So this started out as a reply to a conversation in a Facebook group that I belong to, and before I knew it, it was so long that I decided to turn it into a blog post instead.
This was the question posed ...
"I have to admit, I'm not a fan of masks, but I'm seeing some places that are making it mandatory, such as my kids sports, so I need to prepare. The max amount of time they'll need to wear it is 35 min. (1) What are the healthiest mask options out there? Organic cotton?? Something else? And (2) Where can I buy them?"
And the responses were a mixed bag.
Some people simply provided links to businesses that sell masks. Some voiced their distaste of masks and the need for them, and even claimed to avoid shops and business that have mandated them. Others explained that they couldn't wear a mask due to certain health issues. And some were alarmed at how many people aren't wearing masks, just for the sake of not wearing one (I fall into this category, for the most part). And of course the page admin refereed the conversation as well as she could, and advised everyone to hold off on passing judgment.
Wise advice, but certainly easier said than done with a hot topic like this - in today's climate.
Before I dive into my thoughts (and feelings) on the subject, let me start off by saying that I of course acknowledge that there are certain health issues that might make wearing a mask difficult and/or potentially dangerous for some people. That I completely understand - and do not judge.
However, and while I'm certainly not a medical professional, I have asked a few members of my healthcare team at Princess Margaret Hospital (doctors and nurses) if wearing a mask could cause hypoxia, and I got a resounding "NO".
I also read an incredible post from a Nurse on the topic, which I would suggest everyone read and share, so as to shed a little clarity on the matter.
"You do realize that surgeons and circulating nurses in the OR have worn surgical masks for entire shifts their whole careers, right? If there’s one group of people that you don’t want becoming hypoxic it’s the people holding power tools and scalpels over an anesthetized human with their insides hanging out. Surgical masks and their effects on oxygenation have been studied for decades. Except in rare instances of people with obstructive airway diseases, surgical masks (and by proxy, cloth masks) do not cause any problems whatsoever with adequate respiratory gas exchange." .... read the full post here
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to the great many who are claiming it to be their “civil right” to refuse wearing a mask.
Those are the people who are doing my head in. It just doesn't make sense to me. And hate me for it if you want, but I am absolutely passing judgment!!
Sure, YOU may be a healthy person who is likely (but certainly not guaranteed) to recover from this virus. But you could be asymptotic and unknowingly passing it on to people - especially those who are susceptible. Think about your elderly grandparents, or your nephew who has leukaemia, or your father who has a heart condition, or your coworker who has diabetes.
For those of us who are immuno-compromised, we are much less likely to recover.
Furthermore, if the next wave hits hard and bogs down our healthcare system, and they have to start choosing who does and does not get treated (like in Italy), I’m pretty much shit out of luck should I contract the virus - due to the fact that I am deemed less likely to recover.
I realize this is unlikely to happen in Canada, however, it is a very strong possibility in other countries throughout the world.
And regardless, is it really worth the risk of putting a great majority in harms way, just to spite the man??
I mean it’s a damned mask. Not full body armour. You wear a helmet when on a bike. Sunscreen and sunglasses when in the sun. Right? So what's the big fucking deal with putting on a goddamned mask?!
I have stage IV metastatic breast cancer and I HAVE to leave my home to go for life saving cancer treatment - which, might I add, I would also likely not receive should I contract the virus.
Other than that, I rarely go out. I live in a beautiful neighbourhood in Toronto called The Beaches. And sadly maybe 1 in every 40 people are wearing a mask here. And don’t even get me started on social distancing on the sidewalks or our famous boardwalk. That’s all a thing of the past. And to be honest, it wasn't really a thing of the present for some, even in the height of lockdown.
So, if I want to go for a walk (which is a very important part of maintaining my stable status), I do so very early in the morning or late at night when the area isn’t so busy. During the day, I stay home - inside.
I didn’t even get to go out and enjoy my Canada Day long weekend because it was an absolute zoo down here and almost no one wore a mask.
And here’s the thing - cancer aside, I’m pretty fuckin' healthy. I want to be out enjoying life, and hanging out at the beach with friends. Or going for a walk during the day. But I can’t do that because of the majority who think they know better, or feel that wearing a mask is somehow infringing on their civil liberty.
Again, I'm not directing this at those who can't wear a mask for medical reasons. But for (most of) those people, I would imagine that they, like me, are self-isolating anyways.
And for those of you who are not compromised, but are wearing a mask ... THANK YOU! Thank you so very much!
Obviously, when it comes to masks being mandatory, I have a dog in the race, so if I can shed light to even one or two people who didn’t see it from this perspective, then I’m good with that.
And just in case you needed a little more convincing, I'll leave you with this AMAZING video rant from actor Michael Rapaport ...
Oh, and here's a video that demonstrates the effectiveness of wearing a mask.
Stay safe people ... and PLEASE, just wear the damned mask!!! 😷 🖤
p.s. HAPPY CANADA DAY to all of my Canucks! 🇨🇦
p.p.s. The site has a fresh new look. Let me know what you think!