Considerations for Wearing Masks

Hi everyone.

I’m Bob “Maddog” Lehman, your post surgeon; which is also literally true in my case as I am a physician and surgeon.

I want to offer my congratulations on a wonderful “social” takeout dinner on Thursday night. However, I also need to express my concerns as a physician and public health officer.

I observed one person with their mask below their nose. This is wrong on so many levels.


1.  The Governor’s decree (and CDC, and everyone else) is that “facial covering” means NOSE and mouth. Violating this is violating the State rule, which puts the Post at risk to be fined by Public Health as well as being shut down for doing take out while “staff” are not following the rules.

2.  But more seriously, Covid-19 is a respiratory virus. If you have had a Covid test or know someone who has, you realize the sample is taken from inside the nose. Not covering the nose with a mask means that person is potentially contaminating everyone around that person with every breath they exhale. 


3.  REMEMBER, we are not wearing masks to protect ourselves, but to protect others. It is like driving a car and depending on the other cars to stay on their side of the yellow line.  We wear our masks to protect others in case we are infectious and are not aware of it. And in so doing, we trust that everyone else is wearing their masks appropriately as well. There might be a slight protective filtering advantage to wearing a mask; no one knows this for sure or not. But obviously this advantage is gone if the nose is not covered.


4. The reality is that a huge percentage of the Post members are in the high-risk category for serious illness should we get infected due to being in the more mature age group. We have to protect each other.


We have a saying in the military, which fits here as well. “If you see something, say something”.  Unfortunately, in this case I was social distancing off in a far corner awaiting my order while the person wearing the mask below their nose left before I could say something. There were other people present. I’m surprised that no one noticed.  But perhaps people did notice; it is human nature to be afraid to say something. But a person not covering their nose is a potential danger to you. You would honk your horn if you saw someone driving on your side of the road. We all need to say something if someone is not wearing their mask or wearing it incorrectly.


I was in QFC the other day and the overhead announcement stated that the nose and mouth must be covered to be in the store. If the shopper is unwilling to keep the nose and mouth covered, QFC recommended that they leave the store and take advantage of shopping online instead.


We all need to say something when someone is not wearing their mask or wearing it incorrectly. My standard line is “excuse me, but your mask has slipped below your nose.” Do people get angry?  Yes.  Do I care?  NO!


And while I am on this subject, let me remind everyone that a face SHIELD is not an approved face covering. When you watch the news, you will see those wearing a face shield are also wearing a mask. There obviously is no filtering with a face shield.


Stay safe. If you have any questions, feel free to ping me.

Bob Lehman
Post 3063 Surgeon