I live in Lancaster, CA, and my family and I have been practicing stay at home orders since they were issued. I am of the opinion that wearing masks is important to continue to keep our germs contained within our masks so that we can limit the spread of Covid-19.
[On May 5], I witnessed and video recorded a group of 20 or more staff members from a local clinic as they held a Cinco de Mayo lunch celebration outside of their Palmdale office. Many staff members, nurses included, were seen not wearing masks. And, as I entered the office, one of the staff members was also not wearing a mask.
I think it’s time to have a conversation among our community leaders that addresses this issue.
Can you help me spread the word about what I saw? Can you help me and other AV residents understand why the behavior displayed by these healthcare providers is either acceptable or unacceptable during Covid-19?
Editor’s note/update: The healthcare organization in question, Blue Shield of California, has responded. View the response here.
34 comments for "Op-ed: Are local healthcare professionals breaking the face-mask rule?"
Chris N says
On the issue of this group not wearing a masks or anyone for that matter.
I’m going to state some facts here and I expect everyone to google this.
N95 masks can filter particles as small as .3 microns.
The covid-19 virus is about .125 microns.
So wearing a mask to keep the virus contained inside you OR wearing a mask to keep from contracting the virus from a passer by is pointless.
Which is why I refuse to wear a mask in stores, it does no good and just makes you look ignorant for not knowing how they work.
Don’t wear a mask Chris N.
You get sick with the virus. No big deal.
You die you die. Again, no big deal.
You’ll just join the 80,000+ Americans who have died that you don’t care about.
They’ll put you in the ground and serve a catered lunch afterward. I hope it’s a good lunch.
Chris N says
I walked by this event on my lunch walk that I take just about every day (and I don’t wear a mask), I seen nothing wrong with it. In fact I smiled and “Good for you guys!”
I’ve never worn a mask and refuse to, wearing a mask walking around outside or inside does nothing for you. Your better to just practice good hygiene and wash your hands often.
This lock-down crap is way out of control! To think that someone was so offended that these people were having fun when they couldn’t is just another example of how sad this society has become.
This is what those in charge want. They want the citizens to turn on each other. They wanted gain control over us. You are cooperating with their plan even if you don’t think you are.
Stinky Rat Lady get a life
The reality is: the Coronavirus was not dangerous enough to warrant the lockdown in ths first place! These people aren’t wrong- but Rex and Newsom are. End the lockdown and the government’s overreach. Do yourself the favor of turning off the news. Live free
Dont cry when your suffering says
What planet are you living on how do you even twist your mouth to say the virus was never dangerous enough to warrant a lock down? So the thousands of people that have died suffering is not dangerous enough?! Wow because the truth of it is not political it’s not a conspiracy no one is trying to lock you away and take your liberties paranoid much! What its really about is not having half of the earth’s population die because a few people haven’t taken their meds and are so paranoid arrrggggh!
On Sonia's Side says
I’m team Sonia.
Mind Your Business says
There are so many other things to worry yourself with right now. Your actions could cause front line workers to lose their jobs. Did you stop to think about the children of those people? Did you stop to think about that? Less doctors and nurses to take care of you and your loved ones. You very simply could have handled this better. They were not acting with malicious intent. They were not breaking any laws. We are all dealing with the same pandemic. We should be working together, instead you cause stress and worry. Are you an educated person? An educated person would have handled this in a different manner, instead of looking for 15 minutes of fame. By the way, people may have similar opinions and not work in healthcare. I do not work in healthcare and I also do not know who any of these people are. I do; however, stand by our healthcare providers.
Shame on you says
Iam pretty sure all these comments that are against the one who reported it are from the actual people who were the ones pictured in the video. Grow the hell up…her point is valid you were not adhering to the orders given by the governor…last time I checked we still had to wear masks. I am also in the medical field and find this behavior disgusting.
I think Sonia should worry about herself and not worry about what others are doin. If ur so worried stay at home. Its really none of your business what others do!
The LA Times wrote an article about Angelinos and wearing masks. Here they are in case you need a refresher.
Do any of you think frontline healthcare workers in New York are having parties and hanging out shoulder to shoulder in public? I don’t. They’re far too busy working.
While I understand your concerns and sympathize with you, I must say, these people were outside, and needed a break! They did not ask you to join them, they were not asking anyone else in the public to join them. Why must people feel the need to criticize others so harshly? If it is frustrating to you that they are doing this while you continue to follow the herd, it’s ok to look the other way. Not everyone shares the same opinion that you do. And it is truly OK to allow others to go along with their lives as they see fit. I believe as long as they are not directly affecting you, then they should be allowed to do as they would please.
I completely agree. But, we are under direct orders not to engage in public gatherings of more than 10 people. And, even then to do so responsibly. If they had this event elsewhere… say at a park perhaps… (oh, wait, parks are still closed aren’t they,) this video would not me worthy of a single share. And, truly, the irony here is that these healthcare workers are not frontline healthcare providers… they’re supposed to help stop the spread of Covid-19 by acting in accordance with CDC suggestions… and, you know… if they really cared about keeping their even private they should have held it indoors. Their office is big enough for that.
Ms.lee I think the issue we have at hand it that you can’t keep your nose out of other people’s business you think by willingly exposing YOURSELF is helping you? These people work hard everyday and night protecting people like you but yet you think you have the right and the power to forget they’re humans who also need rest and enjoyment in their life’s? You willingly out of your vehicle and walked yourself to the gathering it wasn’t “noble ” of you to post this and I’m 100% sure you exposed yourself more going to both facilities because you wanted to be self righteous. If you wear a mask in your house 24/7 in your house then you have [removed] too say if you don’t please keep your comments to yourself this bitterness in seeing others have a normal day a happy day when all you can do is complain and if anything you should apologize for your selfishness you think you did something for the community all you want is glorification for being nosey . Have a nice day Ms.lee and maybe instead of seeking attention think about being a better person
I’m making others in our community aware of what is happening. You healthcare workers get sick and die from Covid-19 just as easily as average citizens. You have healthy patients coming in to your office and now your lack of responsibility is putting all of them at risk. And, you have this misconception that you’re something of a family? No, you’re a place of employment and your job requires you to practice safety protocols just as it does any other essential job.
Yours truly says
Sweetie 1, nobody cares what u want. 2 Your saying that u want them to apologize and get tested because they’re exposing themselves and their patients but what do you think your doing by going over their and talking to people that didnt invite you over , I’ll wait. 3 just because they’re health care workers doesn’t mean they cant celebrate Cinco de Mayo if its part of their culture and even if it isn’t and their part of a different ethnicity or culture doesn’t mean they cant have a nice decent lunch. There are more important issues than you being a selfish woman displaying your bitterness on to other people. Now imagine this u didnt bug people and mind your damn business and let people do what they want for example having a NICE LUNCH! I’m am almost sure you didn’t need to drive from Pamdeles office to Lancasters office to complain about the little issue u had . And if u felt so unsafe in the environment or facility you were in LEAVEEE stop ruining people’s day and practice washing your hands and wearing a mask YOURSELF you can boss your husband and kids around but not professional health workers about something you think there doing wrong . Thanks
I mean… you can always change doctors if that makes you feel “safe”. These people work in healthcare right which means they understand the importance of washing their hands. I’m sure they took all precautions before throwing this even. But again if you feel unsafe get a new doctor, maybe that will make you feel better. LA has many doctors that can assist you!
When switching insurance and doctors it can take months to get proper healthcare. But, I have begun the process, thank you.
Oh good, I’m sure they’ll be happy to get rid of a patient like you.
Masked Man says
I wear a mask in public and stand in the boxes six feet apart not for me, but for YOU. I want you to know that I am educated enough to know that I could be asymptomatic and still give you the virus. No, I don’t “live in fear” of the virus, I just want to be a part of the solution, not the problem. I don’t feel like the “government is controlling me”, I feel like I’m being a contributing adult to society and I want to teach others the same. The world doesn’t revolve around me. It’s not all about me and my comfort. If we all could live with other people’s consideration in mind, this whole world would be a much better place. Wearing a mask and standing in the boxes six feet apart doesn’t make me weak, scared, stupid or even “controlled”, it makes me considerate. Imagine just for a moment that someone near and dear to you getting sick and ask yourself if you could have sucked it up a little for them.
Feel free to copy and paste.
Just so everyone that reads this knows as I type this there is a header add on this website talking of covid 19 with a big cg virus with the #palmdalecares. I don’t like control of the general populace, government and laws. That being said, I’m sick of the childish people not willing to be inconvenienced for the greater good. You have Texans protesting and it’s only been a month! I think it’s shows a weakness on Americans of this generation. WW2 people didn’t whine like this. I say normal citizens should do as you please for the most part but please be considerate they are real people dying. But… People in position of authority or part of the system like police, firemen, healthcare workers and providers should abide by the mask and social distancing guidelines before anyone because they are suggesting said guidelines and they are in a position of trust. So I don’t agree with what I saw. A silly little Cinco de Mayo party that really wouldn’t have mattered if they had it or not is a sad little excuse to jeopardize there patients, there trust and there business because let’s face it, that’s all they care about anyways. #palmdalecares. And do to the internet being what it is and people being what they are they are real quick to jump on a single person and turn on each other. If you really feel strongly against guidelines email this website and demand they take that #palmdalecres header add down that says in big letters “Mask up” #palmdalecares
Sonia Lee says
On May 5th, 2020, I visited a clinic in Palmdale, CA, and I witnessed a large group of medical professionals, the clinic’s clerical staff and several nurses, enjoying a celebration. Healthcare professionals who treat patients, I saw them shoulder to shoulder without wearing masks. And, I asked myself “what the hell is going on?!” It was very confusing to see a sight I haven’t seen in my community since before Easter… since the Los Angeles lockdown began, to be honest. I could not stand by and walk away without proof. So, I approached the gathering, phone in hand as an obvious display that I am recording the event, and I say “I have to ask you guys, what’s going on here?” The rest of that conversation can be seen and heard in the video I have shared with you via media outlets.
I would later come to learn the woman who approached me to respond is a supervisor for this clinic and its sister clinic in Lancaster, CA. I also learned that both offices shared in the festivities.
About 45 minutes after I left the Palmdale office I arrived at the Lancaster office to try and speak with a supervisor. I wanted to explain what I saw at the Palmdale office and request that my initial virtual visit with an endocrinologist be moved to their office because I did not feel safe in a doctors office where even clinical staff members do not see the importance of keeping themselves and each other safe by wearing masks and maintaining a safe distance from one another. I was then told by the woman at the front desk “you’ve already spoken with the supervisor and she’s already told you that we work together everyday and I was there and you recording us without consent.” To which I replied, “you were in a public space.” I asked for the supervisors number again and she gave me Kim’s number… and I walked out into my car and sat and called the supervisor and left a voicemail explaining that I needed this appointment and that although I did not approve of what I saw them doing, I needed to work with them and my insurance to see an endocrinologist as soon as possible because I have been waiting for months to get my insulin dose adjusted so that I can continue working towards controlling my glucose levels, as I am a diabetic. Those are the facts of what happened on May 5th, and now I’ve decided to speak up about what it means to live in a post Covid-19 world and what I expect of medical professionals within my community, all of you, but specifically those of you in the video – and you know who you are.
At the end of April 2020 more than 22 million Americans found themselves unemployed. Times are tough all around. But, you want to parade without masks in public and be left to do so without raising an eyebrow? During Covid-19. I think not.
I want to live to see this pandemic be eradicated. Not just eliminated, but eradicated. You are selfishly involving yourselves in person to person contact which could lead to transmission. This could stop the efforts of everyone abiding the safety guidelines provided by the CDC, WHO, and your government officials. Shame on you. Shame on you! Behaving like out of control teenagers who can’t abide by rules for just over a month. Like children who insist upon having a celebration to gather some candy for a Mexican tradition that most of Mexico doesn’t even celebrate! Yeah, Google it, go ahead all wait.
I am immunocompromised and your job involves coming into direct contact with me and other immunocompromised residents you treat within the Antelope Valley in Los Angeles County. You irresponsible lot obviously lack common sense and I wish you would open your eyes to see how fortunate you are to still have jobs, and for the fact that you are here in Los Angeles and not in New York. Things are far worse in New York. People are dying at a far higher rate there. Experts tell us it may be because the virus may have mutated, or maybe because their city is of higher density than ours. Experts are also telling us another wave of Covid-19 is imminent, as medical professionals I am sure you are aware of all of this. And, it is your responsibility to support all efforts to keep this disease to a minimum… but instead you are blatantly disregarding all safety measures and giving each other reassurance that you don’t have to abide by the rules because you are already working in the same office and sharing the same space. What about the rest of the people you come into contact with? What about my kid, when I get Covid-19 from one of your clinical staff members and I end up on a respirator, or in a coffin, as a result of your lack of responsibility?
Masks keep you from spreading your germs. They do not prevent you from contracting Covid-19 as a result of breathing in Covid-19 particles. I’m sure you already know that. So where is this lack of respect for your fellow man coming from? Unacceptable. Do better. You messed up, I caught you, dust it off, get your ducks in order, and do better.
I want you to own up to your mistakes, and I want you to apologize to me and all of your patients for your irresponsible behaviour. I want you to be tested for both Covid-19 and the antibodies. And, I want you to be more responsible, and more respectful moving forward. If you can’t justify doing so, get out of the medical profession. A profession that is founded on Science and not personal beliefs or personal political bias. Because, if you do not care about the health and safety of others you do not belong in a field that requires you to think outside of your own selfish desires.
A member of your community,
Lose weight and you won’t have diabetes and won’t have to take insulin and will not have to visit a hospital to watch frontline workers have a decent outdoor lunch. Stop reflecting your personal issues on to others.
Sonia Lee says
These aren’t frontline workers. These are people working out of a clinic with patients who are not presenting Covid-19 symptoms. They are expected to follow the rules just as everyone else.
You definitely do not belong in the healthcare industry. Fat people like me who have to see doctors on a regular keep you employed.
Rich, it’s nice you made a childish ignorant comment on weight and diabetes. Thanks for making your opinion on this subject and any other subjects you comment on irrelevant. PEACE
Yours truly says
First off it’s I’ll wait not all wait and if you were so worried about everyone without a mask on .What was your purpose of getting off the car and you intentionally exposing your self with no gun pointed to your head but your own selfishness wanting to cause issues you see this as a self righteous act helping the community but what you fail to realize it that you exposed yourself they didn’t expose you and do you wear a mask in your house with your children all day everyday 24/7 remember you guys are in the same space all the time just like these health care workers they’re human too and need a break if you want to complain and get a apology from them I think it’s the other way around they stress everyday worrying about themselves being on the front line to worry about a women who was in her right mind got up and walked to the group with noone calling her over and you did record without consent no matter if it’s a public area it isn’t your duty to disrupt their privacy with your selfish intention you’re intentions aren’t good I can see right through them you wanna get glorified for doing such a “noble ” thing have a nice and blessed day Ms.Lee and next time think about how your selfish desires affect others
It’s interesting that all of the comments sound so similar. It sounds so much like the rhetoric I heard coming from the office at Lancaster when I was there. It makes me wonder who you are, and who you are working for. :-) thanks for all the advice, but I think I’ll continue to support science on this topic. Healthcare workers didn’t need a public display of Cinco de Mayo. You should have had your party indoors and out of the public view if you didn’t want anyone to see you acting so nonchalantly during a pandemic.
You caught my grammar mistake but neglected to catch all of yours. Go figure! It’s okay, your logic is flawed, and you do not represent the majority.
"Yours truly" is a joke says
You caught one mistake, yet your paragraph is a complete run-on sentence that is wordy and difficult to understand.
I am glad you chose to speak out about your experience, but the fact of the matter is, these people work side by side everyday with each other without a mask, they wear a mask with patients but cannot be expected to eat their lunch with their mask on. They were on a lunch break without any of the public in the vicinity. They were near the back of the building which you must have chosen to walk all the way around building to take the video. You are looking to cause an issue over this when it could have just been brought to the attention of the clinic staff. A person can have covid-19 and not have symptoms or be asymptomatic, for you to say that they are not frontline workers tells me you are ignorant. If they were not frontline workers then they would be closed just as every dentist office or optometrist is. If they were not frontline workers then you would not have been there on May 5th 2020. Did you wash your hands after holding your phone, did you touch your phone after the car door? Covid-19 can be carried through a lot more than just the air and wearing a mask does not stop it, it slows it, it lives on clothes, plastic, and even cardboard for you were so concerned about your “safety” then you would have made sure your visit would have been through telehealth. If you were so concerned with your “health and safety” then you would be more proactive in managing your diabetes then so concerned with changing your dose of insulin and would not have been out on this day. I’m sure you weren’t just going on a walk before your doctors appointment on a day where it it is 96 degrees outside. I would give you my advice on that but it seems you will just argue and defend yourself just like in every reply you have posted thus far. If you weren’t aware your health insurance is covering telehealth at 100% no member cost share. You took time out of your day to go looking for an issue that did not need to be caused, I would advise you find something better to do with your day next time. You are a very ignorant woman and i hope they choose to refuse you to be seen at this clinic again. You chose to take the time to cause they issue then you can take the time to drive to the Lancaster clinic.
Kalifornia Politburo says
Thank you for your report comrade.