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Masks : I thought Palo Altans were intelligent

Original post made by Alice Schaffer Smith, Downtown North, on Apr 16, 2020

Today I walked at the Baylands. Noteworthy was the absence of masks on adults and children, on bikes, walking, on their scooters. Bicyclists are spewing out their sweat 30 feet behind them. People are not physically 6 feet apart.

I can only imagine that these folks don't believe the advice of our County Health Dept, our governor, Dr Fauci.

So, having your 19 years of education average per adult in our households creates an arrogance or disdain for science??

Keep me safe, please. I am 80 and I don't want this virus but I want exercise and to be able to bird-watch.

Either stay in your own house and garden or WEAR your mask, scarf or other protective material to cover your mouth and nose. You should wear glasses since you can catch the virus through your eyes. Let's be sensible.

Comments (28)

10 people like this
Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 12:41 pm

Donald Trump refuses to wear a mask. He is setting an example for the rest of the country.


4 people like this
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 17, 2020 at 7:55 pm

[Post removed.]


5 people like this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 17, 2020 at 11:59 pm

Question for Resident: I trust you are being ironic. When those picketing without masks, in Michigan, are our next coronavirus 19 hotspot, because they emulated the President, is the President liable for negligent homicide when the first of them dies? Or when the healthcare providers, caring for that hotspot die?




2 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 9:10 am

All those health officials standing less than 6' apart not wearing masks, Dr. Sarah Cody, Dr. Faucy, Dr. Deborah, then there's SF Mayor, SJ Mayor, Governor,, etc. at all these press conferences. Are you implying that they are not as intelligent as you think you are?


3 people like this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2020 at 9:20 am

Yes, I think they are very bad role-models and probably the President has insisted that they don't wear them. Do you wear one when you go outside? I am sure you do because you argue well and seem articulate.

Also, why don't you name yourself?


9 people like this
Posted by Sam White
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 18, 2020 at 9:38 am

[Portion removed.]

It's been reported that while the White House was discouraging mask use, they scrambled to acquire PPE for themselves, from as far away as Taiwan, etc..

Criminal malfeasance, combined with utter hypocrisy?


11 people like this
Posted by Not required
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 18, 2020 at 10:42 am

While I agree and hope that masks may be helpful, they are not required when exercising outdoors, see SC County guidelines: Web Link

How is a mask going to prevent “bicyclists spewing sweat”? It’s not. And while I feel for you and understand your desire to bird watch, if you’re truly that concerned about your health then it’s probably best you stay inside....even if everyone were wearing masks they have not been proven to stop this virus. I say this with respect and concern for your health...it’s not fun and it’s scary and stressful time for all.


7 people like this
Posted by Volker Deutch
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 12:55 pm

In Santa Clara County you are not obligated to wear a mask.
Bicyclists spewing out sweat for 30 feet behind them? LOL. And you ask if Palo alto residents are intelligent.
Stay at home if you feel unsafe.


7 people like this
Posted by Kathleen M Goldfein
a resident of South of Midtown
on Apr 18, 2020 at 1:25 pm

Although Santa Clara County is not requiring masks, they highly recommend them. While they aren't terribly effective in preventing infection, they are very good at keeping infected individuals from spreading the virus. So far I've seen estimates that 25%-50% of people who have the virus and capable of spreading it, are asymptomatic. So if you are young, healthy and walking, running and hiking, please have some concern for those of us at high risk, and wear a mask, unless you know for sure that you have had the virus and have developed antibodies to resist reinfection.


2 people like this
Posted by Rolling Eyes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm

[Post removed.]


10 people like this
Posted by Rolling Eyes
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 1:49 pm

@Alice: High risk seniors should not be out unless shopping for essentials, meaning no Baylands. People walking in neighborhoods or who are at least 15 feet from others should not have to wear masks and the nitpickers should leave them alone.


13 people like this
Posted by Pat Burt
a resident of Community Center
on Apr 18, 2020 at 1:59 pm

The research on infection potential from outdoor contact and how effective masks are in those settings is still inconclusive, but several studies advise additional distancing and use of masks. This article attempts to present a balanced set of opinions among experts, Web Link.
It's surprising that our city open space areas are restricting vehicular access but not requiring, or even strongly advising, masks for users. It is a small inconvenience to wear a mask in those areas and slip it on when encountering other people. Oddly, there are not even signs recommending the use of masks.
Also, MidPen Open Space has recently made trails one-directional loops so that users don't come in close proximity to folks from the opposite direction. If users need to pass others, they simply wait until the people ahead have a spot to pull off to the side just like good driving practices on narrow roads.
These kinds of well-considered measures are not panaceas but can increase safety while allowing reasonable public access during challenging times.


8 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 2:06 pm

Alice, thank you for the compliment. I refrain from using my name for many reasons. I think, as at the ballot box, anonymity allows me to give my opinion without fear of any repercussions to me or my family. In the past I have had to receive comments from teachers/parents on school issues and even approached in a store with my family when someone wanted to discuss in more detail something I had posted. For all these reasons, and more, I choose to not use my name.

I hope that this means that the weight of my argument is taken for what I say, rather than only paying attention because of who I am. Apart from anything else, I could call myself any name I like and nobody would know if it genuinely was my name or a pseudonym. This way at least my nom de plume is evident.


6 people like this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Quiet irony. When I came back from my walk, my temperature when entering Channing House was 99.5 in one ear, 99.3 in the other, so I am being watched inside my room. It was 96.5 this morning. I wore my mask and saw some marvelous birds. Fingers crossed. I will post some of the pictures on FB.

I don't agree that we should not be out exercising. Pat Burt -- excellent comments. I think shutting the parking lots at baylands has caused more clustering elsewhere. But I made my thoughts known to the city council.

Masks should be required when outside the privacy of your home. They are here in the corridors or on the balconies at Channing House.

Stay save and sane. Watch www.metopera.com for some uplifting times. and Resident: thanks for your thoughtful reasons to not share your name. For me, I don't mind talking at the grocery store about what I believe....

Take care everyone


7 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 3:58 pm

Alice, PS, the store (not grocery) incident was when I was hurrying with kids to get them to soccer or whatever, I really didn't have the time for it. It was someone I knew vaguely who thought they could give me an earful in public in front of my kids with very colorful language. I decided there and then that although I had only been using my first name and the correct area of Palo Alto, that if I wanted to comment here any more then it would have to be done anonymously. Thanks for understanding.


3 people like this
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 4:01 pm

Alice, sincerely hope that your high temp is temporary and that you are doing well. Keep cool, keep well.


4 people like this
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 18, 2020 at 4:58 pm

All is well 97.6 and ear temperature 98.6 . Did. you know that ear temperatures run higher than normal and at Channing House when you come inside, that is the way they take your temperature...

I had no idea ... Seems when you walk and get warm your body temperature rises in your ears! And she said I was to drink a lot more (water) that dehydration also raises your temperature



3 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 18, 2020 at 5:16 pm

@Pat Burt: Thanks for the interesting link. People should read it. I was already more or less trying to respect the following, before I read it in your link:

>> The wind tunnel tests concluded that the zone of potential danger falls in a narrow slipstream behind runners and cyclists

This is exactly what I would expect. And yes, I would appreciate it if runners and cyclists would give walkers and each other more consideration, understanding that there may be a plume downwind. People need to give other people breathing room, from 6 feet to 60 feet, depending. But, I also think that, with reasonable precautions, a walk at Baylands has a low probability of infection compared to shopping at grocery stores and drug stores, for example. Or sitting next to someone at a meeting, or a concert, or eating with them, sharing the same salt shaker, holding the same doorknob, etc., etc.


5 people like this
Posted by Not required
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 19, 2020 at 3:29 pm

Alice, I just saw this article which Is reassuring and can hopefully give you some relief.
Web Link


4 people like this
Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 19, 2020 at 7:23 pm

Posted by Not required, a resident of Mountain View

>> Alice, [...] reassuring and can hopefully give you some relief. Web Link

Good link-- definitely worth reading, especially the section heading "How much should I worry about contamination if I go outside to walk the dog or exercise?"

If you stay away from others, and others stay away from you, the probability of contracting the virus outdoors is extremely low.

On the other end of the spectrum, there is working at the Brooklyn Hospital Center. Web Link


2 people like this
Posted by stan johnson
a resident of Stanford
on Apr 21, 2020 at 5:55 am

Dear God, we are so damn affluent. Please..........as if. Lady your fine. You get this thing, i dunno,bet you dont. I would hope not. But if i were to guess, you have the resources (im guessing) most dont. People around here, i dunno, we are so insulated maybe we forget. Were gonna come out of this fine. There are people in real trouble right now. The kind of trouble you clearly cant imagine. We are so fuuny. Damn kids maskless! People sweating. Its great you have the time to ponder such things.


2 people like this
Posted by DuvMom
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 21, 2020 at 8:01 pm

The compassion shown for those that do not have the “privilege” to simply SIP is shocking. Time for many to do a personal privilege check.


5 people like this
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:33 am

The argument and insults thrown at people who wish to remain anonymous really bother me. A democratic process, and town square forum, is about ideas, not about people. When you look at most of the stupid that is taking place it is because of over-identification with some individual that always has feet of clay and these days is usually co-opted for money to talk in support of money.

I would not expect or give a good or bad grade on a science test based on how much I liked or disliked the individual taking it, and likewise, I don't want to be distracted by names, celebrity, bank accounts, when I want to deal with facts and truths.

Why do we have an secret ballot? Because being imperfect beings and in many cases vindictive or fawning we support people's point of view often because of who they are, or what their agreeableness can do for us rather than the cold hard facts.


Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Apr 22, 2020 at 2:48 am

^ At least not posting comments under multiple names on the same thread is somewhat enforced, minimizing sockpuppets.


Like this comment
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:29 pm

Anon: thank you for this brilliant link. I will post it on FB. It gives one a. feeling of encouragement to know that the health professionals are so dedicated. I repeat the link here for those who might have missed it: Web Link

Keep safe, mask up, wash your hands. Physically distance and care about your neighbors and your family.

Don't be irresponsible and go to public places or in a crowd without masks and "social" distancing. Don't listen to the idiotic governor of Georgia who got elected because he defrauded the voting public. Watch this from BraveNewFilms.org. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Anon: thank you for this brilliant link. I will post it on FB. It gives one a. feeling of encouragement to know that the health professionals are so dedicated. Keep safe, mask up, wash your hands. Physically distance and care about your neighbors and your family.

Don't be irresponsible and go to public places or in a crowd without masks and "social" distancing. Don't listen to the idiotic governor of Georgia who got elected because he defrauded the voting public. Watch this from BraveNewFilms.org. Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by Alice Schaffer Smith
a resident of Downtown North
on Apr 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm

Anon: thank you for this brilliant link. I will post it on FB. It gives one a. feeling of encouragement to know that the health professionals are so dedicated. Keep safe, mask up, wash your hands. Physically distance and care about your neighbors and your family.

Don't be irresponsible and go to public places or in a crowd without masks and "social" distancing. Don't listen to the idiotic governor of Georgia who got elected because he defrauded the voting public. Watch this from BraveNewFilms.org.



3 people like this
Posted by Midtown Mom
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 22, 2020 at 4:10 pm

Perhaps you should aim your comments at the Palo Alto Police officer who walked into "The Market" around 1:15 this afternoon without a mask, and walked around the store "taking a look around". He was not maintaining a 6 foot distance, either.


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