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    • The grocery stores I go into all have signs at the door saying that masks are required and so far all of the shoppers I've seen are wearing them.

      Wearing a mask in public has been a requirement here in MA since early May.

      Governor Baker has issued an Order effective Wednesday, May 6 requiring face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces. Exceptions include children under the age of 2 and those unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition. Read the full DPH Guidance and find more detailed information in Frequently Asked Questions - Face Covering.

    • "Freedom" is an excuse to do whatever you want. Our society is spoiled and it's disgraceful. The law requires a seatbelt - is that a violation of freedom? People use sunscreen and wear helmets for protection - is that a violation of freedom? Americans need to stop being so selfish and do whatever is necessary until this pandemic is over.

    • My father and his friends lost their minds over seatbelts when I was a kid. He would cut them out with scissors and we weren’t allowed to wear them. The news ran stories about how scary they were because they trapped a lady in a burning car. Can you imagine a worse fate? And anyway they didn’t solve the real problem of head injuries.

      The big thing though was the government had no right.

      I’m surprised how it eventually faded. We were fine with vaccines then — they were considered a miracle — but seatbelts were scary. How things change.

    • Americans need to stop being so selfish

      That, will never happen. This is the society of entitled who would spare no 2 seconds thinking outside of that frame of mind. Even today at the butcher's , the only mask wearing were elderly couples, imagine why, and why not, for each. Anyone ever heard of madame Pompadour?

    • I think that's normal skepticism. Similar to how most of us won't take today for granted some inventions that'll allow us living outside the atmosphere, and many would outright deny it.

    • I think it would help a lot if Trump started wearing a mask such that people could see he believed they were a good thing to wear under the circumstances.

    • From Mitchell D. Lingo, Ph.D. via Facebook


      COVID:19 – Guilt and the Breaking Point of Teachers

      The rhetoric is ramping up as the beginning of the school year draws near, and we are seeing the tired method of society bending teachers to meet society’s needs through guilt.

      In my time as an educator and now working with educators, guilt works to get more from teachers. Guilt is used to cajole teachers into working extra hours to craft lesson plans, complete grading, or act as private tutors during breaks or after school. All of this is free of charge.

      Society undervalues teachers with entry level salaries that are painfully low compared to peers entering the workforce at similar education levels, only to couple it with pay raises that do not meet the consumer price index. Instead of providing the correct resources of classroom material, society relies on guilt to drive teachers to use their salaries to provide materials for their classrooms. Teachers do this because it is the RIGHT thing to do. Still, it appears this reliance on teachers to do “what society needs them to do” is finally hitting a breaking point.

      In the last course of my undergraduate degree in the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa, the professor had five public education pillars. He would come to say that the first pillar was “child storage.” To some, this suggestion may be rather an uncouth pronouncement of our education system. But in March, this truth became apparent.

      The nation’s economy relies on public schools not only to create human capital but also to provide a place where children are cared for while parents work. To get schools back up and running for the fall, society had only one job to do. Slow the spread of COVID:19. Instead, we chose to go mask-less, eat out at our favorite restaurants or drinks at our favorite bars, send our children off to birthday parties and club sports, and go out to find our new favorite hazy IPA (for the record, IPAs are terrible).

      Society put itself in a precarious position where we now have higher COVID diagnoses than we did at its worst in April. A situation that now falls within the 30-day window for teachers to report back to school for the Fall semester.

      Instead of watching people get ready to button-down and buckle-up, I am witnessing more of the same.

      Guilt towards teachers.

      Who cares if you are a teacher worried about your health?

      What about the children needing socialization for their mental health?

      Are you a pregnant teacher that just was placed on the high-risk category? Well, what about children that have trouble learning online?

      Are you really going to deprive them of classroom experience?

      No. Teachers are not to blame in this. Society is to blame, along with the total lack of central national leadership in this process.

      Teachers are now at a breaking point in which many view returning to work as a potential detriment to their lives and the lives of their family members. I can see it in their posts.

      Though there is always a chance for a national teacher strike, we will watch five scenarios play out this fall if classroom teaching returns in August:

      (1) Anyone at or near retirement will probably take early retirement if we try to start school in the fall. Given the number of comorbidities that plague Americans’ health, this shouldn’t come as a surprise,

      (2) Those teachers with spouses that can afford to be a stay-at-home parent will stay at home,

      (3) Pregnant and those intending to get pregnant teachers will take a year off and potentially never return,

      (4) teacher’s education graduates and those in their first five years without the “golden handcuffs” will leave the teaching career path,And,

      (5) there will be a minimum number of substitutes.

      Most substitutes are retirees looking for extra income or recent graduates that couldn’t find a teaching job. Retirees will not come back to sub.

      The recent graduates willing to teach will be snatched up in a heartbeat to replace scenarios 1 through 4. Teachers will be pushed into substitute teaching within their buildings for other teachers during their free periods. The situation will hasten the exit from the classroom for those in scenario 4.

      In any of the cases, we as a society will face a severe loss of human capital in our teaching force and have the potential to devastate the teaching workforce for years to come.

      Finally, teachers should not feel guilty for refusing to show up in order to protect their health and the health of their loved ones.

      It is not your fault, and you should not feel guilty about any choice you make in the upcoming months.

      Unless you are avoiding Dr. Fauci’s rules, you have nothing to do with the situation we are heading towards.

    • Here in Calgary the officers also don’t wear masks. I get it. Maybe they could wear face shields though as people can still see their expression clearly. I don’t believe they do though but you might see that in the future.

    • Sadly Canadians (Small but vocal minority) have now fallen for numerous conspiracy theories and are demonstrating against masks. Qanon, anti-vaccers, Trump supporters and other conspiracy believers has felled into the rabbit hole. They may win a Darwin Award but take an innocent person or group with them. Very depressing.

    • This was my favorite quote from the article:

      Canada is at heart an open and accepting place. Judged against an ideal, we fall short; judged against the world as it is, we shine.

    • I think the disagreement about masks between much of public and health professionals is because of a lack of precision about exactly what they are talking about - there are many different types of masks, and the skill with which they are worn seems to vary highly in the US

      The statements that masks offer protection to the public may or may not be true depending on precisely what masks are being discussed, and how carefully they are donned, worn and removed, and in what environment they are worn.

      Almost no masks, except N95 respirators, really offer true protection to the wearer in a highly contaminated virion infused environment - If they do protect the wearer, then the outer surface of the mask is highly contaminated, and needs to be removed and disposed of carefully with sterile technique. Most health professionals all know this and do it well, but they also see the public make many many mistakes with masks, and those mistakes MAY NOT be risk free, to the wearer, or the public. This causes some health professionals to be less than enthusiastic about the public wearing masks. Risks versus benefits and all that. Mask wearing poorly done might lead to a lethal outcome for someone. Oh my!!

      However, there is overwhelming evidence from much of Asia, that most masks do help protect the public from infection in a general public environment, not in an Emergency Room. Probably because if masks are worn by unaware infected people, their spittle does not fly 6-12 feet into the local environmental air, but is captured by the mask they wear, and thus helps protect their fellow citizens from that exposure. If those non-infected citizens are also wearing a mask that removes 50-70% of airborne particles, their risk is also even lower still. It has even been suggested that the folks who get Covid while wearing a mask, aren't as sick because the toxic dose was smaller than if they had not been wearing a mask.

      Wearing masks does not diminish the importance of social distancing, it is additive to social distancing.

      As to comments about used masks blowing down the gutter, this is another point that demonstrates how careless many people are about proper mask techniques. I see so many folks wearing them below their noses, and that is obviously a waste of their time - it protects neither the wearer nor their fellow citizens.

      Last summer there was an thread here on Cake about disinfecting mail and packages from Amazon - there can be no doubt that both of these items are potential sources of viral spread - BUT - the reality seems to be that if one is reasonably careful and washes their hands after handling mail and packages and groceries, the risk to oneself is pretty low.

      One MIGHT suggest that many Americans are really not very concerned about the health of the elderly citizens around them - for the elderly, over 80, are really the people at the highest risks of dying from Covid 19.

      I do wear a mask when I go out into stores, not because I really believe the paper surgical mask I bought from China, via Amazon, will prevent me from getting infected if I am in a crowded, indoor, poorly ventilated space, but might help to protect my fellow Americans if I were to become infected but unaware, so that they can feel safer.

      My primary protection is staying out of doors, over 6 feet away, and frequent hand washing. So far, it seems to be working.

      And then we have politicians who refuse to don masks. Just imagine if the virus we are dealing with were Ebola, and about 90% lethal, and not SARS Cov 2.

      Do you think those politicians would allow people around them with out masks??

      Res ipsa loquitur!!

    • So, now we have this brought to the surface...

      "The Biden-Harris transition team website outlines the same approach. The new administration plans to "implement mask mandates nationwide by working with governors and mayors and by asking the American people to do what they do best: step up in a time of crisis."

      Does this improve the likelihood that there will be an increase in this effort?