'Neurotic new normal': Councillor questions COVID-19 mask bylaw
LONDON, ONT. -- In a letter to his council colleagues, Ward 1’s Michael Van Holst details his “discomfort” with London’s mandatory mask bylaw.
“My letter doesn’t say we shouldn’t have a mask by-law,” explains Van Holst. “It says we should think twice about taking on the role of (the) public health authority.”
Within the letter Van Holst writes, “We can’t protect everyone from everything”, before referencing a tale from Homer’s Odyssey when the hero is advised to sacrifice six sailors to avoid risking his entire crew.
Van Holst’s letter also refers to several “agendas” involved in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the multi-billion dollar vaccine industry.
He questions if the financial cost of masks should be directed to improved ventilation at long-term care homes, or elsewhere.
“All those masks are going into the landfill, and nothing to show for them. Would we be better off with Vitamin C and Vitamin D to stay healthy?” he asks.
He also questions the so-called “neurotic new normal”.
“The neurotic new normal is when every healthy person is wearing a mask, terrified they will catch something from someone and pass it on.” he explains to CTV News.
The current mask by-law was approved by council on July 20 based on a recommendation by Middlesex-London Medical Officer of Health Dr. Chris Mackie.
Councillor Shawn Lewis isn’t swayed by Van Holst’s letter.
“I think we are going to continue to trust the advice of our medical officer of health. Councillors are not doctors.”
Van Holst will urge council to consider changes, “I would like to see council actually look at the science, and ask if masks are really making an effective difference (that’s) enough to force everyone to use them.”
Councillor Lewis doubts their colleagues have a desire to alter the current by-law.
“We don’t look for a second opinion when the city engineer tells us ‘this is the structural strength needed for a bridge’, and I don’t think we should second guess our medical officer of health.”
The four-page letter is on the agenda of council’s Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee meeting on Sept. 22.