Extensive disagreement amongst medical professionals on face-coverings

 In Letters, Opinion


Thank you for publishing most of my letter last week. However, I noticed that you left out my citations to the facts that I used to support the arguments that I offered readers to consider.

I feel that the citations are an intrinsic part of the letter. Without factual support, my points get lost in the general identity rhetoric out there.

Labelling people as “ignorant or arrogant” for not wearing masks in public is the exact thing that we need to stop doing.

Even if a spike in cases could be proved to be substantially caused by individuals not wearing masks, where is the harm given that the daily death rate in the US is still trending down despite an increase in infections? [i]

We have moved away from any form of relevant debate on the ultimate goals and costs to our community, which is what Donna Baylis was referring to when she used the word “hysteria.”

I encourage everyone to take a look at the expert opinions and studies quoted by Dr. Nicola Mercer, Medical Officer of Health for Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph, to support her decision to make people wear masks [ii]. Anyone doing so, will quickly realize that there is extensive disagreement amongst medical professionals. Even the World Health Organization (which I am sure is full of experts), still does not advocate the wearing of non-surgical masks in all public settings. [iii]

The requirement to wear masks in indoor public spaces can actually be made through local bylaws. [iv] So, if that is the case, why is there such strong sentiment in our community to give up our democratic rights and allow single individuals to make material decisions about the way we live our day to day lives?

Perhaps you non-experts out there have already made up your mind that everyone should wear masks and Mercer and Dr. Charles Gardiner, Medical Officer of Health for Simcoe-Muskoka, are simply your justification? So be it, but let’s do this democratically and not through peer pressure. To do otherwise, is to set a dangerous precedent. Vaccines are next.

Finally, by way of a relevant update to my last letter, on July 14, Mercer changed her original order to “clarify” (i.e. expand), when individuals are exempt from having to wear masks and to provide “guidance” to commercial establishments on how to respond to exemptions claimed by customers (i.e. don’t challenge them). [v]

Hmm… maybe Mercer’s first shot at exercising arbitrary power on June 10, slightly missed the mark? I’m glad that she got it absolutely right this time. No need to consider it further. After all, she’s an expert.

Greg McNally,



[i] Look at https://usafacts.org/visualizations/coronavirus-covid-19-spread-map/, specifically the graph of new known cases vs. new known deaths.

[ii] https://wdgpublichealth.ca/your-health/covid-19-information-public/reliable-information-sources

[iii] https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public/when-and-how-to-use-masks

[iv] https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/toronto-makes-it-mandatory-to-wear-a-mask-in-indoor-public-spaces-1.5005358

[v] https://www.wdgpublichealth.ca/news/media-release-dr-nicola-mercer-revises-section-22-order-requiring-face-coverings-commercial.

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