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  • Mask Controversy Frustrating as a Chronically-Ill Patient

    Posted by Charlene Marshall on July 26, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Wearing a mask in public is likely something many members of this forum are used to doing, and have been for years. Previously, we’ve discussed the awkwardness of wearing a mask in public but with the global pandemic, the necessity now trumps any awkwardness associated with mask-wearing.


    Lately my entire newsfeed on various social media pages is filled with the controversy and arguments over wearing a mask. It’s really irritating, especially to hear people say that wearing one infringes on their personal rights and freedoms, or that wearing a mask makes your 02 saturations plummet. My personal “favourite” is when I hear others link politics with the importance of wearing a mask, and how it is in an effort to control us all.

    Everyone as a right to their personal beliefs, and I respect that. What irritates me (can you tell?) is when these opinions are pushed upon others who don’t feel the same way, or upon those who believe in the benefit(s) of wearing a mask as outlined by the World Health Organization, the CDC and many other credible leading health organizations. Believe me, I’ve been sick with COVID-19 and you don’t want to catch this virus!

    I recently wrote a column on the mask controversy and within it, I listed numerous credible articles/URLs on the importance of wearing a mask. My hope is that these links can be shared with people creating the controversy around wearing a mask amid a global pandemic.


    As a patient living with IPF/PF: how are you handling the mask controversy and others’ opinions about not wearing one?

    ** Please be respectful in any/all replies to this post. Your opinions are welcome, as long as you remain open to hearing others’ opinions as well who may disagree with you. Posts that are disrespectful will be removed. 


    carol-carmack replied 3 years, 4 months ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • cherylk

    July 28, 2020 at 6:50 pm

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but every day that I listen to the news on the updated Covid-19 new case and death tole statistics, it just boggles my mind how somehow wearing a mask became not only a political issue, but a moral issue as well.

    Being a PF patient on O2 for the past year, I knew back in February that I probably needed to take precautions and wear a mask just for my own protection.  By the end of March with the pandemic full blown I became a “rule follower” and went by the guidelines recommended.  I never once thought about my civil rights, only that I wanted to play a part in “flattening the curve”.  Even with all of the unknowns at that time, I was educated enough to know that the situation was already bad and going to get worse if actions weren’t taken and guidelines followed.

    It’s been very disheartening to see all of the people out and about not wearing masks or following social distancing guidelines. It’s hard for me to swallow at how selfish we are as a human race. We as PF patients already know how scary it can be to catch a breath.  What part of seeing a picture of someone on a ventilator do people not understand?This could be you or your loved one!  I do  not and have not seen the harm in wearing a mask since the start of the pandemic.  I know I have protected myself as best I can, and hopefully protected others by wearing a mask.  I just wish others didn’t have such  trouble figuring that out.

    I will close with a statement I heard early on and I feel is apropos to our current situation:  It’s  bettert be six feet apart than six feet under”.

  • karen-martin

    July 29, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Just yesterday the governor of my state, Virginia, was asked how he would respond to people who claim the virus is a hoax and we don’t need to wear masks or practice social distancing. I thought the response he gave was wonderful. He said, “I would suggest that they talk to someone who has had the virus or lost a family member to the virus. Tell them to talk to someone who has been on a ventilator…and then LISTEN to what they have to say.” Unfortunately, most of the time these people are so enamored of their own voices and views that the listening part gets lost. Maybe yet another good reason to put a mask on?

  • Charlene Marshall

    July 29, 2020 at 11:07 am

    I love this post @cherylk !
    You speak so eloquently, and I agree with everything you’ve written here. I love the comment on how you thought of yourself as playing a part in “flattening the curve”. I wish everyone looked at it this way, this is a collaborative effort and we’re truly all in this together… it’s an invisible war we’re fighting, essentially. I agree with the sentiment you closed with as well re: being 6 ft apart vs. 6 ft under. When people argue to me about wearing a mask, I often reply with the following statement: “if you don’t like wearing a mask, you sure won’t like a ventilator”. I know that isn’t my “best self” speaking because I am usually irritated by that point, but as someone who has been on a ventilator, I can’t understand this mask controversy.

    Thanks for writing and contributing your thoughts Cheryl!

  • Charlene Marshall

    July 29, 2020 at 11:12 am


    Hi Karen,

    Thank you so much for writing and sharing this with us. The Governor’s response was brilliant, I agree. Unfortunately, many of the people creating the controversy around wearing a mask are likely (this is an assumption) those who have not been touched by the virus personally, and I hope they aren’t. However, that might be what it takes for them to understand. Isn’t that sad?  Thanks for sharing your thoughts – this is a tough topic for me, but I knew posting it here would generate good discussion, reassuring me that other’s believe in the importance of wearing a mask!


  • carol-carmack

    July 30, 2020 at 10:55 pm

    I wear the mask but I am very doubtful that they do any good. I wear it so I don’t worry or upset others who think they work. But air passes through them and the germs of a virus are small and many say they don’t protect you but do protect  other people. That doesn’t make sense to me. If the germ can go out, it can come in. So I will continue to wear it in instances where I’m unable to practice social distancing.

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