Thursday, June 1, 2023


RV Shrink: To wear a mask or not to wear a mask …

Dear RV Shrink:
We live in an RV resort with a very large and very active community. It is one of the reasons we bought a lot in this particular park. Since COVID-19, there has been a lot of discussion on how we should handle it as a community.

It was finally decided that to enter the community center, laundry facility or workshop area, a face mask is required. We thought that was a great idea, but we have other members that refuse. They are very vocal about having their rights abused. Whatever happened to common sense, common community and common decency? One member showed up at a board meeting with his pistol strapped to his belt and insisted the rule was an infringement of his Second Amendment rights.

This whole ordeal has actually opened up our eyes as to who we are sharing our community with. I guess it takes a disaster to discover the strengths and weaknesses of your community leaders, members and even friends.

I think I already know what you are going to say: “That’s why we live on wheels.” Problem is, we really like this park in normal times. Should we cut and run, sell and sail? —Sad in South Texas 

Dear Sad:
You are just a microcosm of the whole country. You can run but you cannot hide. The whole mask issue has been a farce from the beginning of this pandemic crisis. First the peasants were told masks were ineffective. This was because the Kingdom had no masks, not even enough for first responders. After a month or so of viral spread, mask supplies became more available and it was suddenly determined they were vital to slowing the spread. 

I keep going back to making your own choices. Use your head – that common sense you are asking about. You don’t need the government to convince you to protect yourself. 

There is no clear evidence that a seat belt will save my life if I’m involved in a car accident, but it is a guarantee that if I get pulled over in my home state of Michigan, without one buckled around me, I will get a $90 ticket. There will not be a majority of mask-wearing until there is major enforcement, which isn’t going to happen. Common sense tells me that if a mask knocked down even a small percentage of the spread it would save thousands of lives. I can’t make others wear a mask, but I will do my part, and you can make that same decision. As N95 masks become available, I will bump up to those. 

I have actually read the Second Amendment and I know it says we have a right to Arm Bears, and I have always been in favor of that. I’ve always thought that would make bear hunting so much more interesting. I just read it again and I can’t find any reference to masks. Could be your neighbor is misinformed. There seems to be a lot of that going around lately.

It’s your call on selling and looking for another park, but remember, the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence. If your park cannot enforce masks, or social distancing, or any other precautions you think are important, don’t participate. We are now moving into the crapshoot phase of the pandemic. There are leaders, like the mayor of Vegas that thinks certain populations should be control groups. She represents a gambling mecca and seems to be willing to roll the dice. 

Let me repeat what I said two weeks ago: “The best way you can protect yourself is to become RV hermits until this whole mess blows over. If you get bored, consider the alternative. It is much better to be a social misfit than a statistic.”  

I am sure I will get another batch of comment-commentary accusing me of suggesting the government can’t find their rear bumper with both hands, but my real point here is not about my opinion or yours. We are all adults, supposedly able to make our own decisions. We don’t need a bunch of talking heads to tell us what to do. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Now is the time to discover how tough you are. Good luck.   

—Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

From the editor: Here’s a 3-minute song, “UAW Rag,” which Dick wrote a few years ago. He says he writes “goofy songs” when his mind wanders. You can watch it here.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his e-books, including Book 2 in his two-book series: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.



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Tom Smithbrother
3 years ago

I just saw a video clip for a surgeon who says that the mask only protects other from you sneezing or coughing . Thew virus is i/2 the size of the smallest opening in an N95 mask. The N95 are ever better that most . So if one is not sick why wear one? They want everyone to FEEL safe when in reality it is actually ineffective.

Jeff Craig
3 years ago

Tell these ‘nice people’ that if he has the right to not wear a mask, Colin Kaepernick has the right to take a knee during the National Anthem.


Terri R
3 years ago

It is much better to be a social misfit than a statistic. ….. LOVE THIS!!!!!! Masks in public protect not only you but your neighbor also… and one of the highest callings of being in society is to love others. Guess we are about to find out all those people that are truly self centered & selfish … no need to know them anymore!

3 years ago

So seat belts don’t save lives! Interesting. That’s like saying helmets don’t reduce head injuries in a motorcycle accident. Being a seat belt survivor myself and having investigated some 70 fatal accidents, many where a person was ejected from the vehicle, I can tell you SEAT BELTS DO SAVE LIVES. They also keep you behind the wheel if you happen to lose control and that is in a position where you have the possibility of regaining control. You cannot recover from a skid if you sitting against the right hand door. As I believe John Wayne said, “Life is hard. It’s even harder if you’re stupid.”

John Olson
3 years ago
Reply to  Impavid

I dont believe he said ” seat belts dont save lives” (everyone would agree that they do) but he said there is no evidence to prove a seat belt WILL save HIS life if he gets in an accident. And that is 100% true.. as many people wearing seat belts also die in accidents. People need to read and re read what people write instead of jumping to conclusions. So many arguments could be avoided if people would really listen to what others are saying before making comments.

3 years ago

Caution: actual medical information instead of guessing.

1) Yes, N95 masks help if properly worn. Some virus is in your spit and you don’t want to spit or be spit on while talking. However, a lot of virus is in exhaled aerosols that are NOT large enough droplets to be caught even by an N95 mask. Catching them with a bandana is hilarious.

2) “Properly worn” — if you touch the outside of the mask, reuse your mask without sterilizing it (over 170F for 5 minutes), you just infected yourself worse than the mask helped.

3) DO NOT WEAR GLOVES. Almost no one wears/removes them correctly, and they are strictly disposable if you don’t sterilize them. However, the entire time you are wearing them EVEN CORRECTLY, you’re touching infected surfaces and distributing more virii further. Use your bare hands, and WASH THEM REGULARLY to stop viral spread.

4) Does your mask work? Simple… can you smell anyone’s perfume or BO or (ahem) faltulence. Congratulations, your mask is worthless. If you can smell through your mask, you’re doing nothing to filter virii that are MUCH smaller than perfume and giant “toot” molecules.

5) Medical science has nothing to say on the 2nd amendment supporting masks. Had to say it. If you shoot your mask, it probably won’t work?

I’m assuming 2nd Amendment Guy meant to reference his Constitutional rights more generally… which he’s right about. Government does not have the authority to order you to stay home or wear masks or close your business except under Marshal Law, which is not declared or justified to be declared. That said, you are responsible for yourself, so wash constantly or not, wear a mask or not, believe C19 is a giant hoax or absurd overreaction or a powergrab — or none of those. Keep yourself safe.

3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

Further clarification: N95 means 95% of particles of a particular size are caught. That size is “dust” or “fine sawdust” — 5% of those big particles still get through, and smaller particles than it’s certified for get through pretty unimpeded. As I mentioned, this is about catching “big” droplets of spit, which N95 (dust) masks are pretty effective at. If you wanted to filter the virus itself, you’d need a hazmat respirator like the CDC uses, not an N95 dust mask nor a comical bandana.

3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

I do like how so many people look like cowboys (gals) now.

3 years ago
Reply to  Wolfe

As a lab person from the well known company that makes the N95 masks, I would like to say that we do not recommend re-sterilization of a mask as described in point 2 of the above. Doing so will very likely in resolving your respirator or medical mask being pretty useless, and not much better than a home made fabric mask>
Point 4 is also similar to a joke, because odors are gaseous substances, while viruses are particle matter.
I wish non infection control people would not try to make medical recommendations in forums such as this one (I have a PhD in Biomedical Sciences, and am specialised in infection control & prevention)

3 years ago

As a healthcare leader, I have not seen a better historical summary about the “guidance” from health departments and the CDC regarding masks and who should wear them: “First the peasants were told masks were ineffective. This was because the Kingdom had no masks, not even enough for first responders. After a month or so of viral spread, mask supplies became more available and it was suddenly determined they were vital to slowing the spread.”

Gena Harvey
3 years ago

We just practice the Golden Rule. Works every time.

3 years ago

Many men and women had died for the right of Americans to be free. Sadly, some confuse those rights with compassion for our fellow man. The government should not have to tell people to wear a mask, we should do it out of respect for our brothers and sisters well-being.

3 years ago

I’ve been saying from day one, “Take personal responsibility”. Don’t need the government to tell me to take precautions. I too am irked by the selfish who think they can infect everyone else because it’s their right. The Bible says, “Think not only on your own things, but think also on the things of others” (loose translation). They aren’t following that rule. So best option is to take your own precautions, and I’m not afraid to shame them for making others vulnerable. It’s not the government they are rebelling against, it’s decency.

Bill Fisher
3 years ago

I sort of have the feeling a lot of people have been cooped up in their homes too long and not only are they getting a bit testy their reading comprehension has gone downhill from watching too much TV. For example, The Shrink did not say wearing a mask is a farce. He very clearly, at least to those of us with some reading comprehension left, referred to the “experts’” recommendations early on and then later. Don’t believe me, go read it again slowly this time and without any agenda or preconceived bias. He further states later that it is a good idea and he is doing his part, alluding at least that he wears one. Wear your masks and seatbelts. It’s the prudent thing to do if it makes you feel better (it does make a lot of others feel safer when you do) and in the case of seatbelts, the legal thing to do, as well. I interpreted his Second Amendment discussion as somewhat tongue in cheek satire, especially since masks, seatbelts and guns have nothing in common. Well, maybe they do because they all make some of us feel safer. Geesh, people, get a grip and lighten up.

John Olson
3 years ago
Reply to  Bill Fisher

Nice comments Bill… so many people dont read what is written but jump to conclusions. Same as in politics… so many people would probably agree on issues if they would read and listen carefully before they put their mouths (or fingers) in gear.

2 years ago
Reply to  Bill Fisher

(Fauci) has admitted he lied about mask effectiveness because he was worried about medical personnel not being able to maintain supplies.

Moreover, NEJM has FORTY YEARS of research showing mask ineffectiveness against viral transmission.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  joewhoreads

Please read this analysis from PolitiFact via Tampa Bay Times:
It puts that statement into context. And I could have deleted your comment, but I (barely) decided to let it stand after I corrected your intentional misspelling of Dr. Fauci’s name. —Diane at

3 years ago

Another poorly written article. There’s no evidence that seat belts saves lives? Must be a deep state conspiracy started by the evil seat belt lobby. Wearing masks is a farce? Tell that to my dentist, cardiologist and surgeon.

To paraphrase the famous philosopher F. Gump; ignorant is as ignorant does. I guess even common sense is political these days.

John Olson
3 years ago
Reply to  Michael

Your comments as well do not reflect what he is actually saying if you read carefully. He didn’t say seat belts dont save lives… he stated there is no evidence (proof) that a seat belt will save HIS life if HE has an accident. That is 100% true… people die in car accidents everyday wearing seat belts. Where did he say wearing a mask is a “farce”?? Not what he said… He said the whole ISSUE regarding masks has been a farce and that is true as well. He even stated that common sense tells us that wearing a mask can reduce the spread and help save lives…. He stated he will wear a mask but cant make others wear one. Come on… read carefully before you comment.

3 years ago

Chuck…you need to look around for a new RV Shrink. His latest column is just about the most stupid thing I’ve ever read. It ranks right up there with disinfecting our blood streams and shining bright lights on our internal organs (and we all know where that came from). Send him off to the compound where he and others can carry their guns and cough on each other whenever they want. I’ll continue to wear a mask, use seatbelts, and leave gun-carrying to the law enforcement personnel.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Actually, UV lights ARE being shined into people to cure them of various diseases. I saw 3 articles on it last week. They have used these lights with fish for years (externally) and now they are doing it internally to people. Check your own facts.

3 years ago
Reply to  Tom

Oh, and I forgot. Heparin, used in chemotherapy and other applications, is a blood disinfectant. But then you aren’t a doctor.

Al C
3 years ago
Reply to  Tom

In addition to Cindy’s comments… There is a company working to introduce a spray that when inhaled activates a natural disinfectant in your lungs. That idea also has a solid medical basis. So “where that came from” is actually a smart guy.

3 years ago
Reply to  Al C

Google Chromophoresis, Photochemo and chromochemo… For about 100 years, doctors have been rigging a sort of bypass of the arteries (pumping blood EXTERNALLY from one part of the body to another), and exposing the blood to UV-A/B/C depending on what bug they are trying to kill. IT WORKS FANTASTICALLY for many diseases. I’m not a Trump supporter, but he was referencing a WELL TESTED treatment that DOES have great anti-viral capabilities and is cheap/easy to do. It wasn’t a crazy statement.

He also, if you actually listened, suggested disinfecting the blood, NOT drinking disinfectant. See above… the description fits Chromophoresis as well as antibiotics and antivirals. Again, nothing wrong with what he actually said.

And what disinfectants CAN you drink??? Actually, mega-doses of vitamin-C really ARE anti-viral. Vitamin C breaks down into (I think?) a form of peroxide in the bloodstream, which is WHY for several CENTURIES people tell you to drink more OJ when sick. It does work. And it’s harmless since you pee it out again after a couple hours of disinfecting yourself. BTW: Zinc supplements are good for that too, just don’t go TOO insane with that.

Bill Pearson
3 years ago

saw this on the morning news this morning thought you would enjoy the fact or fiction story on mask usage.

In today’s world a lot of ignorant people love to state that the constitution has been violated by the government by not agreeing with their belief or stance on a topic, seems to be prevalent a lot in our society today. You see it on the news all the time.

What percentage of the population can explain the bill of rights, what it is, what it means or where it came from. Most people have never read the constitution let alone how the supreme court has defined them as to their meaning.

But the ignorant will always claim to believe what they want, the stupid will believe to the bone that it is there god given right, no matter how wrong they are.

My father always told me, you cant fix stupid. People choose to believe what they want and it colors their actions. Like carrying a weapon to make a statement that is irrational and unneeded.

All you can do is shake your head, hope that their actions do not harm anyone, and leave them to their own mental meanderings. Give them a lot of space and try to ignore them, Then say a little prayer to protect us from them…

I hope the outcome of this epidemic will make an impact on those who are ignorant of reality and that choose to remain that way. I hope COVID-19 will change the way the world thinks and functions, hopefully with more compassion and empathy toward their fellow man and less greed and coveting. .

We can sure use it about now!

Be wise,
Be safe..

3 years ago

Without question the stupidest thing I have read in this publication. Gun-totin’ disease spreaders are perfectly OK with me if they go off by themselves and isolate. I don’t want to be n your circular firing squad.

3 years ago

Do facemasks make sense? Let’s explain it for dummies:

If we all run around naked and someone pees on you, you get wet.

If you are wearing pants, they absorb some of the pee. So less gets through to your skin.

If the guy who pees is also wearing pants, the pee stays with him and you do not get wet.

If you wear a homemade cloth mask, most droplets are trapped going out, and some are trapped coming in.

If you wear a surgical mask, more droplets are trapped both ways.

If you wear an N-95 mask, 95% of droplets are trapped both ways.
(The harder it is to breath through a mask, the better it’s working.)

The poison is in the dose!
If a few viruses make it to your nose, your body has more time to mount a defense.
If a lot of viruses make it to your nose, your body is more likely to be overwhelmed.

(Many versions of this are floating around but this is the best I’ve seen.)

Alan Wood
3 years ago

The 2nd amendment says: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” We have a well regulated Militia, it’s called the National Guard in each state. Back when the 2nd amendment was written, the only way they could have a well regulated militia is for the people to have guns which the government call to arms when needed. Today, with the National Guard, we don’t need people to have guns to form the kind of militia the 2nd amendment speaks too. Somewhere in the last 300 years the Supreme Court interpreted that we need a 2nd militia, which doesn’t make sense since we all ready have a very well regulated Militia in the National Guard. That said, I’m not against private ownership of guns, I had a hunting rifle and shotgun years ago. I do believe that we have too many guns in our society, but I also believe that common ground can be found so we can have private gun ownership that is safe, sensible, and fair for all.

Captn John
3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Wood

Actually the 2nd is to protect ourselves from tyrannical government. The1st thing Cuba, Russia, Nazi Germany did was disarm citizens. Although we disagree I carry and will protect your 1st Amendment rights even believing you are very wrong.

3 years ago
Reply to  Alan Wood

Still doesn’t get to the part about masks, though.

3 years ago

There are several points here.
(1) There is definite proof that seatbelts save lives.
(2) The guy wearing his gun to that type of meeting is just being a bully, with the exception of if he previously wore his gun everywhere he went and it was his normal life. He does have his right to do so, but if he picks one instance, he is a bully.
(3) As mentioned before, the mask is to protect others, not the wearer. However, I have been told (while wearing my mask in public) by a respiratory therapist that the mask is not doing any good. The COVID-19 virus is microscopic and airborne. It does not have the ability to travel on it’s own, hence the 6-foot rule. So unless the mask you are wearing has the ability to STOP the movement of the virus, you are not doing the good that you think you are. Does your present mask help by possibly stopping “some” of the microscopic spread? Well that is to be decided by people much more intelligent than me. I just wish those folks would step up and speak the truth instead of all of the different lines that we the public are receiving from so many sources.
I wish you all well, and we will get through this together.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mark

I watched a video explaining how small the virus is compared to others and that it can easily go through the weave of even closely woven cotton fabric. It was suggested that adding a non-woven iron-on interfacing would stop 95%+ of the virus. Just be sure to wash the mask after wearing to remove any virus you may have picked up. I have made several masks and added the non-woven interfacing to all.

3 years ago
Reply to  Mark

A respiratory therapist is not necessarily an authority to determine if masks do any good or not. The jobs of such therapists is it to help people who got sick already!
My job is to make sure that you protect your respiratory system so you or others don’t get sick. N95 respirators are designed to protect our respiratory systems against those microscopic particles. No, it cannot travel on its own, because a virus is not a living organism, but it can be transported by droplets that float in air currents. Respirators such as the N95 mask don’t allow those droplets to be inhaled, while medical masks or home made cloth makes prevent that the person wearing them cannot emit those droplets into the environment. This is important, because most infected person are not showing any symptoms of an infection for about 2 weeks, however, can spread this infection to other with these saliva droplets which are emitted during speaking, sneezing or coughing.

3 years ago

Did anyone actually read the R.V. Shrink piece or did you immediately leap to your forgone conclusions? It seemed to be perfectly rational to me The majority of drivers only use seat belts because they will get a ticket if they don’t. Likewise the use of face masks will only become universal if you can be fined or if stores begin to forbid your entry without a mask.

3 years ago
Reply to  David

Nope. I wear a seatbelt because I know from being a responder being held in a soft seat ups my odds of surviving. I’d rather you did too, because the alternative has ptsd-ed me and others you count on. Not because some patrol man will fine you. How immature of you to need an external, government consequence!

3 years ago
Reply to  Traveler

I wear a seat belt and did before it became law
I also had all passengers wear before it became law
WHY you ask
Because it is common sense !
I dont like shoes
But i wear them because they protect my feet
Common sense again !
Sadly , many have not this feature built into their brain 🧠 and cannot understand common sense or logic …

Gary Short
3 years ago


Patricia Panuccio
3 years ago

I am in NM and our governor recently laid out plans for reopening the state and the one statement that stood out was that it was up to us to stop this virus from spreading. Wash our hands, don’t touch your face, and wear a mask in public. It is so simple. You protect yourself, your loved ones, and other human beings.

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