Tuesday, February 22, 2022
Monday, February 14, 2022
A friend recently shared a post to social media pointing out that exposure to peanuts can cause extreme harm (even death) to kids at school. As such, schools tend to have rules in place that prohibit anyone from bringing peanut products into that environment. This ensures that schools are “peanut-free zones” and those young students can learn without fear of illness.
The post went on to say that parents willingly participate in this community effort to protect the kids who may be at risk. The message encouraged parents to be thoughtful, compassionate citizens so that their children could, in turn, learn to be kind and compassionate citizens. The post ended with “Agree or disagree, but it’s the same thing [as wearing a mask.]”
went through my head, but I decided the best response would be to tell you
about my stove.
I have a wood stove in my basement. It heats my house for most of the winter. Once a week we let the fire die out and cool down so we that can remove the ashes. And once the box has been emptied, we start it back up again from scratch. Most of us in the house are used to doing this and understand what is needed to get it going quickly and efficiently. But every so often we get a little too sure of ourselves and think we can start it without as much paper or wood kindling as usual. Our pride takes over and we think we can coax that small flame to consume a cold log with just a couple small sticks and a piece of paper. Inevitably, we find ourselves watching the fire die out, while a growing cloud of smoke works its way through the tiny gaps in the seal of the door.
In another moment or two, with the smoke detector screaming to us the blatantly obvious fact that our entire basement is filling with smoke, we open our windows and point a fan at those windows, hoping to force that smoke outside as quickly as possible so we can breathe again. My asthmatic daughter avoids the room, hoping to keep her lungs clear and exchanging air, as designed. It takes a while for the smoke to dissipate but eventually it does and we can breathe in that room again.
I continue to be amazed that smoke can get through those tiny spaces in the seal of the door and fill my entire basement so quickly.
And I think that reveals
the truth of how masks work - They form
a physical barrier in front of the face. They are designed to keep debris/droplets
from entering or leaving the facial area. But unless a person is wearing a perfectly
fitted and sealed respirator (more on that below), there are leaks much bigger
than the leaks in my wood stove. And that person is breathing aerosols in and
out a lot more consistently than the smoldering fire in my wood stove.
Now imagine that each child in a classroom is like my wood stove with a sealed door, and that instead of smoke leaking out, it is a virus. Are those children protected from that virus? Unless they are protecting themselves by wearing a properly fitted respirator, I can assure you that the virus is getting into their lungs in the air they are breathing.
|Water vapour escaping from a properly worn N95 mask.|
Back to the peanut allergy - If there was a device that a person with a peanut allergy could wear to ensure they weren’t exposed to peanuts, wouldn’t they wear it?
Believe it or not, there are devices that people can wear to ensure they are
not exposed to this virus (properly fitted respirators that can filter particles 0.1 microns in size), but very few are
wearing them. Why are parents not choosing to send their children with these?
(And for the sake of clarification, I feel that it’s best to point out that a properly fitted and properly functioning respirator has gone through safety checks, is properly fitted to the wearer’s face at all times, is regularly inspected for degradation to the seal, is placed on the wearer by someone with proper training, and is worn by someone with proper training.)
Am I advocating for all children in schools to wear properly fitted and properly functioning respirators? Not at all. But if a parent has legitimate concerns for their child's health, any self-respecting school and/or health system would certainly allow for that safety measure to be put in place to protect that specific child.
In the meantime, let's stop pretending that masks are an effective means of protecting us or others from the Sars-CoV-2 virus.
Screenshot of properly worn N95 respirator taken from TikTok user @chadroyvermont's video.
For more information on how masks, respirators, and other safety measures should or should not be employed to protect oneself from small particles and viruses, check out this interview with Industrial Hazards specialist Stephen Petty.
Disclaimer: I am not an Industrial Hazards specialist, nor am I an Epidemiologist, Virologist, or any other kind of professional-ologist who has special knowledge of how to keep you safe from any particular dangers. I'm just a Mom with a wood stove.
Saturday, August 8, 2020
I recently acquired some bird feeders. Before investing too much I waited to see if the birds would come. They did.
Sunday, April 5, 2020
Because it's fun to bake with friends even from far away...
Open up your favourite video conferencing tool and make a date to hang out and bake with your favourite people!
Makes 24 large scones. Scones can also be cut in half, before going on baking sheet, to make mini scones. Reduce cooking time if you do that.
Friday, April 3, 2020
It has been said that there are 365 verses in the Bible that say “Do not fear”. My research indicates that’s not entirely true, but the idea is certainly pervasive throughout Scripture.
What was the person afraid of in each of the scriptures that you come across?
What was God’s response/promise to that fear?
Take some time to pray, confessing your fears to God and then letting go of them into His very capable hands. Pray for those who do not yet know Jesus as their Saviour, that they may be introduced to the Prince of Peace and find rest from their worries. Ask God to help you be an effective witness of what it looks like to trust God with everything.
Finally, worship with us as we sing these two songs!
Saturday, March 28, 2020
I wanted to give my kids a more directed and meaningful way to pray and meditate on God's word, so I wrote up the following direction for them to walk through. Please feel free to join us as we do this on Sunday morning from our own homes.
Sunday Morning Prayer and Personal Reflection
For this world – That this world may see the Truth of who God is and be obedient to His call on their lives; that everyone may experience healing – not just in body, but in spirit.
For our country – That our government officials would turn their hearts to God and make decisions for our nation that will both protect us and help us follow God more closely; that the Christian citizens of this country and the rest of the world would stand for God’s Truth.
For our region – That the citizens of this region would experience a revival; that they would hunger for God and His Word; that as our witness directs more hearts to God, it would make a difference in the lives of all, whether rich, employed, stay-at-home, unemployed, sober, addicted, homeless, Christian, atheist, sick, or well.
For our church – That we would seek God with all our hearts, setting aside our personal goals and desires that do not align with His good and perfect will; that we would feel a connection to each other while we are physically apart; that we would be able to spur one another on towards good deeds, encouraging each other.
For ourselves – That we would draw closer to God individually, both today and each day this week; that we would spend time seeking for His will in our lives rather than pursuing our own desires; that our hearts and its desires would be transformed as we renew our minds by spending time praying, reading His word, and worshiping Him, both in song and in deed.
Jesus told the Pharisees, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
How do you struggle with either of these commandments? (Look at how you tend to sin; it may indicate which is more of a struggle for you.)
When you look at lists of sins throughout the Bible, are there any that you see yourself struggling with more lately? (Feel free to spend some time looking through the various places in the Bible that God talks about specific sins.)
How does God tell you, through his word, that you can overcome that sin struggle? (Spend time looking for God’s encouraging words in the Bible.)
What steps will you take this week to love God and others more dearly?
Finish your personal reflection with a song of love to our Great God. Choose your own, or sing this one with us.
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Today we started reading our Science book, dealing with the history of scientific discovery. My youngest asked if we could make water for ourselves from hydrogen atoms and oxygen atoms. As I flipped 300 pages into the book to the page about the Krebs Cycle, he went on to explain about wanting to build cities on places like the moon and Mars because of "overpopulation". We ended up talking about whether the world is really overpopulated or if we just don't handle our resources well, which led to a discussion on why people live where they live, which led to a discussion on the history of human population growth, geologic features, climate in different regions, and human nature.
He couldn't stop asking questions, though. Eventually he started theorizing about creating a black hole so he could create artificial gravity which led to a discussion about what is known and what is unknown and how much of what we can really know about what we don't know... And then suddenly we were looking at dark matter and dark energy and where these concepts came from and whether it's ever been observed before...
At this point he smirked at me and remembered that in the science class at camp this year, he asked a lot of questions. "I think my favourite time was when I put my hand up to ask another question - I had to go to the bathroom. Greg seemed disappointed."
Oh this kid! There's so much to talk about!