By on November 23, 2021

Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock

In a reminder that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over, no matter that we all wish it was, U.S. automakers and the United Auto Workers union have agreed to extend mask requirements for workers but will not require vaccination for union workers.

Instead, Ford, General Motors, Stellantis, and the UAW will allow workers to voluntarily report their vaccination status.

Stellantis will require all 14,000 non-union, salaried employees to be vaccinated by January 5, 2022.

“In addition to encouraging members to disclose their vaccination status, the (Detroit 3 and UAW) Task Force continues to urge all members, coworkers, and their families to get vaccinated and get booster vaccinations against COVID-19, while understanding that there are personal reasons that may prevent some members from being vaccinated, such as health issues or religious beliefs,” a joint statement said. “After reviewing the status of CDC and OSHA guidelines, the Task Force also decided it is in the best interest of worker safety to continue masks in all worksites at this time.”

Someday, we’ll be able to go maskless — and getting more people vaccinated will hasten the arrival of that day — but that day isn’t today. And given the ongoing high rates of COVID and the fact that masking offers protection from getting sick, even if you’re fully vaccinated (and perhaps boosted), along with the costs of missed productivity when workers are out sick, it makes sense that masking will last a little longer.

[Image: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com]

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83 Comments on “Mask Up: U.S. Automakers to Extend Plant Requirements...”


  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Love this kind of blatant virtue signaling and pandering.

    It’s been repeatedly proven that masks do not work at all. And the rushed vaccines leave a lot to be desired. But let’s ignore facts, science and data to appear virtuous.

    • 0 avatar
      ravenuer

      Most of the educated societies of the world are well aware of the scientifically proven benefits of wearing masks. But you stick to Facebook and you’ll be just fine.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “Most of the educated societies of the world are well aware of the scientifically proven benefits of wearing masks. But you stick to Facebook and you’ll be just fine.”

        No science at all. All you have to do is look at case data and you will see that masks have no effect what so ever. In my state cases drastically ROSE after a mask mandate was put into place. Recently, masked up Commiefornia had DOUBLE the new case rate that unmasked Florida did.

        But keep believing your pipe dream that masks work. We have more masking and more people injected with the rushed and experimental vaccines and yet Covid cold deaths are higher in 2021 than 2020. Weird I wonder what the science has to say about that.

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          @mattdq How about that alzheimers vaccine, Protollin? That was kind of rushed, but. Are you going to take it to avoid the fate of your grandfather? WOuld you have had him take it?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Unless its gone through the standard multi-year test protocols, not a chance in hell. This is why the current predicament is so absolutely insane.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ @mattdq How about that alzheimers vaccine, Protollin? That was kind of rushed, but. Are you going to take it to avoid the fate of your grandfather? WOuld you have had him take it?”

            I genuinely have no idea what you are talking about. You’ve literally made all that up.

        • 0 avatar
          Margarets Dad

          “Covid deaths are higher in 2021 than 2020.”

          Look at the areas of the country where people are actually smart enough to take the vaccine (i.e., the Northeast) and get back to me. The fact that this country is largely populated by people too stupid to take a free, safe, effective vaccine during a pandemic that’s killed 800,000+ of their fellow citizens doesn’t mean the vaccine doesn’t work. Life in NYC pre- and post-vaccine has gone from night to day. Looking forward to safely visiting my family for Thanksgiving tomorrow, which we weren’t able to do last year.

          Seriously, the vaccine is a gift from God. How someone could be dumb enough to argue with it is incredible. But there you are. You and Phil Valentine.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Covid cold deaths are higher in 2021 than 2020. Weird I wonder what the science has to say about that.”

          Could that be because no one died of this at all in until the very end of February 2020, and didn’t start dying of in sizeable numbers until April?

          https://covidtracking.com/data/national/deaths

          Nope, that would have nothing to do with it.

          Derpity derp derp…

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            Hey Mike, if you are going to be logical and use critical thinking skills EB will have a meltdown. Mask have no value as his argument – amazing.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @golden2:
            He’ll show up again and declare “victory” soon enough.

        • 0 avatar
          Veeg

          I know there are words there but i only hear childish whining in my head reading all that nonsense.

          Even if masks aren’t helpful and they are, they’re no big deal. Not sure why all the olds cry about them so much – i thought you all were so tough and we’re such soft little avocado toast eating millenials.

          You sound like my daughter except she doesn’t whine this much.

    • 0 avatar
      ToolGuy

      On the rare occasion that I enter a place of business these days, most employees wear masks, most customers don’t, and most customers think this situation is just fine.

      TL;DR: Americans are selfish unhealthy jerks.

      • 0 avatar
        Matt Posky

        Pandemic protocols went from “two weeks to slow the spread” when we still thought it might be extremely dangerous to giving companies and the government carte blanche to permanently do as the please and enact insane mandates after we learned the risks. Hell, you can hardly talk openly about it online without incurring some kind of censorship. None of this contributes to the public health. You always see someone of a higher status shunning masks while employees are required to wear them. California Governor Gavin Newsom wouldn’t even vaccinate his own daughter. But he wants to vaccinate your kids.

        All this is doing is splitting up society, lowering productivity, and creating new class distinctions in countries that weren’t supposed to have them. Stop complying. Stop pretending.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “Insane mandates”.

          Well, I thought we’d have a story about this from a TTAC writer that didn’t have the usual nonsense hyperbole, but no…

          No, employers and government setting basic safety rules is NOT insane.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          Matt: your politics are overriding your acceptance of the science involved. Sometimes we need to stop viewing everything through a political prism.

          • 0 avatar
            Matt Posky

            I am an independent voter and have no political allegiances. And I have spent the last few months doing freelance research for people working on calculating the efficacy of the vaccines, requiring me to comb through mountains of data while discussing the matter with countless scientists and medial researchers.

            Here’s the current science: Vaccines are nowhere near as effective as promised by the companies selling them. Natural immunity offers better protection overall. Mandates created distrust in local communities, encouraged censorship, and authoritarian governance. Several parts of the world with the highest vaccination rates now also boast the highest number of cases (per capita).

            You can get vaccinated if you want. There may even be good reason to if you’re in a high-risk group. Wear a mask. Wear ten of them for all I care. I support people doing what they want. But mandates absolutely ruined New York City for me and have been making people crazy across the globe. I’m not complying with any mandates from where on out and going back to enjoying a more normal existence. Anyone who tries to lecture me otherwise is wasting their time and anybody attempting to actively prevent me from living the life I wish should notify their next of kin in advance.

            Look into the information yourself and start acting like an adult. You’ll be happier.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “And I have spent the last few months doing freelance research for people working on calculating the efficacy of the vaccines’

            Facebook is now a reliable source of medical data?

            What medical data bases have you accessed or have been granted access to use?

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Matt: What advanced applicable degree do you hold? The science and statistics behind the vaccines are irrefutable. They work exactly as they should. They greatly reduce your chance of being hospitalized, admitted to ICU or dying from COVID. Vaccination offers ‘protection’ that exceeds that of being infected as it works against more variants and provides a ‘measured’ dose. Natural ‘immunity’ depends upon what variant you were infected by/with, and how ill you were (dose/exposure) level. That is based in actual scientific research conducted by among others one of my family who is a practicing epidemiologist specializing for the past decade in infectious diseases.

            Scientific research by definition requires an applicable degree, access to labs, and original sources, and peer review. It should also include a control group. Does your ‘research’ include all of these?

            And who is ‘funding’ your ‘research’?

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “Look into the information yourself and start acting like an adult. You’ll be happier.”

            So those of us who disagree with you aren’t acting like adults and aren’t happy. Way to insult the readership, Matt. But hey…I’ll be an adult and go point for point.

            1) “Vaccines are nowhere near as effective as promised by the companies selling them.”
            “Less effective than advertised” doesn’t mean “ineffective.” And you haven’t told us a) how much less effective they are or b) what specific tasks (i.e., virus transmission or disease prevention or both) they’re less effective at. But, hey, if we disagree with you, we’re not being adult.

            2) “Natural immunity offers better protection overall.”
            Maybe so, maybe not, but all you have to do gain natural immunity is to catch COVID. Let me know when you volunteer for that mission.

            3) “But mandates absolutely ruined New York City for me and have been making people crazy across the globe.”
            Right, because New York City was an unicorn shooting rainbows out its’ a** before the pandemic. Total utopia. (Rimshot) But I digress. If wearing masks and getting vaccines are enough to make some people crazy, then I’ll just be polite and decline to say what I think the real problem there is.

            4)”…anybody attempting to actively prevent me from living the life I wish should notify their next of kin in advance.”
            But, hey, if we disagree with you, we’re not being adult. As I said before…I’ll just be polite and decline to say what I think the real problem there is.

          • 0 avatar
            mcs

            @Matt Posky: You’re posting inaccurate information and have no clue as to what you’re doing. You have no idea how to interpret data.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Here are links to some actual scientific studies. Which I believe have more credibility than the ‘home studies’ being conducted by someone who appears to be engaged in ‘confirmation bias’ based on his previously posted columns/comments.

            And why is it that so many of those in the ‘anti’ camp demonstrate emotional instability such as in this instance threatening violence from behind a keyboard? Does that have any place in reasoned, logical discourse/debate?

            https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-covid-19-vaccines.html#a7.2

            https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)02183-8/fulltext

            https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/nejmoa2034577

            https://www.cebm.net/covid-19/measuring-vaccine-efficacy-from-population-data/

            https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3949410

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            WArthur:

            Clearly the guy’s triggered. He’s obviously a libertarian. Fair enough. What rankles me is the “unless you listen to my ‘science’, you’re not being adult” attitude. He’s gone down that path several times.

            And worse yet, he doesn’t go into specifics about what science he’s using. He claims vaccines are less effective than advertised, but doesn’t say a) what they’re less effective at, or b) how much less effective they are. “Less effective than advertised” doesn’t mean “ineffective.”

            But if you disagree with this conclusion, you’re not being adult.

            All he’s doing is insulting the readership, which makes no sense.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            @Matt Posky,

            When you clearly state:
            A. “Vaccines are nowhere near as effective as promised by the companies selling them.”
            B. “Natural immunity offers better protection overall.”
            C. “You can get vaccinated if you want. There may even be good reason to if you’re in a high-risk group.”
            without all the extra stuff piled on, it lets me understand your perspective better than ever before, so thank you for that (completely serious).

            Completely serious question: So the Plan is to roll the dice and maybe we get it maybe we don’t? (I fully acknowledge that The Official ‘Plan’ has huge flaws as well – both in concept and in execution.) [I personally would be more comfortable with this approach if the Suspiciously Unnatural Virus did not offer so many Bizarre Potential Ongoing Complications to its survivors – but it does.]

            Observation: As I understand it, the point labeled ‘C’ was Phil Valentine’s perspective (before he got sick).

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @toolguy:
            Notably, Valentine and several other prominent anti-vaxxers got the vaccine religion before they died of COVID.

            But these fools left behind entire legions of everyday anti-vax followers, many of whom end up posting the inevitable “hey, I got COVID, so pray for me and send money to my GoFundMe for my four kids” on social social media. Unbelievably sad. And it makes me unbelievably angry at people who used their bully pulpits to spread this toxic message.

            To paraphrase the guy in “Gladiator,” there has to be a reckoning for clowns like Valentine, in this life or the next.

          • 0 avatar
            ToolGuy

            @FreedMike,

            Thank you for using your 14th post on this article (yes, fourteen so far) to re-emphasize that everyone but you is an idiot. [Dead guy is an easy target, no?] (And you’re angry today? Well there’s a surprise.)

            I was talking to Matt, but thank you so much for intervening.

            [The U.S. experience to date with COVID-19 hasn’t turned me into a ‘pro-vaxxer’ or an ‘anti-vaxxer’ or anything else – so take your labels and keep them to yourself. As I have attempted to explain to you before, I am a strong proponent of some vaccines and I will sit others out for the time being. My family and I did the two rounds of Moderna or Pfizer (not the half-assed J&J) and I am attempting to think through the ‘booster’ conundrum intelligently. I am well aware of your position and I request your kind permission to get Matt’s perspective – thanks in advance.]

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            “ If wearing masks and getting vaccines are enough to make some people crazy, then I’ll just be polite and decline to say what I think the real problem there is.”

            It’s interesting how you purposely reframe comments people make into false representation of their position. But, dishonesty is your calling card.

            “ What rankles me is the “unless you listen to my ‘science’, you’re not being adult” attitude. He’s gone down that path several times.”

            And the award for hypocrite of the year goes to you. Talk about no self awareness.

            “Deaths from Covid didn’t start until Feb 2020”

            Blatantly false statement. We know Covid was here roughly 5 months prior. Deaths had been happening far before February 2020. Further, we passed the more deaths then in 2020 (when Xiden said on the campaign trail he was going to get Covid under control and then proceeded to do absolutely nothing) in like August. 8 months vs 11. Pretty crazy considering you have three experimental and rushed vaccines plus draconian masking.

            You can continue to deny basic facts all you want. The data doesn’t lie. Again, masks simply do not work at all at slowing transmission and the experimental and rushed vaccines (they they want to hide study data for 50 years) are not nearly as effective as claimed. Unmasked Florida recently had half the new case count as masked and vaxxed Commiefornia.

            Just the raw facts. I know you hate facts but it’s time to face reality kiddo

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @WBFlex: Stop posting blatant misinformation. There is considerable evidence regarding how masks work.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Arthur Dailey – EB’s a troll. Don’t waste your time replying.

        • 0 avatar
          Carlson Fan

          “@Arthur Dailey – EB’s a troll. Don’t waste your time replying.”

          Nothing a troll hates more than being ignored. You ignore them they go away, you keep responding to their posts that’s a green light to to them to keep coming back. Trust me, I’m sure if you ever met that individual in “real life” nothing he/she ever posted again would bother you.

    • 0 avatar
      JD-Shifty

      it’s been proven huh?

      “It’s been repeatedly proven that masks do not work at all. “

  • avatar
    kjhkjlhkjhkljh kljhjkhjklhkjh

    Good. Masks work as a diffuser and vaccines are decent enough to prevent larger numbers of hospitalization .. good on them that the Union even backs it.

    • 0 avatar
      EBFlex

      Lol except none of that is true.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “None of that’s true”…kind of like saying “gee, more people have died of this in 2021 than 2020” and ignoring that no one died of it all in 2020 until the very end of February, and didn’t start dying in significant numbers of it until April. And now we’re at the end of November.

        Just the latest in a long, long, long line of nonsense/half-truth/BS from you on this whole topic that goes back a year and a half. Why should anyone believe a word you say?

        • 0 avatar
          EBFlex

          “Nonsense, half truths, BS” = I dont like to hear facts so I’m going to say they’re wrong.

          It’s simply a factual statement to say that there have been more deaths in 9 months of 2021 where we had mandatory masking and three experimental but rushed vaccines than 11 months of 2020. Nothing misleading and certainly not a half truth.

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/marisadellatto/2021/10/06/us-covid-19-deaths-for-2021-surpass-toll-from-2020/?sh=7ce958486cc2

          2020 corona cold deaths – 385k
          2021 corona cold deaths – 386k and rising. All with masking (that’s not curbed the spread at all) and three rushed and experimental vaccines (that has not curbed the spread at all). Places with extremely high vaccination rates are seeing huge spikes in cases: https://www.riotimesonline.com/brazil-news/modern-day-censorship/in-gibraltar-100-of-adults-are-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-19-and-yet-new-cases-are-exploding/

          Unmasked Florida recently had half the new case rate as masked and vaxxed Commiefornia: https://abc7.com/california-covid-19-case-rate-florida/11226747/

          These are just facts. Unbiased. You not liking them and throwing a tantrum when you read them is your problem. Not ours.

  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Easy call. With large numbers of workers spending hours a day indoors in large rooms without walls between them – and with workers hard to come by, meaning temporary absenteeism of a large number of employees due to a viral outbreak – taking basic steps to limit the spread of the virus is an obvious choice for pure business reasons.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    They won’t end this until ISO 20022 is fully implemented.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Starting after Thanksgiving, at work, we’re starting the get the shot or get tested weekly. If we’re vaccinated, we have a mark on our ID and the records on file with HR. And masks will once again become optional for fully vaccinated people.
    I’ve gotten the booster already because my position has me all over the office and warehouse, working with contractors on new infrastructure projects, side-by-side with anyone and everyone here, and I have no idea how everyone who works here lives and how they feel about the shots. So, I’m not taking the chance. Due to cancer and illness, several members of my family are at risk and so I’m not going to be the one that makes them sick.
    And if you get a Covid shot at the same time as your flu shot, make sure you use different arms for each. I didn’t and there was this painful knot for 4-5 days!

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      Thanks for the tip. I’m scheduled to be flu-jabbed and boostered on Friday. Figured the weekend after Thanksgiving is as good a time as any to feel crummy and lie under a blanket watching football for two days straight.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I got them in the same arm because my other shoulder was still sore from the Lexus incident, and yeah, that was a day or so of super soreness.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        @Tim Healey, @Lou_BC and the rest – same deal here. I got my shots around lunchtime a few Sundays back. Felt fine all day. Monday morning came around and I was wondering what bus ran me over in the middle of the night. I normally feel kind of crummy for a day after a flu shot and while the Covid booster is a bit tamer than the second shot, the combination of both…yikes. I managed to make it into work, but fatigue, mind fog, and just an overall rotten feeling lasted all day. And then on Tuesday, with the exception of my arm feeling like a swarm of bees attacked it, all of the symptoms were gone.

        I’m in the let businesses decide how they want to handle the vaccine camp. The company I work for – we handle logistics and warehousing/processing for hundreds of companies worldwide. And it takes a lot of healthy employees to make that happen and social distancing is almost impossible. So they are saying get the shot or brace yourself for the bottom of your brain to be scraped each week. I know the shot isn’t perfect. I know someone who was almost hospitalized after contracting Covid and he had his shots.

        But I look at it like this – it’s kind of like those old 1990’s era RPGs…sometimes Link is broke and starting out. And all he can afford is the cheap leather armor. But that is better than nothing and keeps you going.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Seriously, has anyone gotten their flu shot and shingles shot at the same time? Same arm? Both arms?

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      The problem is, you’ll spread it vaxxed or not.

      Testing is the only thing that makes sense for all employees.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I didn’t have any problems with the first two vaccines. Fingers crossed the booster doesn’t mess me up.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    two weeks to flatten the curve………

  • avatar
    Dan

    The vaccine was an order of magnitude less unpleasant to me than the face diaper is.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    Wait…
    “have agreed to extend mask requirements for workers but will not require vaccination for union workers” turns immediately into “Stellantis will require all 14,000 non-union, salaried employees to be vaccinated by January 5, 2022”.

    Sounds like someone is trying to either force vaccination or force increased unionization.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      @CoastieLenn The caste system at most auto plants is unforgiving as the caste system aboard a ship. Most of the office workers are non-union; although some were line workers who got promoted, and the production workers are unionized.

      Most U.S. Government employees have to get vaccinated or face some arduous testing/COVID compliance. Ditto for government contractors.

      My building goes between masks/no masks depending on the local transmission rates. My dry cleaner won’t serve anyone not wearing a mask. It’s their business and their choice. I just keep a mask hanging off my turn signal stalk.

      The maskurbators just kill me. Outside? No, you don’t need a mask. Driving alone? No, you don’t need a mask.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        @el scotto
        Two things:
        1) I work in the Federal Building in my rather progressive state. My office is on the 9th (top) floor. All Coast Guard offices are 8th/9th floor. Floors 1-7 still require masks, floors 8 and 9 don’t. Ha! It’s the inconsistency found thru this entire pandemic all played out under one roof.

        2) I was pointing out the humor in the testament of basically “if you’re union, you’re not required to get the vaccine. If you’re not, go get it or face the (probable) unemployment line” because its blatantly a concession for those that have the power of the union behind them and a slap in the face for those that don’t… all with the same person signing their paychecks.

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          -snorting out loud- at the inconsistencies you pointed out.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            British Columbia politicians did a great job of staying out of the way of the medical experts so we haven’t had inconsistent rules.
            Alberta is often viewed as Texas of the north has been a hot mess due to political pandering.

        • 0 avatar
          Dan

          “It’s the inconsistency found thru this entire pandemic all played out under one roof.”

          The highlight to me, so far, was two hours in the terminal waiting for my international flight during which the woman attending the gate went on the PA every two or three minutes to scold travelers – every one of whom had just showed a vax card or negative test to get to the boarding area at all – to keep their face diapers on.

          All of this took place about 15 open air feet away from the crowded airport bar.

          If I didn’t know better I’d say that the people who just coincidentally run everything in this country were pulling another one of their tricks on us.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      The way I interpret that is the white-collar office drones need to be vaxxed, the plant workers, not so much.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        I guess one way to reduce your unionized workforce is through attrition due to illness.

        All kidding aside, masks are 54 – 76% effective (depending on study) at reducing the incidence of Covid – 19.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “Someday, we’ll be able to go maskless”

    Nah, COVID is endemic and seasonal. I know people don’t like flu comparisons, but we’re basically stuck with a new, situationally more powerful flu. Vaccines and treatments will help with severity but symptomatic COVID is never disappearing. Properly selected and properly worn masks do help at a macro level but anecdotally that’s not really the norm outside of medical settings.

    Does this means “forever masks” or “masks every winter”? I don’t know, that will be for society to decide.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I think you pretty much nailed it all on the head. Unfortunately, this is going to be something of a new normal. Sucks, but it’s true.

      And as for the deniers and folks who refuse to get vaccinated…well, GoFundMe thanks them for their continued patronage from all the “well, I got COVID, pray for me and send money to cover the ICU bill” stuff.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      My guess is that some people will choose to wear masks in certain settings once mandates lift, and others won’t. I’m old enough to remember SARS the first and between then and Sars-Cov-2, I occasionally saw someone wearing a mask in public. So I suspect that Covid will stick around, be less of a threat due to vaccination and therapeutics, and people will mask up during winter based on their own risk tolerance. That’s a year or more from now, probably.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @ajla – I’m of the belief that Covid-19 is now an endemic pathogen.

    • 0 avatar
      theflyersfan

      I think we’re looking at the new normal for quite some time. I’m more worried about the potential for mutations of the virus. Currently, even healthy adults who have gotten ill have said that this has lingered on in their mind and lungs for a long time. The next mutation could be the one that does all of the damage.

      I get it – Covid isn’t smallpox. It isn’t Ebola. People aren’t running down the streets covered in pus-filled sores or bleeding out of their eyes. They aren’t throwing up their guts, or having body parts rot off. Corpses aren’t being stacked like firewood in morgues. But that doesn’t mean that millions worldwide haven’t already died, and many more are living with the long-haul symptoms.

      And I know vaccines protected me from some truly awful diseases. I’ve lived in places that don’t exactly appear on the travel shows unless the word “avoid” is somewhere in the title, and there’s a reason why those places have an average lifespan of 40-50 years old. Disease takes a lot of people out. And without the two full yellow cards I have, I could be one of them. Hell, malaria was bad enough. The shots hurt and they had side effects (the yellow fever one…damn…) but they work. So I trust the science and those who develop these medicines.

      And last point here, and one that either amuses me or angers me depending on the mood I’m in. On social media, when the “anti-everything, I worship at the altar of Tucker” crowd fires a retort, why is it always three pages of memes? Memes don’t mean (blank.) I can go to a meme generator, get a picture of Jesus and type up something that states he made me the chosen one. Doesn’t make it true. If the future of this country is going to be overrun by news from Facebook, information from memes, and “news and facts” from the 8PM to 10PM opinion shows on cable news, we are utterly and totally screwed.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @theflyersfan – well said.

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          I personally just want my freedom of choice to either mask up (or not), vaccinate (or not), or accept the COVID risks (or not) restored. Enough of the country is vaccinated now that the rest of the country either KNOWS they’re immunocompromised and have always had to protect themselves better than most, or they’re “I’m not getting the vaccine no matter what you say” crowd that’s willing to accept the risks.

          For the record, I’m vaccinated and my kids are about to get it.

  • avatar
    kcflyer

    question. I’m looking online for solid comparisons between the size of corona airborne virus particles and the size of the openings in typical cloth mask. It’s hard to find simple honest references since big tech is censoring this topic heavily to defend the lib line. Does anyone have a good reference that makes the comparison easy to understand.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      Try these. There is no ‘lib line’ there is science and then there are those who either refuse to accept or cannot understand science. The science is clear, even cloth masks are ‘helpful’.

      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/science/science-briefs/masking-science-sars-cov2.html?fbclid=IwAR3riFT-v-V7LaTwTgngF2RoA73N-uZwt0ZBhAfR-HTZXU8kSOJKGPc_Ric

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eAdanPfQdCA

      https://img1.wsimg.com/blobby/go/b3b1c4fa-d825-4488-a328-48d6d7c76d62/downloads/1373630-S01%20(2)%20VFE%20L3.pdf?ver=1612677563836&fbclid=IwAR14u2EFHDB8MejWPnlwT4P3AAFIKKE5ysdvAAqJPzmYZyAFZ6jKuKbpND4

      https://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/prevention/ppe/surgical_mask.html?fbclid=IwAR3mFaZdH-KP-3kTB5ZBWBQI8vuThF3LzTirqnTsL-LM0RH2R253gTmK-30

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @kcflyer – experts in industrial contamination were the first one’s to doubt the medical community in relation to SARS-CoV-2 being droplet. Research was further done to find the origins of the N95 30 micron standards. Better HVAC Standards would go a long way to curb spread.
      N95’s are the best defense to minimize the risk of contracting COVID-19. Standard facemasks do provide some protection but excell at reducing spread. Operating room theaters use standard facemasks not N95. OR infection rates are typically under 3%.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Where our facilities are located the rules set out by government/public health are clear. Everyone must wear a mask, when inside, at all times. Unless they are alone in a private office, sitting at a work station that is more than 6 feet away from where anyone else is working, or eating/drinking at a table/chair 6 feet or more from anyone else.

    Furthermore if you cannot maintain the required physical distance of at least 6 feet during your working time, for example on the assembly line, then you must also wear a face shield.

    As an organization we have also implemented a mandatory vaccine or test policy. Any worker who does not provide proof of vaccination must undergo weekly COVID testing.

    Exemptions are made for Human Rights requirements. However the provincial Medical Association has issued a statement that medical exemptions will only be issued for those who are allergic to ingredients in the vaccine, or who have suffered myocarditis after receiving a vaccine. As for religious exemptions, not one major religion/denomination has stated that they prohibit their followers from being vaccinated. So to date, no religious exemptions have been issued. As per the Human Rights Commission, personal ‘belief’ does not count.

    All of the above have been supported by multiple court decisions and arbitrations.

    What is most disconcerting is how the ‘anti’ group includes so many unstable individuals. They have been charged/convicted of multiple assaults. Primarily against vulnerable retail/service workers who are just trying to get by and who have no control over the rules/regulations.

    Here is a simple rule to live by. if you go to a protest and there are neo-nazis among the group that you support, then by definition you are on the wrong side.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      I worked part time at an Amazon warehouse during 2020 and wore a mask the entire time. If I can pull that off with my way-less-than-buff 58-year-old bod, anyone can.

      It’s just inconvenient, and nothing more, which really makes me wonder why people are ready to go into torches-and-pitchforks mode over it.

  • avatar
    Margarets Dad

    Thank you, Arthur, for injecting some much-needed common sense into this discussion.

    The peddlers of vaccine disinformation so often repeated by the likes of EBFlex and Posky are now responsible for hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths in the USA. They have blood on their hands and TTAC needs to exercise some responsibility and stop providing a sounding board for this crap.

  • avatar
    CoastieLenn

    I personally just want my freedom of choice to either mask up (or not), vaccinate (or not), or accept the COVID risks (or not) restored. Enough of the country is vaccinated now that the rest of the country either KNOWS they’re immunocompromised and have always had to protect themselves better than most, or they’re “I’m not getting the vaccine no matter what you say” crowd that’s willing to accept the risks.

    For the record, I’m vaccinated and my kids are about to get it. I support people’s choice to get the vaccine or not and condemn those that choose to condemn the folks that don’t want to get it OR wear a mask.

    Enough is enough.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Coastie we would all like that but it is not currently feasible or responsible. Non vaccinated are infectious for a longer period. And a number of studies indicate that they ‘spread’ greater amounts of the virus. Furthermore the unvaccinated are still putting our healthcare systems under unsustainable strain. And your decision to not wear a mask puts others at risk, as you may be spreading infectious aerosol into their work space/environment.

      We recently had an outbreak at our workplace. First the only 2 unvaccinated, one who is quite ill. That necessitated that everyone working in the facility undergo regular testing. Within a few days some of the vaccinated workers also tested positive using both rapid antigen and PCR testing. They fortunately were all asymptomatic and suffered no ill effects. Seems that it was spread in the washrooms, as only one person was allowed in at a time and they admitted to taking off their masks while in the washrooms. We had to stop that practice and improve the ventilation in the washrooms. As @LouBC has posted, improved HVAC standards and installing windows that open improves the health results in the workplace.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        I know what you’re saying but if we are all acceptant of the facts that
        1) COVID vaccines don’t STOP you from getting COVID,
        2) The main draw to vaccination beyond shorter transmission times is the substantial reduction in effects,
        3) A reduction in effect is, in essence, making this no worse than the common cold… assuming you know you even have it,
        4) COVID isn’t going anywhere because the anti-vax community exists beyond COVID
        5) You’ll never vaccinate 100% (or even 70%) of the population.

        Those things considered, at what point does someone of power accept that there NEEDS to be an end goal? So far, nobody has actually stated what the end points are, which after 20+ months of dealing with this, nobody knows. This is the reason this debate and issue will continue to get stronger and more heated every day.

        Keep pushing for vaccinations but allow people to choose. It’s not a hard pill to swallow, nor should it be a debatable topic at this point. Some people will ensure their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, some won’t. It’s not yours or my job or right to tell me which side my view falls on. If you’re vaccinated, congrats. If you catch it, you might (probably) won’t even know it. If I catch it, I might not even know… or I will. My choice.

        (Again, I’m vaccinated.)

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      @coastie:

      Freedom of choice is great, but when you boil it down, taking precautions is meant to do one basic thing: keep people out of the hospital system, which is incredibly easy to overwhelm. My girlfriend works at the largest trauma hospital in Denver, and the impact of the virus on the facility and the people who work there has been severe. It doesn’t take all that much to overwhelm any hospital’s ability to handle COVID cases. My girlfriend’s hospital is already coming close to the point where they won’t be able to take elective or non-critical cases due to all the COVID cases. When that happens, everyone loses.

      In that context, taking precautions is all about protecting your community. It’s citizenship 101.

      So, yeah, when people say “f**k you, I’m not doing it,” what they’re really saying is “f**k you, I don’t care what happens to my community.” And, yeah, they’re going to get trashed for that. Why shouldn’t they?

      Then we have the people that purposely spread misinformation or disinformation, and that’s even more loathsome.

      All of this feels like a self inflicted wound to me. And it makes no sense.

      Enough is enough, indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        CoastieLenn

        @Freed- are you then saying that people should be forced to get the vaccine whether they want to or not? If so, cool. Lets hypothesize that. Boom. Now the populous that CAN be vaccinated, is. Now what? COVID is still here. People still can’t be vaccinated. The incredibly fragile medical system is still incredibly fragile, and this disussion is beginning to sound eerily similar to EV charging system infrastructure. Maybe these COVID dollars should be poured into medical facilities for the next outbreak? (For the record, two of my family members are ER/OR RN’s at Cedar Sainai in NY and MUSC in South Carolina. Neither one is seeing anywhere NEAR the case count they were 6 months ago, in fact MUSC is cutting nursing hours after surge staffing over a year ago.)

        Again, define an end point. Define a clear goal. Arbitrary “this is going to continue until [insert overlord here] decides we are done” will never work long term, especially now that the media is actually touching on the vaccination rates and discussion of COVID is all but gone.

        I don’t expect to change your mind, you shouldn’t expect to change mine. I’ve done my part, I don’t expect everyone to do the same.

        • 0 avatar
          CoastieLenn

          * I gotta stop doing three things at once. My fat fingers get all in the way.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Coastie: Unfortunately we can’t predict an ‘end point’ as the science is still evolving, as is the virus. Eventually from what I understand the hope is that the virus will eventually mutate until it becomes one of the less virulent Corona viruses, unlike SARS and MERS. And eventually other forms of prevention such as the proposed nasal spray will be proven effective. And eventually new treatments/medicine for even virulent cases/infections will become available.

            But those are still in the future. Until then, if someone ‘chooses’ to remain unvaccinated then I have no problem in imposing restrictions on them, be they mandatory testing, mandatory masking or even restrictions on the events/venues that they can attend. And at least in Canada the jurisprudence has supported that this is legal and justifiable.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          @coastie:

          What I’m saying is that by refusing to take precautions, people have prioritized their “freedom” over the well being of their communities.

          Forced compliance isn’t going to work in the face of that level of pure stupidity and selfishness. Thus, the endless temper tantrums we see every day from people who just don’t give a f**k about the people they co-exist with.

          In that context, no, you can’t force them to take precautions, just like you can’t tell a cocaine addict that he has to go to rehab – that’s going to go nowhere fast. People who don’t care about themselves or the people around them aren’t going to do anything different, whether they’re forced to or not.

          The real question is why they’re not forcing themselves to do what’s right.

          The endpoint? I’d say it comes when people grow up and stop being idiots about this. Then it’ll end.

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