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Questions remain about efficacy of face masks

Posted on December 9, 2020 by Taber Times

It has come to my attention that mandatory masking has now become an issue within our political institutions within the MD of Taber.

I would like to take a moment of your time to address a few things that we were not given an opportunity to present.

What is the purpose of a masking bylaw? Is this more about being seen doing something, rather than nothing?

The size of the Coronavirus is 0.12 microns in diameter. Having looked at three different types of masks that are available, every type stated something similar to, “not for medical usage.” Not one of them mentions their product as a preventative to COVID-19 infections. They help protect against dusts and pollens. The best type present was an N95 mask and it was 95 per cent effective at filtration of 0.30 microns. Again COVID-19 has a size of 0.12 microns.
Here are a few examples of responses about masking.

July 16, 2020, in The Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, “…No good evidence that face masks protect the public against infection with respiratory viruses.”

May 2020 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine states, in an article called “Universal Masking in Hospitals in the COVID-19 Era,” said, “Public health authorities define a significant exposure to COVID-19 as face to face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic COVID-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching COVID-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

More currently, the Swiss Policy Research summarized the most recent material on the effectiveness of masking, stating “There is still little to no scientific evidence for the effectiveness of cloth face masks in the general population, and the introduction of mandatory masks couldn’t contain or slow the epidemic in most countries. Some experts warn that face masks may interfere with normal breathing and may become ‘germ carriers’ if used repeatedly.” From “Facts about COVID-19,” Oct. 10, 2020, http://www.swprs.org/facts-about-covid-19/

Furthermore our own province has not mandated a province-wide masking policy. Last week, the province of Ontario came out with a statistic which indicated that only 0.1 per cent of symptomatic cases of people with COVID-19 became infected as they were visiting a business of some sort.

The infection rate within the MD of Taber, as of Dec. 5, 2020, is currently 397.6 per 100,000. In other words, the infection rate is 0.3976 per cent.

There is no jurisdiction in Canada that has implemented a masking policy that has seen a resulting decline in COVID-19 infections as a result of their masking policy. The available masks are not designed for protection against the Corona virus. The Province of Alberta, through its officers and governing parties have deliberately not mandated a province wide masking policy. The rate of infection is almost a statistical rounding error and more can be said, including the fact that people with medical exemptions are being ostracized and openly discriminated against because of their medical inability to cover their face.

We need to look at effective ways of promoting safety, not virtue signalling, with mandatory mask bylaws that are only implemented for the appearances of doing something. Putting a mask, or any fabric covering over your face, is not a magic power to keep you safe. It may alleviate the irrational fears of many, but it is alienating many of us as neighbours and good friends.

Kyle Lickiss Barnwell

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