Cartoon was fear-mongering and harmful

I recently came across a comic in the Opinion section of the Campbell River Mirror entitled, “How to identify the not rare and not elusive COVIDIOT.” (C.R. Mirror, July 15)

This cartoon boldly implied that those who have no mask, have no brain, no regard for others well being, and are idiots.

Look, I am all for opinions, but this comic was outright condemning. The goal of the comic was to shame those who don’t wear masks. In my opinion, this tactic is fear-mongering and harmful.

It creates a hostile environment in our society; making us work against one another rather than together. Furthermore, there is a variance in recommendations made by health care professionals regarding this practice. Some say, “Yes, mask up,” while others say, “No, don’t.”

Truth is, there is much evidence supporting the masks’ ineffectiveness in protecting one from the coronavirus. America’s top doctor, the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams, ranted in a March tweet, “Seriously people, stop buying masks. They are not effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus.”

However, in more recent months his position has changed, and he is now recommending people mask up. I have to wonder if wasn’t political pressures that lead him to make such a drastic change in opinion? Do recall that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had also previously stated that wearing masks was unnecessary.

Another doctor from the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, preventive medicine professor Dr. William Schaffner, exclaimed how the rush to buy masks was a “psychological thing.” More news and research is now being presented that shows the harmful side of wearing masks: headaches, increased airway resistance, carbon dioxide accumulation, hypoxia and or/hypercapnia.

The N95 mask for instance, if worn for extended periods of time, can reduce blood oxygenation as much as 20%, and can even result in a loss of consciousness and impairment of immunity.

Last Winter (December 2019) the BC Nurses’ Union also presented their concerns with mandatory masks, and even fought to have the policy repealed. They concluded that the enforcement of such a policy was, ‘punitive,’ ‘ineffective,’ and ‘discriminatory,’ and in the end, they won their case. As a result, a new policy was adopted ensuring that nurses could use their own professional judgement as to whether or not they would don a mask (https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-nurses-no-longer-required-to-get-flu-vaccine-or-wear-mask-1.5384902).

It seems arbitrary that six months later these rights are being impinged upon once again. I think we need to be fair and look at all the facts.

To wear a mask, or not wear a mask, should be up to each individual. If someone feels the need to mask up, let’s not judge them for doing so, but in the same light, let’s not judge those who choose not to. Let’s stand for freedom!

Vanessa MacLean-Webber

Coronavirus