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Face masks - is social need being derailed by "personal rights" and "politics"?

 
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MacLean's Magazine is again comparing Canada to Hong Kong. One might think that's a weird comparison, but there are *many* Hong Kong people with either dual citizenship with Canada, or extended family and friends living here, and over-all, our populations are about equal. Here's part of what Amir Attaran said:

"And to Hajdu and Tam: where is Canada’s mask plan? Early in the pandemic, you blew it when there were too few masks for our health care workers. Months later, you are again blowing it as ordinary Canadians scrounge for old T-shirts or whatever scientifically untested, ill-fitting, dubiously effective mask they can sew or buy (save in Alberta, where disposable masks are free). You are leaving to Etsy what should be a job of government, and it is pathetic.  

Here is what you should do.

Put a free, washable, reusable, very highly efficient cloth mask into the hands of every Canadian. Probably Hong Kong would share its invention, or the National Research Council could devise its own using the best science. Fabric, elastic, and thread are available, and Canada has plenty of factories and tailors to do the sewing. Assuming that manufacturing and distribution costs $10 per person, the total comes to $370 million—or just seven hours’ worth of Canada’s current economic life-support for something able to chop new infections six-fold.  

Make it a national project with pride. Hire Canadian designers to make dozens of pretty, characterful, multicultural looks (with the obligatory maple leaf). Hire Canadian actors to make funny advertisements about how to wear masks.

Let our artists and scientists conjure a new symbol of Canadian identity built around the noblest of ideals—our survival."

https://www.macleans.ca/opinion/canadian-leaders-botched-mandatory-masking-heres-how-to-fix-it/

As always, I don't believe there's "one right answer" and I've stated elsewhere "one mask does *not* fit all, so it's good to try a selection". However, I am aware of a local company that bought 2 masks for every staff member and they're made totally of artificial material from the feel - but there was *no* label saying what they were made of! (Clothing labels in Canada is the law.) Also, the member I knew immediately brought them to me to alter - the edge stitching is so rough it's irritating her face, so I'm having to hand sew some soft cotton carefully over the parts that are scratching her.

So my goal of this thread it to share some good ideas of how we can help promote the social benefit - care for people around us - of mask wearing in positive, fun, responsible ways.

I've done so by simply sewing masks and giving them to people I know and selling a few to cover the few costs involved as I started by using "antique" fabric from my collection and graduated this week to making some with a nice quilting fabric given to me by r ranson. I know I've read here on permies of others doing the same - let people choose a mask that appeals to them in an effort to encourage it's use.

As someone who benefits from a little amateur "lip reading" to understand others, particularly in noisy environments, I am aware there are downsides to mask wearing. But there would be a huge downside if anyone in my household caught this disease, let alone died from it. My husband with my help, produces a fair quantity of humanely raised meat chicken and chicken and duck eggs for our community - neither of us could continue with the current level if left on our own. It would be one more small farm down the drain. My province has suddenly seen an uptick in cases as it entered Stage 3 of the "re-opening", so please help with some positive ideas of how you have or would help people learn a new skill!



 
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It seems totally unnecessary here, restaurants have been open over a month same for almost everything else, public gatherings up to 200 are allowed. private gatherings have never been banned. All schools and collages are open as normal as are childminders, play groups etc. use of public transport is being encouraged and even subsidised by the state, the borders are open and there are plenty of tourists. And the number of cases has not gone up, it's gone down despite increases in testing. in the entirety of Denmark right now there are 17 people in Hospital with covid of which 3 are on ventilators. No one wares a mask here at all and I mean no one. The only time we are meant to is if you have symptoms and are going to a test center.
 
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Alas, due to [everybody knows what, but I'm not going into that], the US is continuing to make a great big mess of this.

The severe surge in Florida, Texas, Arizona, and elsewhere is actually causing shortages of PPE [Personal Protective Equipment - masks, gowns, face shields, gloves].  I am fortunate to live in Vermont, where the handling of this pandemic has been handled sanely, and with science- and data-based planning.  But now that tourist season is here the numbers are rising.

I love your idea of cute masks, actors in funny public service announcements, and a positive approach to the need for masks in close quarters!
 
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Jay Angler wrote:Here's part of what Amir Attaran said:

"And to Hajdu and Tam: where is Canada’s mask plan? Early in the pandemic, you blew it when there were too few masks for our health care workers. Months later, you are again blowing it as ordinary Canadians scrounge for old T-shirts or whatever scientifically untested, ill-fitting, dubiously effective mask they can sew or buy (save in Alberta, where disposable masks are free). You are leaving to Etsy what should be a job of government, and it is pathetic.  



I find it funny how sometimes people sit back and don't take any initiative for their own self and well being, waiting for the government to take responsibility for them, and when they don't the ones suffering from lassitude then complain. I think those that have the motivation and drive to make their own masks, showing some self-reliance and responsibility should get a pat on the back at least.
 
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James Freyr wrote:

Jay Angler wrote:Here's part of what Amir Attaran said:

"And to Hajdu and Tam: where is Canada’s mask plan? Early in the pandemic, you blew it when there were too few masks for our health care workers. Months later, you are again blowing it as ordinary Canadians scrounge for old T-shirts or whatever scientifically untested, ill-fitting, dubiously effective mask they can sew or buy (save in Alberta, where disposable masks are free). You are leaving to Etsy what should be a job of government, and it is pathetic.  



I find it funny how sometimes people sit back and don't take any initiative for their own self and well being, waiting for the government to take responsibility for them, and when they don't the ones suffering from lassitude then complain. I think those that have the motivation and drive to make their own masks, showing some self-reliance and responsibility should get a pat on the back at least.



Couldn't agree more.

"Assuming that manufacturing and distribution costs $10 per person, the total comes to $370 million—or just seven hours’ worth of Canada’s current economic life-support for something able to chop new infections six-fold."

Or, you could let people make their own masks, and relieve a $370 million tax burden on the citizens, along with just maybe giving people the idea that taking a little personal responsibility can be a great thing.  Who knows where that will end?  Maybe people will even start growing their own food?!?!?!?
 
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There seems to be a divide here based on personal philosophical stances of the role of good governance.
For the sake of stubborn intellect, I will state that my opinion is that in the case of a national emergency, a policy of 'Every man for himself!' is irresponsible. To say the least. A good government helps the people it is made from.

But! This does nothing to address the real issue of those who refuse to wear a mask in the midst of a plague.  I get that refusers don't care about the effects on their own health- I can get onboard with that- but the fact is that this is a communicable virus and the attitude of "i don't care about getting sick" actually translates to "I don't care if I get you, your kids, or your Mother sick".

That is a sign of a different social sickness.
 
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Sounds like a great plan, Jay. For the time being it seems like many countries are not in such great shape and we will be wearing masks for quite some time.

We here are having a lot of argumentation about masks, but what it comes down to is that right now, by law, you have to wear a mask to enter any establishment, ride a bus, take an Uber, etc etc. No mask, no services.

We provided masks for our employees and also we keep some for my husband's clients who might need them. Some people leave their cars at our shop and then call a taxi or Uber to get home and then, SURPRISE! no mask, no ride. People forget sometimes, and we try to help them out. Also, if they are in our shop with no mask, we can lose our business license for not complying with state-wide mask rules.
I decided to make a few dozen masks at the beginning (out of my stash of cotton fabric) and people seemed to like them, after a few basic adjustments. In fact, I'm about to make another batch this weekend with a different design this weekend, since it looks like we're going to need them til maybe September or more.
 
Trace Oswald
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:There seems to be a divide here based on personal philosophical stances of the role of good governance.
For the sake of stubborn intellect, I will state that my opinion is that in the case of a national emergency, a policy of 'Every man for himself!' is irresponsible. To say the least. A good government helps the people it is made from.

But! This does nothing to address the real issue of those who refuse to wear a mask in the midst of a plague.  I get that refusers don't care about the effects on their own health- I can get onboard with that- but the fact is that this is a communicable virus and the attitude of "i don't care about getting sick" actually translates to "I don't care if I get you, your kids, or your Mother sick".

That is a sign of a different social sickness.



Asking people to be responsible for obtaining or making their own mask is a far cry from "every man for himself" in my humble view.  I agree that there is a divide between people that think the government should take care of everyone, and the view that personal responsibility should be the first response, and I agree wholeheartedly with your take on the issue of wearing or not wearing a mask.  
 
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Chris Sturgeon wrote:There seems to be a divide here based on personal philosophical stances of the role of good governance.
For the sake of stubborn intellect, I will state that my opinion is that in the case of a national emergency, a policy of 'Every man for himself!' is irresponsible. To say the least. A good government helps the people it is made from.

But! This does nothing to address the real issue of those who refuse to wear a mask in the midst of a plague.  I get that refusers don't care about the effects on their own health- I can get onboard with that- but the fact is that this is a communicable virus and the attitude of "i don't care about getting sick" actually translates to "I don't care if I get you, your kids, or your Mother sick".

That is a sign of a different social sickness.



Yes, I agree. I saw last night on Rachel Maddow (and didn't catch the name of the government leader, maybe a mayor, who I thought was very wise) that they are sending out masks to every person in their jurisdiction and mandating wearing them. This is good, because many people cannot afford to order masks online or have the means to go get them. This should be being done universally in the U.S. Some will be too stupid to live, of course, but many will take it seriously if they are impressed with the importance of doing what they can to minimize spread.

I'm in Georgia. We're in almost as bad of a shape as Florida is now, and our illegitimate governor has just mandated that none of the mayors can mandate mask-wearing. It's just crazy. Here my partner Robert and I were beginning to feel like maybe we could venture out because we knew everyone around us would also be wearing masks. Not now.
 
Jay Angler
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James Freyer wrote:

I think those that have the motivation and drive to make their own masks, showing some self-reliance and responsibility should get a pat on the back at least.

Ohhh!!! If I wasn't so busy farming, clearly I should sponsor a "mask making day". I'd need to set up tables outside and borrow a second sewing machine and iron and have stations with posters saying what to do for that step. Would that empower people? I don't have a problem with the government making and distributing a better tested mask, but I've read of lots of situations where the homemade masks are completely adequate. The special masks can be saved for health care workers or others who get far more exposure than most of us.  

Chris Sturgeon wrote:

For the sake of stubborn intellect, I will state that my opinion is that in the case of a national emergency, a policy of 'Every man for himself!' is irresponsible. To say the least. A good government helps the people it is made from.

I think there is a difference between "every man for himself" where no one cares for or helps anyone else, and people stepping up to help those around them. The purpose of this thread is to try to find ways to support the "greater good" and take proper mask wearing out of politics and back into the realm of "social responsibility" in ways that are kind and supportive.

Trace Oswald wrote:

Or, you could let people make their own masks, and relieve a $370 million tax burden on the citizens, along with just maybe giving people the idea that taking a little personal responsibility can be a great thing.  Who knows where that will end?  Maybe people will even start growing their own food?!?!?!?

May I think of this idea as being "personal empowerment" rather than "personal responsibility"? Does changing one word make a difference? "Responsibility" too often comes across as "the boring shit we have to do or we get into trouble". I wonder if fixing the benefits to all the people around us whom we love, or even just like, or maybe think are a nuisance but that doesn't mean we want them to get sick and die, in our minds as "empowering" whether wearing a mask might do exactly as Trace suggests - lead to even more empowering experiences like learning to fix something that broke or planting a fruit tree.
 
Trace Oswald
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Jay Angler wrote:May I think of this idea as being "personal empowerment" rather than "personal responsibility"? Does changing one word make a difference? "Responsibility" too often comes across as "the boring shit we have to do or we get into trouble". I wonder if fixing the benefits to all the people around us whom we love, or even just like, or maybe think are a nuisance but that doesn't mean we want them to get sick and die, in our minds as "empowering" whether wearing a mask might do exactly as Trace suggests - lead to even more empowering experiences like learning to fix something that broke or planting a fruit tree.



The verbiage doesn't make a difference to me, but I can understand "responsibility" as being something like you described for some people.  For me, "personal responsibility" IS empowering.  It means relying on myself to do something to help myself and others, rather than relying on someone else to do something for me.  I get a feeling of satisfaction taking responsibility for myself, and when I can, for other people.  That is, in large part, why I always grow more food than my little family can eat.  I like being responsible for my food, and being able to give extra to others.  I like the term "empowerment", and if that makes people feel good about doing things for themselves, I'm all for it.  My own personality rebels against the idea of sitting around and waiting for the "government" or some "professional" to take care of things.  I think people have been sold a bill of goods for far too long that says only a "professional" can do things correctly.  People are far more capable than they think of doing things for themselves.  It's just that they haven't been taught to try.  Even this sentence alludes to that. "Months later, you are again blowing it as ordinary Canadians scrounge for old T-shirts or whatever scientifically untested, ill-fitting, dubiously effective mask they can sew or buy (save in Alberta, where disposable masks are free)."  Clearly, only the government can supply you with a scientifically-tested, well-fitting, and effective mask.  I say nonsense.  You can make a mask every bit as effective and that will fit far, far better than the one-size-fits-all masks that are made by someone else.  But if someone makes it sound hard and convinces people that they can't make a safe, effective, well-fitting mask, they just give up before they try and wait for someone else to do it for them.  That seems to me to fly in the face of the very things all permies should be striving for.
 
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Sometimes, I feel like we get hung up on the “mandate” issue, which becomes a form of “obey me or else” and energizes both the “Karen’s” of the world and the conspiracy theorists.

I feel like if the government empowered businesses to turn folks away who are not wearing a mask, and strongly urged everyone to wear a mask when interacting with others, without a “mandate,” about 80% of us would comply, and that should probably be just enough to slow the spread to manageable levels. Are the other 20% going to resist?  Sure. So what.  Peer pressure might get to some of them. Others will never conform, with or without a mandate. That’s ok. If the rest of Us understand that wearing a mask means we are less likely to get COVID-19, and a whole lot less likely to kill grandma, that gets us most of the way to where we need to be without feeding the beasts on either extreme.
 
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I think it's really important for young people to wear masks as a good example. The more people wear them the more normalized it is and the more self conscious people will feel okay doing it. Right now where I live we've had very few cases, no hospitalizations, and no known cases currently. When you see someone wearing a mask, it's not completely the norm so you make a judgement. If they're elderly, you assume they're worried about their own safety. But if they're young you assume they're being conscientious, which is why I say young people need to set an example.

I've only just decided this, so my opinion is still evolving :)

Up until now I haven't worn a mask cause I'm not going to wear disposable ones. Just no. I haven't got around to making any partly because I'm lazy, yet also legitimately busy, I go out so rarely it hardly seems worthwhile, and because there's no sense of urgency here. I'm now thinking I should be one of the ones setting a good example, though.

I do think that if the government wants to encourage people to wear masks they should provide them. If someone has a mask given to them, they're more likely to wear it than if they have to, like me, take time out of their busy day to research how to fix their sewing machine, then tinker around with it, and come up with creative insults for the thing. Or figure out which of their friends has a sewing machine, then make a special trip to borrow it, and come up with some sort of appropriate thank you gesture. Or decide to bite the bullet and take the extra time to hand sew, realize they don't own any needles cause they've always used a sewing machine, and forget to go to the sewing store every time they're in town.

Those are super minor obstacles encountered by someone (me) who has very few obligations on their time, other than self imposed ones. For people with kids, full time jobs, pesky adult responsibilities, etc., etc., making masks could turn into, or maybe just seem like, a major project that gets passed over again and again for more immediate demands on their time. I don't think lack of personal responsibility is necessarily the problem for many people.

I feel I have to mention that the article complains about the government leaving people to scrounge for t-shirts, but that's actually a recommended option on Health Canada's website. I agree with the very basic idea of what was posted here, though. Free masks good :)

I also feel I should mention I'm only posting on here rather than sewing masks or shoveling dirt cause I'm at work and it's slow.
 
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A tough, and important topic. Interestingly, some jurisidctions are providing free masks at fast-food drive-through windows. It's the right idea, if people choose to use them.

I wear masks in stores. The majority do not. They don't understand, or find excuses not to. I think they are bloody irresponsible. But I can only control my own actions.

So here's my take, FWIW:

These are fearful, divisive times. They were fearful and divisive before Covid. Fearful people act out in ways that assert power and control over their destiny. They become tribal -- it's hard wired into the human animal. Often they are completely unaware of the underlying forces that drive their behaviours.

In this context, fearful people close in, circle the wagons, assert normality as a right to be defended, and broadly put themselves first.

That, I suspect, is why voluntary mask messaging hasn't worked, and why mandatory use gets such violent pushback. It's not linked to what they truly care about. Peace on earth, and goodwill to [fellow humans in society]? No traction. Social responsibility and the greater good? Forget it, too abstract. The messaging has to intersect directly with their deepest fears, with what they really care about. So, to be blunt, I think the correct messaging is:

"Don't destroy the economy! Wear a mask!"

"Protect your money! Wear a mask!"

Kind of cynical, I know, but I think it's practical. That's my 2 cents'. Worth what you paid, possibly less.
 
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Initially, I was anti mask for "healthy" people; PPE supplies for hospitals and essential workers was limited, and it seemed "paranoid". Then we learned more about the unusual nature of this virus, and I changed my stance, supporting the use of NON medical face coverings, ideally, for everyone. Thus began my search for a "good" cloth mask.

After trying multiple local makers I discovered a mother/daughter team, trying to make ends meet making fabulous masks.

My approach is somewhat unorthodox.  I desperately want everyone wearing masks, so I bought a bunch and gave them away to everyone I encountered, concentrating on the people I regularly came in contact with. I had so much fun! Watching each person "fall in love" with a pattern; the comfortable fit; the novelty of choosing something that spoke to them. I soon had to re-order, and then again, and again. I am currently waiting on yet another order, this time for 175 masks.

I don't charge, and refuse payment - I want the joy of the gift to reassert itself every time they reach for their mask, to have something positive associated with mask wearing. There is so much anti-mask rhetoric and nonsense; fear and worry about the virus. I want their mask to evoke joy!

So, my mission continues, stopping total strangers and offering them to choose a mask. The recipients wonderment, each time, has brought ME so much joy in these challenging days.  

I highly encourage others to source locally made, quality, comfortable masks (or by all means, you clever folk, sew them yourself!). You will be helping a local resident make ends meet; get or make a few extra's, for those who may not have extra money to spare, or the folks you regularly come in contact with. Your gift will bring you both joy, and you may literally be saving lives!
 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:  So here's my take, FWIW:

These are fearful, divisive times. They were fearful and divisive before Covid. Fearful people act out in ways that assert power and control over their destiny. They become tribal -- it's hard wired into the human animal. Often they are completely unaware of the underlying forces that drive their behaviours.

In this context, fearful people close in, circle the wagons, assert normality as a right to be defended, and broadly put themselves first.

That, I suspect, is why voluntary mask messaging hasn't worked, and why mandatory use gets such violent pushback. It's not linked to what they truly care about. Peace on earth, and goodwill to [fellow humans in society]? No traction. Social responsibility and the greater good? Forget it, too abstract. The messaging has to intersect directly with their deepest fears, with what they really care about.



This reflects of lot of my own view as well, but with a few tweaks that I add from some observations and personal perspective......as this is the Cider Press, hopefully acceptable for the discussion.

First, just a bit of a wince at the use of the word 'tribal' since while I understand in this context what it is conveying, I have great respect for many indigenous tribes for their view and implementation of the concept.  But totally agree with the notion that "Often they are completely unaware of the underlying forces that drive their behaviours." ...... and actually feel that this fact is the single greatest threat to the planet that might originate from human activity,--our collective inability to be aware of the underlying, typically un- or sub-conscious, forces that drive our behavior.  So circling the wagons is a good metaphor for what ultimately happens in many of these cases.

Finally, I would submit to the reader that a large basis for not wearing masks when all other arguments are moved aside (i.e, health reasons for not doing so, phobias, etc.) is again, an underlying one:  For many, "why should I care about other people's health when my family, employer, community, church, school, classmates, co-workers, government, etc.  have never really cared about *mine*."  There will be more people that you think who unassumingly carrying about their life with this attitude.  It just seems to me to be an attitude that has been present in many forms over a long time, but seems to be exposing itself more and more even in leadership positions in recent years.   Anyway,....just some musings on motivation.

If nothing else, I think one can appeal to the fact that all of those fellow workers out there on the other side of the counter are required to wear them -AND- the evidence tilts towards masks being instrumental in slowing the spread and potentially giving the vulnerable a few more years of life.....if you are able to wear a mask for this temporary period, why not do so in solidarity with them?
"
 
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I think we might be seeing a bit of difference in opinion on the role of good governance particularly between the US and Canada .  I support government spending on things that a)save tax payers money or b) help businesses or c) help citizens. If something can be done that does those 3 with minimal costs- let's do it. It makes our country and our economy stronger. I see masks as our best way to get things back to "as normal as possible" in the foreseeable future, so support the government provision of masks.

A lot of jurisdictions in Ontario are mandating masks. Many people dont have them and cant buy them. Right now some businesses are providing disposal masks, at great cost, to their customers. Businesses are already struggling they dont need this extra cost.  My company cant reopen until it gets a supply of several masks each for 10 000 employees or so.  If the government gave everyone two reusable masks, more people could maybe go out in public, they could theoretically bulk buy at a greatly reduced cost, or better yet, contract the production to Canadian companies.

Masks are also a savings. In Canada, as a taxpayer - I pay for each and every coronavirus victim in a hospital. All of the chronic health issues and permanent lung damage, strokes, and heart attacks ... I will pay for them. Preventstive medicine, like wearing masks, at a cost of $10  per citizen (37 million Canadians, $370 million)? Please yes, let's pay money now to save a lot of money for the future so my tax dollars can go to building infrastructure rather than paying down debt and paying for higher health care and long term disability costs.

Plus- mask wearing HOPEFULLY means more businesses can remain open and more Canadians get a paycheque.  I would much rather pay for some masks and have our government collect business taxes and income taxes and sales taxes than pay the $2000 per month CERB benefit.
 
Diane Kistner
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Lorinne Anderson wrote:I don't charge, and refuse payment - I want the joy of the gift to reassert itself every time they reach for their mask, to have something positive associated with mask wearing. There is so much anti-mask rhetoric and nonsense; fear and worry about the virus. I want their mask to evoke joy!

So, my mission continues, stopping total strangers and offering them to choose a mask. The recipients wonderment, each time, has brought ME so much joy in these challenging days.  

I highly encourage others to source locally made, quality, comfortable masks (or by all means, you clever folk, sew them yourself!). You will be helping a local resident make ends meet; get or make a few extra's, for those who may not have extra money to spare, or the folks you regularly come in contact with. Your gift will bring you both joy, and you may literally be saving lives!



This is beautiful, Lorinne! You've inspired me!

 
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Skandi Rogers wrote:It seems totally unnecessary here, restaurants have been open over a month same for almost everything else, public gatherings up to 200 are allowed. private gatherings have never been banned. All schools and collages are open as normal as are childminders, play groups etc. use of public transport is being encouraged and even subsidised by the state, the borders are open and there are plenty of tourists. And the number of cases has not gone up, it's gone down despite increases in testing. in the entirety of Denmark right now there are 17 people in Hospital with covid of which 3 are on ventilators. No one wares a mask here at all and I mean no one. The only time we are meant to is if you have symptoms and are going to a test center.



I find this very interesting information. It's not like Denmark is an island, and as you said, tourists are coming to visit, I'm sure from a variety of countries. So if all the information we are being fed by the "experts", why is it that Denmark isn't seeing a rise in cases, especially considering that no one is wearing face masks and it sounds like social distancing really isn't going on? It makes me question everything we are being told.
Thank you for posting this, Skandi; I find it provides a lot of food for thought.
 
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Annie Collins wrote:
I find this very interesting information. It's not like Denmark is an island, and as you said, tourists are coming to visit, I'm sure from a variety of countries. So if all the information we are being fed by the "experts", why is it that Denmark isn't seeing a rise in cases, especially considering that no one is wearing face masks and it sounds like social distancing really isn't going on? It makes me question everything we are being told.
Thank you for posting this, Skandi; I find it provides a lot of food for thought.



We have to be careful not to compare apples to oranges. Denmark was very aggressive in locking down the country early on. The U.S. was not.

 
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I just came across this. Apparently a whole raft of major retail chains in the U.S. are going to a mandatory mask strategy for customers. Their Canadian offshoots will likely follow suit. Basically, they can do it because it's private property -- my roof, my rules. This is positive news IMO.

https://www.businessinsider.com/list-of-chains-requiring-customers-wear-masks-walmart-starbucks-2020-7
 
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Douglas Alpenstock wrote:I just came across this. Apparently a whole raft of major retail chains in the U.S. are going to a mandatory mask strategy for customers. Their Canadian offshoots will likely follow suit. Basically, they can do it because it's private property -- my roof, my rules. This is positive news IMO.

https://www.businessinsider.com/list-of-chains-requiring-customers-wear-masks-walmart-starbucks-2020-7



Yes, it is positive news. Maybe it's the only hope for the state of Georgia, where our stupid governor is suing the mayor of Atlanta for mandating mask-wearing. Kemp needs to be recalled.

 
Jay Angler
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The city in Ontario where my sisters live is passing a by-law regarding masks but I don't know what it says yet. My middle sister sewed a cotton one for my elder sister and she was amazed at how much more comfortable it was than the disposable masks and it allowed her to get the eye doctor appointment she needed.

I really agree with the need to get young people wearing masks as a "fashion trend" as I think that would really help us get on top of this virus. I saw a list of 10 fashion companies that have put out masks - they were too fancy for me but were *clearly* aiming at the demographic of young city folk. (Actually, there was one put out by a small jeans company made out of denim and I'd be willing to wear that one!) Lorinne's source which sounds like they have plenty different colours and patterns sounds like it would appeal to many folk. Personally, the fact that most of the politicians I've seen wearing masks in Canada and the US have been wearing black ones is a little off-putting to me. Yes, I don't want my Prime Minister wearing a cartoon character on his face, but he wears very nice ties, so masks could follow a similar trend - professional does not in my mind, equate with "black", whereas "black" does to some extent suggest death, which this virus has caused plenty of. That's *strictly* a personal reaction - I think brought on by the amount of deaths caused by this virus, as I wasn't bothered by black clothing in general in the past.
 
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Jay Angler wrote:I really agree with the need to get young people wearing masks as a "fashion trend" as I think that would really help us get on top of this virus. I saw a list of 10 fashion companies that have put out masks - they were too fancy for me but were *clearly* aiming at the demographic of young city folk. (Actually, there was one put out by a small jeans company made out of denim and I'd be willing to wear that one!) Lorinne's source which sounds like they have plenty different colours and patterns sounds like it would appeal to many folk. Personally, the fact that most of the politicians I've seen wearing masks in Canada and the US have been wearing black ones is a little off-putting to me. Yes, I don't want my Prime Minister wearing a cartoon character on his face, but he wears very nice ties, so masks could follow a similar trend - professional does not in my mind, equate with "black", whereas "black" does to some extent suggest death, which this virus has caused plenty of. That's *strictly* a personal reaction - I think brought on by the amount of deaths caused by this virus, as I wasn't bothered by black clothing in general in the past.



Yeah, the black is a little intense. Most people don't look great in black, either.

Saw this video today, which I think is pretty powerful.

https://khou.com/embeds/video/507-cb5dcdb7-c920-4554-82a7-754c0ee9888d/iframe?jwsource=cl

Somebody ought to have a contest for the best mask looks.

 
Lorinne Anderson
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Styles of masks: last night "sold out" of three different types of skeletons, three styles of Star Wars and half a dozen Superman - ADULT sizes! Bambi, Dumbo, Snoopy and Mickey Mouse have also been surprisingly popular for adults...so yes, blah black does seem to potentially be off putting.

"OMG" or "NO WAY" or "AWWW" or "SWEET" seem to be the most frequent comments when they find their "dream" mask. I have had people literally beg me for Star Wars ones; one fellow was desperate for "Hello Kitty" for himself, I have three for him I will deliver on Sunday - apparently he will "lose his mind" according to staff and girlfriend.

So yes, I do think having a mask that "speaks" to you IS super critical.
 
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"Face masks - is social need being derailed by "personal rights" and "politics"?"



Here, in this state it most certainly is.
Our governor finally decided to mandate wearing masks statewide after realizing positive cases were increasing quickly.

I think it's too late as most have already committed to a stance one way or the other.
For example the police chief in a nearby small town just posted this 'proclamation' that will make it much more difficult for businesses that were trying to protect both customers and their employees.
Using divisive, challenging language as he has changes the nature of the mask controversy from a safety issue to a political one, following the example set by this countries administration.  



 
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I am appalled that people will call this a "freedom" issue; without recognizing that for time immemorial the benefits for the masses outweighs that of the individual...always. So sad that they view "personal choice" ahead of public welfare or public good, or public safety, so sad.
 
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This thread inspired me to get out and look at the various types of fashion masks. I've got two colored cotton masks, burgundy and pink, that I got on Amazon; my partner has blue and grey.

But I wish I hadn't seen the Hannibal Lecter mask.... I certainly hope I don't run into anyone wearing that!

 
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I wonder what all this teaches us about decline of ethics as a motivating factor in modern life.

Our political freedoms, vital as they are, don't strike me as a great guide to consult when trying to figure out "right living" -- whether or not a thing is legal to do or refrain from says very little about whether doing or refraining from it is also ethical behavior.  

When I hear folks speaking of their freedom not to wear a mask, what I hear is a person proclaiming that ethics don't move them.  "I have the right to put others in danger!"  Well, sure, friend, but how do you sleep at night with a thing like that on your conscience?  
 
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Judith, thank you for your post.  We recently helped move my son (with very mixed feelings) to his apartment in Arkansas as he'll be attending medical school there.  We were thrilled that the governor made this much needed move to protect the citizens, but based on the cultural issues we were seeing with a near total lack of mask wearing we figured it would be an uphill battle.  It's surreal to see the police chief's statements that "These mandates by government are killing our economy" and "we are going to become a failed communist state". Quite amazing as mask wearing is what will likely save the economy by allowing people to slow down the spread of the virus while going out and about to spend money.  I've heard the communist statement and it always makes me scratch my head....how is using personal protective equipment to help save your society and keep its economy from totally collapsing a communist activity again?  Because you're helping the masses?  There is a lot of VERY scary non-thinking going on out there.  I hate to say it, but I think there well may be outside forces seeding all this to use people to try and knock back the United States position in the world.  The recent Russian hacker attacks to collect information on the supply chain for our vaccine efforts indicates what the intent is pretty clearly.
 
Judith Browning
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Greg Martin wrote:Judith, thank you for your post.  We recently helped move my son (with very mixed feelings) to his apartment in Arkansas as he'll be attending medical school there.  We were thrilled that the governor made this much needed move to protect the citizens, but based on the cultural issues we were seeing with a near total lack of mask wearing we figured it would be an uphill battle.  It's surreal to see the police chief's statements that "These mandates by government are killing our economy" and "we are going to become a failed communist state". Quite amazing as mask wearing is what will likely save the economy by allowing people to slow down the spread of the virus while going out and about to spend money.  I've heard the communist statement and it always makes me scratch my head....how is using personal protective equipment to help save your society and keep its economy from totally collapsing a communist activity again?  Because you're helping the masses?  There is a lot of VERY scary non-thinking going on out there.  I hate to say it, but I think there well may be outside forces seeding all this to use people to try and knock back the United States position in the world.  The recent Russian hacker attacks to collect information on the supply chain for our vaccine efforts indicates what the intent is pretty clearly.



Yes, so many scare tactics floating around and swallowed by quite gullible folks...made worse by the amount of false information spewed out on social media.
I don't think universal mask wearing will ever be accepted by the masses unfortunately...to many of us it seems such an innocuous solution to slow virus spread but to many it's right up there with taking away their guns.

We've lived here for more than forty years now and for the most part political and religious views have not stood in the way of communities working together....that is changing now I'm afraid.  

Wonderful that your son is in med school...the world needs him  

 
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While lately I have not had a great deal of social interaction. That interaction I have had has been pretty unproductive due to me taking the conversation up one notch.  Two examples that quickly come to mind are:

When someone says, "it's my right",  I reply, "what is a right?"   No one has come up with a better answer than, "It is one of those things in the Constitution." It would appear we are willing to fight to the death to defend what we can't define.

My other reply is, "if it is a right, how does it hurt to not invoke it if it helps someone else?" On a daily basis I fail to use some of my rights without harm to myself,
 
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Random belated points:

-- Mask usage has been mandatory in every state here in Germany - indoors and in public transit - for months, and I don't see that changing.  However, most people take off their masks once outside.  I haven't been in a real crowd in months, so I suspect more people wear their masks on the sidewalk downtown, etc.
-- I find mask requirements critical for people to be willing to go out again, along with the other effective methods the government is using.  (Very clear reporting, fast testing, and aggressive tracing.)  I don't get people saying it's bad for business.
-- Almost every business will sell you a mask, either a cheap disposable one for a euro in the convenience stores, or an "artisan" one for 5-20 euros.
-- Also, scarves are legally acceptable, and when I've forgotten mine I've just wrapped a scarf around my face.  Lots of people wear scarves anyway (Euro fashion + unpredictable spring/summer weather ) so it was easy for people to adjust until more masks were available.
-- I would not have been averse to the idea of the state sending a mask or two out, either.  They have our addresses in Germany, and as said above the cost is dwarfed by the rest of the costs of the pandemic.  
-- I agree that black ones can be scary.  As a certified paranoid person (TM) I bought some online very early, and chose light gray.  Less contrast against my super-pale face feels less... intimidating?  And I say this as a goth!
-- I'm not far from the border with Denmark, and I'm surprised that mask usage is not required there.  However, Denmark locked down much harder and faster, and thus has a much lower current rate, even though Germany's not doing badly.
-- An industry that keeps having outbreaks, here and in the US, is meatpacking.  An advantage that Denmark has in that industry is highly automated plants.  I could argue either way on how Permie the idea is, but it's certainly better for the workers.  Article here:  https://www.wired.com/story/covid-19-makes-the-case-for-more-meatpacking-robots/
 
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I believe I first read it here...and have wholeheartedly adopted it. We need to change the message to "if you value our economy, wear a mask".

Regardless of someone's political stance, if folks are scared, they will stay home, not go to work, and spend less money. Most will acknowledge the economy is in trouble (no matter where you are!) and that foot traffic is the only thing that will save our small businesses.

My second, albeit quite graphic, argument for public safety uses the outlawed practise of public urination and defecation - yep it is absolutely your "right to 'go'"; this is illegal as it causes a risk to public health and caused the spread of disease.

My third is to equate with "safety equipment; helmets, seat belts, infant or children's car seats, hard hats and the like. These also infringe on our "personal freedoms" yet collectively, for the greater good, we all utilize these tools as mandated, in the name of public safety

Lastly, I encourage the old gem, No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service - time for merchants to add 'No Mask'.

Picking your stance to be the most understandable for your audience can limit push back and promote understanding and acceptance.

I am sad to say I have been banned (at least temporarily) from offering "cute masks" FOR FREE (in an environment where they are actually MANDATORY), because "supposedly" a Doctor complained that I was not following "proper mask protocol" by allowing those interested to handle the zip locked SAMPLE bags!!! No one but myself handles the masks, the bulk ones are stored according to style, in bulk zip locked bags not accessible to the public, and even then, only handled by ear loops!

Alternatively, I was told this is an emotionally charged issue, so they are seeking permission from higher authority.... of note: one of the on site bosses that day absolutely refuses to comply with the company's mandatory mask wearing policy; another, at the same level, is SELLING her masks. I find it VERY hard to believe the real reason I have been banned is not one of these bosses personal agenda...how sad!
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