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Dr. Cammy Benton: An antivaxxer plays the “both sides” card on masks for COVID-19

Dr. Cammy Benton is an antivaxxer. She also thinks that “both sides” are way over the top when it comes to masks for COVID-19, in a classic case of false equivalence.

If there’s one thing about the COVID-19 pandemic that’s been depressing to behold (other than the mass death, the lockdowns, and the utter failure of US national leadership to coordinate a policy to slow the spread of the disease), it’s the way that the pandemic has revealed just how polarized public health policy has become. (Also, it depresses me how prone to pseudoscience physicians like Dr. Cammy Benton, whom we will meet shortly, are.) The specific example I have in mind is the increasingly angry—and sometimes even violent—resistance to the requirement to do something as benign as wearing a mask in public in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. I realize that, in a way, this is not new. There was, for example, an actual “Anti-Mask League” formed in 1919 during the great influenza pandemic; so one could view history as repeating itself. However, thanks to social media and people of a certain political persuasion having decided that wearing a mask is more about “control” than public health and that the refusal to wear one brands them as a “free-thinking rebel,” resistance to masks among a small but unfortunately not insignificant minority of Americans has reached truly irrational and potentially violent levels. You don’t have to go too far to see videos of people angrily ranting and refusing to wear a mask, badgering and threatening underpaid workers at grocery stores and restaurants who try to enforce masking policies by politely asking them just to wear a mask.

Here are a couple of examples:


There has even been murder committed over a store’s refusal to admit someone not wearing a mask.

I’m not going to relitigate here whether masks work to slow the spread of coronavirus, given that it’s been discussed multiple times (and will be discussed again) elsewhere on this blog and at other sources. They do. Sure, they’re not perfect. Yes, the CDC and World Health Organization messed up the messaging in February and March, early in the pandemic, prioritizing concern about shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) over public masking and noting that the evidence was not entirely clear. Those situations have resolved. The evidence has become clearer that masks work, although they are by no means a panacea. They don’t provide 100% protection (not even close), but increasingly evidence has been trending in the direction of supporting the wearing of masks in public, particularly indoors, particularly in places where adequate social distancing is difficult or impossible. Is it “settled science”? Not yet, but there’s biological plausibility and a large and growing body of observational evidence that suggests that masks decrease the likelihood of disease transmission at least several-fold, misinformation and disinformation about masks and COVID-19 notwithstanding.

As has been discussed before, it’s not surprise that antivaxxers have jumped on the COVID-19 conspiracy theory bandwagon, nor is it particularly surprising (at least to those of us who’ve studied the movement for years) that antivaxxers have allied themselves with anti-maskers. That’s why an article published on the hilariously misnamed antivaccine propaganda blog The Thinking Moms’ Revolution, To Mask or Not to Mask: Declaring a Truce. It’s by an “integrative medicine” practitioner named Dr. Cammy Benton. It is, as you might imagine, a lovely example of false equivalence.

Before I dig in, I just want to note that we’ve met Dr. Benton before, although I didn’t discuss her a lot. Basically, she was mentioned in a post by me four years ago as one of the physicians who “stand with Dr. Sears,” namely “Dr. Bob” Sears, an antivaccine pediatrician. Why were physicians “standing with Dr. Sears”? Basically, they were rallying around Dr. Sears when the Medical Board of California initiated proceedings against him for failing to live up to the standard of care for two patients. As I’ve mentioned many times before, though, Dr. Sears has long associated with the antivaccine movement. For example, he’s likened SB 277, the new California law that eliminates nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates, to the Holocaust, basically going full Godwin on it and letting his antivaccine freak flag fly. I was also surprised that the Medical Board of California didn’t actually look at Dr. Sears for his more blatant selling of medical exemptions, including exemptions based on an online form. Ultimately, Dr. Bob had his practice limited and supervised for his offenses, even as antivaccine conspiracy theories flowed about it.

As for Dr Benton, she runs an “integrative medicine” practice called, appropriately enough, Benton Integrative Medicine (although there was a recent announcement that she is joining another practice). Unsurprisingly, there’s a spa, and the clinic offers dubious injectables and supplements to “prevent coronavirus.” Dr. Benton appears to be heavily into “functional medicine,” or, as I like to call it, ordering reams of useless and impossible-to-interpret lab results with a plan to correct each and every one of them in one hand, a huge invoice in the other. Unsurprisingly, Dr. Benton is also antivaccine. She’s a Founding Director and the Treasurer of Physicians for Informed Consent, an antivaccine physician’s group. She also no longer vaccinates her children:

And offers Dr. Paul Thomas’s antivaccine book.

And has been interviewed by the VAXXED crew, conveniently providing them with a lot of antivaccine misinformation:

In her article for the Not-So-Thinking Moms’ Revolution, unsurprisingly, Dr. Benton tries to portray herself as somewhere in the “reasonable middle” between the anti-mask crowd and the science-based crowd:

This is a call for a truce between the maskers and the anti-maskers.

It is super stressful these days, and the bullying tactics (“Wear your damn mask!”), the virtue signaling, and the shaming are not likely to bring people to your side. For the anti-maskers, getting mad at 16-year-olds at restaurants just doing their jobs is not going to get you anywhere.

Everyone is angry, but everyone is also doing the best they can with the info they see. Legitimate CDC, WHO, and national leaders ( whether you believe they are good or bad) had been saying not to wear a face mask unless you are sick or caring for someone who is sick, so the anger against those who are not in favor of universal masking seems excessive to me.

There is literally legit science on both sides, and both sides give good arguments. The pro-mask folks share their science and say, if masks prevent big droplets from leaving your face or if there is a slightly decreased risk of spread, then it is worth it. Great! That is a good reason to wear a mask. The maskers want to do it out of respect even if it doesn’t work. Well, that is generous. I’m not sure it’s a reason to chastise the anti-maskers since that is so subjective, but it’s super sweet.

Note the false equivalence. The “bullying tactics” that she ascribes to the pro-mask crowd are almost never anywhere near as extreme, angry, or violent as those from the anti-mask crowd, who, let’s remember, not infrequently throw epic tantrums in response to reasonable requests to wear a mask inside stores, thrown merchandise around, and even attacked and killed workers trying to enforce masking policies. Anecdotally, even at my cancer center, those tasked with screening everyone coming into the hospital have reported hostility from people when they are told that they can’t enter the facility without masks, although likely the presence of an armed guard at each door deters them from getting too angry or even violent. Retail workers don’t have the luxury of that sort of protection. Out there, underpaid workers are getting hurt, and, occasionally, even killed trying to do a job that they’d never expected to have to do. This is not the same thing as the occasional social media post telling anti-maskers to “wear a damned mask.” While there is a point to be made that perhaps shaming is not the most effective tactic to persuade the recalcitrant, this false equivalence gives the game away. It’s the same sort of false equivalence, unsurprisingly, that antivaxxers like to use when complaining about being “bullied” by pro-vaccine advocates. Never mind that antivaxxers routinely harass CDC employees, get in the face of pro-vaccine advocates like Dr. Paul Offit in order to frighten or anger him into a reaction that they can video and then use to embarras him, and use abusive FOIA requests to harass scientists.

Of course, Dr. Benton is still very intent on trying to demonstrate how “reasonable” she is; so she concedes that the evidence is trending in favor of masks; that is, before going full “both sides”:

There seems to be growing evidence for wearing face masks and the idea that we could open up sooner if we all wore face masks. Maybe there will be a full consensus soon, and everyone will agree that we should. But there is still room for debate in my opinion, so let’s keep it respectful.

This issue is just one of many in this country that has fallen victim to the polarization that leads to everyone digging in their heels. As usual, one side thinks they have the right to tell others what to do and that anything they say that disagrees is anti-science, or anti-people, or ignorant. Again, none of the name-calling will win them over. The other side says, “Screw you, I don’t have to do what you say.” They will say they have science, too, backed by the WHO. Our government has a history of corruption, and there are worrisome patterns noticed by many in this group that are based on fact, so they have good reason to question things.

The other side sees this as “conspiracy theory,” but simply calling it conspiracy theory can be a lazy way of shutting down the conversation. And maybe there is a conspiracy; after all, it’s happened before when large sums of money and power were at stake.

I’d love to know what large sums of money there are that derive from promoting the wearing of inexpensive facemasks. It reminds me of the one retort to the “money made them do it” that the pro-hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) crowd had when that unproven medication was being promoted as a cure (or at least highly effective treatment) for COVID-19 that actually made some sense: HCQ is off-patent and costs pennies a pill. There’s not a lot of money to be made selling it, at least not compared to new “blockbuster” drugs. None of that made the evidence that HCQ is effective against COVID-19 any more convincing, but it did remind us on the science-based side that sometimes we can go too far in seeing conspiracies. So, I turn that around on Dr. Benton: There’s not a whole lot of money to be made selling masks, at least not compared to what she seems to be implying.

As for the “science,” while the evidence for masks to slow the spread of COVID-19 is imperfect and certainly masks are no panacea, the evidence is strong and getting stronger that masks have value in preventing COVID-19 transmission. Moreover, given the law of large numbers and the millions upon millions of people at risk for the disease, even if masks were only 50% effective (or even only 20% effective), that would have the potential for preventing a huge number of COVID-19 infections and deaths. Antimaskers tend to think like antivaxxers (unsurprisngly) in that for them it’s often all-or-nothing. Either vaccines work 100% of the time, or they’re crap not worth using. Either masks work 100% of the time, or they’re worthless. Black and white thinking is one reason why antivaxxers are often the same people as antimaskers and vice-versa. Similarly, the less radical antivaxxers often desperately want to be seen as “reasonable”; so they will often invoke the fallacy of the golden mean and imply that the “truth” must lie somewhere between the two extremes of pro-vaccine or antivaccine, pro-mask or anti-mask. That’s exactly what Dr. Benton did.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

140 replies on “Dr. Cammy Benton: An antivaxxer plays the “both sides” card on masks for COVID-19”

Questions for Orac or anyone else who knows:
Do surgeons and/or others in the OR re-mask during prolonged surgeries? If so, how long between remaskings?
It is my understanding that masks used in surgery are generally not sterile before use. True/False?

I’ve seen lots of anti-maskers claim that wearing a mask for more than a short time (an hour or even less) is somehow hazardous because awful things will grow in the mask. None seem to catch on to the notion that anything that can replicate in a mask will do a lot better in the nose or mouth of the wearer. Of course if you keep your mask in the cat’s litter box you might well pick up something nasty from it.

It depends upon the specific type, but most surgical masks are clean, not sterile.

We generally only remask if (1) the mask becomes dirtied, as with bodily fluids that can sometimes splash up during certain surgical procedures; (2) the surgeon has a runny nose or cough and the inside of the mask gets uncomfortably wet or messy; or (3) between cases. (Many, but not all, surgeons do #3, remasking between cases.)

Some surgeons don’t change masks between patients? Am I missing some reason that that’s NOT completely gross?

@PF, admittedly, most of my knowledge is from talking to vets, not people doctors, but I know that the local low cost spay-neuter program can do a procedure in 10-15 minutes and gots 6+ hours a day, so when you’re doing tons of those all day, you’d waste a lot of time and masks changing between every one. Since they are, as Orac noted, clean, not sterile, as long as they stay clean, no reason to waste them.

Those lungs have a breathing problem? I see no sign of it.

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that we’re talking about a virus here, which will NOT replicate on the mask!

Months ago many who argued against masks “warned” of the virus replicating in nice warm moist masks but they actually managed to learn that a virus can’t do that. Now they harp on bacteria, and not those from some unknown source but those that might be exhaled into the mask by the wearer. Sheesh! The most recent claim I saw was that wearing a mask would lead to fungal infection of the lungs. Someone who claimed she was a nurse said she’d heard stories about people who developed pleurisy as a result of wearing masks.
Many claim that rebreathing carbon dioxide in a mask is terribly hazardous and that masks reduce the amount of oxygen available. One notorious and particularly foul anti-vaxxer claimed that masks will increase cortisone output which will impair immunity.

One person tried hard to put up all manner of arguments why masks are bad and then finally admitted that he suffers from OCD and just finds a mask very distressing. Someone else said he is severely claustrophobic and can’t stand anything, even clothing, that fits snugly. These are things I’ll accept as legitimate reasons not to wear a mask. But I’ll wager that the fraction of the population with legitimate reasons is small enough that it disappears into the uncertainty in the overall figure for effectiveness of simple masks.

I live in a part of the country where it’s really, really cold a good chunk of the year, and most people wear scarves. If what antivaxxers claim was true, we’d all die if we wore a scarf over our face on the way to work, left it sitting around damp in a warm office and then put it back on at the end of the day.

The underlying argument for Cammy, and her multitudinous ilk, is the now well-entrenched “government is the problem” meme, followed by it’s corollary, “they’re (BigPharma, Bigmedicine, BigVax, BigWhatever) in it for the money. I think this is why starting to argue with them strictly from a factual perspective is so useless.

Thank you St Ronnie.

@ Orac

“There has even been murder committed over a store’s refusal to admit someone not wearing a mask.”

This is ridiculous. Even if we were not in the middle of a pandemic, I would defend the store’s right to impose whatever constraints, whether they be masks or babouches (i.e. oriental, typically turkish, slippers) to its clients. His store, his rules. Too bad the article of the murder is behind a paywall, though…

@ Dr. Benton

“Our government has a history of corruption” — Dr. Benton

Keep trying to make me cry…

I’ve read about that murder case as well. And if shooting the guy isn’t enough to make me angry, the employee was shot in the back of his head as if it was some kind of execution. Can someone explain the reasoning behind this?
As if there is an explanation for this kind of behaviour at all.

@ Renate

“As if there is an explanation for this kind of behaviour at all.”

Well, there can be “explanations” to homicidal impulses and quite a number of behaviours. In this case, I’d go for stupidity and lack of impulse control. Happened over a mask. Could have happened over a lollipop. Maybe I’m wrong on that one, but dunno.

I once was beaten up by a guy because I was counting out loud the pages of a book I was (somewhat illegally) xeroxing, not to get confused by the ordering of the pages. The guy was so fearful that God would strike him down (he was very religious) for his bad action that I honestly felt pity for him and tried to comfort him afterwards. There was “an explanation” to his behaviour…

But I mean, shooting someone from behind, that is something else. If I’m mad at someone, I might punch him in the face (not really something I would do), or even shoot at him (something I wouldn’t do at all), but waiting with an attack till someone turns his back on you, I don’t know, but that is something I really can’t understand. Even if I might understand an aggressive reaction, waiting till someone turns his back on you gives you time to come to your senses.

“Too bad the article of the murder is behind a paywall, though…”

psst…See if this works for you (don’t tell anyone else about it):

and Thx for this post, Orac. I’m sitting down here in the blood red where, for a short while, there were ~8/10 wearing all manner of coverings at yonder beer store. Then it slacked off to 3 or 4 out of ten and the cashier quit wearing hers. And then Boom, the very next day after a WSJ interview where Trump said that some people were wearing them to show disapproval of him, 0/10, 0/20 … It is back to ~2/10 now but I really feel people here are not wearing them because they don’t want to be viewed as not for Trump.

I note that he ‘cancelled’ an upcoming Alabama ralley (back in 2017, it was a raucus affair with Trump bellowing “get that son of a bitch off the field” over Kapernick kneeling).

I don’t think he will relent; Double-Down D Jenious Trump. Much of his ‘base’ (not all, though) followed him into this barefaced behavior and would then feel lied to and betrayed.

This is not conservatism. I don’t know what this is but it has only gotten worse since Nixon and his drug war. What a strange little hill, a mask, Nero has lead his followers and his Senate to die upon.

@ Renate

“but waiting with an attack till someone turns his back on you, I don’t know, but that is something I really can’t understand.”

Then you do not want to be in my head. Because, I must say, I do wonder why I’m overall very very much non-violent. I have to ask myself that question quite a few times a week. The only reasons I could come up with is courtesy, a rather unfounded belief in the virtues of rational argumentation, the lack of aesthetics of violence, and the impredictability of its consequences, not on me, but on others: when you cannot predict the consequences of such actions, it’s not exactly rational to engage in them. But among the reasons I do not consider binding anymore are: morality; law; respect; and least of all self-respect.

Quite a number of people over the years have told me that I should have gone really physical instead of trying to talk my out of my situation. Only did so once, and I’ve been incredibly mellow when I did, for someone with such a dark level of hatred.

That murder is very much gross and ridiculous. But when deep hatred sinks in, there is no real taboo left on sneaky behaviour.

There’s not a whole lot of money to be made selling masks

But, there could have been and there should have been. Mike Bowen, vice president of Prestige Ameritech, has tried proselytizing the federal government over in-house PPE manufacturing for quite some time.

Instead of celebrating the business boom, Bowen was indignant. This is the precise scenario he began warning about almost 15 years ago, when he pleaded with federal agencies and lawmakers to boost U.S. production of medical masks. He had predicted an eventual health scare and not enough manufacturers. He was right.
In the panic of the swine flu epidemic, HHS contacted Prestige Ameritech to ask how many more masks it could produce, Bowen said. That was around the same time the company moved into a larger factory and hired 150 people.

But after the pandemic, demand declined, and it took months for hospitals and distributors to go through the surplus of masks they had ordered but never used. Prestige Ameritech had to let most of its new workers go.

“Everybody said they’d stay with us. The day after the pandemic they forgot who we were. We nearly went out of business,” Bowen said on Bannon’s podcast, his voice beginning to crack. “I can’t do that. I can’t put our company — I can’t fire 100 people again.”
“Prestige Ameritech is presently the lone voice warning of the insecure U.S. mask supply,” Bowen wrote to President Barack Obama in June 2010. “Apathy and inertia are our biggest hurdles.”

“The U.S. protective mask supply could — and mostly likely would — be disrupted, confiscated or diverted in the event of a pandemic,” Bowen wrote to President Trump three years ago.

Bowen said he had pushed policymakers to encourage the American health-care system to buy domestic, but his overtures often fell flat. Bowen estimates that his masks cost 10 percent more than ones made in Mexico, and he said prices on Chinese goods can be less than the cost of raw materials.

He had hoped that with Trump things might be different, believing in the “Buy American, Hire American” initiative that the White House had pushed in 2017. After a few months, he was disillusioned, particularly after the U.S. government gave surgical mask contracts worth more than $1 million to a supplier that made many of its masks in Mexico.

We still have four like-new N95 manufacturing lines,” Bowen wrote that day in an email to top administrators in the Department of Health and Human Services. “Reactivating these machines would be very difficult and very expensive but could be achieved in a dire situation.”

But communications over several days with senior agency officials — including Robert Kad­lec, the assistant secretary for preparedness and emergency response — left Bowen with the clear impression that there was little immediate interest in his offer.
In the end, the government did not take Bowen up on his offer. Even today, production lines that could be making more than 7 million masks a month sit dormant.
The company’s four mothballed manufacturing lines could be restarted with large noncancelable orders, he wrote.

“This is NOT something we would ever wish to do and have NO plans to do it on our own,” he wrote. “I’m simply letting you know that in a dire situation, it could be done.”
The senior U.S. official said Bowen’s idea was considered, but funding could not easily be obtained without diverting it from other projects.
Nearly a month after his emailed offer, Bowen received his first formal communication about possibly helping to bolster the U.S. supply. The five-page form letter from the Food and Drug Administration — one Bowen said he suspected was sent to many manufacturers — asked how his company could help with what was by then a “national emergency response” to the shortage of protective gear.

Bowen responded on Feb. 16, by firing off a terse email to FDA and HHS officials. He directed the agencies to a U.S. government website listing approved foreign manufacturers of medical masks. “There you’ll find a long list of . . . approved Chinese respirator companies,” he wrote. “Please send your long list of questions to them.”
The government soon spent over $600 million on contracts involving masks. Big companies like Honeywell and 3M were each awarded contracts totaling over $170 million for protective gear. One distributor of tactical gear — a company with no history of procuring medical equipment — was awarded a $55 million deal to provide masks for as much as $5.50 apiece, eight times what the government was paying months earlier.

On April 7, FEMA awarded Prestige a $9.5 million contract to provide a million N95 masks a month for one year, an order the company could fulfill without activating its dormant manufacturing lines. For the masks, Prestige charged the government 79 cents apiece.

I probably don’t like that guy’s politics but I think he should have been Big Mask in this scenario. The administration could have financed and stood up his existing idle production lines. But no, they went with the PR, made for tv ratings, all american hero, the My Pillow guy being invited to the White House. My employer bought some of those and I’d just assume use a maxi pad.

“God gave us grace on Nov. 8, 2016, to change the course we were on,” Lindell said, referring to the day Trump was elected. “God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God.”

“And I encourage you to use this time at home to get back in the ‘Word,’ read our Bibles and spend time with our families,” he added, touting “our great president” and “all the great people in this country praying daily” as key to getting through the pandemic.


I think tech will come along and make it trendy for the younger crowd (iMask. Noooo!). Maybe make them like a universal translator or even jest speaking Klingon or whatever it is that the spice guild navigators speak.

^^Is that all the hope I have left?? Well, there are always masks with laser beams attached in case you miss your exit and end up at a trump rally.

Argh, why? Why are people so resistant to a low-effort way to protect themselves?

I just had a friend text me, asking for some kind of data, evidence, something that would convince this other gal (Betty) to wear a mask out in public. So I’m digging up citations (here and elsewhere) and I get a little more info on Betty. She does patient registration for a COVID testing site at a hospital. But she claims that her whole family “can’t” wear masks, and that it isn’t a big deal, and she probably had it back in March, so she’s going out to every restaurant, shopping at every store.

And I stop looking up citations because this is not a case of someone who just doesn’t know better. This is a case of someone who does not care. Who is convinced that she is right and all the mask-folk are wrong. Data and citations are not going to convince her. She needs a story, one with lots of emotion. So I suggested my friend tell Betty about an 8-year-old girl down in South Carolina who died of COVID, and hope that fear for her children would convince her to change her ways. Because some people won’t take precautions for themselves, but they’ll do anything for their loved ones.

I hope it works.

(Then again, I’m pretty sure Betty is the gal who proudly told me that she only wore her motorcycle helmet in Maryland, where it’s required by law, but would take it off as soon as she got to Pennsylvania, where they are not required. It’s the same attitude.)

Where is this agreement we all signed that states we must care about the same things you care about?

Where is this agreement we all signed that states we must care about the same things you care about?

TINW. Would you like to add some content to this after you finish your next beverage? Y’know, what do your “We” care about? Every Odorous Mass must comprise something.

The push in Canada is to try to get people to wear masks to protect others. Since simple masks aren’t too likely to stop ingress of virions contained in tiny droplets but can reasonably effectively catch larger droplets at the source and reduce the velocity of small droplets that might get through, this makes good sense. But the wailing about infringement of rights and state control and, and, and … whaaaaaaa! is beyond belief. As usual, those against masks are unable to make any sort of convincing case.

Across Canada the general public has been discouraged from using higher performance masks (“N95” types) so that people in health care who really do need them for personal protection are better assured of supply. Things are starting to ease now and it’s no longer impossible to obtain them at retail – not easy, but not impossible.

Most of the larger stores around here have set aside the first hour of the day for older people and those who may be at risk. It is quite heartening how many people do wear masks during that hour and how many people visibly make an effort to maintain distancing. I was in a liquor store yesterday afternoon and even someone probably no more than late thirties was wearing a mask and being very careful about distancing. This is in a city that is regarded as very conservative, though that’s not really entirely true.

We have a mandatory mask in all indoor public spaces and no one seems wildly upset so far though I am sure there are some idiots out there. I don’t know if there are any other in the province though Windsor-Essex may be going that way after the outbreak with the seasonal workers.

I forgot one:
One anti-masker claimed that wearing a mask wouldn’t protect other people unless the wearer also wore goggles or the like because air that could contain the virus comes out of your “eye sockets” when you cough or sneeze.

Stories like this are why I feel so damb lucky that I had the financial ability to leave my food service job. Before coronavirus I already had to put up with stuff like a grown man throwing a sandwich at me because I put the wrong kind of cheese on it. Had I stayed at my job through this pandemic I’m fairly certain someone would have tried to spit on me or otherwise infect me.

The last straw was when a man leaned over the glass at the sandwich counter and talked to me at length, unmasked, while I prepared his food. Just inches away from me. You can’t make these people care, and I can’t make my managers care enough to care about me either- they initially told me not to wear a mask because it would “make customers uncomfortable.” Sigh.

The shouting at teens she’s referring to likely refers to the attack by an anti-vaccine activist on a young Starbuck employee who asked her to wear a mask, followed by her leaving an angry review on the Starbucks that, as far as I can tell, backfired. Badly.

The old anti-vaxxer stalwart of claiming only their rights matter. It is no wonder anti-vaxxers have got into bed with extreme libertarians. Anti-vaxxers think they can be as rude and obnoxious as they like, because they are “right”, but any criticism of what they spout is shouting and a personal attack.

This site was useless before and now that all comments have to be approved by the moderated its even more useless.

After your first comment, they are not moderated. What you are seeing or rather not seeing is a cloudflare thing and I agree it is quite borked.

CF fingerprints your device. If you go to a different device (there is an inexplicable cool down under this light traffic) then you will see that your comment was posted.

What you are seeing or rather not seeing is a cloudflare thing and I agree it is quite borked.

Not here, Mitzi.

“Not here, Mitzi.”

Well, do you always see your comment as soon as you post it or are you just landed at the top of the post? — It was 24 minutes (1440 seconds) but now it is just whenever. Cache control is the relevant parameter. But I think Orac cheezed out and went free and Orac’s provider (CF) does not care that it generates 5X the bandwidth on their end. I’m thinking it is $$$ and then they will fix that for him. CF sux ass, by the way. And not in a good way.

You can go down and hit every reply button and that is fine. I might see 5 comments in a row seconds after making them, but only after switching to a differing ‘virtual’/real device.

I suppose someone around here might care about the delay in the appearance of your comments if you could mange to post something other than drivel.

It is not “nonsense”. It is fucktarded + extra modifiers and I don’t know why.

The site is broken.

What’s sad is the waste of CPU cycles and nanowatts by some poor server somewhere to determine that your post was worthless, full of pure entropy with no net information transfer.

@Norcalskinny – Still, at least you can appreciate the irony that I have wasted a small part of my meaningless life on reading and replying to your useless comment. I’m not sure how much of a ‘point’ there is in reading most comments, anywhere – including and especially my own, however, in a crowded field, I’d say that yours offer an exceptional level of non-pointedness – a depression of pointlessness in fact, void rather than vapid.

The words from the actual doctor are still here, so the site is still quite useful. Having comments from antivaxxers and other fools to laugh at is nice, but if the losers have a slightly harder time to comment, it’s not a loss.

if the losers have a slightly harder time to comment, it’s not a loss

Yah. Do quantify “losers.” I don’t know why “norcarskinny” was put in automod — in fact, the accusation defies credulity as far as I’m concerned — but MJD got himself into his quandary* all by his lonesome (amazingly, this seems to have… ¿cómo se dice?… increased his signal-to-noise ratio to the point that nobody cares any more. ◻).

*Hell, I spent some time there for being unable to mind my manners.

I’ve looked at masks from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s Cammy’s illusions I recall
She really don’t know masks at all

Benton is a worthless quack physician like Sears. Both of them should have been stripped of their medical licenses years ago. Sadly the spineless Medical Board of California has settled with Sears on all his outstanding complaints, giving him a worthless 2 more years of “probation” (whatever that was it was a joke, MBOC). As a physician, I’m ashamed of those charged with overseeing this honorable profession.

Cite for the extended probation?

Would that also mean extended practice “monitoring” until 2023?

My little Cammy,
She’s got a million schemes
And antivax memes
My Cammy! Oh oh oh…

I noticed Dr Benton is offering (selling) supplements and injections to “prevent coronavirus”. I wonder if she knows that doing that opens her up to a Warning Letter from the FDA? It doesn’t look like they have sent her one (yet), but they’re really not kidding around. (Also, I have to imagine that it’s much safer for the FDA staff to scour the web for these unapproved medical claims than to show up for an unannounced 482 inspection.)

If we’re going to get a broad consensus on something, it may need to start with smaller groups. Or do you really think there’s no point advocating for any sort of public health measure because somewhere on this planet of 7.5 billion people, there will always be a few who disagree?

What level of enforcement, persuasion, or social pressure is most appropriate is a fair question. But we know now that any random person going out unmasked increases everyone else’s risk of death; the “anti-mask” argument is people saying that their comfort is more important than other people’s health. Either that or it’s the sort of right-wing in-group virtue signalling that is going to “own the libs” even if it kills them.

I wear a mask for shopping. It makes my eyeglasses mist up a bit but I can live with that. The sooner people realise just how transmissible this virus is the sooner all this will be over.

And Happy Independence Day to you, Tim.

About masks:

I have just witnessed extreme mask-aphilia in multiple venues because I adventurously ( recklessly?) travelled by plane across the continent!
I decided not to cancel a long standing reservation despite Covid because:
–my area has been doing very well flattening the curve
— my destination, although in a state with rising numbers- had incredibly low numbers of cases and deaths ( one county I visited had 5 deaths, another had zero!)
— Things might get worse
— i researched the airline, passengers per flight, cleaning operations – and hotel services
— I know how to avoid contact with people REALLY WELL

At any rate, I survived ( so far) and observed:
people really used masks! Everywhere!
The airline, car rental and hotel did excellent work changing how they do business to insure safety for customers:
air filtration, single use snacks and beverages, no hotel cleaning during your visit, social distancing at the pool, takeout breakfast, low contact rentals, new rules in parks etc.
Restaurants and other venues ( museums, gas stations etc) maintained changes as well.

The two airports were nearly deserted ( early am, Wednesday and afternoon/ evening Saturday) 757s ; my seats were upgraded a few times, the early flight had many travellers in the first class/ bed cubicles ( for lack of a better term) and perhaps 15-20% in the coach section, Flying back, there were 20 people in coach, 10 in first- ( seats). Stewards/ pilots were very friendly

The restaurants had low contact service and much reduced occupancy.

People wore masks everywhere I went. The only time I saw someone without one was a young guy on the plane finagling with an eye mask ( for sleeping) for a few minutes.

Overall, people were very friendly and service workers acted as though we were saving their lives ( or livelihoods) – we got extra services and special treats as well as profuse thanks. The closest contact i had was a socially distanced conversation in a pool. People were interested to know what was happening where I was from and shocked when they heard the numbers. A young (Phillipina?) worker commented- not in response to anything I said- that she couldn’t understand why people were so angry about masks- “when they save LIVES!”

Hopefully, I ( we) won’t get sick BUT when I think about how we ( nearly) cavalierly went food shopping and other errands in March without masks, I shudder: the R0 rate was insane around here.

“I know how to avoid contact with people REALLY WELL”.

It’s a talent. 🙂

@ DB:

I believe that if I were 5’11”, I could fend people off merely with an evil glance however, I have only accomplished that storied feat on a few fortuitous occasions.
At 5’6″ : I try harder.

I have to confess that I’m a little bit bamboozled.

Was it a pleasure trip? I certainly would have canceled. You mentioned multiple counties; so traveling around quite a bit on the ground to boot, after being on a plane?

Mentioning that one of your destination counties had very few deaths from COVID; okay, sure. But that seems an oddly selfish rationale. What if, coming from what I presume is an urban center, and thus a much higher risk (even if, as you say, flattening the curve), you were to start a major outbreak there? Especially traveling on a plane? Nothing personal, it’s just a very odd rationale for traveling somewhere, as opposed to traveling from somewhere. I could see justifying traveling from where I’m from to somewhere, but not so much the other way around.

As far as service economies go, I live in a rural county that’s “only” had three deaths from COVID, and personally we support local businesses by doing things like ordering takeout from the local taqueria and tipping generously. I don’t see a lot of point in putting servers at risk when we can get the same food with less risk to ourselves and much less risk to workers by ordering takeout.

Idk, just me.

@ Denice,

You traveled through airports, in airplanes & ate in indoor restaurants?

I don’t think anywhere has actually flattened a curve. More like the eye of the storm.

@ Denice

because I adventurously ( recklessly?) traveled by plane across the continent!

I started reading this as “traveled to another plane (of existence)”.
The “adventurously” may have triggered some nerdish association in my brain.

Or I was just expecting you to comment on how going to a different place with a different take on the epidemics is not unlike entering a separate universe.
That 2020 feels more and more like we stepped into the Twilight Zone may be a factor.

Hmm. I haven’t heard of Dr. Cammy Benton yet in the millions of posts from antivaxxers that pop up on my fb feed.

People are still posting the Fauci interviews & WHO press release as proof that masks “don’t work anyway”. The retraction of statements by both have done nothing to slow it down & with pro-vaxxers; it has undermined the credibility of both. You can’t just say “Well, they corrected themselves. They made it right” because it doesn’t matter; you are minimizing the impact. Nothing this Benton person has said has mattered in real life.

Just out of curiosity; did anyone here actually NOT wear a mask until Fauci “restated” his position on the issue on April 3? Does anyone here actually believe that COVID is NOT airborne, because the WHO hasn’t confirmed “evidence” of it yet?

Seriously, quit ignoring the elephant in the room & go after Fauci, the WHO & the CDC; they are who fanned the flames. And, btw; the reason antivaxxers are against mandatory masking is because they think that those who comply with masks will comply with mandatory vaccines. The Mask now equals The Vaccine in their eyes. They don’t know that this won’t happen, because they stay in their echo chamber so much they don’t have a finger on the pulse of the larger population.

I have honestly seen only one viable case of someone who REALLY could not wear a mask (& WAS denied service) & it just had to happen here in my city. My God, the man was burned in combat, scarring his lungs & has difficulty breathing but even more than that; he has no ears.

Other than this; I just don’t believe my peers about why they can’t wear a mask to run into a grocery store for 20 minutes. I worked really hard to get my autistic child to tolerate a mask. Would he be able to for 6-7 hours in school? Probably not. A daughter has asthma; she doesn’t complain about masks, wears them for up to 2 hours at a time because it’s a requirement at her climbing gym. I have heard complaints about masks causing migraines but she is under treatment for chronic migraines & doesn’t have any problems there either.

More people are masking up here but a funny thing happened on the way out of the beer store today —

I checked out and headed out the door. The traffic was light and I was caught off gard as I usually look out before exiting (people meeting at the entrance and ‘holding’ the door has been a pet peeve of mine for some months now).

Just as I open the door, there is a group of (I think Koreans) coming in. I mean like 5 or six of them. I froze up. And then just went out and beelined for my truck. This weird humming (which I interpreted to be ‘snickering’) went up and I found myself face to face with this one guy who opened mouth wide and made this sort of chocked-off laugh/startled sound like “o..Ohha?” (he did seem to be amuzed, though)– Idk, I’ve seen that same expression in Korean and Chinese cinema. Maybe they were tourists?

In retrospect, I should have opened the door wide and got on the other side of it for them — better for international relasionships and all. After all, I’m the one wearing the apocalyptic-looking DIY HEPA bag which I should have more trust in.

Another example of tu quoque, as well as misstating the WHO’s position (it hasn’t denied airborne transmission, but to this point has minimized hazard from small droplet/aerosol transmission, i.e. in situations such as being in a room for a prolonged period with an infected person(s) breathing and talking).

Isn’t it awful when scientists amend their positions on the basis of new, compelling evidence, as contrasted with antivaxers who cling desperately to bogus positions years after they’ve been eviscerated by facts?

It’s also semi-amusing to see antivaxers who claim that they’re an increasingly influential force poised for ultimate victory, simultaneously claim (as in the case of Benton) that they’re too obscure to have any impact. 🙂

Note: comment made in response to CK’s latest babblings.


So did you wear a mask before April 3rd or not?

"Isn’t it awful when scientists amend their positions on the basis of new,
compelling evidence, as contrasted with antivaxers who cling desperately to
bogus positions years after they’ve been eviscerated by facts?"

Sorry but just because I knew they were full of shit doesn’t mean that others did. Did way more damage than this Dr. Cammy person has. They threw the ball right to antivaxxers on that one & once it hit social media; it was done.

@ Narad,

Yeah I know he got an apology; what’s your point? And the youth center on base was just closed due to positive cases associated with it.

I said he was the only justifiable case of “unable to wear a mask” I knew of & it’s a good thing everybody else is required to wear one, because they just had to close the youth center on that base due to cases originating from there.

Don’t get scared, JP, I would never put anyone at risk:
actuallly, i know quite a bit about infection control as my mother was immune-compromised for many years and my father lived with me until a very advanced age. In addition, I counselled
individuals with hiv/aids and received instruction from professionals on medical and legal matters so I could better assist clients just before the advent of HAART

Since March. I have had almost no physical contact because I work by phone, my SO’s job at a school ceased- we do most business by phone. mail or e-commerce, making use of pickup, delivery. curbside, drive through, e-payments. We usually drive to parks and stay in the car or outside away from people- many are Korean or Japanese AND MASKED. We talk to people next door from 10 feet away with masks. I shop about every 10 days when the store is deserted in the afternoon; I wear a mask and gloves as does the cashier who is behind a plexiglass barrier..I probably have had no close outside contact for weeks, not 14 days.

My county responded quickly initially to Covid by totally shutting down in mid- March and is a success story now re-opening slowly. It is not truly urban but a mix of leafy suburbs, malls, apartments and storefronts. I had reservations from last year and decided to use them because covid rates were falling here and low where I was headed plus, planes were flying nearly emptied ; hotels and other businesses were adapting.I learned through research; we flew back on a holiday. The firms** I engaged were ahead of the game; restaurants were outdoor or very reduced, capacity and low contact. We drove and visited natural areas with reduced parking etc. I swam alone and once with a socially distanced dude who talked from 6 feet away. We used masks and hand sanitisers throughout., avoiding contact. Service workers watched out for me and I for them.

I want readers to know it can be done.
Infection is much more unlikely if you have minimal brief contact with strangers, as Dr Fauci says, talking sitting next to someone for a half hour is risky, wearing a mask and paying a
protected cashier is very low risk.

** United, BW, Hertz. all well thought out measures –

@ Athaic:

Vraiment, it IS another plane!

But both areas had sane responses to the pandemic. The rules are easy to follow. and meaningful.
I was not worried about air filtration on the plane plus I sat more than 6 feet away from others being alone in a row of 3 seats ( they put us in window seats of the same row at opposite sides of the plane)- the return flight had 30 passengers ( of a possible 300 ). At home, re-opening of certain facilities has been paused. At my destination, authorities responded in.advance so people wouldn’t gather for fireworks or on beaches.

So Twilight Zone or not, we’ll all adapt. This is not going to be short term. But it will be expensive in more than one way.

Some people… despite their supposed special abilities.. CAN’T READ simple English.

@ Denice,

Can’t read what? The fact that you traveled, not for work, or to tend to a family matter but for fun; likely over a weekend that saw the highest amount of passengers passing through TSA checkpoints at US airports since late March?

634,000 people on Sunday; to be exact.

I can’t even cross state lines in a CAR for at least 3 of Colorado’s bordering states without having to self-quarantine for 14 days, even if I thought that wise, which I do not but hey; you do you I guess.

No worries, ck. I’m pretty sure she is not ‘Chinese’.

As for anywhere not flatting the curve? Look at NYC. Maybe I heard it wrong but I think it was 9 new hospitalizations today (maybe the same number of deaths over the bread on the shelf getting stale) and <.9% positive of 57,000 tests yesterday amongst voluntary testees, many of which thought they might have it to start with. This city and surrounding areas have a population of ~9.5 million. The state, 21 million.

Personally? I probably would not do it because of the risk of a flt attendant spraying all over me asking if I know how to put on a seatbelt. Also, nobody is ever going to get me on a plane ever again because reasons.

But don’t travel shame someone who knows.

Have you already forgotten your out-of-the-blue assertion that it should be 28 days, Christine? He’ll, maybe it’s just you personally. Anyway, that leaves you four other states to try with your CAR.

(I can’t do the obvious, as I loathe Numan.)

Cammy isn’t joining another practice: the news you link to supporting the statement is from 2015. She used to work for Carolinas Healthcare System (now Atrium Health) the biggest healthcare provider for the Charlotte metro. After whining about EMRs and work flow at CHC, she joined Catawba in 2015, then opened her woo integrative practice around I wanna say 2017.

In addition to the support for Dr. Sears you mentioned, she’s buddies with anti vaxxer Jennifer Margulis. I’ve followed her career over the years because she was a med school classmate of mine, and we both chose family medicine residencies (albeit different ones). She was the first person in her family to go to college, but until she blocked me on social media, I was never able to get her to give a coherent defense of her increasingly anti vaccine and comprehensively woo friendly approach to health care. During one exchange, when I defended my interest in engaging with her about her belief that vaccines cause autism because of my autistic daughter, her sister threatened to undermine my practice.

Anyway, interesting figure. And I’m glad you engaged.

@ Tim,

I was first surprised & I questioned Denice, not “shamed”; based on the recent requests from at least 15 states asking travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival.

Then yes, I sorta “shamed” her after her response was to snark at my “special abilities”; which is actually a dig at me for stating previously here that part of my ASD includes a diagnosis of Hyperlexia. But, yaknow; it’s okay to make fun of someone’s disability as long as they are an antivaxxer.

Yeah I probably shouldn’t have started to stoop to her level, even though I stopped way short of hitting that bottom.

Tbh; I don’t give AF if she masks (like I do), or travels to another state (which I wouldn’t), on a plane (another NO for me); because I can only take care of me & mine & I don’t believe in controlling other people in the name of public health. I’m here all the time; ignoring jabs coming from all angles & I rarely bite but questioning the sensibility of what she did was valid.

Apparently; if she left on a Wednesday & returned on a Saturday, she either traveled to & from states without quarantine recommendations (yet) or ignored it. NY & flattening the curve? Maybe but probably more specifically; NYC.

There. I pointlessly audibly assaulted you. Call Shapiro. {ohh, It fits.}

@Christine, you mocked my dyslexia/dysgraphia (Which you also tried to blame on vaccines) and dismissed CP as “disability lite.” Stop with the hypocrisy.

@ Terrie, Tim, Narad:

I guess I got CK’s and Natalie’s respective knickers in a twist.

But they CAN’T READ what I wrote CLEARLY ( as for JP above )

for the past 3 1/2 months we both were basically in voluntary quarantine because we only went out for food/ necessities, used non-contact means, stayed in the car, did business, worked by phone;.WORE MASKS and gloves at stores, etc

My county ( not NYC) has been one of the most successful in curtailing infection/ R0, and other numbers as has been my state. I travelled to an area with extremely low rates although that state’s totals are affected by higher numbers 300 miles away.

AND… How do they know that I DON’T have business interests that I check on a yearly basis? Such as an investment at the destination? Thus involving reservations made automatically a year ago? So it’s not only a “fun” trip..

And I didn’t only care for an immuno-compromised and a very elderly parent BUT was educated by medical professionals because I counselled people with hiv/aids prior to the availability of HAART and had to study relevant material to interact safely with them and to re-assure them about their courses of treatment and prospects. She left the SBM part out. I wonder why?

Thus, my status is quite irrelevant since self-quarantine- if it were ACTUALLY required- is basically voluntary and allows you to acquire food and medical necessities WHICH IS WHAT WE DID FOR 3 1/2 MONTHS ALREADY as a safety measure ON OUR OWN and will probably continue until phase 3
WHY NOT? It’s easy.

AND why not discuss travel when it is such a hot topic? It can be done safely and easily, virtually contactless, without fear IF you plan ahead and know the vicissitudes
It is SB and useful information. The pandemic will continue, businesses will improve their safety actions and people will travel.

AND -btw-

people who avoid vaccination for themselves and family members and discourage its usage shouldn’t lecture others about public health and spreading viruses.
They endanger people who are like my parents, the people I counselled and cancer patients.


@ CK writes – “I don’t believe in controlling other people in the name of public health.” Please keep your proclamations straight. You think everyone should wear a mask.

You may be going a little hard on Denice. She deserves a break from her “volunteerism”. You think it is easy to repackage insults to the same hit list… day after day? I have noticed a pattern but it may not be so obvious to others. Her personal experience caring for a family member who was immuno-compromised makes her a self-appointed expert on infection control. She uses her personal experience as evidence of her capabilities. However, others are not allowed the same courtesy, especially if you are on the “wrong” side according to her.

It’s also interesting she feels the need to report on/share her travels. Why? To boast? To check on mask usage? Regardless, not very smart, brazen, and poor taste…maybe an opportunity to see the “real” Duhnice. I’m paying attention now when I usually scroll past her repetitive and predictable posts.

I’ve been reporting on my adventures to the beer store (and coming back with intel — doling out my redneck sitrep). I feel isolated. hmm. Maybe even distanced? Feeling out a new situation. New tech — perhaps someone will make an app that shows who has ‘ground-glass opacities’ and ARs coronas around their head.

{sitrep, jul 7: everyone at beer store masked. even cashier. strange. nuclear plant melted down?? county issued mandate??}

Denice is right

AND why not discuss travel when it is such a hot topic? It can be done safely and easily, virtually contactless, without fear IF you plan ahead and know the vicissitudes. It is SB and useful information. The pandemic will continue, businesses will improve their safety actions and people will travel.

Part of that is figuring out what allows society getting back to some normalcy going out and about, doing buisness, socializing, worshiping, working, and educating in inclosed spaces or around groups.

And, for now, the science says it is going to require masks. I have faith in convalecent plasma as a treatment, and employment for those donating it. But that’s all it is. Faith. I have not personally seen it and they don’t yet sell it at the beer store or the vape shop. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin or zinc may yet be shown to be an effective prophylactic after all. But the studies of boofing it have yet to be peer reviewed.

Unfortunately, it did not put the facemask on the skin so it gets the phase 1 again.

I don’t think they will put the violent anti-maskers in prisons. Hard to distance and they are anti-maskers. Penal colony? ‘Bareface Island, I Can Barely Breath’ — A Lionsgate production film coming fall 2020.


blockquote>Part of that is figuring out what allows society getting back to some normalcy going out and about, doing buisness, socializing, worshiping, working, and educating in inclosed spaces or around groups.

I initially read that as “womanizing.”

@ Tim:

From what I’ve observed- here and there-, people are trying to do business safely. Governments attempted opening up gradually- and pulled back as the numbers dictated. We were to have dining-in here starting last week but numbers said NO so it’s take out, delivery and outdoors only. It’s interesting how places nearby have rapidly added tables, benches, umbrellas. Libraries, salons and stores are opening up slowly with limits. At my destination, beaches were first open, then closed statewide for the holiday because of poor numbers ( far from where I was)..

I saw more hospital-type masks especially on stewards/ airport workers. Although fireworks were banned, people took it upon themselves to have their own pyrotechnic displays. everywhere.
i WISH i SAW MORE HAND SANTISERS although the airlines provided individual packets. I especially liked how two restaurants handled both indoor and outdoor dining. Disposable menus, electronic checks, distanced waitstaff, no lines indoors Intelligent reactions to the crisis..
The hotel shut the hot tub/ spa, exercise room, breakfast buffet room ( take out packages only) and business computer. No in-room cleaning during your stay: only between guests.

I would be more afraid of travelling on buses, trains, ferries and subways now than on planes because people come and go whereas planes are cleaned between each trip ( although you usually spend more time on them.) I worry a little about what will occur when volume increases ( airlines will increase flights this week)

@Denice Walter

I would be more afraid of travelling on buses, trains, ferries and subways now than on planes because people come and go whereas planes are cleaned between each trip

I treat everything as ‘hot’ after I walk out to go to the store. Get back and change shoes, open beer box, wash up, clorox wipes clean exposed beers (3, where the handle is on the box), dip cans, bacon, milk, whatever. Then wipe handles and buttons that I think others have touched and am thinking about touching. Then the same for handles and knobs I’ve touched. Then the beer box. Wash lightly again, Change clothes. Got pretty good about not touching my face or only do it with the inside of my shirt. Put beer in fridge.

And I’m thinking I might could be a little bit less OCD about that because last week on CNN Sanja Gupta was answering netizen questions that were displayed on the bottom of the screen and one of them was

Q. Can you get covid-19 from eating food?
A. No. Your stomach acid kills it.

(but it is in my throat on the way down?…never mind.)

Q. can you get covid-19 from petting cats and dogs?
A. No.

Wait, what? I think he was citing the CDC but that site frustrates me when trying to find updated recommendations. I did see a while back that it was not thought that the main way to get the virus was by touching surfaces. Yet, they did not say ‘airborne’. They stated “It is still unknown”.

Anyways, the Q@A is like But cats get sars-cov-2 and it is found in the stools*. Cats lick themselves but I can’t get it from touching cats?

Municipalities are measuring the prevelence of the virus by testing the poopy water*. And some have gastrointestinal symptoms. But you can’t get it by eating it?

Q. Can you catch it in your eyes.
A. Yes. It is like pinkeye. {or words to that effect}

Though everyone is using having the virus and the disease state as synonymous; I’m going with the disease state here and figuring IT MUST BE BREATHED.

Anywho, What is needed is vertical velocity (no cross-flow) of air from top down on planes, trains, and the like. Even office cubiles. And then HEPA filtration. Crap, if this is the future of mass transit then may as well slide an acrylic tube (ok, saran wrap because acrylic is heavy) down around everybody and give them their own filtered top-down airflow anyways:

I used to like sardines. I don’t like them anymore.

*Idk if they are measuring viral proteins or viable, infectious intact virus.


A mask order did go into effect here today but there are some big exempting holes in it. As well as no mandate for outside dining.

— People eating or drinking. (well, duh.)

— Although not mandated, face coverings are strongly recommended for congregants at worship services and for situations where people from different households are unable to or unlikely to maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other.

–When effective communication is needed for hearing-impaired persons and those speaking to a large group of people, provided the speaker can stay at least 6 feet away from other people. (not. far. enough.)

–Indoor athletic facilities. Patrons are not required to wear face coverings while actively participating in permitted athletic activities, but employees in regular interaction with patrons are required to wear face coverings or masks. (this one is pretty standard. People are usually spread out (except that one huffing puffing chad that wants to ‘spot’ everyone doing bench presses) but are going to be expelling much more. I wouldn’t be doing strenuous stuff in a mask, even if it is only physically uncomfortable and psychologically miserable. What to do? Just wait and see if they stop showing up for some reason, I guess.)

–Customers receiving hair care services, temporary removal of face coverings when needed to provide hair care. (because ‘the customer’ holding it in place would require touching the face, I guess. Or for a pampered shave.)

–Private clubs and gatherings not open to the public and where a consistent 6-foot distance between persons from different households is maintained. (Unenforceable anyway {are you an undercover health care worker? You have to tell me if you are (not really).}) Covid parties are back on the menu, boys)

It is about damn time, though. Hospitalization (which had been comparatively low, is up ~660% since last month).

@ Natalie White,

Yeah I do think people should wear masks; I believe they help (but are not foolproof). I am sort of dumbfounded by the opposition to them but then again, I got used to them a long time ago.

You’re probably right; I’m being too hard on Denice’s ‘Tales from the front” & it was a welcome change from her typical genuflecting. Probably did need to give those knees a break.

I’m paying close attention too, including the responses to her from those whose approval she so desperately seeks


How did season 8 of Game of Thrones work out for you? Thought so.

planes are cleaned between each trip

Oh, madam, that is a bit naive. (Back in the day, I did a couple of mileage runs to keep AA Silver; on one circular four-hopper, I was on the same equipment for three of the legs. Not super clean, although I did get a spit-take from the pilot when he spotted me again in MEM or someplace.)

@ Narad,

Quarantine after known exposure probably should be 28 days, although that would be somewhat difficult to do. It’s not necessarily out of the blue; there have been many reports of the testing not catching many people after just 14 days who later become symptomatic & test positive.

State authorities are not asking for the 14 day quarantine for only those who know they have been exposed; they are asking it from all travelers. Not interested in travelling out of state to any state right now; including the 4 states that wouldn’t require quarantine.

Your contention is that 46 states require two week’s self-quarantine after crossing the state line and coming back, from anywhere?

No Narad. It’s dependent on which state you travel to, which depends on which state you have traveled from.

No state that has requirements involve Coloradans, while every state that does; involves Californians, Texans, etc.

Four states that border Colorado have “suggested” all travel from everywhere be limited/essential; Arizona, NM, Utah & Nevada. Kansas has quarantine requirements for travelers from certain states.

Credited to Jon Hislop M.D.:

Anti-vaxxers: “If vaccines work SOOOO well, & you are vaccinated, why are you worried if other people don’t vaccinate??!?”

If car brakes work SOOOO well, & you use car brakes, why are you worried if other people don’t use car brakes??!?

Around here, they are always in the left lane, just a tad forward like the lead dog, playing rolling road block. I could be doing 80 and they still get into that position. Even If I slowed down to 55, still right there — They got to have a little buddy to ride next to. If they are side x side, I’ve resorted to activating the left turn blinker. It takes about 30 seconds, but they eventually inch up a car lengh in front of me. On an otherwise empty 4-lane hiway. Every time. One cell vibrate away from being in a collision.

I would like nothing better for these persons to not have brakes when they did not notice the dead deer in their lane. I spent 5 years using the emergency brake to slow down… little did they know.

“I would like nothing better for these persons to not have brakes when they did not notice the dead deer in their lane.”

And realize they have no where to maneuver to as my fucking slug is a bit bigger than the little shit boxes that pull this shit.

No, brakes is the better analogy, because not vaccinating – when parents decide not to protect their children from infectious disease, risking them and others – affects others, just as not braking affects both the safety of the driver and the safety of those outside the car.

@ Denice,

"for the past 3 1/2 months we both were basically in voluntary quarantine because we only went out for food/ necessities, used non-contact means, stayed in the car, did business,
worked by phone;.WORE MASKS and gloves at stores, etc"

Many if not most people did, Denice, not special. Including homeschooling, losing jobs, businesses, etc …

"My county ( not NYC) has been one of the most successful in curtailing infection/ R0, and other numbers as has been my state. I travelled to an area with extremely low rates
although that state’s totals are affected by higher numbers 300 miles away."

You do know that those low case rates were reflective of what we were doing 4-6 weeks ago, which was not traveling & strict stay at home? You still traveled as new case rates were reaching record highs.

"And I didn’t only care for an immuno-compromised and a very elderly parent BUT was educated by medical professionals because I counselled people with hiv/aids prior to the
availability of HAART"

HIV is transmitted by blood & body fluids, Denice. COVID is not the same.

"AND why not discuss travel when it is such a hot topic? It can be done safely and easily, virtually contactless, without fear IF you plan ahead and know the vicissitudes. It is SB and
useful information. The pandemic will continue, businesses will improve their safety actions and people will travel."

No, actually, travel is being curtailed as we speak. You are to follow recommendations of your state, in your state, while enjoying re-openings safely & patronizing your local businesses, because yes; the pandemic will continue. The goal of every state’s plans has never been as unrealistic as to try to “eradicate the virus” but to safely save their economies & avoid overwhelming resources such as ICU beds. This can’t be done at the county level nor at the national level & most states are now discouraging out of state travel, for a reason.

"people who avoid vaccination for themselves and family members and discourage its usage shouldn’t lecture others about public health and spreading viruses."

Well somebody should & if they aren’t just because you are provaccine, as if that matters right now for a virus that we currently do not have a vaccine for; that undermines that big SB picture. Most people are not antivaccine for the hell of it; they are because of having prior experience with serious adverse events, like I have & in addition; I am a non-responder & do not retain immunity from vaccines. You think you only have to make it a few more months until a vaccine, while a vaccine will never be an option for me. So while this is just a novelty for you; existing without vaccines is my life. So who better to “lecture” you, during a pandemic that is not now a vaccine preventable disease?

For what it’s worth, Denise wasn’t just counseling people ov HIV transmission. She was counseling them on how to keep themselves from contracting something else. In the days before HAART, rigorous infection control was the best shot people with AIDS had of prolonging their lives.

CK: “Most people are not antivaccine for the hell of it; they are because of having prior experience with serious adverse events”

From following antivaxers for a long time, it’s evident to me that most are motivated by something other than negative personal experience.

Namely, hostility towards government/libertarian bent, belief in conspiracy theories involving pharma and government, “professional” angst on the part of chiros and other practitioners who resent vaccination’s success, those who loathe physicians for a variety of reasons etc.

The mantra that “there are no antivaxers, just ex-vaxers” is a myth.

@ DB,

Bullshit. Having vaccine injury and death minimized & dismissed by doctors, scientists & government authorities made them prone to conspiracy theory. The next step after that happens is the big WHY, so they look for answers to fit their reality.

You can create an antivaxer very easily, simply by telling a person who just suffered a SAE that it didn’t happen. You can create an antivax provider by attacking them just because they observed something you haven’t yet. There is no benefit to being labeled an antivax scientist; antivax scientists are just people who discovered something they were not supposed to. Something you haven’t yet.

I already know doctors are not in on anything. It’s too important that you not be. Doctors will be the last to know, unfortunately.

@ Natalie,

Nailed it.

Vaccines are dangerous & a game of roulette but they think that’s fine to demand we roll the dice for them. Literally would ask us to sacrifice our children. Not to mention that even normally provax people are not jumping on that fast tracked Covid vax bandwagon.

Following “safer at home” is boring and inconvenient but has no potential adverse health effects, yet apparently that’s too much to ask. Silence from her peers.

Trying to figure out how science based that rational is.

Not to mention that even normally provax people are not jumping on that fast tracked Covid vax bandwagon.

Ah, yes, the ol’ nonexistent-vaccine game.

If I or any of the other contrarians mentioned travel on a plane

Stop projecting, it’s awkward.
Also dishonest. Denice went to great lengths to explain how she followed the authorities’ rules and took precautions. Knowing you, your report of a trip would have been all about how you courageous rebel didn’t followed the rules made for sheeples.

Plenty of courageous rebels like you around me right now. In the bus I take, the others riders don’t bother to cover their face half the time, Shopping this evening, I was almost the only one with a mask and people keep running into me.
And before I dare complain, I have to remember that I may just get my head bashed in, like that poor bus driver in Bayonne.

Frankly, take all the plane trips you want, we don’t care.
I dunno if you noticed, but there are bigger issues outside right now.

@ Athaic:

Right. But you can’t get through to people like them
Truthfully, as our countries open up, people will fly and mingle safely: I managed to do so at a distance, virtually contact free.AS WE PLANNED IT. The companies/ facilities I described previously went to great pains to insure safer interactions and make customers feel secure with a hundred other adjustments which I did not delineate but believe me, they were there- especially based on what workers told me.. Maybe we’ll learn from Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea. YET.

AND, notice how CK and NW read into things that I wrote. It profoundly illustrates how they mangle other reading materials like that incorporating SBM, leading to mis-interpretations and mis-understanding .on a grand scale.

AND, they need to portray me as a public health hazard ALTHOUGH they are the ones to spend their spare time frightening new mothers and young parents away from using vaccines with tales of autism, death and destruction when there is no SB evidence for any of their claims.

Enough! I’m finished with them. Let them go call the manager on me.

@Athaic writes, “Stop projecting, it’s awkward.”

I disagree. I was postulating. If you feel awkward that is your projection. Perhaps your conscience is bothering you. Oh well, ‘c’est la vie’. I like that saying.

So…not a lot of mask wearing among the Frenchies? Maybe they do not believe the hype regarding the Convid? Lack of trust in the healthscare professionals? Public officials?

Hope you are able to get out and breathe some fresh air.

Speaking of Frenchies and air, love Air:

Good day.

So…not a lot of mask wearing among the Frenchies?

There must be some sort of parimutuel betting model that could be applied to this sort of thing.

Maybe they do not believe the hype regarding the Convid?

Calling people on not staying home/taking the maximum of precautions and thus showing “poor judgement”.
And right after that, playing the “it’s all overblown/don’t trust officials” card.

But thank you, I can get all the fresh air I want. Getting infected in open space is a much lower risk than while shopping, sharing public transportation or attending a social thing, in about that order.
If not a soul gets close to me, the risk is almost zero.

So…not a lot of mask wearing among the Frenchies?

Not enough.
Eh, we Frenchies have a reputation as freedom-loving, independent thinkers to sustain.

Actually, I understand why my compatriots are getting complacent. Our daily numbers of new infections are going down, and so are the numbers of deaths.
(Touching wood. The next months are going to be interesting)

OTOH, people from some other nation are getting complacent, refuse to wear masks and push for “re-opening” their states, while their numbers are going up.
Oh, well.
C’est la vie.

“I’m Alexander Shunnarah. Cum on my face, Alabama.”

Writ large with unflattering billboards. Lawyers. Hmmph.


blockquote>Years ago;
I was an angry young man;
And I’d pretent that I was a billboard.
Standing tall by the side of the road;
I fell in love with a beautiful Highway.

@ minions:

As usual, CK proves she CAN’T read what I wrote. And I won’t bother to correct all of her errors and mis-interpretations in detail but here are some clues for the clueless:

I didn’t break any rules because of EXEMPTIONS and all “compromised immunity” is not equal to hiv+..separate issues ( I studied both because I HAD TO)
My state is currently re-opening DMV, retail and allowing movies and television shows to be filmed- that’s how “bad” it is here. etc etc.

BUT remember this,
CK and Natalie who avoid vaccination and discourage people from vaccinating WIDELY on the internet consider me a Danger to Mankind ( Womankind) because I was on a plane.
They tell parents to fear infant/ childhood vaccination and flu/ other vaccines for adults and seniors because of dire consequences

One of Orac’s colleagues once called anti-vaxxers “disease promoters’. He was right. .


@ Denice,

I’m accusing you of using poor judgement, out of maybe a sense of entitlement, because you do not understand what is going on.

Your state did not “re-open DMV, retail and allowing movies and television shows to be filmed” (geezus are you from California?) because it’s “not bad there” (& if you are from CA; yeah-it’s bad).

They re-opened to save the economy, hoping that people would be wise enough to use ppe (yes I know you have) & follow capacity requirements & distancing; KNOWING that case rates would inevitably increase some.

It wasn’t a victory, more like a small surrender.

Apparently that was sending a mixed message to many, including you; that it’s all just a big Nothingburger now.

Christine accusing someone of poor judgement and entitlement is like, well, Donald Trump accusing someone of poor judgement and entitlement.

The only thing better would’ve been Christine claiming another person was narcissistic.

Your state did not “re-open DMV, retail and allowing movies and television shows to be filmed” (geezus are you from California?) [Are you a moron? Oh, wait.] because it’s “not bad there”

More Carnac the Magnificent from Christine. Fantastic.

@ Dorit,

“No, brakes is the better analogy, because not vaccinating – when parents decide not to protect their children from infectious disease, risking them and others – affects others, just as not braking affects both the safety of the driver and the safety of those outside the car.“

No, airbags are the better analogy because they can cause injury & deaths the same as vaccines can. Why would I sacrifice another child for someone who would ask that of me? Vaccinate yourself at your own peril; I’ve been extorted in the name of herd immunity enough. Ante up to the table Dorit; I’m done gambling.

Ante up to the table Dorit; I’m done gambling.

And did you have any chips left to cash in when you pouted out??

A. Vaccines protect your child and others, too. They’re not a sacrifice.

B. Of course I protect my children (and others) and vaccinate.

C. Vaccines don’t cause SIDS or autism. I am sorry you lost your vulnerable child; I know you have a hard situation with your autistic child. Wrongly blaming vaccines helps no one.

Ante up to the table Dorit; I’m done gambling.

You’re also not good at trying to assemble metaphors — generously speaking — out of unrelated phrases.

@ Narad ( 5.38 pm)

I read that too in April

There are updated Covid measures @ United.
They include electrostatic cleaning, how you embark/ disembark, reduction of food/ beverage services, something something air filtration, watchful stewards, distancing, no blankets
I think that they did a good job. It was rather different from the status quo.
Like I said, I wouldn’t want to go on a subway, train or bus.

Now if the plane had been 70% occupied I might have been worried ( they were ? 10-15%) but they alert you to this prior to flight so you can cancel.

Like I said, I wouldn’t want to go on a subway, train or bus.

They have subways in Colorado Springs, Kamadhenu?

I’ve transited there, but I’ll be damned if I can remember why. Part of the plan, I suppose. PWM is my favorite, but you can’t stay overnight sleeping on the floor like you can in ORD after AA fucks up your late-afternoon departure a few times for good measure. I felt kind of bad for the guy who was trying to vacuum around my head.

@ Tim:

There was a conspiracy: to build an ugly airport and decorate it with bizarre art
I arrived there unprepared and then saw that horse – which is HUGE.I didn’t know the story about it actually killing its creator though. Has it been featured in South Park?

I always associate feelings of uncertainty with that area because after the flatness of eastern CO. there is this WALL of mountains and probably turbulence.

@ Narad,

Lol, are you calling Denice Kamadhenu? Doubt that.

No there are not subways in Colorado Springs.

Lol, are you calling Denice Kamadhenu?

Nope. Context isn’t your strong suit.

“Has it been featured in South Park?”

When I saw your question, I felt that it had and was thinking lasers shot out of Blucifer and killed Kenny. But, it only appears incidentally:

Now it bugs me. Was it The Simpsons? Futurama? Archer? Psych? {Guss:That horse has evil blazing out of its eyes, Shawn. I feel threatened. Shawn: If that makes you feel threatened then don’t look at its underside. Guss: ?? That’s anatomically correct, Shawn.} Dr. Who? Jesse Ventura did an episode on it in 2010; perhaps it had some animation.

Somebody should mod Fallout New Vegas and put it in there (hey, maybe that is where I think I saw it!).

This is no Fallout NV:

Another bizarrity – antivaxers who sneeringly say “Be sure and get all your vaccines!”.

They actually seem to believe immunization advocates hypocritically push vaccines on other people but personally avoid them, as well as deluding themselves into thinking that MDs don’t have their own kids vaccinated.

Thanks for your advice; I will have another vaccine. 🙂

@ DB,

Take it as a compliment. They are assuming you know better.

@ Athaic writes – “Calling people on not staying home/taking the maximum of precautions and thus showing “poor judgement”.” You have my posts confused with CK. I’m guessing in your mind it’s easier to “clump” us all in one box. My point was about the double standard.

Now, in France are they counting active infections as well as positive antibody tests? I think they are still not separating the two numbers in the U.S. which would artificially inflate our rates and adds to the hysteria.

There. I audibly assaulted you. Maybe you could do a joinder with that other person and royally fuck me up. Bring it.

ps. I hear that Tiwain with 24 million residents that did not restrict China travel had a grand total of 450 cases and 7 deaths. My significant others (fox newsers) suggests that is because there arn’t a bunch of darkies there. MFW.

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