We’ve been talking about this for the last two days. Doing so by no means compromises my sabbatical; after all, the topic is health, medical science and public safety.
Politics is the seasoning, not the main course.
Pandemically speaking, a mask ordinance is NECESSARY in NA, rather than a non-binding resolution. Democrats can do it, if they choose.
Typically toothless city council mask resolution proves that even a pandemic can’t compel New Albany’s Democrats to actually GOVERN.
Following is a letter written to city council members yesterday by Kate Caufield.
Good afternoon, New Albany city council members!
I’m writing today to urge you to adopt a mask ordinance for the City of New Albany, when indoors or in areas where social distancing cannot be observed.
We are in a pandemic.
There are some things we know for sure about COVID-19, regardless of our personal views as to the politics of a virus (viruses aren’t political and don’t much care whether you attribute their existence to US politics or not, and are just happy to have a host.) We know that there are several risk factors that cause citizens to become infected more easily, more severely, and with higher mortality rates than others.
These risk factors include:
- Heart Conditions
- Kidney Conditions
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Anyone immuno-compromised (cancer, etc)
- Type 1 Diabetes
- Autoimmune disorders
There are many people that don’t believe they are at increased risk, or that the higher risk only includes other people, but not them.
The truth is, those most at risk of the worst effects of COVID-19 aren’t a small percentage of our city’s residents.
34.8% of New Albanians are over 50.
31.4% of Hoosiers are obese, making us the 8th most obese state in the nation. https://www.newsandtribune.com/news/clark_county/indiana-s-obesity-ranking-is-8th-among-50-states/article_4eda5a8a-c816-5ca7-ba84-396cd34a2407.html
12.9% of Hoosiers have a diabetes diagnosis.
35.2% of adults in Indiana have high blood pressure.
7% of the US population suffers from some autoimmune disorder. https://www.gene.com/stories/autoimmune-disease-101
21.8% of Hoosiers smoke.
10% of Hoosiers have asthma.
While I can’t extrapolate the true percentage of Americans, Hoosiers, or New Albanians who are at risk, it is not a small amount and at the most cursory of glances is 30% plus.
30%+ plus of New Albanians are high risk for COVID-19.
Because of this, I am asking that we come together as a city and show empathy, compassion, and goodwill towards each other, by wearing a mask. I had certainly hoped that we could do so on our own. However, a walk through the grocery store, hardware store, or department store shows that selfishness abounds.
Indeed, this past weekend, parents organized a social event for their children that brought in 160+ teenagers without masks and without social distancing, and with no regard to others’ health- not to mention those of their families who may fall into that 30% plus with an increased risk from the virus.
Are masks effective in helping prevent COVID-19? The answer is YES. Please see this study from the University of California at San Francisco. This article provides links to several studies: https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent
If a western institute of learning isn’t worth your perusal, please consider this from the Mayo Clinic. MASKS ARE EFFECTIVE.
In closing, I’ve provided evidence that the risk for New Albany residents is substantially higher than it appears, due to the enhanced risk factors above.
Additionally, I’ve also provided evidence that masks DO WORK in the fight against COVID. Please do the right thing — not the selfish or political thing, the RIGHT thing — and pass a mandatory mask mandate for New Albany when one is inside or cannot social distance outside.
There’s nothing wrong with adding language that calls for review at each City Council meeting, either, as we learn more.