Face coverings compulsory on public transport in England from 15 June

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Bantamzen

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Reading this thread makes me realise why the infection rates and death rates are still so high in UK as people just don't seem to get it. Masks do help to reduce the infection rate and help prevent (not stop) the spread of this virus. Do I have medical proof that everyone seems to think MUST be produced before this is even deemed to be true, no of course not but I do have practical and real life proof. In Hong Kong where I live we've been wearing masks, using sanatiser etc, on public transport since this first started here back in Jan and the infection rate has today topped out at around 1,100 with just 4 deaths. There is precious little social distancing possible in such a densely populated city so here, we put the incredibly low infection rate down to one thing, masks. Anyone using buses or trains here will see we get crammed in with precious little space for yourself but the infection rate remains very low.

Bus drivers here wear masks all the time and they just get on with it. Of course people still drink water, simply pop the mask down, take a drink and refit, it's not rocket science.

Still in Britain it'll all be done differently, and reading some of comments there are in this thread I think it'll be along time before I'm able to or even wiling to return to Britain as the virus will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

Wear a mask please, it'll help reduce the infection rate so lives can get back to normal much sooner. That's what Britain wants, right ?
A quick question, prior to the virus did everyone in Hong Kong wear a mask all the time, or did they wear masks only when they had symptoms of a cold or flu? Because, and correct me if I am wrong, I'm pretty certain mask wearing was not the norm, even on public transport.

As everyone will be denied travel unless wearing a face mask, what happens on long train journeys e.g. London to Glasgow and you need
liquid refreshments, does this mean you've to spend the whole journey without?
There's no point in fretting about it until you need to make such a journey.
Great way not to answer the question. However given that summer is almost upon us, and that hydration is considered quite an important health factor in these modern times, perhaps you'd like to try again. So what happens if someone is on, say the London Underground, and needs to take a drink from the bottle of water they bought? All medical advice around masks is not to touch or remove them without replacing, so do people now have to carry a bag of masks just in case they get thirsty?

This is what worries me - that fear and paranoia will lead to face masks becoming normal. Think about that for a minute - what an utterly miserable, depressing thought. Loads of the pointless security theatre introduced after 9/11 is still with us nearly 20 years later, and if we go down this road, it won't go away any time soon.
Exactly, and this is what the maskivists don't get & don't try to answer. And forcefully applied to only public transport will have the long term effect of making it even less desirable for the masses, which will lead to cutbacks and closures in the future.

Because masks reduce the likelihood of transmission without stopping it completely. Social distancing also reduces the likelihood of transmission without stopping it completely. Put the two together and you reduce the likelihood of transmission by more than if you only apply one of them.
Evidence? Both measures are still under scientific scrutiny, and of course might only apply when people actually have the virus. So can you quantify how much protection both measures actually afford the population.

Prejudice, laziness and selfishness. It is very unlikely that there are other reasons.
I'm sorry but this is completely wrong. Many people, of whom I am one, object to these measures for a number of reasons. Here are some:

  • There is no real scientific consensus on the effectiveness of non-symptomatic people wearing them to prevent the spread.
  • The World Health Organisation still only recommend the use of masks if you are either showing signs of symptoms (in which case you really ought to be staying at home, or you are taking care of someone with symptoms (and in these cases you should be using an approved masks, not one made out of an old t-shirt). The link is below.
  • The World Health Organisation also states that those people who they recommend mask usage should do so following strict protocol which includes washing hands directly before putting on a mask, and immediately after removing them, ensuring that they fit tightly, not touching them at any time, and replacing them when they become damp. The link is again below. This will not happen on public transport, and we all know it.
  • There is no exit strategy to their use, meaning that those people eager to impose compulsory mask wearing will continue to push for them well beyond the lifespan of this current situation.
  • Many people find masks uncomfortable, or find interacting with people wearing them uncomfortable. Which is understandable as they are not natural, and something that can & does act as a barrier to social interactions.
  • The whole idea that masks can help stems from the deliberately misrepresented notion that people in the Far East wear them as standard to stop infections. They did not, as noted further up in my thread, masks were worn when people were displaying symptoms of a cold or flu. This mistruth alone should be enough to make people sit up and take notice.
I hope that helps to clear up why some of us are not happy about measures being forced on us when there may well be close to zero benefits.

Quotes from the WHO website:


  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with COVID-19.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly
  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
 
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LAX54

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Should definitely be a choice, given there's lots of evidence they don't actually do much.
It is purely physiological, to make you 'feel' safe :) as many GP's / Nurses / and WHO have said many times,

only two groups of people should wear protective masks, those who are sick and showing symptoms, or those caring for people suspected to have virus.

The WHO does not usually recommend them for the public because they can be contaminated by other people's coughs and sneezes or when putting them on or off, or they might offer a false sense of security.

But that doesn't mean they have no benefit at all for the general public - it is just that the scientific evidence is weak, mind you the Government has said, they are not for 'self' protection, but to limit the spread when you sneeze or cough.

Yes we all know the they are worn in Hospitals etc, but of course they are changed and binned after every action with a patient, not just because of the virus, but all manner of nasties that float around anyway

and gloves, are the biggest no no and danger ! at the very outset of this epidemic, we had about 5 boxes of gloves delivered, together with the gel, we still have almost 5 boxes ! we did have a few start to use them, then realised they were in fact making it worse for them, so stopped, but however the gel, is widely used every hour
 

Greenboy

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Who is paying for the masks? Just a way of charging us for breathing in public. Subscribe and get your weekly masks delivered to your door for ££££...Not to mention the virus was patented... What a lovely world.
A scarf will do....... a face covering doesn't necessarily mean a mask........ honestly is it that difficult to just comply? I'd be all in favour of freedom of choice in normal circumstances but a face covering is a small price to pay to use public transport normally.
 

baz962

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Of course there are other reasons. I brought it up on the other public transport thread. I don't yet know about masks , however I have sensitive skin and I almost never wear hat's. On occasion I have worn a beany hat , I have developed a bit of rash or at least some itching , so I stopped wearing them except on my last bit of the day , walking home from the station and only at around two am on the very coldest night's . Btw I used to attend the homeopathic hospital for my skin. Problem is possibly if I have a similar reaction to a mask . I'm not so worried about the home journey , as I want to do my bit for society and I can deal with an itch for an hour or two. I'm concerned about the trip to work and also if I have to wear them every time I change ends on a platform. I could be forever itching and scratching and that is not great , when you have to drive a train. Thing is , as I have never needed to wear one and never had to wear a hat , I have never sought an exemption . I also don't have breathing problems , so am not in the exempted catagory.
 

Bantamzen

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A scarf will do....... a face covering doesn't necessarily mean a mask........ honestly is it that difficult to just comply? I'd be all in favour of freedom of choice in normal circumstances but a face covering is a small price to pay to use public transport normally.
Will it? Is there scientific evidence that pushing a scarf over your face will considerably reduce the risk? As I have mentioned above, wearing masks in public is not a recommendation from the WHO. Oh and for a bit more context, my home office is a large public sector hub, and the advice there is also not to wear them. So how is working in a very large building for 7-8 hours a day considered a lower risk than sitting on a bus? Answers on a postcard to B Johnson, 10 Downing Street, London.

Oh and it isn't a small price at all, it takes away a key facet of human contact, i.e. being able to fully read people's facial expressions. For example some railway staff have already noted, using a friendly smile for example can help put passengers at ease and even diffuse potential conflicts. So face masks won't allow us to use public transport normally, they will be a further barrier to human interaction, and in all probability will make public transport even less desirable, potentially to the point that it's very viability will come into question.
 

nedchester

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Will it? Is there scientific evidence that pushing a scarf over your face will considerably reduce the risk? As I have mentioned above, wearing masks in public is not a recommendation from the WHO. Oh and for a bit more context, my home office is a large public sector hub, and the advice there is also not to wear them. So how is working in a very large building for 7-8 hours a day considered a lower risk than sitting on a bus? Answers on a postcard to B Johnson, 10 Downing Street, London.

Oh and it isn't a small price at all, it takes away a key facet of human contact, i.e. being able to fully read people's facial expressions. For example some railway staff have already noted, using a friendly smile for example can help put passengers at ease and even diffuse potential conflicts. So face masks won't allow us to use public transport normally, they will be a further barrier to human interaction, and in all probability will make public transport even less desirable, potentially to the point that it's very viability will come into question.
My concern is not the use of masks in June but the exit strategy as to when we stop wearing them.

Like the lockdown there is only a limited time during which people will put up with it.
 

Greenboy

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Will it? Is there scientific evidence that pushing a scarf over your face will considerably reduce the risk? As I have mentioned above, wearing masks in public is not a recommendation from the WHO. Oh and for a bit more context, my home office is a large public sector hub, and the advice there is also not to wear them. So how is working in a very large building for 7-8 hours a day considered a lower risk than sitting on a bus? Answers on a postcard to B Johnson, 10 Downing Street, London.

Oh and it isn't a small price at all, it takes away a key facet of human contact, i.e. being able to fully read people's facial expressions. For example some railway staff have already noted, using a friendly smile for example can help put passengers at ease and even diffuse potential conflicts. So face masks won't allow us to use public transport normally, they will be a further barrier to human interaction, and in all probability will make public transport even less desirable, potentially to the point that it's very viability will come into question.
Yes it does take away a key facet of human contact but it's not going to be forever....... and clearly this based on advice from experts so the cheap political points scoring is rather tiresome........... this is all rather reminiscent of the rather lame arguments put forward against the mandatory wearing of seat belts and crash helmets.
 

Bantamzen

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My concern is not the use of masks in June but the exit strategy as to when we stop wearing them.

Like the lockdown there is only a limited time during which people will put up with it.
Yes it does take away a key facet of human contact but it's not going to be forever....... and clearly this based on advice from experts so the cheap political points scoring is rather tiresome........... this is all rather reminiscent of the rather lame arguments put forward against the mandatory wearing of seat belts and crash helmets.
Firstly, see the quote from @nedchester

Secondly seat belts and helmets have scientific evidence behind them.
 

Mintona

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I did see a twitter poll (yes I know) that had more people say this would make them less likely to use public transport than more likely.
 
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Belperpete

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The messaging from the various nations does seem to be contradictory. England has announced that face coverings are necessary because social distancing may be impractical on public transport. So it looks like England are using mandatory face coverings as a way of getting people to accept the dropping of social distancing.

On the other hand, Wales has announced that reservations may be necessary because social distancing will reduce capacity on public transport. So it looks like Wales anticipate continuing with social distancing. Note also the announcement by the Welsh education minister that social distancing in schools will continue in the new school year in September.
 

yorksrob

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In which case, I won't visit them. There's absolutely no way I'd find that experience enjoyable, quite apart from it being completely pointless anyway.



This is what worries me - that fear and paranoia will lead to face masks becoming normal. Think about that for a minute - what an utterly miserable, depressing thought. Loads of the pointless security theatre introduced after 9/11 is still with us nearly 20 years later, and if we go down this road, it won't go away any time soon.
Personally, I think that this is something that will wither as the risk from coronavirus does.

Once people are mixing again as normal in the pubs without face masks, they won't be wearing them on the trains and buses.
 

LAX54

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Yes it does take away a key facet of human contact but it's not going to be forever....... and clearly this based on advice from experts so the cheap political points scoring is rather tiresome........... this is all rather reminiscent of the rather lame arguments put forward against the mandatory wearing of seat belts and crash helmets.
But it has already been noted by many including GP's / Nurses / WHO / Scientists, that a mask, does not do much at all, and once 'damp' they are hopeless anyway, of course we could use them properly, and bin them after we talk to someone, get in close proximity to someone, and at the very least every 20 to 30 mins, when they become damp and make the bug transfer easier ! BUT it may make you feel protected, and that someone is doing something !
Nexzt we will have to wear them every flu season to 'protect everyone' as we all know know a bad flu season can take a big, big toll on lives too.
 

xydancer

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A quick question, prior to the virus did everyone in Hong Kong wear a mask all the time, or did they wear masks only when they had symptoms of a cold or flu? Because, and correct me if I am wrong, I'm pretty certain mask wearing was not the norm, even on public transport.
I spend a lot of time in Taiwan, and was there from January to late-March. Normally, people do not wear masks on public transport but it became the norm but still voluntary (around 95% people did wear them, including me) as the virus took off. It is complusory now, but wasn't made so until late April. It doesn't need to be 'enforced' because people understand and accept the need - just, incidentally, as they understand and accept the 'no eating and drinking rule' on the Taipei MRT, which includes water.

I agree with flymo. I prefer to use the evidence of my own eyes and experience. They work. You soon get used to them whatever people on here think. I flew back on a 14-hour non-stop flight where masks were compulsory and it wasn't a problem.

It does need to be used alongside other measures, however. Taiwan was aware of an unexplained virus in Wuhan in December. Health declarations, temperature checks, free sanitizer everywhere and compulsory quarantine for arrivals were all quickly and efficiently put in place (none of this announcing then waiting nearly two weeks for implementation nonsense). The result: no lockdown, schools open, shops open, cinemas open, museums open, and now spectators at sporting events. Just 443 cases and 7 deaths (scaled up for the UK population - and remember most of Taiwan is far more crowded than here - that's around 1,350 and 23), and no new 'homegrown' cases now for over 50 days.
 

Mintona

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I’d much prefer the virus was still around and we didn’t have to wear masks than have it gone and be forced to wear them. I doubt I’m alone.
 

nlogax

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Question for those of you who don't like masks; if mandatory use of face coverings was linked to the full return of leisure travel on trains (ie bye bye 'essential journeys only'), would you change your minds and wear them so you could do what you enjoy doing most?

It's a tiny price to pay if it's part of a route back to normality. I've zero qualms about wearing them.
 

LAX54

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Question for those of you who don't like masks; if mandatory use of face coverings was linked to the full return of leisure travel on trains (ie bye bye 'essential journeys only'), would you change your minds and wear them so you could do what you enjoy doing most?

It's a tiny price to pay if it's part of a route back to normality. I've zero qualms about wearing them.
No issue with wearing, but as long as people realise they will not protect 'them' as such, and they are changed / binned when they get damp and useless
 

AM9

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I’d much prefer the virus was still around and we didn’t have to wear masks than have it gone and be forced to wear them. I doubt I’m alone.
You'd "prefer the virus was still around". Wow, that's wierd. At least you are thinking of others. :)
 

C J Snarzell

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I would assume buffet carts on trains will be closed indefinitely, and the refreshment trolleys will be ditched. You cannot consume food & drink on a train with a face mask on!
 

AM9

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It is purely physiological, to make you 'feel' safe :) as many GP's / Nurses / and WHO have said many times,

only two groups of people should wear protective masks, those who are sick and showing symptoms, or those caring for people suspected to have virus.

The WHO does not usually recommend them for the public because they can be contaminated by other people's coughs and sneezes or when putting them on or off, or they might offer a false sense of security.

But that doesn't mean they have no benefit at all for the general public - it is just that the scientific evidence is weak, mind you the Government has said, they are not for 'self' protection, but to limit the spread when you sneeze or cough.

Yes we all know the they are worn in Hospitals etc, but of course they are changed and binned after every action with a patient, not just because of the virus, but all manner of nasties that float around anyway

and gloves, are the biggest no no and danger ! at the very outset of this epidemic, we had about 5 boxes of gloves delivered, together with the gel, we still have almost 5 boxes ! we did have a few start to use them, then realised they were in fact making it worse for them, so stopped, but however the gel, is widely used every hour
It's been explained so many times here that wearing face covering in public spaces is a measure to reduce the amount of spreading from those who have the virus (even if they are asymptomatic) to others. The reason for medical staff to wear surgical masks or respirators is to protect them as they are at a much greater risk. That is why they are binned after each instance of use.
I can't believe that you haven't seen these posts as you are posting long posts such as this. Your problem is that you aren't recognising that and your posts are based on a misunderstanding of the facts.
 

Bletchleyite

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Yes, I agree, even though it's more futile rubbish made up as they go along. Actually I blame the 'expert advisers' more than the Government. I'm beginning to think they are the problem, not the fount of all wisdom they may initially have been thought to be.
Someone I know involved in the response planning in the civil service (who I've mentioned here before, though obviously not by name) says the Unions insisted, and the Goverment doesn't want to pick fights with them at the moment. This would explain why public transport but not supermarkets, and might also explain why public transport has been "essential use only" so far - you may recall it being posted here that the Unions had said it before.
 

AM9

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But it has already been noted by many including GP's / Nurses / WHO / Scientists, that a mask, does not do much at all, and once 'damp' they are hopeless anyway, of course we could use them properly, and bin them after we talk to someone, get in close proximity to someone, and at the very least every 20 to 30 mins, when they become damp and make the bug transfer easier ! BUT it may make you feel protected, and that someone is doing something !
Nexzt we will have to wear them every flu season to 'protect everyone' as we all know know a bad flu season can take a big, big toll on lives too.
No, once again, you are confusing the issues that medical staff have with masks which are worn to protect them. Wearing face masks to reduce the potential for you to infect others is not the same thing. Maybe the concept of an altruistic act of helping others is an alien concept to you but that is what the mandating face covering on public transport is all about. If you are not prepared to do that you might be refused permission to travel or in extreme case, fined for non-compliance.
 

Bletchleyite

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Great way not to answer the question. However given that summer is almost upon us, and that hydration is considered quite an important health factor in these modern times, perhaps you'd like to try again. So what happens if someone is on, say the London Underground, and needs to take a drink from the bottle of water they bought? All medical advice around masks is not to touch or remove them without replacing, so do people now have to carry a bag of masks just in case they get thirsty?
Take a good drink before boarding and you will not need another before arriving unless you have a medical condition relating to this. Tube journeys (unless you're riding laps of the Circle Line for a laugh) are simply not long enough for you to dehydrate to a dangerous extent if you were properly hydrated before you boarded.
 

Bletchleyite

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I’m well aware of that. My point is that I’d rather it was still here for another ten years than live in a dystopian world where masks are compulsory.
I'd rather put up with masks (in far more settings than they are being required here) for a year or two to knock it on the head sooner and ensure it stays gone. It's a minor measure which could help greatly, and if it doesn't it can just be dropped.
 

Bantamzen

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Question for those of you who don't like masks; if mandatory use of face coverings was linked to the full return of leisure travel on trains (ie bye bye 'essential journeys only'), would you change your minds and wear them so you could do what you enjoy doing most?

It's a tiny price to pay if it's part of a route back to normality. I've zero qualms about wearing them.
Except if people, as the likely will be, are put off by the government telling them not to use them & if they have to wear masks, then pretty soon there isn't going to be a full return as services get cut.

And another reason why people like me don't like the idea is best described by a dental practice when asked about reopening next week:


One practice told the BBC it has been asked to donate its previous stock of PPE and was struggling to find new supplies in time for Monday.
"We have a week to get it all, which simply isn't possible", says Sophia Joseph, an NHS dentist practice manager based in Sheffield.
"Apart from actually finding the equipment, there are other problems. Costs of this equipment have gone up from £5 to £50 for boxes of simple masks," she says.
From £5 a box to £50? And why is this? Because governments around the world have mandated mask wearing to be seen to be doing something, but inadvertently have caused a shortage of them & hyperinflation, which directly effects out healthcare services.

It's been explained so many times here that wearing face covering in public spaces is a measure to reduce the amount of spreading from those who have the virus (even if they are asymptomatic) to others. The reason for medical staff to wear surgical masks or respirators is to protect them as they are at a much greater risk. That is why they are binned after each instance of use.
I can't believe that you haven't seen these posts as you are posting long posts such as this. Your problem is that you aren't recognising that and your posts are based on a misunderstanding of the facts.
People who are symptomatic won't, or at least shouldn't be travelling in the first place. As for asymptomatic people, if they are not coughing and sneezing as they likely wouldn't be as they are asymptomatic, then the science is definitely inconclusive as to how infectious they really are. And then of course that assumes that they have the virus active in their systems, which many people won't.

Take a good drink before boarding and you will not need another before arriving unless you have a medical condition relating to this. Tube journeys (unless you're riding laps of the Circle Line for a laugh) are simply not long enough for you to dehydrate to a dangerous extent if you were properly hydrated before you boarded.
Given how hot it can get on the tube, especially during summer, there is no way I would travel without the option of some water, even for short distances.
 
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LAX54

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No, once again, you are confusing the issues that medical staff have with masks which are worn to protect them. Wearing face masks to reduce the potential for you to infect others is not the same thing. Maybe the concept of an altruistic act of helping others is an alien concept to you but that is what the mandating face covering on public transport is all about. If you are not prepared to do that you might be refused permission to travel or in extreme case, fined for non-compliance.
Agree, but many think that wearing the masks will stop them getting the virus, and that is not correct They may wll help others, and I have not said otherwise, but those that think they will be protected by wearing one, will be disappointed.
 

LAX54

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I’m well aware of that. My point is that I’d rather it was still here for another ten years than live in a dystopian world where masks are compulsory.
Think they have already said, it will be a seasonal 'flu' and keep coming around, if we have a vaccine all well and good, but it is not guaranteed of course
 

LOM

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There are of course mixed views on the effectiveness of face masks, but if they help just a little bit than it's worth it.
On the contrary, if the government wishes to compel the entire population to do something on pain of legal penalties for not complying then it had better be on the basis of overwhelming scientific evidence and sound reasoning. Which this is not.
 
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