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Thursday, June 4, 2020
Home Features There is no lusty singing on the bus

There is no lusty singing on the bus

Ignoring the fact that sports isn’t even on the table in the current plans for return to normalcy, I would understand if sports fans hollered, UNFAIR, if they were told that come Monday morning people could fill every seat on the bus to travel to work but that on Sunday afternoon only a limited number of them could go watch the game at the park, because every sports fan is a heathen. Sports is religion, given to us by God – remember He said we cannot live by bread alone, that ehm, there must be some diversion — but ah, fans tend to lose it when they enter a stadium. For that hour or two during which fans are at the game, God forgive them if they have bitter hatred for their rivals.

I’m not touched by this cry, UNFAIR, coming out of the mouths of churchgoers, because at this time they can only congregate in limited numbers, while yes, people who have to go work – if they don’t want to starve – can fill every seat on the bus. Let me tell you about people who ride the buses. If they had the dough they’d pay double so that they could have a seat to themselves. Nobody wants to travel on a full bus at this time. It’s a pity that the government can’t (won’t) afford to subsidize the bus operators.

There is some logic behind allowing more people on a bus than are allowed in a church. Perhaps an argument could be made for allowing more people in a church if they were all Catholics … but these Christians who are complaining are no real relatives of the Pope’s people. Oh no, those churchgoers whining about the 10-person rule, they are not meek. The closest to a riotous time in a Catholic church is when mass is held during the week for primary school students, but they are no match for these whooping and hollering non-Catholic congregations. If you passed by when they are in full throat and you didn’t see the little cross on top of the building you might think that there was some heated volleyball or basketball game going on. Wa, if you passed by just at the moment when Satan was really getting stomped on, you might think it was brutal boxing. 1…8…9…10…Satan you are down, out, defeated, get thee and your tail behind and hand over your fork.

The Catholics seldom have more than an organ in church; these other Christians bring a whole band – guitars, drums, clanging cymbals — and they come to rock. I hate to say it, but there are people who are glad they have been limited to ten. I know of suffering people who get noise-bombed, and they never get any response from the police when they call for people to respect the sound-proof law. Haha, as they say, every bully gat ih kecha – somebody has been forced in line.

Mr. Bombastic, TD Jakes, he is now preaching before empty chairs, and so is Mr. Sincere, Joel Osteen. I wonder what Jakes without a crowd does to work up a lather, but Mr. Sincere must not have missed a beat. In his quiet way, saafli saafli, he achieves the same end of the loud Mr. Jakes. The hottest question in the circles is which one of them has more stored up, in the banks.

Seriously, I wish that the government forked up some subsidy to the bus operators so that there could be better spacing on the bus, but even at two persons per seat, the air is safer in a bus than it is in one of these churches that like to rock. There’s nobody raining fire and brimstone in a bus. The warm abrazo or handshake is occasional, only when two old friends meet up after years apart. And there is no lusty singing.

Get away with bogus carbon dioxide excuse

I don’t think I’d put on a face mask so I can go running in a public place. I wouldn’t because as a car wheezes and coughs with a restricted air cleaner, a person will wheeze and cough if they are running in smoke or with a piece of cloth restricting their air passages.

I heard the story about a runner whose lungs “burst”, purportedly because he was doing his road work with a mask on his face, and also a story about two Chinese boys who had on their face masks while doing PE, and they collapsed and died.

The story about the runner is that he’s from Wuhan, and after they relaxed restrictions he started jogging regularly, up to four miles, even though he had to wear a mask. On this jog when he got injured he became short of breath after about 2 miles. His family took him to the hospital, where it was found that he had a collapsed lung. The two Chinese boys who died, reports are that they died a week apart, and that they collapsed while doing a physical exam. They both did the physicals with their masks on, but no autopsy was done to see if that contributed to their deaths.

When it comes to face masks, I will congratulate our authorities who have made the call for face masks despite not getting the full recommendation from WHO.

On the local scene, there are a number of people who are whining about the use of face masks, with complaints ranging from doubts about their effectiveness to laments about how uncomfortable they are to expressions of fear of carbon dioxide poisoning. Did Manuel Esquivel remind us that when baby waahn baal yu jos have to look pahn dehn? My younger brother, Ron, who is a doctor and world-class marathoner in his category, said carbon dioxide is no issue with the face masks.

Here’s what Ron said: “Carbon dioxide and oxygen are such small molecules they pass through the masks. Viruses and dust, on the other hand are made of multiple molecules stuck together and can be impeded depending on the size of the pores.”

Claire Gillespie at health.com, reported on complaints that wearing face masks forced people to breathe in their own carbon dioxide and it made them giddy. One of her sources, Dr. Kelli Randell, said “prolonged use of any face mask, including the N95 respirator, has not been shown to cause carbon dioxide toxicity in healthy people”, and another source, an infectious disease expert, Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, said “there’s absolutely no need for any member of the general public to be wearing an N95 respirator…It’s uncomfortable to wear, and it does restrict your breathing…When I wear one to take care of patients I try to keep it on only for as long as I have to.”

Gillespie’s report said that cloth face masks (either store-bought or homemade) are not likely to cause breathing issues, so that’s definitely not an excuse for going out without one.

Every report I’ve read says that wearing face masks in public places can help defeat COVID-19. This link I got from Daniel Hyde, a story by Chris Westfall at forbes.com, says a recent scientific study shows that wearing face masks can help reduce COVID-19 cases by 80% … that when combined with physical distancing it is effective in containing the spread of the virus.

For those people with heart and lung problems, this link from Barbara Hall of A Belizean Nirvana hotel in Placencia, should give you the advice you need to step out proudly with your made-in-Belize face mask.

The article, by Barbara Brody, acknowledges that few people enjoy wearing a face mask and that it can be especially challenging if you have asthma or some other respiratory condition. Ms. Brody and her medical sources say to those with respiratory problems to stay at home if you can, avoid public places as much as possible, pick a cooler time of the day to go out if you must, practice breathing through the mask before you go out, and wear a mask with a breathable fabric — no N-95s. Brody’s article also cautions such persons to do what you have to do quickly, be careful with outdoor exercise, and to wash your reusable mask and dry it at highest heat “so it doesn’t become a source of infection.” It also said that using an inhaler before going out might help.

One of Brody’s sources, Dr. Neil Schachter, pointed out some benefits of wearing masks for people with asthma or chronic lung disease, other than those related to coronavirus. The doctor said, “in warm weather it helps protect against the harmful effects of pollution like dust and mold as well as pollen. In the winter it acts as a reservoir for warm exhaled air, preventing cold dry air that could trigger bronchospasm.”

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