About 50 people protesting mask wearing gathered in a downtown Maple Ridge park on Friday afternoon, with placards, materials and a general message that individual rights are not being respected in the name of fighting the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Organizers Sirene Railton and Coel Wilson have been involved with the group Unmask Our Children, since April. She said it is a growing movement, and held an earlier rally in her hometown in Abbotsford at the end of April. Wilson is from Maple Ridge.
“We went from fighting the mandated masking policies in our schools, to now it’s about the non-consent – vaccinating our children,” said Railton.
They anticipate mandatory vaccination is coming.
She said not wearing a mask is a civil right for children, and wants to protect children from negative effects. She said one of her children has a learning barrier, and having to wear a mask makes it worse. She said it also causes anxiety.
“These kids shouldn’t have anxiety. They shouldn’t be worried about killing grandma and grandpa – why are we putting this responsibility on children, to save the life of someone else,” she said.
She has a teen who wears a mask in school, as her own decision, but her younger children don’t.
Carine Lessard-Fowler is a Maple Ridge resident who attended and appreciated the message.
She asserts that children generally don’t transmit the virus, and their recovery rate when they have COVID-19 is greater than 99 per cent.
“There’s no need for them to be covered up,” she said, adding that her family takes vitamins and minerals to strengthen their immune system. “It’s your immune system that does the job.”
“Children should breathe, and so should we.”
Many people showed up ready to march, which placards reading: “No liability. No medical experiments on humans! No oxygen – no life!”
The literature they offered said dirty masks can increase respiratory infections, impair social development, impair breathing, enable anonymous crime and more.
The Centre For Disease Control says mask use does not raise the carbon dioxide level in the air you breathe.
“A cloth mask does not provide an airtight fit across the face. The CO2 completely escapes into the air through the cloth mask when you breathe out or talk. CO2 molecules are small enough to easily pass through any cloth mask material. In contrast, the respiratory droplets that carry the virus that causes COVID-19 are much larger than CO2, so they cannot pass as easily through a properly designed and properly worn cloth mask,” said the CDC.
The latest data updates used by CDC, published May 7, says wearing a mask has no significant adverse health effects.
“Mask use has been found to be safe and is not associated with clinically significant impacts on respiration or gas exchange. Adopting universal masking policies can help avert future lockdowns, especially if combined with other non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing, hand hygiene, and adequate ventilation.”
The death toll from COVID-19 in B.C. is 1,692, including a toddler.
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