The topic of the day is masks. We're not going to talk about how the government is forgetting their place in mandating them or the fact that the mandate isn't a violation of your rights. That's already been covered in the links provided. This is all about masks. Types of masks to gain compliance within the rules of the Lawton mandate, what you should look for, and what you should avoid.

For the record, I'm not an expert in epidemiology like every Karen and Chad is on Facebook these days. These are my own observations through my own experience, and a very remedial explanation of why they are pushing masks with such fervor.

We'll get to the "why" momentarily, let's just start with skirting the science and investing in something you'll get a ton of use out of over the years.

Buff is a company that makes face masks for outdoor sports. For a decade or so, the Buff mask has been a staple in tackle boxes for anglers. You see, not only is it hot during summer fishing, the sun reflects off the water and hits you again from below. Much like SPF swimming shirts protect kids that can't take a break from swimming fun to put on more sunscreen, these work a lot like that. They block the sun in the most comfortable way possible. I've been wearing one on the water for a long time, and yes, this will keep you in compliance with the mask mandate. Available in a ton of colors and designs, plus you won't be wasting money as it'll last forever and you'll use it for more than just grocery shopping.

What you probably should be looking for...

Homemade masks are what is currently being advised by epidemiologists across the country. According to them, a double layer of quilted material is preferred... but with the admission to initially lying about the effectiveness of masks early on to protect the medical supply, there's a lack of trust in that recommendation now. All the same, it's compliant to the mandate, and quite frankly not the worst thing in the world to wear for those few minutes at a time you're walking around shopping. My mother was kind enough to make one for me before she let social media convince her masks would lead to burkas, and because I see my 90 year old gam-gam so often, I wear it when I'm in public. Will it protect against the virus? Well, it probably helps more than it could hurt. Any protection is better than zero protection. Anchors away matey.

N95 or better dust type masks are currently being praised on social media as the one that can stop the coronavirus particle size, but that's not the science behind why they're advising masks to be worn. You see, the rona isn't airborne at the moment, so there are no bare particles of disease floating around. Covid-19 is spread in the little moist droplets of sputum that leaves your lungs during the exhale, cough, and sneeze. It's exactly the same way the common cold is transmitted person to person. Dust masks are better than nothing, but a quilted material that absorbs moisture is probably, in this case, a better mask.

What to avoid altogether.

If you spend enough time out in public, especially in the Lawton restaurants, odds are you've seen someone wearing a passive respirator filter mask.

They're pretty comfortable and believe me, they work for their intended purpose. I've worn one of these with N99 carbon filters for years while mowing during allergy season. I get hay fever, and this absolutely prevents me from experiencing it every time I spend more than a few minutes outside in September and October... but they aren't good for the pandemic. That's not to say they won't stop the coronavirus particle in its tracks, it will... but it works against how they're trying to stop the spread. You see, the point of the mask is to filter your own sputum from floating to another persons airway. That's why they want every person to wear them, so each person can be responsible for their own potential germs.

The reason they don't work towards the goal is those little round plastic passive dongles. That is where your exhale, cough, and sneezes flow back out into the air unimpeded. This means whatever potential rona you have is being spread as if you weren't wearing a mask in the first place. Like I said, it's comfortable enough to wear for long periods, but if I were you, I'd avoid being around anyone wearing one.