Mackenzie Clark Profile picture
Jan 12 77 tweets 14 min read
Watching the Douglas County Commission meeting to discuss extending the emergency mask mandate. Three deputies are visible on screen.
Here, people appear to be signing up to give public comment, while some give nazi salutes.
Mandate background: lawrenceks.news/3FYCi03
When that emergency order went into effect, the 14-day average number of new daily COVID cases in Douglas County was 96.5.

Today, that stat hit 231.29. A week later. And there were 916 new cases reported since Monday.

lawrenceks.news/covid
This was going on outside just before 5:30. Photo by @KsScanner.
Public commenter says not to trust media, because all of it is owned by two companies that refuse to talk about immune systems.
(Note: Can confirm this is untrue, I am delighted to not be "owned")
Talking about ivermectin, how masks are disgusting.
Now the commission is actually talking about the mask mandate.

Dan Partridge with @LDCHealth speaking about the "sobering statistics" over the last 6 days — more than 4,000 active cases today in Douglas County.
Health Officer Dr. Thomas Marcellino says "by wearing a mask, you're just caring about your fellow humans."
He says it's a temporary mandate, one of many measures to reduce risk of COVID and slow the spread.
Dr. Jen Schrimsher says they're seeing a surge of cases in health care workers, which has previously been followed by surges in the general population. "This is not over."

She says she's asking for a temporary mandate "to help get us through omicron. That's it."
Commissioner Patrick Kelly telling people in the audience that they will be heard in public comment, but if they continue outbursts, there will not be public comment — the commission will vote and move on.
Schrimsher, of @lmhorg, says surgeries like hip and knee replacements that are needed but not emergent will be postponed. Patients suffer.
As cases rise, "all of this leads to" having to decide who gets a ventilator and who does not; who gets care and who does not.
Commission Chair Shannon Portillo asking legal counsel (and Lawrence City Commissioner) Brad Finkeldei about legal aspects of this mask order.

The legal standard is whether it's the least restrictive manner to accomplish the stated goal, Finkeldei says.
Marcellino says once omicron gets into this area, it will spread quickly and become the predominant strain.
"We have to be careful about making assumptions about omicron" because of the sheer number of cases that will strain the health care system, he says.
I can't get the KDHE variants stat page to load, but on my last check, they had confirmed 9 cases of omicron in Douglas County.
Charts here: lawrenceks.news/covid
Now getting to public comment.
Man wrapped in an American flag says the mandate was passed before public comment, is an abuse of power, and we're seeing falsified data "for profit and agenda." "Children can't breathe and are living in terror."
He asks law enforcement officers to "arrest these people (commissioners) for breaking the Constitution of the United States, inciting civil unrest, for gross child endangerment, for negligence against the elderly and for crimes against humanity."
Commenter 2 says Marcellino, Dr. "Scrimshaw" and others are ridiculous if they think cloth masks or "kitchen towels" are going to mitigate COVID. Says to mask the sick with N95s, not the healthy. "This order is just an exercise in futility."
This commenter (3) is talking really fast, reading federal civil rights laws, citing Black's Law Dictionary about what "color of law" means, etc. Advising commission to seek legal counsel immediately if they don't understand the law.
Commenter 4 says she will not comply and does not consent to the mask order.
Commenter 5 says CDC does not govern this county, the commission does, and health officers are "parroting" the CDC. Asking if they'll mandate that everyone buy and wear N95s or KN95s.
Commenter 6 says city stopped buying masks for public transit riders. She says many people can't afford masks so they use filthy one-time-use masks for days. Says federal mandates are "different from the city mandate."
Commenter 7 says she has a lot of respect for medical doctors, but after two years, a scarf or T-shirt improvised as a mask is "the best advice you have?" she asks health officers.
7 says "renew the mask mandate or don't, we don't live by your rules. We don't take health advice from you anymore. We don't need your permission to live. We are done."
Commenter 8 says he bought a box of masks and it contains a disclaimer that it does not protect against COVID.

(Note: Since March 2020, health officials have said masks are to protect other people)
Commenter 9 asking about data on the percentage reduction masks provide against variants, whether they'll mandate masks every year.
Commenter 10 says this is the "land of the free" and those who believe in masks should wear them, and those who don't shouldn't have to.
Commenter 11 says masks are harmful and do not prevent spread of disease. "Masks are not used to control disease. Masks are used to control people."
"You know that ivermectin works" but won't prescribe it, 11 says.
(Note: lawrenceks.news/3ygPRDh)
I lost track of how many names Chair Portillo just read of folks who signed up to comment, but I did hear that several folks left a little while ago.

Commenter 12 says if health care workers are required to be vaccinated, how can we say the vaccine is working?
12 says we've had a mandate for a week and cases are still rising, so how can we say the mask mandate works?
(Schrimsher laughed.)
(Note: The incubation period of COVID is ~5 days on average but ranges from 2 to 14 days.)
Commenter 13: Last (mask mandate), you said it was to protect kids who can't be vaccinated. Now it's for everybody. "This order assumes everyone is infected" and if this order is really about health, "why are non-sick people required to wear masks?"
13 asks why we're not mandating a plant-based diet, if this is really about health.
Commenter 14 says "Douglas County, let's be better than our current administration and the media outlets."
14 says "Fear lowers the immune system," and we're all living in fear.
Commenter 15 says "LMH should be well-prepared at this point" for short staffing. "It's not the community's responsibility to mask up because LMH is short-staffed."
WOW, moving to Zoom participants for comment already. Apparently many of those who were required to wear masks or leave actually left.
Zoom comment 1: Says he appreciate the mask mandate and would encourage it to go all the way through March. Says he'd like to see people who were commenting sign a pledge that they won't go to LMH if they get COVID but doubts they'd do that. "We're trying to save you from dying."
Zoom comment 2: Says this pandemic has been extremely economically damaging to health care providers, they're not profiting from it. "Bad policies were reached when people began to get out of their lanes" during swine flu, he says.
2 would give thought to making sure the community has easy access to masks, he notes.
Zoom comment 3 is Russ Johnson, CEO of @lmhorg. "We have delta, which is proven to be very lethal, and omicron which is shown to be so transmissible — and the intersection of those at this moment has really lead to a workforce circumstance that is highly unusual for us."
Johnson thanks the commission "for your consideration and support of this movement for public health. Thank you so much."
Zoom commenter 4: "The idea that people can just, on their own, say that 'I don't have COVID and I'm going to breathe on you and infect you' violates my personal freedom" to have a healthy life.
4 says there was misinformation shared about vaccines — people may still get sick "but it is still protecting against getting severe disease and hospitalization."
Zoom commenter 5 says her daughter has struggled with masks, but "We will catch back up on her speech; that isn't my biggest concern. Keeping her healthy and alive is my priority."
Zoom commenter 6: "I do consent, I will comply," and appreciates county leadership on this issue. "Kind of sad to me" that we're having to rely on the county's order rather than come together to take commonsense action, he says.
Zoom commenter 7: Says emotional trauma and behavioral challenges among children have grown exponentially, "and I seriously doubt that that is really weighed as heavily as the infectious disease piece of it."
7 says "masks are legally experimental" and she has to give consent to "participate in a medical experiment." "By the way, I will not be coming to LMH" for any reason.
Commenter 8 says she's a teacher who is currently out with COVID — says mask mandate "has made a difference in the schools ... I work with over 900 students and I made it six months before getting COVID."
Zoom commenter 9: Talking about plastic bags over faces having undesired effects. Says "we're all going to get COVID at some point" and county should put freedom of constituents above all.
Zoom commenter 10: "Many have not made it" with COVID ... "this is not our hill to die on." Says masks do work but we should have rapid antigen testing to be delivered to people's homes and it's a failure that we don't have it. (Went over time and got muted.)
Zoom commenter 11: "You have no plan for when masking and vaccinations fail, which they do, and they are." Says "the experience I just had contracting COVID-19 was like a paper cut compared to having influenza A."
Zoom commenter 12: "I just have to say that I stand with everybody in that courtroom and the very few patriots that are on the Zoom call that this is against constitutional rights. I will not consent, and I do not comply with the mask mandate."
Zoom commenter 13 says she is an LMH employee. "As a health care organization, we are doing all we can, but we do need our community's help, so please show your support to our health care workers."
Zoom commenter 14 says he has a child too young to vaccinate and "I can't take him to most indoor spaces in our county because of these people who refuse to wear their masks. And they seem to think that they're patriots; I think that they just have no public feeling."
Zoom commenter 15 is Dustin Stumblingbear, who filed to run for County Commission today. Says he's worn a mask since March 2020 and he supports the health orders and @LDCHealth. "I want you to know that we are smiling at you and saying, 'Keep up the great work.'"
"I'd also just like to point out there's a very distinct racial disparity in who is speaking against and for these masks, and that should be noted and observed," Stumblingbear says.
Zoom commenter 16 says to look at the history of masks: "I encourage you to look at how masks have been used in the past and how they have been deemed safe in the medical field for generations."
Zoom commenter 17 says she thinks it's important the county maintain the mask policy. "I wish we had more tools to throw at this virus. What we have, we should be doing." Echoes what zoom commenter 2 said — listen to the experts advising you.
17 says several businesses downtown have had to close because essential workers have COVID. Tells commissioners "I'm sorry that people have been vitriolic toward you this evening. You don't deserve that."
Zoom commenter 18 says it's ridiculous that people are complaining about being told how to live their lives when masks are not invasive. "You can find research that supports anything you believe." If cases continue rising after this step, we have to do something else, 18 says.
Zoom commenter 19 is Traci Hoopingarner, chief nursing officer at LMH. "I've never seen anything like (the last 2 weeks) in my 38 years of nursing, and I really want your support on the mask mandate because it is very very important to keep our community safe."
Zoom commenter 20 says she knows fear — her firstborn daughter died — but she will not live in fear. "What life is worth living if it's never lived due to fear?" Quoting scripture. "Remember who you are in Christ. Remember he is lord, and not the government."
Zoom commenter 21 is a Sunset Hill Elementary student who says "I am completely fine wearing a mask. Thank you."
Zoom commenter 22 is a home birth midwife who says they operate differently from hospitals, including paying attention to things like vitamin D levels, but "we're all vaccinated and we all wear masks, and we find it to be absolutely lifesaving for our clients."
22 says "I look forward to wearing a mask as long as I need to, to protect my clients ... and all the little babies I see."
And 23 gave a very short message of support for the mandate.

Back to the commission and health officers.
Marcellino: "When you're speaking without a mask, the droplets would go out 4 feet from your mouth. If you have a single-layer cloth mask, the distance was 2 feet. If you have a disposable 3-layer mask, the distance was .5 feet. ...
... So you can see that the better the mask, the less the distance the droplets are going to travel."
Schrimsher says she's addressed multiple times the question of "who is here with COVID versus who is here for COVID." She said the VA has started tracking that, and they had 72 admitted for COVID, and one admitted with COVID.
"I think that masks should be more available, but there's a bunch of funding that was pulled at state and federal levels. So yeah, I think masks should be on public transport, they should be in every doorway. I support that, absolutely," Schrimsher says.
Commission Chair Shannon Portillo says she found it really jarring when Schrimsher said LMH doesn't do cardiothoracic surgery and currently can't send people to KU Med because they're not taking new patients.
Commissioner Patrick Kelly says it's hard to hear the public say they don't trust the health officers because they're chosen for their expertise. "But I do trust you and I appreciate your expertise and I appreciate the work that you're doing to keep our community safe."
Kelly says in his work for @usd497, they've seen the tremendous impact of COVID.
More on that: lawrenceks.news/3FgXblE
Kelly says "I'm very comfortable extending this public health order."
Commission Vice Chair Shannon Reid she appreciates public health officials showing courageous leadership in this emergency order. She says health orders throughout the pandemic are "about caution and they're about community care. It is not about control."
Reid: "We are merely doing our best to find human solutions for mitigating that impact. Our public health officers are doing their best to mitigate nature's ability to mutate and spread highly contagious viruses across our population, and they have asked for explicit support."
"This mask mandate is a mutual aid request of our entire community to do what is right for one another and to take every feasible action toward contributing to our collective health and the protection of each other, as well as the protection of vital resources," Reid says.
Reid moves to approve the resolution for the emergency health order to remain in force through Feb. 9 unless otherwise rescinded or modified. Kelly seconds; motion passes 3-0.

Short break time.
And this probably concludes my live tweeting of this evening's meeting because I am getting extremely hungry. Story to come soon for @LawrenceKSTimes.
@LawrenceKSTimes OH and essential plug: Please support us so I can keep doing this stuff. 😁
lawrenceks.news/support

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More from @mclarknews

Aug 18, 2021
Meanwhile during #DgCoComm: Public commenters refuse to allow "nazi takeover ... or whatever's happening"
douglascountyks-org.zoom.us/j/92459729971
Naturally we did not send a reporter to this meeting because we don't want our folks to die, so I don't know how many maskless people are packed into this room, but they're sure shouting a lot, and I can see people standing along the wall behind the county administrator.
"We're going to see a generation of psychopaths," a public commenter says, using the future tense
Read 88 tweets
Feb 10, 2021
I never would have expected such an outpouring of love right now, and I truly cannot thank you all enough. It means everything. ✨

Now that I'm long out of the office, I should clarify:

I'm not going anywhere, at least not right now.

🧵part 2 ...
You've all inspired me to move forward with my next project, and I'll get to that a few tweets from now ...

In the meantime, please read this piece by my former (/future?) colleague, @ConnerMitchell0.

I think it will explain a lot ...

bit.ly/370KzRt
That piece is almost entirely just Conner's own experiences.

I can show you the edit that left me sick to my stomach and made me realize we had no other option than to unionize and push for change:

Quote marks added around the term anti-Blackness.
Read 19 tweets

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