Face Masks and COVID-19: Response to the Response

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

https://3riversnews.com/wearing-face-masks-the-thingerie-is-not-the-mask-police/

Original opinion:

https://3riversnews.com/wearing-face-masks-the-scientifically-proven-way-to-reduce-spread-of-covid-19/

22 thoughts on “Face Masks and COVID-19: Response to the Response

  • October 23, 2020 at 8:03 am
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    I appreciate Dr. Davidson’s thoughtful comments on mask wearing. It saddens me that this has become yet one more political hot-button issue, when it is merely common sense, based on solid medical research. It is not very comfortable to wear a mask for an extended period of time, but it is surely worth the discomfort if you prevent even one case of this virus from spreading. PLEASE wear masks, for all of our sakes!

    Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 8:56 am
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    Thank you for the thoughtful article. These are difficult times with tough choices. My philosophy has always been to support local businesses and i still do as much as possible. But i now have a caveat if you cannot wear a mask you do not need my business. To me a mask is a sign of respect and concern. You wear a seat belt when you drive why not wear a mask? Yes it is inconvenient but what about doctors, nurses and other first responders wearing full PPE for 12 plus hours watching people die some of them needlessly. I am wise enough to know that none of this will likely change one person’s mind but I am optimistic enough to hope it might.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 8:59 am
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    Wow:

    “This all means I went to graduate school for 12 years including 6 memorable ones at UC Berkeley in the 1970s.”

    Condescension, n: Act or expression intended conveying one’s subjectively held belief that one is superior to others, especially small town bumpkins.

    I stopped reading right there.

    Reply
    • October 23, 2020 at 10:37 am
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      “I stopped reading right there.” Most likely that explains a lot right there.

      Reply
      • October 23, 2020 at 5:04 pm
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        Explains what? All I am saying is that I tune out when people talk down to me.

        I don’t do that and see no reason why anyone else should.

        I also think it is a particularly gauche and vapid form of intellectual bullying to flaunt one’s academic credentials. I would kind of expect people to agree with that, but maybe I’m just insecure about my own lack of academic achievement.

        Reply
        • October 23, 2020 at 7:24 pm
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          No insult intended. I was actually responding to a previous comment about being a “Berkeley vet”. I am a UC Davis veterinarian, not a Berkeley veteran. It took me awhile to figure out what that meant.
          I try to relay evidence based scientific information hoping people will take me seriously.

          Reply
    • October 23, 2020 at 1:22 pm
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      Please, keep reading! Don’t dismiss the point because of a perceived slight! This is an important discussion for this community to have!

      Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 10:46 am
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    I usually do not share my opinions, but I am going to in the case of the “Mask, no Mask” debate. From my limited knowledge about the covid 19 virus a consensus seems to indicate that the wearing of a mask MAY reduce the chance of spreading the virus from one person to another. I have not seen any reports indicating that the wearing of a mask increases the spread of the virus. Therefore, since we have a population in Three Rivers that may be at an increased risk of bad results from acquiring this virus, it seems the wise choice would be for people to wear a mask when they are in close proximity to others outside their family unit.
    The Three Rivers Womans Club and the Thingerie that it operates are and have been tremendous assets to our community. I think it would be wise for the operators of the Thingerie to publicize that its policy during this pandemic is that attendants and customers will be encouraged to wear a mask while in the facility and to apologize for any lapses in this policy that may have occurred.
    Probably the same policy should be adopted by other establishments serving the public.

    Reply
    • October 23, 2020 at 2:52 pm
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      Well said Rusty. You need to share more you seem like a thoughtful person.

      Reply
    • October 24, 2020 at 10:05 pm
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      Rusty- as stated earlier, it IS the posted policy of the Thingerie that all volunteers and customers are required to wear masks. It has been posted and required since June 18th when the governor made the mandate. Autumn caught one volunteer with her mask down and we are now being portrayed as the poster child of the anti mask agenda! This has gotten so out of hand and is so unfair!!!

      Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 10:46 am
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    Wearing a facemask for a short time when in a business is a lot more comfortable than lying in a hospital bed with a tube down your throat.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 12:58 pm
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    I’m also appreciative of the notice that Autumn gave about Three Rivers’ businesses not complying with simple Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations of wearing masks & maintaining social distancing. These are such small things to ask if it means protecting our neighbors.

    Sure it’s a choice, not a law. My consequent choice is not to do business with those who don’t care enough about my welfare to even do the minimum of wearing a mask. I hope store managers & owners see the wisdom of rethinking their store’s COVID safety policies. It’s really not in their best interest to drive customer’s away because of lax, uncaring health practices.

    Reply
  • October 23, 2020 at 2:00 pm
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    An additional thanks to Autumn for providing information on pets contracting COVID-19. I’d wondered about that.

    Reply

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