LETTER – Let’s all put on masks and get on with our lives

Dear editor,

In a letter to MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard, I asked her to suggest to the premier of BC and the prime minister that Canada adopt a strict mask protocol for everyone who goes out in public.

While not much was known about this Covid-19 virus at its beginning, there are some things that seem now to be accepted as fact:

1. The virus lasts on different surfaces from three hours to three days.

2. The virus lasts in the air up to three hours.

3. The virus is most directly transmitted by a sick person sneezing or breathing on another person.

4. The virus is more generally picked up by a healthy person touching his/her face, particularly the mouth, nose and eyes.

It is not clear to me how social distancing, then, is better than everyone wearing a mask. It keeps infected germs from the nose and mouth away from surfaces and air. It keeps uninfected people from habitually touching their mouths and noses.

We can still keep up with the frequent hand-washing. And we can keep a bubble of physical distance. But, for God’s sake, let us get back to proper living. The social isolation and systemic disruption and financial insecurity is, for most Canadians, a case of the cure being worse than the disease.

If people really want to band together on a problem to solve, we should address world hunger. According to The World Counts, one in nine people go to bed hungry. And nine million people die of hunger every year. That’s over 24,000 people dying of hunger a day. Compare that to the roughly 200,000 people who have died of the coronavirus. Assuming it started in November, the daily death toll is 1,000 people.

I know, Sissy Jupe in Dickens’ Hard Times says that it’s not nice when people die, “whether it’s a million or a million million.” But the biggest age group for COVID-19 deaths is the 80- to 89-year-olds. The average age for starvation is a lot lower.

Judy Johnson


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