Reconsider the Hamilton, Ontario Mask Mandate

Reconsider the Hamilton, Ontario Mask Mandate

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Emy Ayala started this petition to Mayor of Hamilton and

Reconsider the Hamilton, Ontario Mask Mandate

The reason this is important to me is because I myself have conditions that don't enable me to safely wear a mask, especially for long periods of time. I am scared for my health. I have a dear friend with an auto-immune disorder who is terrified of what this will make her future condition look like. I have family members and a partner with compromised lungs and health in which their voices are being overshadowed. I am all about the health of myself and others and I cannot in good conscience agree with the mandate for that reason alone. I hope you can see through a different lens upon reading. 

The city of Hamilton is soon to be requiring every citizen to wear a face mask/covering in all public indoor spaces. We have seen the tragic rise and fall in cases over the last 4 months and mask wearing hasn’t yet been proven to have reduced numbers. Yes, a mask can limit the bodily fluids that exit our bodies. But with this, our masks also collect some of our own bacteria, dormant viruses, and toxins that our lungs have filtered out. Where is the study to show that long term mask wearing in a large population of varying health conditions is a safe solution?

There are studies outlining that cloth masks are 97% ineffective at stopping the virus. The basic surgical masks are roughly 66% effective. And N95 masks are being reserved for healthcare workers as they should (they have a different set of circumstance than the general public) which come with their own symptoms and risks. Perhaps this is why virologists wear sealed suits with oxygen tanks when taking preventative measures and working in the presence of viruses. The CDC, WHO, and Healthcare Officials have continually expressed over the months that masks should be worn by those with symptoms in situations where DISTANCING CANNOT be maintained. Yet we are maintaining distance while stores are limiting their customer volume and placing 6 ft marks on floors as an aid.

On January 29th of this year the WHO released a memo stating cloth masks and gauze are not to be used. Also stating that improper use and mask contamination can lead to risk of transmission. In March they recommended healthy people only wear masks when caring for the sick or if showing symptoms themselves. On June 8th of this year Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s technical lead for COVID-19, stated that asymptomatic transmission appears to be “very rare”. Yet we are now asking everyone whether symptomatic, asymptomatic, or even uninfected to wear them. This goes against their own rationale and again poses risk of transmission and risk to the individual wearing it.

We should not be forced to wear something that comes with a set of risks. WHERE THERE IS RISK THERE MUST BE CHOICE. They can and do restrict oxygen flow, can trap our toxins for us to breathe back in which can lead to infection and illness, can spread more germs built up on the outside of the mask, and disregards those with disabilities that make mask wearing a newly presented challenge (i.e. those hard of hearing or deaf). Although fabric masks are porous, this does not mean that bacteria and viruses aren’t passing through. Breathing aside, let’s not forget that cloth traps saliva when in contact with the mouth. A bacterial breeding ground against our mouth and nose is not a healthy thing. We are also disregarding those with chemical allergies who may react to breathing them in while wearing.

This is a violation of our human rights to freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression. It is overriding our personal medical rights. Please keep in mind, this does not mean that those who wish to wear them aren’t being respected. This is not in disregard of those with compromised immune systems. This petition is for those who cannot in good conscience wear them and are feeling a high level of discrimination and judgement. If we want to contain the spread using masks, we must first acknowledge the risks to health both physical and mental, before cracking down on rules that may not serve all of us. This needs to be about all of us.

We must take a stand against those in power who deem they can make medical decisions for us without knowing us or our current state of health. People who may be negatively impacted by the mandate are those who have:
COPD
anemia
auto-immune diseases
asthma/damaged lungs
congenital heart defects
lung disease
anxiety/mental illness
sleep apnea
pulmonary complications
ARDS (respiratory distress syndrome)
Smokers
Those with low blood pressure
This is not a complete list...

What are the symptoms of low oxygen levels?
Shortness of breath
Coughing/wheezing
Headache
Rapid heartbeat
Feeling confused/disoriented/anxious
High blood pressure
Lack of coordination
Muscle pain
Chest pain
Restlessness

Some who have been working during this pandemic have experienced these symptoms while their employers minimize them. Some are minimizing their own symptoms due to fear of being ridiculed or being fined/fired. Some are being ostracized/turned away when trying to obtain essential services due to non mask compliance and fear of the virus. It has been documented that healthcare workers do show the above symptoms although they are not heavily publicized. The SARS outbreak provided some insight into that experience. 

All that is being asked here is for you to take the time to seriously consider how this mandate may affect your community members. A feeling of unrest, of injustice, and ignorance towards those with a different set of living conditions than you. Again, this doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t wear a mask. This is about those who can’t for reasons they legally do not have to disclose. This shouldn’t be a “one size fits all” approach and non-mask wearers shouldn’t be denied essential services in the name of health. We want everyone safe and this may lead to quite the opposite. It is a positive thing that the virus is lessening, it is a positive thing that we are flattening the curve. Now let’s do a positive thing and consider everyone around us from a place of compassion and not fear.

Please keep in mind when referencing what our mayor has said. Face masks are NOT seatbelts. Seatbelts protect from accidents and injuries. They do not cover the body’s oxygen source. They do not run the risk of hypoxemia or lung infection. They do not force the body to work harder to get air. And they do not protect from disease. They are simply not the same thing and any comparison of the two is diminishing. If the preventative solution to a lung virus poses lung related risks, we have a moral obligation to search for other alternatives that are safe and efficient. Face shield’s have been documented to be a safer alternative; however, that is not what has been specifically mandated as of yet.

Thank you for taking the time to read and consider, a signature will not change anything should you choose to wear one. But it WILL change everything for those who can’t.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
At 500 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!