We are looney to not take precautions

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor:
We wish to respond to the letter by Donna Baylis about masks infringing on our rights.
Masks are intended to prevent others from “catching” your germs—which you may have without any symptoms. So if you decide not to wear a mask, you put others at risk to your germs, and yourself at risk to catch COVID-19 from others who are also not wearing masks. In our little bit of God’s creation, we have beautiful properties and getaways, and thus a lot of people either with second homes here, or passing through as tourists, many from the GTA. The incidence of infections in those metropolitan areas is much greater than in this area, so we are putting ourselves and others at risk by not wearing a mask. The data is showing that more young people are becoming infected and may unknowingly transmit the virus to others. A good portion of our local population is over the age of 60 and may/do have additional risk factors
So is that your right? To infect others?
Our friend has a son who has lived in Taiwan for many years now. He also has a brother in law who is an epidemiologist in Canada. Taiwan has been a leader in prevention of COVID-19, in main because they took lessons and learned from the SARS epidemic. Because they are so close to China, they started preparing immediately for an epidemic. It was life-destroying that the World Health Organization and other countries did not take their advice.
At the outset, Taiwan had everyone wear masks, not just in shops, but out on the streets as well. And people complied. Anyone who had travelled outside Taiwan, was subject to detailed screening at the airports, were told to isolate for 14 days, symptoms or not, and they were spot checked every day to ensure compliance. Taiwan is situated less than 100 miles from China, and more than 1 million Taiwanese work in China. There is frequent travel between the two countries. Wearing masks was the first line of attack that controlled the spread of COVID-19.
Dr. Gardner was advocating for masks in The Echo edition of May 29. “It is now recommended that people wear masks when interacting with others,” writes The Echo… “It’s important to know that the evidence shows that if they (masks) are helpful, they’re helpful in preventing transmission from the wearer to other people and not the other way around,” said Gardner. This is also the reason that surgical staff wear masks – to lessen the risk of passing the germs on to a compromised patient and they wear other PPE to protect themselves from being splashed or sprayed with other body fluids.
So, as an example, if you go into any store, without a mask, and you are picking up products to check them, and then maybe putting them back, or just touching items to check them along the way, you, without your mask, and others without theirs, are potentially breathing COVID-19 germs onto many different products. Is that your right?
Baylis’ letter cites a US senator/physician, however, cases in the U.S. are on the rise and out of control. So far Canada is managing much better. We are “looney” ourselves if we do not take all precautions possible. We must follow our health unit’s instructions. Yes, they probably should have mandated masks for all into place a lot sooner, but our country had a shortfall of masks and gloves and gowns, all of which were desperately needed for hospital staff, nursing home care staff, and other first responders. We need to follow the current, mandatory, recommendations now, to stop the spread, and reduce the risk to everyone from a second wave of infections, like the USA is now seeing,
If an individual feels that their rights are being infringed upon, and if following the law is too difficult to do, then an individual also has the right to stay home. One thing you don’t have the right to do is put another person’s life in danger, whether it is by going through a stop sign or by not wearing a mask. We are talking possible life and death situations in this case, not just a bent fender. There are always consequences to “me, myself and I” behaviour.
How many lives does it take?
George and Lynne Dodd,
Glencairn.

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