Letters to The Editor 06-03-20

Published 9:03 pm Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Governor’s decree not based in science


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

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I read Gov. Ralph Northam’s decree on masks with this quote: “Science increasingly shows us that the virus spreads less easily when everyone is wearing face coverings.” While I am data driven and mostly a liberal, his decree is not based on the science the CDC recommended,

and Dr. Daniel Carey, secretary of health and human resources for the commonwealth, should know this and have told the governor that his decree was not based on the available science and is therefore a waste of time for the citizens of the commonwealth.

A surgical or medical mask is not recommended by the CDC. Period! Wearing one should entail a fine if not wearing a mask entails a fine. This is mainly because it is ineffective in doing much of anything except stopping transmission of airborne bacteria, which are large (0.2-2 micrometers) in comparison to viruses (20-500 nanometers).

As the current version of the coronavirus lasts in the air and on surfaces 10 to 100 times longer than most common cold and flu viruses, surgical masks give a false sense of security to the wearer and can trap airborne coronaviruses from others for inhalation by the victim wearing the mask. This is a direct line to the respiratory system, which the virus attacks. 

I will never wear one of these masks as they increase my exposure to the virus. Therefore, the CDC does not recommend surgical masks for coronavirus prevention.

My main concern is that nobody, including Dr. Carey, seems to have read the part of the CDC recommendation that says the mask alone is not where the protection lies. It is the washing of your hands after touching anything and never touching your face except after washing

your hands. The mask just makes you aware not to touch your face.

I hate to use facts and logic in today’s world of “everyone has their own facts and truth and logic be damned”; however, plain and simple, Gov. Northam’s decree is useless when compared to the facts the CDC has laid out from their scientific studies, the current capability of the world’s drug manufacturers, and current state and federal law.

Now, only an idiot would criticize without putting forward an alternative. My alternative is based on the facts the CDC recommends and epidemiology. Stay quarantined. Mandate that essential workers have clean-shaven faces so they can effectively wear an N95 mask or better – supplied by their company – and wash or sanitize their hands and surfaces they and the public touch constantly. 

When the number of cases in the commonwealth starts to trend down and stays trending down

for 14 days (the current assumed incubation period for the virus, but of course, this can change as we learn more about it) and hospitals have rooms for COVID patients, then start to open businesses.

Finally, mandate clean-shaven faces and N95-style masks for the public ONLY for another 14 days (NO EXCEPTIONS but have ways for the elderly and those that can’t wear masks to get services like food delivery, etc…).  Then rescind mandatory masks and see what happens.  If cases rocket back up, start over again and use 28 days instead of 14.

I urge all commonwealth delegates and senators to reject Gov. Northam’s decree and do what the science tells you, which I have laid out here. I know my delegate, Emily Brewer, R-Suffolk, and senator, Tommy Norment, R-Williamsburg, will ignore the science as they have done so many times before and use rhetoric as “science.”


Dr. Robert Singleterry




He appreciates bipartisan action


Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Thanks to our federal elected officials for the legislation they have passed to mitigate the dramatic impacts on our society caused by the coronavirus pandemic. This has been a bipartisan effort that demonstrates they can focus on working together to do what is best for our citizens.

Specifically, thanks to our U.S. senators, Tim Kaine and Mark Warner, and our 3rd District U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott. These officials are responsible not only for their home state or district but also for the well-being of the entire United States and in many respects for the rest of the world, since our country has such worldwide presence and impact.

They have acted with a sense of urgency in innovative ways and have also supported local governments. As an example Isle of Wight County government is receiving $3 million as part of the CARES Act!

Good for them in abandoning tired old conventional wisdoms and instead trying new innovative approaches to rush help to all aspects of our economy and society. These actions along with the heroic efforts of our Federal Reserve banking system will no doubt help us to return to normalcy as we all work together to rid our environment of the coronavirus.


Joe Puglisi