By Autumn Davidson DVM, MS, DACVIM
(This all means I went to graduate school for 12 years including 6 memorable ones at UC Berkeley in the 1970s)
Dear Three Rivers:
I am saddened by the fact that my effort to provide educational articles about face masks as a scientifically proven way to diminish the transmission of COVID-19 was perceived as insulting to The Thingerie volunteers. I meant no disrespect. I love The Thingerie, donate many “things,” and am a supporting member of the Three Rivers Woman’s Club. I am grateful for the support the Woman’s Club has given over the years to the Dr. Davidson’s Veterinary Fund* (charitable support for Three River’s pet owners, see description below). Face Masks and COVID
Counterpoint #1: My statement of “ignorance” was just that. “Ignorance” is defined as:
Noun: lack of knowledge or information
The response to my request for the cashier to wear a mask was met with the statement, “I don’t need to wear a mask as I was tested 2 weeks ago when I was ill, and I was negative.”
Having a negative COVID test does not rule out exposure or infection (possibly asymptomatic) in the following 2 weeks. This statement revealed how uninformed the cashier was. Face Masks and COVID
I am ignorant about car mechanics. That is not insulting, I am just uninformed.
The Thingerie does not have a barrier at its counter (as the Market, Sierra Subs, Subway, and the Merc do, for example), making mask wearing even more important. The fact that the cashier was having an animated conversation with an unmasked customer 18 inches away (who by the way snapped up my dog bed donation before it could even hit the shelf) confirmed my opinion that mask wearing was not being encouraged at all. Hence, I wrote my first letter to educate/inform. To get rid of ignorance. Face Masks and COVID
Counterpoint #2: My comment about “inconsideration” was also straightforward. “Inconsideration” is defined as:
Noun: Lack of due consideration, inattention to consequences, thoughtlessness
The cashier’s refusal to put on a mask, per The Thingerie protocol, even after my polite request, reflected a lack of consideration. I was a donor and wanted to be a customer that day. I am in a high-risk category, as are many in Three Rivers. She is in a high-risk category too! My inclusion of scientifically founded articles about mask-wearing in my letter were intended to educate about consequences, in hopes of provoking thought and consideration of the facts.
Counterpoint #3: My statement about being “insulted” was just that as well. “Insult” is defined as:Face Masks and COVID
Verb: If you insult someone, you have offended that person
I was offended that even when politely requested, the cashier refused to put on a mask. I was not requesting this for political reasons. I requested it because I am worried about contracting COVID-19.
As a veterinarian, I feel obligated to share knowledge. I teach senior veterinary students at UC Davis, and love doing it. Interestingly, veterinarians have been dealing with coronaviruses for 50+ years. It has proven to be a horribly difficult virus to treat or cure, and effective vaccines have evaded us, even though they have been the lifelong work of the best infectious disease veterinary scientists in the world.
So far, COVID-19 has only made a few pets ill, but it has been established that humans with COVID-19 can transmit it to their pets. Luckily, so far, transmission from pets back to humans has not been recognized. The situation with mink farms may be different. We veterinarians are all very worried about COVID-19. Face Masks and COVID
*What is Dr. Davidson’s Veterinary Fund?
The Dr. Davidson’s Veterinary Fund was created in 2014 to assist financially challenged Three Rivers’ residents with veterinary care for their pets. Dr. Davidson donates her time and Lone Oak Veterinary Clinic discounts their fees when the Veterinary Fund is used. Pet owners pay what they can afford, and the fund makes up the rest.
Most commonly, the fund is used for dental care for geriatric dogs and cats, anesthesia and surgery for tumor removal, blood tests, and house calls for hospice care.
Most importantly, the fund allows Dr. Davidson to say…
“WE CAN HELP”
Response to original opinion:Face Masks and COVID