Commentary -- On Masks

  • 2020-07-20, 06:38 AM (update 2020-07-20, 06:55 AM)
  • Joe Dahl
Commentary -- On Masks Joe Dahl
Joe Dahl discusses masks and the pandemic

If we all reacted to the cautions and behavior that have been recommended because of the pandemic it would be complete helter skelter. In fact, guidance from the White House experts at first discounted masks because of their drawbacks. Then it was out-right confusion; do masks work or don’t they, do the benefits outweigh the negatives?  By now masks are all the rage, the experts say we should all be wearing them. The experts have become fashion trend setters. Television commercials advertise masks as though they are a consumer item that everyone needs, maybe like toilet paper.

I’m sure there are a lot of, especially older, people who are afraid of dying if they don’t wear a mask. And they probably pray and hope that everyone will wear a mask so that no one dies, especially themselves.

The pandemic propaganda spread an incomparable fear throughout America. An invisible enemy that cannot be seen, we don’t know where he is, but we know he is traveling. He travels with people, but we don’t know which people, so we must avoid all people. But we cannot stay alive this way so let’s do masks and six feet apart. There, look, we can beat him. But since we are, “all in this together we must all do our part together.”  If you don’t join in, then you don’t fear enough and don’t understand the battle plan. Don’t you want to be a good soldier?

Remember the experts told us we may die by the millions. There will not be enough hospital beds and a terrible shortage of ventilators. President Trump put on a wartime production of ventilators, way more than we needed so we sent them around the world where they were needed. A huge hospital ship docked at New York, another at California. They finally left when they were not needed.

Now there are new outbreaks, so we are going back to start all over again to defeat this unseen enemy. That’s what the experts tell us we need to do. We have to follow the science. The experts don’t seem to know or agree on what the science is. The experts may have learned a lot about the virus since the pandemic started and as they learned their recommendations have changed. So has the science changed?  Can science change if it is supposed to be based on fact?  We could ask the experts.

There was a time when my mother made butter from the cow that I milked. Then she found that the experts said butter is not good for us, we should use oleomargarine. Since my mother was a righteous woman, we suffered with margarine for quite a few years until the experts said oleomargarine is not so good for us but butter is better. They also said they are still the experts and we should follow their recommendations. I hunger for some of my mother’s butter.

If we wear a mask it would be for two reasons; to protect ourselves from everyone and to protect everyone from us.

Once upon a time our whole nation as a community built roads and continued to build more roads; roads, streets, highways and finally freeways. As a community we decided to have rules of the road for everyone’s safety. Some of those rules were resisted such as seat belts and motorcycle helmets because not using them will only hurt myself, except for burial and/or medical costs if I cannot afford them. Over time the community has won because most everyone uses seat belts or helmets, rather than pay the fine.

If the community fined us for not wearing masks strongly enough, maybe we would all wear masks. Then someone would get a court decision that forced mask wearing is un-American or that the “science” is not conclusive on the use of masks, and they are not worn properly; we are continually putting our fingers on, under and around the mask and do not wash them properly and they fill up with germs and become dangerous and are a high risk to our health and we can’t breathe so we take it off of our nose. It could become like a run-on sentence going on and on.

Do we harm others by not wearing a mask?  At first we were told we may harm ourselves by wearing a mask, many workers forced to wear them agree. Are we free American citizens who will allow our government to tell us what to wear?  Or are we responsible citizens who will do what we are told for the safety of the community?

I spent the last three days mostly in a pickup with two people from Nevada and two from Connecticut who flew here on commercial airline, five of us altogether. Some wore masks part of the time, mostly fidgeting with them. I did not wear one at all, no one cared. We all shared lunch and dinner those days, partly from the same plate. We may all be dead in three weeks but I doubt it.

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Joe Dahl



Comments (4)

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Stanley B
Stanley B 2020-07-22, 02:15 PM
You should wear masks to prevent local businesses from getting cited or fined up to $135,000 or closed down. Who cares how you personally feel about wearing masks when your action could cost someone else that much? Put your big girl panties on and wear a face covering while patronizing Fallon businesses!
Brandon 2020-07-21, 08:20 PM
Just wear a mask. This community is in no way prepared for an outbreak. Please help prevent it before it becomes too little too late. Willfully denying the experts because you are too proud or think it infringes on your "Constitutional" rights is another.
Shelley Hartmann
Shelley Hartmann 2020-07-21, 06:34 AM
Cowboy common sense. Finally!
Rae S.
Rae S. 2020-07-20, 08:26 AM
Science changes because it's science, not because its made up or "propaganda." Science is about looking at data and making conclusions from it. The less data, the more sound the conclusion. If you came to Fallon a week ago, you might conclude "This is a hot place" and then extrapolate "So I probably don't need a winter coat" but you'd be singing a different tune come November. More data means a better understanding. We knew very little about COVID a few months ago compared to now because it's just so new!

Scientists generally don't say "x doesn't work" they say "we don't have enough evidence that x works" that's what was happening in February. By mid-march, it had already started shifting. As time goes on, we understand the science more, and the science is now saying that masks work. The experts do, in fact, agree on that now. The messaging from the government has been uniquely inconsistent and major media outlets suffer from terminal "both sidesism" that require every viewpoint be represented regardless of its factuality - neither of these change what the CDC and WHO are saying.

You mention the court cases and laws about seatbelts and helmets and, well, if people had just listened to the current medical consensus and been kind to themselves and to neighbors, we wouldn't have needed those court cases. And the government wouldn't have to, in your words, tell us what to wear because the vast majority of people would be doing it. It was the right thing to do to wear seatbelts and helmets all the time, it didn't suddenly become right because the courts said so.