Sunday, April 18, 2021

Pharmacist Responds to Letter Questioning COVID Measures


While I am an avid reader of ‘Letters to the Editor’ I am rarely motivated by these letters to write one of my own. Last week’s letter from Ms. Green regarding her opposition to the wearing of masks and her questioning the safety and efficacy of the COVID vaccines proved to be the exception.

As a pharmacist, my staff and I have been wearing masks during our work hours for the best part of a year now. Do we like it? Short answer is NO. The masks inhibit our ability to communicate with our patients. They are not particularly comfortable to wear. We have had a few unhappy clients who did not want to wear one in the pharmacy leading to some strained conversations. We recognize that other measures like physical distancing and hand hygiene are more effective than masks, but they provide an important layer to the ‘safety puzzle’.

Ms. Green claims that masks have been proven to be ineffective at preventing virus spread. I am not sure of her ‘scientific’ source, but I have an unscientific but telling observation from my work. I cannot remember the last time I counseled a patient on which cough or cold medication they should use. The sales in the cough and cold department have plummeted. Coincidence? Or have the measures we have put in place (including masks) helped to curb the spread of the common cold? Additionally, influenza has essentially disappeared this season. Virtually no positive cases have been identified.

Lastly a few comments on the COVID vaccine. It will be available to everyone shortly. As pharmacists will be giving the vaccine, I received my first dose last week. I trust and believe in the science that has allowed these products to be available to us so quickly. They are all very safe and effective in preventing the most severe consequences of infection with this virus. They are our path out of this situation.

Roll up your sleeve when it is your turn and we can all look forward to seeing everyone’s smiles in the near future.

Dave Glass BscPhm, Meaford

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