David Kempf, in his October 15 letter “Mask warrants killing our planet” advocating the end of mask warrants to keep plastic out of the oceans, confuses public health policy with environmental issues.
We are in the midst of a historic pandemic in which masks have been proven to hamper the spread of COVID. It would be utterly irresponsible to end mask mandates and sacrifice lives under the rather fragile pretext of supporting the environment. In fact, you can both impose mask warrants and ban the use of disposable plastic face coverings.
Nonetheless, I support Mr Kempf’s concerns about ocean pollution. If governments are to tackle this problem, there must be strict regulations for all kinds of plastic products – bottles, wrappers, wrappers, household utensils and toys have been transported across the ocean via the rivers for many decades, and about 20% of this disaster is made up of plastics used in commercial fishing gear.
Certainly, it makes sense to avoid using cheap plastic for COVID face covers when studies indicate that multi-layered fabric coverings are more effective at filtering out infected droplets than disposable plastic face masks.
I hope Mr. Kempf is sincere in his environmental beliefs: that he avoids eating commercial fish, that he does not buy drinks or food in plastic containers, and that he wears covers. fabric faces in interior spaces.
I would also assume that he doesn’t support Republican deregulation of environmental protection, and I would also assume that he doesn’t just use environmental concerns as a smokescreen for Republican antipathy to all of the mandates of health issues that deal with the harms of COVID. Otherwise, he simply trolls us.