LETTER: Only solution to COVID is universal mask policy

Dear Editor,

If Canada’s Team COVID had adopted a scientific response, instead of a political one, their epidemiologists would have focused on Wuhan’s immediate and long term success, instead of blinding themselves.

This letter responds to several letters in your paper, to correct a general misapprehension and possible false hope by the public that vaccines will have any effect on the spread of the coronavirus. At the risk of repetition, vaccines protect the individual by reducing the severity of symptoms produced by infection, but manufacturers make no further claims. Reliable evidence that a vaccine will either prevent individual infection, or reduce the spread of infection significantly has not surfaced. We get flu shots each winter, and still get infected, and infect others.

The only thing that can realistically crush the pandemic is a universal face mask policy. It was proven by the people of Wuhan Province from the start, when they beat COVID-19 with cultural conditioning. At the first sign of trouble they wore face masks in public places, days before they were ordered. China remains at an amazing 89,000 infections. Regardless how often the virus mutates, a face mask will always stop it.

Vaccine manufacturers’ websites tell us they’ve been allowed to shorten their clinical trials, due to an official sense of urgency.  When tests are incomplete it creates sloppy science which results in greater risks.  Instead of testing their clinical participants with standard nose swab tests to detect any signs of infection, some vaccine manufacturers have been using an unscientific, subjective method of self-reporting by participants, to collect positive results to test the efficacy of their vaccines. We know the asymptomatic rates vary, but typically up to 40% of infected persons don’t feel very sick, but remain contagious, so positive results are probably under reported, meaning that the vaccine is not nearly as effective as promoted.

Canada’s Team COVID leadership failed on many levels. Its two main flaws are; it still hasn’t studied how the coronavirus is transmitted. If it had, it would acknowledge that infected patients release contaminated air that can linger when trapped indoors, to become inhaled by others hours later. It hasn’t learned how face masks work or it would have prescribed them at the very outset instead of confusing the country for months. Face masks are much more efficient than reported with dry particle tests, because when the microdroplet of water containing the microbe makes contact with the dry mask material, it absorbs the water immediately, exposing the microbe to die on the surface of the mask instead of inside your upper respiratory system. Face masks, not plastic coverings, are still our first and best protection.

Finally, we would all benefit from seeing any environmental contamination control data collected by the local and provincial Medical Officers of Health. They should be collecting, studying, and providing COVID contamination data from air and surface samples, for many popular public places, like hospitals, public washrooms, etc.. in the County and Ontario, to study possible sources of human infection.

Steve Staniek

Prince Edward County