Piatt Co. (ECWd) -
We received multiple communications after a local citizen in Piatt County posted a meme pictured below on a Monticello Facebook discussion forum. When I addressed the misinformation with the poster, rather than recognize how misinformation does more harm than good when it comes to people following Executive Orders, the person took to personal attacks and blocked me after I set the record straight, which ended up removing the truth and leaving the misinformation.
Executive Order #30 - "Any individual who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face-covering (a mask or cloth face-covering) shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face-covering when in a public place and unable to maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings are required in public indoor spaces such as stores."
Darren Bailey had obtained a TRO from the Governor's prior Executive Order which had nothing to do with EO#30 that was issued after Bailey's court hearing.
While there is an EO issued, many have questioned the constitutionality of the Governor mandating what people are to wear, in this case, a mask over the mouth and nose. The purpose of this article is not to address those legal questions as we are quite confident those issues will be handled by the courts as this moves forward. Our purpose in this article is two-fold, to answer all the questions we have been getting on this, one time, rather than each and every time we get asked, and to set the record straight from those basically lying to the general public.
The wearing of a mask inside a store/gas station depends on the owner of those facilities and what they want. Much like a store can say no shoes, no shirt, no service, they could include the same for a face mask. If they do not require it, then a person would not be required to wear a mask as the government, to our knowledge, does not have the power to tell a business owner what a customer has to wear to visit their place of business.
A person with a medical condition is exempt from the order in question, a key point missing from the misinformation the person posted. The wearing of a mask may reduce one's oxygen level which depending on other underlying conditions could cause more harm than any perceived good from wearing the mask, thus the exemption.
Considering the EO makes no reference to any person named Darran Bailey being exempt, no exemption exists for those with that name, contrary to the person's claim.
Masks and their effective purpose
As a Veteran and current EMT, I have been through more biological/chemical/nuclear training than I can count. Part of my EMS training included the medical training for warfare agents such as blistering agents and the nerve agent VX, which was conducted at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds in Maryland. It was through years of training and preparing that the importance of truth in information is so vital to keeping myself safe first. If I am unable to do my job I am of no value to others that need our help. From Level -A hazmat suits, chem-warfare suits, to the basic n95 face mask, I have been trained on all of them and worn all of them. Each and every one has a purpose.
While we understand the Governor has mandated people to wear masks, let's be honest about the matter. The Governor is not issuing masks. Stores, at least those I have contacted, don't have any to sell, and if they did, many require you to wear a mask to come into the store. So we are ordered to wear something that most people don't have and even if we could afford to go buy one, we can't get into the store to buy it because we don't have it. Reminds me of Abbott and Costello, Who's on First?
If you are fortunate to actually obtain a mask designed for the purpose of stopping you from spreading the disease to others, we urge further education.
Since we are in Illinois and our Governor is claiming to be relying on the expert's input when making his decisions, let's hear the opinion of Dr. Brosseau, a national expert on respiratory protection and infectious diseases and professor (retired), University of Illinois at Chicago.
A historical overview of cloth masks notes their use in US healthcare settings starting in the late 1800s, first as source control on patients and nurses and later as PPE by nurses.20
Kellogg,21 seeking a reason for the failure of cloth masks required for the public in stopping the 1918 influenza pandemic, found that the number of cloth layers needed to achieve acceptable efficiency made them difficult to breathe through and caused leakage around the mask. We found no well-designed studies of cloth masks as source control in household or healthcare settings.
In sum, given the paucity of information about their performance as source control in real-world settings, along with the extremely low efficiency of cloth masks as filters and their poor fit, there is no evidence to support their use by the public or healthcare workers to control the emission of particles from the wearer.
While there is plenty more information in the above-linked article, the truth of the matter appears to be pointing to wearing masks to ease people's fears as a step to going back to work. While we pray everyone continues with the sound practices of social distancing and regular washing of your hands, please don't get trapped into the false belief your homemade mask is actually stopping the spread as the experts have clearly said, there is no evidence they control the emission of particles from the wearer.
We thank the poster of the misinformation meme as it provided, once again, an opportunity for the truth to be told and educate people on that truth.