Caution: Read Manual Before Re-opening! Mask Up!

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Saliva droplets ejected by human speech. Courtesy National Institutes of Health.

Any time I see someone struggling to assemble a mechanical gadget, I always ask, with not small pleasure, “Did you read the manual?”

Because no one ever reads the manual. That includes me sometimes.

Almost three months into the novel coronavirus pandemic, I’m asking myself that very question on a daily basis. There’s so much to learn in this new normal and so much we still don’t know —- the manual for COVID-19 hasn’t been written yet.

Take masks, for example.

At the onset of the pandemic in late January, neither the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention nor the World Health Organization recommended that members of the general population wear surgical masks and respirators to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The guidance was not strictly science based. Both organizations feared hoarding of medical-grade masks to the detriment of front-line doctors, nurses and healthcare workers if they made such a recommendation.

The CDC and the WHO have since reversed their decisions and now recommend that everyone wear a mask in public settings, albeit a homemade cloth mask and not medical grade personal protection equipment, the supply of which has indeed been reduced by hoarders and price gougers as well as the depth of the coronavirus crisis itself.

The point the world’s leading infectious disease experts are making is that masks work for slowing and even stopping the spread of coronavirus. Sorry for the confusion.

To repeat: Masks work.

Unfortunately, a sizeable portion of the United States population, including many folks right here in Shasta County, didn’t get the memo and continue to believe they don’t need to wear a mask in public during the pandemic. For some “anti-maskers” the issue has become so politicized, science or reason can’t reach them.

The good news for the rest of us is the new science on novel coronavirus is in and offers even more compelling evidence that masking up—annoying as it can be at times—is one more tool we can use to beat this thing.

Winning matters.

Coming up this week on A News Café, Dr. Sam Van Kirk of Redding will tell more about one such study, ”Universal Masking is Urgent Need in the COVID-19 Pandemic,” in which computer models predict “Social distancing and masking at both 50 percent and 80-90 percent of the population but no lockdown beyond the end of May results in substantial reduction of infection, with 80-90 percent masking eventually eliminating the disease.”

Those are my italics. Total re-opening of the economy by June 1 if more than half of us wear masks!

A more visual study of just why face masks matter was recently conducted by the National Institutes of Health and concerned the amount of saliva droplets ejected from our mouths during normal speaking.

Test subjects, first unmasked then masked, spoke the words “stay healthy” into a black box. The saliva droplets from their mouths were illuminated by laser beams and photographed with an iPhone 11. The luminescent spray of droplets was smaller than that emitted by a cough or a sneeze and hung in the air longer, up to 8 minutes.

It appears when two people converse face-to-face at close distance, they’re engulfed in an invisible cloud of their own spit. Yuck!

Theoretically, COVID-19 or any other virus could be transmitted by these saliva droplets, via aerosol or surface transmission. The good news is that when test subjects donned a simple cloth face mask, the saliva spray was totally shut down. Snuffed out.

The results were impressive enough to prompt Jeremy Howard, a University of San Francisco data scientist who has been studying coronavirus and mask-wearing, along with 100 other prominent health academics, to write a letter to the nation’s governors, asking that “officials require cloth masks to be worn in all public places, such as stores, transportation systems, and public buildings.”

No doubt many Shasta County residents would object to a mask-wearing ordinance. But that’s what it might take to beat this virus, if not enough people buy into the reality of “my mask keeps you safe, your mask keeps me safe.”

Currently, as far as the general public is concerned, the county is sticking to the state’s rather lukewarm guidance on masks:

“There may be a benefit to reducing asymptomatic transmission and reinforcing physical distancing from the use of face coverings. However, face coverings may increase risk if users reduce their use of strong defenses, such as physical distancing and frequent hand washing, when using face coverings.”

FYI, Shasta County has 3 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 this week, all three asymptomatic, bringing the total so far to 34. Four patients have died from COVID-19.

I’m not saying it’s going to be easy to transition to this new normal where all of us are masked up in public. I’ve tried to wear my mask on the dozen or so essential trips I’ve made since the pandemic began. But trips to the pharmacy, the grocery store, Lowe’s and the gas station are relatively easy to manage. I’ve been pleased to see plenty of people, one-third to maybe half, wearing masks in those locations.

But dining in restaurants? Getting a haircut? Going to the gym? Those are completely different ball games when it comes to social distancing and wearing masks.

I got a little taste of what’s ahead last Friday afternoon when we traveled from Whitmore to Redding for the reopening of one of our favorite downtown watering holes, Final Draft Brewing Company.

We parked in front of the joint, and looking at my N95 respirator hanging from the rearview mirror, I figured, what the heck, I’m going to be eating and drinking in a couple of minutes, it’ll be too inconvenient to take the mask on and off, so I’ll just leave it hanging in the car. My girlfriend left hers in the glovebox.

Wrong decision.

There was no line, but FDBC has reduced table space by 50 percent for social distancing purposes, and we had to wait 10 minutes for our table. Only half the tables were occupied, which was somewhere in the neighborhood of the recommended 25 percent occupancy rate I’ve seen referenced in various guidelines. I was surprised to see several large groups of 6, 7, 8 people including kids, or as I refer to them these days, vectors.

No one as far as I could see, not any of the staff, not any of the customers (not us!) was wearing a mask. The patriarch of one large family was giving a lecture on the virtues of American exceptionalism. Wine glasses clinked in agreement. I recalled that one study out of MIT found that saliva droplets from coughs and sneezes can travel 27 feet, approximately the distance between the patriarch and me.

Thank God he didn’t sneeze before our table was ready!

For me, all these studies are just more pages in the ever growing COVID-19 manual. Anyone who tells you “It’s just the flu, bro” is full of crap. Coronavirus has killed 90,000 Americans and is well on its way to 100,000 deaths by the end of the month. Masks work. And here I was, not wearing a mask.

As our incredibly fresh-faced, unmasked waitstaff (another vector!) welcomed us, I imagined luminescent droplets of saliva saturated with COVID-19 raining down upon me, drifting into my eyes, my nose, my mouth, lodging in my upper respiratory tract, incubating and then killing me in a couple of weeks or so.

Not very upbeat.

I mean no disrespect to FDBC. I enjoyed my three crispy fish tacos, and the two strong Haley’s Comets really helped numb my paranoia. But in no way did I feel safe on this essential re-opening beer run. I’ll be back, but with my mask.

I was so unnerved by the experience, when I got home, I consulted the Shasta Ready COVID-19 website to discover what exactly the guidance for face mask usage was for reopening dine-in restaurants in the so-called 2nd phase. Again, these are the state’s guidelines, and as it turns out, this time they’re fairly extensive.

“Face coverings are strongly encouraged for all employees, however, they are required for any employee (e.g., server, manager, busser, food runner, etc.) who must be within six feet of customers. All restaurant workers should minimize the amount of time spent within six feet of guests.”

Required. By. Law. As mentioned, none of our servers wore a mask.

“Physical distancing protocols should be used in any office areas, kitchens, pantries, walk-in freezers, or other high-density, high-traffic employee areas. Face coverings are required where employees cannot maintain physical distancing including in kitchens, storage areas, etc.”

I didn’t visit the kitchen, so I don’t know if staff were masked up. Let’s hope they were.

“Face coverings are strongly recommended when employees are in the vicinity of others. Workers should have face coverings available and wear them when at work, in offices, or in a vehicle during work-related travel with others. Face coverings must not be shared.”

Again, I saw no one wearing a mask at FDBC Friday afternoon.

“Establishments must take reasonable measures, including posting signage in strategic and highly-visible locations, to remind the public that they should use face coverings and practice physical distancing while waiting for service and take-out.”

I can honestly say that if FDBC had posted a sign right out front that said, “Where’s your mask?” I’d have gone back to the car and got mine. But not everybody feels the same way. Apparently, certain customers in Stillwater, Oklahoma threaten to kill business owners who make such demands.

To be sure, I’ll return to FDBC some time soon, with my mask, and just to show you I’m not some liberal know-it-all, I’ll admit it won’t be the same N95 that’s still hanging from my rearview mirror.

Like a lot of locals, I’ve been wearing an industrial N95 left over from the Carr Fire, the one with the yellow plastic outlet valve on it. It turns out that the mask protects me from coronavirus, smoke and sawdust.

But if I happen to be COVID-19 positive—I have no symptoms—I’ve been spewing infectious saliva droplets through that valve on an unsuspecting public at a rate perhaps higher than the aforementioned MIT study for the past two weeks.

I should have read the manual that came with mask. I kept it. The print is kind of small, but I just now checked it.

It’s in there. “Not for use in sterile medical settings.”


Next week: R.V. learns to sew!

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at
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128 Responses

  1. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    Preaching to most of the ANC choir, R.V., but some in the alto and tenor sections are apparently tone deaf.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I think the point this choir boy was trying to make is that navigating this new normal is tricky. I hope we don’t have to be taught a lesson in order to conform.

      • Avatar John Whittenberger says:

        It is tricky and has discouraging elements. My favorite breakfast place, Country Waffles, is doing social distancing but no masks. I was able to do take out so I got my Senior Menu Spanish Omelette and dined in my Tacoma at Kutras Pond.

        I want to support all the folks I usually deal with but this confusion about what they are supposed to be doing makes it hard.

  2. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    RV, I am not attacking you personally but this post will probably be deleted.
    I have been reading here on Anews about the condemnation of unmasked, no social distancing at a rodeo, a barber shop and a church gathering and how many people could be infected with COVI.. Then you write an article where you went unmasked into a business where no one else was wearing masks or doing social distancing. How do you justify that? How many were infected with COVI-19 at that diner?

  3. Avatar Tammy Douse says:

    Thank you. My son is a floor manager for a large bar in Dana Pt. They have yet to open but are following the guidelines to do it safely and staff/servers/bar tenders will be masked. I miss dining out the most, but I want to think that the kitchen staff prepping my salad fixings is masked. This disease is worse than people realize. I know of an extremely healthy man who has been in the hospital, fighting for his life for over 30 days. On day 29 they moved him to ICU where they were able to set him up for the first time. He is only able to hear family voices via facetime. Not a pretty way to go or survive. I just hope he has great insurance!

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      My experience at the restaurant was very similar to my experience the last day I taught in public school, when I realized there was simply no way to maintain social distancing and I washed my hands 22 times a day and it still wasn’t enough. Sounds like your son’s boss had read the manual!

  4. Avatar Urban Prophet says:

    Why do you have a N95 mask RV? And everybody knows anything less is unacceptable. Not your usual standard of writing RV 🙁

    • Avatar George T. Parker says:

      Did you read the article? He says how he got it. AND he says why a homemade cloth mask works, too. It was in depth, actually.

      Just sayin,…

      • Avatar Urban Prophet says:

        “All of this leakage in surgical and fabric masks are why public health officials generally don’t believe that wearing a mask prevents anyone from catching a virus that is already floating around in the environment. Airflow follows the path of least resistance, said Rachael Jones, an associate professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of Utah who was not involved in the new research. If viral particles are nearby, they have an easy path around a surgical or fabric mask. And in the case of a fabric mask, wearers may well be wafting in particles small enough to flow right through the fabric.”

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          I think the preponderance of evidence shows that masks *do* help, and help significantly. If there is any doubt, why not err on the side of caution?

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          Cloth masks likely do next to nothing to filter viral particles that are floating around in the air. The only way that would work is if the masks had some sort of electrostatic charge and some of the viral particles stuck to the cloth, but there’s no evidence that happens. (That’s basically how the inside of an N95 filter works—the viral particles have to pass through a matrix with holes big enough for the particles to penetrate, but the electrostatic charge fixes them to the matrix material.)

          What’s also obvious is that the virus is often carried airborne within droplets of water and sputum. If you’re a carrier and you cough or sneeze, a good percentage of the droplets are arrested by your cloth mask. The number of particles that get through are less likely to infect anyone. If another person wearing a cloth mask sneezes in close proximity to you and you’re also wearing a cloth mask, the reduced number of particles that are ejected through the sneezer’s mask are further reduced by your own mask.

          • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

            I like the idea of an electrostatic face mask that would give off the sound of a bug hitting a bug zapper if the Covid19 bugs got close.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            Steve, until recently I was just a hardcore N95 or nothing sort of guy. Primarily that’s because if worn properly, it can protect the wearer from infection, as well as protecting the people around the wearer. As you noted early on, the main reason for wearing a mask is to protect asymptomatic people from infecting others. The cloth masks definitely accomplish this, and are “better than nothing” at protecting the wearer from virus. One interesting thing about this topic is there has been relatively little research on mask wearing. I’ve seen some studies that speculate cloth masks if made properly can provide maybe half the protection of an N95. That’s a lot more than nothing!

      • Thank you, George. You beat me to it.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I had a couple of N95 left over from last year’s Fire Armageddon. Early on I tried to donate them to front-line medical practitioners, starting with my daughter. No takers. The Bay Area refugees who’ve been living with us for the past couple of months ended up taking them.

      That said, there are still not enough N95 masks for everyone to wear them. But the evidence supporting the effectiveness of cloth masks—especially if everyone wears them—is compelling.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Steve, yeah, that little check valve on the mask allows you to exhale your unfiltered droplets into the air, cause that doesn’t matter down at the sawmill.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I agree UP that the N95 respirator is preferable, because it forms an air tight seal around the face when worn correctly that prevents the virus from getting in. That’s one reason why I left my N95 in the car, it’s tricky to take on and off repeatedly. Also, as I pointed out, I’ve been using the wrong N95. But while I used to be an N95 stickler like you seem to be, the research is showing that simple cloth masks work, if enough people wear them.

  5. In our essential business, I’ve been keeping a tally of masked and unmasked customers. Last week it was running about 50%. I’m so grateful to those folks who come in wearing masks – I know they are considering the safety of their community. I’m curious to see how the numbers look this week.
    Also – I always put on clear glasses when I mask up – If I’m keeping spittle off my face, I’m not leaving my eyes vulnerable.

  6. Avatar Matt Peebles says:

    As someone with mainstream views on this topic (I think), but also with sympathies for human plights in general, I think we have to look at the reasons people are not social distancing, right or wrong.

    Part of American culture is to highly value independent thinking, just as does. Unfortunately, major political parties and major media outlets have created such a climate of distrust that it’s difficult to know what to believe. This creates fear: fear of being manipulated, fear of being lied to, fear of tyranny.

    So, the meaning of masking has become far more complicated than simply following public health advice or government mandate. For many people, although they are misguided in my opinion, unmasking is a statement of positive values such as independent thinking.

    I can say they are wrong all I want, but that only strengthens their resolve. The only way to fix this is depolarization. What depolarization tools do you have in your bag?

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’m still pissed off at Hillary Clinton. Mad that we have an incompetent, megalomaniacal boob leading us through this crisis, mad about our plunge in credibility on the world’s stage, mad about what the SCOTUS is going to look like for the rest of my life, yadda yadda yadda. I don’t think it necessarily cost her the election, but referring to about 40% of America as a “basket of deplorables” didn’t help.

      So, okay. How do we change the minds of the basket of independent thinkers and rugged individualists who believe that wearing a mask is a sign of weakness, conformity, and squishy compassion for total strangers? What do we say to people who insist—against all logic and scientific evidence—that wearing masks is somehow the opposite of opening up the economy and getting back to work?

      Right here on ANC, our resident Trump apologists reason that wearing masks is a non-issue—freedom is all that matters. Okay….freedom and getting everyone back to work. It’s odd to me that we absolutely agree on the getting back to work side of the equation—we need to get back to some semblance of normal. And we absolutely disagree on mask-wearing (and ramped-up testing) as a crucial tools for making progress toward that goal.

      Here in NorCal, we’ve enjoyed an advantage that others have not. We had a head start.

      My prediction: We’re going to squander it. The only thing that will change the minds of most of the “I do what I want” crowd is a large surge of cases. And by large, I mean large enough so that people they know are getting deathly sick. Large enough that the order comes down to once again shut down businesses and put people out of work. Large enough that we end up going backwards.

      Maybe someone else will come up with less pessimistic suggestions for addressing the polarization. I think it’s going to take a bucket of ice-water poured over our collective head.

      • Avatar Matt Peebles says:

        Steve. Honestly, I might even be more pessimistic than you. I hope you’re wrong about the whole thing, but I think you’re probably right—up until the point where extreme suffering starts. At that point, you suggested the ice-water bath might change some minds. I think you and I both know at that point it’s just back to pointing fingers at the deep state.

        Someone said recently that this whole debacle is not changing anyone, that it is just revealing what we already were. I think that is right. Circumstances (or history or science or logic or truth) can all get a layer of spin on them. Personal and cultural change happens at a more visceral level. Still no silver bullet from me though.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Well Matt since the pandemic started, I’ve tried to bitch about Trump and his followers less and be inclusive of everyone. It ain’t always easy.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        No, it isn’t easy, but I think your timing is fortunate. With the issue of whether or not to wear a mask potentially effecting the success of emerging from the COVID crisis, it would be *really* unfortunate if the issue continues to devolve into just another point of contention along party lines.

      • Avatar Matt Peebles says:

        R.V.- I don’t have any criticisms for you. Good on you for being however conscientious you can about it. Not even centrists like me get to escape the pressure to polarize. It’s unrelenting.

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          Matt, I’ve often been a fence-sitter on various issues. Some friends accuse me of being-wishy washy, but I maintain that sitting on the fence offers a better view.

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          Maybe moderates need to be more militant.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Matt the polarization certainly is unrelenting, I used to enjoy being part of it, but the instant I realized coronavirus was a serious threat, right around mid-February, making fun of Trump supporters lost its appeal. I did four years in the Navy, so I realize sometimes you gotta do shit you don’t want to do to keep the ship afloat.

    • Matt, I love your idea of depolarization tools, but I stumped about what they would be. Understanding? Empathy? A desire to get along?

      But for the tools to work, it would require both sides meeting in the middle somewhere.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Doni, some of my favorite depolarization tools are admitting I’ve made a mistake and admitting that I’ve changed my point of view on a given topic. I used the former tool in this story. I seriously feel like a damned fool for not wearing my mask at FDBC.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      A major depolarization tool is sports.
      Right or Wong, forgetting the insanity of sports figures salaries, their popularity and exalted status in society, sports brings people together. Heck, I’m still friends with people who are trump fans but are also A’s fans.
      Even NASSCAR, As far right as possible, entertains liberals as well.

      I’ve seen advertisements for face masks with sports logo’s. Who knows?

      Or advertising on masks, given away as promotional gifts.
      Certainly government offices should provide masks, hand sanitizer being generously offered.

      Because trump spearheaded the no mask mentality, the entire mask wearing issue maybe a gauge of the upcoming election.

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        Chad, you’ve struck RV’s nerve! Did you catch the NASCAR race Sunday at the storied Darlington motor speedway for the first time without spectators! My favorite sport is MotoGP, and since the racers can’t race on the tracks, they’ve been racing each other on computer simulations, and I’ve been watching it because there’s nothing else to watch! No March Madness. No Formula 1. No Summer Olympics. MotoGP does have extensive archives of past seasons, so I’ve been satisfying my racing itch threw old races, which are actually pretty watchable. I’ll be making some MotoGP masks for sure!

  7. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Great article, R.V.

    I went to Winco yesterday, and it was heartening to notice that maybe forty percent of the shoppers were wearing masks, more than when I was there the previous week.

    My wife has been making masks for friends and family. She hadn’t used a sewing machine in over twenty years. There was some grumbling at first, but now she can whip one out in under ten minutes.

    My friend Brigadier General Patrice Melancon, USAF, started sewing masks for her local VA hospital soon after the COVID crisis started. Yep, she sews masks in her–ahem–free time. I’ve known Patrice since she was in high school, and it didn’t surprise me at all that she promptly took to making masks after learning about hospital shortages.

    • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

      Hal, my wife has been sewing mask as well. I would try but I would break the machine and sew my fingers together. I hate to say this but some of our local music venues are NOT very good examples of Covid – 19 safety protocol, in fact, quite the opposite. I understand the need to make money, don’t we all, but example seems to indicate a disregard for safety in exchange for the social and thus perhaps even political position displayed recently by one of Shasta County’s supervisors.

      Humm, I wonder, like some local churches, does the open display and thus by example, an advocacy of unsafe behavior, present a view of an alt right leaning the “Covid -19 response is just a government infringement of our rights” social and political stance? And if so, how does the art of music play in this arena; is it a responsibility for musicians to project rational, peaceful and safe norms and values in their art? (unless you into somthing like pro fascist death-metal or folk music – hey, there’s a new genre for us…) Or, does music transcend all social, political, economic concerns? Is there a safe way for art to survive other than being an example of anti safety stance?

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I’m with ya there, Christian. My wife once tried to teach me how to use a sewing machine, and after about two minutes, I was ready to declare an emergency.

      • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

        My nephew,, who is involved with Jazz at Jax in Newport Beach sent me a link to a video he edited where all the members of the big band Zoomed their parts. One of the sax players was wearing a mask that he had fitted around his mouthpiece. Don’t know how effective it was, but I thought it was a pretty graphic and symbolic gesture.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      I’m surprised that the homemade cloth mask niche hasn’t been filled by enterprising local seamstresses. I would think that my local grocery store here in Palo Cedro would by now have a stand ornamented with stylish masks, like the one made for me by my daughter’s friend’s mom. (Mine is a tartan plaid pattern that reminds me of how the sky probably looks on Planet D, if you know what I mean, and I think that you do.) I have a choice of cloth shopping bag lines on display at the store, some produced by locals.

      I haven’t seen cloth masks for sale anywhere. Granted, I haven’t been making the rounds every day.

      • I found Annie’s Styles and Stitches on Facebook making them – order via text, pay with PayPal and pick up in a bin outside her home. I also understand the Enjoy the Store has them. I’ve got my daughter working on one with an LED display that I can control with my phone. We’ll see…..

      • Avatar Viki T. says:

        Steve, I have made hundreds of masks and given them away to anyone who needed them. I am somewhat of a quilting fabric hoarder (to put it mildly) and was just happy to have a way to help. I was asked why I didn’t charge for them, and for me, I just would not have felt right charging for something that was so desperately needed. For the first few weeks I barely left my sewing room/sweat shop, except to eat and sleep, but it felt good to be doing something useful.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      LOL Hal, I was at WinCo this afternoon, wearing one of those looser fitting surgical masks that loop around your ears. It was definitely way more comfortable than wearing the N95.

      On the homemade cloth mask front, I’ve run into some great luck. Turns out the best fabric to make homemade masks with is quilting cotton. Guess whose Mom is a quilting freak? My Mom, who just unloaded, oh, a thousand kaleidoscopic scraps of quilting cotton that makes me wonder if she hasn’t been spiking the Kool-Aid.

      Production is about to begin!

  8. Avatar Barbara Stone says:

    RV, thank you for this! I’ve been researching mask styles, materials, and effectiveness since March and I have made 100’s of them now. I’ll be glad to help you with constructing your own as long as we both wear masks!

  9. Avatar Patrick Archer says:

    Final Draft lost my business forever. How uncaring of them to not have employees wearing masks.

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Patrick, I really don’t think they’re uncaring. I think they just made a choice as to who to believe.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Patrick, I totally get where you’re coming from. One of the points I’m trying make is that the COVID-19 manual is a work in progress. That’s why I can’t harsh on FDBC. They’ve made a significant effort to meet the 2nd phase guidelines. Masks are just one of many facets in those guidelines, but require public buy-in at a significant level, say, 50 percent. What I’m going to do with my mask-making project is make masks cool and sexy.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        My son has suggested that I continue wearing masks even after the COVID crisis is over.

        *Such* a sweet kid.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Hal, The use of masks these days reminds me of my Air Force travels to Saudi Arabia back in the day. The women in Riyadh would wear the traditional black abaya that covers everything but their eyes. Many of them, mostly younger women I surmised, would wear very exotic eye makeup…so all you can see is a pair of beautiful alluring dark eyes with this beautiful eye makeup. You had to be careful not to stare.

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          Steve, all the guys pretty much told the same story–it was a white-knuckle adventure, and that was *before* navigating through an intersection. Doug, is that your recollection?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            I’ve driven in other countries where negotiating an intersection or traffic circle with patience and politeness doesn’t go unpunished.

            But then, after living in Shasta County for ~25 years, I also feel somewhat abused on trips to Sacramento and the Bay Area.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            We had to drive ourselves from our hotel in downtown Riyadh to the King Khalid International Airport on the outskirts of the city for every flight. It was a white-knuckle adventure for sure, and for some reason, I was always the designated driver. There was no regard for lanes, stoplights or any traffic laws. You drove with one hand on the horn just honking and barreling your way through the city, you had to be aggressive to make it through. The main drag out of the city was 3 lanes…but it always looked like 6 lanes of traffic. Just crazy. Driving in Saudi appeared to me to be a combination of suicidal and homicidal tactics. They drive at an incredibly fast speed through the city…so scary. If you attempted to slow and stop when the light turns yellow…you would get run over. We were warned that if involved in an accident, expect the police to assign blame and they will ask for compensation right then and there…and it will almost always be the Westerners fault.
            After a number of years flying in and out of Riyadh, I got pretty good navigating through the city. I loved scaring the rookie crewmembers with the driving.

          • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

            “Driving in Saudi appeared to me to be a combination of suicidal and homicidal tactics.”

            Har! That’s a great encapsulation of the stories I’ve heard.

  10. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Someone should start a Facebook page dedicated to how local businesses are implementing the accelerated Stage 2 guidelines—especially for restaurants. Are the workers wearing masks? Is there any real attempt to maintain distance between tables and bar stools? Is the establishment defiantly blowing off the guidelines? It’d be interesting to see if it had any influence on both businesses and patrons.

    Shasta County’s website has a “drop a dime” page where you can report violations. My impression is that it’s not doing much to alter behavior. It reminds me of one of those complaint boxes at a gym where you can drop a little slip of paper complaining about the filthy exercise equipment, the slimy shower walls, or the gray and threadbare towels, and at the end of the week the custodian empties to box into the trash.

    • Early on in the shutdown someone emailed me about a gym that was open, and she asked what she could do. She said she called HHSA and was told they don’t do enforcement.

      At this point, we know that other than ABC, which has a heavy hammer and isn’t afraid to use it, there isn’t much – if any – enforcement going on. We’re down to this: The majority of people will follow the rules: churches, hair and nail salons, etc., despite their fervent wish to copy the rule-breakers, open their businesses and earn a living again, too. And the rule-breakers? They’ll do what they want, despite the public-health risks, not to mention they’re disobeying executive orders.

      At some point, I believe the tide will turn, and the good people who’ve been so compliant will throw in the towel and join forces with the rule-breakers, because eventually they’ll be in the minority, and what the hell … everyone else is open, so …

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      You can drop as many dimes as you want, but isn’t Code Enforcement like 300 years behind in Shasta County?

  11. Avatar Ed Marek says:


    Masks are a vital part of any pandemic strategy (and advocating for them was the reason I began posing on ANC regularly) but:

    “…Total re-opening of the economy by June 1 if more than half of us wear masks!…”

    Is a bit misleading. I believe that the study you cited assumed “social distancing” (as well as all other ant-viral precautions) would continue, and that this phase of pandemic control would begin only after an effective “lockdown” period had reduced the infection rate.

    In other words, that study shows how well masks would have worked by June 1, had America established the effective national lock-down in back in March, that never actually occurred.

    The saddest thing to consider is that study was published April 21.

    Epidemiologists knew then, and in fact have known for decades, what steps would be necessary to defeat a virus with the characteristics of COVID-19.

    America decided to try another approach…

    It looks like America’s daily death rate has begun to increase again, due to our recent COVID-19 national policy of “loosening up” (AKA surrender) following the few weeks of slow improvement from our short-term and less-than-complete lock-down.

    Barring one of trump’s oft-predicted “miracles”, or a greater-than-expected benefit from the coming warmer seasonal temperatures, we should expect America’s daily deaths to continue to rise, indefinitely, until America adopts a rational policy to address the pandemic.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Yes, every study cited in this report assumes that social distancing, hand washing etc. are needed in addition to wearing the mask.

      I expect the number of our positive coronavirus cases will continue to edge up as more testing is done. I’m wondering if the schools are going to reopen Aug. 10 as currently scheduled. Maybe, if enough people wear masks.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        I can’t see much chance schools SHOULD be open in august.

        Even less of a chance they WILL be open.

        With so many being asymptomatic, are you going to test all the kids every few days, to prevent outbreaks that could quickly spread outside the schools?

        Will that be enough to satisfy many parents?

        Or teachers, for that matter?

        I did some time as a HS and JHS Substitute many decades ago, and can’t see much hope of effective masking/”social distancing” and extreme hygiene in a classroom setting.

        Just like in every other aspect of our society, rule one in a pandemic is suppress the virus first, and THEN reopen.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Ed, if Shasta County could test 500 people a day between now and June 1, we’d have a much clearer picture of how far COVID-19 has infiltrated Shasta County. We’ll know we’re testing enough when we start getting a rise in positive tests from asymptomatic individuals. This is doable, and if Shasta County can get the funding, we can really limit the spread.

  12. Avatar Jennie Morgan says:

    Final Draft was a favorite place, but since they obviously don’t care about the welfare of their employees or customers, I’ll not be back. Such a small thing to ask, and it protects so many.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’m defending Final Draft. Masks are just one component of the Phase 2 changes it was forced to make, and more than any other piece, requires buy-in from the public. Final Draft has reduced their table space 50 percent, limited capacity to 25 percent and social distancing was in effect while I was there Friday afternoon. Gov. Gavin Newsom has suggested we think of Phase 2 as a dimmer switch, not an off/on situation. In short, I will be going back to Final Draft and I will be wearing a mask!

      • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

        I really like the owners of Final Draft. I wish their employees would wear masks, but if they continue to go bare-faced, I still wish them the best.

  13. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree:

    “You watch. [The Democrats] will milk it every single day between now and November 3rd. And guess what — after November 3rd, coronavirus will magically, all of a sudden, go away and disappear and everybody will be able to reopen.”
    — Eric Trump

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I wonder if Eric was breast-fed? Those chompers must have been pretty hard on Ivana.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      While I disagree with Mr Trump’s belief that Covid-19 will magically disappear after the election, there is no doubt that it will benefit the Democrats to drag out the crisis as long as possible. It is all about damaging the president as much as possible. Keeping the lockdown as long as possible will help in that goal. If we open up soon, and the economy shows signs of improvement, that will help the president. getting folks back to work will help the president. In contrast, keeping Biden locked away as long as possible is necessary for the Democrats, because the more he speaks…well, you know.

      It was Obama’s advisor Rahm Emanuel who famously said, “…You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” That is what the left is doing right now. When this is all said and done, the number of deaths in the US will be but a mere fraction of what was predicted. That we did a pretty dang good job at mitigating loss, much better than most European countries if you look at death per million of population. The best the Democrats could hope for is to drag out this crisis as long as possible.

      So if you think the Democrats are not trying to take advantage of this situation, and use it to hurt the president, that is being a bit naive, don’t you think?

      • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

        The only reason this is dragging on is because Republicans from Trump on down failed to act in a timely manner, when they had the information to act. That’s it. No Democratic conspiracy. Just government ineptitude that’s killed 90,000 people so far. Trump with never accept responsibility for those dead. What a wimp of a leader he’s turned out to be.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          “… when they had the information to act.”

          I have in great detail posted what the ‘experts’ were advising us and the president from back in January and February. Remember back in late January when the CDC was saying the risk to the US was low? Remember when in 2 Democratic debates in February, the virus wasn’t even a subject matter? (except for 2 minutes in the Feb 25th debate). You want to use your 20-20 hindsight to now claim that Trump should have moved faster, when at the time we didn’t have the information and data we do now. My guess is if he did move faster, you would at the time criticized him for NOT listening to his advisors.

          I partially agree with you about the government ineptitude…I blame it more on the burdensome systemic federal bureaucracy more than one certain president. It wouldn’t have made a difference if it was President Trump or a President Clinton. Except perhaps that Clinton wouldn’t have been so quick to close travel from China. You know, that racist and xenophobic move Trump made? That Biden called ‘hysterical’? The federal government sucks at handling a crisis like this. Again, it is more about the sluggish nature of the federal government than one president.

          Is the president of Spain responsible for their 28,000 deaths? The Italian president responsible for their 33,000 deaths? Boris Johnson responsible for their 35,000 deaths? Or is it just Trump that is responsible for the Covid-19 deaths? That there wouldn’t be any deaths if Clinton was president? If you look at deaths per million of population, we are sitting at almost half of what European countries are experiencing. Maybe you should give the president credit for that.

          Yes, this is exactly what I was talking about. The Democrats want to make this all about Trump, just to try and give Biden an edge.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            The Republicans are in charge, they own this. That’s how it’s always worked.

        • Avatar Ed Marek says:


          The actual American death toll (including the under-count) is far over 100,000 to date, and with millions of active cases, both tested and untested, there is very little chance that number of deaths will not at least double (and quite possibly redouble, again, and again…) by the time the American pandemic is contained.

          Under competent American leadership COVID-19 deaths could have been limited to the thousands, and the total infections to the tens-of-thousands to date.

          The epidemic would have been reduced to only a few thousand active cases by now, a level we would have to live with, until a vaccine is developed

          Compare our experience to New Zealand, with a population of about five million, which suffered only 1503 infections and 21 deaths reported form COVID-19

          New Zealand won their “war” in a few months by simply following a pandemic response plan quite similar to the one America has had “on the shelf” for decades, which any competent President would not have prevented from being placed in action.

          Unfortunately, we did not have a competent president, we had trump.

          Here is New Zealand’s plan:

          Note that, having largely defeated the virus, New Zealand has recently moved to “level 2”, and its citizens now enjoy a level of prosperity, freedom and health security that is only a dream, for Americans.

          • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

            I agree with you Ed, the death toll is probably much higher. Probably at least 150,000 right now.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          The Republicans own what? Maybe it is China that owns it. I hear very little criticism of China, where this whole mess started from. Why is that?

          It is ridiculous to bring up New Zealand…an isolated island nation where there are more sheep on the island than people. But what did NZ do to help keep the cases down? They stopped travel into the country early…something Trump did to which he got criticized for.

  14. Jim Dowling Jim Dowling says:

    Thoughts on a gray day…there are things not being said. How does one justify a laissez-faire attitude toward taking minimal precautions like masks and distancing? Perhaps, among many, there’s an unexpressed feeling that this isn’t everybody’s problem. It’s those older folks, you know the ones not working and not needing to, cruise shippers, the ones on social security – a drag on the rest of us. Let nature take its course. The herd thing. Good old Darwinian survival of the fittest. Look at the stats. Most of us lucky enough to be young and healthy will skate right on thru. Yeah, it’s a ghastly way to view things, but recent experience has taught me that prolonged stress does seem to warp logic and invite twisted solutions.
    When so many disregard precautions and then I see on the news people staging militant protests against stay at home orders, I can’t help but wonder if my generation, especially those 65 and older, is vulnerable to shifting attitudes.

    • Avatar Peggy Elwood says:

      My thought exactly…the herd thing believers aren’t afraid for themselves and say we old folks should just stay home so they can go out…..are they going to do my shopping??????????????

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Peggy, you are allowed to do grocery shopping now. Opening up the economy won’t change that. We cannot mitigate the risk to zero. I guess I’m an ‘old folk’ too being 64. I consider myself low risk because I am a relatively healthy individual with no pre-existing conditions. I am ready to take the chance and open up the economy. I will be cautious, we know that everything won’t go back to normal right away.

        We don’t want to reopen just so “they can go out”. There are businesses that may never recover, workers that need their jobs to support their families. cities and states are losing tax revenue that is required to keep our cities and states running. California has run out of unemployment funds already. If I felt at risk, I would continue to do what I am doing now…shelter in place and limit my excursions. For the rest, Let’s go back to work, let’s get people working again. It won’t affect you if you choose to stay home.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          You have no idea what Peggy’s situation is. Perhaps she’s in several risk groups and she’s having her groceries delivered, like my parents.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Exactly, RV….if she is in several risk groups and is sheltering in place and having her groceries delivered, opening the economy won’t affect her in the slightest. Nothing has or will change for her. I’m assuming she is on Social Security or has a pension so she doesn’t have to worry about a lost job. If we reopen the economy, your parents still have the option to stay home and have their groceries delivered. It’s nice to have a choice. Me? I gotta get back to work to provide for my family…to pay the tuition of my daughter’s college that they refuse to pro-rate.

        • Avatar Ed Marek says:

          “…I am ready to take the chance and open up the economy…

          It won’t affect you if you choose to stay home…”

          Before trump set the bar for public behavior in America so low, would you expect anyone to so freely admit their own selfishness and self delusion?

          Do the people who say such things really believe that when they allow themselves to host and spread the virus, they are not risking other people’s lives?

          And that forcing others to “stay home” in an attempt to only partially avoid the risks they create, is their right?

        • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

          I’m 82. I have coronary health problems. Heck yes I’m in the fragile group.
          So . . . . And I refuse to lie down and die just to get out of the way of the up and comers.
          I wear a mask when I go out.
          I order my groceries and sundries through a delivery service.
          I sanitize every item, including the handles of the bags, when it is delivered and then I sanitize my counters.
          I go out as little as possible (doctor’s and lab appointments and always with a mask)
          I do as much of my business via my car window as possible.
          As much as I love them, I will not do Dutch Bros or Starbucks drive thru if
          their workers are not wearing masks.
          I do most of my visiting via Zoom and Google Duo.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Adrienne, I’m not quite sure what you are attempting to say here., “… I refuse to lie down and die just to get out of the way of the up and comers.”

            and nobody should expect you to. Americans proved remarkably willing to put their lives on hold and make very painful economic sacrifices to avert a catastrophic overwhelming of the health system. That catastrophe does appear to have been averted. But the time has come to gradually ratchet up economic activity while trying to mitigate the risk of increased transmission of the virus to the extent possible. The shutdown has been necessary and appropriate. But it is also necessary and appropriate now to start the return.

            starting to open up the economy will, no doubt bring more infections, only that we are somewhat better equipped to contain and address those. The shutdowns involved a heavy and difficult tradeoff. The gradual reopening will too. The economic costs of the shutdowns have been growing as the public-health benefits have been diminishing. That suggests the shutdowns have been useful, but it also suggests that it is time to move forward.

            Nobody is out to get you Adrienne, nobody wants to ‘do you in’ it is just a realization that we can’t do this forever.

            It means coming up with a strategy of separating the sick from the healthy whenever possible, which has not really been our way of thinking about this pandemic so far. And it will mean special emphasis on dealing with those at the highest risk. We have completely and catastrophically lacked a strategy for dealing with such settings, and that needs to change. But the economy needs to get moving again.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Mrs. Jacoby,

            You are mistaken, if you think those who want to accelerate the spread of COVID-19 want to kill you.

            In fact, they don’t care about you, or anyone else, at all.

            They are not the slightest bit concerned that their irresponsible failure to take the steps necessary to eliminate the virus will cause you to continue to have to alter your life as you describe, and still live with the risk of infection, indefinitely.

            Nor are they concerned about the risks faced by all Americans who they want to force to work, whatever the risks.

            All they want is to return to the privileged lives they miss.

            “The Phony Coronavirus Class War

            Defiance of public health directives has become a mark of right-wing identity.

            …here’s the thing about reopening: It’s liberation to some, but compulsion to others. If your employer reopens but you don’t feel safe going to work, you can’t continue to collect unemployment benefits. In The Texas Tribune, a waitress in Odessa spoke of her fear when she was called back to work at a restaurant that hadn’t put adequate social distancing measures in place. “It scared me, so I left,” she said. “Then I had to remember that if I do quit, I would have to lose my unemployment.”

            …when it comes to the coronavirus, willingness to ignore public health authorities isn’t a sign of flinty working-class realism. Often it’s the ultimate mark of privilege.”


        • Avatar Peggy Elwood says:

          I am 75 and have 2 autoimmune diseases and have had a heart attack and a stroke so I am one of those people who would not survive the virus. I know I can go shopping, and I do, but I wear a mask and go out only about every 10 days. I think I have more anxiety than a healthy person. My comment about the shopping was to point out that maybe the healthy people that are out and about should support the seniors who are at high risk every time they go out. I am perfectly fine staying safe at home in my yard and house but it is not possible to never go out if you live alone. I went to Trader Joes yesterday for the first time in a month. A woman with very strong perfume and no mask walked by me. Her smell followed her more than half way down the isle….how long was her breath in the air? I wish more people would wear masks….

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Consider the COVID-19 survival manual to be a work in progress Jim. One government switcheroo that really pissed me off was originally, those “60 and above” were listed as the most at-risk age group. I happened to turn 60 on March 10. About a month ago, the Mainstream Media started say the most at-risk group is “65 and above.” TPTB understand that if Medicare and SSI is granted to people over 60 instead of the present 65, there will be no stopping the expansion to Medicare For All. #covidream

  15. Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

    Meanwhile today, at the Shasta County Superior Court, Department 10, county employees still seemed to feel no need to wear masks or practice social distancing. The only masks in evidence were worn by private attorneys. The judge, the deputy D.A.s, the bailiffs, and the clerk were bare-faced.

    There was one improvement over last week. Audience members were handed masks as they entered the courtroom. Mind you, they weren’t required to *wear* them, but I guess that’s something.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Man, wait till we get 5 percent to 10 percent of the population tested and discover the real spread of COVID-19 in Shasta County. And what about the nursing homes? Are we having a spike in deaths compared to previous years?

      • Adrienne Jacoby Adrienne Jacoby says:

        In the assisted living facility where I reside, we are being pretty well protected. We are not to leave the premises unless it for medical or legal reasons and in that event we have to quarantine for 14 days on our return. Our temp is checked every day and records kept. Everyone that works here has a mask . . . unfortunately, I see some of them draped around their necks (working on that one) and they are checked and sanitized when they come on shift. So, I feel pretty protected. I don’t know how other facilities are handling this situation.

  16. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    I do not condemn anyone for going out, I know how I feel about being stuck in home.
    Today’s update from AZ Republic
    548 of 686 deaths were 65 or older
    42% were White
    17% were Native American
    16% were Hispanic
    9.54 deaths per 100,000 population
    For my part I will stay home

    • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

      I should clarify those figures are for the past four months, not today only.

    • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

      Bruce, please stay well.

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      What were the percentages of deaths for Blacks in the AZ?
      I noticed that demographic missing.

    • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

      And as Blacks make up only 4% of the population in Arizona I would assume that is why they were not listed.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      It’s tragic what’s happening to the Navajo Nation. The trickle down effect of Indian Gaming can be quite fickle.

      • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

        RV, the Indian Casinos opened and the news shows lines snaking around the buildings. Poker tables have 3 instead of 6 seats with plastic shields between players. Slot machines had more spacing and plastic shields. Las Vegas is still shut down so many are coming to Arizona casinos.
        And many Indian casinos opened in the rest of the nation too. Is WinRiver open?

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Arizona and California have both been given “Fs” for their response to coronavirus, mostly based on the lack adequate testing.

  17. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    We’re all in the same boat. Sum realize its not “steady as she goes in troubled waters”, some business as usual. Some wanna play stage games and have a salvo with their discontent in modern society outside the backwater be heard. Games usually dont kill people. War games do however kill people in mass number. The world has over 7.7 Billion people, could be considered overpopulated with over half living in poverty in third world countries. We live in a “Third World County” if you want to do comparisons and the education level is twice the local average 150 miles down or up the road!! Wow- we’re the tail of the dog and the dog is seriously ill NYC, LA etc… Our death toll numbers in Shaftya dont add up to the average Asymptomatic infection averages!! We have no testing of “pneumonia deaths” from the months prior to testing consistantly while the virus proliferated “UNCHECKED”. THERE ARE QUITE A FEW ASYMPTOMATIC CASES WALKIN AROUND IN LILY WHITE TOWN right now in real time like a time bomb with a delayed reaction mechanism attached (WE DON’T DIE IN AS HIGH A NUMBERS AS OTHER RACES, REDNEKS ARISE)!!! We’re in the same boat for different reasons RV. My Mt Bike broke post months of isolation and I took it to get fixed asap so I can continue to ride mountains solo before we return to desert conditions of summer heat. People want to ride together and ask me all the time. SORRY NO WAY! However when I got inside the bike shop I found NO ONE wearing masks but they were observing 6 ft distancing. I asked, ” Are you guys super busy?” and the answer was a resounded “YES” as I sat on my stool holding my breath envisioning asymptomatic self centered fools piling in and out the door. TIME TO BUCKLE DOWN ISOLATE FOR TWO WEEKS AGAIN AND RESUME BATTLE FORMATIONS as I learn to tool my own equipment. I was not concerned about giving Cov19 to folks because I’ve been careful up to that very moment since Feb 20th matter of fact. We live and we learn or watch our vulnerable elder population die while experiencing a mild flu WTF SHASTA HUH +!+

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Jist, I started getting very serious about novel coronavirus the same time as you. I stopped going to work as a substitute teacher March 10, my 60th birthday, on grounds that the school was an unsafe workplace. It took 8 weeks, but I finally got my unemployment and my check from DJT himself. Universal Basic Income coming. Bernie/Yang 2020

  18. Good article, R.V., and I’m really appreciating the interesting and civilized conversations on this rainy Monday morning.

    R.V., I know this is a serious topic, but I laughed out loud a few times: “… people including kids, or as I refer to them these days, vectors.” and, “Next week: R.V. learns to sew!”

  19. Avatar Jist Cuz says:

    ‘Shasta County’s website has a “drop a dime” page where you can report violations.’ Shasta County has a ‘drop a dime culture’ where you can point your finger @ your neighbors for everything from gun play to a dog wandering loose and THEY USE IT…. Gun play is dangerous per ‘culture’ and should only be engaged in by LE and “permitted” players Donnel Lang. We don’t have a culture that includes any “level playing field sanity” in the backwater and the so called “Leaders” are private interest mouthpieces at the least. Take “FAITH” in science and ANEWS people and live through it maybe… +!+

  20. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    I saw Bill Clinton at Shasta College in 2016 and the following day attended the Trump rally at the Redding Airport. I would have seen Bernie in Chico as well had time permitted. the Trump campaign offered free tickets, but cleverly required online registration which gave them one’s email address. Since then, despite never having donated a single cent, I have been repeatedly solicited to purchase merchandise, donate (Oddly, the amount of $42 is repeatedly requested. In Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy the number 42 = The Meaning of Life), and otherwise support the re-election of POTUS and his Republican enablers.

    Representing the height of irony re mask wearing, here is a solicitation from a Republican PAC:

    **Top Supporter Alert**


    Businesses around the country are starting to re-open for business, and having proper face protection becomes more important than ever.

    We are here to help! If you step up right now, we have an exclusive gift just for you. These 3 washable face masks are made right here in the United States, and are a great way to show off your patriotism.

    Trump Puzzle
    If you donate $20 (or more), you will receive this FREE GIFT of 3 MASKS. Hurry, this exclusive offer will only last for the next 24 hours!
    Donate $20
    Donate $50
    Donate $100
    Donate $200
    Thank you,

    Katherine, Merchandise Director
    Congressional Leadership Fund

    The Congressional Leadership Fund (CLF) is a super PAC exclusively dedicated to securing a Republican Majority in the House of Representatives. The Congressional Leadership Fund has the endorsement of the entire House Republican Leadership, and supports candidates who promote the values of the center-right majority.

  21. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    Fearless Leader refuses to wear a mask, but…

    Trump says he is taking hydroxychloroquine, dismisses safety concerns

    President Trump told reporters Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about a week and a half and that the White House physician knows he is taking the anti-malaria drug despite the fact he continues to test negative for the coronavirus.

    Clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis indicate that the danger of the drug is a significantly increased risk of death for certain patients, particularly those with heart problems. Trump dismissed those concerns, saying he has heard about the drug’s benefits from doctors and others he has spoken with.

    “I think it’s good. I’ve heard a lot of good stories. And if it’s not good, I’ll tell you right. I’m not going to get hurt by it,” he said. “It’s been around for 40 years — for malaria, for lupus, for other things. I take it. Frontline workers take it. A lot of doctors take it.”

    I took hydroxychloroquine daily in 1988-89 While living in West Africa.

    It proved to be ineffective to prevent malaria (which had already evolved resistance), but IIRC I had no noticeable ill effects from taking it.

    Of course, I wasn’t an old man with multiple health conditions, like trump.

    • Avatar Richard DuPertuis says:

      Just because he says he’s taking hydroxychloroquine doesn’t mean he is taking hydroxychloroquine.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        What it does tend to indicate is that trump is unfit for office due to mental disability, whether he is lying again, or not.

        “Drug promoted by Trump as coronavirus ‘game changer’ increasingly linked to deaths

        For two months, President Trump repeatedly pitched hydroxychloroquine as a safe and effective treatment for coronavirus, asking would-be patients “What the hell do you have to lose?”

        Growing evidence shows that, for many, the answer is their lives.

        Clinical trials, academic research and scientific analysis indicate that the danger of the Trump-backed drug is a significantly increased risk of death for certain patients. Evidence showing the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in treating covid-19 has been scant. Those two developments pushed the Food and Drug Administration to warn against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of a hospital setting last month, just weeks after it approved an emergency use authorization for the drug.

        Alarmed by a growing cache of data linking the anti-malaria drug to serious cardiac problems, some drug safety experts are now calling for even more forceful action by the government to discourage its use. Several have called for the FDA to revoke its emergency use authorization, given hydroxychloroquine’s documented risks…”

  22. Avatar Dan says:

    Good read RV. I do understand the whole rebellion thing some people feel about wearing masks, especially when people feel they are being lied to by “the man” or Big Brother. But masks work, not 100%, but they do work. If they didn’t work, work lab workers, medical staff, and chemical factory workers wouldn’t have worn them for the last 100 years. 140 years ago BEFORE electron microscopes, scientists were studying and publishing how saliva was being broadcast in coughs and talking with and without masks. Insisting on not wearing one during a pandemic, shows a total disreguard for oneself and others…especially CUSTOMERS. When I see employees NOT wearing masks (especially food service) I think to myself, “they really don’t care about me”. What else do they not care about? Salmonella? E-Coli? Are these the people that required those bathroom signs “Employees, Wash your hands!”?”. We will all be voting with our feet and pocketbooks much more this year, I believe. Some businesses will lose this “election”.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Yeah, I won’t anytime soon patronize any where I hear that servers and kitchen staff aren’t wearing masks. Partly, that’s because I don’t want to get the disease. Partly, that’s to support restaurants that *are* requiring masks.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        Steve, prompted by your earlier comment, I started a thread on Redding Restaurant Reviews (Facebook) asking folks what places *do* wear masks . It’s up to about ninety comments so far.

  23. Avatar George Koen says:

    It is astounding to me that a simple mask seems to wield so much power. There is nothing constitutional about a mask. It is a simple device for the health of all. Seriously, wear your mask or stay home.

  24. I agree with those who guess that the only thing that will change the anti-maskers’ minds is if the virus gets personal; a hard way to gain enlightenment.

    Here’s a story about a man who formerly believed the virus was a hoax, until he and his wife got it. His wife’s been on a ventilator for three weeks.

    • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

      I just can’t click on the link. Meanwhile, yes. It’s a “hard way to gain enlightenment.” And traveling this path takes many prisoners.

  25. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    A Positive Redding Dining Experience in the COVID-19 Era: Cicada Cantina

    By R.V. Scheide

    So today we went to one of our other favorite watering holes in Redding, Cicada Cantina at Hilltop and Presidio. I’m happy to report that the entire staff was masked up with these really cool black and green cloths masks with nifty Cicada Cantina monograms on them. We wore our masks too. I put the mask on before entering the restaurant and kept it on till my beer and tapas arrived. The tapas btw was pretty awesome. I put my mask on while walking through the place to get to the bathroom and after I finished brunch before my girlfriend.

    This was a very positive dining experience, almost like the good old post-COVID-19 days, mainly because the staff at Cicada were all masked up. The place was at maybe 15 percent of its capacity (normal for the brunch on a weekday) and none of my fellow patrons were masked up. I wish that more of them had been wearing masks, but the fact that the staff were wearing their masks and we were wearing our masks, washing our hands and keeping our distance gave me some degree of security lacking at Final Draft last Friday.

    Here’s the link:

    • Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

      We went to Gepetto’s Pizza Parlor in Burney for take-away today. Only a few of the staff were wearing masks, and most of those had them down around their chins and necks. We won’t be going back.

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