Posted: 10/21/2021 4:32:32 PM
David Kempf, in his October 15 letter “Masks Force Killing Our Planet” advocating an end to mask mandates in order to keep plastic out of the oceans, confuses public health policy with environmental issues.
We are in the midst of a historic pandemic in which masks have been proven to hinder the spread of COVID. It would be totally irresponsible to end mask mandates and sacrifice lives under the rather flimsy pretense of supporting the environment. In fact, one can both enforce mask mandates and ban the use of disposable plastic face coverings.
Nevertheless, I share Mr Kempf’s concerns about ocean pollution. If governments are to solve this problem, there must be strict regulations on all kinds of plastic products – bottles, wrappers, wrappers, household utensils and toys have been transported into the ocean via rivers for many decades, and about 20% of this total disaster is made up of plastics used in commercial fishing gear.
Certainly, it makes sense to avoid using cheap plastic for COVID face coverings when studies indicate that multi-layered fabric coverings are more effective at filtering out infected droplets than plastic disposable masks.
I hope Mr. Kempf is sincere in his environmental beliefs: that he avoids eating commercial fish, that he does not buy drinks or food in plastic containers and that he wears face coverings. fabric faces in interior spaces.
I’m also assuming he’s not supporting Republican deregulation of environmental protection, and I’m also assuming he’s not just using environmental concerns as a smokescreen for Republican antipathy to all health mandates public who deal with the harms of COVID. Otherwise, he is simply trolling us.