back to the same mother/daughter team who produced, what in my opinion (and my mask guinea pigs) were the best.  By fluke, they were also one of the least expensive ($7), and the only triple layer (cotton, flannel, bamboo, no filter required), I could find; being fitted (not pleated), well made and super comfortable were the icing on the cake, so to speak.  

All in I have bought almost 200 masks.  I hand them out, for free, to perfect strangers, family, friends, businesses I frequent...my goal, to have everyone use the best mask available, choose a color/style they love, and slowly make masks normal, if not, a fashion statement.  I am "the Mask Fairy".

I do this, honestly, from a purely selfish motivation - I WANT everyone around me wearing masks.  This seems to break down the barrier for most people, whether it is the look (beautiful fabrics), the fit, or the realization that this can be done without it being weird or uncomfortable, I don't know.  With a very few objections (2 people) all have been thrilled and grateful - excited to riffle through the options, choose one for themselves, their spouse, their parent, their children.  I have mailed them across the country, delivered them by hand, and all have been received with gratitude.  Does everyone wear them, no.  Have I converted everyone, no.  Do I ask why people are not wearing them, or for them to be returned, no.  Have I done my personal best, yes.  I have done everything I can do to ensure access to a comfortable mask, in my circle, has been done.  I can do no more.

I truly believe, this is the next weapon in our arsenal of social distancing and good personal hygiene; this is the final tool in our tool belt that will allow us to re-open, get the economy re-started, and our lives closer to normal because it simply will not be possible to maintain a six foot distance all or even most of the time.  Transit, elevators, escalators, restaurants, stores, shopping, offices, funerals, religious gatherings...social distancing is ideal, but also idealistic, and for many it will simply be impossible to resume normal life and faithfully follow this restriction.  To that end, the mask is our salvation.  
 
master gardener
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Hi Douglas,

Great point. The greater benefit of masks is in protecting others.
 
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I hope that I don't 'shame' anyone although I am much more comfortable in the grocery store when others besides myself are wearing masks.  We only go during the 'old peoples hour' early morning so there are not many shopping and most wear masks including the employees.

We don't go out otherwise except for hikes and long walks in the country where we rarely see anyone.  

We are still only seeing our sons and their families outdoors in the yard and at a distance of several feet.   I miss my grandchildren's big hugs but we'll catch up at a later date.....

Masks are easy to come by even if we don't sew...lots of folks are making good quality, comfortable ones for sale and some for free.

We only wear ours once per store and wash immediately when we get home...plus use what we hope is a safe routine when we bring in groceries from the store.

I look at wearing a mask in public as a courtesy and a kindness to others, I think it shows caring...and it is such a simple easy thing to do combined with distancing and hand washing....the idea is that we're slowing the spread so that hospitals can handle the sick.

I'm bothered that some don't wear them correctly although I don't see that as an argument for the rest of us to avoid wearing one in public?

 
pollinator
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The biggest problem has been getting accurate information.

The testing results is messed up because it gives false positives.

The reporting is messed up because there is profit for every case the hospital reports they get more federal $$$.

The virus is in multiple strains, and you can get more than one strain.

All my research shows this is a bio weapon,  you can transmit this before you get a temperature so being man made you can transmit this without knowing you are sick.

This virus has been shown to kill T cells, and if it does not kill you you can wrap up a BIG hospital bill.     It is for that reason I do preventative with vitamin C and d3.

Myself,   I don't see a denomination or a building as the "church".    I see those that follow Jesus of the bible as the real "church".    The early believers would meet in small groups,  
perhaps you could start small and work up,   have a group of 10  until we get a better picture of what this virus is, and is not.

The choice to wear a mask or not to wear one should be yours,    at this point not all agree as to when one should or should not wear one.     I do not trust anything the CDC, or WHO says myself,   I error on the side of caution and I am a hermit as much as I can be,  may be a year or two before we get good answers.    In the mean time I will let other be the lab rats against this new bio weapon.

I wear a mask myself, but I don't hold it against anyone if they choose differently.

 
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Mart Hale wrote:The biggest problem has been getting accurate information.

The testing results is messed up because it gives false positives.


Don't forget all the false negatives.  Last I'd heard there was a 30% false negative rate.  Hopefully it's gotten better.
 
pollinator
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Around here, there is quite a variety of items being used as "masks."  A bandana is popular, as was a ski mask before the weather turned tropical last week.  There are internet instructions for making a "no-sew" mask.  There are hundreds for sale on Etsy, where I bought a nice pleated one with a choice of fabric patterns.  I just keep mine in the car and put it on when entering a store or going indoors in any way.  I'm fortunate to live in a rural area, and in a state where the governor has taken a data-driven, evidence-based approach, resulting in remarkably low infection and death rates.

I support the medical arguments for wearing a mask, but with caution not to drop the most effective measures ("social distancing," hand-washing, face non-touching, avoiding crowds).

I also support the expression of care for others evident in wearing masks.  People-care, remember?  We are surrounded by people with autoimmune disorders, lung disease, heart conditions, diabetes, and advanced age who are likely to die if they catch this.  You can't tell by looking.  At 66, I'm technically in a high-risk group, although I don't feel like it. But common sense tells me to take extra good care of myself and keep my distance.  This is easy in my life - I'm not a grocery clerk or nurse practitioner.  I try to thank the people who come to work despite the risk, and take care of them by wearing my mask and keeping my distance.

Even if we are suspicious of government, of modern Western medicine, and of the dominant culture, we can still express our care for each other (and minimize the spread of this deadly virus) by wearing masks.



 
r ranson
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One thing I noticed in parts of Canada is that places that require customers to wear masks, MUST provide a free mask upon entry.  

I like this very much and I hope it becomes standard across the country.

Otherwise, it's discriminating on the bases of income (and other elements) which is against our country's founding documents (charter of rights and freedoms)
 
Michael Cox
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I think there has also been some misunderstandings circulating about when masks are a good idea or not.

Joseph earlier mentioned not wanting to wear a mask while mowing the lawn. This is a totally reasonable view - not because mask wearing is wrong, but because mowing the lawn is an incredibly low risk activity for both himself and for others. It is outdoors, and presumably a large distance from others. And people he may come in contact with are presumably from his own household.

There are risks associated with wearing masks at the wrong times. Masks very quickly become saturated with moisture from your breathing, and if you are infected end up carrying virus particles. If you carry on using a mask at that point it is no longer effective. People should be saving masks for those times when they absolutely cannot avoid high risk situations, and they should be prepared to change them often.

Wearing a mask at church, in the shops etc... where you are exposed to lots of other people (and they are exposed to you!) is the exact time when masks should be worn.  But you should put it on fresh as you arrive, take it off when you leave and ensure it is immediately put in the wash on a hot cycle to kill any potential virus particles it carries. You don't need it all the time, just to protect yourself and others at times of high exposure risk.
 
r ranson
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Today there was conflicting information from our government.

1. private businesses can bar access to people not wearing masks.
2. Not everyone can wear a mask, especially some people with disabilities - baring access to a shop on the basis of a disability is illegal.  

Looking at history, getting militant about issues like this makes it harder to make the change.  But with kindness and education, society can make swift changes like this.  
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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To me, mowing the lawn is a high risk activity. Because I am very allergic to grass dust.

To me, weeding is a high risk activity. Because the soil dust makes me sick.

For decades, I have worn masks while mowing and cultivating. These days, I am reluctant to wear a mask while mowing or cultivating, because people might mistakenly believe that I am wearing it because of fear of a virus. I specifically refrain from wearing a mask in public to send a message of "chill out, viruses are normal and ordinary".

I believe that wearing masks harms people, by changing their blood chemistry. I believe that mask wearing harms us by reducing the amount of vitamin D and endorphins that our bodies can make from sunlight. I believe that mask wearing harms society by interfering with communication and primate social cues. I believe that wearing a mask separates us from our humanity, and animal nature. I believe that social distancing harms us by isolating us from each other. Far as I can tell, primates that aren't touching each other quickly succumb to loneliness and disease.

I believe that routine sharing of human symbiotic microbes is essential to proper health and vitality. Masks, gloves, sanitizing, and distancing interfere with that. I believe that it's very detrimental to us to be isolated from sharing our symbiotic microbes.  

One nice thing about the current social zeitgeist, is that it's helped me get really clear about what I value... I welcome touch, hugs, and kisses from any peaceful adult. The touch these days is much more heartfelt, sincere, and loving. Truly nurturing. I have determined that I'd rather live a short life filled with touch, than a long life of loneliness and isolation.

joseph-mask.jpg
dust mask for mowing lawn
dust mask for mowing lawn
 
pollinator
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As someone else mentioned, one of the big advantages in my mind to wearing a mask is that it lets others know that you don't want to be approached. The small town that I live in is a big river rafting area. When the weather warms up we are inundated with tourists. Pretty much none of them wear masks and they overwhelm our local shops and restaurants. Only the locals seem to wear masks, and most of the locals in town are retirees. Some of the shops in town are selling fabric masks, but most of us have a couple n-95 masks, as we are in fire country. Masks are something that I always keep in. So if I didn't have any, I'd get some, just in case,  lots of things can happen to where a mask would be welcome.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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I wash my hands, put on my mask, then head to the car. I DO NOT remove it until I am home so it goes directly into the wash, and I can immediately WASH my hands.

I caution against removing your mask as soon as you leave a business or enter the car; I caution against keeping it in the car.

My concern, I assume the exterior of the mask IS contaminated, I don't want to touch it until I can safely remove it where I have access to soap and water. Don't forget the golden rule, do not touch your face.

When you remove the mask in the car, you are touching your face; handling things with the same hands that handled the mask. That said, yep, I also remove all the clothes I wore out and put them straight into the washer, and have hand sanitizer in the car, but nothing replaces proper hand washing.
 
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I put my mask on the dash,
so the sunshine and heat can disinfect it.
If I'm not wearing a mask in the store I try to keep my mouth shut.

Very few people wear them around here.
Almost no one in our area has caught it.
25 in our county. It was at 14 for 3 weeks.
It's not everywhere and there is very little chance of catching it around here.
 
Anne Pratt
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Lorinne -

We are so fortunate to live in a tiny town in Vermont.  There has been large-scale cooperation with the governor's shutdown and regulations.  There is a tiny infection rate.  I do not need to strip down, sterilize my mask, and so forth when I come in the door.  I shop mostly at places with curbside buying and are otherwise uncrowded.  I rarely come closer than six feet from anyone.

I am well aware that I'm privileged in this; I don't need to go to work, I certainly don't need to wear a mask all day at work, and I absolutely don't need to ride a subway to work.  I can shop at small village markets by putting in my order and picking it up on the shop's porch.  I am wearing the mask with care for myself (sanitizing my hands and wiping down the car handles as soon as I get back in), but mostly with care for others.  Nobody is breathing on me, thank goodness.  We have all been educated that the masks primarily protect others and, depending on the type of mask, generally provide little protection for ourselves.

https://covidusa.net/?state=Vermont


 
Lorinne Anderson
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I think we all, fully comprehend, masks protect others, not ourselves.

I too am fortunate that I reside where C19 has been well handled and we are at very low risk.  But, that does not preclude the possibility of an asymptomatic person, unintentionally causing a massive outbreak. This is where the wearing of a mask, in public, becomes so crucial, IMO.

We are all in a state of "re-opening" and resuming more normal interactions and movements, potentially opening up the real possibility of exponential spread of this virus. This is why I believe masks are so critical, at this time.  We have already seen this occur in other places where the population got lax in self protection leading to a resurgence of viral spread, new economic shut downs, and the reinstatement of stay home orders.

We wear masks to protect our families, friends, communities and countries. We do not wear a mask for "personal protection"; we wear masks to protect others, if only as a statement of caring and concern for our fellow citizens.
 
Anne Pratt
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Lorinne, Please forgive me for starting a post addressed to you, then rambling on about other issues.  I realize when I read your next post that it seemed as if I was lecturing you on the issue of self-protection vs. protection of others.  Apologies!  I was addressing the issue of leaving the mask in the car, and then wandered off topic.  I certainly didn't mean that preachy tone!

 
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If you want to go to church and don't have a mask, you can use anything around the house to make what will work for a hour.  A bandanna, a cotton dish cloth tied, or clipped with a rubber band, or even a close pin.  A scarf would work. I even saw a thing on youtube where this guy made a mask by cutting a clean used t-shirt. I may be wrong, but around here mask is a loose term for something that covers your nose and mouth.  If you don't think your kids will tolerate it maybe leave them at home with dad until it is safe for all of us to go back to "normal'.  Mom's don't get much time to themselves anyway.
As far as to wear a mask or not that is personal.  I didn't want to wear one in the beginning, but now I do.  I just don't want the responsibility of making someone sick, and maybe even die.  For me it's not worth even a slim chance.  I hope people aren't shaming you.  That isn't right.  The hardest part of wearing a mask is just doing it.  When I started wearing mine I felt self conscious and uncomfortable, but after a while I got use to it.  Good luck to you.  We will get through this.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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No apology needed, but it is appreciated Anne, you were very clear. My concern was more those who, like us, are in low risk (currently) zones where lack of perceived threat could lead to complacency.

The news is just so rife with images of those not social distancing, or wearing masks and yet engaging in massive gatherings...in particular the current protests.  I am horrified and saddened at the potential fallout, in the coming weeks, and fear community spread could become rampant.
 
Mart Hale
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Greg Martin wrote:

Mart Hale wrote:The biggest problem has been getting accurate information.

The testing results is messed up because it gives false positives.


Don't forget all the false negatives.  Last I'd heard there was a 30% false negative rate.  Hopefully it's gotten better.



Good point.

As I understand it the virus has to get to a level in the body before the test will find it.    


 
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Elle, to answer your question about whether you should bother with even getting masks for just this one thing- we have been caught a few times without masks and realized that we would not be able to do things we might need to do. Quick pop into the post office to send something, a stop to pick up whatever, without a mask I can't get in anywhere, and so we now have masks squirreled away in all the cars and all the bags.... Just in case you need to run to the pharmacy/vet/etc it might be good to have something around, even a bandanna or scarf, and maybe you can get your kids to practice being "bandits". Better safe than sorry if you have some kind of emergency

We were shamed at the beginning for wearing a mask and "scaring people" and later got yelled at for not wearing a mask as we were walking with the dog on a deserted street. Whatever. It's hard to come up with a more coherent response than "haters gotta hate".  
In our business, which is considered essential and open to the public, masks are required (by law) but we do have extras to give to anyone who doesn't have one (I've even made good fabric masks that we gave to frequent flyers). So far we've had no problems and if anyone wants to get political or whatever the subject gets changed. We're in such a politically volatile situation right now that nobody has the stomach for these kind of conversations.
 
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Tereza Okava wrote:

It's hard to come up with a more coherent response than "haters gotta hate".

That does seem to be the case! Personally, I'd rather ask someone if they need a mask, than shame them for not having/wearing one. If nothing else, it gives them the opportunity to say something, which may even be the truth rather than feeling shamed. I've got one friend with serious asthma. I'm not sure if wearing a mask would be physically impossible, but I'm pretty sure that psychologically he can't handle it - just too many experiences of not being able to breath in his past.

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

I believe that mask wearing harms society by interfering with communication and primate social cues.

This is a valid point and certainly a reason I would have been bothered if I had to converse with someone wearing a mask in a noisy environment in the past. I have mild word decoding issues and use visual cues of mouth positioning to help - think very beginner level lip reading. However, I also spent time in Japan and saw how they used mask wearing as a sign of politeness and of not spreading illness to others - just no where near the current scale.

The problem with being issued "orders" is that it can remove an individual's right to make their own intelligent decision. If I'd been in New York City when they'd been setting up tent hospitals to cope with the disaster, I would have been prepared to suggest that anyone who couldn't wear a mask, find someone who could to run their errands. To some extent, the horse was already out of the barn, but *any* case that could be avoided by wearing a mask to give their poor health care workers one less case to deal with seemed like the kind thing to do.  However, it's also too easy to forget or ignore that it is frequently the poorest sectors of our communities that take the biggest brunt in cases like this. They have the most crowded living conditions and the fewest resources to cope. "Shaming" them will just increase the anger and frustration frequently simmering below the surface. Genuine kindness is the way to go!
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