B.C. Ferries executives need to clear the air about COVID-19

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      This week, the Crown-owned ferry company was hit with a coronavirus outbreak, causing great inconvenience to travellers.

      Due to COVID-19 illnesses among crews, 10 sailings of the Northern Adventure were cancelled between Port Hardy, Prince  Rupert, and Skidegate between April 24 and 29.

      It came after my own informal survey revealed low mask usage among passengers and crew.

      On April 17 as I was inside the Queen of New Westminster in my C-99 respirator, I kept track of the first 150 passengers and crew who passed by my seat.

      Only 34 were wearing masks. That amounted to a mere 23 percent.

      On that day, I didn't see any crew members wearing masks in my area.

      The tweet above elicited the usual ridicule from those who don't want to wear masks.

      "So, 34 idiots plus you?" wrote one detractor.

      "Imagine getting on the ferry and doing nothing but counting people with masks. Then tweeting about it," stated another.

      "LMAO You have a truly bizarre obsession with masks, covid, safety theatre, etc....and I gotta say, your April 12th article on Straight (which is how I found your profile) was deeply delusional & OF COURSE you have pronouns in your profile. That was pretty much guaranteed," wrote a third.

      That "deeply delusional" April 12th article included a comment last month by the White House's head of science and technology policy, Alondra Nelson.

      It concerned how the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreads.

      "The most common way COVID-19 is transmitted from one person to another is through tiny airborne particles of the virus hanging in indoor air for minutes or hours after an infected person has been there," Nelson said.

      This fact has been demonstrated in various research papers including this one in Science in 2021.

      Yet it still hasn't persuaded the extremely well-paid executives at B.C. Ferries to pay more attention to airborne COVID. 

      In their role as an employer, they've refused to introduce a workplace mask mandate even though COVID-19 is a vascular disease that often first presents itself as a respiratory illness.

      Meanwhile, crews are getting sick, leaving the corporation short of Transport Canada's crewing requirements. As a result, some passengers aren't reaching their destinations.

      To help these executives comprehend the nature of the problem, I decided to post the comic-book version of the aforementioned paper in Science.

      Prof. Jose Luis-Jimenez of the University of Colorado Boulder pointed out that all of the comic images are in an online folder.

      B.C. Ferries executives can place them in highly visible locations on their vessels to educate the crew and passengers about airborne COVID-19.

      There's also a PowerPoint version to educate managers in other industries.

      Among the most ignorant are members of the B.C. Liberal caucus, judging by their unwillingness to wear masks indoors.

      Then, there's the mainstream media...

      Another sector desperately in need of this education is healthcare.

      This was revealed in a recent Twitter thread by B.C. resident Tom Jackman.