Here's what your neighbors are saying about making masks mandatory

'Someone will likely become ill or die because someone else refused to wear a mask,' one writer says.

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  • | 7:40 a.m. June 30, 2020
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Make masks mandatory, not just a suggestion

Dear Editor:

Last week, the mayor rolled out and published an official-sounding “proclamation” about mask-wearing complete with legal-sounding verbiage. But it was just the same old mask-wearing recommendations in existence for months misleadingly dressed up to appear like something legal.

But clearly, this legal-sounding proclamation has absolutely no teeth and was nothing more than the usual timid request to wear masks. A request that, as usual, will be ignored by the persistent cast of characters that refuse to wear masks in public.

Palm Coast, the county and the state have apparently been bullied into submission by politics and nonsensical libertarians professing their right to choose to wear a mask. Even with virus cases spiking, our politicians have opted to flush science down the toilet and stick with the old status quo, and thus far ineffective, requests. They have shown a lack of moral courage to go where this urgently needs to go — a mask-wearing mandate.

They know full well that someone will likely become ill or die because someone else refused to wear a mask. Sadly, it appears they are willing to live with that likelihood.

Maggie Minutaglio

Palm Coast


Make masks mandatory statewide

Editor’s Note: This letter was addressed to U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, Gov. Ron DeSantis and U.S. Rep. Michael Waltz.

Why on earth haven't you mandated the wearing of masks? It works; everybody knows it. You are killing every tourist-related business in Florida, some of which may never recover or reopen.

My relatives live in Colorado, California, Texas, Virginia, Idaho, and Georgia. Every one of them told me they won't visit Florida until further notice — because nobody in the state wears masks.

On June 26, an "alcohol ban" was put in place. Really? What does that accomplish, other than to kill every business that had the audacity to reopen in even the smallest capacity?

Florida residents need to wear masks! It's obviously the best thing to do. Mandate it, already — before you wreck the businesses that are still left.

Andrea Karros

Palm Coast


Masks won’t stop you from getting COVID-19

Dear Editor:

I would like to offer some comments about the recent article about wearing masks to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by the Flagler County Department of Health Administrator Bob Snyder and Medical Director Dr. Stephen Bickel.

In the article Mr. Snyder “acknowledged that he does not have authority to make public policy,” for which I am very thankful. I do not want any unelected “official” to have the authority to unilaterally establish policies, executive orders or laws that have such an impact on my personal freedom.

Dr. Bickel stated “the benefits of mask wearing are clear . . . the scientific support is overwhelming.” That is simply not true! There is ample “overwhelming” evidence to the contrary.

A June 26 article by Dr. Ted Noel on the American Thinker website provides an excellent rebuttal to everything that Mr. Snyder and Dr. Bickel claim about wearing masks to prevent the spread of any virus. Excerpts of the article by Dr. Noel follow:

“We have N95s, surgical masks, homemade cloth masks, and the classic train robber bandana. … It should be intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that these masks are not all identical in their intended use and possible function against viruses. …

“I wore surgical masks daily for 36 years as an anesthesiologist. Their purpose was to reduce the chance that I would infect an open wound with bacteria from my mouth. This article of faith has been shown to be false (see … This casts a very large cloud of doubt on the utility of masks for COVID-19. …

“Do properly used surgical masks reduce disease spread in the general public? To say there are almost no data would not be overstating the case. When households with sick kids were examined, even rigorous mask-wearing provided no statistically significant improvement in adult infections. …

“Some face coverings are utterly ineffective at preventing the spread of infection. Others may provide a small degree of protection to other people if you are infected. Surgical masks are reasonably effective, but carrying a folded cloth to cough into is just as effective. And you'll probably put it in the laundry more frequently than your mask. … ”

If Mr. Snyder and Dr. Bickel would do some real research, I have no doubt they would find an “overwhelming” number of medical experts who disagree with their article.

Bob Young

Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: It’s not just Bickel and Snyder who advocate for masks. The Centers for Disease Control cite 16 recent studies to show that face coverings do help to prevent droplet transmission. The latest CDC guidance is as follows:

“Cloth face coverings are recommended as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the cloth face covering coughs, sneezes, talks, or raises their voice. This is called source control. This recommendation is based on what we know about the role respiratory droplets play in the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19, paired with emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. COVID-19 spreads mainly among people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), so the use of cloth face coverings is particularly important in settings where people are close to each other or where social distancing is difficult to maintain.

Dr. Noel, in his American Thinker article, cites a study about the efficacy of homemade masks (, and Noel says it’s proof that the masks don’t help prevent “adult infections” in households with sick kids. But the masks aren't supposed to protect the wearer from getting sick; they are supposed to prevent the wearer from spreading the sickness to others. The study Noel cites actually confirms that; it says both homemade masks and surgical masks “significantly reduced the number of microorganisms expelled by volunteers.”


Why allow outside soccer tournament?

Dear Editor:

I was extremely disheartened when I saw the signs out for traffic control announcing a 3v3 soccer tournament at Indian Trails Sports Complex scheduled for Sunday, June 28, run by Challenge Sports.

These tournaments are great for the county and city of Palm Coast, as they draw in a ton of revenue for local hotels, restaurants and I would even say real estate, as people see what we already know and love which is a beautifully landscaped city with plenty of outdoor activity available.

That being said, I'm curious to know who within the city of Palm Coast thought allowing this tournament was a good idea. With every tournament we know the Publix at Palm Coast Parkway and Belle Terre receives increase traffic.

Personally, our family went to Twister's on Saturday evening. We wore our masks, ordered our ice cream, sat down, only to see an influx of parents and children entering in soccer apparel but no masks?

I believe everyone here in Flagler knows we have been quite lucky to have fewer than 300 cases and five deaths from COVID-19 at this point, which begs the question why we are inviting families and children from other counties into ours?

Again, I fully understand trying to get back to normal. We've enrolled both our children in some camps for the summer, but they are local camps and expectation is local kids. When we are seeing spikes throughout the state, an order to stop all bars from selling alcohol, an endless debate as to whether vacation rentals should or shouldn't be open, why hold a soccer tournament?

Mark Smith

Palm Coast


Support restaurants that follow the rules

Dear Editor:

Ever since our governor enter his so called second phase, things have gone downhill. We are suppose to do social distancing and wear a mask when possible. We are doing just the opposite.

Some restaurants do not know what 50% capacity means; they make sure that tables are full at 100%. The owners must not  care about people getting the virus.=

Our governor said 50% capacity but has no way of policing it. He does not wear his mask; he makes statements that the figures are higher because of our testing. What would happen if everybody was tested? The state figures would be sky rocketing!

The wearing of the mask and social distancing are musts; they do not infringe on anybody's rights. It is pure safety to help stop spreading of the virus. It does not leave a mark on your face either, but it could save you and others from quarantine and from the spread of the virus.

Do not go to restaurants that are packed. Do not help them make money because they do not care if you get sick with the virus, either.

Ghislaine Joiris

Palm Coast



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