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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

Should People With Asthma Wear Face Coverings or Masks?

The CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) both recommend that you wear masks or fabric face coverings in public where you can’t keep a proper distance from other people. The WHO recommends wearing a fabric mask that allows you to breathe while talking and walking too quickly. A face covering may not be best for everyone. According to the CDC, these people should not wear face coverings:

  • Children under age 2
  • Anyone who has trouble breathing
  • Anyone who is unconscious, unable to help themselves or can’t remove the mask on their own

Some people with asthma may experience discomfort or have trouble breathing while wearing a face covering.

 

https://community.aafa.org/blog/what-people-with-asthma-need-to-know-about-face-masks-and-coverings-...

 

 

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

You try operating with insufficient oxygen then block off one of your nostrils.   Yes controlled asthma is not affected by masks, but a person in full blown asthmatic exacerbation in highly impacted by a mask.  The fact this passenger was in her seat WITHOUT the mask and a nearby passenger not only didn't mind but offered her their inhaler speaks to the level of distress.

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

Please don’t quote any “prominent surgeon” without, at least providing a name or source.

Being more concerned about someone wearing a mask, than you are about them having access to suitable oxygen to sustain life seems pretty selfish. Asthma life threatening just like COVID. Your disregard for human life and basic compassion is quite despicable for you to point fingers.

 

If you’re so worried about contracting Covid-19, maybe you should stay home instead of catching flights and feelings.

 

Karen, much?

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

The problem here is that the employee wasnt doing their job!  The employee violated the terms of the airline's policy regarding people in distress.

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

Active Member

@TheMiddleSeat wrote:

@wdrake98 wrote:

 

TL;DR

 

As an asthmatic I have breathing issues after running to my gate.  Gate attendant forces me to wear mask and I privately, quietly to her hearing only say b@($* as I walk past her. She forces me to grovel and apologize before allowing me on flight. Southwest mask policy has exceptions for medical conditions and people having trouble breathing.

 


Only read the TLDR version. Anyone who swears at an employee trying to do their job deserves nothing, no apology, nothing. Be grateful you were allowed to fly. 

--TheMiddleSeat


I dunno.

 

If someone were to put my life at risk -- be they an employee of a company or not -- I'd be pretty foul mouthed too.

 

I think if my life was at risk, the last thing on my mind would be making sure what comes out of my mouth is courteous and non-vulgar.

 

But, heck, that's just me.

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

When, in the history of CUSTOMER SERVICE, has a customer been required to offer a “sincere apology” to an employee after getting mouthy? It is that company’s duty to accommodate the customer, not only because she is in physical and emotional distress, but because she’s giving them her patronage. She could have easily flown with United or American. It’s disheartening when a company you’ve been loyal to treats you like a dog on the street.

 

The airline’s policy states that passengers are required to wear masks with the EXCEPTION of a medical emergency. She deserves a “sincere” apology from Martha, the employee, for lack of empathy and failure to uphold company guidelines. She also deserves a “sincere” apology from Southwest Airlines for failure to enforce their policies set in place to ensure the safety of all passengers.

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

New Arrival

I am appalled at the way a customer was treated.

As an asthmatic, I fully understand and sympathize with you.  Asthma is a dangerous condition and the outcome could have been deadly.   Yes, masks are mandatory, but so is oxygen and as you pointed out in your condition, the requirement to wear the mask should have been waived.   Asthma attacks are not always instantaneous and acute, but the longer it takes to reduce the swelling on the airway the more dangerous the situation.  And to have someone in obvious distress stand, mind you not sit to the side was negligent NOT helpful.  Then to further prolong relief and publicly humiliate the person should be grounds for at the very least disciplinary action. 

No you should not have said what you said, but the staff overreacted, put you at risk of an acute attack, humiliated you and inconvenienced all passengers on that flight.

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

Active Member

If you can't safely wear a mask, you can't safely fly. You are risking the health of everyone around you. It isn't like you are asking for more time to board or extra room on the plane. You are asking to risk the lives of other passengers in order for you to fly. I'm not sure how you justify that to yourself, but I guess you don't care if you kill someone else. That's life and not your problem.

 

And, as for who said what, here is the statement to which I was referring:

 

https://www.reddit.com/r/Masks4All/comments/hf8ttu/retired_surgeon_sam_laucks_has_this_to_say_about/

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

Top Contributor

Heck, Samuel Lauks ain't an infectious disease expert, He ain't affiliated with a major teaching hospital. He is a bowel and rectum surgeon. What the heck does that have to do with infectious diseases. He works in a hospital in the major metropolis of York, PA.   YORK PA??????  Does that make him qualify as a prominent surgeon????????

 

And yet you treat him a if he was the messiah - the know all end all

expert that every MD in the world bows to. He's not, sorry..

 

Both you and the good doctor are entitled to your opinions   However,  I'll take my ques from infectious disease experts - and not someone who would cut my butt.  

 

 

https://health.usnews.com/doctors/samuel-laucks-489389

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Re: Mask Exception - Asthma - Forced to apologize

Top Contributor

I too have asthma, but have not had any issues wearing a mask. I do realize that experiences vary widely by each individual. Some people that have difficulty with mask compliance have found that a clear plastic face shield provides a good alternative. While not as effective as a cloth covering, a face shield does contain larger droplets thought to be a primary source of transmission. Southwest airlines considers a face shield satisfactory for their face covering requirement.

 

There are, unfortunately, many people who won't wear a mask because of their political views (or incorrectly wear one, negating the protection). This is in disregard of the clear evidence supporting the public health benefits of universal mask wearing, especially when social distancing is not possible -- such as the interior of a plane. The OP, however, does not seem to be one of those people. She stated she understands the reason for the requirement, and generally complies when she can. Perhaps it's best to reserve outright anger at mask non-compliance for those who adamantly espouse their flawed beliefs.

 

The OPs situation, possibly a result of crew repeatedly dealing with the political non-mask crowd (not meant as a justification, only possible context), was very unfortunate. To me, it seems it was likely a misunderstanding that escalated unnecessarily. It's never appropriate to use a vulgar slur towards a crew member. But I also feel that the crew member absolutely should have taken more time to fully understand the situation and the OPs condition.

 

One other comment: Sometimes asthmatics, in the obvious throes of a full-blown attack, are denied boarding and moved to a later flight. Crew are trained to stop and check boarding passengers who appear to be having a medical issue, among other criteria. This has actually happened to me, although it was self-imposed. After a delayed arrival, I had an attack as I was running to catch a connection. Rather than board, I let the gate agent know what was happening, and she moved me to a later flight. I sat and used my rescue inhaler to get my breathing under control, and was fine well before the rescheduled departure. For me, it was the right decision, as I didn't want to risk having a medical event at 35k feet. I also understand that there are multiple variables that may make this not feasible for others, but do keep in mind that denied boarding could also have been a result of the situation.