The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Masks are a proven means of preventing disease spread

 

December 3, 2020



To The Eagle:

Cholera is a terrible infectious diarrhea caused by the toxic cholera bacterium. It causes 3 million cases and 95,000 deaths each year worldwide. Unfiltered, untreated drinking water is the leading cause of cholera contagion.

In India, women in 27 Bangladeshi villages, where drinking water is generally scooped from a river or canal, were taught to cover the urns they used for fetching water, with an old folded sari (a shawl-like garment). Over the next 18 months the rate of cholera in these villages dropped by about 90 percent, compared with other villages. Those simple cloth saris filtered out the cholera germs.

Just as that piece of layered cloth acts as a shield to filter deadly bacteria out of contaminated water, a mask of layered cloth or suitable fibre used as a shield covering your mouth and nose acts as a barrier against infectious, virus laden, droplets in the air you breathe.

Wearing a protective mask is more than just the application of practical science, it’s an exercise in common sense, courtesy and community infection control. You may not think 16 covid cases locally is much, but proportional to our small population, it means the curve is rising. The instinctual courtesy of our local merchants needs to evolve into stern preventative action. No sign should read “masks required” or “masks recommended.” All notices should say “no mask - no service.”

After reading Toni Below’s appalling commentary in the last issue, I can agree only with the last thing she said: “don’t believe everything you read or hear.” Indeed, pretty much everything she said in her latest letter is literally unbelievable, unbelievably inaccurate and frequently, beyond belief! Everything stated about infection control, the efficacy of viral barrier protection and public health demographics could fit into a thimble with room left over.

Wear a mask and wear it with pride. This is your community. We are your neighbors. Let’s protect each other.

JB Bouchard

Puget Island

 

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