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I have been following the COVID-19 pandemic since we first learned about it in January. I have watched as country after country closed their borders and then their economies. Fearing the worst, I looked for answers from doctors, researchers, and scientists from all over the world because knowledge is power. This whole situation has been complicated and difficult to navigate for all of us. While I appreciate and understand why our leaders have made the decisions they have, it is no secret there have been serious consequences both economically and socially.
There has been so much back and forth on the data used to make these decisions it’s no surprise that the average person is trusting our leaders to make the best decisions for us. But even when we initially locked down, we had no plan on how to open everything back up because there is no precedence for this. We are now making decisions on the fly to lessen the fear the public has of this deadly virus. This fear has been drawn to a fever pitch thanks to the 24/7 “Breaking News” media reports of death for the past two months, only briefly interrupted by a tragic mass shooting by a mentally unstable man.
We have flip flopped back and forth on whether or not the public should be wearing masks while outside their homes, businesses are now looking to leaders to tell them if masks should be a mandatory practice for shopping in their stores.
I have searched for answers to try to justify a business’ decision to enforce the mandatory use of masks on their premises. I have not found anything conclusive that says masks are the answer to stopping the spread, in fact, I have found that “using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other preventions including proper hand washing, respiratory hygiene (coughing or sneezing into your elbow), and avoiding close contact-at least 1 meter (3) feet distance between yourself and other people with respiratory symptoms” https://www.who.int/docs/default-source/nepal-documents/novel-coronavirus/un-rumour-tracking-english-issue-2.pdf?sfvrsn=bd68b830_2
The World Health Organization also has the following points to make about when and how to wear a medical mask to protect against coronavirus:
- If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.
- Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
The Government of Canada has also stated the following regarding the limitations of non-medical masks and face coverings:
“Homemade masks are not medical devices and are not regulated like medical masks and respirators. Their use poses a number of limitations:
- they have not been tested to recognized standards
- the fabrics are not the same as used in surgical masks or respirators
- the edges are not designed to form a seal around - the nose and mouth
- they may not provide complete protection against virus-sized particles
- they can be difficult to breathe through and can prevent you from getting the required amount of oxygen needed by your body
These types of masks may not be effective in blocking virus particles that may be transmitted by coughing, sneezing or certain medical procedures. They do not provide complete protection from virus particles because of a potential loose fit and the materials used.” https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks/about-non-medical-masks-face-coverings.html
This means people are wearing masks under a false pretense. They believe that wearing the masks protects themselves and others from spreading the virus. They do not cough or sneeze into their elbow, even though non-medical masks have not been proven to block virus particles, because they think the mask is blocking the particles.
“There have been extensive randomized controlled trial (RCT) studies, and meta-analysis reviews of RCT studies, which all show that masks and respirators do not work to prevent respiratory influenza-like illnesses, or respiratory illnesses believed to be transmitted by droplets and aerosol particles.” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340570735_Masks_Don’t_Work_A_review_of_science_relevant_to_COVID-19_social_policy
To impose a practice as mandatory masking is a significant infringement upon individual rights and freedoms, something that should be precious to every Canadian. I recognize that governments may enact laws and pursue policies that limit Charter rights and freedoms, but the onus is on the government to prove that the limit is demonstrably justifiable in a free and democratic society. Given the above scientific review of masking, there is no justifiable reason to impose masking on the general public and businesses should not be permitted to impose rules in kind. Masks provide a false sense of security because the vast majority of people do not know how to use them properly, and even when used properly, the science does not prove they are effective. Even the mayor of Toronto was photographed wearing his mask covering his mouth only with his nose exposed.
We have been repeatedly told by our leaders that the limitations and restrictions put in place right now will be the “new normal” until a vaccine is ready. There have been heated debates on every platform about whether or not this vaccine should be mandated with criminal or social consequences to declining it. I cannot stress enough how important it is for vaccines to remain a choice. Where there is risk, there must always be a choice, especially with medical procedures. I respectfully request answers to the following questions with regard to governmental strategies being enacted in response to SARS-CoV-2:
- How is it logical that life will “return to normal” only after a SARS-CoV-2 vaccine is available, when humanity is exposed to incalculable numbers of infectious viruses and bacteria in daily living – for which there are no vaccines?
- Who will assume legal and financial liability for any injury or death resulting from a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2 given important safety protocols, including animal testing, are being bypassed? We know that the SARS vaccine was able to induce immunity to SARS, however, upon challenge the recipients developed pulmonary immunopathology and for this reason the vaccine could not be recommended for human trials. We are skipping over the animal testing that showed this problem. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3335060/
- If a vaccine is developed for SARS-CoV-2, will this government support the right of individuals to fully informed consent and bodily sovereignty?
- Are other treatment modalities which have shown promise in the treatment of CV 19 (Remdesivir, VITAMIN C and D, zinc, HCQ, GTH precursors and oxygen treatments, including hyperbaric chambers) being utilized, and if not why not?
I urge you to seriously consider and take to heart all that I have written here. It is imperative to all Canadians that our rights and freedoms are not threatened more than they already have been. I implore you to not let this go further than it already has. I know the decisions you have to make are difficult but given the position you are in, you have an obligation to make and justify those decisions based on real facts and data, not fear.
I thank you for your time and look forward to your response.