Be sensible, wear your mask

Re: “Kudos to city council for resisting mandatory masks,” Letter, July 18.

The letter to the editor regarding mask usage during the current COVID-19 pandemic is certainly in line with what we hear from U.S. President Donald Trump on the same topic.

Is that why “constitutional” rights are quoted?

As far as I am aware, my country has a Charter of Rights and Freedoms — but no constitution as such.

I have been following the regular statements from Dr. Deena Hinshaw, chief medical officer of health, because I believe she knows what she is talking about.

She sets out reasonable ways of coping with COVID-19, including avoiding crowded places and the use of masks in public.

Her statements are hardly “fear mongering.”

We are also eating healthy, sleeping well, etc.

Of course, we always try to do that because it is only common sense — like masks in public at this time.

If only 1.6 per cent of those tested in Alberta have been positive, that is still more than 6,000 persons. Nothing to be concerned about?

And as far as life expectancy being 82 years, and the average age of COVID death being 83, how are we to interpret that? We are living longer with COVID?

I guess, since I am 83 now, I should probably follow the example of Socrates, and do myself in, to fit into the statistics?

My spouse is 85 — how did that happen?

One can reason one’s way into (or out of) any situation.

Incidentally, the radio just now said that Alberta’s medical officer has indicated that COVID numbers in Alberta are on the rise again.

I guess the letter writer thinks this is only natural. She has a constitutional right to her opinion.

As for me and my family, we will continue being sensitive to the rights of others. And wear our masks in public.

Bonnie Denhaan, Red Deer

Please don’t breathe on me when I go shopping

The other day, my wife was standing in line at Costco.

In the next line, there was an elderly woman wearing a mask who was talking to a young man standing behind her. He was not wearing a mask. He declared that he was prepared to take his chances.

My guess is that he thought he meant he was taking his chances that he would not get sick and die.

For my wife, and the lady he was talking to, the issue was that he was taking his chances with possibly giving them his COVID.

Of course, in his mind, he didn’t have COVID. At least, so he believed. Everyone thinks that until proven otherwise.

A recently published letter by Lori Curran commended city council for not mandating masks. She says that, in Alberta, the average age of death with COVID is 83, when life expectancy is 82.

I’m not sure that this factoid is still true and that Alberta is still that special, but it certainly is a troubling observation. Following this logic, it suggests that there is a “best before” date for death.

Being a senior who has committed the sin of not yet dying, apparently it is OK to breathe on me when I need to go into a store and possibly infect me.

Truth be told, I’m not 82 yet, but 82 is a rather arbitrary number anyway. Perhaps 80 would be a better number, or 70, or 60?

It is puzzling to me that people who find abortion abhorrent and are “pro-life” suddenly become “pro-choice” when it comes to seniors.

Lori Curran, I find your logic abhorrent. Your comfort is not worth more than the lives of the people you come into contact with, no matter what their age.

Eventually, city council will have to come to the same conclusion that even the most adamantly opposed states in the U.S.A. have finally had to accept: masks are the best way to stave off this disease until a vaccine is found.

Alberta has the same number of deaths per 100,000 as the United States.

I know wearing a mask is uncomfortable. I wear one myself. But consider it good manners not to go around breathing on other people.

John Johnston, Red Deer

Face covering findings can’t be disputed

The Red Deer Advocate does a disservice to its readers and the public by publishing Lori Curran’s letter.

This letter leans on inaccurate claims and dismisses key factors in public health decision-making, allowing others to feel comfortable denying science because a mask poses an inconvenience to their lives.

Studies from across the medical community — found in reputable sources such as the Lancet, International Journal of Nursing Studies and Health Affairs — have reached the same conclusion: masks help prevent the spread.

Yet the letter claims that the evidence is conflicting. Studies that found masks don’t work have either been retracted or are deeply flawed, weakening the letter’s “conflicting evidence” claim.

And since when did a few outlier studies invalidate the overwhelming evidence? A few people out of dozens disagreeing with something is not the conflict the author is pretending it is.

Scott Hastie, Calgary

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