Letter to the editor: Anti-maskers push false information

Published 11:01 am Thursday, September 9, 2021

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To the editor:

I typically would not write this type of letter, but I feel the need to refute the falsehoods in letters to the editor in the paper every week.

The idea that by reading Facebook and the internet in general you have performed research is ludicrous. Anyone can write anything on the internet. I can find “proof” of Bigfoot, Planet X, Flat Earth, ad naseum at any number of internet sites.  Likewise, talking to a group of friends who agree with you on an issue does not constitute a survey in any realm. I have performed legitimate research at the university level and it takes more than just turning on a computer. One has to be able to discern sources and efficacy of studies being referenced. The idea that I am likely to find real data on a Facebook group devoted to anti-science is laughable. Unlike religion, science doesn’t need to have believers to be true. It simply is. Science is scary to some because it requires being open minded in results. Again, science doesn’t need you to believe it to make it true.

There is a faction in this country who have taken delight in pushing false narratives with all kinds of issues in our society. The ones of these that are most detrimental surround COVID 19. Doctors have presented the public with plain information that is understandable regarding risk factors and mitigation measures. Instead of believing these facts, this segment of the population instead believe the voodoo medicine and snake oil salesmen presenting themselves as knowledgeable practitioners. The facts are clear: vaccines and masks save lives. Every legitimate study on these issues has shown this to be true. But instead of accepting the science, too many have believed fringe persons, including the former president, and taken up the cause of bizarre medications and ant-mask fervor.

The idea that wearing a mask is a form of control is ludicrous.  Masks help prevent the spread of germs. This has been known for at least a century. Your individual right to not wear a mask does not overcome the rights of others to stay disease free in a pandemic. The courts have found this in past health emergencies. The public good is greater than your right to be a non comformist.  Mask wearing is not always comfortable, but when it saves lives, I will do it gladly. To compare mask mandates to Nazi Germany really shows an ignorance of the history to which you refer.

By saying that your religious freedom is being infringed brings on the question, what is your religion?  “The Holy Church of I want to get COVID?” If your religion tells you not to wear masks and not get vaccines then why do you go to the hospital when you get COVID and can’t breathe?  Go on, live out your so-called religious freedom and become a martyr for the cause.  There are sick people without COVID who can’t get hospital beds because COVID deniers are filling them.  I know of nothing in the Bible or words or deeds of Christ that encourages followers to not partake of cures that are presented.  To the contrary, I have always considered modern medicine to be a calling for healers. I am living proof that medicine is the modern equivalent of biblical healing. The first amendment of our Constitution guarantees you the freedom to worship as you see fit. But it also forbids the recognition any particular religion as a state religion. People in contemporary society confuse the lack of a recognition of their beliefs as the official belief structure of the country as being discriminated against. Having been in Iraq and Afghanistan, I have seen results of both a formal religion and religious oppression. Someone saying Happy Holidays is not oppressing you. Someone telling you to wear a mask for the good of others is not oppressing you either. It may be inconvenient at times, but it is hardly oppressive or controlling. In a society, we sometimes have to make small sacrifices to protect others.

There is a growing segment of the media that present quack theories and alternative information. Unfortunately, it is becoming more and more difficult to find some media on which they can depend for accurate coverage. If you quit watching certain news because it doesn’t match your beliefs, then you aren’t watching the news, you are watching opinion programming. Real news does not lend itself to one worldview or another. If you have to watch only news that fits your belief system totally, it’s not news. It’s propaganda. There is a large minority of our society that only watch opinion programming for their news source. By hearing no real news, it is easier for charlatans to hawk their fake covid cures. It is no accident that in states with high covid rates there are also increasing numbers of poisonings by Ivermectin. It is being pushed nightly on these opinion shows. Ironically, these same opinion hosts are all vaccinated and have to wear masks at their place of work when not on air. Our former president had covid and received treatments no one else could have gotten at the time. Then, instead of talking about the seriousness of Covid he made it sound like no big deal. How many people have died needlessly because he could not be bothered to tell the truth for once?

I fear for our nation when parents attack boards of education for trying to keep their children safe. When people have such cult-like devotion to a political leader that they refuse to listen to those who are knowledgeable on a topic. When public health measures are held up as being an evil movement to be resisted at all costs. Has our collective psyche been so damaged and decayed so badly that we allow those railing against reason to overcome our better judgement? We must navigate the next few years carefully. We will see more smoke and mirrors from the anti-science crusade and we have to be ready to fight it.

I just hope today’s youth pay attention in their government and civics classes, because it is evident that their parents did not.

Jeff White,     Mocksville