Mon 8/3: COVID-19 is airborne and that changes everything! Thank your local essential workers & businesses for keeping you safe from anti-maskers.

(2) actions to help grocery employees below! 

Update:

Anti-maskers just had a workshop in Ventura County…

Despite reports that GOP voters are now paying attention to the newest COVID studies, Ventura County residents were dismayed to learn that there was a workshop this weekend at the Simi Valley “Republican Values Center” to instruct local anti-maskers on how to “firmly assert your right to enter public spaces, shop, and go about your business” and to use tools to “effectively counter opposition.” Although assuredly an improvement on the open warfare at the doors of supermarkets, these “tools” will undoubtedly spread misinformation, including outdated science, distortions of HIPAA, ADA laws, and the Constitution, entitled privilege and racism, strategies for deliberate deception and a misunderstanding of the nature of “freedom” itself. (Check out “Deeper Dive” below for discussion of anti-masker mythology.)

Why anti-maskers’ attitudes are so dangerous to those who are actually immunocompromised.

A Finnish model shows what can happen if an unmasked asymptomatic shopper is successful in talking or literally pushing their way past store employees.

The science is now here: ‘Someone infected by the coronavirus, can cough and walk away, but then leave behind extremely small aerosol particles carrying the coronavirus. These particles could then end up in the respiratory tract of others in the vicinity’, explains Aalto University Assistant Professor Ville Vuorinen. Singing, or yelling can emit as many particles as a cough. This changes everything.

However, our anti-masker warriors are stuck on an earlier message. From January through March, scientist believed that COVID-19 was spread mainly by large droplets, like those that fly out of the mouth and fall onto the ground or surfaces within a few feet, particularly when one coughs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  discouraged the use of masks among the general public, specifically to protect the ridiculously scarce stock of N95 masks for health professionals. Instead, they urged Americans to sterilize surfaces, and to wash our hands thoroughly.

By March, the message was beginning to change: Studies of superspreader events showed that COVID-19 was actually airborne and that asymptomatic carriers were not only transmitting the disease simply by singing, talking and even just breathing normally, but that those aerosolized particles could stay afloat for up to 3 hours. On April 1st, the National Academy of Sciences informed the White House of their new findings. On April 3, the CDC slightly adjusted their messaging to recommended that people wear cloth or fabric “face coverings” when entering public spaces, calling them “an additional, voluntary public health measure.

The message changed again: More testing and an increasing death toll flipped the paradigm –  Instead of worrying that readily-available cloth masks won’t protect wearers as well as a carefully fitted N95 masks (they won’t), scientists now believe that the best strategy to subdue this disease is to block transmission at the source, which is well within a cloth covering’s capabilities. The impact is this reversal is exponential, so even a small reduction in those odds results in a huge decrease in deaths. (Excellent chronological history of COVID research and government response here. A more detailed video is here.)

What is the harm?

Grocery workers: In an article dated June 26, United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) said at least 82 grocery store workers have died from COVID-19 and 11,507 have been infected or exposed to the virus in the first 100 days of the outbreak. A woman clerk at a small general store in NC told the Washington PostI’m 63. I’m a lifetime asthmatic. I’d watch customers pull into the parking lot without their faces covered, and my whole body would start to tense up. Our store is on the Intracoastal Waterway, and people from all over the world dock in the harbor and come in here for supplies. It’s a big petri dish. I put a shield up over my register, and a few hours into my shift it was covered with spittle.”

Health care workers:Lost on the Frontline,”a collaboration between KHN and The Guardian, has identified 878 health careworkers who likely died of COVID-19 after helping patients during the pandemic. Our country has lost literally hundreds of years of knowledge and experience, including renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, Dr. James Goodrich.

Everybody else: On Wednesday, 1400 COVID-related deaths were reported, almost one death a minute. As of today, we are the world leader, with 154,000 deaths. “[COVID-19] can attack almost anything in the body with devastating consequences. Its ferocity is breathtaking and humbling.” says cardiologist Harlan Krumholz of Yale University and Yale-New Haven Hospital, who is leading multiple efforts to gather clinical data on COVID-19.

Actions to help store employees!

Action #1  – Speak up!

Grocery store employees aren’t paid enough in normal times, and certainly not enough to fight customers to the death over mask-wearing. If the company doesn’t back them up, they will just step aside from entitled anti-maskers who make a fuss.

But store employees have as much a right to work in a COVID-free environment as anyone else. And immunocompromised customers expect to kept safe as well. So it’s up to us, the customers who can’t be fired, to make a fuss for them. So if you see customers violating a store’s mask requirement, track down the manager.

Minimum script for the manager: You have customer(s) who are violated a clearly posted mask requirement. You have no way to know if they are spreading an aerosolized virus, creating an unsafe work environment for your employees and an unsafe place for the rest of us to shop. Reasonable accommodations under ADA allow you to serve them outside the store. Why are you not doing that?

Action #2  – Thank your essential workers for keeping us safe and keep them safe as well!

The Philadelphia Inquirer put together this nice list for thanking the front line workers who make our lives better.

be kind

  • Wear a mask in the store. Model responsible behavior to others. If you can’t wear a mask for ADA issues, call ahead to the manager and arrange for curb-side pickup. A day will come when we can all meander through stores mask-free again. It isn’t now.
  • Voice your gratitute to the people who work in your store. Make sure they know that you see them and appreciate what they do.

Here are some suggestions:

    • “I realize how hard you’re working, and I just want to say thank you.”
    • “It’s people like you who are helping me get through this. Thank you for showing up today.”
    • “I know these are challenging times, and I just want to let you know how grateful I am for you.”
    • “I appreciate you and all that you do.”
    • “Thank you for showing up today. You’re helping to keep us all nourished and fed, and that isn’t going unnoticed.”
    • To the door monitors: “Thank you for your watchfulness is keeping us safe from those who could spread COVID. Your job isn’t easy, and we appreciate you doing it.
    • Tell the manager that you shop there because you appreciate the store’s commitment to serving those without masks in alternate ways.
  • Shop efficiently and weekly, not daily, if you can. 
  • Write a quick “thank-you card” they can pin up in the break room. If you can afford a small gift card along with your groceries, this is the time.
    • “It takes your focus away from something negative and places it on something positive,” says Elena Anguita, founder of the Spread Thanks movement and author of the book of the same name. “Then, that note becomes this tangible gift of love that the person can continue to review.
    • Be aware that cashiers might be understandably apprehensive of touching anything you hand to them. Minimizing contact is the best way to keep them safe, so be respectful of that, including paying with a card instead of cash. Before handing over a thank you note, ask if they’d like to receive it, and voice loud and clear that you understand if they aren’t comfortable accepting so that they don’t feel awkward refusing.
      • Health experts say the risk of COVID-19 infection from envelopes or packages is very low. Although, if you want to pair it with a bottle of hand sanitizer, that’s a gift most front-line workers would welcome.

Deeper Dive – A rundown of anti-masker issues.

(Note: we are not lawyers and there is NO legal advice being given. We suggest that businesses consult experts, either directly or through their trade associations, for clear guidelines to help their front line staff, with the emphasis on making their business safe for everyone. No one just trying to buy a quart of milk should be endangered by a non-compliant anti-masker.)

“Freedom” without responsibility is for toddlers – Why anti-masker strategies are wrong on their own terms.

David Laraway, visiting chairman of the Dept. of Philosophy at Brigham Young University wrote: “The ability to choose freely is of moral significance — and a political right to be vigorously defended — precisely because when I choose freely, I not only exercise my ability to act on my own account but I express my willingness to be held accountable for what I do. My ability to act freely and responsibly makes me into a moral agent. In short, I am free when two conditions are met: First, I have the capacity to act (or not act) in a particular way; and second, I accept responsibility for my actions

…When I refuse to wear a mask in a time of pandemic, I accept the first condition but reject the second. That is, I affirm my right to act or not act, but I do so in such a way as to refuse to accept any responsibility for the consequences that my actions (or inactions) may bring about…In the case of COVID-19, I consent to the very real possibility that my body may be used by an external biological agent so as to bring about potentially life-threatening consequences for which I likely will not be held accountable.

Anti-maskers aren’t against government control. Just government control of them. 

Not all white people are unmasked, but most unmaskers are white.

We know that COVID-19 is infecting and killing people of color at a disproportionate rate, due to their high representation in essential jobs. Anti-mask movements target these populations, either deliberately or subconsciously. The white exceptionalism behind anti-maskers has never worried about excessive goverment control used against minority populations, only against themselves.

When predominantly white-led crowds of largely unmasked protesters, some armed, take to statehouses to rally against the most basic public health advice—or refuse to mask while shopping—they are not just signaling their political affiliations. They are also performing their racial dominance, manifest, in this case, as selective exemption from the imposition of governmental control.”

And while protesters in states like Texas, where case counts have now reached record highs, declare that “Bar Lives Matter,” at a time when others are marching to confront the intersecting forms of violence that shorten Black lives, they evidence more than a difference in priorities. They are illustrating a certain disdain.

This is how racialization works. It assigns risks and rewards to racial or ethnic groups and engages political processes to enshrine those inequalities in laws. In this way, opposition to public health interventions, like masking, have also become a material manifestation of America’s racism, particularly anti-Black racism.” (thenation)

Indi Samarajiva, who noted that the only people not wearing masks in her Sri Lanka supermarket were white people, stated: “Whiteness is the idea that heirs of colonialism, genocide, and enslavement are somehow exceptional and have nothing to learn from the rest of the world. They certainly have no obligations. Therefore masking is seen as a personal choice, which must be evaluated in terms of their own personal protection. Not as a personal responsibility, to protect us all.

When Lincoln County, OR, tried to require that only their white population wear masks, due to the fears people of color had regarding their safety-while-masked, they reached out with this statement “We would encourage you to think less about the possibility of your rights being violated and think instead of the heightened feelings of risk that people of color in your neighborhoods daily endure.”  It didn’t go well.

“I have a card!”- Hahahahaha… No!

image.png

We’re guessing they didn’t talk about this at the workshop because everyone now knows that this was a scam. With or without the fraudulent Dept. of Justice seal, there is no actual official identification card certifying that someone has a disability under the ADA, or requires a particular accommodation. If an angry customer threatens to sue the store under the ADA, the law will only apply  to those who have registered disabilities under the ADA. Those without relevant disabilities would not be covered.

There is, however, a “Pants exemption card,” that after months of pandemic, may seem attractive. It’s not real either.

“But HIPAA!” 

Suggested anti-masker script to store employees: “According to HIPAA regulations, you’re not allowed to ask me that. Please don’t discriminate against those who can not wear masks, we need our essentials too. I’ll be in and out.” 

A favorite argument of amateur grocery-store lawyers is to claim HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) protections  for their desired mask-free shopping experience. However, “The protection of health information afforded by HIPAA’s Privacy Rule applies only to health information that is in the possession of what the law refers to as ‘covered entities,’ according to law professor Alan Meisel.

So unless the grocery, restaurant or other shop is ALSO a “covered entity“, such as a health plan, health care clearinghouse or a health care provider that conducts transactions electronically, HIPAA won’t help that shopper get through the door.

“But ADA!”

Suggested anti-masker script to store employees: “Store clerk at the door: “Excuse me, but do you have a mask? I can’t let you in without one”.
Me: “No I’m sorry, I have a medical condition that prohibits the use of anything that could restrict the flow of oxygen to my lungs or brain”.
Their answer 90% of the time: “Oh, okay, sounds good to me.” 

Department of Justice

Let’s start here. Not only did the DOJ not issue any spurious exemption cards, the would like to be clear that “The ADA does not provide a blanket exemption to people with disabilities from complying with legitimate safety requirements necessary for safe operations.” See video at top on COVID spread in a supermarket. Local and state governments, in-person and gig economy businesses all have the right to require the wearing of face masks from customers.

  • Anyone can say they have an ADA disability. The 1st Amendment allows anti-maskers to lie, (the deception most likely at the heart of the workshop in Simi) and businesses cannot demand documentation confirming that an customer is disabled,
  • However, a person must have a legally recognized disability to actually sue. Professor Jessica Roberts, the director of the Health Law & Policy Institute at the University of Houston states: “…the individual would have to establish that she is a person with a disability under the law, which has specific legal standards and is not always an easy or straightforward thing to do.”
  • “Direct Threat”: Even if a customer could identify their disability and prove that not wearing a mask was a reasonable request for their issues, “the business could still turn that person away based on the “direct threat” under the ADA that they posed to others.” The federal government has determined that COVID-19 qualifies a “direct threat.”
  • Reasonable accommodations vs. employee health: Businesses are required to make “reasonable accommodations” but letting in potentially contagious customers shouldn’t be one. Companies are now facing lawsuits for not protecting their employees from illness spread by random mask-resisters. In addition, businesses in states or counties with mask mandates could potentially be punished and/or fined for allowing customers into its establishment without a mask.
    • Examples of reasonable modifications to a face mask policy include (adasoutheast.org)
      • Allow a person to wear a scarf, loose face covering, or full face shield instead of a face mask;
      • Allow customers to order online with curbside pick-up or no contact delivery in a timely manner;
      • Allow customers to order by phone with curb-side pick-up or no contact delivery in a timely manner;
      • Allow a person to wait in a car for an appointment and enter the building when called or texted; or
      • Offer appointments by telephone or video calls.

Anti-masker health-related arguments

“Masks advice keeps changing!!!”

Yes, science is not a ancient philosophy or a religious belief. It keeps changing as more verifiable information becomes known. That’s its job. It’s our job to keep up as best we can.

“Masks will dangerously reduce my oxygen level!”

Anti-maskers are best friends with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard. (Note: Trump is rolling back OSHA regulations too.) USA TODAY fact checked whether masks could reduce a person’s oxygen intake below OSHA’s required levels and cause the brain damage, high blood pressure and headaches claimed by nay-sayers. They found that cloth and surgical masks are unlikely to cause a dangerous drop in oxygen intake because they are not tight-fitting. Kelli Randell, an internist and medical adviser at Aeroflow Healthcare, told Health.com that using any mask for a long time has not been shown to cause carbon dioxide to build to a toxic level in otherwise healthy people.

(Note: healthcare workers in Ventura are wearing their community-provided cloth coverings OVER their scarce N95 respirators to stretch out their use. No reported oxygen level issues so far. There’s a lot of information on the internet about filter materials that are hard to breath through, like vacuum cleaner bags, or dangerous, like filters containing fiberglass. Do some research and avoid them.)

“Masks affect our immune system!!!”

Anti-masker argue that masks “lower the immune system” by stopping microbes from coming in to the body and ‘challenging’ the immune system, resulting in it getting lazy and reducing the chance of it being able to respond to infections. This firstly assumes that mask-wearing stops all microbes from entering the body, it does not, far from it.

This belief would require health care workers, who’ve been wearing far more effective masks for years, to be the sickest amongst us, which isn’t true. Great discussion on how we live with microbes here.

“It’s no worse than the flu!”

Minimize this!: Since the beginning of this pandemic, when COVID-19 fatalities were still low, many were comforted by Trump’s comparison to the CDC’s estimate of 60,000 yearly flu fatalities. Now that the COVID-19 death toll stands at 154,000, people, including doctors, are searching their memories – surely we’d remember a yearly flu ritual of mass burials and portable morgue trucks?

COVID-19 stats: The disconnect comes from how the CDC calculates deaths. For COVID-19, it’s a direct body count, though widely acknowledged to be an undercount, as people dying outside of hospital settings, or from comorbities, may not be included.

Flu stats: Flu, on the other hand, is calculated by the CDC as a theoretical estimate. For example: “From 2013-14 to 2018-19, the CDC reported yearly estimates of influenza deaths ranging from 23,000-61,000. However, the number of counted influenza deaths during those 2 seasons was 3448 and 15,620, respectively.” 

Contrast and compare!: “It would be more accurate to compare weekly counts of COVID-19 deaths to weekly counts of seasonal influenza deaths, the authors said..”. 

  • There were 15,455 COVID-19 deaths reported in the US during the week ending April 21, 2020.
  • There were 14,478 COVID-19 deaths reported in the US during the week prior.
  • There were 351 flu deaths during the peak week (week 11 of 2016) of the flu season in 2015-16.
  • There were 1626 flu deaths during the peak week (week 3 of 2018) of the flu season in 2018-19.

“These statistics on counted deaths suggest that the number of COVID-19 deaths for the week ending April 21 was 9.5-fold to 44.1-fold greater than the peak week of counted influenza deaths during the past 7 influenza seasons in the US, with a 20.5-fold mean increase,” the authors wrote.” Read more here:(contagionlive.com)(livescience.com)(scientificamerican.com)

“I just tested negative for the COVID-19!”

That was then, this is now. Unless someone is sticking a cotton swab up your nose every minute or so and then immediately testing it for Covid-19 coronavirus and getting back the results, you don’t know when you might become infectious. You don’t need to have symptoms to transmit the virus.”

And even if you test negative right outside the store entrance, “…researchers “are certain that there are people who test negative” for the virus “even though they are definitely contagious. A positive test can make us relatively certain that you are shedding [the new coronavirus]. But a negative test does not mean the opposite.

Conspiracy theories, the Devil and all the other weird stuff…

You’ve probably already seen clips like the one below. (Video from our own Board of Supervisor’s meeting are surprisingly similar.) People who believe in these issues may have attended the Simi workshop. Conspiracy theories are natural side effects of stressful times. Our minds are pattern-seeking machines, and not having ready answers from experts leaves the field wide open. Great article on this here.

The question of whether supernatural forces have involved themselves in our mask ordinances, or in the existence of COVID-19 itself, can never be answered by a secular society through science, and we shouldn’t have to. However, research is being done to better understand people who won’t comply with restrictions or preventative measures against the pandemic.

Masks are a “uncool” and “sign of weakness.”

(This video is from May.)

This isn’t the first time Americans have rebelled against mandatory mask wearing before. During the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, many refused to wear them, saying that government-mandated mask enforcement was “unconstitutional” and  violated their civil liberties. An “Anti-Mask League” was even formed in San Francisco to protest the legislation.

American men, especially, seem stuck in a 100-year “Groundhog’s Day” movie.

Back in 1918, “…men, it turns out, needed more convincing than did women to heed the advice of public health officials. Some men associated masks with femininity, and behaviors like spitting, careless coughing, and otherwise dismissal of hygiene made men the “weak links in hygienic discipline” during the pandemic, according to a 2010 report published in the US National Library of Medicine. So public health leaders rebranded personal care as a display of patriotism and duty to incentivize men to wear masks.

Back here in 2020, not much has changed. A recent survey of 2,459 people found that men specifically see masks as “a sign of weakness” and “not cool” and are less likely to wear face masks outside, even though modern masks are much better than these.

image.png

One Oregon newspaper clip reads: “We appeal to your civil patriotism to co-operate with us in our effort to stamp out the Spanish Influenza or “Flu” Plague in Portland by wearing a mask.”University of Oregon

The history of the flu pandemic in San Francisco is instructive in how it came roaring back after a period of mask-wearing ended prematurely.

Masks are a sign of “Communism”, Nazism, Fascism, Socialism…etc.

Yes, there was confusion from the government’s muddy early messaging. But we now know that COVID-19 is airborne and masks are necessary to stop its tranmission and the continued refusal to wear masks rests squarely on the back of our chief politician, Trump. His long refusal to wear one, and obvious unease when he does, has encouraged his fans to follow suit, including science deniers, those economically hurt by the lockdowns and angry members of closed churches. If mask-wearing’s not “American,” (read “GOP”)  it must be “other”, which is why we hear such diverse and ridiculous political attributions.

THIS JUST IN!: Trump and his minions may be getting worried that COVID will wipe out too many of his followers before the election, because this just slid into our inbox.

trump letter

Not a ringing endorsement, but a tool you can try out on anti-maskers. So, Simi Valley “Republican Values Center,” as we said under the “Masks advice keeps changing!!!” category, you’ve got to keep up.

Anti-masker Constitutional arguments

Seat belts. Car seats for kids. Motorcycle helmets. OSHA-regulated safety gear. Removing your shoes at airports. “No shoes, no shirts, no service” (Are pants implied?) Driving regulations: right side of the road, speed limits, stopping at red lights and stop signs. Not peeing in public. Universal education for children.

Everyone can think of 10 more such rules that effect our lives every day. These are all legally enforceable by a number of different agencies. We believe that the anti-maskers faith in the Constitution to protect their rights to infect their fellow citizens with a possibly fatal disease is misplaced.

“Wearing a mask violates my 4th Amendment rights!!!”

Like people who quote HIPAA rights to bewildered shopkeepers, most Americans have no idea what the 4th Amendment is about.

(usatoday.com) “The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution states that “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.” It also requires that warrants not be issued without “probable cause.” The website of the United States Courts clarifies that the Fourth Amendment “protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.”

That’s an important caveat: by the government. Business owners or concerned individuals who ask why someone is not wearing a mask are not violating the Fourth Amendment, or any other amendment in the Bill of Rights. “All of them are limitations on the power of governments, not on the power of individuals, private associations, corporations, or other businesses, to name just a few,” Meisel wrote, referring to the U.S. Constitution’s first 10 amendments.”

“OK, but definitely the 5th Amendment!!!”

(usatoday.com) “The Fifth Amendment governs criminal cases. It guarantees “due process of law”; decrees that “no person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury”; forbids people from being “twice put in jeopardy of life or limb” for the same crime; excuses individuals from being witnesses against themselves; and protects private property from being taken for public use.”

This pretty much has nothing to do with mask wearing in a private store either.

“I’ve heard good things about the 10th Amendment!”

(Americanbar.org) “Under the U.S. Constitution’s 10th Amendment and U.S. Supreme Court decisions over nearly 200 years, state governments have the primary authority to control the spread of dangerous diseases within their jurisdictions. The 10th Amendment, which gives states all powers not specifically given to the federal government, allows them the authority to take public health emergency actions, such as setting quarantines and business restrictions. (This was just explained to our President who continuously confuses his powers with that of a king. There should be a test on the Constitution for presidential candidates, starting now.)

Supreme Court: Precedent makes clear that the Constitution allows nonconsensual measures to stop an epidemic. In the 1905 case, Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the court upheld compulsory vaccination during a smallpox outbreak. It explained that “the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint. There are manifold restraints to which every person is necessarily subject for the common good…. Upon the principle of self-defense, of paramount necessity, a community has the right to protect itself against an epidemic of disease which threatens the safety of its members.” Courts continue to rely on Jacobson to uphold compelled quarantines and will reject a measure only if it were arbitrary, were unreasonable or went far beyond what was reasonably required for the safety of the public. Such a finding would likely be closely tied to whether or not it had been adopted on the recommendation of experts in public health.

States’ rights: With states adopting emergency measures, there are several broad public health tools that governors can invoke. They can, for example, order quarantines to separate and restrict the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. They can also direct that those who are sick with a quarantinable communicable disease be isolated from people who are not sick. And, as a growing number of governors have done in recent days, states can order residents to stay at home with exceptions for essential work, food or other needs. The governors’ orders, akin to shelter-in-place directives, affect tens of millions in the affected states. Curfews are another tool they can impose.” (lawfareblog.com) CA law permits authorities to detain TB carriers who present a substantial likelihood of transmitting the disease to others, including those who refuse to take medication or follow infection control precautions.

Federal rights: “The federal government’s quarantine powers derive from its power to regulate interstate and foreign commerce. Section 361 of the Public Health Service Act grants federal officials the authority “to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the States or possessions, or from one State or possession into any other state or possession.” This authority extends to a list of communicable diseases specified by Executive Order 13295.

42 U.S.C § 264(d) also provides for the “apprehension and examination of persons” when the following factors are present: The person is “reasonably believed to be infected” with a communicable disease in a communicable or precommunicable stage, and the person is moving between states or is a probable source of infection to persons likely to move between states. This federal detention authority was used only once between 1963 and 2011, when our article was published, to detain Andrew Speaker, the Atlanta lawyer who traveled with drug-resistant TB in 2007.

“The 14th Amendment, for sure!!!”

14th amendment: Section 1:All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

But there’s been a lot of law to keep one person’s liberty from running over another’s. In a pandemic, this would include not having to breath in COVID particles from possible asymptomatic carriers of a possibly fatal disease while trying to buy some milk.

Why do we care about this?

Hospitals around the country started reaching out for volunteers to make cloth masks, both for people sitting in crowded waiting rooms, and for health care workers, who had to cover their scarce N95 masks to make them last longer.
We, along with thousands of interested amateurs worldwide, studied the latest literature on permeability and breathability of a wide range of fabrics (Yeah, you can’t breath well through dish towels and vacuum cleaner bags) and we shared a wide selection of homemade masks and research here.
image.png
Our own county health care system reached out too. After doing their own analysis of reusability, comfort, and ability to withstand ferociously harsh hospital laundering facilities, our Health department issued standards for a specific type of handmade cloth mask for use by our county healthcare workers, social workers and the homeless. Volunteers created over 13,000 homemade masks! Materials are still available and instructions are here.

IMG_4708They also need more “garbage bag” protective gowns!: Yep, that’s what medical professionals in the “world’s best medical system” need now. Homemade PPE. The Health Care Foundation of Ventura County says, “Gowns are still incredibly hard to source so we are still encouraging the assembly of the trash bag gowns and accepting any and all gowns that have been assembled.  They are laborious to assemble but a vital part of protection.  The COVID drive through clinics really like your gowns. …Thank you, thank you, thank you for your continued commitment to each other and our community”

If you’d like to help in creating gowns for our healthcare workers, instructions are here.

Do you need a free face mask? 

The Activ(ist)Wear brand DHVANI is giving a free mask to anyone in the United States who requests one. All masks are 100% free and paid for by donations. Learn more here. https://www.gofundme.com/f/MasksForAll

If you’d like a free mask, go here: https://DHVANI.com/FreeMasks

If you can pay $10 for a mask to help fund others, go here. All proceeds go to helping provide masks for others.

The “Rosie the Riveter” free mask campaign is now closed.

image

A former “Rosie the Riveter” was making free red polka-dotted masks, but the 97-year old and her friends have reached their 5000 mask goal and they’re done.

Krier sees parallels between the last world war and the current global coronavirus pandemic. After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, she said, there was a sense of common cause, manifested in everything from enlistments to grueling industrial work to household conservation of food scraps and knickknacks.

“This virus is actually like another war, and we’ve gotta pull together if we’re gonna conquer it,” she said.

Mask-wearing, Krier added, seems like a worthy and minor inconvenience to protect the public’s health. Much less cumbersome, she believes, than the welding masks and riveting guns she and her colleagues lugged around during their shifts.”

Follow her Facebook page here and ask Senator Harris to join Senator Feinstein in cosponsoring S.892  – “Rosie the Riveter Congressional Gold Medal Act of 2019″

“To award a Congressional Gold Medal, collectively, to the women in the United States who joined the workforce during World War II, providing the aircraft, vehicles, weaponry, ammunition, and other materials to win the war, that were referred to as “Rosie the Riveter”, in recognition of their contributions to the United States and the inspiration they have provided to ensuing generations.”

Contact: Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?:https://whoismyrepresentative.com

Image at header: (Still of video by: FMI/AALTO/VTT/UH/CSC)

 

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