Dear Editor

I read with great interest the letters to the editor in the The Review of March 9, as I always do. It does rather begin to feel like a discussion is being had through the pages of a newspaper, but jaw-jaw is better than war-war, as it were.

I thought I would take a few words to clear things up since there appear to be misunderstandings about a previous letter or two I have written. This is unfortunate. I’m not, as a rule, too keen to be misrepresented so I will try to keep things as simple as possible in order to prevent further issues. I aim to be brief.

Calling for people to get along with each other after throwing veiled insults and misinterpreting their words is wrong. For too long the people who want to help society have had to put up with rank ignorance, privileged entitlement and worse, and been told to ‘just get along.’ We do so because we care, but at some point we have to stop and say no, this is far enough. Should this sound incorrect, I’d encourage research on the word “enablement.”

Mask mandates save lives. They reduce infection by up to 95 per cent if worn by a COVID-positive patient (if the other person is vaccinated) (source: Excel Labs).

If you can count to three, you can put on a mask (it takes around three seconds) (source: my children putting on masks).

Wearing a mask does not in fact infringe on your rights. (source: anyone with a legal background looking at the Charter).

Not wearing a mask may well infringe on the rights of others around you to actually continue to live a healthy life. Or just, you know, to live. (Source: Most people with a medical education).

COVIDhas been shown to cross the blood-brain barrier with correspondent damage to brain tissue (source: Nature, July 7 2021).

That we needed mask mandates at all says a great deal about the state we find ourselves in. (Source: my own sad observation).

This is not panic, these are facts.

On other things…

Waving a flag does not make you a patriot, especially if you are using it as a shield for you to try to, for instance, overthrow governments, harass other people who are not like you, or generally harass those who choose to wear a mask for the safety of others.

Waving a flag next to other flags containing offensive and violent symbols doesn’t make you a patriot either.

We are all cogs in the machine. All of us. It is our responsibility to look out for those who are less well off than we may be and fight for equity. It is our responsibility to point out when others have been radicalized. It is our responsibility to use the gifts we have to help others.

All trades, mine included, require a great deal of training and patience. I confess I can’t drive semis, although in the army I have driven trucks. I confess I can’t saw a straight line. Brain surgery isn’t my forte either. Like all in these trades and skills and more, I am proud to be good at what I do. it’s taken 30 years to get here and I’m damned if I will let intelligence be used by others as some kind of an offence.

The fact that we are about to head into a disaster is not of the making of those of us who choose to wear masks, or are smart, or want to help others, or care about things like the environment. Everything that happens as a result of removing mask mandates is on the Premier, shouldered jointly with people who think privilege is freedom.

And so, here we all sit, happily contemplating a future which quite frankly is in question for all of us, regardless of the outcome of Covid or Ukraine, because as the UN noted a week or so ago, we are basically out of time to save what planet we have left. As the saying goes, stick a fork in us and turn us over, we’re done.

May I humbly suggest that caring for others, caring for the world around us, and caring for the future of what we leave behind is a fitting way for us all to get along, and for us all to face, with some dignity, the catastrophe we have all brought about.

With best wishes,

Dr. Stephen Marsh