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  • Writer's pictureWayne Drury

The Question About Masks Was First Asked Here

Why mask mandates likely wouldn't solve the crisis in children's hospitals

Mask mandates

Ok, I believe I can gloat just a little. About one week ago, it seemed everyone was going to follow the "party line" of moving towards masking up again. We had some very confusing news articles out mixing up COVID, the flu and the RSV with children. All mixed up like a bad batch of batter to attempt to have us believe we were in another masking-needing crisis.

At Sustainable Circular Economy, a boutique environmental firm in Vancouver, we believe strongly in promoting truth and consequence - something that we see missing in much of the debates. And, we raised questions that one week later are now being answered - and it appears we hit the mark. We asked, "when the problem is with ICU capacity for children in Ontario, what good would it do for everyone to be mandated to wear masks again?"

The following information and discussion is from a CBC article that can be accessed by Clicking Here.

Masking up?

Masks are an effective layer of protection in the fight against COVID-19 and I still wear mine out and about in crowed environments. I have not had COVID, so why change what works?

Masks may have worked for COVID but now are harder to justify for a wide range of reasons.

Is this CBC at it again to try to not lie but not tell the truth? CBC suggests, "despite growing public pressure and calls from some media and front-line physicians for mask mandates to alleviate the strain on hospitals....." What public pressure? And the media is a "great source of expertise?

RSV and masking

RSV is hitting the kids hard and that means "Daycares". Dr. Caroline Quach-Thanh, a pediatric infectious diseases specialist said, "RSV is being transmitted mainly in daycares and in young children and there we don't want to have mask mandates."

So, there we have it. Children, daycares, masks, nope.

Dr. Quach-Thanh continued, "We want children to be able to develop and sort of live a normal life as much as possible, and what you really have to do is decrease your number of contacts and make sure that when you're sick, you stay away. If you can't stay away, then you wear a mask." Pretty sound and straight-forward advice.

Not all viruses are the same

"If everyone used excellent masks routinely, there's this idea that we would have no trouble and I don't think that's true, I don't think that's supported by the evidence," said Dr. Quach-Thanh.

"But I do think that they can have a role in reducing transmission that could be important, and that the time is always better earlier rather than later. You don't want to put them in when the horse is well and truly out of the barn."

"The best way to get a handle on RSV in the current situation is making sure that kids, when they're sick, they're staying home. But every respiratory virus is not going to be amenable to the same things that work for COVID."

Coming to the end

SARS-CoV-2, influenza and RSV are all different beasts and using mask mandates as a one-size-fits-all solution to the crisis in children's hospitals may be an oversimplification that ignores the different ways these viruses spread and the age groups they hit hardest.

Just what we were suggesting one week ago at Sustainable Circular Economy. We promote looking at issues through the lens of a circular economy that promotes truth and consequence leading to the best outcome considering people, the planet and sustainability.

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Best wishes

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