I was quite surprised and upset to see the letter from Bev Hall labelled “Face mask sceptic” published (Weekender August 5). I would have thought your paper had a moral and legal obligation to NOT publish harmful and false information regarding COVID-19. This letter is extremely harmful to the public because all her facts are wrong, misleading, and harmful!
All media should be held accountable for misleading information on COVID-19, even a small local paper such as yours! I suggest you be more careful on what you publish in the future.
Jacque Van Buren, Albany
Great Southern Weekender Editor’s note: We publish all readers’ letters providing they are family-friendly, not defamatory and we have the space. While some letters may show an incomplete grasp of scientific or other facts we welcome input from informed citizens who wish to set the record straight. Readers this is your page, and we love getting mail.
Bev Hall’s “Face mask sceptic” letter (Weekender August 5) shows a fairly common lack of scientific knowledge about infection and how it spreads from one person to another through the air.
Viruses, like those that cause COVID-19 or the common cold, do not waft through the air like a gas.
To survive in the air they must be suspended in tiny droplets of water that form when you sneeze or cough, and some can even form when you speak.
If you cough into a handkerchief or breathe into a mask the absorbent fibres will catch these droplets and stop them going any further, along with the viruses they carry.
This is why mask wearing is always recommended during lockdown, to prevent people who may already be infected from spreading the disease through the air.
On the other hand when you break wind, you do not release “tiny poo particles”, you release a gas.
This is made up of molecules which are much smaller than a virus, and much much smaller than a droplet of water.
They mix freely with the molecules such as carbon dioxide that make up the air, and for this reason, as Bev Hall pointed out, a piece of cloth won’t stop the smell getting through.
George, Spencer Park.
Bev Hall’s recent article regarding her analogy of a person inhaling poo particles from another person’s fart is factually incorrect. The gases that comprise a fart can be revoltingly unpleasant. However those noisy or “silent but deadly farts” pose no danger to society.
After researching medical articles, fart experts and opinions online I could find nothing to substantiate Bev’s claim. However I did come across an article where a nurse had asked the question of whether or not farting in an operating room would contaminate the environment.
This prompted a microbiologist to carry out an experiment. He had a colleague direct a fart toward two petri dishes 5cm away: once with his pants on and once with his pants off. Only the unclothed fart grew bacteria!
This experiment proved that only by positioning your nose 5cm or less near a naked butt could you then actually inhale “airborne bacterial laden droplets of poop” [source: British Medical Journal]. What a relief! After nearly 30 years of teaching class sizes from 24 – 30 children and multiple daily farts I can rest assured that my lungs are not filled with crap!
Bev’s article may give vulnerable people, in our community, the idea that they are being conned into believing that mask wearing is a way of enforcing population compliance, and an erosion of freedom, rather than protection against a deadly virus. That is a “dangerous” message to own!
Masks do prevent droplets of saliva from being projected from your mouth to someone else’s nose/mouth and are just one part of the solution to combating and protecting everyone against deadly infectious outbreaks of virus and diseases like Covid 19-Delta strain.
Personally, I want to be a part of the solution and comply with the experts’ advice.
Sheryl Reynolds, Narrikup.
Why would anyone feel “insulted” to receive a $300 payment on becoming fully inoculated against COVID-19, when Scott Morrison and his fellow Federal MPs and Senators receive a DAILY allowance of $291 for travel, meals and incidental expenses, every day they are in Canberra? (Source: Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority.)
Contrast this with the measly $43 a day on which unemployed Australians are supposed to exist, pay rent and transport and seek employment, and the average 93 cents a day in “extra allowances” these Australians actually receive. Scott Morrison and his social security Minister Ruston often allude to these “extra allowances”, without revealing their magnitude. Small wonder! The truth is embarrassing – and one that really is an “insult to Australians”.
Marilyn Beech, Spencer Park