Source: You May Be Exempt From Wearing a Face Mask – LewRockwell
Face masks are being turned to as a largely superstitious solution to the concerns about coronavirus, as opposed to a solution driven by data. The data also indicates that their use comes with drawbacks.
That being the case, local orders requiring a face mask are likely to make clear that there are exemptions to the order.
San Francisco Department of Public Health has played a leading role in Northern California, nationally, and globally in shaping corona response policy. That official order along with directives from City Hall deserve further attention, as it makes notable exceptions to who must wear the mask.
It Is Dangerous For Children Under 2 To Wear A Face Mask
Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a poorly explained phenomena that frightens parents. Corona prevention or not, any artificial obstruction of a child’s breathing goes against years of warning on this topic and flies in the face of the fact that some children do appear to stop breathing.
The San Francisco face mask directives state “Children under 2 years old must not wear a face covering. They may suffocate.”
Children Under 12 Must Be Supervised, And The Order Will Not Be Enforced For Them
The same caution around little ones up to the age of 12 is expressed in the San Francisco directives.
“Children 3 to 12 years old are not required to wear a face covering. If they do, they should be supervised by an adult. Supervision may look different based on the age and maturity of the child. For some children, having a discussion may be enough. For younger children, parents and caretakers should be present during use by the child. Parents and caregivers should use their judgement.”
The mayor of San Francisco has advised that this order will not be enforced for children up to and including the age of 12.
If You Have Documentation From A Doctor Then You Don’t Have To Wear One
Understandably, enforcement of the order is made easier if those with an exemption can show medical documentation. The San Francisco face mask order States: “If you have documentation showing a medical professional has told you not to wear a face covering, you do not have to wear one.”
But that poses a problem because many doctors offices have been shuttered. It is very difficult to get in to visit with a doctor. Therefore, the order also includes those who do not have a note from a doctor.
The Difficulty Of Breathing In Face Masks Are Well Established
I know it’s frustrating to have to jump through these hoops just to go grocery shopping without wearing a mask that makes it difficult to breathe, dangerously difficult for some.
In 2018, Yolo County, California posted cautionary advice about face masks before the wearing of face masks became so politicized in spring 2020:
“N95 respirators can make it more difficult for the wearer to breathe due to carbon dioxide build up, which reduces the intake of oxygen, increased breathing rates and heart rates…N95 use may lead to increased heart rate, respiratory rate, work of breathing, carbon dioxide buildup in micro-ambient air and heat stress — potentially posing risk to sensitive populations.”
A 2010 study of ten healthcare workers in Respiratory Care, a monthly peer-reviewed medical journal, placed study participants on a treadmill for an hour showing that even with an exhalation vent, the carbon dioxide levels in an N-95 mask become far higher than would be allowed in a safe workplace and the oxygen levels far lower.
On April 23, 2020, a driver in Lincoln Park, New Jersey lost consciousness, careened off the road, and crashed into a pole. Police found no signs of drug or alcohol use and believe that the accident was caused by driving in an N-95 face mask for several hours.
Face masks aren’t a cure-all and come with some meaningful downsides, especially for at-risk populations.
In fact, it’s worth noting that face masks don’t filter out small particles. A 2016 study of dental uses of face masks points this out. Face masks can be useful for preventing direct, immediate contamination of a surface from a person who is coughing and sneezing, but the fine-particle aerosolized portion of matter is still transmitted.
With so little benefit, it’s actually pretty crazy to wear a face mask. And it’s definitely crazy to elevate it to a moral standard as some people are doing. The puritanical American roots have turned on those who dare step outside with a full, unexposed face, just as they turned on the “witches” at Salem, in a period of mass hysteria that will be forever remembered as a dark point in the American experiment.
There’s great symbolism to saying you will or will not wear the face mask. Some go so far as to call them fear masks.
But there is also another practical factor involved: it may be a burden for you and you may be legitimately exempt from wearing it while society figures out if an executive should have the authority to make these sweeping orders. You are, after all, the only person whose actions you are able to control.
If a face mask presents a health burden to you, look at the written policy of your face mask order, identify health or other exemptions, and establish clear boundaries around your wearing of that face mask.
You will be better off for having defended your own boundaries and your own well-being. And though this additional benefit may not be in your own self-interest, you will have helped others who have a similar hesitation around masks defend their health and safety, by merely defending your own boundaries on this matter.
Not only can courage be contagious. It can be benevolent as well.
COVID-19 HIPAA Face Mask Exemption ‘Passes’