COVID-19, Niagara Falls and the human condition

I’m Canadian and I say that with the greatest pride. I live in one of the most visited cities on the planet in one of the most amazing countries. I am also a citizen of the world and lately I have just been shaking my head at the human condition regarding COVID-19.

My complete disdain is not only for the bleach swilling, disinfectant drinking morons who think doing such asinine things will protect them from a worldwide virus, but also for the idiots who choose to disregard basic scientific evidence and who don’t wear a mask in public places and who think social distancing means it’s perfectly all right to sit on your neighbor’s knee.

Back to where I live. Niagara Falls, Ontario. Since the border to the U.S. is closed, I am speaking about Canadians right now, although peering through the high-powered binoculars on the Canadian side of the Falls toward our neighbor, I see the same thing going on stateside.

Wear the darned mask!

People – PUHLEASSSE — wear a mask when you’re out in public, especially in touristy areas like Niagara Falls where people can literally be standing shoulder to shoulder (so much for social distancing).

Evidence-based medicine clearly shows that masks create a physical barrier that catches droplets from people when they talk, or sneeze – droplets which can spread COVID-19 when they come from an infected person.

Do I like wearing a mask? Hell no! They’re uncomfortable, they make it hard to breathe, they’re hot and they fog up my glasses. But, I want to do my part in helping to contain this disease, so I bitchingly put on a mask whenever I go to a public place.

Recently, a mechanical engineer used a high speed camera to photograph himself coughing with a mask on and without one. He tested more than 25 different types of cloth masks and here’s what he found:

  • Even the simplest masks like neck warmers and bandanas stopped much of the spray from his cough from landing on another person;
  • When the mask has a good seal around the chin, nose and cheeks, fewer droplets from a cough escape;
  • Having a mask on below your nose (um … duh) makes the mask pretty much useless as a protection.

COVID-19 doesn’t always present symptoms

The bottom line is that if you’re infected, you can spread the virus even if you have no symptoms. In fact, up to 45% of people are asymptomatic and don’t even know they are positive for COVID-19.

If you’re not even going to listen to Bill Nye, the Science Guy and wear a mask in public because it’s literally a matter of life and death – then do us all a favor and just stay the H home.

Niagara Falls will still be here when this COVID nightmare is over. So, all the maskless, feckless, reckless, conspiracy theory-believing dolts who come to one of the world’s natural wonders during this pandemic – don’t forget to bring your barrels to test the waters. After all, you’ll survive that small tumble over the brink even though the odds ain’t in your favor. Never mind what the authorities say. They’re probably lying about that, too.

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