Make masks mandatory in C-K

Aug 5 • COVID-19, Feature Story, Letters to the Editor6 Comments on Make masks mandatory in C-K

Editor: Over the past few weeks, I have seen that there is much confusion in the general public in regarding what a mandatory masking order looks like. 

Many believe that everyone will need to wear a mask whenever they leave their home. This is not the case. 

For most public health units across Ontario, the order is ONLY for commercial public places where goods and services are sold. 

What that means for me is I will need to wear a mask while grocery shopping for approximately 30 minutes a week, as well as for maybe two or three trips to a variety or other store for approximately five minutes each time. 

There are 10,080 minutes in a week. Only for about 45 of them would I need to wear a mask under a mandated order. 

Other concerns I have seen raised by the public is that they can’t wear a mask because they have breathing difficulties, a medical condition such as COPD or severe asthma or even panic/anxiety disorders and sometimes physical impairments. It is of my opinion that individuals such as these, whose risk to COVID-19 would be greater because of such conditions, would only benefit from a mandated order. 

They themselves would be exempt from having to wear one under an order, and in turn, it would help to ensure that those around them who “can” safely wear a mask were doing so. 

It is clear that there is a need for the public to be aware of what an example of a mandated order looks like and I would encourage everyone to look to examples from the other public health units that are readily available on the Internet. Each has their own extensive list of exemptions to their masking order (who would not be required to wear one), as well as a lot of great information on when it is appropriate to wear a mask, how to safely wear and remove one, how to dispose of disposable masks and the best way to wash reusable cloth masks. 

Lastly, one of the other concerns I have seen over the past few days regarding masks is that there are people in our community who are wearing their mask incorrectly. I’m not of a mindset that I feel like just because someone is doing something “not quite right” that we should throw away the idea entirely. We (the public health unit) need to step in and provide more widespread education regarding ALL of the very important public health measures they have put in place to protect us. 

I can wholeheartedly agree that social distancing is one of the most important safety measures we have in place. Everyone, regardless of if they are using a mask at the moment or not, needs to be heeding the advice to stay at least six feet away from anyone outside of their own personal bubble of 10. Just because one has a mask on does not mean they no longer need to social distance. Also, if you are not wearing a mask, and see someone who has a mask on outside of your bubble, it does NOT mean it is safe to go within their six-foot personal space.

Masks do not stop the spread of COVID-19, but in my opinion, it is being proven every day that the proper use of masks – along with social distancing, proper handwashing and other measures – “do” slow it down. And that is what we are focusing on as a community in order for us to safely remain in Stage 3, continue to see reopenings of businesses, to get people back to work and rebuild the economy and to keep eachother healthy as best as we can. 

Tera Fox

Chatham-Kent

Comments

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6 Responses to Make masks mandatory in C-K

  1. Jim says:

    No to mandatory face masks. They haven’t proven to be effective anywhere they’ve been made mandatory. When they’re made mandatory and the spread doesn’t go down. Then what will these pro mask folks be petitioning for next? Outside AND inside?

  2. Joan says:

    With a 99.96% survival rate (according to the cdc), I am totally against the masks 100%. Implementing a manditory mask bylaw in the middle of summer when the “curve” has been flattened, makes you think the masks are not about a virus. People are getting sick from having to wear them, especially bacterial pneumonia from bacteria forming on the masks, and lowered oxygen levels just to name a few. I am shocked that people have lost their critical thinking skills, and just follow along because the govt tells them to do this. I am one of these people who cant wear a mask due to health issues. I am not afraid at all about the corona virus. What I can tell you, is that I have been berated, yelled at, questioned, harassed to the point I now have anxiety on top of all this just to go to the grocery store. How healthy is that , that you can bully us and, discriminate against us for something we can not help? I though “we were all in this together.” Think realistically people. Another thing masks are doing is stretching out this virus. Didn’t you ever hear when you were younger to let something run its course? Again, critical thinking skills!! If the govt told you to jump off a cliff, would you do that too?

  3. TBear says:

    No way should masks be mandatory. I have already and will continue to stay away from businesses that force this issue. There is ZERO scientific evidence that masks do anything positive in regards to Covid-19.

  4. Lori says:

    Social distancing goes right out the window once the masks go on..they crowd you with a false sense of security with no recollection that they still need to distance and sanitize..personally they drive me NUTS and cause me to continously touch my face to readjust them ..I’m more likely to catch it while wearing a mask than by social distancing mask free..this theory about masks reducing the risk is all good if the wearer is using common sense along with it but unfortunately from what I see that’s in VERY short supply these days..NO TO MANDATORY MASK

  5. Ryan Burk says:

    I would like to ask a question to the writers of these daily articles that are so quick to announce the rise in numbers of positive cases.. why is it that you are yet to remind the public in these articles that dispite the fact we have fluctuations in numbers of positive cases, the fact remains that we still only have ONE death in chatham kent!? Why is it that you have not talked about the fact that the tests have up to a 50% false positive!? Why have you not talked about how dispite not wearing masks we still have the lowest death count in all surrounding municipalities!? I feel you are misleading the public into believing that covid is running rampant in our community when it is not. Stop spreading fear ..

    • There are now two deaths. We publish the number every time we update the number of COVID cases in C-K.
      This from Public Health Ontario:
      As of May 23, 2020, PHO Laboratory has detected false positive SARS-CoV-2 results on approximately 20
      occasions among over 228,000 specimens tested to date for COVID-19, with ~11,000 specimens testing
      positive. This represents a false positivity rate of less than 0.01% (specificity of >99.99%), which is well
      beyond performance targets for a laboratory test, even acknowledging there may be some false positive
      tests that are not detected.

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