Voices From The Readers – August 21, 2020

Voices From The Readers – August 21, 2020

Boardwalk Mask Rule Not Being Enforced


As a couple over 65 years old and thus considered high risk for severe consequences of COVID-19, my husband and I appreciate the recent enactment of the law to require face masks on the Boardwalk and elsewhere in Ocean City.

That said, it isn’t being followed and we’ve seen no attempt to enforce it.

We were strolling on the Boardwalk from 26th Street to the Inlet recently after 8 a.m. and hardly anyone was wearing a mask. Two young police officers passed us coasting along on bikes with no attention given to addressing the blatancy.

My husband and I take wide berths from those without masks, but those without masks seem intent on expressing their disapproval of our compliance. Several younger people have stepped up to make comments to us that our masks are “not necessary,” often with their exposed breaths within a foot of our faces.

Those who choose to “take risks” rather than “live in fear of getting sick” have that right. They don’t, however, have the right to make that choice for others. Wearing a mask isn’t just about protecting oneself, it’s about protecting everyone else. Our freedoms don’t include causing pain, suffering and death to innocent people which is what happens when an asymptomatic person cluelessly spews their droplets.

You want to exercise your freedom to not wear a mask? Then stay at home.

Ocean City leaders need to educate the community as to why the mask law was enacted then take steps to equitably enforce it.

Georgia Martin

Ocean City


Face Masks?


This article is largely taken from an excellent piece by Conrad Milner written in the Wednesday August 5th edition of Epoch Times.

Milner delves into the paradox of conflicting opinions on whether to wear face masks or not. Today in America we have a group of people that are ardent believers in face masks and believe there should be legal penalties for not wearing them contrasted by an equally impressive group that believes masks are nonsense and likely weaken our immune systems.

Milner makes the point that contradictory messaging by public health authorities planted the seeds over the present discord over masks.

On March 8, infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci told 60 minutes, “There’s no reason to be walking around with a mask.” At that time the Center for Disease Control (CDC) stated that masks were to be worn exclusively by the sick and their caregivers, and the World Health Organization stated: “There is no specific evidence to suggest that the wearing of masks by the masses has any potential benefit. In fact, some evidence suggests the opposite.

In April, experts abruptly changed course, experts stated that previous statements were to save the masks for medical personnel and that everyone should wear a mask. Morton Tavel, MD, a professor at Indiana State, said, “well fitted medical grade (N95) masks could effectively protect against the virus.” Tavel also said “many people wash their hands the wrong way.”

Then on June 8 Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove stated “spread of the virus by asymptomatic carriers appears to be rare.”

It is clear that there is no scientific consensus on whether face masks help prevent passage of the virus. These days Fauci has become an unwavering proponent for everyone to wear a face mask. But the scientific case for masks is hardly a consensus.

A group of physicians in the New England Journal of Medicine wrote. “The chance of catching COVD-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is minimal. In many cases the desire for masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.”

Those on the pro mask side site a hamster study in Hong Kong which concluded that 75 percent of respiratory droplets were repressed by wearing a mask. Also the Jet Propulsion lab found droplets could travel 13 feet.

On July 16 an article in the Journal of pediatric and Child Health found that masks may cause more problems than protect ion. Researchers concluded “no good evidence that masks protect the public against infection with respiratory viruses. Thus, a mildly infected person wearing a face mask for hours without changing it or washing hands could paradoxically increase the risk of infecting others researchers wrote.

When the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons looked at mask efficacy they concluded “the wide use of masks by healthy people in the community setting is not supported by current evidence and carries uncertainties and critical risks. . .headaches, respiratory acidosis, dizziness and a decrease in oxygen saturation are some of the risks”

Milner says we should use common sense. Dr. Dana Cohen, a physician in Manhattan, says she has a hard time seeing a clear picture even as a doctor. “I don’t think people should go to Concerts or be together Marching and shouting, that’s not common sense, people need to stop being the mask police,” she said. “By the same token people that oppose masks should show some compassion for the pro mask crowd.”

One thing is clear the data required for good policies on how to handle COVD-19 is still lacking.

Certainly, the lack of clarity among “experts” explains the two polar views in society regarding wearing face masks. The problem is both sides can find supporting statements often from the same sources. The Contradictory messaging from public health authorities planted seeds of discord early on regarding precautions during the pandemic.

Masks have been politicized with more liberal politicians imposing more authoritarian restrictions including punitive actions for non-compliance. Mr. Biden famously said, “It’s not about liberty it’s about responsibility.”

Small businesses that have to survive during the pandemic are being hampered by these restrictions. Out of state travel by the governors of New Jersey and New York is negatively impacting Ocean City this August. Also, Mayor Meehan’s recent order forcing face masks on all who go on the Boardwalk between 8 a.m. and 2 a.m. also communicates a negative message to vacationers. The mayor, who used to be a small business owner, must have forgotten the difficulties facing small businesses. The rub is my friend who recently said sales are down 50% in August doesn’t have a place on the Boardwalk and is still feeling the consequences of these politically coercive orders on top of the difficult pandemic environment.

Tony Christ

Ocean City and Falls Church, Va.


Where Were Buses?


On Saturday, Aug. 15, I decided to get a ride to the Air Show with a friend who was driving to downtown Ocean City for a business meeting. I met her around 12:05 p.m. at 139th Street and Coastal Highway. From that location down to 19th Street, where I was dropped off to the air show, traffic was backed up bumper to bumper. It took 55 minutes to drive from 139th Street Coastal Highway down to 19th Street.

Of course, one of the best ways to reduce the traffic was to use the Ocean City bus service that is permitted to use the dedicated bus lane to avoid the bumper-to-bumper traffic. Unfortunately, whole time we were sitting in that traffic, we never saw one Ocean City bus heading south on Coastal Highway. It is clear to me whoever set the bus schedule for the Air Show activities failed to do their job.

Jany Spencer



Support Humane Options


Readers who care about animal welfare should ask Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin to support federal funding for cultured-meat research.

Cultured meat is grown from cells, without slaughtering nonhumans. It has the potential to eliminate unimaginable levels of suffering. After all, we kill tens of billions of land animals and over a trillion aquatic animals for food every year.
Ending this violence is more plausible than you think. A growing number of companies are developing cultured-meat products. Even Tyson Foods, the slaughtered-meat giant, has invested in the sector. However, costs of these humane options will need to be reduced for them to be successful. This can only be achieved by further research. The federal government should support it.

Jon Hochschartner

Granby, Conn.