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Mask shaming

 
gardener
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I was thinking as far as kids go, you could try making it a game.  Ok we are going to town today, we are special agents and don't want anyone to know who we are so we have to wear a mask, or we are cowboys and expecting a  duststorm and have to wear a bandana to save our lives.  You get the point. If they are anything like my kids these trips will need to be quick.  
Depending on how old your kiddos are, you might just explain the situation to them.  Most of us try to protect our children, shelter them, Lord knows they will have enough to deal with as adults. Often times kids know more than we think. Knowledge is power, and often leads to understanding. Good luck to you and your family.  I feel for those of you who have little ones through all this.
 
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Elle, 

I'm in a similar situation. Haven't needed to go anywhere and don't need a mask in our neighborhood as nobody else lives nearby. Masks annoy me because my glasses fog up.
 
When I do have to go somewhere that I have to be close to other people, I wear a mask. At this point, for us, it's just good manners. 

Living in Japan, we had accumulated a stack of masks anyway. They are often given out with advertisements on the package or as a bonus taped to the side of a sixpack when the weather gets cold. So we had masks already, but most places here that require masks provide them.
 
For people needing a new mask each day of course, masks soon ran out. Enter the ten second, no sew solution: Handkerchief masks:


Kids can choose their own fabric and fold it themselves. They might be more likely to keep them on, especially if other church members praise their mask making skills.

I have two perspectives on mask wearing. The first is etiquette, that it has become polite in some settings. Your experience in Japan is a good example. For private gatherings, like church, if the new rule is to wear a mask, it's polite to oblige. 

Every church is different, but I have attended many with strict dress codes. Women wearing hats and men wearing ties. Newcomers are generally forgiven the first couple of times, then offered "sunday best" clothes if they aren't able to get them themselves. 

Personally I don't mind following the dress code of private groups, like church, or work place uniforms, or wearing (or not wearing as is common in Japan) shoes inside. If, however, I am not comfortable and still want to join, I talk to whoever is in charge about making an exception for me. For example, most of the indoor slippers here are way too small for my feet, so when offered slippers, I simply say my feet are too big, is that ok? and enter in just my socks or bare feet.
 
I wonder if you could talk to your pastor, or church leaders, about your situation.  They might be willing to compromise for an asthmatic and small children, and explain your situation to the congregation. Maybe you could sit in the back by an open window or up in the balcony, if your church has one, and agree not to sing, as singing launches more droplets and much further, as Michael Cox mentioned.

My second perspective is that of public health and safety. It's well accepted here that masks help you keep your droplets to yourself. There were some mixed messages in the beginning of this pandemic combined with a mask shortage. But now that things have calmed down, here anyway, it's expected that everyone wear a mask when around other people to avoid spreading covid in the event you are unknowingly infected and not showing symptoms.

From Japan's public television NHK(in English): A short clip showing the spread and lingering of micro-droplets after a sneeze and in normal conversation in an unventilated room. 


 
Full report in English: shows droplets during conversation at 2:30 and also a simulation of droplet spread and lingering in the air up to 20 minutes in an unventilated room at 3:55




I think it's similar to attitudes toward tobacco and secondhand smoke. At first, experts recommended tobacco as a healthy product and encouraged smoking. Then, after some confusion, tobacco became widely accepted as unhealthy.

People still smoked indoors and around other people believing the smoke only affected the smoker. Then, after some confusion, secondhand smoke was widely accepted to be unhealthy for the people around the smoker. And now most public places and indoor common areas are nonsmoking. 

Imagine if someone in your church lit up a cigarette inside in the middle of service. How would the congregation react? We expect an environment free from secondhand smoke. We are still in the confusing transition of mask wearing, but I think soon we will also expect an environment free from secondhand droplets. I wonder if even after this virus runs its course, masks will continue to be expected in high risk areas like airports and train stations. 

Clip showing droplet spread with and without a mask at 0:36 from NHK (in Japanese)



Hope you find a solution that works for your family and your church!
 
master gardener
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Thank you for those videos, Amy Arnett. In Canada, I had to copy the URL's and watch them directly from my browser, but it is worth doing so! I had heard that there were recommendations of opening windows regularly, and these videos support that with photos.
 
pollinator
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Thanks all. We haven't decided if we will be going to church yet or not. If we do we'll wear masks. Part of me is now wondering if we should attend with an infant or just wait until things settle down. No decision as of yet.
 
elle sagenev
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Just to update I got one. Necessary for work. I think I make a beautiful hatchet face! Lol
IMG_20200608_125954092.jpg
[Thumbnail for IMG_20200608_125954092.jpg]
 
Jay Angler
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Wow Elle, I love the roses! One could even say it's got a "sort of" permaculture theme. Of course, while you were making your decision, this thread has taken on a life of its own, which is a good thing.

There are countries in the world where wearing a mask when out in public when there's a lot of sickness around, let alone a pandemic, is considered normal, responsible, kind behavior. The people of North America need to come together as a group and decide if they value that attitude, regardless of "we don't do that around here" history. There are *many* things that were considered normal behavior hundreds of years ago that humans have decided needed to change and have done so, and many more things we'd like them to change, like polluting rivers and abusing farmland. I think there are way better ways to accomplish those goals than shaming people.
 
elle sagenev
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Boy how little I knew of the permanence of needing masks. lol Now we have like 50 in the house of all different shapes and colors and it's totally normal. The world is crazy!
 
gardener
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No kidding, Elle!!
I just bought another 100 disposables for our clients at the shop, never imagined I would still be doing so a year later (or that it would still be a PITA to get masks a year later!). We continue to have people who drop off cars and call an Uber to get home, and don't have a mask to ride. I figure we've distributed at least 350 over the last year for just these cases.
 
Jay Angler
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At this point I've sewn 4 different styles of masks and I understand so much more about the importance of finding a size and style of mask that is comfy on the wearer's face. I can totally understand that people who have been reliant on disposable masks may find them lacking. My favorite style fits a small, narrow face. I've just had another order for 4 more masks that are a little more sewing than some of the simple ones on the web, but I'm collecting more and more friends who insist that style is the best fit for them (more of a broad face than mine).

I try to make them bright and cheery as well, but then most of my clients are retired rather than feeling that they need to "look professional". That said - who says pretty flowers or a small pattern of grey stars on a navy background *isn't* professional? We loose non-verbal facial communication with masks, so having something pretty to represent our smile is not a bad thing.

This whole pandemic is having a lot of impact on people's mental health, so I believe it's even more important to be as "kind" and "nice" as possible and skip the shaming part. If someone hasn't got a mask or feels they can't wear one, try to find a solution that works to get the job done, rather than wasting "spoons" on animosity!
 
elle sagenev
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I posted my, "we have 50 masks thing" then the governor of WY says he's ending the mask mandate. I suppose we'll wait to see if the school still requires them.


Now the question is, do I still wear mine? After the start of this post 9 months ago with me being all...no masks, I might now continue to wear mine voluntarily.
 
pollinator
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My wife made me some lovely custom fit masks early, sufficient to cover a rather ample beard. They look huge, but are far more comfortable than smaller ones that cut across it, r leave a chunk sticking out the bottom! We come partially out of lockdown today, and tomorrow is my first time in a while back in a classroom wearing a mask for long periods.
 
pollinator
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Honestly, regardless of what certain Gov't officials "decide", the science, in my opinion, is clear: until 70-80% is vaccinated we have no "herd" immunity. So in my eyes this is all very premature.

I also think we need to remember that the vaccine does not PREVENT contraction OR transmission of the virus.

The role of the vaccine is to "prime the immune system" to swiftly recognize the virus, and which tools to use to quickly vanquish it. This all but eliminates the risk of severe illness or death if the virus is contracted, BUT...

Now, more than ever the infected will be unlikely to show symptoms, of any sort. The risk of asymptomatic transmission, theoretically will rise as those who are vaccinated feel "safe" from severe illness. Potentially this could make them careless, or take risks that could put those partially, or not at all vaccinated, at risk.

As much as I am loathe to say it, I think we need to keep on wearing masks, social distancing etc. At the very least until the country you reside in has reached herd immunity. Better yet, when the countries on your continent have reached this milestone; and in a perfect world when everyone on this planet resides in a place of herd immunity.

Sadly, the more it spreads the more it mutates and the swifter variants emerge - we MUST keep ahead of the mutations long enough to vaccinate everyone. We never know when the next variant will arrive and if it proves to be the one that beats the vaccine(s)...

So please, do not be too quick to toss those masks... we aren't there, just yet; and we sure do NOT want to start this nightmare all over again, just when we thought we were in the clear.
 
pollinator
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The way I hear it, mask usage was simply normalised for the symptomatic in Japan after the Spanish Influenza, and stayed that way to modern day. If you think you're sick, you wear a mask to limit your personal contamination of the environment you inhabit and those around you.

Personally, I would love to see what that did to all-cause sickness in Japan after that period into modern day. I know that here in Canada, the covid-19 measures resulted in a greatly decreased incidence of the flu this year.

Maybe it would be a good idea to think about mask-wearing as something it would be better to get accustomed to. If freedom is the concern, it might be a good idea to see being masked as a good way to protect one's freedom of identity in the face of CCTV in every store and bank, and many places besides.

I have never had a personal qualm about mask-wearing. As to health issues, my much-better-half has asthma and wears hers eight hours a day; to my mind, if you're not physically enfeebled to the point where it's difficult to get a mask on and off, putting a mask on for store visits isn't that big a deal.

I honestly don't get why shaming would come into it, or why such a simple, straight-forward issue should become, and remain, so politicised. Don't we have bigger problems to deal with?

-CK
 
gardener
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elle sagenev wrote:

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



Yes and yes. I had 50 apples before I posted this response.
 
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I quit wearing masks. Very few people wear them properly anyway. As pointed out by one poster, they offer very little protection. Unless you have the N95 mask, protection is very slim. The virus is much smaller than the cotton weave so it floats on through.
Another interesting note is that if some got killed in a car accident and had covid, that death would be reported as covid related. The numbers are terribly skewed. My wife works in a major local hospital as a billing analyst. Those deaths are reported as such because hospitals get money from the federal government for covid related deaths. A pile of corpses is good for business.
Just now the feds are catching up by doing audits. They caught one guy just a few miles from me had bilked the government out of close to $88M. It was that easy. They were throwing money at covid stuff. The dancing is winding down so it's time to pay the band. Trust me, you will hear about a lot of fraud in the coming months.
I rarely interact close up with people. I go from home to my mountain and back again on a daily basis stopping only for fuel or a few groceries occasionally. Besides, my state has abandoned that mask requirement. I still maintain a distance between me and anyone.
Don't get me wrong, I agree this was a bad thing to unleash on the world and it did kill a fair share of people with immune deficiencies. It killed healthy people for reasons we don't understand yet. I know several people who went through it. They said it wasn't fun, but they were up and running in a week or so.
For those who wear them properly, good on ya! Trying to shame me into wearing one won't get anyone anywhere.
 
Chris Kott
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We all know that we don't wear masks for our own protection. That's not news.

Some jurisdictions actually banned the use of the ported N95s that actually protected the individual wearing it at the expense of the people around them because the outlet valve literally has no filter. My much better half is a glassblower and engraver, so that one is the least intensive one she can use for her own safety; silicosis is no respecter of persons.

It's a shame, though hardly surprising, that profit-centred health systems would profiteer off a pandemic. Granted, COVID-related is an ambiguous term. If you crash your car because you can't breathe because COVID has slowly but effectively destroyed your lungs, but you die because of the car crash, are you any less dead from COVID? I mean, for the stats on how much harm it's done, I wouldn't consider a cardiac arrest due to COVID-delayed hospitalisation or treatment much different than a case where someone has died in hospital of COVID-caused symptoms. That which caused the system to be overtaxed was COVID. The overtaxation caused the hypothetical cardiac arrest/cancer/stroke/trauma victim to not get the treatment they could have received, ergo COVID killed that person.

I am keeping my mask. I am getting vaccinated. As mentioned above, getting vaccinated doesn't prevent contraction or transmission.

And apart from COVID, it would probably be good if mask-wearing worked its way into North American culture. Not prophylactically, but for symptomatic individuals. I still don't think shaming should factor into it.

It would be a good move, if the side-effects of the COVID countermeasures vis-a-vis our seasonal influenza are any indication. It would take an amount of social conscience and forethought for the welfare of others that I feel is sometimes lacking in today's world, though.

I don't even like to shame children into doing necessary tasks. I prefer other methods, even consequences of more chores or removal of privileges. If it were a life-and-death issue, I would reluctantly turn to it as a last resort, and I would hate every moment.

I have never seen the need to shame adults into doing necessary things, but I don't think that ever before I have been presented with so many examples of situations of grown adults behaving badly and without respect for those around them as I have during the pandemic. We're not supposed to be lemmings like this, but I blame the community leaders who refused to lead, who gave excuses for people to flout inconvenient emergency health measures and to deflect from necessary preventative action with politicization of an inherently apolitical thing: keeping people healthy.

I was hoping that one of the beneficial knock-on effects from this pandemic was that when we finally got out from under it, we'd be more considerate of the people from whom we've been kept for over a year.

-CK
 
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Hi,  https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/5/19-0994_article
CDC Policy Review Found No Evidence of Usefulness

A policy review paper9 published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in May 2020 -- the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's own journal -- has also reviewed "the evidence base on the effectiveness of nonpharmaceutical personal protective measures … in non-healthcare settings," and they too found no evidence of benefit:

"In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [randomized controlled trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks …
Disposable medical masks (also known as surgical masks) are loose-fitting devices that were designed to be worn by medical personnel to protect accidental contamination of patient wounds, and to protect the wearer against splashes or sprays of bodily fluids …
There is limited evidence for their effectiveness in preventing influenza virus transmission either when worn by the infected person for source control or when worn by uninfected persons to reduce exposure.
Our systematic review found no significant effect of face masks on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza … In this review, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of personal protective measures or environmental measures in reducing influenza transmission."



https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7580955/

ABSTRACT

Guidelines from the CDC and the WHO recommend the wearing of face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus (CoV) disease 2019 (COVID-19); however, the protective efficiency of such masks against airborne transmission of infectious severe acute respiratory syndrome CoV-2 (SARS-CoV-2) droplets/aerosols is unknown. Here, we developed an airborne transmission simulator of infectious SARS-CoV-2-containing droplets/aerosols produced by human respiration and coughs and assessed the transmissibility of the infectious droplets/aerosols and the ability of various types of face masks to block the transmission. We found that cotton masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks all have a protective effect with respect to the transmission of infective droplets/aerosols of SARS-CoV-2 and that the protective efficiency was higher when masks were worn by a virus spreader. Importantly, medical masks (surgical masks and even N95 masks) were not able to completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols even when completely sealed. Our data will help medical workers understand the proper use and performance of masks and determine whether they need additional equipment to protect themselves from infected patients.

IMPORTANCE Airborne simulation experiments showed that cotton masks, surgical masks, and N95 masks provide some protection from the transmission of infective SARS-CoV-2 droplets/aerosols; however, medical masks (surgical masks and even N95 masks) could not completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols even when sealed.

A cotton mask led to an approximately 20% to 40% reduction in virus uptake compared to no mask (Fig. 2B). Accordingly, it is desirable for individuals to wear masks in public spaces. Importantly, medical masks (surgical masks and even N95 masks) were not able to completely block the transmission of virus droplets/aerosols even when fully sealed under the conditions that we tested.

This is just my opinion but the mask study was conducted for the most perfect outcome.  See sealed above.  In the real world I believe the outcome would be less, that is probably why the CDC found masks have no effect upon the virus.  Also 20% ? 40%.  The virus is gonna virus.  All we can do is keep ourselves as healthy as possible and be nice to the other side.
 
Lorinne Anderson
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I think we all have seen, by now, the true effectiveness of masks. We may disagree on how or why they work, but we now KNOW they DO work.

Time and time again we have seen areas or regions with high levels of mask usage have been less severely hit with Covid. We have seen time and time again that within weeks of mask mandates being loosened, that we have a resurgence of high covid counts.

All the claims of "rebreathing" our own expelled air leading to decreased oxygenation, increased viral or bacterial loads. Etc. have been disproved by the countless millions who adopted mask wearing during this pandemic. We have billions of human guinea pigs as examples and well over a year of this "mask wearing experiment" showing that masks are annoying, perhaps uncomfortable, loathed by many and WITHOUT ANY significant negative health impacts.

This "experiment" in universal mask wearing has clearly shown a marked decrease of illness and transmission where mask wearing was widely adopted. Regardless of HOW or WHY mask wearing works, there is irrefutable proof that they are somehow linked to a decline in transmission, illness and hospitalization rates.

Regardless of ones mask wearing position or political views, this does NOT give anyone permission to attack others verbally or physically, on this issue. If one disagrees with ANY policy THAT much, fine, we all are entitled to voice that by taking our business elsewhere.

In my personal opinion, NO ONE is entitled to threaten another's personal well being or make demands of business establishments, policies (especially when mandated by the government), just because one disagrees. Again, yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion, be it for or against (wearing masks, shoes, shirts or...), but that does not give anyone the "right" to insist on exceptions or special treatment without a socially acceptable reason.

Sometimes we forget that we are not the only ones with "rights", and we forget that agreeing to disagree, WITH respect, sometimes means doing or NOT doing something simply because it is the civilized thing to do.

When we find ourselves in a position that is NOT comfortable, we can all choose to POLITELY remove ourselves. There is absolutely no need to make OTHERS uncomfortable by taking a stand, either for or against something, by being aggressive, nasty, threatening or becoming physical. Take your protest or grievance to the appropriate venue or person and deal with it there. Making a scene or threatening someone "just doing their job" makes it about YOU, not about the issue.

Please remember that vaccination DOES NOT mean you can neither contract nor spread this virus. Vaccines are intended to "prime" your bodies natural defense system. This ensures appropriate measures are deployed by your immune system to defeat this virus with little to no outward symptoms of illness. This makes the likelihood of asymptomatic transmission HIGHER than before (in some ways, especially when those vaccinated act like they are 'better', flaunt policies to protect others, or engage in risky behavior putting the community at risk); and we are dealing with MUCH nastier and more clever versions of the virus every day.

Wearing a mask shows respect to our heath care workers.  They have neither the strength OR the reserves for this "fourth wave" (due to the Delta Variant) and they certainly should not need to worry about a FIFTH wave, compliments of the next variant.


Please, please, for yourself, your loved ones, your community, your country and the world - continue to wear those annoying masks. This simple, caring action may save your life or the life of a loved one.

So again, please wear your mask; not as a political statement but because you are a kind, compassionate person who accepts that somehow, masks lessen the rate of transmission, leading to reduced strain on our health care systems and lowered rates of illness and loss for everyone.
 
pollinator
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Lorinne - Beautifully put, thank you.

My youngest has just recently starting working and their boss doesn't ask them to argue with customers that don't want to wear a mask, because previously employees were being spit upon for this. My kid wears a mask at work, and thankfully no one harasses them for that, but they are not willing to get spit upon for their wage, that's the bosses job.

Costco makes the managers do this enforcement since they are getting paid more, this is their job. And because Costco is member's only, they can and do revoke memberships to people who abuse their employees, rightfully so to my mind.

We recently went to a business that broadcasted their unwillingness to comply to the mask mandate, but they respected our mask wearing and the salesperson sent to attend to us masked as well. I might not agree with them but I appreciated their behavior. Around here if we don't interact with businesses with different views we are limited.
 
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