Letter to council: Masks don’t work, end the mandate before you kill our town

19 Aug

Dear Council and Staff,

Thank you for rescheduling last night’s meeting. This morning there was ash all over my front patio and in spider webs around my yard.  It would have been onerous to have to stand out in 3-digit heat and deadly air quality, and the alternative – another closed meeting – is unacceptable.


You may have read this – a study of 14 masks at Duke University recently went viral. Here’s one article that details the findings:



 “It’s not the case that any mask is better than nothing,” he said. “There are some masks that actually hurt rather than do good.”

​The study showed that gaitors, bandanas, and homemade masks are actually bad – watch the video – “the porous fabric seems to break bigger particles into smaller particles, which are more likely to linger in the air.”


Meanwhile this study confirmed what I have suspected – the N95’s are the only ones that truly protect anybody, followed not too closely by real surgical masks with three layers of material. 


Right now N95’s are going for as much as $5 per mask. The boxes my husband and I used to buy for about $1 a mask are all sold out and Home Depot reports they are donating those to hospitals. Doesn’t this come under the “no gouging” ordinance you passed after the Camp Fire? I have not heard of one business being cited for gouging, but you threaten $1,000 for not wearing a mask? 


While the faux surgical masks are cheaper and more available,  they are not nearly as good according to the study. Wearing those outside with smoke and ash, I can feel ash moving in and out. They’re one size fits all and if you’re not the right size, too bad for you. I also see most people leaving their nose out, people wearing them like a beard on their chin, and people wearing outrageously filthy masks. I also see them all over the ground at retail centers, like those “single use plastic bags” Ann banned a few years back.

Those bags certainly made a comeback, when it was determined reusable bags are unsanitary and stores asked us to leave them in our cars. And at first, they gave us the film bags for free – now they are charging us again. That’s more gouging. 

Finally, I’ll say, it’s true, people get a false sense of security from masks. Every trip to the grocery store I have people wearing useless “face diapers” step right into my body space, some actually bump and touch. 

The new fines for not masking are outrageous. You put fascist rules on law-abiding citizens while you allow transients to destroy our parks and waterways, and threaten the local economy. You say your hands are tied by Newsom’s mandate, but elsewhere communities are standing up and law enforcement agencies are refusing to enforce. The mask mandate is not about safety, it’s about conformity.  Don’t you people have the guts to stand up for your constituents? Would you really rather kill the local economy than stand up to Sacramento? 

Is it really that the city is just too dependent on the state for money? Because our local economy is so weak, we have to take handouts for stuff like declaring a shelter crisis in order to pay staffers and their pension deficit? 

Sincerely, Juanita Sumner

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