Editor’s note: Oregon’s statewide mask policy requires that most Oregonians wear masks outdoors when they cannot stay six feet from others.
I write to discuss the wearing of masks and the health issues it introduces. I am a biologist from another era, from the 1950s to the 1970s.
What I see on the streets of Klamath Falls, and in the news, makes so little sense I feel compelled to speak on the subject. I invited my friends in the current medical field to comment on my observations.
The mask is good protection if one is in a confined space with strangers — such as stores, offices or malls. But I see people alone in their cars, walking alone or with family members on near empty streets, in the parks, in the woods, on the lake — all wearing masks as if it will protect them from something. I take issue with this, because it will not.
Let me remind everyone of some basic human physiology. The human body is a marvelous machine, capable of healing itself and protecting itself every day we live. Built into our bodies is a cleansing system to rid our bodies of waste. Everyone knows about the two most common, the bowl and the bladder.
But we seem to forget that the body has two more waste disposal systems built into it to continually cleanse or system. One is the skin, our largest organ, which cleanses through sweat glands. If you doubt me, just go a few days without a bath.
The other is the nose and mouth. When we exhale, a lot more than air is expelled. With it goes expended CO2, the byproduct of digestion and cellular assimilation. Along with that goes expended germs, or more accurately bacteria and viruses.
Everyone knows from common sense that colds and flues will go through a family, because the virus is passed by air and contact. A closed house in winter is a breeding place for colds and flues — that is why we are told to “air out” the house in spring to clean out the bad air. Where has this teaching gone?
Now let me bring in the issue of the mask. When we wear the mask all the time, without considering its real protective uses, we are creating a mini-incubator, incubating our bad germs. If we do not change our mask every day, it’s even worse. The outdoor atmosphere is the place you want to exhale. It will soon kill the bacteria and viruses exhaled into it. This is how our planet’s atmosphere is designed to work.
Let’s use some common sense about wearing masks outdoors, when we are alone and when we are with family. And please wear clean masks only.
I welcome the medical community’s comments.
— Bill Matson lives in Klamath Falls.