The Anchorage Assembly this evening is likely to take up, for a third time, the issue of government mandating the wearing of face masks in public to combat the spread of coronavirus.

Assemblywoman Meg Zaletel, the Anchorage Daily News reports, wants Mayor Ethan Berkowitz to use his emergency powers to order use of the masks inside businesses and in other public places lacking social distancing. Berkowitz during a Friday briefing said the mask question would be on the table if COVID-19 numbers continue to increase.

How Zaletel’s resolution will fare if offered is anybody’s guess. It runs up against a wall of resistance from those who believe wearing face masks is an individual decision, not a government choice; that it should be voluntary, not dictated.

Even if it were mandated it would be, as Berkowitz and others have noted, nigh unto impossible to enforce, and do we really want our police resources spent hunting down maskless shoppers?

It is easy to see both sides of the issue, but as we watch Anchorage businesses struggling because the general public rightfully remains nervous about eating at restaurants, or shopping or going anyplace where there are more than a few people, it is clear something must give.

Perhaps if more of us accepted the science involved – that masks work – and voluntarily wore the masks in close quarters we could allay many of the public’s fears and get the economy moving again while at the same time protecting ourselves and our most vulnerable from the spread of the virus.

It just seems an exercise in common sense to us.

12 Responses to Masks?

  1. OG_Lila June 23, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Oh well, easy enough to continue shopping online if buying local means one must “Submission Signal”.
    Bye-bye downtown.

  2. Morrigan June 23, 2020 at 3:48 pm

    Imagine legions of citizens wearing “Trump 2020”,
    “(expl del) the Assembly”,
    “(expl del) the Mayor”,
    or “(expl del) China flu” on their masks,
    luminescent to show up well in low light.
    Imagine government’s tattle-tale lines clogged with everybody tattling on everybody.
    Remember when communism fell in Russia, people just had enough of government crap. Wasn’t any battle between citizens, cops, or troops.
    They all wound up marching together in Moscow. With smiles on their faces…
    And the government fell.
    Of course that can’t happen in Anchorage… sure would be nice if it did.
    Nice weather for it…

  3. Fergie June 24, 2020 at 8:35 am

    A lot of debate exists on the use of masks in a pandemic. There are not any consistent studies showing even medical grade masks are very effective against viruses that typically are attached to particles less than 2.5 micrometers.

    They are effective at trapping bacterial particles that are much larger. Medical grade masks were originally made for Doctors and operating room teams to prevent their bacteria from entering patients open wounds or incisions. Even then they are discarded after each operation in a biologically secure waste facility that all hospitals have.

    The fact that they do trap bacteria and that people wear them for long periods, often without any effort to sanitize them, poses a threat of bacterial infection for those wearing them. Also some people have problems breathing with a properly fitted mask, making them inadvertently loosening them. It is unreasonable to assume that the bulk of the general population will adhere to a hospital’s sanitation protocol. Current gross studies of the Covid-19 pandemic data from different countries are inconclusive because of differences in cultural behavior, population age demographics, and even genetic resistance to the virus.

    Conclusion? The “Science is NOT settled!”

  4. John London June 24, 2020 at 10:31 am

    AOC put out a tweet that we need to prolong the so-called epidemic until the election so that Trump cannot get elected because the economy will almost be destroyed by then.

    20,000 people read it before it was taken down.

    I believe that the C-19 hoax is a hoax with more people dying from pre-existing conditions, fear, and not going to hospital for more dangerous conditions out of fear of contacting the mystery Red bug.

    IT is an attack on our freedom also. I am sick of not being able
    to eat out, stores closing early and etc.

    The mystery virus is not a mystery, but another leftist ploy to try to keep Trump out of office, bring down Capitalism and get control of Americans lives.

  5. Donald Drumpf June 24, 2020 at 2:06 pm

    Responses to wearing masks is common sense are: Too bad downtown, Momma money bags isn’t going to spend at your place of business because wearing a mask is just so hard, destroy the government, and the data isn’t conclusive. If only this virus targeted idiots, this world could start to heal. Retail stores were dying off before the pandemic, and will continue to long after; congrats for having the power of two human eyes. Not sure how a rant on how bad government is applies to wearing masks, but it sure smells like a London response. Lastly, Fergie, please try to type a little more next time – I’d like to print out your comment and use it for the only thing its good for, toilet paper. The science isn’t settled, give me a break. You’re the reason I hope they require an intelligence test to vote moving forward. Really tired of idiots having a say in how to destroy this planet and the people residing in it.

  6. Jim Schradle June 24, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Looks like the government wants to continue flattening the curve. We keep doing that this thing will never be gone. We’ll be stuck with a perpetual pandemic. And all the masks, social distancing and sanitizing is weakening our immune systems due to non-use. So those of us who live healthy lives through diet, exercise, and sleep are more likely to succumb to a sickness, maybe not this one. This stuff needs to quit. Let the thing run it’s course so we can get on with life and the endangered people can come out of hiding.

  7. Tammy T June 24, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    Really “Donald Drumpf”? Fergie sounds like an idiot to you? I suppose facts sound like that to someone who relates to the brain dead rioters running our streets and pulling down statues of abolitionists because they haven’t the grey matter to know basic American history. Not to mention an understanding of the constitution, civil discourse, or basic decency. You people make me sick.

  8. Dave June 24, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Well well
    DD is clearly posturing himself as a true blue as hole
    Thinking critically has found no home in his ability to think or process the information he is responding to
    Time to defund the school system that produces this type of worthless non contributing person
    Sincerely yours
    Ps can’t wait for your attack

  9. Fergie June 25, 2020 at 6:58 am

    To: Donald Drumpf (Troll)

    Classy response full of facts! Nice job!

  10. Donald Drumpf June 25, 2020 at 11:04 am

    That made me laugh Tammy T. Rage and ill advised behavior are expected with mobs and rioting. Had we dealt with these issues as they were happening rather than covering it up, maybe our future would look a bit different. Instead, when individuals like Kap stood, he was thought of as anti-American, and black listed from the NFL. The bill always comes at the end. But lets leave that talk for an editorial about the riots – it’ll be a bit, this paper tends to avoid it. As for Fergie’s remarks: I wear that title as a badge of honor; it’s how I describe myself often. Here’s some studies Fergie, from reputable studies, not Info Wars or wherever else you are picking up the trash you call facts. Bottom line, this world needs the advice from doctors placed in positions to understand this issue. Start with the CDC. We Don’t need opinions from random people or bloggers, they muddy the information pool and start ridiculous rumors that cause harm. I have people in my life that are in the susceptible group of people that would be affected worst. I don’t have time to suffer morons who wanna go against the grain because they think it’s cool. Lives are more important than an opinion or preference.

    Rothe C, Schunk M, Sothmann P, et al. Transmission of 2019-nCoV Infection from an Asymptomatic Contact in Germany. The New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(10):970-971.

    Zou L, Ruan F, Huang M, et al. SARS-CoV-2 Viral Load in Upper Respiratory Specimens of Infected Patients. The New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(12):1177-1179.

    Pan X, Chen D, Xia Y, et al. Asymptomatic cases in a family cluster with SARS-CoV-2 infection. The Lancet Infectious diseases. 2020.
    Bai Y, Yao L, Wei T, et al. Presumed Asymptomatic Carrier Transmission of COVID-19. Jama. 2020.

    Kimball A HK, Arons M, et al. Asymptomatic and Presymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 Infections in Residents of a Long-Term Care Skilled Nursing Facility — King County, Washington, March 2020. MMWR Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 2020; ePub: 27 March 2020.

    Wei WE LZ, Chiew CJ, Yong SE, Toh MP, Lee VJ. Presymptomatic Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 — Singapore, January 23–March 16, 2020. MMWR Morbidity and mortality weekly report. 2020;ePub: 1 April 2020.

    Li R, Pei S, Chen B, et al. Substantial undocumented infection facilitates the rapid dissemination of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV2). Science (New York, NY). 2020.

  11. John London June 25, 2020 at 11:47 am

    DD won’t talk about how the left has killed millions with their illegal drug trade pushing for 60 years now. Only a little Commie Red Bug that has killed way less than almost anything if we negate the false stats on false medical facts. More than a few nurses have reported that this is all LEFT Media driven.

  12. Fergie June 25, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    Referencing Mr. DD (The one with Classy Comments!)

    I really didn’t initially plan to respond to his crude and insulting posts, but I think the rest of the respectful people who read this online paper deserve a response.

    If anyone wants to see some contraire studies, look at this paper summarizing some of them.

    My point, and I did have one, is that like many subjects in science, there are studies all over the place and, as the author of this one points out, now one will ever be able to perform a real controlled study on masks on large populations because of all the uncontrolled variables. How anyone could say the “science is settled” on this issue escapes me. Both the CDC and WHO have changed their view on them a few times each during this crisis. Even the Mayo Clinic says they are not effective with viruses unless associated with other practices such as social distancing, frequent mask sanitation, etc.

    I also have people I care about who have underlying conditions. Most everyone does. Getting them treated in the current environment is a set of tradeoffs that differs in each case. Masks are not always the answer even for them, especially if they have breathing problems.

    Whether masks work for Covid-19 or not, the practice of wearing masks at all times at all places other than the home should be an individual decision, not a government mandate.


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