24 July 2020

[Ellis Millsaps] - Who Is That Masked Man? Part I

As you know there's a blight of bad news out there, some getting worse daily, but I've seen two items recently that give me hope.

 A week ago today (today being July 5th) I saw a clip on TV where a reporter wanted to find out how effective facial masks are in controlling covid-19 spread. He visited a researcher and they conducted a test. Somehow the scientist set up eight disks coated  in something that could  retain water droplets and, after bacteria formed, display them on the disks.

 The reporter performed four times without a mask: talking, singing, coughing and sneezing and then repeated the experiment wearing a simple cloth mask. With the maskless test the drops ranged from a sprinkle with talking to a deluge with sneezing. To my amazement there was a zero transfer of  droplets through the mask even while sneezing.

 I was astounded.  Initially scientists told us masks didn't help. Now it appears they are near perfectly effective in preventing transfer of the virus. What that says to me is that if everyone wore masks in all social situations the spread of the virus would be stopped cold. In four weeks we could take them off and go on about our business.

 We need a federal mandate to require masks. We're not going to get that before January but some states have done this and all could.

 The problem is enforcement. We're going about this backward. We don't have the resources to expend looking for people without masks and citing them. The onus should be placed on businesses and all other places open to the public. All should post signs saying no one may enter without a mask. Law enforcement officials should make random spot checks on establishments. If there's anyone inside not wearing a mask, shut the business down for a week for the first offence.

  Some people will disregard the Walmart greeters and enter anyway. You know, those people who insist they have some spurious right to disregard  public health. ( You may not wish to vaccinate your children but you can't send them to school without doing so. Same principle) When this happens the business must call the authorities who will arrest that person.

 The second bit of hopeful news is that many large corporations are boycotting Facebook and the list is growing. Facebook can control false information, hate speech and conspiracy theories; they just have no incentive. Facebook is a major reason we now have an inept president.

 The next move is for the boycott organizers to provide a list of companies who advertise on Facebook and encourage consumers to boycott those companies. That would bring Zuckerberg to the table. No more “We know we have a problem and we’re working on it.”

Part II to follow...

Ellis "Da" Millsaps is a recovering Attorney but has worn many hats over the years: father, bus boy, stand-up comedian, novelist, wiffle ball player, rock'n'roll band manager, and at one time wrote a popular and funny column for The Covington News. A Fannin Co. mountain boy originally, Mr. Millsaps now stays at the mill village of Porterdale by way of 20 years in Mansfield. Usually funny and at times irreverent and subversive, he leans left in his political philosophy but can always be counted on for a pretty darn good write-up. The Chronicles are proud to have him involved...