Compulsory Protective Masks

On April 24th, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 2020-59 Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The current post discussed only the point 15, which is related to mandatory protective face covering.

15. Effective on April 26, 2020 at 11:59 pm:

(a) Any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space.

(b) All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers. (bold added)

The purpose of this order is in protecting people of Michigan from you, the suspect of SARS-CoV-2 virus carrier. You, perhaps intentionally through sneezing or coughing, or even unintentionally being asymptomatic would contaminate any enclosed public space, especially “workers perform in-person work.” Never mind that according to point (b) All businesses and operations whose workers perform in-person work must, at a minimum, provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers (italics and bold added). Scared by the death toll in Detroit, people are of each other more than 6 feet because they don’t carry a yardstick to measure the safe distance.

The Governor’s order obliges me to wear a mask which is, in my believe, a danger to me and others under current conditions. I can defend the notion that wearing masks in public life, including enclosed public space, is founded on unsubstantiated premises (see three previous post on this subject).

COVID-19 epidemic generated a commonly accepted by public notion regarding wearing a protection mask. It is based on a natural instinct to cover the “infection gates”, understandable to everyone, relatively cheap, easily achievable, psychologically acceptable. Even Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams could show how to do a mask at home. Although when he took from his pocket a mask at the White House briefing, he demonstrated his innocence in following epidemiology rules.

Here is an excerpt from on of the most reputed journal in internal medicine (bold added). New England Journal of Medicine  on  May 21, 2020 Perspective Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era

Michael Klompas, M.D., M.P.H., Charles A. Morris, M.D., M.P.H., Julia Sinclair, M.B.A., Madelyn Pearson, D.N.P., R.N., and Erica S. Shenoy, M.D., Ph.D.

“We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. 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.”

However, when the hyperactive authorities impose as mandatory scientifically unproved and epidemiologically wrong action on the general public, it is not good. This order looks as a politically motivated action to impose more and more control upon society.

The next will be obligatory testing (this issue I’m going to explore in a serial next posts). The rationality of seatbelts or helmets were proved. Mandatory masks in enclosed public space open the window for other restrictions in public life with questionable premises. They will gradually crawl in. Do we want to live in China or even in splendid, almost sterile Singapore?  Yes, almost everyone is wearing a mask outdoors in Japan, but a mask is not out of their culture conscience.  

Independently where the Wuhan virus came from, now poor, hated by everyone SARS-CoV-2 virus is a part of the environment with the same rights as mosquitos, elephants, and humans. A crazy question about protective masks use. Would not be right for humans to join Saints Indians who cover their mouth with a cloth (Muhapatti) that prevents them from swallow by accident a mosquito?

Silly humor in gray times, when for political gains, a Russian roulette is played in the uncertainty casino. Political weaponization of a medical crisis is suicidal for democracy and for the society eventually.

This post is the last of four previous on the masks subject.  The goal was bringing some rationality in their use by distinguish masks as a part of protective equipment for professional and just protective face covering. The main focus was to make a dent in protective face covering understanding which is at the level of delusion, unhealthy for an individual and the society.

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